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Saint Lucia’s Home Away From Home

Only a day into our stay at Calabash Cove, we felt our Watersedge Cottage had quickly become a second home. Was it the smell of coffee freshly brewing? Or the comfortable king size bed? Our own private pool? What really was it that made me feel such comfort on vacation?

To begin with, imagine drinking fresh coffee on the patio daybed while your partner swings in a nearby hammock. Every morning we looked over into the vast ocean fascinated by the different shades of blue. These shades, only a stone?s throw from our beachfront cottage, changed with the angle of the rising sun. Who would have thought there were so many shades of blue to be seen?

Majestic St Lucian Flora

Of course, the exuberance of life in St Lucia did not end there. The blues only competed with the shades of green exploding from the lush gardens all around us.

Naturally, the garden is made up of a variety of local flora. Most plants I encountered bore exotic names like Bougainvillea named after French Navy admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville or Allamanda in honor of?Swiss?botanist?and physician?Fr?d?ric-Louis Allamand. Every one of these names meant to tell a story, the story of St Lucia.

Remembering these names now, with their histories described to us by Alban, the properties head gardener, I’m disheartened to be away from our perfect getaway at Calabash Cove. I often wish I had written down every plant name.

Comfort We Couldn’t Resist

We are not usually the type of people who stay within the walls of our room… and this wasn’t even our honeymoon. With the warm feel of the living room and it’s (believe it or not) old fashioned books, we were too cozy to leave. Even with all of our technology, the books added such comfort on vacation. Although, I will also admit that the all-inclusive bar with a real fridge may have contributed to our feelings of happiness and occasion.

For now, I can only dream about our Watersedge Cottage with the coffee smell and the old fashioned books. One thing is for certain, we will be back.

Author: Heidi? Berger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tempura Lionfish and Bean Thread Noodle Salad

A word about Lion Fish

Until the Nineties there had been no sightings of lionfish in the Caribbean or western Atlantic, but some reefs off Florida and South Carolina now harbour 1,000 per acre. Lionfish rodeos, in which spearfishers hunt down the species, frequently harvest 1,400 in a day. Numbers have doubled annually since 2010, and the invasion has spread from the United States throughout all the Caribbean islands to Venezuela, then westward through the Gulf of Mexico.

Nobody knows for sure how the lionfish got here. Some blame it on an incident in 1992, when Hurricane Andrew smashed a seafront aquarium in Florida, releasing lionfish into the wild. It’s more likely the first specimens came in the ballast tanks of ships from distant oceans or were discarded by amateur aquarists who had simply grown bored with them.Seeing them on Soufrière reef, it is hard to see how. Confident of their place in the food chain, they never dart or hide but float gracefully above the coral with their venomous spines extended like a mane and twirl slowly like ballerinas, as if to say: “Look at me.” It has clearly never occurred to them that anyone might take a potshot – pot being the operative word, since a campaign has been launched in St Lucia by the Department of Fisheries, dive operators and others to encourage fishermen to catch lionfish and sell them to local restaurants.

WHY?

The Lionfish has been a terrible plague to the Caribbean especially, being called the worst invasive marine species in history. With reefs already suffering from climate change and bleaching, Lionfish are predatory fish that feed on smaller reef fish. They’ve been known to wipe out entire reef fish populations. The problem is that here in the Caribbean, the Lionfish has no natural predators, so they’re going on eating and reproducing unchecked. Actually, it’s said Giant Grouper can be predators to Lionfish, but there are no longer sufficient numbers of them here in the Caribbean to really make a difference. The solution: Have them on every restaurant menu. The fact is they are delicious.

Ingredients yields 4 Servings

  • 6 ounces wide bean thread noodles
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2oz soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large cucumber julienned
  • 12 oz lionfish filet
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, julienned
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 cup torn fresh cilantro, divided
  • 3/4 cup unsalted, dry-roasted cashew nuts, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 1 tablespoon of cilantro
  • 2cup of tempura batter

Preparation

Place noodles in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let noodles soak until tender but not mushy, 15?20 minutes; drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Whisk garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and pepper in another large bowl. Add soy sauce, cucumber, and carrots; toss to combine. Let sit 10 minutes.

