If Goldilocks had to choose the ideal resort for a luxurious getaway to the tropical isle of St. Lucia, I’m guessing she would choose Ti Kaye Resort & Spa. Not too big, not too small, this boutique property perched high above the beautiful Anse Cochon beach is just right when it comes to an intimate resort that offers all the amenities of much larger properties, just without the crowds. Unfortunately for young Goldilocks, she’ll have to wait a few years before she can enjoy everything Ti Kaye offers, because this boutique property is an adults-only St. Lucia resort. Making it a perfect choice for a decidedly grownup getaway.
Ti Kaye: a Collection de Pépites Gem on St. Lucia
St. Lucia certainly knows how to do boutique, unique, and romantique with their assortment of small properties known as their ‘Collection de Pépites‘. These particular villas, boutique hotels, inns and resorts all have less than 35 rooms and offer experiences that are more intimate without sacrificing the luxury visitors want. The name originates from the French heritage of the island and means ‘small nuggets of gold’ and the hidden gem that is Ti Kaye Resort & Spa certainly lived up to this description.
Private, Romantic Bungalows
Henk and I first arrived at Ti Kaye after sunset, so we weren’t able to take in the real beauty of the resort’s location until the following morning. But what impressed us even as we were checking into our private bungalow was the serenade of crickets and frogs that greeted us. If you had to capture the essence of a tropical paradise, it would be the experience of lounging on a private verandah, caressed by a sultry ocean breeze and surrounded by this sound. I can’t think of any better introduction to St. Lucia.
Our bungalow at Ti Kaye, named Bobol in Creole, had its own warm welcome in store for us too, with a luxurious king-sized bed draped in mosquito netting (although we never so much as saw a mosquito during our week on the island), fresh flowers placed all around the rooms, and a washroom that included a private outdoor shower open to the sky and framed with lush tropical plants.
Best of all there was an actual kettle in our bungalow to complement the coffee maker and fully-stocked mini-fridge. It may seem like a small thing, but for morning tea drinkers like myself, that simple kettle was one attention to detail that made my stay here that much more comfortable.
All the Amenities Minus the Crowds
With the morning sun came the opportunity to really appreciate Ti Kaye’s location. The property is built into the steep hillside overlooking Anse Cochon, which makes for stunning ocean views from pretty much every building on the property. The guest bungalows were built to take advantage of this steep topography not just to optimize the views but to ensure privacy for the occupants, so they are scattered around the property with plenty of lush plantings and space in between.
The main building at Ti Kaye is a beautiful open-air structure that houses the reception office, the main dining room, bar, spa and wine cellar. The view is the hero here, whether you are enjoying it from the dining room or from the floor below where the spa and the bar are located.
Adjacent to the main dining pavilion is a lovely pool with loungers and cabanas that are never too busy to find a spot.
Thankfully you’ll never have to deal with guests getting up at the crack of dawn to ‘reserve’ loungers here (yay!), and the pool is open 24/7 for guests to enjoy – another advantage of being an adults-only resort. Midnight swim, anyone?
Anse Cochon: One of St. Lucia’s Best Beaches
One of Ti Kaye Resort’s best features is its location above Anse Cochon beach, one of the best black sand beaches in St. Lucia. and a popular spot for day-trippers and catamaran cruisers to visit as well. The resort not only offers comfortable loungers and beach beds with bar service for guests, there’s also a proper beach bar and restaurant right on the shore if you want to spend the entire day enjoying the beach.
TIP: One of the best surprises at Ti Kaye Resort is that when you ARE ready to return to the resort, there is a private funicular to take you up and down to the beach! And while it’s not that long a climb if you do choose to take the stairs, it’s quite a luxury to have a completely effortless option when it’s time to return to the resort. Plus it’s just fun to ride!
This Adults-Only St. Lucia Resort Includes Good Snorkelling, Too!
Anse Cochon beach offers one of the best snorkelling spots in St. Lucia with shoals at the far end of the beach that is an easy walk/swim to get to. For someone like Henk, who loves to snorkel, it doesn’t get more convenient than this since there’s no need to book excursions or pay for a boat trip. Just don your flippers and snorkel and go! Of course, if you are really keen to do more, you can book an excursion to dive a nearby wreck and other reefs which are all part of a marine reserve here. (There’s a dive shop right on the beach below the resort that can outfit you and organize a dive.)
I, on the other hand, just wanted to feel that tropical sun on my face while enjoying the warm Caribbean waters. Which is why I fell in love with the ‘water hammocks’ provided by the resort: circular floating rings with mesh decks that were anchored just off the beach. I literally spent several hours just lounging on and swimming off of these little platforms, enjoying the sun while staying refreshed in the water at the same time.
Fine Dining at Ti Kaye Resort
The staff at Ti Kaye Resort take great pride in offering a top-notch restaurant experience, and Henk and I had nothing but compliments for both the service and the chef. The main dining room, Kai Manje changes its menu daily to offer a different selection of local St. Lucian ingredients and flavours (locally farmed fresh water shrimp or conch fritters, for example) along with international favourites like steak, seafood and of course fresh fish.
