Villa INFORMATION

Frequently asked questions about Villa Grand Piton

Is Villa Grand Piton suitable for us?

Just how “open and airy” is Villa Grand Piton?
Do the windows have glass or screens to keep insects out?
What kind of mosquito controls do you have?
Is there air conditioning at Villa Grand Piton?
We want to spend our time on the beach. How long a walk is it to and from the beach?
Can I walk everywhere, or do I need to rent a car or use a taxi service?
What do you mean when you say Villa Grand Piton is secluded?
Is Villa Grand Piton suitable for children under 13?
Is Villa Grand Piton suitable for families with older children or friends travelling together?
What does your staff do? What are their hours? Do they live on-site?
How dependable is the electricity? If something breaks, how quickly will it be repaired?
Is the water safe to drink?

Important House Rules

May we smoke at Villa Grand Piton?
May we rent the villa without the staff?
What rules do you have about the use of the pool?
Are there any restrictions on using the items you have provided?
Is there any part of the villa that is off-limits to us?

What all do you provide at the villa?

Do I need to bring an adapter for my electrical devices?
Do you provide WiFi or cable TV?
Do you have a computer or printer I may use?
What if I forget the charging cord for my phone?
Is the kitchen well-equipped?
Do you have a grill?
Do you have a washer and dryer?
Some vacation villas make me bring my own toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Do you?
Do you have a speaker I can use outdoors to listen to my music?
Do you provide snorkel gear?
What else can I take with me to the beach or on my expeditions?
Do you have any books or board games?

Arriving in a foreign country and getting to a private villa can be stressful. How do you make it easy on us?

What address do I use for the villa on the St Lucia immigration form?
Do you provide transportation from the airport to the villa when I arrive?
What is the travel time from airport to the villa?
How do I check in and get the keys?
I won’t want to cook or find a restaurant for dinner the first night, and my flight might arrive after the grocery stores close. Can you help me?

What should I know about for after I arrive?

How do I make phone calls or send/receive texts?
Where do I buy groceries and beverages?
How do I get hot water for showers? How good is the water pressure?
How do I get housekeeping services?
Do I have to put the trash out myself?
Where is the fire extinguisher?
We’d love to eat outdoors and enjoy the scenery. Is there anything I should know about doing that?
What if we have an issue after we arrive?
How do I get additional services such as cooking, shopping, or an on-site massage?

Is Villa Grand Piton suitable for us?

Just how “open and airy” is Villa Grand Piton?

Villa Grand Piton was designed to capture the breezes from the rainforest and the trade winds. There are seven sets of double doors that all open, as well as numerous windows with louvers that are easily opened to maximize the breeze, or closed for privacy. In addition, the interior walls do not go all the way to the ceiling, allowing the breezes to circulate throughout the house. St Lucia is very temperature, with the temperature range usually in the 70°– 90°F range. Since there is no need for heat and little need for air conditioning, houses are not built to be sealed up for energy conservation. At Villa Grand Piton, there is no glass covering the windows, just screens and wooden louvered shutters. There is no weather stripping under the doors.

Since the villa is open-air, you’ll get some “visitors” that can get in under the doors, like cute little little geckos (car insurance, anyone?). We appreciate the geckos – they are harmless and tend to be shy, running away if you get too close, and they feed on insects. Here’s a Mediterranean gecko that visited us last summer. He’s (she’s?) about 3 inches long and ¾ of an inch wide. Some geckos are green, some have striped tails. They tend to be on the walls behind furniture or paintings, or underneath the furniture.

gecko

Many of the other villas in the neighborhood (or hotels, such as Jade Mountain) are extremely open – entirely missing a wall (or with only a half-wall) on one or more of the rooms to the outdoors. Villa Grand Piton is far more enclosed, private and secure than our neighbors, because we do have four complete walls. You can throw all the doors open while you are in the villa to maximize the openness and sense of being outdoors and to enjoy the fantastic view, then close and dead-bolt all the doors and windows when you want privacy or security.

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Do the windows have glass or screens to keep insects out?