Fry the marinated lionfish with tempura pad try and keep warm

Add noodles, oil, half of cilantro, and half of cashew to bowl; toss to combine. Top salad with lionfish filet remaining cilantro and cashew.

Tempura batter

  • 1cup cornstarch
  • 14 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  1. In bowl mix first 5 ingredients;
  2. Add water and egg and then mix to a smooth creamy batter.
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Mount Gimie: St Lucia’s 8th Wonder of The World

Restaurant with a View

Next time you are sitting in our Windsong restaurant, on a clear day, take a moment to survey the southern horizon. It is hard to look at anything else ther then the unmatched view from the dining tables over the deep turquoise Caribbean sea, but the surprise is that looking south, there nisa unique view of Mount Gimie.

Breakfast munching on sweet, homegrown fruit such as bananas, pawpaw, passionfruit, pineapple, and mango whilst lazily gazing across the turquoise bay, taking in the colorful roofs of Castries, is something else. However the greening hills behind us and Mount Gimie in the distance with its peak bearing a hat of puffy white clouds, watching over the unspoiled and magnificent tapestry of nature, sits like a god from Mount Olympus.

With such surroundings, you enter the calmest state of mind. As a result, nobody fights with the red breasted finch, edging his way closer to your food and stealing morsels of the freshly baked and delicious smelling croissants.  In fact as they dip their tiny beaks into the cool, fresh coconut water, one’s calm state lends itself to helping them get whatever they desire. Luckily, none dare to challenge you for the French brewed coffee, so it stays all your own.

Mount Gimie

Standing at 3117 ft. Mount Gimie is the tallest peak in St. Lucia. It is located in the rainforest, smack in the center of the island. For those of you in search of a true Jurassic Park style adventure (without the Raptors and T-Rex), you will experience just that. Once in the Rain-forest, if you’re lucky enough, you may catch a glimpse of the shy Lucian Amazon Parrot.

Climbing Gimie is not for the fainthearted. The mountain is covered in a bounty of interesting and beautiful vegetation: grasses, ferns and palms, rich woods (think bamboo, cocoa, mahogany), and fruit trees galore (tangerine, coconut, grapefruit, etc). Accompanying such lush vegetation is an array of waterfalls and miniature pools, presenting themselves to cool your body, mind, and spirit.

On a good day, you enjoy a clear view of all St Lucian coastlines. Along with the coastline, Gimie also provides you with a view of the Maria Islands. There too from it’s peak, Gimie provides you with a vista of its more famous cousins-Petit and Gros Pitons, standing at the gates of the Val de Piton, like two sentinels on guard.

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Calabash Cove’s White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Recipe

Here’s an old but simply delicious favorite to add to the recipe book

Ingredients
yields 48 cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate

 

Method
Prep 15 minutes | Bake 10 minutes | Cool 45 minutes

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. 2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. mix in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate.
  3. 3. Drop dough by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  4. 4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown
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Kestrels at Calabash Cove

When in Saint Lucia, you’ll be struck by the variety of birdlife on the island. The more common or garden varieties such as the Grackle and the Lesser Antilles BullFinch, can be annoying ss they are inclined to steal food right from your plate. That is when you are dining al fresco, which tends to be the norm in the Caribbean. All in all though, Saint Lucia’s birds are beautiful. One of our favourites at Calabash Cove is often mistaken for a Hawk and indeed there are plenty of those as well. We like the Kestrel however.

They look similar to the average hawk and they swoop majestically through the air in search of prey just like an eagle. They are the largest native bird of prey on the island and hoteliers love them for a reason. They tend to scare away the annoying Grackles.

At Calabash Cove, their favorite perch (to take off from for long glides through the air above the resort) is the Pimento tree next to the C-Bar. In spring, they can easily be seen, while you are enjoying sundowners at the bar. If you have the patience, you can watch them put on a hunting show – chasing other birds, lizards and sometimes small critters.

Guests at Calabash Cove like them for their looks, of course.

The manager loves them for the simple fact that they make life miserable for pestering black birds. These black birds, called the Greater Antillean Grackle,  seem to be addicted to sugar, fake or real, and given the chance they love to eat right off of your plate!

