Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Guests visiting Soufriere will surely come across the du Boulay name once or twice. From the 600-acre Ruby Estate plantation to the popular Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens, the du Boulay family has been an influence on the shape of St. Lucian tradition and culture for more than four generations.
The five-room Still Beach House is a part of this rich history. For decades, owner David du Boulay came here to visit his grandmother, whose private beach house was located in this exact spot. Following her death, the family paid tribute to the retreat that so lovingly filled their childhood memories by converting it into a small inn and restaurant in 1995.
Charming as its history may be, there is little in the way of elevating the property to the status of a full-service hotel; this is a beach house. The staff is minimal -- with just a waitress and cook in the restaurant, an attendant in the small gift shop, and a single housekeeper in addition to the owner. And luxuries are even scarcer: The tiny bathrooms are equipped with just a miniature bar of soap -- no shampoo, conditioner, body wash or lotion -- and lack basics like towel racks. Technology is also minimal with small tube televisions and little else.
Still, the coziness of Grandmother du Boulay’s beach house shines through in other areas: Each room has its own spacious balcony from which the views of Petit Piton are breathtaking. Slatted wooden shutters might not be the most economical choice given the use of wall-mounted air conditioners, but the crashing ocean waves below provide a soothing soundtrack. And three of the inn’s five units include well-equipped kitchenettes for in-room cooking, another plus for visitors looking to trim vacation costs.
Somewhat of a letdown is the “beach” part of this beach house. Located across Soufriere Bay from Petit Piton, the views are certainly incredible. However, Still Beach House has done literally nothing to capitalize on this asset -- there are no lounge chairs or umbrellas, and guests have just the towels from their rooms to use while lounging on the sand. The beach itself surely isn’t St. Lucia’s best either, with rocky black sand and plenty of locals hanging out, riding bikes, and carousing -- something of a turn-off for guests angling for some relaxing seaside time.
On the southern side of the island with gorgeous Piton views -- walking distance to lots of local flavor
Guests might miss the rocky turn-off for Still Beach House just outside of the town of Soufriere quite simply because no sign for the inn exists. The property is located just past the Hummingbird Beach Resort, which serves as the marker for the turn off of the main road. Not 100 yards beyond this sign is Still Beach House.
Extremely close is the notable Diamond Falls waterfall and botanical garden, just minutes away. On the other side of the town of Soufriere are the biggest attractions: cocoa plantations, the volcano and sulphur springs, the Tet-Paul nature trails, and the Morne Courbaril Estate zip line tour. All of these can be reached via a 10-minute drive (an inexpensive taxi ride).
Be aware that driving through the main town of Soufriere poses its own challenges, with narrow roads, lots of construction, and foot traffic that tends to ignore oncoming cars. Even more daunting is the long drive between the south and north sides of the island, which is filled with hairpin turns, massive potholes and serious inclines.
The inn is a five-minute walk from Soufriere, where there are chickens in the street and authentic Caribbean restaurants.
Dated rooms show wear and tear -- but spacious balconies provide great views of Petit Piton.
Travelers used to luxurious accommodations may consider the Still Beach House a bit of a dive. But adventurous couples and families with an interest in exploring all that St. Lucia has to offer might find the rooms comfortably acceptable. Luxuries are few: The bathrooms are tiny, and a fair amount of details have fallen into disrepair (like missing towel racks, loose tiles, and old TVs). But the linens on the beds are clean and soft, and the balconies are an exceptional place to laze about in the late afternoons, with handcrafted furnishings that are much nicer than those inside.
This budget-friendly five-room inn along Soufriere Bay has no gym, no spa, and no pool -- in fact, the only extras are direct access to a subpar public beach and a breezy restaurant and bar. Rooms are average in virtually every way, except for the incredible views of Petit Piton, which appears at arm’s length from every room's private balcony. Travelers looking to be pampered should head elsewhere, but adventurous couples and families on a budget will find the Still Beach House’s location exceptional and its accommodations satisfactory. Vegetarian meals are cooked upon request, and a good variety of options exist for all meals. Plus, the inn is within walking distance to Soufriere, so there's lots of local flavor to be found.