What is a villa?
Here in St. Lucia we use the term villa to describe a large single family home, normally with landscaped gardens and quality amenities and some level of domestic staffing. Very different from the definition in Australia where a Villa is something much more modest! The term Villa actually originated in Roman times to indicate an upscale country house, in modern times however Villa has come to mean several different things from St. Lucia villa vacations to luxury villa real estate.
The term Villa is also used as an umbrella to group together different types of vacation homes available for rental. These vacation homes include apartments and condos, town houses and standalone properties that share the common theme of providing an aspect of luxury above that of normal accommodation. This may be reflected in the location of the villa, the quality of fixtures and fittings or the presence of staff dedicated to helping you get the most from your villa rental. Blue Sky Luxury appreciate the needs of each individual and are committed to providing the perfect St. Lucia villa vacation to suit you.
Choosing a vacation villa rental can be quite a daunting proposition and so at Blue Sky Luxury we have chosen to segment our vacation rental villas to help you find the right style of accommodation. You can find some more information about how we categorize our St. Lucia villa rental properties below.
Search for your St. Lucia villa rental today!
Your Style – What Does it Mean?
Our classification of properties into four ‘Styles’ is intended to quickly and easily provide a sense of the type of quality of the accommodation to help you choose the right type of holiday home – a bit like the star system used by hotels. Whatever your preference, our wide ranging assessment of each of our homes will help to ensure you find the perfect holiday villa or apartment to match ‘Your Style’.
- Flagship: these represent top quality in every respect. They tick all the boxes -superb location, superior quality accommodation, luxury furnishings and professional coordinated styling with an extensive array of amenities. In addition they are spacious and provide a high level of privacy and offer additional features such as a gym, tennis court or home cinema/high tech media room. They are further defined by the exceptionally high levels of hospitality offered by the dedicated and professional team of staff -usually comprising a chef, butler and housekeeping staff as a minimum. They are supported by ground staff and security to give a total experience of superior care.
- Luxury: these homes are upscale and offer high levels of comfort with a degree -or more- of extravagance! The accommodation and furnishings are refined and stylish reflecting an enhanced level of quality throughout. This is complemented by an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail. This level of quality accommodation is typically matched by well tended grounds.
- Classic: these properties are furnished to a high standard of comfort and typically offer more space and privacy than other properties with the same number of rooms. Furnishings and styling tend to reflect traditional Caribbean influences. They offer hospitality and service in keeping with the scale of the property.
- Essential: the defining characteristics of these holiday homes are that they offer comfortable, clean and pleasant accommodation in excellent locations. They appeal to the more value conscious traveler or family looking for a relaxed and casual home away from home. Maid service is provided at least once a week in these properties -sometimes more.
In addition to the Minimum Standards listed below all our homes are assessed against 230 specific quality criteria and are rated on 24 quantitative criteria in order to determine the ‘Style’ classification.
Note; all properties are either managed Blue Sky Luxury or by an approved Property Management company.
- Plunge Pool/Swimming Pool/ Beach Front
- Air conditioning and Ceiling fans/Standing fans in all bedrooms
- Maid Service -minimum once a week
- Equipped for full occupancy with matching linens, beach and bath towels, crockery and cutlery
- Telephone and Wireless Internet
- Television with cable/international channels
- Hair dryers in each bathroom
- Parking space for at least one car
- Fire extinguishers and Smoke detectors
- Security safe -at least one
- Side tables and side lamps in all bedrooms
- Minimum 2 pillows per guest for maximum occupancy
- Washer and Dryer/Laundry Facilities
- Toilet paper and bath soap provided
As a part of the whole Villa Holiday experience, staff are provided at all of our holiday homes – from a weekly maid service at some of our Essential apartments and smaller homes to a fully staffed household of butler, chef, housekeeper and maid at our Flagship villas. In addition, there are also staff providing pool maintenance and gardening services who may be on property during your stay from time to time.