Helping to keep these annoying birds at bay, the Kestrels like to plunder Grackle nests when on the hunt, which serves to keep their numbers down or to encourage them to move away altogether.

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Saint Lucia: A Dreamworld of Rainforests, Volcanoes, Waterfalls and the Caribbean Coast

The following article was featured in the latest edition of the Miami Living magazine.

The geographically and culturally-rich country of Saint Lucia is a small island nation located in the southern region of the eastern Caribbean chain of islands, just a three-and-a-half-hour direct flight from Miami.

The Setting

Blessed by nature and recognized as being a singular destination for romantic getaways, Saint Lucia has 238 square miles of rainforest-covered land and 98 miles of turquoise-watered coastlines: all in all, a stunning visual paradise that stirs the soul. Its notable topography (it is more mountainous than most Caribbean islands) and diverse natural landscapes offer unique experiences for anyone.

Explore tropical rainforests, a myriad of magnificent beaches, fishing villages, abandoned sugar plantations, coral reef diving and snorkeling spots, jungle biking and hiking trails, as well as numerous renowned tourist sites…

Read the full article here.

Calabash Cove Resort & Spa has no control over posts from external sites, and while each post is vetted prior to sharing, content is subject to adjustment by the original author without notice, and the resort thus makes no assertions as to the accuracy of external content. If you find a broken link, or an article with inaccurate or misleading content, please contact us.

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16 Gorgeous Swim-Up Rooms You’ll Totally Fall in Love With

The following article was featured on the Oyster website on September 26th, 2019.

If you love lazing away your vacation days in the hotel pool, you can’t do much better than staying in a swim-up room. What makes them so popular? For starters, you don’t have to trek across the resort grounds to cool off and unwind. They also give you way more space to splash around than a plunge pool, and there’s something inimitable about stepping right from your room into the water. While swim-up suites are especially popular with families, you’ll find plenty of adults-only resorts around the world that offer elegant swim-up rooms as well. From Mexico and Jamaica to Bali and Phuket, we’ve rounded up our favorite swim-up rooms to help you plan your next vacation in style.

#10. Calabash Cove Resort and Spa — St. Lucia

There aren’t too many resorts with swim-up rooms in the Caribbean’s smaller islands, but the Calabash Cove Resort and Spa in St. Lucia is an excellent exception. This 26-room boutique resort is most notable for its gorgeous sea views, which can be had from just about anywhere on the property. That includes the Swim-Up Junior Suites, where guests not only dip right into the pool from their shady terrace, but can also gaze at the beautiful Caribbean Sea while they unwind in the water. Rooms are attractive, if not the most contemporary on the list, though rates are quite reasonable for notoriously expensive St. Lucia.

Read the full article here.

Calabash Cove Resort & Spa has no control over posts from external sites, and while each post is vetted prior to sharing, content is subject to adjustment by the original author without notice, and the resort thus makes no assertions as to the accuracy of external content. If you find a broken link, or an article with inaccurate or misleading content, please contact us.

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This St. Lucia Hideaway Will Fulfill Your Caribbean Getaway Dreams – Forbes

The following article was featured on the Forbes website on September 20th, 2019.

Calabash Cove Resort and Spa strikes the perfect balance for those who want rest, relaxation, and fun on their holiday.

As the driver takes you down the rocky, uneven path, you’ll begin to wonder if there’s been a mistake. This isn’t what it looked like on the website, is it? You selected a beachfront resort with remarkable, unobstructed views of the Caribbean, with an open air restaurant, and with a secluded beach. Surely, that’s not what is waiting at the other end of this small road.

But just wait: you’ll soon pull past a gate with a security guard and witness lush trees with fiery red flowers, sparkling waters, and a warm, smiling face to greet you. It’s everything you would envision for a Caribbean getaway, and then some.

This is Calabash Cove Resort and Spa, situated on the island of St. Lucia. The journey to get there is worth it—an hour’s drive from Hewanorra International Airport and a few minutes on a gravel road lands you in your own little piece of paradise so perfect you may never want to leave.

“We have a lot of people who come here with the idea of doing a lot of excursions,” said Konrad Wagner, Managing Director of Calabash Cove Resort and Spa, “but once they arrive they usually just want to stay here.”