Villa Grand Piton was built in the open architecture typical of the Caribbean, with an emphasis on bringing the outside in. There is no glass covering the windows, or weather-stripping under/around doors (please also see “Just how “open and airy” is Villa Grand Piton?” just above). We installed exterior screens on all the doors and windows in the fall of 2016, allowing you to open the louvered shutters to maximize the airflow through the villa while keeping most of the insects out. Please do not expect screens to keep all of the insects out of the house, as the villa was never designed to be completely sealed. Insects will also come in whenever you open the doors to maximize the view or enter/exit the villa. If you want to leave the doors open at dusk or later, please keep the lights dim, as bright lights will attract numerous insects.

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What kind of mosquito controls do you have?

We have an outdoor mosquito-control machine; we eliminate or treat standing water; and we use some insecticides in a targeted fashion to keep the mosquito and other insect populations down. Indoors, we have UV “bug zappers” mosquito rackets, and the beds and the Jacuzzi have mosquito nets (ask Doxie how to use them correctly or they will be ineffective). A good trick is also to use the standing fans at fairly high speed to keep a breeze blowing on you. This dilutes the CO2 you exhale and makes you less “visible” to the mosquitoes, as well as makes it difficult for the mosquitoes to fly against the breeze and land on you.

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Is there air conditioning at Villa Grand Piton?

We have air conditioning in all three bedrooms. The air conditioning in Villa Grand Piton is not the same as you are most likely familiar with – they are split units, with the fan mounted on the wall. We do not have central air conditioning. The objective of the air conditioners is to cool the inhabitants, not cool the room. The air conditioning units are pointed towards the beds, in order to blow cool air on the beds and make sleeping more comfortable. The air conditioning units are incapable of cooling the entire room – if you try, the cool air escapes out through the windows (no glass), and also escapes out to other rooms through the louvers in the doors and because the walls do not go to the ceiling).

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We want to spend our time on the beach. How long a walk is it to and from the beach?

That depends! Villa Grand Piton sits on the ridge of a tall hill, about 550 feet above sea level. The road to and from the villa is very rough and steep. The walk down the mountain to Anse Chastanet beach will probably take 20 minutes (Hummingbird Beach is about the same distance or a little further, and Anse Mamin is 5-10 minutes past Anse Chastanet). You will want to take it rather slowly, to avoid twisting your ankle in an unexpected low spot, and avoid slipping or sliding on loose gravel. How long does it take to get back up? That depends on how good of shape you are in, and how much stuff you are carrying. Lots of our guests walk back and forth to the beach – but they give themselves plenty of time and just enjoy the walk. Other guests walk down to the beach, and grab a taxi from the resort back to the villa (about $20 US). If you’ve rented a car, the drive to Anse Chastenet is a quick 6-7 minutes.

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Can I walk everywhere, or do I need to rent a car or use a taxi service?

Plan to get a vehicle or use a taxi service. Click here for advice on picking which will be the best for you, and our recommended vehicle rental and taxi service companies.

Some of our guests do walk back and forth from the villa to the beaches or Soufriere during the day, but the walk up to the villa is very good exercise and may be too much for people that are not in good physical condition (the villa is at an elevation of about 550 feet). The roads are not lit and are full of pot holes and loose gravel, so night-time walking is strongly discouraged.

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What do you mean when you say Villa Grand Piton is secluded?

Villa Grand Piton, like most of the other villas in the Soufriere area, is in a rural area on a mountainside and surrounded by forest, about 1-1/2 to 2 miles outside of the village of Soufriere. At night, you see only a few lights from the other villas down the hill, and the glow of the lights from Soufriere – you can’t even see Soufriere directly from the villa. It is very quiet at night – all you will hear is the tree frogs “singing”, the breeze rustling the leaves, and the house settling as it cools after a sunny day. If you are a “resort” person, or are used to living in a big city with lots of noises around you all night, the quietness might be a little disconcerting! But most of our guests find it exceedingly peaceful, and just the escape they needed from their hectic lives.

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Is Villa Grand Piton suitable for children under 13?