The beach bar, Ti Manje, offers everything you want in a casual beachside restaurant: salads, burgers, fish, pizza and of course a full bar. I went with our server’s reco of fried roti and had my first-ever taste of banana ketchup, a delicious and unexpected condiment that was the perfect complement to my not-too-spicy roti.
TIP: Ti Kaye Resort offers a la carte pricing or several levels of drink/dining packages, including a premium all-inclusive one for about $155 pp that includes premium alcohol as well. We’d definitely recommend taking advantage of one of these, because there was plenty of variety of both food and drink and the quality was excellent. Plus you wouldn’t want to drive winding St. Lucian roads in the dark, just to get a great meal when there is one waiting for you steps from your bungalow.
Even Finer Wining: Ti Kaye’s Renowned Wine Cellar
An even more delightful surprise than Ti Kaye’s funicular was the on-site wine cellar, Ti Kave. In fact, the resort is known for its stellar cellar which boasts literally thousands of bottles from some of the best wine regions found around the world. Sommelier Cleus Charles is the man behind the cellar’s expansive collection of vintages, as he saw this as an opportunity to really differentiate Ti Kaye and elevate the dining experience for guests with a cellar that is recognized by the Wine Spectator as one of the best in the Caribbean.
Henk and I decided to take it one step further and rather than just selecting a wonderful wine with dinner, we booked a Wine Tasting to fully immerse ourselves in the wine experience. We joined 5 other couples in the grotto-like wine cellar for a wine tasting and cheese pairing hosted by Cleus Charles. Cleus may be one of the most chill, laid-back sommeliers I’ve ever met, but his passion and extensive knowledge of wines from travelling the globe was evident as he rhymed off wine regions and varietals as familiarly as if they were his middle name.
Just as Cleus predicted, as we sampled our way from champagne through to old and new world reds and whites, our group in the grotto got louder and friendlier. Cleus even brought out some of his most prized possessions at our request, rare vintages ‘hidden in plain sight’, like a 1996 Chareau Margot worth about $3000 (just one reason why the cellar is kept locked at all times). But no, we didn’t drink it, we just admired the bottle!
TIP: These wine tasting events are only $40 pp but definitely feel like a luxurious treat, so dress accordingly in something stylish, and be sure to bring a pashmina or jacket as the cellar is understandably kept quite cool.
Ti Kaye, a St. Lucian ‘Small House” With a Big Welcome
Back in the late 1990s, when owner Nick Pinnock first envisioned the kind of resort he wanted to build at Ti Kaye, he ‘went with his gut’, and built the kind of place where he would like to go on vacation. The word Ti Kaye, from the Creole meaning ‘small house’, was his starting point, and no doubt inspired the private cottages that are the resort’s signature accommodations. But that was only the beginning of what Ti Kaye could offer.
Today, Ti Kaye Resort & Spa has grown into a luxurious adult-only resort on St. Lucia, but by keeping it small, Pinnock has stayed true to his original vision. And by adding carefully curated experiences and amenities to the personal service provided by his friendly and experienced staff, visitors get to enjoy the best of both worlds: an off-the-beaten track tropical paradise with all the comforts of a luxurious resort.
When it comes to right-sized boutique resorts, Ti Kaye certainly has their ‘small house’ in order!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR TI KAYE RESORT & SPA
Location: Ti Kaye Resort & Spa is located on the west coast of St. Lucia about 75 minutes’ drive from Hewanorra International Airport. The resort can organize pick-up for a fee if you require it. The drive does takes you along winding hilly roads, so if you do suffer from motion sickness, you’ll want to pop your Gravol before heading out.
Adults-only resort clientele: Guests are split about 50/50 between young couples (honeymooners typically) and middle-aged couples. It’s small enough to get to know your fellow guests if you’re feeling social, but large enough to keep your own company if you prefer.
Rooms & Vibe: The resort’s standard rooms are in semi-detached bungalows (handy if you are travelling as two couples but still completely independent suites), and there are also completely private cottages, some with plunge pools. All suites offer ocean views, perfect for the relaxing, romantic atmosphere and the amazing sunsets you’ll find here.
Activities & Entertainment: Beach facilities include complimentary chairs, loungers, cabanas, paddle boards and kayaks, and you can arrange diving and snorkel excursions through the dive centre next to the beach bar. Tours or drivers to take you to some of St. Lucia’s best attractions can be arranged through reception. The main resort building also has a fitness centre and full-service spa. Live musicians and singers are brought in on some evenings and were very good (no cheesy impersonators here!).
Voltage: St. Lucia uses 220V primarily (those giant 3-pin British plugs) but there is usually a North American voltage/outlet in the rooms as well.
Ti Kaye app: Ti Kaye Resort even has their own Exclusivi app which you can use to book everything from room service to drinks on the beach to spa treatments and excursions.
Henk and I want to extend a special thank you to St. Lucia Tourism and Total Public Relations who arranged for our hosted stay at Ti Kaye Resort. However, they did not review or ‘approve’ this article, and all our opinions are our own.
Jane Canapini is a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada and the North American Travel Journalists Association. She established GrownupTravels.com in 2014 to share information and tips based on personal experience so her readers could get the most out of their travels.
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