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Reviewed on 31 Jan 2020
St Lucia is one of the Caribbean islands, nestling close to other tourist hot spots such as Martinique, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Like the other islands, it has a personality and appeal that is entirely its own. You may opt to stay in nearby Barbados or a Martinique, but St Lucia hotels offer access to unrivalled silver and gold beaches and a verdant landscape that combines mountains with tropical rainforests.
It’s this dramatic scenery, coupled with a sense of serene seclusion that makes staying in a hotel in St Lucia a unique experience, and helps to explain why the island is a firm favourite among lovers of nature and couples seeking a romantic break. The most striking aspect of the geography of the island is the presence of the Petit Piton and Gros Piton, 2 spectacular volcanic cones that rise to a height of over 610 metres on the southwest coast.
To the east of St Lucia is the Atlantic Ocean, while the waters of the Caribbean Sea lap the beaches along the western coast. The relatively small size of the island, just 44 kilometres by 23, means that St Lucia hotels place you a hop, a skip and a jump away from all the main attractions. You might opt to spend your entire stay relaxing on a sun-kissed beach, but if you’re feeling more energetic, you’ll have the chance to explore lush forests, quaint villages, historical ruins and open-air markets. No matter where you go, you’ll be welcomed by locals who take a great pride in both the beauty of their island and the warmth of their hospitality.
St Lucia’s compact size makes exploring a breeze, so no matter where you set up shop, you’ll find yourself within a stone’s throw of the island’s major attractions. To the north, you’ll find the capital city of Castries and a range of visitor-oriented resorts like Rodney Bay Village. This may be the best choice if you’re looking for a bargain or travelling with family, as there are numerous St Lucia hotels competing for business, a wider selection of beaches to choose from and a large number of bars and restaurants.
In the south of the island, the scenery is more dramatic and the atmosphere more tranquil, while upmarket hotels offer luxury breaks close to beaches comprised of darker volcanic sands. You’ll have your pick of converted plantation homes, hidden among untamed forests, and secluded bays, so honeymooners would do well to consider these more intimate offerings.
Hotels in St Lucia range from luxury accommodation hidden among the grounds of former plantations, boutique guesthouses sitting on the edge of the beach, and budget-priced bed and breakfasts offering a comfortable base from which to explore the island.
The 5-star Jade Mountain Resort, located just a few minutes’ walk from Anse Chastanet Beach, represents the most luxurious end of the spectrum. Each of its 29 rooms has 4.5-metre-high ceilings and sweeping windows offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape. An infinity pool, spa and yoga classes are available for all guests, and the world-class restaurant may tempt you to go for the all-inclusive option.
Sugar beach, at Val des Pitons, offers similar 5-star luxury combined with stunning close-up views of the volcanic peak of Petit Piton. Stunning vistas are a given, whether it’s over the gardens, the mountain or the beach. The hotel provides snorkelling gear for those seduced by the turquoise waters, while a range of spa treatments propose a revitalising end to your day.
If you’d prefer to base yourself in the capital city of Castries, the Bel Jou Hotel offers all-inclusive, adult-only accommodation close to the city’s retail centre. You’ll also be a short stroll from electric nightlife and any number of pristine beaches. The hotel itself has a roof terrace and outdoor pool, allowing guests to make the most of the fantastic climate.
Making the most of a stay in St Lucia means exploring every aspect of the island to its full. The Chocolate Decadence tour will enable you to do just that. It lasts the whole day and begins with a catamaran trip to Hotel Chocolat. Here you’ll get to tour the cocoa plant and make your very own bar of chocolate before enjoying a delicious lunch. The day will be crowned with a volcanic mud bath, followed by a swim in the crystal-clear seas and a sunset cruise back to Castries.
To make the most of the wildlife in St Lucia, take a dolphin and whale-watching tour. You’ll head about 3 kilometres out to sea before sailing along the west coast where, in waters 900 metres deep, you’ll spot whales and dolphins and enjoy stunning views of Marigot Bay.
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