Villa Grand Piton is a poor choice for younger children, due to our remote location at the top of a tall hill and the steepness of the grounds (for instance, the drop from the pool railing to the ground is about 30 feet), and the lack of places to play safely outdoors. The villa is not childproofed. For instance, there are 220-volt outlets up 12-18 inches from the floor which pose a serious safety hazard to small, inquisitive fingers. We also have no amenities for children (no cribs, high chairs, etc.). If you have children under 13 years old in your party, we are happy to recommend some nearby villas that are safe and well-equipped for the comfort of your children.

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Is Villa Grand Piton suitable for families with older children or friends travelling together?

Yes! Villa Grand Piton is a wonderful place for your family or group of friends to spend some quality time together. You’ll find something nearby for everyone in the family, even those that aren’t “beach” people. The area around the villa is wonderful for outdoor activities. The villa is located on a ridge atop a tall hill, about 550 feet above sea level. Walk out the door and down the driveway, and up or down the road to do some exploring, with paths to walk around the hills through the forest. Walk or drive down to the three nearby beaches and find excellent snorkeling from the shore (I love the huge schools of small silver fish at Anse Chastanet), and mountain biking trails at Anse Mamin, as well as scuba diving shops and nearby dive sites. Nearby Anse Chastanet resort offers activities such as cooking classes that non-resort guests can join (for a fee, of course, and subject to space limitations with their own guests getting priority). There are numerous restaurants nearby, from high end to inexpensive. And, of course, the heart of St Lucia, the Pitons, are only about a half-hour drive away.

Your and your cherished ones will get to spend some quiet time together, as the location is quite isolated, with one neighboring villa that is used occasionally, and another villa about 100 yards up the road, used mostly on the weekends. If you just want to relax and enjoy the sun and view, we have a private pool with floating loungers, and six chaise lounges around the pool deck to just relax.

At night, gather everyone on the patio to enjoy dinner while watching the sun set. After sunset (about 5:30 in the winter, 6:30 in the summer), stay on the patio and identify the constellations (we have a telescope), or play cards or a board game in the gazebo while listening to the breeze in the leaves and the tree frogs sing. We also have WiFi, a TV room with an extensive library of movies, cable TV (in case you can’t miss an important game), and two bookcases full of books.

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What does your staff do? What are their hours? Do they live on-site? May we rent the villa without the staff?

The Villa Grand Piton Staff is:
Doxie: Manager and Housekeeper (Cell 758-519-9495)
Paul: Daytime Maintenance, etc. 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (Cell 758-489-1393)
John: Nighttime Caretaker: about dusk to dawn (Cell 758-719-6449)

Our staff do not live on-site, but we are staffed basically around-the-clock, just as a hotel has staff on-site at all times. Doxie and/or Paul show up at about 9 o’clock in the morning, but wait outside on the driveway until you open the back doors. At that time, if they need to enter the villa, they will call out to you for permission to enter. On the days Doxie is there, she does the dishes, sweeps, makes the beds, cleans the bathrooms and kitchen, does laundry, and changes linens (mid-week). Paul cleans the pool and does maintenance work (mostly outside work if you are there in the day unless something inside needs immediate attention). Paul and/or Doxie will most likely be at the villa until mid to late afternoon. John, our night caretaker, arrives shortly before dusk and remains outdoors overnight, just in case you need something, until about dawn.

If you prefer the villa to be cleaned when you are not there, and you are planning particular days to be out (for instance, you will be out of the villa having adventures on Tuesday and Thursday), please let Doxie know that, and she will work her schedule for the days when you are not there as much as possible. However, we do require that housekeeping be allowed access to clean at least every three days for a party size of two, and more frequently for larger groups (your contract will specify the frequency).

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How dependable is the electricity/WiFi/cable? If something breaks, how quickly will it be repaired?

The infrastructure in St Lucia is not as advanced or robust as in the US (or the UK, Canada, Germany, etc). For instance, the WiFi is a lot slower than in the US (no high-def streaming from NetFlix). From time to time, the power, the cable TV, or the internet access may go out. They are not usually off for long periods of time, but we do recommend you know where the flashlights are in the bedrooms (they should be in the nightstands – ask Doxie if you cannot find them), just in case. We have lots of books, and some cards and board games in the TV room, and we find it very relaxing to sit out at the covered gazebo with a nice glass of wine (or other favorite beverage) while it rains and listen to the rain hit the leaves.

