St Lucia

St Lucia – what do you picture when you hear it said? Beaches, palm trees, year round sunshine, culture and good food. Well you are correct, all of the above and so much more makes this Caribbean island one of my favourites.

I was lucky enough to visit this beautiful country back in 2014 for the first time on a work trip. (Which was a time before good iPhone quality, bad selfies and clearly not blog standard photo’s, however she has added some throwbacks any way!) They took us to around 10 of the islands hotels, showed us the local culture and attractions, and treated us to unlimited rum cocktails and local Piton beer (which is enough on its own to make anyone want to go back).

Travel 

With regular direct travel from the UK you can get to St Lucia in just nine short hours, or even tag it onto a multi stop holiday in the USA. Of course, if you are based elsewhere in the world, you will also have plenty of options as the island plays hosts to two airports, meaning lots of daily flights, helicopters and island hopping options. 

If you are flying into Lucia Hewanorra Airport (UVF) from the UK you will probably find most of the hotels you look at are over the other side of the island, which will take you around 90 minutes by car, through the midnight rain forest to get to your resort. Or, if you’re feeling up for it, how about a helicopter? Taking you up into the sky you will experience out of this world views of the ocean, the mountains, the famous Pitons and rain forest.

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Resorts/Hotels 

Hotels and resorts on this beautiful island come in an abundance, meaning there really is something for everyone and every type of holiday goer. From romantic boutique hotels perfect for honeymooners or couples, to fun filled family hotels filled with fun activities and water parks. If I spoke about them all, we would be here until next year, so I have picked out three of my personal favourites to share with you.

Boutique – Calabash Cove 

I visited Calabash Cove in 2017 with my parents. After convincing my dad get on the plane with a bribe of business class, we headed to the island for 10 nights. With only 26 suites and cottages, this is an adult only, romantic hide away with its own secluded stretch of white sand beach. It very much is a couples hotel… in fact every single person there was in a couple. Apart from me… (the amount of FaceTime calls back to my boyfriend telling him he should have come with us were ridiculous!) However the staff and other hotel residents were all lovely so I didn’t feel too much like a third wheel.

 

The hotel was stunning, all of rooms feature a Jacuzzi tub and many even have private pools. My favourite addition to the room with the bottles of alcohol in the room and full mini bar all included in our dining package. Gin and Tonic in the Jacuzzi anyone?!

(Why are Palm Tree’s the most photogenic tree ever?!)

One of our favourite things about this hotel (Apart from the amazing staff. Shout out to Kris the barman who I still have on my Instagram, he is truly the definition of someone who loves his job and his country. And I still hold personally responsible for making my dad pass out drunk on the sun bed at two in the afternoon after too many rum punches.) Was the beach and the inclusions. I mean when you’re in a hotel with only 26 rooms, it is bound to be quiet. But we were there during the quietest time of the year in September and the hotel wasn’t even half full. So often enough we had the whole beach or pool to ourselves.

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Perfecting my paddle board skills first thing in the morning before the waves picked up.

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Kayaking with dad… or spending half hour moaning how difficult it was and how much it hurt my arms.

I much preferred sunbathing, and sipping from our fresh coconuts that were cut open in front of us by the lovely grounds keeper and gardener.

The food and drink at Calabash was out of this world too. The main restaurant would often be booked up in the evening with outsiders wanting to experience the local Caribbean food.

A true 10/10 for anyone looking at a boutique, luxurious hotel where relaxing, eating, drinking and enjoying the good things in life are on your list.

Family Fun – Windjammer Landing 

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Windjammer Landing was the first ever hotel I visited back in 2014. I knew from as soon as we pulled up to reception that it was my kind of resort. Set amongst 60 acres of hills, surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden, overlooking Labrelotte Bay. It gives off a true Mediterranean vibe with its beautiful white stone buildings with brown sloping roofs and tiled walkways making it one of the most recognisable hotels in St Lucia.

Accommodation ranges from rooms with terraces or balconies or for ultimate luxury how about upgrading to one of the Villa’s. I have stayed in three types of the accommodation here, one was the Hibiscus Suite, which all sit in the lower part of the resort. These offer full sized Jacuzzi’s on the balcony and a beautiful separate sitting room/kitchen. I have also been incredibly lucky to stay in the Villa’s.

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With incredible views, its own full size kitchen, living room and multiple bedrooms. The Villa’s certainly are perfect for groups, or families looking for ultimate luxury. Did I mention your own private swimming pool too? This photo was taken from Villa 504, and you can see, the view did not disappoint either.

The upstairs balcony made perfect viewing for sunrise, sunset and the odd rainbow chasing too.

