Sultry Saint Lucia

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Yes, everyone knows Saint Lucia is one of the Caribbean’s most drop-dead gorgeous islands, but Saint Lucia is so much more than just a pretty face. With new hotel developments, including openings and renovations, new visitor attractions, and increased airlift from American Eagle, Saint Lucia keeps upping the ante when it comes to knowing how to truly welcome travelers.

Here, visitors can enjoy everything from visiting a chocolate factory to night snorkeling under the Pitons, that beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site that cuts a fabulous figure along Saint Lucia’s landscape.

In Hotel News The boutique Hotel Chocolat—set in The Rabot Estate, a working cocoa estate—has finally opened its doors, and within guests will find luxury Cocoa Cottages and Villas with views of the Pitons, a pool clubhouse, a massage pavilion, and beach access. For more information, visit thehotelchocolat.com.

The Jalousie Plantation (jalousieplantation.com)—the only resort on the island offering nighttime snorkeling—is undergoing a $100 million enhancement and will be re-branded and re-launched as The Tides, Sugar Beach next year. There will be new luxury villas and a brand-new destination spa. Meanwhile, The BodyHoliday (thebodyholiday.com) will be closing from July to September for a $20 million dollar renovation. The renovation will encompass the total refit of the public areas, as well as the standard garden view rooms. The property will also be opening The Penthouse of LeSPORT, a room that will encompass its own Hamman Spa.

For spa-lovers, Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa (smugglersresort.com) opened the Samsarati Spa, run by O Spa London and using ingredients sourced from organic, sustainably harvested crops. And for dining aficionados, Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa (coconutbayresortandspa.com) recently added two new restaurants: Calabash, a Caribbean specialty restaurant, and Capri, offering an array of Italian and seafood items. Oh, and spa lovers won’t be disappointed here, either, as the property unveiled three new spa cabanas and a relaxation patio.

And for travelers who like to sprinkle a little adventure on a romantic sojourn, Anse Chastanet is offering The Amazing Adventure package, but time is of the essence as it has to be booked by July 15, for travel through Sept. 30 (based on availability). The package includes 7-night accommodations, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, airport transfers, welcome cocktail, daily scuba diving, jungle biking, snorkeling, guided walks and hikes, use of watersports equipment and a whole other bevy of goodies. Rates for two start at $4,615. For more information, call (800) 223-1108 or visit ansechastanet.com.

Go Bananas Visitors to the island will love the newest zipline experience, the Soufriere Hotwire Rides, located at the Morne Coubaril Estate and combining the adrenaline rush of zipping under the Petit Piton, with elevated views of Soufriere and the Caribbean Sea.

But family travelers will truly go bananas with the newest island promotion, Go Bananas, which features adventures at many of the island’s resorts and excursions. There’s even a Go Bananas Treasure Hunt, playing in the mud at the Sulphur Springs, or mixing up banana-inspired “mocktails.” Available through Sept. 30, the Go Bananas program includes value-added benefits such as kids under 17 stay, play and eat for free; Saint Lucia discount card and discount booklet for use at many of the island’s restaurants, shops, and tours with savings up to 15 percent; a choice of complimentary excursions; complimentary room upgrade based on availability; and other benefits.

Participating hotels include Almond Morgan Bay, Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa, Coco Resorts, Discovery at Marigot Bay Resort & Spa, The Landings and Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort & Spa. For a list of all hotels and benefits, and more specific information on the Go Bananas Summer Family program, visit saintlucianow.com, where you’ll also find out more about this Caribbean island gem.

And so clients can start going bananas sooner than later, American Eagle is offering a second daily air service between Puerto Rico’s San Juan Luis Munoz Marin Airport and Saint Lucia’s George F.L. Charles Airport. For more information, visit aa.com.