Mago Estate Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Mareiro Hotel Fortaleza
Mago Estates is the perfect place!!
Mago is a very special place and we highly recommend it. We read the reviews and booked a last minute trip. We really didn''t know what to expect, and we were ready to take an adventure. When we arrived the staff was very friendly and extremely helpful. They led us to our room that was breathtaking with one wall completely open to an amazing view of the Pitons. The hotel is built into the mountain and the rooms are surrounded by plants and trees. We didn't have any problem with mosquitos but there were nets if we needed them. The rooms are not air conditioned, which was what we were looking for so we were able to hear the sounds of the night. The chef made us wonderful island food and our server, Venus, was great. They have a new pool deck that is about 6 weeks old and allows you to lounge by the pool while overlooking the town and the Pitons. They are adding more rooms and renovating their kitchen. We walked to the town a couple of times and found some nice places to visit. The beach is not that great and recommend taking a boat or taxi to one of the others, which is easy. Negogiate your price before or have the hotel help you. Mago is the perfect place. Enjoy, I know we did.
Mago means "magician" in Spanish. The perfect place for a magical, unique atmosphere! We had our honeymoon here and two thumps up for architectural design: each space is cozy, rustic and secluded.
The view is breathtaking too. In short if you are looking for a romantic place to stay this is definitely the place to go.
P.S. to the owner: I'm from Spain and really enjoyed the "Ibizan" taste in Mago. I'm sure your house Ibiza is as special as this one.
Thanks for a great wedding
For us Mago Estate will forever remain a cherished and nostalgic place for this is where we got married. The hotel itself holds a raw beauty that compliments the surrounding area. Our suite (Kabir) was beautiful and private-perfect for that romantic getaway. But above all the thing that will most be remembered and appreciated is the kind and hard working staff here who did their utmost to accommodate and satisfy us.
Nigel was wonderful, Karan, so friendly, helpful and sincere. Special thanks to Kendal - a super P.R. person and Jemma who picked beautiful seashells from the beach we were married at, and Wendy for the gorgeous smile all day-everyday. Thank you all for making this stay truly special.
Tom and Joanna Burke, New Mexico
Eaten alive and NO AC
My husband and I were looking forward to 4 days of quite, and relaxing vacation. The trip from airport to hotel was 90 mins. of hell. The taxi had no air conditioning and I think the brake was going out.
The hotel was not as it is indicated on the website. All the rooms were very small with NO AC!!! There were bugs everywhere!! On the website you can see the ocean and there is a picture of sandy beach. We hike down in the dark for 15 mins. to another hotel to find the beach. No sand just rocks.
We spent 1 night at the hotel and decided to leave the hotel and the island. I had 42 bites on my arms just from sleeping (or not sleeping..since it was so hot) 5 hours.
We spoke with the manager on the way out and expressed our concerns. He said he will straight out our account....as of this time, no reply to my email to credit my credit card. DO NOT STAY HERE!!!
So much potential
I booked a last minute room here for 2 nights as i was staying in Barbados and had a couple of days before my friend joined me - it was my first trip to St. Lucia. Friends in Barbados had recommended several other hotels but they were all booked. A driver picked me up from the airport who was the receptionist's brother and very friendly. He offered to show me around the following day.
When I arrived after a one hour journey, I was dropped off at 'Reception' where the girl behind the desk gave me a room key and pointed in the direction of where the room was. I was given no welcome or any information about the hotel, mealtimes, facilities etc.
I cheered up a bit when a friendly chap showed me to my room, 'Brutus' and said it was one of their best rooms. The views indeed were lovely, over the bay at Soufriere and the Pitons. I did feel a bit exposed as both sets of shutters were open in the room and anyone walking past the pool could look straight in. There was no a/c but the room had been quite cheap so I couldn't complain and an effort had been made with flower petals strewn on the bed and around the room. There was a fridge but it was empty (although I understand some rooms had water / wine in the fridge).
The bathroom was tiny with ants in the shower - it was certainly a culture shock after Barbados and I must admit I felt like checking straight out again. Happily, after meeting some other ladies in the bar who knew exactly how I was feeling, I felt better - dinner was not bad and the local waiters were charming. More than can be said for the (German) owner, who does not have a clue about customer service, is less than respectful to his staff and just seems very keen that everyone knows he is the boss.
