This is my VERY LONG OVERDUE and long trip report and review from November 2012.
We arrived November 26th for a 6 night trip to TiKaye. We have 2 little ones at home, so this was a trip to RELAX and not do much of anything. This was our 5th trip to the island, having stayed at Sandals La Toc twice, Ladera, Body Holiday by LeSport, and one cruise ship visit. We have seen and done a lot on the island, so we were OK to just to sit on the beach for most of this trip.
Our airport transfers and one “tour” was by our friend Spencer Ambrose. We are privileged to call him our friend. He has built up quite the reputable tour business in the years that we have known him, and he deserves all of the blessings that come from it. He is so professional, takes his business and reputation very seriously, and gives his guests the best possible experience they can have in St. Lucia. Many times he has drinks for us in his vehicle for our enjoyment. He makes it a point to be the first guide to some of the popular spots (i.e. Jalousie beach break) so that his guests get the best choice of beach chairs. He provides ample food, drinks, his famous rum punch, all included in his fees. I have never met anyone as generous as Spencer. Really! If anyone is trying to plan a tour on the island (or even a hotel transfer), I would google Spencer Ambrose tours. I really can’t say enough good things about him.
Transfer to TiKaye:
Spencer did our transfer this trip. He was more than willingly to accommodate us in taking the slower West Coast Road, so that we could have sunset drinks at Ladera on our way to TiKaye. Having stayed at Ladera before, we know what a special place it is especially at sunset. We arrived at about 4:30pm (not bad for a 3pm arrival on our Delta flight) and promptly ordered my favorite Ladera punch (fresh ginger is the secret ingredient) and my husband’s favorite Piton beer. Sunset at this time of year is around 5:30pm. And in the winter, the sun sets between the Pitons. When we were at Ladera in May, the sun set to the right of the Petit Piton. The winter sunset is incredible! What made this Ladera stop even better was we met one of the owners of Ladera, Holly. Her dad bought Ladera when it was condo apartments and kept them from being destroyed. He made the resort into what it is today. She even brought us 2 glasses of champagne and tons of complimentary appetizers. I can tell that Holly and her family take pride in their resort and their staff. I hope that we will be able to stay at Ladera for a few days for our next trip.
Since we stayed past sunset enjoying our conversations with Holly and the other guests at Ladera, it was dark by the time we arrived at TiKaye. The road to TiKaye is rough, but supposedly a lot better than it used to be.
TiKaye is everything that the previous reviews say it is. It is a relaxing place where the staff makes every guest feel like family. The things that made the biggest impression on me were all of the incidences where the staff went above and beyond their job description to make us happy.
My husband noticed that there were no bananas at the breakfast buffet our first morning. We asked Ronald and he went somewhere and 10 minutes later brought us a huge bushel of bananas. He even asked the next day if we were taken care of with bananas.
Terry brought us an ice bucket every day to allow us to chill our drinks. We did purchase some drinks from him as well, but at the beginning he didn’t know that. He just brought the bucket no questions asked.
My husband was at the front desk requesting our water taxi for a dinner getaway at Rainforest Hideaway. Rob, the dive shop manager, happened to be there and offered to drop us off at Rainforest Hideaway in his dive boat on his way back to Castries for the night. They did not charge us at all for this.
When I asked the front desk (I have forgotten the nice lady’s name) about the type of beautiful oil they have in the oil diffusers in the rooms, she tracked me down on our last morning to bring me a small bottle of it with the label, so I can order it when I get back home. That was such a sweet gesture, and worked out to be a lovely souvenir.
Cleus is great. He was very accommodating even when there appeared to be an overbooking at the wine tasting. He has so much knowledge about wine. TiKaye is blessed to have him there on staff.
Jalousie Beach Break with Spencer Ambrose:
Spencer also was kind enough to offer to pick us up at TiKaye by boat and take us on his Jalousie beach break tour that he was doing for cruise ship guests that day. His boat driver, Raymond, and boat guide Terry are fantastic, too! This is a cruise ship tour that he operates out of the port in Castries, but since it is a tour by water down to the Pitons, they just picked us up. Spencer couldn’t be there with us that day as he was tending to a big wedding party, but he called me personally to check in that day to make sure everything was going well.
