We stayed here in January 2013. This was our first visit to Bequia. If you have looked at the other 6 reviews here, you may notice that they all absolutely glow with praise and 100% perfection. Realistic? You judge.
Bequia is a small (only 7 square miles) beautiful and relatively inexpensive very quiet island in the Grenadines. Access is by plane or a one hour ferry ride in usually very rough conditions. Many people we met had come for long visits of several months. Spring is the residential area of the island, for the generally white and better off islanders. The black people we saw here were gardeners and cleaners. Houses are well spaced, the roads are narrow. It is very steep.
I found it hard to walk down the hill, without holding my husband's hand, not beause of any fitness issues, but simply because it was so very steep that I could not look down. I preferred climbing up. The walk down includes a straighter steep stretch, and 4 hairpin bends. Uphill from the cottage is also steep.
The temps. werre 25 degrees C at night, 29-32 during the day. We used the Bequia open truck taxi's, and found them less expensive than hiring a car. ($30 EC to Port Elizabeth) The tradewinds are very blustery, sometimes more a gale here, and we met several people who said they would stay on the less windy side by choice.
Lime Cottage was our home for one month. The cottage is pleasant and reasonably well furnished. The paintwork was fresh and clean, both inside and out, and both bathrooms were clean and partially tiled with good quality fixtures. The kitchen was well equipped and appeared clean. There was a large refrigerator and small microwave oven, and a full gas stove. The TV was tiny, but little needed in this beautiful place.
We were advised not to drink the tap water without boiling it first. Once we were provided with a clean kettle (the one in the cottage when we arrived was extremely rusty and stained) we did this.
The 2 bedrooms would be suitable for a family with 2 children. The queen room was small but adequate, though I found the bed extremely firm. Jo gave me an old lounger pad to put on the bed, which helped. The ensuite bathroom (only liquid soap provided) had a door, but the wall stopped well short of the ceiling, so every bathroom sound was very audible in the bedroom, which was disurbing at night. The twin room had an ensuite bath which was doorless. Clothes storage spaces were OK, but not very large. An excellent and large safe was provided. Patio doors on 2 walls gave plenty of light but could not be locked, but this was not a problem. There were screens at all windows and doors, but the door screens had gaps around their edges, where some insects could gain access in the evenings. All floors were in good tiled condition. There was a washing machine available to me in a small storage room under the cottage, and a short washing line. (which broke)
Outside the veranda was mostly shady wide and comfortable, with a small glimpse of the ocean. The cottage is close to the pool and behind the main house where Jo and Allan live. The studio is along a short path from the cottage. The surrounding gardens were well kept and attractive, but not large, with very little space for strolling. The main house and apartment, and studio all have excellent ocean views. The cottage used to before trees around the pool grew up.
We enjoyed the pool. Deep enough to swim, but not out of our depth, and large enough to be able to swim around in, it felt slightly cooler than the warm ocean. We never had to share it during our late afternoon swims, and it was not given a lot of use by other guests during our stay.
Jo, a pleasant English lady, was initially welcoming, and we met Allan, originally from St. Vincent, but many years abroad, after a few days. He told us he was once in the armed forces, and was clearly a person used to being in charge of things. To begin with, Jo and or Allan would drop by each day to see if we were settling in OK, The maid service, Jo told us, would be twice a week unless we wished to change it. That was fine, and the maid did a reasonable job when she came, which then turned out to be every 4 days, except that she did not work on weekends, so it was often 6 days- no problem, but we would have like to be told this in the first place!
Unfortunately, as the title suggests, we did experience several problems with the cottage, all of which could have been avoided, if Jo and Allan had only checked up on the place before we arrived! Although they both tried to be friendly and accommodating towards us, they appeared to lack the understanding that goes along with how to treat paying guests. Allan had told us early on that the cottage and studio were built for their visiting friends to stay in, and it was later that they decided to rent them out, when "friends" they had never met visited. It was strange to us however, to feel rather second rate, when they told us that friends would be invited over for a meal, and taken out to dinner. Of course, we did not expect this treatment, but why tell us? Second rate and paying- a very confused situation.
The problems, some of which we tried to laugh over, some not so much, were as follows: hot water. None in the cottage for our first week.
We asked Allan about this our first full day there. First he said it should be hot and there was a problem, then he checked it in the afternoon and decided it was warming up. (wishful thinking!) The following day he decided to get the panel (solar system) on the roof replaced, but this could not be done for several days. At some point, he said we should have reported it sooner...!? Anyway, the work produced some hot water, but only enough for the 2 of us to have 1 evening shower each per day. To give Jo the credit, she then aranged for further work to be done on the roof, while Allan had told me that was how things were (i.e. put up with it) Unfortunately, the work did not produce any further improvement. Until the Studio was occupied we were able to use that shower, which has an electric hot water heater for the shower.
After that we had some very cool showers. We always heated a kettle to wash up. We decided not to complain any further about the lack of hot water as we did not want to sour our holiday, but we would have felt much better about it all, if Jo had offered us some sort of compensation, as any other business would surely have done. We remained polite throughout. All we got in response was "I can only apologize" Really?
After this, it seemed as if Jo and Allan were avoiding us, as we did not see them for almost 2 weeks. Then we were surprised when Jo invited us to a coffee morning, together with other guests, just before our departure date.
The other problems were more minor, such as failed light bulbs, failed motion detector on dark steps (not repaired), and a dangerous plug which was rewired. However, the microwave oven and fridge were on the same extension cord, without a 3 pin ground wire, which Allan could not be persuaded to understand could be potentially very dangerous.
The couch webbing was literally hanging on by a few threads, but we managed not to fall through it, but someone will if it is not repaired soon). If only Jo and Allan would live in the cottage for 24 hours at the beginning of the season, so that paying guests would not have to contend with all that we had to on our holiday!
The local beaches were 15 mins walk downhill. Spring Beach is quite lovely in its way, but has no shade and quite a bit of seaweed. Usually deserted, it has coarse sand, and diving birds. Industry Beach is just another few minutes walk, and has shade and a hotel, and is longer.
I hope this realistic review helps.