The dining, lounge and bar areas are charming, again with lovely views, and very rustic. By the time I left, this place had grown on me. I'm not sure I would stay there again unless it changes ownership and the pool area has been extended (currently small, refreshing pool but nowhere to sit - they are currently putting in some decking). Late in the day I discovered a terrace on the roof of my room - I'm still not sure if it was a private terrace or for general use.
I would also recommend an air-conditioned room as it was very humid, particularly with the heavy nets round the bed, and extremely noisy at night (I am a nature lover but it sounded like the frogs, birds etc. were in bed with me! This was not helped by the fact that the shutters could not be closed properly as the hinges were broken).
To sum up, plus points:
Good location for Soufriere (10 minute walk)
Friendly staff (except receptionist who possibly is being worked too hard but even so should make an effort to be friendly)
Not made to feel welcome on arrival
The whole place could do with a good clean!
Apart from a list of sightseeing trips/prices in the room (which seems to be out of date), no other info. provided regarding bar/restaurant times etc.
Nowhere to sit by the pool
Lots of bugs around (I realise this goes with the location but don't expect me to like them!)
Beach at Soufriere not good - best to get a cab to the Hilton or Chase Astenet
The Mago was picture perfect
We stayed at the Mago the first week of November and loved the hotel. If you are looking for the typical "cocoon" resort, packed with people and activities, want to sit at a crowded pool or restaurant, take a shuttle everywhere you go, this is not for you.
Saint Lucia is by and large, a poor country, with high unemployment. Almost every store, shop, business seemed to be staffed and run by women. We found everyone to be very friendly throughout the island. It is completely safe in town, I don't think we saw any police the entire trip.
Although there is a resurfacing project ongoing now, the roads are terrible. If you get off the main highway on the island, you are traveling on little more than a goat path. A trip of 3-4 miles off the main road can take 30 minutes.
The Mago is a small hotel, 6 rooms and 4 new suites. The hotel is built into the mountain, the back wall of several areas is the rock itself. It is perched above the village of Soufriere, overlooking the sea and the Pitons. The views from the Mago are stunning and change completely from the pool, restaurant and rooms. The hotel is peaceful and slow. The restaurant, lobby, bar and rooms are all open air. The staff was very helpful and friendly. Airport transfers were complimentary, they arranged a car rental for us at a good price. The food was simple, but good, there were usually just 2 or 3 choices of entree's.
We stayed in Brutus, and thought is was the nicest of the rooms we saw. The dogs and roosters did make noise, there was music from town late into the night a few times, but we didn't really notice it after the first day. We had no problem at all with insects, we did not use the netting at all.
The walk to town is about 15 minutes and tiring. We did it 3 times the first day. We went to church in Soufriere, mass was given in part English, part Creole. Everyone was dressed up and happy to see visitors.
Skip the tour guides and taxi's, you'll spend a lot of money, be on their schedule and see only the "vanilla" places they can easily reach. We did it one day and felt we were ripped off. Also, expect to be constantly hit up for money or change by men in town. Change your currency to EC the first chance you get.
Rent an SUV, (Ben's West Cost Auto, Soufriere) there is a lot to see on the island. The botanical garden & mineral bath was nice, we spent about $60 between taxi, tour and tip; but another mile up the road is Toraille Falls, just as nice and cost $5 for both of us. We enjoyed the Fond Doux Plantation tour, a great place for lunch, but we were too early. The Piton falls (hot water) was refreshing and about an hour in and out. The rasta plantations are just off the main highway between Toraille and Ladera/Jalousie/Stonefield.
We snorkeled at the Soufriere beach, Anse Chastanet, Jalousie and Ti Kaye. Ti Kaye was the best, the others were all good, in Soufriere you will have to go out about half a mile along the cliff. The beaches at Ti Kaye and Anse Chastanet were the best we visited, Marigot Bay was small and crowded, the Hilton was the same (lunch was $45 for 2, sandwich & soda). The market at Castries was typical tourist stuff and mobbed (cruise ships).
The rain forest is about 7-8 miles from the Mago, it took over an hour to drive, the road is one lane and treacherous, but it was fun. Marge had to move a cow off the road. I got out a few times just to see where I could drive, pot holes as big as the car. Go early in the day.
