Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A romantic and sophisticated Mediterranean-influenced resort ideal for couples in search a quiet getaway
Just shy of the northernmost tip of the island, Cap Maison unfolds as a quaint Mediterranean-style village, fronted by an ornate wrought iron fence and crowned by an Italianate water fountain in the middle of a circular drive paved with Spanish tiles. Throughout the grounds, whitewashed stucco buildings are organized into small enclaves -- calling to mind a neighborhood of villas -- overflowing with stunning cliff-top views, blossoming hibiscus, and lush tropical greenery.
The quiet lobby sets the scene for the rest of the resort: Wrought iron chandeliers and domed Spanish-tile ceilings exude an old world charm. In the plush library filled with heavy leather sofas and armchairs, an honor bar encourages guests to feel at home and serve themselves. Next door, Spa Maison pampers guests with outdoor bamboo-lined showers and a relaxation deck overlooking the quiet grounds.
Such a scene is surely best suited for couples in search of some alone time (after all, any resort featured on The Bachelor -- which this was! -- is bound to be at the pinnacle of romance). Guests with kids might find the property a bit too stuffy -- at the main pool , the only sounds are those of a trickling waterfall and the crashing waves below. Still, little ones are welcome, as evidenced by a kids’ menu at the Cliff at Cap restaurant and a handful a mini-sized life jackets at the water sports center on the beach. One gets that sense that splashing and screaming would be met with quite a few sideways glances though.
Well-traveled guests will likely compare the luxurious rooms at Cap Maison to something you’d find at a Four Seasons resort -- they feature Tempur Pedic mattresses, Egyptian cotton linens, Bose sound systems, Bodum French presses, and Acqua de Parma toiletries. Local flair can be found in hand-painted bathroom tiles and original artwork from St. Lucian artists. And those travelers who upgrade to a pool villa will find virtually no reason to leave their private oasis at all -- full kitchens, rooftop terraces, expansive balconies, and, of course, private plunge pools leave little to be desired.
Somewhat of a letdown is the beach , which doesn’t quite have the same air of exclusivity as the rest of the resort. Of course, all beaches in St Lucia are public domain. But this small crescent, accessible via a steep wooden staircase just outside of the resort’s gate feels rather abandoned, despite an on-site beach bar and a few water sports rentals.
In upscale Cap Estate, near the northernmost tip of the island
The northern side of St. Lucia is inherently the "lesser" side of the island, simply because there are no views of the iconic Pitons, and the majority of the tourist attractions are clustered around southern-located Soufriere. However, Cap Maison is one of the few resorts where the views are so stunning and the accommodations so luxurious, it’s hard to focus on what’s missing.
Set just beyond the black sand beaches of Smuggler’s Cove, the surrounding area known as Cap Estate has a private resort feel of its own. Nearby are the Jack Nicklaus-designed St. Lucia Country Club Golf Course, the well-known LeSport destination spa, the gorgeous Cas en Bas beach, and the historical Pigeon Island.
Of course, all of these destinations require a car or taxi, however, luckily, distances are shorter and road conditions are considerably better than on the southern side of the island. Those guests who hope to visit some of the south side’s stunning natural attractions (the volcano, the cocoa plantations, the Pitons) should consider hiring a car for a day -- the drive is roughly 90 minutes and night-time driving is not recommended for those unfamiliar with the roads, which are marked by hairpin turns, deep potholes, and virtually no lighting.
Beautifully designed rooms with a Mediterranean style and plenty of details that wow
Built in 2009, Cap Maison is one of the newest resorts in St. Lucia, featuring some of the most thoughtfully designed rooms on the island. Located within 22 villas (which are divided into 49 different units ranging from standard ocean- or garden-view rooms to sprawling three-bedroom villas with private pools and roof terraces), all of the rooms feature bold Mediterranean style with luxurious details like plush fainting couches, beautifully furnished balconies or terraces, and dark wood four-poster or sleigh beds.
High-end details also impress, from Acqua de Parma toiletries in the bathrooms, to Egyptian cotton sheets on the beds, to Bose iPod docks on the dresser. Bathrooms are especially impressive with their hand-painted tiles, huge showers, marble countertops, and elegant wrought iron fixtures. Not to be outdone by the interiors, the outdoor spaces are equally impressive, with French colonial-style patio furniture and lavish terraces filled with tons of lounge space in the villas.
Clifftop restaurant with casual day fare and fine dining at night -- kids eat free when with parents!
One of the quieter and more subdued resorts on St. Lucia’s northern end, the luxury Cap Maison features plenty of opportunities for pampering and serenity. Rates are about where they should be (high) for a luxury boutique with so much to offer -- a charming spa, waterfront yoga and tai chi classes, two mellow pools, an elegant cliff-top restaurant and bar with stunning views, a small beach, and rooms so gorgeous and comfortable guests will be hard-pressed to find a reason to leave at all. Families with small children might think twice about staying at a resort so focused on maintaining a tranquil atmosphere, though the resort does try to cater to the little ones with deals like letting kids eat free at the restaurant when they're with their parents.