Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A breathtaking hideway with an appreciation for nature
Named after the fruit-bearing calabash tree that grows wild on the resort’s gently sloping seaside grounds, this 26-room boutique resort is nestled along a lush, flowering hill overlooking isolated Bonaire Bay. Winding pathways climb through the flora and fauna, careful not to disturb its natural growth patterns. And even in more developed areas, like at the stunning infinity pool or around the luxurious beachfront cottages, brilliant bougainvillea, hibiscus, flame ginger, and plumbago cover virtually every spot.
Such appreciation for its stunning outdoor environment can be found even in the resort’s indoor spaces -- from the open-air lobby and restaurant overlooking the bay and lush hillside, to the small Ti Spa, which utilizes locally grown ingredients like mango, pumpkin, cocoa, and lemon for its invigorating body scrubs. Likewise, each room’s ocean-view balcony or terrace makes the most of the hillside location, with comfy daybeds and dining tables providing plenty of private outdoor activity.
For so few rooms, Calabash Cove Resort and Spa features quite a number of exceptional amenities. Free snorkeling and kayaking takes place right on the resort’s beachfront, an outstanding restaurant with sprawling ocean views focuses on local fare, and little surprises like a gazebo, a boardwalk, and a library make for plenty of secluded lounging spaces. The spa and adjoining fitness center are, however, rather small: The equipment in the gym is hardly suitable for a worthwhile workout, and the spa is rather dully designed when compared with the rest of the grounds.
Problematic for some guests, though, might be the resort’s secluded location. Sure, a hideaway with such virgin landscapes requires a certain level of isolation, but when it comes to Calabash, guests are virtually stranded without the aid of a pricey taxi or rental car. And once in the car, most of the island’s best attractions (the Pitons, the botanical gardens, the volcano, the cocoa plantations) are on the other side of the island altogether, requiring up to 90 minutes of travel time. Of course, those guests who want nothing more than to laze on the beach or by the pool all day, followed by a mellow dinner in the restaurant or on their terrace ,will find very few reasons to leave the resort in the first place.
On a secluded portion of the northern side of the island, a few minutes from the main highway
The resort’s Bonaire Bay location is neither here nor there -- north of busy Castries, south of breezy harbor-filled Gros Islet, and nowhere near the island’s biggest attractions, which are largely on the southern side near Soufriere. Guests who want most to relax in paradise will find the location just right though. And if just a day or two of sightseeing is sufficient, the long drives and exorbitant taxi fares might not be too much of an issue.
Those who elect to rent a car beware: Hairpin turns, tragically deep potholes, and busy roundabouts make for challenging drives, especially if you are not used to left-side-of-the-road British driving. Competent drivers who aren’t afraid to take it slow and pull over for speedy local traffic will certainly find the roads manageable.
Among the island’s newest, each with private balconies and elegant furnishings
Completed in 2009, Calabash Cove Resort and Spa is one of St. Lucia’s newest resorts -- and the rooms are among the best for the price. Three distinct room types -- the Sunset Oceanview Junior Suite, the Swim-up Junior Suite, and the Water’s Edge Cottage -- provide three very different experiences. The layout of the cheapest units, the Sunset Oceanview Junior Suites, may actually be the most appealing, with an open floor plan and double-height vaulted ceilings that make them feel more spacious than the other rooms. But the Swim-Up Junior Suites and Water’s Edge Cottages both have more elegant furnishings, with four-poster beds and, in the case of the cottages, private plunge pools.
A gorgeous infinity pool overlooks the Caribbean Sea.
Pleasant local cuisine and beautiful oceanfront views
Opened in 2009, this upscale 26-room boutique resort rests on a gently sloping hill above Bonaire Bay, providing stunning Caribbean Sea views from virtually everywhere -- whether at the stunning infinity pool, the open-air restaurant and spa, the cozy library, or on the private beach. Three very distinct room types create varying experiences for guests, though all feature elegant furnishings and private balconies. However, like many St. Lucia resorts, a secluded location means guests must rely on pricey taxis or rental cars to do anything outside of the resort.