Last month my husband and I went to St Lucia for a belated Anniversary (and well over due couples) vacation. Admittedly, I also took this opportunity to put on my travel agent cap and arranged for us to tour and stay at a few resorts that have been high on my radar since I started booking St Lucia two years ago. Quickly becoming a personal favorite, I can now see the draw that my clients have to this beautiful, diverse island. St Lucia (or as I call it, The Hawaii of the Caribbean) a small, yet mighty, island located in the Caribbean, has everything you would want. Whether its stunning mountain cliffs, volcanic remnants, tropical rainforests, stunning waterfalls or immaculate white sandy beaches (as I experienced at the AMAZING Sugar Beach Resort), St Lucia has something for everyone and it will leave you craving more.
Our journey began at UVF Airport, where you will exit your plane on the tarmac. We were greeted by an agent with Serenity Vacations where they immediately whisked us through customs, covid testing, and to our luggage; then they introduced us to our private driver. Fast Track is highly recommended and I'm glad we got it, as we got through immediately, just as other planes were de-boarding. The drive from the airport to the north part of the island, specifically Gros Islet where we stayed, took about 90 minutes, a bit longer because we got a flat tire halfway through (which the driver changed quickly on a VERY scary, windy road!). The drive itself, while very pretty, was extremely windy so if you have a nervous stomach, I may recommend lots of Dramamine, or perhaps take a ferry or helicopter, which are the other two popular ways to get around the island from UVF. If you plan to drive on your own in St Lucia, you will drive on the left side of the road and your steering wheel will be on the right, so keep that in mind. I am a pretty confident driver, but I would not drive myself in St Lucia, but that is my personal preference.
We wanted to experience both sides of the island, so we started at Eastwinds Resort in the north. A lovely, intimate All Inclusive Resort in Gros Islet, with only 30 tiny cottages, was the perfect place to start our St Lucia Getaway. We were greeted with a rum punch (signature drink of St Lucians) and escorted to our lovely cottage. It was so adorable and had great amenities (I am still dreaming of the shower!). From our cottage to the beach, pool, and restaurant and lounge, it was a quick 5 minute stroll. We quickly learned that this resort is popular with British Travelers and most of them had been here 5+ times! The staff was friendly and helpful and they were fun to chat with as well. One bartender in particular (shout out Mikkal!) quizzed me on country music, tested new drink concoctions out on Chris, gave us a wonderful detailed history on St Lucia (7 times British, 7 times French, hence the strong British influence on this island), and it was very evident that most staff members were "Team Johnny" in reference to the Depp/Heard Trial ;-) Eastwinds also offers weekly yoga classes, has a (small) spa, and has a plethora of water activities to enjoy. You can also take advantage of daily excursions from Eastwinds as well if you want to explore the island. I also particularly loved the Steel Drum band they had over lunch one day. If you are looking for a small, quiet, relaxing getaway with good food, a nice (small) beach, and great views- this is the place for you. If you want more bells and whistles and entertainment, then there is something for you too.
After three lovely nights at EastWinds, we had a driver from Barefoot Holidays take us down to Soufriere, where we stayed the next 4 nights at the GORGEOUS Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort. I have had my eye on this resort for years and it did NOT disappoint. Sugar Beach, built on an 18th Century Sugar Plantation and surrounded by the Pitons, is on 100 acres of pristine rainforest with beachfront bungalows, and gorgeous suites bordered by amazing gardens. My personal opinion is that there was not one bad location at this resort. We stayed in a Luxury Villa and it was amazing. I mean, who wouldn't love a private plunge pool with Piton Views??? At check in, you are assigned a Butler who will take care of you throughout your stay and you are given a cell phone to call when you need anything; from shuttle service throughout the resort, to towels, reservations, and more. Sugar Beach took the opportunity during covid to renovate and everything was impeccable. The landscape, restaurants, pool, beach area, public spaces, fitness center, and kids club were lovely. And they also have an AMAZING Spa nestled in to the treetops- SO unique! The beach service was also fantastic and we *may* have drank our weight in pina coladas and margaritas! Chris loved the beach and finished 2 books. I loved floating in the pool and sea and managed to complete a book as well- its tougher than you think, at least for me! We chose to add the all inclusive plan, though we both agreed we wouldn't do it again. They had daily themes for dinner and offered fun evening entertainment without being too much of a party atmosphere as families frequent this resort too. I also loved the beach bonfires they had - a very cute touch. It was also at this resort that we decided to get offsite and experience the Sulfur Springs, Diamond Waterfalls, the Botanical Gardens, Seashell Restaurant on Soufriere Beach, and Snorkel at Anse Chastanet. We used my good partners at Exquisite Tours and Taxi for this day and we LOVED Simeon, our guide, who also happened to work at Sugar Beach. All in all, a 10/10 for this resort and I will absolutely be back!
In addition to staying at two lovely resorts, I also took the time to visit Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet. These two resorts were absolutely gorgeous, with Jade Mountain being one of the TOP resorts in the world year after year. Rising above the beautiful beach front resort of sister resort, Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountains bold architecture, individual bridges that lead you to magnificent sanctuaries with private plunge pools, and as all rooms have only three walls, you are directly exposed to the elements and fabulous views of the Pitons and Caribbean Sea. Visitors of Jade can also enjoy activities, amenities, restaurants, and lounges at Anse Chastanet, which is a unique and stunning property itself and situated on a fabulous beach. Its good to note that all beaches in St Lucia are public, so you are able to enjoy the beaches just as if you were staying there, but note that you will need to pay for food and drinks, and possibly chairs too. I met with the team and worked with them to make sure my future clients were taken care of, as that was important to me. I cannot wait to come back and actually stay at one of these resorts.
For those wondering, there are two different parts of the island, simply put, the North and South. From a majority of the resorts in the South, you can gaze upon the UNESCO World Heritage- listed Piton Mountains, walk around the jungles, discover the lush green backdrop of the Diamond Waterfalls and Botanical Gardens, or reinvigorate your body with the heat and minerals from the Sulfur Springs. And in the North, you can watch the cruise ships come in, hike Pigeon Island, enjoy the bustle of the Island's Capital of Castries, and take in the wonderful social events, specifically the Friday Night Fish Fries at Gros Islet. And an activity to enjoy on either side of the island is rum tasting and having a cocoa/chocolate experience/history lesson, which I highly recommend.
St Lucia is a popular option for couples and honeymooners and there are lovely family friendly options as well. You can be relaxed or as busy as you want and there are activities to accommodate activity levels for all travelers. Although its not the easiest island to get to based on daily flight schedules, its well worth it when you get here. Our time there was lovely and and as the old saying goes, "It's not good bye. It's see you later."
Saint Lucia: Let "HER" inspire you.
Written by Kate Franks
INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT (CONTRACTOR PARTNER)
ROMANCE, LUXURY, FAMILY & GROUP TRAVEL ADVISOR