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From lazing by your pool, going to one of the shared pools or chilling on the beach. The supply of food and drink at the Windjammer is out of this word. You will never go without, and always find something to fit whatever food mood you are in.

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Take a seat on one of the swing chairs at 96 Degrees tiki hut beach bar whilst waiting for your signature cocktail of the same name.

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Or pose for a photo next to it whilst you wait?

With various meals available at Papa Dona, Upper Deck, Embers, Dragonfly, or Jammer’s you really will be able to experience cuisine from all around the world. From Pizza to Escargot – it’s got it all.

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View from Jammer’s Beach Bar and Restaurant.

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My favourite breakfast spot in Dragonfly.

If you are on the All Inclusive plan at the resort, you need to try out the activities. Fun for all ages. From the kids/teens club which offers fun and games for your little (or bigger) ones whilst you relax. Or to the exciting range of water sports offered. Always wanted to learn how to water ski? Well now you can (and we did!) It comes highly recommended with super patient instructors who will not stop until they have you standing up.

Luxury – Jade Mountain 

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Words will not be able to describe how absolutely incredible this hotel is. From the rooms, the service, the food and drink to the architecture. Jade Mountain is ranked as one of the top 100 hotels globally and shot to fame on Instagram as one of the most photogenic properties in the world. On 243 hectares of tropical hillside, this beautiful resort sits on Anse Chastanet Beach, sister property of the hotel with the same name, with stunning panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and the Pitons. Owned and designed by the incredibly talented architect Nick  Troubetzkoy, it truly is something special.

We were so lucky to have three nights at the resort at the end of our last holiday in St Lucia. We could have spent hours just taking photos of the building and the room.

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Each unique open air room, features its own private walkway, fully fitted with a full bathroom, shower and jacuzzi bath. Dining room table. King size four poster bed. Sun loungers. And it’s own infinity pool. In room dining options mean you could arrive at the resort and not have to leave your room until the day you check out.

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Did I mention you do not have to lift a finger here? When you check in your are handed a mobile phone. This gives you contact to your butler’s 24/7. Need fresh towels? Ring your butler. Want to order room service? Ring your butler. Need to make dining reservations? Ring your butter. They are on hand to do absolutely everything and anything for you.

Naturally, that wasn’t something that came very easy to us, as we aren’t used to having someone at our beck and call. However it was lovely to want a can of Diet Coke, and a few moments later have it delivered on a silver tray. They really do go above and beyond. On our last night we wanted to book a table at the Indian/Caribbean restaurant but couldn’t get in as they were fully booked. Our butler did his thing, spoke to the manager and managed to get us one of the best seats in the house.

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Daily snack boxes are delivered, featuring cakes, sushi, fresh fruit and other nibbles. All go down a treat after a day sunbathing, and bonus points for the box floating.

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The in room dining option for breakfast was a real treat for us. It was lovely to wake up in the morning and be able to stay in our robes whilst we ate breakfast. Simple to order the night before, select the time you want it delivered and it is there, right on queue. You could have the option to do this for all of your meals, but we wanted to experience all of what the hotel had to offer so we only chose breakfast in our room.

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Roof Deck above Jade Club Restaurant, admiring the views. It might be worth noting, this is a drone free resort. For obvious reasons… the rooms have no walls… so the drone operator as well as the people in their rooms, may be in for a bit of a shock. As much as we wanted to drone (think about the photos).

With the amenities from both hotels on hand to enjoy you can opt to go snorkelling off the beautiful beach, take a walk through the jungle to a beach side burger bar or simple relax in the spa. But what you will not do is get bored of sitting in the sun, looking out to the incredible view. I lost count with how many photos of the Piton’s I ended up with.

One of my favourite past times was having a little in suite photo shoot. Because how often can you go from your bathroom, to your pool, to your bed in as little as a few steps?

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If you ever get the chance to stay in Jade Mountain – please grab it with both hands. It really is a once in a lifetime place!

Things to do.

As with all holiday destinations if you wanted to go and lay on the beach for 14 days, not leave your hotel and not really do anything. You absolutely can. It is that type of place. However, if you are looking for thrill seeking adventures or a local street party. You also have hundreds of options on things to do.

My top tip for anyone wanting to see as much of the island as possible is to jump on one of the many island boat tours available. These will take you to the island hot spots including Castries (the islands capital), Marigot Bay, Soufriere and of course show you the amazing Piton’s up close.

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Many of the boat companies offer full or half day excursions, food included and, the most important part… Rum and Beer!

What would you do if you had two weeks on a Caribbean island?

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