Raise your rum and cocktail, welcome to Saint Lucia

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It had been a dream of mine to see the true beauty of the Caribbean and the stunning Saint Lucia was on the top of my bucket list. The week included such a wide mix of activities, hotel visits, parties, delicious food and fantastic people. Every day was different. Here is just a short snippet of the most magical trip of my life!

Our taxi driver Abott taught us the flag represents the blue of the Caribbean ocean, the black and white represents the races, the yellow is the sun and the triangles are the famous Pitons of Saint Lucia. I was blessed to be a part of all of this.

Day 1

“Raise your Rum Cocktail” – Welcome to Saint Lucia

I was so nervous about meeting the FAM group, but I didn’t need to be as they were fantastic. Matt from Thomas Cook checked us in smoothly and Chelcie, our Saint Lucia Tourist Board Leader, got us access to the lounge where we had bacon butties and got to know each other better. The flight flew by and with unlimited food and drinks, we got through it and landed in sunny Saint Lucia! We skipped the crowd and got through customs with the help of the Tourist board.

First stop Bay Gardens Hotel

BGHsignatureshotWow, what an entrance! As we checked in, we heard the lively vibes of the hotel and that evening it was the Thursday night Rum Punch party! There was live music and rum punch stalls set up all around the pool, people smiling and dancing. After we were greeted with a rum cocktail followed by extra rum bottle presentation in the spacious bedroom, we freshened up and headed over to Bay Gardens Beach Resort for our first meal.

WOW WOW WOW! I couldn’t choose between the Jerk chicken or the Prawn Curry for mains so I decided to have pumpkin soup, followed by the prawn curry. My first taste of authentic Saint Lucian cuisine. I am well-travelled but have never had food this tasty before. It was delicious! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! After the meal we headed back to the hotel for an early night.. ready for a full packed day..

Day 2 

“Jump Up!!”

Waking up to 30 degrees was a lovely feeling. I had a comfortable sleep on my triple queen size which was big enough to sleep at least 5 people!!

After a hearty breakfast, it was our first lot of site inspections. We explored around Bay Garden Hotel, Inn and the Beach Resort, Coco Palm and The Rex Resorts. They were all close by to each other on the North side of the island. The beaches were every part what I imagined plus more, clear waters, calm blue oceans and soft powdery sands. Heaven!

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Splash Island Waterpark

Dinesh from Bay Gardens showed us around and hosted us a lovely buffet lunch with lots of typical Saint Lucian dishes and desserts. It was so nice to speak to Dinesh as he told us about his culture and where he was brought up and it felt like we had known him for ages! The exciting fun part was next.. time for the famous Bay Gardens Waterpark! The first waterpark that I have seen that is actually in the ocean as well as a Volleyball Court. Even though we were all over 21, our inner child burst out as we climbed up the course, swung across one part to the other, pushed each other off and made fools of ourselves, but hey, we had fun!

Hello Evening..

Time to go back to the beautiful Coco Palm for the evening BBQ night. We arrived all dressed up and were greeted by a fantastic cocktail menu by the hosts. We drank colourful cocktails whilst listening to the live band singing classics. We were then taken to the BBQ buffet and I don’t think I have eaten so much! The spinach and pumpkin soup was so delicious and the BBQ meats and dessert! WOW! The food just kept on getting more and more divine! Take me back!

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Gros Islet Friday Night Jump Up

After dinner, our driver Abbott picked us up.. as it was now time for the FRIDAY NIGHT JUMP UP! The famous street party in Gros Islet. Wow, I have never been to a street party like it, it was Notting Hill Carnival plus more!! Rum shacks, drink and food stalls, everyone dancing anywhere and everywhere, locals and tourists all mixed as one, a DJ mixing all sorts from club classics to reggae to Justin Bieber! There was something for everyone. I didn’t need my six rum punches to get me on a high as the vibe itself was enough to get anyone up and dancing. We even bumped into Dinesh from Bay Gardens and also our Waterpark lifeguard!! One of the best nights of my life!!

Day 3

“MTV Cribs, watch out, Saint Lucia is coming for you!”

Good morning from Calabash Cove Hotel! What a view to see on our first visit of the day! We walked in just to see many blue shades of the sea from the entrance from the lobby. We were lead around the hotel by the handsome Rohan who showed us some beautiful rooms and the lovely hilly grounds of the hotel. The hotel was extremely luxurious and had a very calm and tranquil feel to it.

