Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Adventure to Soufriere
Before our arrival to St. Lucia, we had booked a few days in a Soufriere hotel-Mago estates as a little getaway.Yesterday afternoon, Karen, Jeremy, MJ and I drove through gorgeous hilly country side, through small St.Lucian towns to the town of Soufriere (pronounced Sue-fray), where the gorgeous "Piton" (prounounced Pee-tong) mountains reside. (there are 2-a grand and a petit).
The Pitons were breathtaking-so stunning and unique in their presence right on the edge of the Caribbean. The day was a hair hazy/misty which left the Pitons looking even more spectacular.
After driving through the town of Soufriere, we went to lunch at a place called Ladera, which is hotel/restaurant nestled right close to the Pitons. Jeremy and I had fish burgers, which were small mini-burgers on buns...with sweet potato french fries. There was a light rain during part of the lunch, and it was so lovely and relaxing.
After lunch, Jeremy drove us to Mago Estates, where Karen MJ and I would stay in Soufriere for several nights for a little getaway before heading back to Castries. Jeremy was going to head back to Castries to return to work today.
As soon as we arrived at Mago Estates, we were concerned. There was only 1 other car in the very small lot. The place had a very negelected, sad feel to it. There was not another guest to be seen on the property. It felt like a "ghost" hotel.
When we got to the room, it was quite dark and no direct sunlight hit our deck. The "plunge" pool which was guaranteed with our room had not been used for years, as evidenced by the dirt in it and the state it was in.
On the web, Mago Estates looked like a lovely nestled-on-the hillside getaway...with little plunge pools in each room and views of the gorgeous Piton views. The lighting was so bright on the web. Our room was very stagnant and well-sad. The thought of being there for several days made us reconsider and we decided to go back to Karen and Jeremy's. We first asked the receptionist if there was any chance of being moved to a room with a functioning little pool and more light, but she said she would have to talk to the manager. (later we found out she was not able to call the manager because the office phones did not work).
I believe that 4 or 5 years ago, it was a thriving hotel. But it has more or less died.
After arriving back to Castries last night, Karen and Jeremy both independently e-mailed the manager, Hans, and he replied this morning saying we would be refunded. Hans said he is going to leave the hotel because it was overwhelmed by the project of trying to refurbish a hotel in despair. It was quite a sad reply from a defeated sounding hotel manager. We could tell we were not the first customers to be displeased.
Karen and Jeremy's place in Castries is so lovely and bright. We love our routine of water exercise, then coffee, reading...beach, drinks on the patio, dinner. Its so lovely and relaxing.
This afternoon we're going to head to the local downtown market. Karen and Jeremy are excited to find out that some of their air shipped goods have arrived and are ready for inspection at customs...Karen is thrilled with the prospect of having her full warm weather ward-robe in hand--and their car! (They've been using the Peace Corps car...a cute Honda!).
MJ, myself and Karen at a stop along the way to Soufriere
Another stop along the way--to enjoy the view, talk with locals and do necklace shopping.
Karen in front of one of the Pitons
The "Plunge" pool which was promised at Mago estates...in disrepair.
One of the interesting features of the room we left--a butterfly suspended over the fold out couch. It was kind of scary, actually.