The scenic drive from the international airport in St Lucia takes you through dense rainforest, taking in the picturesque, twisting hillside on the west of the island, where you first catch a glimpse of the breathtaking views of five star Marigot Bay resort and marina.
The windy route downwards towards the hotel’s harbour is just enough time for your adrenalin to reach peak point, as you cruise into the open air reception to be greeted with a cool flannel, a refreshing drink, and an introduction to the personal assistant who is all yours for the duration of your stay.
The Marigot Bay resort consists of 124 apartments, which are built into the lush, verdant landscape that Saint Lucia is famous for. Cleverly angled to maximise the vista (modestly described as ‘views with a room’) means that most enjoy uninterrupted sea or harbour views from their terraces. Although there are only 40 miles of sea that separates the island from the mainland, each side of St Lucia has a different vibe, and the exclusive Marigot Bay marina is a premier berthing destination for mega-yachts, so expect to be treated like a princess.
The rooms at the resort, or should I say suites, have an authentic Caribbean vibe combined with old-world opulence, with maps and local handicrafts adding a homely touch. Whilst the exterior with its large veranda and shutters resembles a traditional Swiss chalet. With an impressive four poster bed (complete with pretty mozzie net which I didn’t need to use), the suites have a fully equipped kitchen, separate living-dining area, pull out sofa bed, and washing machine- making them ideal for families, sharers or guests wanting a more independent experience.
However, there are several places to dine in the resort which are available to guests with an all-inclusive package. The Grill on the terrace is the hotel’s most formal restaurant, and serves a moreish breakfast and delicious dinners utilising freshly caught fish, Creole inspired dishes and an a la carte seasonal menu.
For lighter bites, the Rum Cave restaurant-bar is hidden away on the lower level, and serves more than just rum! With expert bartenders, you can enjoy inventive cocktails, beers, wine and of course the local Chairman’s Reserve and Admiral Rodney rums. Take a pew at one of the candle lit barrels, and soak up your tipple with a selection of tapas which is perfect for sharing.
However, if you want to really impress your date, book in for a private dinner in the hotel’s Treehouse (your personal assistant will be able to assist with any surprises!) For an intimate tete a tete under the stars, you will have a personal waiter, wine and a three course dinner. What comes afterwards is up to you!
Meanwhile, on the marina, guests can enjoy mingling with the locals, or the super yacht owners who have cruised in for the night at the hotel’s Hurricane Hole restaurant and bar. A much more informal diner which is situated at the end of the harbour. In season it offers live entertainment, which you should definitely catch at least once. The legendary all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet on a Tuesday is accompanied by fire eaters and relaxing acoustic music and is a great place to soak up authentic Creole hospitality.
The hotel’s beach is just a short cruise across the bay, via the complimentary boat shuttle, and you can be lounging on a sunbed within minutes. Even though it’s a fairly small spot of sandy coastline, you can still relax and go in the sea. With an independently run restaurant and bar here, you can easily stay for the day, and explore the vista from the top of the impressive mountain (wear sensible shoes- it’s quite a trek). There is also a friendly kayak and paddle board booth, where you can hire equipment or book in for a sunset cruise.
Some guests simply enjoy the relaxed pace of life that the hotel offers, with the two pools and ample sundecks where you can curl up with a book. However if you are feeling more adventurous, you can easily hire a kayak and paddle down to the nearest beach which leads into the super picturesque Roseau River. While away an afternoon enjoying the silence and taking in the stunning scenery of mangrove and coconut trees and spotting the local birds and wildlife such as the warbler and black finch.
But if you want to venture further afield, join a boat trip from the, or organise a car tour to Soufrière for the full St Lucian experience- taking in the majestic Piton mountains. If you’re feeling energetic, book a trekking tour with a professional guide, to take you through jungle, loose rocks and at least 13000 steps to the top. Warning this is not for the faint-hearted! Less energetic visitors can simply enjoy the scenery from a boat, which is the lazy way to see both mountains in all their glory.
Arrange a stop at for snorkelling at Anse de Pitons, where there schools of trumpet fish, moray eels and parrot fish who are happy to make your acquaintance. If no holiday is complete without a dive, the deep waters at Anse Chastanet are a must, for Disney-worthy marine life!
Most visitors enjoy a trip to the hot sulphur springs and mud bath on a day’s excursion. Sulphur Springs Park, is the most active geothermal area in the Lesser Antilles, dormant for over 200 years, the Sulphur Springs is well known as one of the main sightseeing attractions of St Lucia as the mineral-rich volcanic mud is reputed to have healing qualities. However if you want the same benefits without leaving the comfort of the resort, book into the tranquil spa, and enjoy one of the many treatments on offer.
Taking inspiration from the lunar calendar, the Spa uses a holistic approach to wellness and fuses Western diagnostic skills with Eastern philosophies in a ‘Fiksyon’ method.
Like many natives who have never been to a doctor, nature is revered as having vast healing properties, and is the perfect antidote to healing the body, soothing the mind and invigorating the spirit, whilst using eco-friendly products and local ingredients. This tradition is now passed on from generation to generation, and the Spa prides itself in taking every guest’s personal diagnosis into consideration.
Providing a first-class vacation in year-round destination, Marigot Bay has hospitality honed to a T. With everything from daily motivational quotes from housekeeping, to 4pm snacks and beers, the staff are discrete and friendly, so it’s no wonder the hillside villas seduce lots of returning visitors.
Marigot Bay Resort & Marina offers accommodation from £274 per room per night on a B&B basis (based on 2 adults sharing).
Virgin Atlantic fly to St Lucia from Gatwick, with prices starting from £500.