Just like anyone’s home, sometimes things get misplaced or break (and, unfortunately, sometimes guests leave with some of our belongings in their luggage). If you cannot find something that should be in the villa – ask Doxie. If something breaks while you are there, please let our staff know, and they will initiate a repair call as soon as possible. But – the repair may take far longer than you are used to. Working hours are shorter, there are fewer repair people, and the parts may have to be ordered from the U.S (or a new item may have to purchased and installed – again, a slow process). It literally can take six to twelve weeks to replace something if it not on the island already.

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Is the water safe to drink?

St Lucia is not like Mexico, where the water supply is notorious for causing problems for travelers. Most travelers have no issues with the drinking water anywhere on the island. The water supply for the villa is rainwater that has been treated and filtered. However, rain water is different than the city water you are likely accustomed to drinking, and our treatment includes chlorine. So we suggest, particularly for those of you with delicate constitutions or if you dislike the taste of chlorine, that you drink the water from our water cooler.

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Important House Rules

May we smoke at Villa Grand Piton?

No! Villa Grand Piton is our home, not just a rental property to us, and we are non-smokers that do not wish our belongings to be contaminated with the smell of cigarette smoke. Please respect our home and do not smoke in the villa or anywhere on the property. This includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc. Do not bring cigarette butts into the house to dispose of them, either. We have smoke detectors around the property that can detect tobacco smoke.

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May we rent the villa without the staff?

The villa is not available for rental without the staff. Our standard of service is that someone is on site around-the-clock to maintain our property (which takes a lot of time in the Caribbean climate) and be there in case you have a question, or to assist in case something unexpected happens, such as a power outage. Our staff is also there to ensure you have a memorable stay and address any issues you have as quickly as possible. According to a recent industry study, one in ten travelers visited the emergency room while on vacation. We sincerely hope nothing happens to any of our guests, but we want you to rest assured that our staff can quickly get help for you at any time of the day or night in case you need something.

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What rules do you have about the use of the pool?

The pool is a bit less than 6 feet at the deepest – for your own safety, please don’t dive. Please, use plastic glasses for beverages when you are around or in the pool. Broken glass in the pool is very dangerous but is invisible and very difficult to remove. We will have to drain the pool, remove the glass, then refill the pool. You will not have access to the pool during this time, and the refill of the pool can take a few days, as we are on cistern water and may need to bring in truckloads of water to refill the pool. We will charge you for any expenses we incur or any refunds we have to make to future guests if we have to drain and refill the pool if you ignore this rule and end up with broken glass in the pool.

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Are there any restrictions on using the items you have provided?

Please remember that this is our home when we are in St Lucia. We’ve worked hard to furnish and equip the villa to our level of expectations. We’ve also tried to think about what guests might appreciate, so we’ve also provided items that might help you avoid some of the high prices you might encounter at the beaches (for instance, beach chairs and snorkel gear so you do not have to rent it at the beach). You are welcome to use the items provided, and even take some of them out of the villa (as mentioned in this guide). But PLEASE keep track of them and bring them back, so the next guest can use them just as you did. When you are finished using them, please clean them and return them to their storage place. If you are unable or unwilling to clean them, please do not put them back dirty. Just leave it out and tell Doxie when you leave. She will clean them if you haven’t. Doxie does go through the cupboards and closets on a rotating basis to clean the items there, but she does not have time to pull everything out of the closets and cabinets and clean it in the few hours between guests. And if you have moved something, please either return it to its original location – or tell Doxie where you left it before you leave.

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Is there any part of the villa that is off-limits to us?

Yes. Villa Grand Piton is our home when we are in St Lucia, so there are a few closets/cupboards that are locked that are not for your access. Please respect us by not tampering with or attempting to enter these areas. If you are unsure, ask Doxie or Paul.

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What all do you provide at the villa?

Do I need to bring an adapter for my electrical devices?

