Scenery

Yachtcations Review

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Time for a quick review because Amanda and I had a chance to experience an amazing time on the water this weekend and want to share this amazing company with you.  A bunch of friends pitched in to do a Yachtcations baby shower!  Yachtcations is a private yacht/catamaran that’s available to rent out for the day or even a customized adventure.  They’ll take you anywhere you want to go provided they can get you there by sea.

For us, this was a chance to get out on the water, one of our favorite things to do, see Kemah, TX from the water and spend time with good company.  Chris, the US Coast Guard licensed captain, and owner of Yachtcations welcomed us aboard and was every bit welcoming that you could hope for.  This trip couldn’t have gone any smoother.  All we had to do is show up and enjoy our time.

For those of you who are worried about getting sick at sea, this is a very large and stable boat.  The hulls of the boat also include a couple of room and bathrooms, so you aren’t exactly leaving behind the luxuries of home.  Overall, this was the most fun we’ve ever had at a baby shower and highly recommend using Yachtcations if you ever have a chance.

Stonefield Villa Resort – St. Lucia

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It’s honeymoon time!  Amanda and I finally got married and took the trip of our dreams to St. Lucia.  I spent a lot of time researching this trip ahead of time along with many other possible destinations.  St. Lucia has always been near the top of my bucket list but I didn’t want to just go sit at some resort and not actually enjoy the location.  If that is the experience we wanted, we could have done that anywhere.  For that reason, we looked high and low for the best location to stay, near lots of activities and with a great view.  I really wanted to be near the iconic Pitons and have a view of the Ocean.  Since it is our honeymoon, privacy would be something treasured as well.  There were a few options around the Soufriere area, but Stonefield Estates ended up being exactly everything we hoped for and more.  We got the kind of luxury, privacy and features that most think they can only get at Jade Mountain, but at a fraction of the price.

Tip: If visiting St. Lucia, no matter where you’re staying, we highly recommend getting a vehicle.  The normal vacation in St. Lucia involves staying at a hotel and never leaving, or taking a single high priced excursion to something touristy.  If you drive yourself, you can do all the touristy stuff at a fraction of the price and you can do it on your own time.  There is so much to explore.  Most of the people we talked to that had been to St. Lucia before us never wondered outside of their resort.  Just be warned, if driving in St. Lucia, you’ll be driving on the right side of the car and the left side of the road.

First Impressions

We flew in to Hewanorra International Airport and drove ourselves the hour drive up to StoneField.  When we first pulled up to Stonefield, we were blown away by all the vegetation.  It was if we just drove into the Garden of Eden.  We weren’t sure which way exactly we were to go to check in, but finding out way there was enjoyable none-the-less.  I really wanted this to be the best honeymoon possible, so I did my research ahead of time and made sure we had an amazing villa.  We got a Hillside Oceanview Villa that had a view of Petit Piton, the Ocean and no other Villas.  It was as if we were there all alone.  We couldn’t hear anyone else or see anyone else.  Our 1200 square foot villa included our bedroom with a king bed, bathroom with outdoor shower, kitchen and living area.  Outside we had a pool, and two decks.  One of the decks was covered and had a hammock, the other open for a full view of the sun above, with two lounge chairs.  One of the great features that you get here that is absent at Jade Mountain is air condition in your bedroom.  The rest of the view villa is open for fresh air including the shower which is outside.  There is nothing more serene than taking a shower under the moon and stars.

We were originally upset that we arrived later in the day and wouldn’t get to enjoy the beach already, but the sunset we witnessed that first night was second to none.  It was soon followed by the moon over the ocean providing a spectacular view all night long.  We stayed up until 4am just sitting outside and swimming in the pool, enjoying the serenity of this magnificent place we were lucky enough to be experiencing.

The location of Stonefield was very desirable.  Within a short drive there were waterfalls, an active volcano, a couple of towns and of course the Pitons.  We review some of the places we got to experience in another post, here.

The View

This is the best view we have ever experienced for a beach resort.  Not only is the beach just below you, but to the south was that incredible Petit Piton.  It may sound petite, but it is actually the larger of the two pitons and not too safe to climb.  I did climb it before knowing that, which you can read about that in our St Lucia Adventures review.  Every single night we took the time to stop everything and watch the sun set.  And every single night we enjoyed the Moon passing over head.  During our stay, the moon rose from the east and set in the west.  There isn’t much to do in Soufriere at night, so we were usually in early and up early.

Again, we couldn’t see anything or anyone else from our villa.  Some of the others may have views of a backside of another Villa, but ours had completely unobstructed views.

Our Villa

We were blessed to have a very large pool, big enough to not consider it a splash pool, two decks, a living area, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and outdoor shower.  The kitchen has most of what you could need for a short stay, though getting groceries isn’t as easy as we had hoped for.  There is a small store in town, but very little to choose from.  Fortunately, breakfast was included at the Mango Tree restaurant and we often ate out for dinner.  The bedroom does close off and has an A/C unit which was nice to have.  The open air resorts are a great idea, but depending on the time of year you’re visiting, I’d had to not have the option of controlled temps when needed.  One of our favorite features was the outdoor shower.  We didn’t have any issues with mosquitoes or other critters, so it was very relaxing to use.  The living area was nice as well, but never used considering we had two porches to enjoy being outside instead.

The Beaches

Stonefield doesn’t have a private beach, as all beaches in St. Lucia are public.  But, you can catch a ride down to the beach, or drive (as we did) and find a fairly quiet, often empty, beach to enjoy.  The beach ranges from beautiful sand to rocks depending on the area you decide to stop at.  In addition to this, Stonefield will shuttle you to the other side of Petit Piton to enjoy Sugar Beach for free.  This beach is nestled between Petit Piton and Gros Piton with extremely white sand, and clear water.  I’d recommend visiting this beach at least once to enjoy a view you won’t find elsewhere.  We also took the time to check out the beach at Jade Mountain as well as another one further north on the island, Anse Conchon Beach, which is know for glittery sand, a mixture of dark volcanic sand and white sand.  Every one of these beaches, except the one at the base of Stonefield have bars for food and drinks.

Mangos, Mangos & the Mango Tree

There is a very good reason their restaurant is called the Mango Tree.  There is a very large Mango Tree on the cliff full of fruit.  We’ve always enjoyed the taste of mangos, but never like this before.  We weren’t sure if we could just pick them off of the trees so we played it safe and called the front desk to ask.  Sure enough, we didn’t have to pick anything, the gardener would pick the best fruit for us and deliver it to our villa.  We had the bring half a dozen mangos and other fruit to us daily and ate up every bit of it.  The mango’s in St. Lucia are amazing, soft and delicious.  We’ve yet to have another mango since that has come close to comparing to them.  Don’t miss out on eating fresh fruit every day picked straight from the trees.

The Mango Tree restaurant was also very nice.  The view was similar to that of our Villa, though probably 50 feet higher.  They had entertainment a few nights during our stay, a small bar, and amazing food.  Breakfast, made to order, was included in the stay and amazing every day.  You could even order to have the food delivered to your villa instead.

Overall, we highly recommend Stonefield and could definitely see staying here again.  They even offer larger villas for big groups that would make for a really fun group trip.  It was very difficult driving away from here when our trip was over.  Feel free to comment below if you have any questions that we could answer or want to know more.  You can find more pictures of our trip over on Instagram and Facebook as well.