Mago Estate HotelThe Mago Estate Hotel near Soufriere, St. Lucia, is not a beachfront hotel. What it is is an intimate, ecofriendly resort built into the side of a mountain with views of the Pitons and the waters of the Caribbean.

Mago is the St. Lucian word for mango, and the hotel sits among mango trees at the edge of the rain forest above Soufriere.

Beach lovers can put sand between toes in a 10-minute walk from the property.

"Mago was a private home at first and was turned into a hotel about 15 years ago," said Ken Watson, general manager.

Some of the property's 20 rooms and suites offer "the three-wall concept," he said. "Instead of the fourth wall, it's open space with an indescribable view."

There are also four suites, whose guests have use of a private pool and Jacuzzi.

Sustainability is a key concept at Mago, Watson said.

"Nature should be preserved and shared," he said. "We're bottling our own water and using glass bottles. ... We're using ecofriendly paint and recycling whatever we can, wherever we can."

The Jungle Restaurant at Mago features fish on the menu each day, usually caught at the dock each morning.

"We're part of the community," Watson said. "We buy from locals, and everything is fresh."

Facilities include a spa, a pool, a bar and lots of hammocks.

Most guests opt for the breakfast-and-dinner meal plan, but Watson encourages them to visit area restaurants.

"I like people to go off property and see what St. Lucia has to offer," he said.

Mago has remained off the radar for much of the U.S. market, but Watson aims to change that with promotions, marketing and an enhanced online presence.

"The owner is German, so much of the focus up until now has been on the European market, but the U.S. business is beginning to build," he said.

Travel agents figure into Watson's plans.

"I want them to experience Mago," Watson said. "If people don't know about Mago, they won't come. If agents don't know Mago, they won't sell it."

Rates start at $200 per room, per night, single or double, with breakfast, through Dec. 20.

Through Sept. 4, the property is offering a free fourth night when three nights are booked and two additional nights when five nights are booked.



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