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  • DARREN MORRIS

St Lucia - jagged, jungle-clad


I have travelled to St Lucia a couple of times, both whilst attending works trips; it is one of my favourite destinations, if not in the Caribbean, but the world.


I think for me personally, it's attraction is due to the island itself in part, if you haven't been to the island, it's like nothing else, you fly into the south of the island, in the most part, the resorts are located from the north coast running down the west coast back to the airport.


Most travellers take a beach holiday on the north-west coast; however, on the transfer from your arrival, you get a glimpse of the islands southern national park area, often known as the Pitons; these are enormous volcanic mountains that protrude from the land and sea, and are absolutely stunning, its a sight you don't see on any other Caribbean island.


On the two trips to the islands, I have stayed in several of the properties that are offered; these include:


EAST WINDS

Tucked away in twelve acres of tropical gardens, there’s a very private and intimate ambience at this elegant resort. And if you like things to be informal yet efficient, East Winds is a great place to stay, especially for the outstanding cuisine. You’ll stay in attractive cottage-style accommodation and enjoy warm Caribbean hospitality as well as a real sense of peace and tranquillity. If you’re looking to get away from it all and relax, this is the perfect destination.

THIS HOTEL IS PERFECT FOR

COUPLES FOODIES WINE BUFFS CHILLING OUT


JADE MOUNTAIN

Perched high on Morne Chastanet with magnificent panoramic views of the Pitons and the Caribbean Sea, this fabulous resort is one of Saint Lucia’s most exclusive retreats and a favourite with honeymooners. The hotel was designed and built by its architect owner, Nick Troubetzkoy, and the result is simply stunning. Individual bridges lead to the superb open-walled suites where you’ll feel you are on top of the world and at one with your breathtakingly-beautiful natural surroundings.

THIS HOTEL IS PERFECT FOR

HONEYMOONERS A LUXURY ESCAPE SPA LOVERS CHILLING OUT

CAP MAISON

Sitting on top of a stunning ocean bluff with fabulous views across the water to Pigeon Island, you can’t help but be captivated by the sheer romance and beauty of this wonderful Spanish hacienda-style boutique hotel. Owned and expertly managed by our good friends, the Gobat family, Cap Maison is a stylish and luxurious resort where you’ll enjoy warm hospitality, spacious accommodation and gourmet cuisine at the wonderful cliff at Cap restaurant.

THIS HOTEL IS PERFECT FOR

COUPLES FAMILIES A LUXURY ESCAPE FOODIES


LADERA

With its dramatic location on a volcano ridgeline over 1,000 feet above the ocean, Ladera is the most romantic rainforest retreat in the Caribbean. The open-walled suites offer staggering views of the surrounding landscape, including the UNESCO-listed twin pitons.

THIS HOTEL IS PERFECT FOR

COUPLES HONEYMOONERS EXPLORING THE ISLAND GETTING BACK TO NATURE


MARIGOT BAY RESORT AND MARINA

Widely acclaimed as one of the most beautiful bays in the Caribbean, Marigot Bay is a fitting backdrop for this stylish, contemporary resort. With elegant accommodation, superb fine dining and a world-class spa, not to mention the buzzing bars and chic boutiques of the revamped marina, you’ll have everything you need for an unforgettable stay.

THIS HOTEL IS PERFECT FOR

COUPLES A LUXURY ESCAPE SPA LOVERS CHILLING OUT


I have over the years sent many clients to St Lucia; after my first visit to the island, and the very nature of the trips we often partake in, we stay in several hotels in the same few days, so we get an excellent idea of what accommodation is on offer, the different types of accommodation, along with the distances from the airport and design etc., its a great way to enable travel professionals to be able to advise correctly, not every beach is the same, not every hotel is the same, some are owned or backed by larger companies, some are privately owned, some are an owners lifetime passion, its what keeps me travelling, to be honest.


