Room Key: Coco Kreole
Address: Reduit Beach Avenue, Rodney Bay Village, Gros Islet, St. Lucia
Reservations:[email protected] or (758) 456-2800
Sample rates: Through Dec. 14, from $85 per night, double, with breakfast.
Location: 15 minutes from the airport near Castries; a three-minute walk to the beach.
Facilities: Bar, breakfast room, pool, wireless and complimentary Internet access in lobby.
Noteworthy: Family atmosphere, convenient location, friendly staff.
Not Worthy: Bathrooms need updating; no local maps available with street names, shop and restaurant descriptions for guests.
RODNEY BAY, St.
Lucia -- Coco Kreole and Coco Palm may be sister resorts, but, as
with siblings everywhere, there are similarities and differences.
In fact, if the
new, 83-room Coco Palm were not linked to the smaller Coco Kreole
by terraces, a pool, landscaping, gardens and similar signage,
their relationship might remain a secret.
plantation house-style Coco Kreole opened in October 2003, a
renovation of the former Candio Inn, as managing director Allen
Chastanets first Coco Resorts venture.
With cheap chic
as its theme, reflected in its rates and package prices, the
boutique resort is a laid-back, informal and welcome respite from
some of the large, faceless and much more expensive properties in
properties have personalized service and friendly staff.
At Coco Kreole,
the staff called me by name within moments of check-in. Someone
always stopped me as I came in or left to ask if I needed anything:
directions, a lift to the beach (it was a three-minute walk away),
more towels or just to say hi.
My room facing
the street was unpretentious but comfortable, even down to the door
lock, which was an old-fashioned key dangling from a chain instead
of the familiar key card. (Chastanet said a key card system will be
installed when Kreole is renovated within the next
is included in the daily rate, is served in the Brown Sugar Bar by
Gregory who, by night, tends the busy bar, which has become a
gathering spot for guests.
And theres been a
lot of gathering, according to Chastanet. The resort has run a 91%
occupancy factor since last November, and recorded an impressive
65% in its first year, with a mix of visitors from the U.S., Canada
and the U.K.
Most people love
it, he said. Coco Kreole breeds contentment.
Little touches at
Coco Kreole stand out: Housekeepers wear madras aprons, the
traditional fabric of St. Lucia; complimentary Internet access is
available at all times at the one computer in the small lobby,
although wireless Internet is in place throughout the hotels public
spaces; the pool behind the hotel resembles something one would see
in a suburban backyard; and warm Caribbean colors, gleaming wood
floors and local art liven up the decor.
tailoring packages to suit his specific markets.
When we noticed
that we were getting lots of women traveling down with friends for
long weekends and quick getaways, we designed Island Girls and
Princess Girls programs for them, he said.
The packages can
be personalized to include nature walks, off-road tours, visits to
a fishing village on Friday evenings, manicures and pedicures,
yacht trips, shopping tours or whatever they want to do, Chastanet
called Kreole Kids Montessori Summer, is designed to encourage our
guests to have their children interact with local kids, Chastanet
Its part of Coco
Resorts philosophy to enrich the guest experience with everything
program runs through Aug. 19 and is geared to 3- to 6-year-olds. It
is priced at $130 per week or $25 per day. The program for 7- to
14-year-olds is priced at $138 per week and $28 per day.
include field trips, swimming, horseback riding, dance sessions,
island tours and golf (for the older group); prices include lunch
and transportation to/from the Montessori Center.
My goal with both
Coco Kreole and Coco Palm is to provide a quintessential Caribbean
experience -- full of Caribbean heart and soul -- with all the
modern conveniences for my leisure and business guests, Chastanet
My experience at
Coco Kreole had that vibe.
Staying at Coco
Kreole is very much like stepping into a home and settling in for a
few days. Its not fancy or intimidating, and it suits my
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].
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