As you might have noticed if you have read some of our Guest Reviews our staff are often mentioned as one of the highlights of the holiday. Details of the staffing and hours worked by the staff at your rental property can be found on the specific web page of your holiday home and we recommend you familiarize yourself with this information. If you have any further questions please feel free to ask your Reservations or Concierge Specialist.
Staff are provided at all of our holiday homes – from a weekly maid service at some of our Essential apartments and smaller homes to a fully staffed household of butler, chef, housekeeper and maid at our Flagship villas. In addition, there are also staff providing pool maintenance and gardening services who may be on property during your stay from time to time.
Specific details of the staffing for your holiday home are provided on the property web page. If you require additional staffing please let our Reservations or Concierge team know so we can advise you of the options and the cost.
Hours of work
These vary according to the size and style of the property.
- Most Housekeeping – Staff work from 9:00 to 17:00 but this may vary from house to house.
- Maid Service Only – This is usually a 4 hour shift to change linens and towels and undertake some minor cleaning tasks. Timing will be advised by your Property Manager and duration will depend on the size of the property.
- Cook – Breakfast and Lunch 9:00 to 17:00 may also include some preparation of dinner items if you are dining in.
- Cook – Lunch and Dinner 12:00 to 20:00
- Cook – If breakfast and dinner are being catered the cook will work from 9:00 to 14:00 and from 17:00 to 20:00
- Chef – Depending on the meals required hours are typically 9:00 to 14:00 and 17:00 to 20:00
We recommend you discuss your plans for meals with the house staff so they can make the necessary arrangements to facilitate your plans.
Overtime – Can be arranged in many cases but please note this will be charged to your account at an additional cost. In some cases (usually after 20:00) you may also be required to pay for transport home as public transport is not very frequent in the later part of the evening and some of our properties are a little ‘off the beaten track’. Staff will endeavor to fit their breaks for meals around your own plans.
Grocery Shopping – Some House staff will shop for you if required although some guests prefer to shop for themselves and enjoy visiting both our Supermarkets and Farmers markets -transport costs may need to be covered if the staff are required to do this. Our Concierge team can also arrange for groceries, wine or other supplies to be delivered to your holiday home in time for your arrival and during your stay.
Entertaining Additional Guests – Staff are provided to accommodate and cater for the maximum number of guests permitted at the property. If you plan to entertain additional visitors be advised that numbers are limited to 50% of the maximum occupancy -for example, if your holiday home sleeps four, the maximum party size that can be accommodated/catered will be six. Any additional guests or catering requirements are subject to the approval of the Owner or Property Manager and additional charges may apply.
Your Property Manager or Guest Relations Representative will inform you of the staff and working hours at your holiday home on your arrival. Please remember that these vary from house to house so if you have previously stayed at another Blue Sky Property the staffing may not necessarily be the same. Below is an outline of the tasks and responsibilities typically undertaken by the staff who work in our villas and apartments.
- Housekeeper – Prepares the home for your arrival and manages the cleaning during your stay. Some housekeepers will launder the towels and linens as well as guest laundry (where this service is offered -but not undergarments). A Housekeeper will also oversee any junior staff -such as in a larger household- and in some cases they may assist with table setting, serving a meal or drinks and help tidy up the kitchen when a cook or chef is provided.
- Maid – Prepares and sets up the property for your arrival. Makes the beds and replaces linens and towels and may also undertake laundry duties -but do not launder guests personal effects.
- Laundress – Strips beds, removes towels, sorts and launders these items. Irons, folds and stores all soft furnishing items.
- Cook – Prepares basic, tasty island cuisine using local ingredients and will develop a menu for each day of your stay in consultation with your preferences. They will recommend a list of items required to prepare the meals -items can be ordered through Concierge, bought by the staff or Butler (if this service is offered at your property) or self-purchased.
- Chef – Prepares a variety of international dishes and will develop a menu for each day of your stay in consultation with your preferences. They will recommend a list of items required to prepare the meals -items can be ordered through Concierge, bought by the staff or Butler (if this service is offered at your property) or self-purchased. A chef has received formal training through a recognized culinary institute.
