Seeing the Pitons for the first time while sailing along Saint Lucia’s coastline is to be face-to-face with paradise. These extraordinary, green-shrouded beauties look down at you from imposing heights, but rather than intimidating, you feel as if the twins are embracing you, welcoming you to this nothing-short-of-inspiring Caribbean island. Its people, too, are truly welcoming—and who wouldn’t be when your home is over-the-top gorgeous.
This inviting island hopes to welcome even more visitors in 2018, with the opening of new hotels, and revamped properties. Plans are to add a huge inventory of new hotel rooms in the next few years.
In fact, I’m sure you are all too familiar with the fourth Sandals resort, the Sandals LaSource St. Lucia, that will be coming to the island, featuring the destination’s first rooftop infinity-edge sky pool and jacuzzi, offering 360-degree views of the island’s north coast. And you’ve read loads on the expansive Royalton Saint Lucia Resort & Spa with its 455 guestrooms distributed among three resort categories—one for adults only, another family-friendly and the Diamond Club space. I toured it recently and loved the numerous dining venues—from the Chef’s Table, offering seven courses with musical selections to accompany each dish, to the Hunter Steakhouse, where guests can watch as chefs prepare the steaks in the open kitchen. For the ultimate in luxury, recommend the 3,261-sq.-ft. Chairman’s Two Bedroom Suite in the Diamond Club, with a pool table, huge terrace with alfresco dining table, and outdoor jacuzzi.
But beyond the all-inclusive landscape and its myriad other properties, Saint Lucia is home to a trio of hidden gems that should also be on your radar.
• Calabash Cove Resort & Spa—I stayed in one of the property’s Balinese-style Water’s Edge Cottages and it couldn’t have been more idyllic. It’s a 5-second skip over to the secluded beach, with its lagoon-like water, and the solitude these accommodations offer is made for a romantic getaway (in fact, the cabins accommodate only two adults). They’ve got a private pool on the spacious terrace, which also comes with its own hammock and access to the outdoor shower; there’s a separate living room area, as well as an indoor jacuzzi set in the bedroom.
Guests are welcomed to this hillside property via an open-air lobby and the delightful Windsong restaurant that offer some of the most spectacular views in this part of the island (recommend dinner at sunset), but it’s the lush gardens—with a heavenly flowery scent—that will knock your client’s socks off.
• For those clients who prefer staying closer to the Pitons—and getting up every morning in their 1-, 2-, or 3-bedroom villa to that striking landscape—there’s Stonefield Villa Resort, located a short walk away from the healing Sulphur Springs Volcano. We took a quick tour of the property, and it’s a natural for wellness getaways (as well as honeymooners, of course), as the resort is home to an indoor yoga studio and outdoor yoga shala, and its restaurant uses fruits and vegetables organically grown on site. How about drinking coconut water straight from the source while staring out at the Caribbean Sea and mountains? The brand-new Stonefield Escape Spa also overlooks this majestic scenery. Coolest thing on property, though? The petroglyphs etched into stone outcrops, said to be some of the most remarkable on the entire island (just a short hike from the villa accommodations).
• Have divers in your midst? Then recommend Ti Kaye Resort & Spa, situated in Anse Cochon between the villages of Anse La Raye and Canaries. The resort, which has an onsite PADI dive center, Island Divers, offers shore dives and a wreck dive, as well as access to three other dive sites within a 3-minute boat ride and 10 other dive sites within 25 minutes.
One of the most fabulous amenities at this resort, though—when the dives are done for the day—is its underground wine cellar, which, the GM told me, is the largest of its kind in Saint Lucia. It’s so unexpected in this laid-back resort that you wonder if you’ve just gone through a portal to France. There are 500 varieties and guests can opt for a 5-course dinner if they truly want to “dive” into the island’s cuisine. In fact, there are also rum tastings, as well as a 7-course Creole tasting menu and beach BBQ dinners.
These three properties are not for those who need to be connected 24/7 or like to catch their Sunday football game. It’s for clients who want to immerse themselves in the destination’s natural setting and seek a vacation where they can detach from their daily to-do’s.