FAQ & Reviews
How far are you from the St lucia airport and how much does a taxi cost?
Taxis at both airports are readily available and the rates are fixed; (US$ 25 from Hewanorra International, US$ 90 from George FL Charles for up to 4 people). Hewanorra (St lucia airport code UVF): 20 minutes drive. George FL Charles (castries – st lucia airport code SLU): 1 ½ hour drive
Do we need a rental car?
We do recommend a car rental, it’s less expensive than a taxi and more convenient than the bus. Driving is on the left, and you will need to obtain a local driving permit at the airport or rental agency, which is valid for 3 months and costs US$ 22 (unless you have an international drivers license). The daily rate for a small car is US$ 65 – 75 and US$ 75 – 90 for a 4-wheel drive (nice to have but not absolutely necessary), including tax and a collision damage waiver. St. Lucia National Car Rental offers our guests a 10% discount. You can contact them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask us to arrange the rental for you. Pick up and drop off at both airports and at Balenbouche is available.
What time is check in and check out?
At our bed and breakfast, check-in is generally anytime after 2pm, and check-out is at 12pm. We try to accommodate early check-in and late-check-out whenever possible, and you can always leave your bags with us while you wait for your room to be ready or for your taxi to take you to the airport.
What exactly is the difference between the Balenbouche cottages?
The Almond and Banyan Cottage are 2 bedroom/2 bathroom cottages with kitchens, measuring 1200 and 1300 sq ft. The one bedroom Frangipani and Calabash Cottages are 420 and 450 sq ft and have a refrigerator and hot water kettle.
How many people can you accommodate in total?
There are a total of 7 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms between the 4 cottages. Depending on the number of single and double occupancies, the maximum that our bed and breakfast can accommodate is between 7 and 11 people, plus 2 group facilitators in the main plantation house.
Is Balenbouche suitable for babies and young children?
In general, Balenbouche is great for children of all ages. However, keep in mind that the historic property and beaches are not particularly safe for children – supervision is required at all times. Please also respect the tranquility and privacy of other guests. If your child is allergic or very sensitive to insect bites, we do not recommend that you stay at Balenbouche. We do have occasional outbreaks of Dengue fever on the island, which can be dangerous to young children.
What meal plans are available at what price?
Our St Lucia dining options are always fresh, local and home made. Breakfast (US$ 12) is available every day, a dinner special for US$ 25 or buffet for $35 is offered 2 – 4 times a week, depending on the season. Lunch or a light snack is available upon request, and we cater to all diets; vegan, vegetarian, gluten free etc. We serve mostly fish and vegetarian meals and local chicken depending on availability.
Is there a restaurant nearby?
Yes, “Debbie’s” is just a 5 minute drive away, and other small bars and local st lucia restaurants in Laborie and Vieux Fort are within a 10 minutes drive , as well as several nice St Lucia dining locations in Soufriere (30 minutes).
Where is the closest shopping facility, bank and post office?
The town of Vieux Fort (30 minutes) and the Gablewoods Mall (20 minutes) both south of Balenbouche, is the best place for shopping and errands, and the closest ATM location.
Where are the best beaches in St Lucia near Balenbouche?
There are two beaches adjoining Balenbouche within a 5 minute walk . One is easily accessible and has shallow water, rough seas and rocky bottom, but you can wade and take a dip. The other beach is just as close, very private, and swimming is possible close to shore. Two other nearby beaches in st lucia include Piaye and Anse Touloulu, within a 15 minute walk. Laborie Bay and Anse de Sable in Vieux Fort are a 5-20 minute drive away.
SERVICES AND AMENITIES
Do you have air conditioning?
No, but our eco friendly holiday cottages are open and designed for the tropical climate, and equipped with standing fans. As a sustainable hotels, we seek to avoid high energy devices. However, St Lucia weather is generally very pleasant with temperatures ranging in the high 80′s during the day and mid 70′s at night, and there is usually a nice breeze.
Do you have hot water?
All showers in the holiday cottages have some form of water heating. Some use solar heating, so the temperature may vary depending on the weather; others use auxiliary electric water heaters.
Is the property handicapped accessible?
Most indoor and outdoor areas are historical and not designed to be handicapped accessible. But one of the cottages (The Almond Cottage) is located at ground level and can be navigated with a wheelchair. We are very happy to assist in any way we can.
Do you offer maid and laundry service?
Yes, the cottages are generally cleaned every weekday. Towels are changed by request, your bed sheets are changed every five to seven days, in order to conserve water and energy. If you would like them changed more frequently, please let us know. Laundry service is available at a small fee.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Is the tap water safe to drink?
Yes, it is generally safe to drink the water from the public water system. We will inform you if we are using an alternative water source, such as collected rainwater. In the main house, we have a dual cartridge carbon filter system where you can filter your drinking water.
Where can I store my valuables?
Smaller valuables can be kept in the safe in the plantation house; the holiday cottages also have their own safe or lockable area. It is strongly advised that you lock away your valuables and your room every time you leave your cottage.
Do you have any dangerous or poisonous animals on the property?
No, apart from mosquitoes and the rare centipede there is nothing which can harm you. The friendly Balenbouche “St. Lucia wildlife” includes cats and dogs, 2 tortoises, cattle and horses, many birds and lizards, as well as frogs and crickets who make up the nightly orchestra. Please do not be afraid of spiders, bats, frogs or lizards; they are harmless and eat mosquitoes and other irritating insects!
What languages do you speak?
The official language on the island is English, and a local French Creole or patois is also spoken. English and German (fluent), French (conversational), some Italian, Spanish
Do we need power transformers or adapters?
A travel adapter is helpful to bring along, we use 240V and UK style large three pin square plugs. We do have a step down transformer, and each cottage is equipped with one or two adapters.
Do you have wireless internet?
Yes, we have wireless internet which works in and around the plantation house. There is also a PC in the plantation house where you can log on as guest, but we request that it be used only for short periods of time.
Can I use my cell phone?
You can use your TDMA, Triband, Quadband or analogue phone in St Lucia at international rates. If you have an unlocked phone, you can buy a local SIM card, which is about US$ 10 -15.
Do we need to pay a deposit in advance?
We usually require a 25% deposit upon booking, which you can conveniently pay by credit card through www.paypal.com, or by wire transfer. The deposit is refundable up to 8 weeks before arrival, but for groups and longer stays at our bed and breakfast, a non-refundable deposit is required earlier.
What currencies and forms of payment do you accept?
In order to keep fees low, we prefer payment in cash (US$, Euro, GBP, CAN$ or local EC$ at the current market rate). You can also pay by travelers checks or bank transfer. Once you are in St Lucia, credit card payments can only be accepted from registered and verified PayPal members. Payment Page