- Butler – In charge of the household staff. Our Butlers will meet with you to ensure your requests can be accommodated and implemented by the household team. They will take responsibility for ordering or purchasing food and beverages including wines and liquors for the household as per guest requests. They oversee the serving of meals and refreshments and are responsible for liaising with the guest in respect of billing for the household purchases during the stay.
Note that in some homes a staff member may perform a combination of roles.
Knowing who and how much to tip can be a difficult thing to determine. We think that while tipping is meant to be a sign of appreciation for a particular service, it should be given against a background of having received appropriate and respectful treatment. There is no service charge added to accommodation costs and a gratuity is completely at your discretion but is always greatly appreciated. If you would like some specific recommendations please ask your Property Manager or Guest Services Representative.
Suggested Tipping Amounts
Your Property Manager or Guest Relations Specialist will ensure the correct amounts are distributed in accordance with your wishes.
Travel to St. Lucia
We know you’re excited about your trip to St. Lucia, but make sure you have all of the items on the checklist below and you familiarize yourself with a few key things before a couple weeks before you come. After all, you don’t want any surprises after you arrive!
Travel Documents – Passport
Every person entering St. Lucia by air or by sea (including our friends from North America) must be in possession of a valid passport. It is mandatory that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled departure date. It is helpful to also have a separate photo identification card which may be occasionally required for use while on island enabling you to leave your passport in the security safe at your property.
Travel Documents – Visas
Traveling from certain countries to St. Lucia require a visa so we do recommend that you check online and/ or ask your booking agent when planning a trip to St. Lucia. UK, Canadian and American passport holders do not need visas to enter St. Lucia for visits up to 6 months. Under normal conditions a granted stay of 28 days is given on arrival. If you wish to extend your stay over this period you must seek permission from the Immigration authorities as remaining in St. Lucia beyond what is stamped in your passport is against the law. You are also not permitted to accept any form of employment without seeking a work permit. For more visa information you may visit Visa HQ Passport and Visa Services
St. Lucia’s electricity is 220 – 240 Volts on 60 cycles. The electrical sockets are “Type G” British BS – 1363. 110 – 120 Volt electronics, hair dryers, curling irons etc. which are used in Canada and the United States for example, require a plug adapter and step-down transformer. Adapters and converters will usually be provided or can be made available on request.
When traveling to St. Lucia, try to pack appliances that allow for dual voltages or call ahead to where you will be staying to learn the specifics concerning electricity. Hotels may have some small appliances available for use by their guests.
The sockets are suitable for:
- 3 Rectangular prong
Official currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar (ECD or EC$) which is fixed to the US dollar. Travelers checks and major credit cards are welcome everywhere. All stores will accept US cash as payment but your change will usually be given back to you in ECD.
Most St. Lucian businesses, hotels & restaurants encourage and accept major credit cards. The most widely accepted ones are Visa, AmEx, Master Card, Diners Club, En Route, Eurocard, and Barclaycard. Banks have ATMs/ABMs that will accept major credit cards and dispense local currency based on the current exchange rate. Traveler’s cheques in U.S., U.K. and Canadian funds are also cashable at many retail outlets. However you should note that some of the smaller business establishments operate on a cash only basis so it’s best to have some local cash or USD on you as you explore the Island.
Drivers License and Permit
All authorized rental car companies can issue you a local driver’s permit with the presentation of your valid license. You are required to have one if you will be operating a vehicle while on the island – even if you currently posses an International license. The cost for a visitor permit is US$20.00. You can obtain a permit from the airport, most major car rental agencies and the local police station.
St. Lucia Customs and Duty Free Allowances
The duty free allowance is as follows:
200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 2kg tobacco, 40 fl oz of wine or spirits, gifts and souvenirs up to value EC$270.00
Restricted or Prohibited Items
Please note the importation and wearing of camouflage clothing is prohibited in St. Lucia. Visitors should leave such items at home to avoid confiscation.
