St. Lucia Part II: Marigot Bay

9 Aug

Marigot Bay

Day One

We landed at UVF Hewanorra Airport around noon and we were able to find a taxi right away. A lot of people complain about the cost of taxi service in St. Lucia (the cost of taxi rides to and from certain cities and destinations is fixed by the government and generally runs from $40 US and up depending on how far you’re going), but I will say that the taxi stand at the airport is well-organized and efficient. Also, every taxi is marked TX on the license plate before the number. We got a taxi about five minutes after we collected our luggage and were on our way- take that JFK!

Landing at Hewanorra Airport

Our taxi driver took the quicker, less populated eastern route to take us up to Marigot Bay. I promised myself as I peered out the window at the rain forest on one side and the wild Atlantic Ocean on the other, that I would visit around that area more if I ever find myself back in St. Lucia in the future. After about an hour, our hunger got the best of us and the driver was kind enough to stop at a small food stand, where a woman was selling grilled chicken sandwiches for about 6 ECs (less than 3 bucks). We devoured it quickly and enjoyed the rest of our  hour and a half winding up-and-down ride to Marigot Bay.

After we got to the other side of the bay, we took the tram up to Oasis cottage, which was already prepared for our arrival. The blue tram is cute and a great option if you like an amazing view but can’t deal with hundreds of steps. We got on and enjoyed the view of the well-landscaped property and of course, the bay going up, as the stress from our trip melted away.

The tram to our cottage

We were on the second floor of the cottage, in one of the larger apartments with a really amazing clear view of the bay that you just don’t get on the ground floor. In all, there are four separate apartments that comprise the cottage and they all share a lightbulb-shaped pool on the ground floor. Some people rent out the entire place with their family and/or friends which seems like a good idea. Anyway, the apartment had a nice clean bathroom with a shower that works both hot and cold, a separate kitchen area with its own door (smart because of bugs), a full-sized bedroom that was only marred by an ugly bedspread and a musquito net that didn’t really cover the entire bed. Hotel owners if you are reading this: musquito nets are only worth it if you’ve updated with four-poster beds only. Otherwise, it’s not romantic to have to stretch out a random net and keep pulling at it all night. Just a tip!

The best part of the whole place had to be the gorgeous deck, complete with a table and chairs in one section and a lovely seating area with two chairs. I spent many relaxing hours over the weekend just reading and looking out onto  Marigot Bay.

The view from our cottage

The first thing we needed to do after showering was to eat because we were both starving so we made our way down to Doolittle’s Restaurant. I was a little worried because of the very poor reviews I had read on TripAdvisor but found that my trepidation was unfounded. Yes, food in St. Lucia is overpriced, mostly due to the cost of importation of non-island foods. However, I encountered none of the poor attitude and unprofessional behavior that many of the posters complained about. Either every single server was fired and replaced, or there may have been some gross exaggerations.  I have my own theories about why people slam the servers at Doolittle’s but I don’t want to turn this article into a rant about neocolonialism and it’s discontents! All that to say that the service was attentive and the menu was varied. It wasn’t a four-star experience but it never claimed to be anything more than a middle-of-the-way restaurant and watering hole. The only thing that marred our lunch was the attack of mosquitos that will descend on any and all visitors to St. Lucia, DEET be damned! The hubby got the worst of it because he’s bald and wasn’t wearing a cap, but I got a few bites as well.

Later on, it was drinks at Discovery at Marigot Bay. We had a couple of rum punches as we watched the sun set at the well-decorated Pool Bar (all neutral colors and soft wood accents). If you ever decide to stay here, Discovery is an eco-friendly boutique luxury hotel. It also has a really beautiful spa called Lapli Spa. A lot of the yacht owners pulling into the marina were their guests and the prices are not for the faint of heart, but it’s a nice place to find yourself for dinner and/or drinks.

view from Discovery at Marigot Bay

Last but not least, we went to dinner at the Rainforest Hideaway. It was kind of a cop-out since I had planned from the beginning for us to go to the Anse La Raye Fish Fry, a weekly seafood fest where vendors grill fish and other foods out on the streets of the small fishing village of Anse La Raye. People from the village go but so do a lot of the tourists. Even though that sounds annoying, I think it’s amazing. St. Lucia is just really good about putting small celebrations on the map which helps to spread the tourism dollars around on the island. But…. I was really exhausted still from the flight and we just wanted to relax and enjoy our time together on our anniversary. But I will go next time and if you have the chance so should you!

Anse LaRaye Fish Fry/ image from barefootholidays.com

The Rainforest Hideaway, an outdoor restaurant surrounded by the bay, is one of those places that you reserve for a special day: an anniversary like ours, birthdays, or a once a week. In other words, it can break the bank! But the food is such a breathtaking blend of St. Lucian and French cuisine that we couldn’t regret the splurge. We both just ordered an entrée and desert, but the chef sent out some little nibbles anyway- some tasty bruschetta and beef kebabs while we waited. I personally recommend the delicious  chili infused shrimp and scallops over risotto. Greg had the beef angus tenderloin with wasabi mash which was pretty good too. For desert, just stick to the rum sautéed bananas. Trust me! It was simply prepared but delicious- the chocolate cheesecake concoction I had didn’t come close!

Rainforest Hideaway Champagne Lagoon/ rainforesthideaway.com

After dinner, we walked from The Rainforest Hideaway back to Oasis Marigot. They are separated by a long wooden walkway lit by small lamps and it was really romantic to walk back with the mangrove surroundings. All in all, a great introduction to what St. Lucia has to offer!

Rainforest Hideaway

The Bottom Line:

Oasis Marigot $$

Pros: Best for a yachting holiday or if you rented a car/Good value for the money/Clean and well-managed.                                                                                                                                 Cons: Lacking a personal touch/A bit isolated and expensive

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