Tag Archives: Caribbean

How do you know you’re on an exotic island?

Apart from the lovely warm weather and the beautiful hotel (check out: what makes a hotel great ) there were some other signs that we were somewhere rather more exotic than cold windy octoberish Essex…

Soufriere and The Pitons

Soufriere and The Pitons

St Lucians are house proud, demonstrated by their colourful roofs. Much care and attention goes into choosing just the right colour. A choice, all of our taxi drivers assured us, best left to the ladies…

Banana leaf

Banana leaf

Fern and coconut

Fern and coconut

The vegetation is extraordinary. Luscious and green, and huge: warm weather and lots of rainfall. Exotic vegetation leads to exotic food – bananas of course, plus pineapple, mango, breadfruit, plantain, sweet potato, cashew nuts, nutmeg and mace. All the sorts of fruit we buy in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s – it comes from here, literally…

not for the faint-hearted...

not for the faint-hearted…

Mixed up with the exotic food are some exotic animals. The island specialises in tarantulas, boa constrictors, and a particularly poisonous snake called the Lance de Fer. Not that we got close to any of these – you can see in the pic that Mrs P and Immy were staying well back from the spider. Got a lot closer to the fish however – snorkelling on the reef by the beach was amazing. Just zillions of fish!

John the Fisherman

John the Fisherman

A dog's life

A dog’s life

Fishing village

Fishing village

Some exotic characters too. John, the chap above, is a fisherman by trade. He told us he is 53 and has never slept outside his village, not one night, ever. Why should he? He has everything he wants here.

Our lovely beach

Our lovely beach

Getting in amongst the waves

Getting in amongst the waves

So we have to leave this lovely place and get back to reality. And therein lies a truth about the exotic. It seems exotic because it is so different to home. But you need home to allow you to recognise that difference. Long live exotic holidays!

St Lucian view

St Lucian view


What makes a hotel great?

The view

The view

So what is it that makes a hotel great? Different from the others? After all, amenities, service, food – these are all product, not emotional benefits. Even Mrs P, ever one to indulge in the Spa offerings, knows she can get this almost anywhere. These have become expectations, not differentiators…

Gazing out across the Caribbean

Gazing out across the Caribbean

This question came up today at dinner. We’re at the Cap Maison, St Lucia, and we all decided that this was definitely a great hotel. But why?
Immy, 12, came up with the answer. Its the texture, she said. What did she mean, we said?
Good place for a snooze
Well, it’s got everything that you would expect from a hotel in a nice resort. It’s beautiful, manicured, great view, wonderful restaurant, pool to die for, private beach etc. But that’s not it. It feels like it belongs. Colonial in style, and quirky in atmosphere. It’s not a Premier Inn, she stated, rather emphatically. Everything is very thoughtfully done. For example the tiles on the walkways have got fossils of plants imprinted into the stones. The evening bar, library and shop have all got honesty boxes. The staff have all clocked Immy’s name, and use it. We’ve only been here 2 days…
Curvy pool

Curvy pool

Ubiquity

Ubiquitous palm

Old style

Old style

This isn’t perhaps the place for everyone. It’s small and boutique. But it is very lovely. Immy finished up: It’s a fantasy, not a fact.
Not a bad review, for a twelve year old…
The view, again.

The view, again.