The importation of certain articles are restricted or prohibited in order to protect the community and to maintain and protect animal and plant life. Prohibited articles such as weapons of war, illegal drugs and pornography will be seized and persons may face penalties or prosecution. Restricted items may be released after inspection by the appropriate agency or detained until conditions of the restrictions are met. Receipts are issued for all articles detained by customs. Among the restricted items are:
Fruits and Vegetables. All fruits, vegetables, plants, cuttings, seeds or unprocessed plant products must be declared to customs and presented for inspection by a Plant Quarantine Officer. Fresh fruits from certain countries are prohibited in order to prevent the spreading of pest and plant diseases.
BRITAIN – Duty Free Allowances for Returning British Citizens
Each returning resident over 17 years of age may take back:
- 1 liter of alcohol
- 60cc of perfumes
- Up to £145 worth of other goods
CANADA – Duty Free Allowances for Returning Canadian Citizens
Persons whose stay is in excess of 48 hours can claim up to $400 CAN. per trip.
Persons whose stay is in excess of 7 days or more can claim up to $750 CAN. per trip.
Each returning Canadian resident may take back:
- 1.4 liters of alcoholic beverages OR 1.5 liters of wine
- 24 12-oz cans/bottles of beer
Minimum age for alcoholic beverages vary with port of entry.
No duty or GST is charged on purchases under $300. GST charge on entire total purchases. Duty varies on alcoholic beverages.
Gifts: Persons while abroad may mail casual gifts (except alcoholic beverages) free of duty and taxes, to friends and relatives in Canada, providing the value of the gift does not exceed CAN$40.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Duty Free Allowances for Returning American Citizens
Each returning citizen whose stay is in excess of 48 hours may on his return, take back, free of duty, articles totaling up to US$400 (based on the retail value of the items in the country of purchase).
Duty on purchases in excess of the US$400 exemption is 10% on the next US$1000, and thereafter at the rate duty applicable.
Duty free liquor is allowed at one liter per person for persons over the age of 21.
Gifts: In addition to the US$400 exemption, each person can mail back gifts valued at $50 each to friends and relatives back home, provided the addressee does not receive more than one gift parcel a day. No declaration is required, and no tax is levied.
Vaccinations and Vaccines
There are no specific vaccinations required for visitors traveling to St. Lucia, however it is always best to be up to date with your immunizations. Your personal physician may recommend preventative measures for general travel such as a Hep A or Hep B vaccination. Please do note that it you are traveling to St. Lucia from an area known to be infected with Yellow Fever you are required to produce a vaccination certificate.
How the Rental Process Works
So you have decided that you want to enjoy all the benefits of renting a holiday home in St. Lucia. Here is a step by step walk through on how to proceed.
- Browse BlueSkyLuxury.com and identify a shortlist of rental properties that fit your requirements. The search tools will help narrow your choices based on criteria ranging from Your Style (guiding to Quality) to Wow Factors (things that make the properties stand out). You can of course also search by criteria like number of bedrooms or dates -the practical considerations! Once you have shortlist or a particular villa in mind use the “Enquire Now” button on any property to submit a request online. If you prefer you can use our toll free number to speak to one of our Holiday Home Experts who will happily guide you through the selection process.
- Once we receive your inquiry, one of our Holiday Home Experts will check on the availability for your dates and properties feed these back to you and discuss further which option would be best for your needs. This is where the knowledge of properties the Experts possess really helps ensure you can make informed decisions and get the rental property that suits all of your needs.
- Having selected your property, your Expert will issue you with the rental documentation which includes details of the deposit we need to secure your booking for your dates.
- As your travel date approaches a Concierge representative will be in contact to look after any additional needs you may have while on island. Our Concierge team will assist you in arranging everything from airport transfers, car rentals and provisioning to more exotic requests. Even live peacocks have failed to stump the team!
- Once you arrive, depending on your chosen method of transport from the airport, you will make your way to the property, collect your keys, take a quick tour your holiday home and begin your amazing holiday. The property manager or Guest Relations representative will be in contact to arrange a visit, where you can fine tune further arrangements and ask any further questions or seek assistance in booking restaurants or excursions.