I often advise clients to fly into the island, if they are open to the idea, then to stay in the very south, within the Pitons national park area; you have 2 accommodations, Ledera and Jade Mountian, both are very different; however, have several similar qualities, one thing in common both have, are rooms with only 3 sides, meaning that the main wall that would traditionally be your balcony, view window, simply isn't there, the rooms are open to the elements, this when seen for the first time, really seems extremely odd, and being honest, I wasn't sure I would actually like it, anyone knowing me, knows I am not the best with little visitors in my room! However, at both these hotels, I had the odd small Geco, but nothing else; the beds have nets, and because you are so high up, you simply don't seem to get anything in the rooms; another item you won't have is air conditioning, as you only have 3 walls, it's warm, however, the breeze you get in the evening and through the night, keeps the rooms at a really comfortable temperature.

I recommend that clients stay at least 2 nights, perhaps 3 nights, if you are after a classic beach holiday, you won't get that easily from these two resorts, they both make for such a relaxed chilled out experience, both resorts are very different, both are small in size; however, the style, architecture is not the same, they both share the same private pool for each room, which is stunning, no matter what resort you are staying in.


These two resorts make individually, a great twin-centre with say, East Winds, East Winds is a privately owned resort, located on a slight hillside, the resort runs down to a fabulous beach, its 5-star, however with a laid back experience, it's not as glitzy as some resorts are, it has a begone era elegance, for example, the restaurant has a sand floor, so only basic shoes are required, or indeed no shoes, you also don't that the requirement as some 5-star resorts, to wear a shirt and jacket, more relaxed attire is more than welcomed.

St Lucia also works well if you are looking for a longer trip, your ability to fly into the international airport in the south of the island, stay say 3 nights in the Pitons and 4 nights at a beach resort, you can then take a domestic flight from the airport located in the north of the island, from this small airport you can get easily to Barbados, St Vincent, and even Grenada, this makes for a longer itinerary and knowing that some people are not time-restricted you're able to visit and stay in a couple of islands if you want to, the domestic flights are an experience, in a good way, the aircraft are often 2 engine props, and they fly much lower than your standard jet will do, so you get a lovely view of the Caribbean ocean, and islands as you fly overhead.


There are many resorts on the island. I am simply giving my own personal opinion; I can offer holidays to all accommodations on the island; if you would like any further information, please let me know directly. Darren darren@dgtravel.co.uk www.dgtravel.co.uk


SEE THE ISLAND

WHALE AND DOLPHIN WATCHING

Saint Lucia is a great place for whale and dolphin watching, with tours operating year-round. The island’s mountainous landscape provides a stunning backdrop as you look out for the large pods of spinning and spotted dolphins as well as the more elusive pilot, sperm and orca whales. Half-day boat trips leave early in the morning and carry state-of-the-art equipment to maximise your chances of spotting these majestic creatures.

SCENIC HELICOPTER TOUR

Take a helicopter transfer to your hotel for an unforgettable arrival experience, or enjoy a 30-minute scenic tour of the island. You’ll take in all the sights, from the majestic Pitons and the dense vegetation of the rainforest to the picturesque bays and beaches along the Caribbean coastline and the sleepy fishing villages of the more rugged Atlantic coast.


CUISINE

Eating and drinking here is a real treat, whether you’re sampling haute cuisine at the hotel restaurants, tucking into tasty street food or enjoying a rum and coke at a local bar. Saint Lucians love to party too – for a slightly sanitised experience, try the Jazz & Arts Festival in May, or for the real deal, head down to Gros Islet on a Friday night and dance with the locals to the thundering sound systems set up on the street corner. A word of warning, go easy on the rum punches - they’re strong.


GETTING THERE

Flying time from the UK is approximately 9 hrs, and all flights are non-stop.

British Airways Daily departures from Gatwick.

Virgin Atlantic Departures from Gatwick 5 times a week in high season and 4 times a week in low season.


USEFUL INFORMATION

A full British passport is required, and it should be valid for 6 months after the return date of your holiday. Visas are not required for British citizens. No special health documentation is necessary for residents of the UK who have not recently visited parts of the world where cholera or yellow fever is a problem. Moving forward, St Lucia may require proof of Covid-19 vaccination, and we are waiting to hear more on this.

It is illegal to wear any camouflage clothing anywhere on the island. Any camouflage clothing found by customs will be confiscated and returned on departure.


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