It’s easy to see why. This isn’t the type of resort which offers a jam-packed itinerary of on-site activities; instead, Calabash Cove lets the island itself shine as the star attraction. Something about St. Lucia invigorates the body and soul, and simply dipping into the refreshing, clear waters or sitting in a hammock and listening to the breeze rustle the bushes makes for an ideal schedule of events.

With only 26 rooms, you won’t have to fight over space at the pool or beachfront, either. Even when Calabash Cove is at capacity, it never loses the boutique experience. “People find their own things to do,” explained Konrad, “so it never really feels crowded.”

For a small property nestled onto the hillside, they have just enough to keep you busy and just enough to let you completely unwind. Indulge in an island massage, best experienced outside under one of their gazebos, or lounge in your room with room service. Some guests prefer hopping on one of the stand up paddle boards and exploring out at sea, while others prefer to relax in their private patio’s jacuzzi.

It’s hard to beat the beach at Calabash Cove, though, made even sweeter by the fact you don’t need to wake up with the sun to reserve a chair. All beaches on St. Lucia are open to the public. However, the unpaved road leading to this particular property means most people head elsewhere—which in turn, makes their strip of sand feel like an almost private beach for hotel guests.

And at the end of a day of soaking in the sun, you need only step foot into Windsong Restaurant for a meal. This is the type of restaurant that locals and people from other resorts make a point to visit, envying the lucky ones who have it mere steps from their hotel room. The chef offers a mainstay menu with items like tarragon roasted plantain chicken breast and stuffed baked zucchini, as well as mouthwatering daily specials based on what is fresh. Unlike some places where, after a few days you feel like you’ve tried everything on the menu, here, you’ll have a hard time choosing what to eat each night because it all sounds appetizing.

Sometimes, you don’t need to go and do all of the tourist activities in a destination; instead, you can have them all at your fingertips. You can make grand plans to sail down and see the Pitons, or to do a mud bath in the Sulphur Springs—but part of the joy of a St. Lucia vacation is simply winding down and taking in the beauty of the island. And like many other visitors to Calabash Cove Resort and Spa, you might just decide everything you need is right where you are.

Read the full article here.

Calabash Cove Resort & Spa has no control over posts from external sites, and while each post is vetted prior to sharing, content is subject to adjustment by the original author without notice, and the resort thus makes no assertions as to the accuracy of external content. If you find a broken link, or an article with inaccurate or misleading content, please contact us.

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This Stunningly Private St. Lucia Resort Is Honestly Where Sexy Vacation Goals Peak – Cosmopolitan

The following article was featured on the Cosmopolitan website on August 16th, 2019.

Selfies from your seaside villa will make all your followers jealous.

PEOPLE, amiright?! Always wanting something from you… “Hey, can you give me advice?” “Hey, can you read this e-mail?” “Hey, can you pay your rent?” “Hey, can you wake up? This train is no longer in service…”

Can a girl just BE sometimes? Like, where does she have to go to just sip on her morning espresso at a chill table on the ornate balcony of her own private villa overlooking the soft, rolling waves of the aqua blue Caribbean Sea—completely undisturbed?

Oh. Calabash Cove Resort & Spa in St. Lucia. Ok, cool.

Seriously, this tropical, adults-only oasis perched on the west coast of the West Indies Island in the Caribbean is the perfect destination for anyone looking to take a TO from daily life for a hot second. It was also ranked one of the sexiest hotels in the world by Cosmo itself. With only 26 rooms—eight of which are awesomely large private villas—Calabash Cove and its staff make sure you feel like you’re their only guest at all times. And you know what that means: No judgment when you take ALL the vacay pics!

Whether you arrive solo or with a sister, friend, or lovahhh (like I did), you better like the company you’re keeping—because for the next few days it will just be you guys in this cliffside paradise. (Honeymooners, this is where your search ends, btw.)

The Boyfriend and I had the pleasure of staying at the resort for four blissful days in July (when rates are less expensive than in the busy winter season). Here’s exactly what you gotta do to get the most—and I mean the MOST—out of your trip, St. Lucia’s top attractions included. And come to terms now with the fact that your Instagram page will look laughably bleak in the wake of this sexy, sand-and-sea-heavy adventure.

