Curated Local Experiences
The CHI Shuttles Facebook page says,
We are determined to make you fall in love with Saint Lucia’s Lifestyle experiences.
Come to St. Lucia to see all our wonders, the majestic Piton, The rejuvenating Sulphur baths, but come to experience our lifestyle as well..
Let us take you cultural shopping experience, dancing, bar hopping, and chocolate making, food tasting.. or on a luxurious shopping spree..
We are your St. Lucian guide to a St. Lucian Lime… Let us take you…
CHI Shuttles offers a mix of carefully curated dips into local life and the best of Saint Lucia’s shopping, and if you need something even more, yes, they will make special arrangements to take you there…
Meeting at Cafe Olé with Nesa Constantine, Owner, Director, Chief-of-Everything at CHI Shuttles, we chatted non-stop, sharing our ideas about how to infuse Saint Lucia’s tourism product with more authentic local experiences. We’re definitely on a shared vibe here!
Shopping in comfort
CHI Shuttles started out in response to retailers needing a service to help hotel guests hit the best shopping spots in comfort and expeditiously: enough time to shop, no time wasted figuring out where to go and how to get there. This ‘essential’ service is still at the core of the tours and experiences that CHI Shuttles offers.
But it soon became clear that patrons wanted a lot more: People asked about getting out to see more local experiences, eat more local food, see historical sites and experience nature away from the main tourist spots. So Nesa began to offer a bunch of other options that could give the guests an authentic Saint Lucian experience in a safe and comfy atmosphere.
The Boozy Brunch Tour
To get to know the service a bit better, we went to try out the new Boozy Brunch Tour…oh yes…we did! First up was a visit to Rum Therapy Bar and Treatment Centre…well that’s a way to start a Boozy Brunch Tour on the right foot! Located at Pointe Seraphine Duty Free Shopping Mall. Rum Therapy is a great little rustic bar with a view out to the entrance to Castries Harbour…once you’ve filled up your tanks on a rum cocktail, it’s off to get a tasting menu of some of Saint Lucia’s traditional and favourite foods. Accra (fish cakes) made of fried batter with fish and seasoning; Saltfish & Bake, saltfish is prepared with local seasoning peppers, onions, garlic, sauteed to tasty perfection and sandwiched in a bake (sort of like a scone-bun hybrid. Check out our recipe here), Local juice and more could be on your menu.
Next it’s off up the hills to what we call ‘ the back of the Morne’ to visit Howelton Estate. This one is a classic ‘brick’ house dating back to the 1890s. The guides at Howelton Estate are superb and fill you quickly in on the quirky history of the building. Prepare for lots more photo opportunities here as you have an instagrammable lovely view looking out over picturesque Castries Harbour and the hills to the north. If you’re lucky, you can spot the hazy shapes of Martinique’s mountains in the distance.
Howelton Estate is a great opportunity to meet local artisans. A few years ago, the owners reached out to the creative community and organised for a virgin coconut oil producer, a fabulously stylish bag designer and a chocolatier to become part of the Howelton Estate, so not only do you get to shop authentic Saint Lucian, you get to meet the makers! Also on site is the in-house batik studio and a large shop selling a variety of souvenirs, clothing and decor.
Then it’s back to your hotel and if you’re lucky, your driver will take you down one of the ‘back-roads’ to Castries and you get to glimpse the amazing way people have fitted their homes and businesses into the curves, dips and dimples of the mountains above the capital City Castries.
Total time needed to enjoy this Boozy Brunch Tour: about 4 hours.
What can you expect on a CHI Shuttles Experiential Tour?
Pick-up from your hotel lobby, greeted by your Shopping Guide/Consultant as you board your comfortable, air-conditioned bus. Your CHI Shuttles guide will brief you on what’s on the itinerary for your tour, including details on all of the promotions, specials, samples, makeovers and so on, that are yours for the taking. To top it off you are provided with chilled bottled water and fresh cold towels to ensure your comfort.
Nesa says “You can climb pitons, sulphur springs but find out how WE lime – learn a dance, make chocolate, street limes, eat, meet locals at a bar.”
At the end I ask her, what makes her happiest about the service she provides, without hesitation she says, When I see people mention CHI guides by name in their reviews. You know one guy said “It’s like you have an old friend in a country you’ve never been to”
- Book with your hotel concierge
- Got a travel group? Get in touch to make your arrangements direct
- Meet the CHI Shuttles team at your hotel’s Manager’s Cocktails and see if you’re lucky enough to pickup a giveaway!
- Id REALLY like to have a way to set up affiliate commissions – do you know of a way to do this?
4 hours. 20USD/pp
Castries Market, Duty Free Pointe Seraphine, Howelton Estate
Highlight: chocolate making demo and local craft making experiences
6-7 hours. 25USD/pp
Casino, Verve, Island Mix, JQ Mall
Highlight- free drinks and discounts off food
4 hours. Castries 75USD pp and Rodney Bay 85 USD pp
Rum Therapy, Antillias Brewery and Island Grill (Castries), Howelton Estate
Cream and Bean, Jacques, Jacques (Rodney Bay)
Highlight: Sample off menus and lots of Booze
Gros Islet Friday Night 25USD pp
Highlight: This is the Caribbean’s Number 1 Must do Street Party – go with us and get the best experience!
Laze n Sail
8 hours. 320USD/Couple 170USD pp
Cocktail reception by Effy’s Jewelry on boarding
Sail to the Pitons, with our Chef serving up eats
Diamonds and Chocolates
4 hours. 65USDpp
Stops include a luxury Jewelry experience and making your own chocolate bar
Highlights: this is dubbed our sweet lime because you make your own delicious chocolate!
Fort Rodney Tour
5 hours. 40USD with Lunch pp/25 USD w/out lunch
Climb the fort at Pigeon Island
Laze on the beach…Take a swim
Highlight: Admission to the park is included so this is a serene and peaceful experience, with a bit of hiking, bit of history, fabulous instagrammable view!