We ate at the Hummingbird twice and at Camilla's in town, both were good and very reasonable. We were out early every day, some of the best places we visited (Ti Kaye, Toraille, Fond Doux) we found by accident on our way somewhere else. It is a beautiful island, Soufriere is away from all the tourist hotels in the north. We visited several other resorts, we liked the Mago & Soufriere, Ti Kaye is the only other we would consider.
Regret That It Wasn't What It Could Have Been
My new husband and I (we were supposed to get married at Mago but ended up at another hotel on St. Lucia because Mago was so bad) were charmed by the website, but the hotel did not live up to what it could be. Previous negative reviews were correct, in our experience. Below is a letter I sent to the owner--who lives in Spain, which could explain some of the problems--there has been no response. I neglected to add that I should have noticed something was amiss when communication with the hotel via e-mail, fax, and telephone was spotty at best, including in trying to arrange transfer from the airport.
It is with some frustration that I learned of your/Mago Estate's unwillingness to refund even a portion of what we had paid toward our recent vacation at Mago. While I appreciate the offer conveyed to us by Ian to charge us only 50 percent of a future stay, our employment with the U.S. Department of State makes trip-planning currently impossible.
We had been looking very much forward to vacationing at Mago and were chagrined to leave it, but staying and getting married there were, unfortunately, increasingly displeasurable. Let's start with our arrival. I'm sure Ian told you that, while we had booked a suite with Stephan, that paperwork had gotten lost. We were therefore shown to a room instead. Ian was kind enough to try to sort things out. He put us in one of the suites and gave us the option to move to what we felt was a nicer one the next morning when the occupants checked out. Whether that suite was nicer, we'll not know because we got so fed up with the one we were in. Little things add up.
First, no one helped us with our bags. After a long flight and transfer to the hotel, we were left to drag our things down the hill by ourselves. On the way down and while we looked around the property, we were confronted with the unappealing sights of stored tables and chairs, piles of what appeared to be construction debris, randomly connected air conditioners, and unfilled plunge pools. The effect was untidy and unwelcoming. Indeed, perhaps the hotel is being remodeled or finished--something I don't believe the website mentions--because Ian informed us that some of the suites were not yet ready and that the pool deck was yet to be built. More on the pool in a moment.
The suite itself was beautifully decorated, the bed was comfortable, and the bathrobes were a nice touch, but there were problems. The musty, moldy air was overpowering, and the air conditioner only made things worse. It was certainly not blowing cool air, and it smelled bad. The woodwork on the vanity in the bathroom was coming apart, the ceramic dispensers were visibly broken, and, while there was a shower head, there was no perceivable way to get the water to come out of it rather than the faucet. Sleeping and personal hygiene were difficult. I can't remember if the website lists a minibar, but we had an empty, unplugged refrigerator and coffee items but no pot. Dinner was less than memorable, but we were very tired at that point.
While the pool looked lovely, there is only room for the two deck chairs next to it. This makes it impossible for more than two people to spend the day lounging there without taking something away from other guests. This would seem to have called for a mention on the website. None of the rooftop areas which could pass for sundecks if they had some furniture, plants, and umbrellas were in the least inviting. The website mentions a spa, but I have no idea whether there was one or not. Ian didn't mention it, and I forgot to ask.
The wedding seemed to become more difficult as things came to light. First, we were informed of some kind of price increase mandated by St. Lucia. OK, these things happen. Then it became clear that no photographer had been booked--despite your assurance that everything was being handled. After we'd changed hotels, our new hotel reached the lawyer who had supposedly worked on our marriage documents and discovered that nothing, in fact, had been done at all. So, while I understand from Ian that Mago had taken steps on our behalf, I'm not really sure what those could have been. Finally, I was at a loss to see where wedding pictures could be taken in the first place because of the highly vertical nature of the property.
In sum, we were deeply disappointed. Ian appeared to have done what he could, but the lack of an owner's personal touch and caring was evident. I sincerely hope that our experiences were an anomaly and hope you might alter your decision on the reimbursement. We did not cancel at the last minute; we came and were unhappy with things that couldn't be fixed.
I hope other guests have a much more pleasant stay.
