The Space Well-appointed, light and airy studio apartment (300 sq ft) with kitchenette, Queen-size bed, bath, veranda and garden.
Particularly suitable for ecotourists and nature lovers, who prefer the serenity of this hillside retreat to the bustling beach resorts, yet wish to have all major tourist attractions within quick and easy reach.
Saint Lucian-German owned and managed.
Maison du Soleil is tucked high into the hillsides of La Borne, overlooking the northern tip of Saint Lucia. From your veranda, you look over Pigeon Island National Monument as well as Rodney Bay with its beaches and marina. On clear days, you can see as far as the neighbouring island of Martinique. You enjoy the tranquillity of the mountains; yet, within a 15-minute-drive, most major tourist attraction of northern Saint Lucia are at your fingertips – with the knowledge that you can withdraw to your retreat just as quickly at any time. The local bus stops directly in front of the property.
Attractions in immediate surroundings (within 15 min drive by car - please allow more time on public transport):
Multitude of water sports, including parasailing, Snuba, Sea-Trek and marine kayaking
Pigeon Island: Fort Rodney and other historic monuments, recreational park and beach.
Boat and land excursions:
• Sunset cruise, catamaran sailing
• Hiking, horseback riding & ATV tours
• Round-the-island tours, day trips
Caribbean culture: live music, Limbo dancing, Gros Islet street party, Salsa fiesta
Main venues of the world-famous Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, 30 April to 10 May, 2015
Restaurants with wide culinary offer
Nearby attractions (15 to 45 min drive):
Rainforest hikes in the Saint Lucia Forest Reserve, the home of the endemic Saint Lucian parrot, Amazonas versicolor
Ziplining und rainforest canopy tram; Segway Tours
Whale- & Dolphin-watching boat excursions, sport- & deep sea fishing
Nesting of marine turtles (seasonal)
Open-air museums Lushan Country Life & Fond Latisab Creole Park
Minizoo & nature trail
Arawak excavations, petroglyphs
Castries heritage walk
Galleries of local artists
Golf and tennis courts
Car-, motorbike and bicycle hire
George Charles Airport (SLU)
Ferry to Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe
Attractions in region (45 to 90 min drive):
Maria Island Nature Reserve with four endemic reptiles, including the world’s rarest snake, the St. Lucia racer (Liophis ornatus)
• Pitons World Heritage Site, ascent to the summit, Tete Paul trail
• Sulphur springs, drive-in-volcano & geological museum
• Thermal springs & baths
Two Ramsar wetland sites with rare bird species
Choiseul Arts & Craft Centre, pottery
Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) Guest AccessFacilities:
Renovated in 2012
Firm, high-quality mattress (Queen-size: 152cm x 203 cm)
Electricity: 220V, UK 3-pin outlets, with adapters for various European and American plugs
Gas stove with four burners and oven
Large (220 l) refrigerator/freezer
Tableware and seating for 4 persons
Outdoor BBQ grill
Wireless internet access (if you have your own computer)
Bird watching perch: the Antillean euphonia (Euphonia musica) and the endemic Saint Lucian pewee (Contopus oberi) may be seen
Access to small private library that specializes on natural resources and history of the Caribbean
Use of BBQ station
Utilities: water, gas, electricity, charcoal
Mini pantry: minor ingredients (salt, pepper, sugar, oil, vinegar, etc.) and items you need in small quantities and don't necessarily want to buy
Incipient book exchange - it's up to you to make it grow
Cleaner, change of sheets and towels once a week
Parking within compound walls
We speak English, Kwéyòl, German, Spanish and (some) French.
Additional services for our guests (additional fees apply; subject to availability):
Airport or ferry transfers
Air beds or mattress for up to two children
Breakfast items, food basket or home-made wholemeal bread
Laundry service (including additional changes of towels and/or sheets)
Interaction with GuestsOur degree of interaction with guests depends entirely of the guests. We live in the same building, so are reachable and available to assist. The studio, however, is self-contained and has a private entrance. So those who seek privacy will find it.
Typically we show our guests around the property and garden, explain the tropical crops, how we make charcoal and the labour of love that made Maison du Soleil into what it is today. Often we discover common interests and sit together in the evening for chats, drink and/or meal. Occasionally we offer excursions to off-the-beaten track destinations, e.g. for biologists with specialist interests. The NeighborhoodThe paved road from Monchy ends in LA Borne, so there is no thoroughfare. Everybody knows everybody in the community and our guests can safely enjoy rural Saint Lucian life. They are welcome with the local drummers "Secret Band" plays and are often offered a ride in the back of a farmer's pick-up before a bus passes. Getting AroundAbout half of our guests opt for renting a car, while the other half enjoys mingling with the locals on public transport. These are the pros and cons:
A rental car is more expensive, but gives you more freedom; you may reach more remote places but interact less with people. Maison du Soleil can be reached by any functional vehicle (good but steep road). If you belong to the half who prefer to go where you want to go and when you want to go, then a small 4x4 (say a small Suzuki or Terios) is the ideal vehicle, as many sights of potential interest are off the paved road and/or off public bus routes. We can assist with arrangement, so you get a better price than with the international companies on-line.
Public transport is more economical and social, but requires more time and some places may only be reachable by taxi or hitch-hiking, which is widely practised by locals, easy and as safe as anywhere with the normal precautions (very often in the back of an open pick-up truck). La Borne has a good bus connection, except on Sunday, when few buses run anywhere on the island. But as 14 seater mini buses travel when full (no timetable!) for as long into the night as there is business, this may require some patience, depending where you want to go and at what time of day/night.
For guests arriving at Hewanorra Airport (UVF), we recommend our airport transfer (surcharge) or a taxi, as the trip is tedious and lengthy by bus, particularly with luggage (3 changes of buses). The return trip to UVF is perfectly doable by bus (single change). Other Things to NoteThe studio is designed to accommodate 2 adults in a real bed. Upon request, we can provide additional bedding for up to two children.