220 and 110 (U. S.) voltage power is available throughout the villa. We’ve labeled the outlets to identify which are 110V and which are 220V. If you bring something that requires 110V, please plug it into a wall outlet labeled 110V. You may notice that we’ve placed plug adapters in some of the 220V outlets that allow you to plug a US-style plug into the 220V outlet. These adapters DO NOT convert 220V to 110V, so you could destroy your belonging and endanger yourself if you plug a 110V product into the 220V outlet. Ask Doxie or Paul for help, if you are uncertain. Please note that the island electrical code does not allow outlets in the bathrooms, so you will have to plug in your hair dryer or electric shaver, etc., in another room.

All of the electricity for the island is generated by imported diesel, and is quite expensive, especially in comparison to what we pay in the United States. The more electricity the tourists use, the higher the prices go for everyone – which makes it difficult to afford for the average St Lucian. Please help us conserve electricity by turning off the lights, the fans, and the air-conditioning when you are not in the room using them. Our staff does have the right to enter the villa and turn off the air conditioning units, lights, or fans if you are not inside the villa using those appliances.

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Do you provide WiFi or cable TV?

The villa has complimentary WiFi throughout, extending to the gazebo and covering the pool area. Please connect to the network “VGPGuest”, and the password is “12345678” (both without quotation marks). Please keep in mind that high-speed internet service is not available in St Lucia. You can access websites and your email, but the speed is too slow to stream most videos, although the kids say it’s fast enough for YouTube. Streaming web services (e.g., Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu) may not be available in the Caribbean, or may be costly. We have cable TV in the TV room. The bedrooms also have televisions, but they are only connected to Bluray/DVD/CD players. We have an extensive library of movies and CDs in the TV room.

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Do you have a computer or printer I may use?

We do have a computer for guest use. It is on the desk just outside the master bedroom. Just click on the VGPGuest user icon – there is no password. You may connect to the printer from the computer or your own device and may print out information you need. Please be prudent in how many pages you print – we have a limited ink supply and ink cartridges are difficult to find on St Lucia. All of the information files that you have received from us are at the villa already, in folders, so please do not print out these files again. We are not discouraging printing out pages you need; we’re just asking that you do not print the entire 30-40 page file just to read it when there is a copy already available.

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What if I forget the charging cord for my phone?

We’ve left several types (with mini-USB, micro-USB, lightning and the older iPad/ipod connectors) of charging cords in the nightstand drawers and a dual-USB adapter plugged into the outlet near the nightstands so you can charge your phones, etc. There are also cords in the drawer of the desk in the living room on the wall nearest the kitchen. You may notice that the USB adapter is plugged into the 220V outlet. The USB adapters we have provided can handle 220V – they are designed to convert either 220V or 110V to the right voltage for your device. Please do not take our cords with you when you leave. The cords are brightly colored, so hopefully you will not take them home by accident.

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Is the kitchen well-equipped?

Yes! We love to cook, so we’ve equipped the kitchen well. The one missing major appliance is a built-in oven – we only have a countertop oven.
The other appliances that are built-in or are kept on the counter are: Refrigerator/freezer with icemaker, small beverage-only refrigerator, dishwasher, electric cooktop, microwave oven, countertop oven, coffee maker, espresso/cappuccino machine, NutriBullet blender, and four-slice toaster. In the pantry, you will also find: pasta maker, ice-cream maker, toaster oven, standard blender, rice cooker/slow cooker (this is kept in the lower cabinets under the microwave), a waffle maker, as well as a spare coffee maker. There is a hand mixer in the drawers – it should be under the silverware.

There are some recipes in the lower drawers in the cabinets between the two windows. There are several sets of dishes and flatware, as well as lots of glasses (wineglasses and drinking glasses), both plastic and glass, coffee mugs and serving dishes. Additional glasses are in the upper cabinet over the peninsula. We keep the outdoor plastic glasses in the freezer so they are nice and cold for your beverages. Cooking utensils are in the drawers. Please use placemats for the dining table to protect the finish. You will find them in the top drawer in the cabinet between the windows. If you can’t find what you need, ask Doxie!

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Do you have a grill?

