TI KAYE VILLAGE RESORT, ST. LUCIA
By guest writer Hillary Bloom, a New York City human resources professional who is also an avid diver and watersports fan.
Flying over the lush green island of St. Lucia, located in the West Indies, was just the beginning of my week's adventure to Ti Kaye Village Resort in Anse Cochon - a 40 minute thrill ride from the Castries airport. The hotel's taxi rushed over high hills and careened around hairpin turns, where I got teasing glimpses of the Caribbean. I saw amazing colors everywhere as the road passed through the surrounding rainforest, banana plantations and local villages.
When I reached the Welcome to Ti Kaye Village sign, the paved road ended and a dirt, gravel, and rocky road surface began. I had two miles of bumping and thumping along with one last hairpin turn before arriving at the secluded 33-cottage resort nestled in a hillside overlooking a beautiful beach.
As the taxi reached the main building, the resort staff was there to greet me, check me in, and offer a welcome cocktail. I sat at the restaurant bar overlooking a magnificent view of the ocean cove below with small white sailboats gliding over the bluest water. Ti Kaye Village is not one of those cookie-cutter luxury compounds with a serious activity schedule, it's a perfect place for couples that want to relax, unwind, and get away from their hectic lifestyles.
Ti Kaye means small house in the native Creole language. All the guest cottages, built in a French-Creole, gingerbread style have Creole names and are either “up or down” the hillside. My room was named Wéve, which means To Dream and was an “up” room, so I climbed a couple flights of steps to get there. All guest cottages are air-conditioned and have ocean-views with large balconies. The balconies are furnished with two rocking chairs, a small wooden table holding a long stem and a citronella candle, and a two-person hammock. My cottage had weathered hardwood floors on the balcony and terracotta tiles in the room.
Most guest cottages contain a four-poster king size bed. All cottages have a spacious walk-in closet with a keyed lock box bolted into the floor and an open-air garden shower. My cottage contained two queen size beds and my shower had one wall that was inlaid with colorful tiles in the shape of a very large crab. Some of the cottages also include a private plunge pool on the balcony.
Red and purple tropical flower petals on the bed spelled out the words Welcome Wéve. The welcoming flowers continued into the bathroom decorating the sink and fixtures. The bathroom contained white bath and hand towels, wash clothes, blue beach towels, a generous supply of standard soaps, body lotions, and shampoos, as well as two cans of bug spray - one for the body and the other for any bugs that decide to visit.
All guest cottages include a hair dryer, US and European outlets, mini refrigerator, bottled water (tap water is safe to drink), coffee pot, and coffee service. The staff said to keep all food and drinks in the refrigerator; otherwise the local birds would fly in and help themselves to a snack or two. I had fun watching what I called “little chirpy birds” do exactly that. They flew into the room, set themselves on the coffee mugs, looked around, gave a few chirps, and then flew away.
Each afternoon, I sat on my balcony, watched the sky darken and listened to the ensemble of bird calls give way to the tree frogs nightly chorus. It was soon time for dinner and a visit to the open-air dining room set so each table has an ocean view. Your room rate includes a breakfast buffet of juices, fresh fruits, cereals, and muffins. Wait-staff bring you coffee or tea and you can choose from a selection of an American, English, or a St. Lucian style breakfast that include eggs, bacon or sausage, fish cakes, and more.
There is a full a la carte menu selection for lunch that includes a variety of salads, sandwiches, pasta entrees, and steaks. You can eat lunch in the dining room, on the outside deck or poolside - your choice.
The resort requires reservations for dinner and Caribbean casual is the dress code (no shorts). The a la carte dinner menu changes daily and the talented chef offers a choice of three appetizers, three entrees and three desserts. Lunch and dinner is not included in the room rate. Ti Kaye offers several meal plans and I recommend purchasing one, as there are no nearby restaurants and a taxi is expensive.
All photos ©Hillary Bloom