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The Reef Beach Huts

Phone758 454 3418 Websitehttp://www.slucia.com/reef/huts.html

Category
B&Bs & Guest Houses
Island
St Lucia
Resort Area
Vieux Fort, Vieux Fort
Prices from:
US $66.00/ room/night ? view all rates

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Journalist’s Review

In Depth

The Reef Beach Huts and Café are set on the superb white sand and shallow water of Anse de Sables, the windsurfing beach in the far south of St Lucia. There are just four rooms in a row behind the café and The Reef Kite + Surf centre, set among the seagrape trees. The Reef itself and The Reef Kite + Surf next door are very much a part of the life of the beach and they are at the heart of the surfing action.

The strip at Anse de Sables is remote from the mainstream tourism of St Lucia (which is mostly north of Castries, at the other end of the island) it is never usually crowded and it is one of the coolest beaches in St Lucia. There is a low-key air of activity, with sportsmen and women taking time out in the café before and after jaunts out onto the water, where they chase back and forth on the winds. For all its remoteness, it is in fact easy to access, being right next to the international airport, close to the end of the airport runway.

Set among the large seagrape trees, the Reef Beach Café and Restaurant is the main hangout on Anse de Sables and stays open all day and evening until 10pm. Life is centred on the front, from where there is a view through the trees onto the bay itself. The conditions for windsurfing (and latterly kitesurfing) are world class, with onshore Tradewinds that scoot straight off the Atlantic into the protected bay. The best winds are early in the year between January and March, but these may be a bit too strong if you are a beginner. Anse de Sable means ‘bay of sand’ and it also makes good swimming, with sand that shelves gently into the shallow bay and a supreme colour of blue. There are also hammocks hanging in the trees for downtime.

The rooms at the Reef are in wooden huts set back from the beach behind the café, the four of them in a row, doors giving onto a shared veranda and a sandy courtyard garden shaded by the seagrape trees. There is a hammock in front of each one. Inside they are quite simple but they are clean and perfectly adequate and away from the busyness of the beach for when you want a moment of quiet. They are also extremely well priced. The rate even includes breakfast. The Reef Beach Huts are right in the thick of the action, but they are also an ideal place to flop after the activity of the day.

Beach & Swimming

The beach at Anse de Sables is excellent, with sand that shelves shallowly into the bay. The sand is fine and white, but there is shade to retreat to and of course there is the caf too. Protected on all sides (by a reef on the Atlantic side), the swimming is very good in Anse de Sables and the sand is good underfoot.

Sports & Recreation

The obvious sports at Anse de Sables are windsurfing and kitesurfing and the reason that it is so good for them is that it is an enclosed bay with reliable onshore and cross-shore winds. The two disciplines have the same basic requirements, constant winds and a protected environment, so that you dont blown off to South America. Anse de Sables is large and the winds vary, on average, between 15 and 20 knots during most of the year, rising to 25 or even 30 knots in January and February, the height of the season. Anse de Sables is a large bay and so the two sports give each other a little room in order not to get tangled up with one another. The windsurfers tend to take the space upwind in the bay and the kitesurfers downwind.

Equipment hire and instruction for both sports is available through The Reef Kite + Surf, t +1758 454 3418. E-mail: windsurf@slucia.com . The equipment is renewed each year. There is enough for about 30 surfers.

The Reef Beach Huts are also a good jumping off point for experiencing St Lucia off the beaten path. The Balenbouche Estate is only a short drive away where you can take a guided tour of the estate, but there are also a number of hikes around Balenbouche Estate. If you wish to explore further, the management at the Reef Beach huts will happily point you in the direction of any number of St. Lucia island tours.

Staff

The Caf and the Reef Beach Huts are managed by Cecile, who has been there for fifteen years.