Yes. On the back deck, we have a large Napoleon stainless-steel grill (propane) with six burners for grilling steaks, burgers, chicken, seafood, whatever you want. It has an infra-red side burner. Directions for use are in the villa “guidebook” in the kitchen. We also have an instant-read thermometer that should be on the refrigerator (it is a ThermaPen – I’d be happy to give you the information on how to get one of your own if you like it – please do not take it home with you!)

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Do you have a washer and dryer?

We have a washer and dryer next to the refrigerator, so you can wash your clothes while you are there (and bring less of them in the luggage!). Ask Doxie for instructions. PLEASE, DO NOT OVERLOAD the dryer – it is a small dryer and does not hold a full wash load. If you overload the dryer, the belt will break, and the dryer will not be usable until we get another belt, which can take six weeks or more. Please dry your laundry in several loads. Doxie can also put up the clothesline.

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Some vacation villas make me bring my own toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Do you? What all do you supply?

The villa is stocked with most of the basic toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap, toilet paper, Qtips, as well as dishwashing detergent and paper towels. We keep some OTC medicines in the bathrooms, too (pain relievers, antacids) and bandages for minor cuts. And if you forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, razor or a comb, ask Doxie when you arrive – we have some extras just in case. We stock some other items intermittently, and guests sometimes leave their excess items (moisturizer, bug spray, sunscreen, aloe, burn spray, etc.). These items will be in the various bathrooms, so if you are in need of something, look through all the bathrooms. There’s a chance you will find what you need in one of them – but we cannot guarantee an item will be available upon your arrival. Please contact us at least a week before your arrival to ask if there is an item whose availability is critical to you.

If you do use any of the items left by other guests (sunscreen, “adult beverages”, etc), please consider paying it forward when you leave.

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Do you have a speaker I can use outdoors to listen to my music?

We have a small Denon speaker you may take out to the patio and use to listen to your music. Please, DO NOT allow it get wet and do not take it to the beach. It is not waterproof. This is a Bluetooth speaker, but also accepts input via the AUX jack.

The speaker has a rechargeable battery – you may have to charge it before you can use it. The speaker is usually stored in the wicker stand near the peninsula (please put it back there when you are finished). Since this is portable, there is a chance the speaker will have been left somewhere else. This is what it looks like in case you need to look for it. It’s about 6” tall by 10” wide.

denon3

We also have a portable CD player in case you want to listen to some of our CD’s (in the TV room, either in the black wall units or in the drawers under the TV). We keep the CD player in the nest to the speaker, and there is a pink AUX cord there to connect the CD player to the speaker. We have an adapter for the Discman- please plug it in and use an extension cord to run it outdoors.

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Do you provide snorkel gear?

We have a good selection of snorkel gear (masks, fins, snorkels) in the closet in the guest bedroom with the single queen bed. You are welcome to use these during your stay. We would appreciate it if you would rinse and clean them before returning them to storage. We just added five full-face snorkel masks and six snorkel vests (including two child-sized vests) for those of you that are new to snorkeling or have a hard time finding a mask that fits you well (or have beards or mustaches). We recommend you try out the snorkel gear in the pool to be sure you like the fit before heading to the beach.

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What else can I take with me to the beach or on my expeditions?

We have stocked the villa with beach towels, beach chairs, beach umbrellas and rain jackets – these items are in the closet in the guest bedroom with the single queen bed. Please bring them back, so the next guest can use them, too. Do not wash the towels or rain jackets – just let Doxie know which ones you used and she will take care of that. We would appreciate it if you would rinse and clean the chairs and umbrellas, then return them to storage.

Some of our guests like to take food or beverages with them when they hit the beach or go on long days of excursions (the resort restaurants on Anse Chastanet and Anse Mamin, and Sugar Beach are very expensive). So we have stocked items to help make that convenient. We have a small hard plastic Igloo cooler – Doxie keeps it over the washing machine (ask her if it is not there). We also have several larger coolers in the pantry. There are small plastic glasses in the larger coolers. There are two stainless-steel thermoses in the pantry as well (these are wonderful – they hold ice for at least 24 hours even in 90-degree weather!). And there should be several sheets of Techni-Ice (reusable water gel packs) that are kept in the freezer. Please bring everything back so the next guest can use it, too.

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Do you have any books or board games?

