I visited the beautiful Caribbean Island of St Lucia in May 2014 on a whirlwind five day educational trip to experience three different resorts and to explore the islands’ many attractions. St Lucia is in the Eastern Caribbean chain of islands known as The Windward Islands, 21 miles South of Martinique and 90 miles NW of Barbados. English is widely spoken in St Lucia although a French influence is evident in many areas due to the many periods of occupation by the French as well as the English before St Lucia finally became independent in 1979. The official currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar but the US dollar is widely accepted.
We flew direct from Gatwick where direct flights to St Lucia’s Hewanorra Airport depart daily and take only 8 hours. We arrived just after lunch time local time and departed the airport which is pretty much in the southernmost point of the island for the road transfer to our first destination in the northernmost point of the Island. The drive was a great opportunity to see the rainforest first hand and appreciate how lush and green this beautiful island is.
Arriving at The Body Holiday was quite breath taking. The resort sits on Cariblue Crescent Beach and is set in 42 acres of tropical gardens. This resort is quite unique in that its all inclusive package includes not only all food, drinks and water sports but all inclusive spa treatments. The ethos of this resort is to give you a fun, rejuvenating and pampering holiday. From the moment I arrived I was blown away with the array of included activities on offer to guests. Some that I can remember are: T’ai Chi, Yoga, Pilates, Meditation, Windsurfing, Water Skiing, Hobiecats, Kayaking, Tennis, Golf, Cycling, Fencing, Archery, Spinning, Gym and every exercise class you can imagine. You can book in for as much or as little as you want and it’s all included. If you feel like taking it easy you can just chill out at the beach – put your little flag up by your lounger and the waiter will bring you whatever you wish……be it a fresh juice or a glass of champagne. I must admit I did go for the champagne option but all in the name of thorough research! The food was also excellent at The Body Holiday, particularly at TAO Restaurant which was my favourite.
Rooms are all large and well-appointed at this resort. Notably rooms do not have TV’s which I personally thought was really nice. Wi-Fi was provided free of charge but you were encouraged not to use your phone around the resort – it was a refreshing change not to see everyone constantly checking their phones. Just in the three days that I was at the Body Holiday I could feel myself start to relax, helped no doubt by early morning T’ai Chi, lovely spa treatments and wonderful fresh, tasty food and the odd glass or two of champagne! We visited Rodney Bay Marina which is only 10 minutes by taxi from the Body Holiday where we took a lovely Sunset cruise. We also visited the capital city of Castries on Friday evening to experience the “Jump Up” which is the weekly St Lucian street party – once experienced, never forgotten.
Our next stop was just two miles outside at the couples only all-inclusive resort of Rendezvous which is owned by the same family as the Body Holiday therefore guests can use facilities at both resorts. Rendezvous is built on an old coconut plantation located directly on Malbar Beach. The vibe of this resort is both romantic and relaxed. The staff here are exceptional; I have never met such friendly, welcoming, accommodating and above all happy staff – it’s infectious, you cannot help but smile. Every guest that I spoke to at this resort was a repeat guest, which speaks volumes about this wonderful resort.
The Water Gardens at Rendezvous are lovely private garden river pools with river side sunbeds and water-waiter service. Secluded, private and romantic. Water sports are all included at this resort too – even a scuba dive. Unfortunately my visit to Rendezvous was all too short and it was time to head south where we visited Rainforest Adventures for a truly memorable zip wire experience through stunning rainforest – spectacular and exhilarating (and a little bit scary in parts).
Buzzing from the adrenalin rush of the zip wire experience we headed on further south to Soufriere to visit the Volcano and Sulphur Springs, this is a unique experience as you can drive right in to the volcano and witness the Sulphur Springs up close. You can also bathe in the warm sulphuric pools which are reported to be very soothing but regrettably we did not have time to experience this as we were off on the final leg of our trip to visit our final resort of Sugar Beach.
When our hosts said that they had saved the best till last they were not lying…just one word for Sugar Beach…WOW! Located between the famous Pitons and just three miles from Soufriere, this luxury resort is set in 100 acres of tropical forest. The beach is an idyllic expanse of sugar white sand. The atmosphere is one of understated, elegance and luxury. All accommodation from the Sugar Mill Rooms at the heart of the resort to the five bedroom residences set into the hillsides are luxuriously and tastefully finished. Every accommodation is furnished with four poster beds, walk in showers, claw foot baths and private plunge pools. In addition when you are checked in to your accommodation you will be greeted by your personal butler who will take care of you for the duration of your stay – he even gives you a personal mobile phone so that you can contact him from wherever you are in the resort.
During our one night at Sugar Beach we were fortunate enough to sample the exquisite tasting menu at The Great Room which has a real old world colonial charm. We then enjoyed late night drinks at The Cane Bar. The morning brought more dining delights in The Terrace restaurant where we dined al fresco visiting the breakfast buffet and then being served our a la carte breakfast selections. There was just time to squeeze in a Swedish massage at the Rainforest Spa before departing for the journey back to the UK.
In five short days this beautiful island has left a lasting impression on me and I will be back to visit this stunning tropical paradise island soon…now which resort to go back to??