PERFECT HONEYMOON GETAWAY
WOW..... What a very unique hotel!! We stayed there for our honeymoon August 11-18. We stayed in "Brutus" - a very comfortable room with a fantastic view of the beach and the Pitons... you can just lay in bed and be mesmerized by the spectacular view that is forever changing because of the sunlight. I am the type of person that needs air conditioning... This room did not have it and we did not even need it in the middle of August!!... We both were VERY comfortable and happy to be nestled in this the cool Rain Forest Resort.
The food was great with a changing menu every night. The staff was excellent... Margaret, the cook, went to town everyday to buy the freshest fish and it is served that same night.... exceptionally delicious!!
There is a lot to do in Soufriere... Karen at reception was excellent in organizing our daily activities from mountain biking to water taxis to snorkelling to deep sea fishing to Volcano tours and rain forest treks....one week was not long enough!!!
The hotel gave us complimentary transportation to the beach and Soufriere everyday and even drooped us off in Castries one day to go shopping at no extra charge (the staff was going to get supplies that day). This type of service made the hotel and our stay even more enjoyable.
Sourfriere is interesting little village... 95% of the people are great but be aware of the 3 to 4 people who constantly hassle you for $$ and trying to take you on tours.
We would highly recommend Mago Estate Hotel as it is the best all around value in Soufriere.... a very romantic getaway.. we have made reservations to come back next year!!
this is a realy lovely place with a wonderful view to soufriere and the pitons. everyone is so friendly and the new manager Ian made my stay EXTRA SPECIAL!!!!
Mago is not what they claim to be
We were initially attracted to Mago Estate because it claimed to be the small exclusive luxury hotel in the St. Lucia - on the contrary, the first day we arrived, we could not wait to leave the place - unfortunately, both Lader and Anse Chastanet were fully booked - we finally got lucky the 5th night at Ladera. This place is not what they claim to be, the prices of the room should be much cheaper than it is - the service (not the local people that worked there) of the management team (recent changes, and awful) was awful. The first night we got there our reserved room was taken by one of the managaement team members, and we were upgraded (another story here) but lied about the fact. We heard later, that we werent the only ones, people check in and prople swiftly checkout.
I could go on and on about the towels and the bed linens, the shower, the continental breakfast - the only saving grace was the local people that worked there, the simple but tasty dinners. In the future, if this property could be managed by a team that saw it's potential - perhaps it could be a different story - till then in and around the old fishing village, there is Ladera and Anse Chastanet more expensive but worth it for it's service and quality.
TripAdvisor Reviews Mareiro Hotel Fortaleza
Travel Blogs from Soufrière
... Inside is a beautiful garden with a sign that this estate used to belong to the family of the wife of Napoleon. It is still owned and run by a French family as a relic of another era. The waterfall itself is a sudden reminder of the dark side of this beautiful location: although it doesn't look like it, hidden in the jungle is an active volcano... a volcano that could wipe out this town someday. In fact, this stream is constantly spewing out minerals from ...
... rings I decided not to rush such a marvelous decision and instead choose a ring of blue topaz, my birth stone, to mark the occasion. The deep blue of the stone reminds us both of the majestic ocean we have been cruising all summer and we agree that nothing could be more perfectly significant.
Saint Lucia had more parting gifts for us as we spent the last days on island watching its fantastic sunsets and off shore thunder storms resulting in brilliant ...
... volcano.” On the way, I passed signs for various sites, so I stopped at those.
The first was Pink Plantation, which houses a fancy-looking restaurant and Wild Orchid art. The plantation house itself was very interesting and had nice gardens. The art at Wild Orchid was so beautiful I even bought a plate. I think if I had a home, I would have bought more and asked them to ship, but I didn't and didn't have room in my luggage.
The next ...
... us into the part of the studio where the carving actually takes place. There was a carver working on a relief when we entered. Our guide told us all about the different types of wood that are used, one of which is extinct (I don't think I completely understood how that works).
After watching the carver for a few minutes, we walked across the drive to a small display area/bar. We looked at several pieces there and bought some bottled ...
... just manage to miss the ferry. We ask how often the ferry runs, and get a very surly non-reply from a black attendant.
It is pretty obvious that the ferries cycle quickly, so we take a punt on the next one, cross to the UNESCO listed town, and do a quick tour. Apart from the facade along the channel, the town is pretty ordinary, nothing like, for example, a mediaeval European town.
After a quick sprint, we manage to catch a ferry just ...