There are two bookcases of books in the study area. Please read whatever you like. And if you want to trade (leave one of yours, take one of ours), that’s fine with us, too. There are playing cards and some board games in the TV room.

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Arriving in a foreign country and getting to a private villa can be stressful. How do you make it easy on us?

What address do I use for the villa on the St Lucia immigration form?

When you arrive at the airport in St. Lucia, you have to go through immigration where they will stamp your passport and look at the “St. Lucia Declaration Form” that you have filled out (your airline most likely distributed these on the plane before arrival in St. Lucia) You will have to state on the form where you are staying. For your local address, write in “Anse Chastanet Villa”. For the City/Town/Parish, write in “Soufriere”. And, for the Accommodation type, use “Apt/Villa”. The Immigration Official may ask your villa name – tell them “Villa Grand Piton”. They don’t know us, but they want to hear that you know where you are going.

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Do you provide transportation from the airport to the villa when I arrive?

Yes, we provide complimentary taxi service from the airport to the villa upon your arrival. If you wish to use this service, please let us know at least a week before your arrival and provide your flight information.

If you are using our complimentary taxi service from the airport to the villa, there will be a taxi driver at the airport awaiting your arrival. After you clear customs, exit to your right through the double doors to the arrivals hall, and proceed past the taxi drivers asking if you need a ride to the “Meeting Place” (you’ll see a sign hanging from the ceiling above a waist-high railing). Your taxi driver will be there behind the second railing with a sign that has your names and “Villa Grand Piton” on it. He/she will also wait for you if you wish to stop for groceries and/or liquor (see below for advice on that). If you are planning to rent a car later in your trip, be sure to ask your taxi driver to point out the best places to pull over when passing cars on the Anse Chastanet road (“Driving Directions” for more information).

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What is the travel time from airport to the villa?

Travel time is about 50-60 minutes.

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How do I check in and get the keys?

Doxie, our property manager and housekeeper, will welcome when you arrive. She will show you around and show you how everything operates, and provide you with a map of our closest town (Soufriere). She will also work out with you a schedule for cleaning for your visit. We no longer use keys for the lock to the villa – we have installed a keypad system. We find that this is more convenient – no worrying about losing the keys to the villa when you are at the beach! About a week before your stay, we will email you a code to access the villa during your stay. When you arrive, you will be able to change the code to a shorter one that will be easier to remember. If you forget to bring the code, please call or text us at 1-832-808-3757. We do not provide your code to the staff, although they can let you in the villa if you forget your code.

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I won’t want to cook or find a restaurant for dinner the first night, and my flight might arrive after the grocery stores close. Can you help me?

Don’t worry! We provide an overflowing welcome basket for you with food and beverages. The welcome basket typically contains: one roti (curried vegetables, with or without chicken, wrapped in a flat bread) per person, beer, wine, crackers, cheese, Coke and Sprite, fruit juice, tea, coffee, sugar, milk, bacon, eggs, bread, butter, jam, cereal, and local fruit. Doxie will also have a pitcher of her tasty rum punch for you. The welcome basket has enough food and beverage for a “happy hour” upon arrival, a light dinner, then breakfast the next morning. We accept requests for changes to the contents of the welcome basket and will accommodate those requests if we are able. Do note that the local grocery has a limited selection, so we may not be able to fulfill all of your requests.

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What should I know about for after I arrive?

How do I make phone calls or send/receive texts?

We’ve covered general cell phone issues on the St Lucia FAQ page. The villa has a land line (1-758-457-1263), and there is also a cell phone (1-758-484-2349) for your use while on the island. The cell phone has $100 EC of credit (about $40 US). Doxie can tell you where to “top it off” if you need more. To send and receive texts, just connect your phone to the villa WiFi. We also use “What’s App” a lot – it’s a free app that allows you to send texts, voice messages and pictures using WiFi to anyone that also has What’s App installed on their phone or tablet. You can also use our WiFi to Skype someone.

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Where do I buy groceries and beverages, and how well-stocked are those stores?

