How did Saint Lucia come to be such a powerhouse in the romance travel business? Prime time on “The Bachelor” didn’t hurt, but above all, it was (and remains) a combination of scenery rivaling that of Polynesia and some of the most innovative and well-run hotels in the Caribbean, not to mention a tourist board and hotel association that were smart enough to capitalize on all that. “Saint Lucia is made for romance,” says Tracey Warner Arnold, deputy director of tourism, “and many of our island’s unique, award-winning properties offer indulgent romance-themed packages that help couples rediscover the spark.” She adds, “The beautiful topography of Saint Lucia, fiery sunsets, secluded beaches, and astounding views create an ideal backdrop for any couple looking to rekindle their romance.”
But where, exactly? There are three Sandals Resorts alone (sandals.com/destinations/stlucia): Sandals Grande St. Lucian, Sandals Regency La Toc, and Sandals Halcyon Beach, each with its own personality but all offering their guests access to the sister properties’ restaurants for a total of 27 dining choices.
Rendezvous Resort (theromanticholiday.com) is the sister property of TheBodyHoliday, but whereas the latter keeps guests as busy as they want to be with exercise and wellness workshops, and lessons in virtually every sport known to man, Rendezvous is an intimate, adults-only getaway on beautiful Malabar Beach that’s all about couples spending quiet time together. The price of a Premium Garden room starts at $580 a night, but for rates that start at $716 a couple can light their fire (figuratively) in a Seaside Suite with a private patio, walk-out access to a pool, and views of the Caribbean.
Cheating alert: Boutique-size Ti Kaye Resort & Spa (tikaye.com) isn’t an all-inclusive, but this adults-only hideaway does offer an all-inclusive add-on. Like many of Saint Lucia’s great resorts, it perches on one of the mountains that meet the sea. Its beach, nonmotorized watersports, and good tour desk attract a youngish crowd, but what makes Ti Kaye so romantic is its private accommodations in little cottages. Even the least expensive room (from $335) shares a cottage with only one other room and feels entirely separate. A gingerbread Ocean View Cottage (from $440), whose deck has views of the sea, rocking chairs, double hammock, is truly private, and it’s topped only by an Ocean View Cottage with Private Plunge Pool (from $545). Add 20 percent tax and service, and $165 pp per day for all-inclusive plan.
Cap Maison (capmaison.com) is neither adults-only nor all-inclusive, but it’s sublime for couples, in part because its all-inclusive plan appeals to discerning foodies. Not only are The Cliff at Cap and Cellar Maison Wine Spectator Award winners, but there’s even a restaurant called The Naked Fisherman. Perfect for the occasion. Like Ti Kaye, Cap Maison sits above a beach (about 75 steps) with watersports. It offers a serious spa, wellness classes, and cruises on a private yacht (e.g. sunset cruise, $180 pp plus 15 percent) past some of the most romantic scenery anywhere. All-inclusive rates start at $566 per room for Garden View and Junior Suites; $734 for view-tiful Villa Suites. Add 20 percent tax and gratuity.
Saint Lucia Tourist Board: stlucia.org