After the site inspection, we were taken on a quick visit to Castries where we brought some duty free goods. I brought some spiced rum and also some kitchen spices and sauces to take back home with me so I can try and make some of my own Saint Lucian magic in the kitchen, though not quite the same!

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Rendezvous

We were then taken to the stunning Rendezvous Hotel. I loved this hotel as it has such a colonial traditional feel and the beach was beautiful. The lunch here was fab and I remember getting greedy with the desserts, I guess that explained my four pound weight gain when I got back! Looking back, it was worth every bite. Mmm!

 

 

Now it’s time to jam at Windjammer Landing, my favourite!!                                                                                        

The Villas, oh the villas!! We were greeted by a beautiful lovely host Cassandra at Windjammer Landing who took us in a van to the rooms. Whilst going up the hills to the villas, it honesty felt like you were in San Francisco as the little roads of villas were just beautiful on the hills. Except in Saint Lucia, if you turn your head you have the sun and the beaches!

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Windjammer Landing

The villas we saw were just getting better and better, with private Jacuzzis, swimming pools, honestly something that Kim Kardashian would have her vacation in, even live there! I remember shooting my own version of MTV cribs in the villas and had to do this three times as each villa was just getting more and more amazing!! I loved the feel of this hotel, the rooms, the gym, the beach, the pools and what stood out most was the staff!

We were due to head back to the Windjammer Landings for dinner but before this, it was time for the islands first Beer Brewery in Rodney Bay! It was so interesting, even though I am not a big beer drinker, it was fascinating to see how it is made and taste the different varieties. I brought a litre of the seasonal beer which was a passion fruit flavour and was delicious!

We checked into Bay Gardens Beach Resort and were blessed to see the most stunning sunset!! We spent some time in the ocean and then watched the sun go down. I managed to get an amazing photo taken of myself as below!

Back to my favourite hotel now for dinner! Hello Sherani and Jackie from Windjammer, two warm welcoming ladies. We drank cocktails, shared stories, ate a lovely three course meal and then we danced the evening away to the live evening entertainment. I will definitely come back to Windjammer and stay here!

Day 4

“Give us your body for a week and we will give you back your mind”

12Time to check out of Bay Gardens Beach Resort. We headed towards The Landings and looked at the luxury apartments and wow! We were even informed that some celebrities have properties here and I can understand why! It was Heather from our FAM groups birthday so was a great day! The staff at The Landings brought out a surprise cake and we all sang happy birthday! We then celebrated with rum cocktails.. at 10am!! This got us all a bit extra cheerful but hey, only in Saint Lucia as we were reminded!

Cap Maison was next and the scenery and rooms were just beautiful! Jacuzzis overlooking the ocean, pure bliss! We ended the inspection with banana smoothies and again, were tasty! Really being spoilt!

Now the bit we were waiting for…

18Lunch, inspection and spa treatments at The BodyHoliday! I wasn’t there a week but really did give me back my mind! I LOVED this hotel and could imagine myself there for two weeks with my best friend or sister. So many activities from exercise classes to aqua aerobics. Smoothie and salad shacks by the pool, not the typical burger stands so perfect for the more figure conscious! Of course, there were treats to but it was lovely to see the options were all there. After a tempting lunch, we were then taken for a relaxing body massage! The spa was a sanctuary, almost like you were in palace grounds! The massage was beautiful to and I didn’t want it to end. It relaxed me so much that I fell asleep on the beach after! I loved the beach, after my nap, I joined the group for drinks… in the sea!! Yes there were bar tables in the ocean and there was even a waiter who swam out to get our orders and serve us drinks! Really couldn’t ask for more! Afterwards, we had a fantastic hosted meal to finish of the day.

We then headed to Capella Marigot Bay where our “Personal Assistants” took us to our amazing bedrooms where we were greeted with rum and personal messages to each of us! It was so sweet! Even though it was heading towards 11pm, the Rum Cave bar was kept open for us and a few of us headed down for a last drink before bed.

Day 5

“Reshmee, Queen of the Rainforest!”

After a filling ala carte breakfast at Capella, we had a site inspection of the property. Absolutely loved the rooms, the pool area was relaxed and loved the marina views. The spa was magical and felt like something from a fairy-tale! Felt happy that I was staying here another night!

16The relaxed feeling started to disappear as the nerves kicked in as was time for zip lining!! Ahh! I had never zip lined before but it was such a crazy experience! I loved it. We completed about 9 ziplines including one rope swing like Tarzan! I felt proud that I accomplished this as I had never been so scared! I even managed to do a selfie on the zip line, not flattering for sure! After the zip line, we had a site inspection of St James’s Club Morgan Bay. This hotel was again just beautiful as well as the staff! We kept stopping throughout the tour for the cocktail of the day! We then had a lovely lunch overlooking the beach.

