When Oprah Winfrey declares it to be ‘one of the 5 top places to see in your lifetime’ you know that this Island must be a unique part of the world. Is it the postcard crystal clear turquoise Caribbean sea with shimmering beaches, or is it the tropical rainforest that carpets the Islands volcanic origins, most notably the twin piton mountains which are also a world heritage site?
We arrived into the Spanish hacienda style clifftop resort in the middle of the afternoon. Immediately greeted with two cold glasses of champagne and cool face towels I knew we are in a resort with class.
However the welcome couldn’t prepare us for the experience of being welcomed to our ‘rooms’ for the next 3 nights. Two beautiful en suite bedrooms featuring huge double beds draped in classy looking mosquito nets. A large modern kitchen and dinging room separating them both and lead out onto a huge deck that overlooked the semi private pool.
Dinner that night was at the Naked Fisherman beach restaurant. We bounced down the 98 steps it takes to get to the restaurant on the beach and sat beside the tiki torches as we ordered from the BBQ menu that featured that night just in time to see the sunset. The two restaurants at the resort look after the 50 residences by constantly changing the menu under the instruction of Head Chef Craig Jones, a Welsh rastafarian who we learned won St Lucia’s chef of the year a couple of years ago. These two restaurants offer very different but very high quality menus, the Naked Fisherman usually has a variety of BBQ and grilled fish options while The Cliff restaurant is romantic fine dining at its best, where your fellow diners might be Mick Jagger who stayed there recently or in our case Angela Bassett who graciously danced with James and eagerly did the Wankanda forever sign. James was truly smitten.
After 3 embracing and relaxing days of snorkelling, kayaking, eating and sunbathing and we were on the move to what I hoped would allow us to experience more of the real St Lucia.
Coco Palm Hotel is in nearby Rodney Bay. The hotel is owned by the family of the Islands Prime Minister,When I read St Lucian family owned hotel I hadn’t actually bargained .for it to be the current 1st family!
The attraction of this hotel is its large pool with swim up to rooms and a lively hotel poolside bar. It is 5 min walk from the beach, along a promenade of top restaurants.
The hotel is able to book a range of activities such as zip lining through the rainforest which was a must for James and John. We also opted for the Snuba diving, a hybrid of snorkelling and scuba diving. The benefit is that you don’t need lessons but you still get the scuba feel as you swim with lobster, puffer fish, starfish, crayfish and all manner of unusual sea creatures at up to 20ft below.
A day boat trip is also a must. Coco Palm arrange for a large Catamaran to bring guests to the 2nd largest town and former French capital of St Lucia, Soufriere. The trip down the coast looking back at the beaches and jungle covered hilltops is serene. We were also brought to the botanical gardens of St Lucia. With its waterfalls and exotic flowers everywhere it also served as the set of Romancing the Stone. Nearby is the warm volcanic mud baths which we felt we must experience. We came out feeling 10 years younger even if our 2 year old just had fun in the mud.
The Coco Palm is very well situated if you want to get a feel for Castries, the capital. It is a town that feels and looks very clean and modern. The shopping mall was like something you’d find in an American suburb and the obligatory port of super yachts is surrounded by several fantastic restaurants including The Big Chef, a steak house that prides itself on having beef that rivals New York City
Our final destination was the exclusive and all inclusive Windjammer Landings. A resort that has it all. This sprawling complex winds its way up the steep hill above the beach with twisting walkways that suddenly open into secret pools as you explore.
Each of the large residences are unique in style but uniform in luxury. There is every possible watersport available, floating trampolines, yoga classes, kids club and more. There are 5 restaurants all serving top quality food even the Italian, Pappa Don’s, met with my my sons very high standards in pizza.
When you can sip out of fresh coconuts on hammocks that sit a few meters out into the sea you know you've hit peak Caribbean bliss.