As I mentioned before, Rob and the dive crew boat dropped us off at Marigot Bay on their way back to dock at Castries. This was an incredibly generous act. The water taxi quote was around $140 R/T. We only paid for the taxi return which was $25,I think. Rainforest Hideaway was not that impressive. Our food was just ok, and I really didn’t think much of the view compared to others I’ve seen on the island. It is good to do once. But I don’t think I’ll be back. We did see quite a few naked men hanging out (and even peeing in the water) on their boats while traveling through Marigot Bay. It was pretty comical, actually.
Anse La Raye Fish Fry:
So fun! It was pouring rain. All of the newlywed husbands went back to get their new wives the room umbrellas. My husband said, “we’ll be fine. It will stop before we even get there.” Well, it poured rain for the first 45 minutes we were there. I was soaked as most of the venues are open-air. But the food was great (lobster, fish cakes, etc). The music was fun. We stayed and went back on the second shuttle to get to enjoy the party more. However, after the first shuttle left, the band went on break. They didn’t start again until 10 mins before we needed to leave. The TIKaye guide stayed with us, but I really didn’t see him during that last hour. If we weren’t hanging with another couple, I would have not felt as comfortable about staying for the late shuttle. But, it was so worth going. It was a highlight of our visit.
We went to Ladera again on Sunday on our way to the airport for their brunch starting at 11:30. It was delicious. The avocado salad, macaroni and cheese, and red snapper were our favorites. Almost all of the dessert choices involved chocolate, but my favorite was the chocolate panacotta. Their brunch price was $35 pp and also include a Ladera punch (not sure if rum was in it.) They have the best punch with fresh ginger being the secret ingredient.
Other things that I wanted to put in my review that I don’t think have been emphasized previously…
1.The beach chairs at TIKaye are awesome. About 90% of them have big pillowtop cushions. There are about a half dozen cabana tents to give more shade if you want it.
2.The bugs at the beach were only bad on the last day. We did notice a major difference when
they did the burning of leaves in the morning. It really helped with the bugs.
3.Room O (Oswea) is a oceanview cottage. This kind shares the building with another room (P). Even though it was on the way to the gym, no other people’s rooms were on our path so we never saw another guest from the balcony of our room. We did have to pass many people’s balconies on our way up and down, so their rooms were much less private. For the $, I would much rather stay in a private non-pool room, than a room with a pool that people can see into more easily. In fact, if I wasn’t guaranteed to stay in one on the water’s edge, I would request room O.
4. The Monday night seafood dinner is not “on” the beach. It is at the beach grill on the beach. The menu is fixed price for 5 courses (around $50 pp.) It was pretty good, except the fresh catch that day was dry. The regular dinner restaurant is open that night as well.
5.The buffet on Wednesday is actually worth it. I usually avoid buffets on vacation. It had very yummy soup (seafood chowder) and an excellent pasta dish. Many things were available to try, which gave a better sampling of the chef’s abilities.
6. The meals at TiKaye are overpriced. Breakfast is not included and is $15 pp. It is a lot of food, but I wish there was a less expensive option for maybe a togo box of breakfast foods for the room. We usually eat the big breakfasts when vacationing, but since they don’t include breakfast in their room price, it seems a bit much to add $30 each day to eat breakfast. Dinner is expensive for what you got (you aren’t eating at Ladera) and seems to be very similar options each day. Shellfish dish (they all tasted about the same), Catch of the day (always snapper except they ran out one night and had tuna), then a few more choices. Wish there were more spicy dishes.
Overall, it was a great trip and TiKaye is a very special place.
More pictures and video to come (won't let me load more than 3 pics right now.)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Overlooking Anse Cochon Bay Ti Kaye Resort & Spa is located on the serene West Coast and is simply known as Ti Kaye, (which means small house in the native creole patois language of Saint Lucia). With only 33 rooms, 2 bars & restaurants, the Kai Koko Spa and a 600+ bin 'Wine Kave' there is no better place for romantic relaxation - combined with some of the best snorkeling and diving to be found anywhere on Saint Lucia right off the beach. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ti Kaye Village Hotel Castries
- Ti Kaye Village Castries
- Ti Kaye Village Resort St Lucia