Exploring the Best of St Lucia
12/07/2016Flying from Gatwick to St Lucia with Virgin was a seamless and extremely pleasant journey.
First stop off the plane was Calabash Cove which is great for those who enjoy relaxing in simple surroundings. The views in this all-inclusive resort are beautiful, food is fresh and there is definitely plenty of space. Every room has an ocean view to be enjoyed from your balcony. We liked the Swim-Up Junior Suites that lead straight out to the pool.
The following day we headed to Greenwood Terrace; a nice addition for those who are interested in flora and fauna. The tour lasts around an hour and you have the opportunity to taste unusual fruits and explore the medicinal herb garden where you can discover the ingredients and scents used long ago by the island’s original inhabitants, the Antillean Arawak.
We stayed at East Winds on our second evening; an extremely charming stay. It was quiet and private and you feel like you’re in your own tropical garden. The rooms in the garden area are all individual cottages and are very sweet with a colonial feel to them. The beach itself is lovely and is on the same stretch as a few other hotels such as The Windjammer, so makes it a perfect location to try new restaurants. An ideal retreat for older couples.
We also had the opportunity to visit Windjammer; a huge resort but if you choose the right accommodation, it is perfect for those who want privacy and independence but still want all the benefits of a beach resort. 42 rooms and 116 suites and villas scattered on the hillside above the bay. The food was fantastic with a great atmosphere.
On our third day, we hopped aboard The Moorings boat charter experience. They usually offer sailing trips that last two or three nights so this was one of their first day trip expeditions. It was a huge success and everyone loved it. Departing from Rodney Bay Marina, our yacht was huge, with a living room, full kitchen, 2 bedrooms and bathrooms as well as staff cabins. There were two members of staff on hand to organise drinks and lunch as well as water activities. We sailed all the way from Rodney Bay (in the North), down to the South of the island to the Pitons where we moored for lunch and some snorkelling. The whole experience lasted from 10.00am until 5.30pm and I would absolutely recommend it. It was a really amazing day, the perfect way to see the beautiful scenery of the island.
The BodyHoliday was another wonderful hotel on the island that we had the pleasure of visiting. This resort was unlike any of the others; from tennis and archery to beach circuits, water aerobics and street dancing to cooking and sailing, you can be kept busy and active all day if you wish. Whilst it is all inclusive, it still has a luxury feel to it and definitely felt like a holiday destination as opposed to a boot camp style hotel. You can very easily do as much or as little as you like.
Villa Hall is beautiful and one of many luxury villas on the island. It is contemporary, with incredibly high ceilings, huge windows which make the most of the stunning views. From Villa Hall we were taken to a small local beach for a ‘Snuba’ adventure. This is a mixture of snorkelling and scuba diving where the oxygen tank is attached to a raft which floats on top of the water.
The Landings is another very different property. The Harbour View Suite is really peaceful but a lovely spot to watch the boats come and go. Each suite is furnished with a contemporary feel but there is definitely Caribbean influence in the furniture as there is a lot of dark wood.
All master bedrooms feature a four poster bed and many suites offer a private plunge pool and spectacular views. Beachfront suites also come with complimentary butler service, available from 7am - 11pm each day.
On our fifth day we visited Spices Cooking Studio. We were immediately met with open arms and welcomed into the incredibly well organised kitchen to begin our lesson. This was an amazing activity that I’d recommend for anyone visiting the island.
Set over four acres of picturesque gardens we then visited Cap Maison. This hotel has a Mediterranean feel to it as you walk around the manicured gardens. Most villas have a private pool as well as the main pool. Enjoy dinner at the well-known main restaurant, The Cliff.
Day six, we spent a few hours in the morning looking around Castries Market and Shopping area. This is definitely worth seeing for an hour as the market sells traditional souvenirs as well as the famous coconut oil, rum etc. We then drove about half an hour to Capella at Marigot Bay.
Capella Marigot Bay has a very different atmosphere to the other properties. It has an adult feel and is almost like a little private oasis overlooking the harbour. The staff are absolutely lovely and couldn’t do enough for you, from the moment you arrive, you feel relaxed and welcomed.
The bar area and main restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating, is modern and overlooks the harbour. We weren’t there during the evening but I can imagine that it has a beach club type of vibe so perfect for young couples or those who like a bit of an atmosphere.
Lunch was some of the best food we had on the trip. Afterwards we were able to experience rum tasting in the hotels Rum Cave which is an absolute must. It is really interesting without being too factual and of course, you taste 3 or 4 different types or rums as well as the hotel’s signature rum cocktail. You are given cheese and chocolate which pairs with the rum surprisingly well and an absolute must!
Sugar Beach was one of the best resorts we saw on the island. We arrived by boat (definitely recommended) and were taken up to our cottages in a bright pink rickshaw. We were in luxury villas which were beautiful. All white and everything had been thought of, even ‘his and hers’ mobiles so that you can call the butler, each other or call the hotel if you are off property. The beach is definitely the most beautiful one we saw. There is a restaurant and bar/lounge area here with full beach service. It is very casual and there are plenty of water sports available. The snorkelling is amazing! They have beach BBQs once a week with rum tasting and reggae band or active guests can go on a night dive.
By Alice Glaze