Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A casual, no-fills resort with affordable rates and exceptional water sports
Arriving at Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort is an adventure in and of itself. Located in the small resort community of Marigot Bay, filled with boutique hotels and small storefronts scattered around a lovely harbor, guests must board a ferry in order to reach this resort. After the quick five-minute ride, guests disembark on a large, though somewhat unexceptional, beach lined with watersports pavilions, shanty-style storefronts hawking local wares, and the occasional gaggle of toking Rastafarians.
Finally, the main entrance of the resort emerges, though somewhat anti-climactically, with a sort of “strip-mall in paradise” kind of feel featuring a half-dozen or so “storefronts.” Along this strip, which, happily, is surrounded by plenty of lush flora and fauna, is the main reception area, as well as a small spa, a dreary fitness center, a business center, and boutique.
The major draw at Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort is the exceptional water sports pavilion, which hosts boat excursions, diving expeditions, snorkeling and kayaking tours, and sunset cruises. And nearby, the harbor-facing Doolittle’s restaurant and bar has that perfect combination of laid-back ambiance, cheap beer, and mellow island tunes. But the rest of the resort is just average. The pool is laughably small and horribly run-down -- something that starkly contrasts from the artfully composed photo on Marigot Beach Club’s web site. Additionally, the lounge chairs on the beach are old and dirty, and the gym is definitely in need of some freshening up. Similar issues plague the rooms, where the technology is ancient tube TVs, the bedding is cheap, and the furnishings are dated and tacky.
In a small beach community, accessible via a short ferry ride from the main harbor
The beach community of Marigot Bay is filled with cute boutique hotels, souvenir shops, and small cafes. Approximately five minutes off of the West Coast Highway, its location is ideal for travelers looking for a self-contained tourist spot that includes excellent watersports activities, a few beaches , and enough restaurants to keep things interesting. However, guests hoping to hit up most of St. Lucia’s biggest attractions -- La Soufriere Sulphur Springs, the Pitons, and the Diamond Botanical Gardens and waterfall -- will find themselves stuck in the car quite often. The closest gas station and grocery store are a 10-minute drive away, and the closest businesses outside of Marigot are a banana plantation and an elementary school. Thus, guests looking to fulfill a stringent itinerary might find the location a bit too isolated; mellow vacationers, though, are likely to deem it just right.
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, but guests who only plan to leave Marigot Bay once or twice will be better off hiring a taxi.
Dated and worn rooms, though a lot of different options
The rooms at Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort are speckled along a gently sloping hill overlooking Marigot Bay. Of just 32 rooms total, there are five types, ranging from the newest Panorama units with relatively modern decor, to the dated Firefly Studios, which look like they haven't been touched since the resort’s opening in 1998 and feature minimal trappings. All units do have private balconies or terraces and well-equipped kitchens or kitchenettes, but the remaining details are disappointing -- bathrooms are small, furnishings are basic, and technology is obsolete. However, rates are exceptionally low.
Aside from the exceptional water sports pavilion, the amenities here are not impressive.
Located on a remote peninsula accessible only by ferry, this laid-back, 32-room beach resort in Marigot Bay is an affordable option for both families and couples with an interest in water sports and lazing on the beach. Many areas of this property show their age -- from the small, unkempt pool, to the rooms that feature dated decor -- but unpretentious travelers with a focus on the outdoors will certainly find the prices hard to beat, especially considering the number of amenities offered here (though they're subpar).