Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A simple apartment complex amid a thicket of jungle, just five minutes from the beach
As the name implies, Apartment Espoir is not a resort or hotel at all, but in fact an apartment complex. Thus, guests staying at this 11-unit property will find a variety of neighbors -- from tourists staying for a week to near-locals who have been living in their apartments for up to a year or longer. The resulting vibe is less “vacation in paradise” and more “enmeshed in the local flavor,” something that will appeal to some travelers, but might not sit well with others.
Self-sufficient travelers on a tight budget won’t find anything cheaper than Apartment Espoir. That said, they shouldn’t expect much, either. The plot of land on which the apartments sits is certainly ideal, nestled into a thicket of jungle piled high with exotic local plants with funny names like “elephant ears” and “lobster tails” -- but the site itself is poorly maintained. It is not uncommon to find a pile of dog poop on the grounds, or see clotheslines draped with laundry. The uninterrupted views of the Caribbean Sea, however, are peaceful and expansive.
The apartments are simple and small, with tiny bathrooms and basic furnishings -- and the decor leaves much to be desired. Key, though, are the full kitchens, which are well-equipped with even the most obscure tools like a pizza cutter and a potato peeler. The balconies, though small, are also impressive thanks to Espoir’s hilltop location overlooking the beach and jungle below.
While the amenities are scarce, the lush grounds with little benches and gazebos scattered throughout are beautiful. Roughly a five-minute walk down the hill takes guests to a small beach, though it’s surrounded by other resorts, and filled with rocks. The kind folks at neighboring Windjammer Landing are rumored to be quite generous with their lounge chairs, though, happily sharing their pristine expanse of beach with Espoir residents.
On the northern side of the island, along a dirt road just off the main highway -- about five minutes from the closest beach
Apartment Espoir is located in Marisule, between the East Winds Inn and the Windjammer Landing Resort, on a gentle sloping hillside. It's about a five-minute walk to the beach called Labrelotte Bay, a 10-minute walk to the main road and shops, and a five-minute drive from the Rodney Bay Shopping Mall and the Marina Yacht Harbour (where 90 percent of the night life in St. Lucia can be found) and Gros Islet (where the Friday night street party is held).
Apartment Espoir’s 11 apartments range from studios to two-bedroom units, each featuring its own small patio and full kitchen. There is also a freestanding plantation-style cottage with a footbridge connecting it to the pool available. The bathrooms are tiny and feature old, oddly colored tile, the TVs are old tubes, and the rest of furnishings are dated. Guests willing to think of their room as an actual apartment, rather than a holiday retreat, have the right frame of mind. Bring your own toiletries, plan for meals at home, and expect to be almost completely self-sufficient -- which is easy to do thanks to the full kitchens. That said, a few services offer minimal pampering: Towels are changed twice weekly, bed sheets are changed weekly, and housekeeping services come two times a week.
Very few amenities at this small apartment complex
Apartment Espoir is a budget inn -- basically a simple apartment complex with 11 minimal studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units, each featuring its own private balcony and full kitchen. A small pool, a laundry room, and a barbecue grill are the only amenities available; however, no other property on St. Lucia even comes close to matching these low rates. And guests can walk about five minutes to get to larger nearby resorts, like Windjammer Landing, to take advantage of the amenities there. For self-sufficient, undemanding travelers with tight purse strings, nothing compares.