We then headed back to Capella for some free time where we played pool games, however I just swam to burn of the desserts I had been eating all week! We then had a scrumptious hosted meal with the food and beverages manager and our hotel tour host. The food was so artistic and it was nice as we didn’t order anything but the host just kept bringing out lots of different foods and desserts! Afterwards I learnt to know my family friends were staying in Capella at the same time! What a small world! So I had a birthday drink with my friends to end the night.

Day 6

“Set adrift on Saint Lucia Bliss, bring on the Pitons, not just beer!”

Goodbye Capella, as we set sale on the Saint Lucian ocean. Even though it was morning, we had a boat party with music, rum and the sea breeze as the Pitons started to appear in our site. We visited Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain and yes, it is better than the pictures. Our host was great and really funny as he showed us the most magical rooms a hotel could have. The bedrooms were fully outdoors, facing the pitons with private swimming pools overlooking the beaches. Wow! This hotel was indeed luxury at its highest. We then had lunch with a view and I cannot forget the vanilla milkshake I had… the best ever!

We then headed towards Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resortvsb-residence-pool-piton-1280x720 for a site inspection and cocktails. This hotel is famous for its many celebrities which the host proudly told us stories about. We then had passion fruit mojitos on the beach whilst waiting for the sunset. I could definitely see the appeal of celebs to this hotel as it had a quirky yet modern appeal and the rooms were fit for royalty. Definitely got me dreaming!

Next, we headed to our final hotel stay at the Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa. We checked in and literally had 30 minutes to shower and freshen up for dinner, which we all managed to do. We then had a hosted meal with such amazing hosts! They were warm, welcoming and simply knew how to entertain. We started off in the Chocolate bar which smelt of, you guessed it, chocolate. We each ordered cocktails and then sat down to a lovely four course meal, followed by dessert made in front of us and further drinks.

Day 7

“Mud bath anyone?”

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Sulphur Springs

Wow, what a warm day. We visited the sulphur springs and I had never done this before so was such a great experience to see the volcano and then the best part, mud bath and wash down in the springs. The water was so hot, so we had to be splashed to wash the mud!

We then went to Tet Paul Nature trail and hiked and saw some fabulous views of the Pitons!

I wasn’t quite ready for the next site inspection as I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful the rooms were going to be! It had a very similar outdoors concept as Jade Mountain but the swings over the private pools overlooking the Pitons and the beach were indeed something I had never seen and don’t expect to see again either. We were hosted another scrumptious meal where I had purple sweet potato chips, which clearly fascinated me!

We then headed to the official Hotel Chocolat, the Boucan! Chocolate heaven! We were greeted by chocolate martinis as well as meat chocolate skewers (yes it works!). We then saw the striking rooms, some coco beans growing and again some great views. The host was from Manchester and she showed us her house and her very large dogs who were gorgeous but a little scary as they were huge

Evening at leisure back at Coconut Bay meant only one thing on a Wednesday night… Pool party!! I had never been to a pool party like it! I have been to pool parties in Vegas, LA and Cancun but Saint Lucia pool party at Coconut Bay is the one to be at! The DJ played tunes that you would hear in a top club in London, the crowd were cool and up for a laugh and they gave us rubber rings for the pool, beach balls and unlimited drinks. Definitely was one crazy night so I think I will end it there! Haha! I couldn’t have asked for a better final night!

Day 8

“I don’t want to go home, I love Saint Lucia!”

I don’t like today as it is the day we fly home from paradise!! Leave me here please!

After an insightful inspection of Coconut Bay including the green house, biggest kids club I have seen and two wings (with a slight hangover from the best pool party ever!), we had some time at leisure by the pool before packing up and heading for the airport. With a short stop in Barbados airport, we headed back to the cold land of Manchester.

19I want to truly thank the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, especially Chelcie for introducing me to the most beautiful island of paradise I have ever travelled to. Before travelling to Saint Lucia, I knew that it was a paradise island with luxury hotels, however after staying there for a week and exploring, it is paradise and luxury but also cultural, fun, colourful and has the best food and people ever with amazing accents and full of warmth and love.

I will definitely take my experience and ensure my clients and also my large social network/family and friends visit Saint Lucia in the future. I know after seeing my photos, they already do!

Thank you Saint Lucia xxx

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