The grocery stores in are full supermarkets (not “mini-marts”), but will likely seem limited to you in comparison to the grocery stores in your home neighborhood. They are well stocked with most essentials, but do carry a limited selection (for instance, four flavors of cake mix in two brands, not fourteen flavors and five brands). Eroline’s is the supermarket in our local town of Soufriere. They are open from 8:15AM to 7:00PM on weekdays and Sunday 8:15AM to 1:00PM (do verify these hours with Doxie in case they have changed).

The Massy in La Tourney is much larger and newer than Eroline’s.  You may wish to stop here on your way to the villa from the airport. La Tourney is about 10 minutes from the airport.  You can ask your taxi driver to stop there to shop. If you use our taxi service, there will be a cooler in the taxi to keep your cold groceries cold (the travel time from La Tourney to the villa is about 40-45 minutes). The grocery stores have a limited selection of alcoholic beverages. Uptowns Liquor and Grocery in Vieux Fort has a much better selection. It is about five minutes away from the airport on your way to the villa, or about 50 minutes’ drive if you head there later in the week. There is also a Farmer’s Market in Soufriere on Saturdays. They start setting up early – as early as 6 AM, so try to get there by 8 AM for the best selection. About 10 AM many of the vendors move to the square and sell their goods around the square. If you like fresh spices, this is also a good place to really load up, especially if you want to take some things home.

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How do I get hot water for showers? How good is the water pressure?

The water supply for the villa is rainwater that has been treated and filtered. The roof-mounted solar water heater provides the hot water. Please enjoy your showers or baths, but help us conserve hot water by minimizing the heat-up time for the hot water in the shower. To get the hot water in the master shower, please push the knob straight up, then over to the left (the 9-o’clock position). In 60 seconds you should have hot water. Adjust the temperature by moving the knob to the right towards 3 o’clock. Please note that the water pressure in the shower may be rather low if you do not follow this process. The system also has a limited flow rate and the water pressure , so larger groups may find it best to stagger their showers and not take them all at the same time.

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How do I schedule housekeeping services?

You will meet Doxie, who is our housekeeper and property manager, when you arrive at the villa. If you have particular preferences for cleaning days, this is the right time to tell her. We require that you allow access for housekeeping services at least every three days, or more often if the staff determines you are not keeping the villa clean without their assistance.

Some guests have expressed some unease with Doxie and Paul doing chores while they relax. If you feel the same, keep this in mind: You are on your honeymoon or vacation, and they are at their job – they have their vacation later. If you are staying at a hotel or eating at a restaurant, all the same work is getting done while you relax – you just don’t see them doing it!

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Do I have to put the trash out myself?

Doxie will collect your trash when she cleans. If the two trash containers are full before she arrives to clean, please tell Paul when he comes to clean the pool and he will take your trash away. Extra trash bags are in the pantry. Unfortunately, St Lucia does not yet recycle.

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Where is the fire extinguisher?

Attached to the corner kitchen wall.

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We’d love to eat outdoors and enjoy the scenery. Is there anything I should know about doing that?

One of the best experiences at Villa Grand Piton is enjoying a beverage around the pool or dining at the table in the gazebo while watching the sun set. But we want everyone to avoid injury, so we ask that you use plastic glasses when you are in/near the pool to avoid the chance of broken glass in the pool. We have stemless plastic wine glasses in the cabinet over the kitchen peninsula. And the breeze can be quite brisk and strike suddenly – which can knock tall wine glasses over or whisk light items like napkins away. Please keep that in mind so that glasses do not get broken (and wine wasted!) and to help us keep the lovely landscape free of litter. The stemless plastic wineglasses are light and can get carried away by the breeze, too, when they don’t have much liquid in them.

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What if we have an issue after we arrive?

If something does not meet your expectations at our villa, let our staff know and they will take care of it. If our staff does not address your concern adequately, or if you are uncomfortable telling them about it, let us know. Email us at rentals@villagrandpiton.com; or call/text us at 1-832-808-3757, and we will get back with you to address your concern.

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How do I get additional services such as cooking, shopping, or an on-site massage?

Let Doxie know you want other services when you arrive. Doxie provides cooking services for a modest fee (typically, $25 for two people for dinner if you provide the groceries). For other services, she’ll either tell you how to arrange for those services, or arrange them for you.

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