The Rooms

The four rooms are set behind the caf in wooden huts made from greenheart, a hardwood from South America. They are accessed by a veranda looking out onto a courtyard. Inside they are furnished with a double or twin beds with mosquito nets and a chair and table. They are ventilated with ceiling fans and slatted windows which can be opened to let the air through. Bathrooms are partly open to the air too.

Dining

The Reef Beach Caf serves good snacks and fuller plates of food, burgers and salads as well as some more local dishes, with an emphasis on seafood. Open from eight in the morning to ten at night(6pm on Mondays), the caf is a popular hang-out with locals and surfers alike. Breakfast is included in the room rate.

Useful Hints

The Reef Beach Huts are ideal for travellers that are really there for the beach activities. They are quite simple so do not expect luxury, but they have a certain style that definitely fits the easy going atmosphere of the beach.

Practical Facts

Annual Closure dates: Restaurant, Bar & Huts open all year; Wind- & kitesurfing centre usually closed Sep-Oct (please check with centre).

Dress Code: Barefoot and casual - day; casual - evenings

Facilities: Reef Beach Caf incorporating bar and restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Reef Kite + Surf centre, beach.

Complimentary: Breakfast and taxes included in the rates, book exchange, beach loungers, pool table, board games, free WiFi access.

Children: Welcome

Accommodation: 4 rooms

Room Types: Simple wooden clad beach hut rooms with shared veranda. Two rooms have a double bed (140cm wide). The other two have two single beds. All rooms have a mosquito net, hammock, electric fan, semi-outdoor en suite shower room with WC.

Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express.

Windsurfing Package

One Week Windsurfing Special
One week windsurf rental at The Reef Kite & Surf, one week accommodation at The Reef Beach Huts including full breakfast daily, and two hours wind or kite surfing instruction. Cost: US$550 per person based on double occupancy.

Two Week Windsurfing Special
Two weeks windsurf rental at The Reef Kite & Surf, two weeks accommodation at The Reef Beach Huts including full breakfast daily, and two hours wind or kite surfing instruction. Cost: US$899 per person based on double occupancy.

Offers subject to availability and to change without notice.

Kitesurfing Package

One Week Kite Buddy Special
Nine hour kitesurfing course at The Reef Kite & Surf, one week accommodation at The Reef Beach Huts including full breakfast daily. Cost: US$545 per person based on double occupancy and 2 students per kite.

Two Week Kite Buddy Special
Nine hour kitesurfing course at The Reef Kite & Surf, two weeks accommodation at The Reef Beach Huts including full breakfast daily. Cost US$725 per person based on double occupancy and 2 students per kite.

Offers subject to availability and to change without notice

Locality

Anse de Sables is in the far south of St Lucia just outside the town of Vieux Fort, a local town that does not see that many tourists. Apart from the beach and the windsurfing there is not that much to do in the immediate area although it is a good base for St. Lucia island tours.

There is good hiking in St Lucia, and some of it is easily reached from the Reef Beach Huts at Anse de Sables. You can catch one of the many buses that head up the east coast and there are walks at Morne la Combe and the Eastern Nature Trail and there are excellent gardens at Mamiku. You can also head in the other direction, beyond Vieux Fort towards Soufrire. There are many walks from Balenbouche (a delightful stopover for the day anyway) and then there are many around Soufrire itself. It is possible to climb up the Gros Piton, one of St Lucias extraordinary twin pointed peaks.

Meet & Greet

If you have the choice it is better to fly into Hewanorra Airport because it is so close. Castries airport, which takes most of the inter-Caribbean flights, is about an hours drive to the north.

Getting Around

The main bus service comes out of Vieux Fort nearby and passes right behind Anse de Sables as it heads north. Buses pass fairly regularly in both directions. If you want to go in the direction of Soufrire then you will need go into Vieux Fort and catch a connection from there. If you wish to hire a car for a couple of days in order to explore the island then we recommend Drive-A-Matic or Cool Breeze Car/Jeep Rentals who will deliver. Vehicles can be returned at the airport or be collected from the property at a pre-arranged time on your departure day.