Read the full article here.

Calabash Cove Resort & Spa has no control over posts from external sites, and while each post is vetted prior to sharing, content is subject to adjustment by the original author without notice, and the resort thus makes no assertions as to the accuracy of external content. If you find a broken link, or an article with inaccurate or misleading content, please contact us.

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Scaling the Mighty Pitons

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Hardly a week goes by without some of our guests at Calabash Cove asking ?have you done it??

Done what?

Gone SCUBA diving?

Been to the Gros Islet Friday night street party?

Walked the rain forest birdwatching?

Flown through the tree tops zip lining?

No, none of the above. It was always the same question. Have you climbed the Pitons?

The time had come to put myself in a position to say: yes of course.

So here I was slipping quietly into my hiking clothes arranged neatly to the side of the bedroom, trying not to wake my wife at the ungodly hour of 5.30 am on a Saturday morning.

After all, the good European I was, there was no way I would be late for the 6.00 am rendezvous with the other climbers.? So here I was sitting at the mall waiting for my friends and the bus to arrive 40 minutes late. As we boarded the very comfortable 26 seater “Coaster”, the driver mumbled something like?..was only told this morning I am going to Soufriere.? As we were at different stages of awareness it did not phase most of us. After all, had the bus been on time, some of my friends would have missed it. Island time, mooohn.

For the scenic drive to the base of the Gros Piton snacks and power bars were passed around for what I imagine was our resolve to conquer the mountain, while some slept to catch up on the lost sleep from Friday night.

Then, we were there and after paying our fee for our climb guide, we assembled in front of a miniature model Piton for a briefing of what lay ahead of us. In addition to being allocated a guide we were implored to take at least 2 bottles of water each with us.

In single file we headed out on the trail, initially flat over large boulders before we reached the real bottom of the mountain and had a first close up look at the steep incline ahead of us. Eventually small groups of 4 or 5 people established themselves as we all settled into our own pace. After all this was not a race. Initially the stops were far apart and we made good progress to the first spectacular lookout facing the south coast of Saint Lucia. It was a breath-taking taste of what was yet to come.

After about 45 minutes we reached what was identified as the half way point, and for the first time we were treated to a spectacular view of ‘Petit Piton’ across the blue Caribbean Sea.? There was time to pass around a few snacks and sweets and allow all to catch up and get the group together again. Some of our more mature companions announced that this would be as far as they would go and they made themselves comfortable as the remainder of the group headed on up the steep path to the top of Gros Piton.

Over the next hour our steps seemed to get taller every few yards, the boulders larger and larger and the trail steeper and steeper. This also meant the stops became more and more frequent. By now it was a question of who will make it and who will just chill in the shade under one of the spectacular canopy or head back to base?

The Pitons St Lucia

The group morale was good and we felt we were now only minutes from the top. Every turn promised to reveal the peak, only to show another step in the steep trail.

And then, all of a sudden the trees became small shrubs and the terrain opened up where there were no more trees, just blue sky with cotton wool clouds. The ground flattened out and we were there? at the peak. So stunning was the experience of making it to the top with the amazing view, that the weight of our back packs was no longer noticeable. We waited for the 19 out of 26 climbers that had started to summit. The group was all smiles, everybody was reaching for his smart phone to take pictures and no, there was no signal. So the world had to wait for the good news that we had made it. It took only seconds for more food to come out and be shared. One of our French friends had carried a most delicious chocolate cake to the top while others shared candies, nuts, fresh and dried fruits.

Reluctantly. it was time to head back down. While the climb had taken the greater part of 2 hours, the descent was much quicker and completed in half the time. All I seem to remember is how wobbly I felt in my legs. The bottom could not come soon enough, not so much because we wanted the experience to be over, but more with the excitement of looking forward to telling those waiting at the resort all about it.? We were elated when we gathered on the beautiful grassy patch to stretch our legs and gaze at the clouds we seemed to have been so much closer to just a short hour ago.

It was to be a day never to be forgotten. A red-letter day. A bucket-list day !

And guess what? When now asked, have you done it? The answer is yes of course, are you going to do it too? Let me persuade you, because, boy, is it worth the effort.