Amanda Finds Paradise in St Lucia
Posted on 21st Sep 2016
I was lucky enough to visit St Lucia this September and within just eight hours (direct from London Gatwick) I had left behind drizzly London to be greeted with blue skies and temperatures of 32 degrees. With the flight landing just before 130pm and a swift journey through customs, I reached the Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, by 3pm that afternoon. Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort is located to the south of the island while the majority of the resorts are in the north and take a little longer to access; nevertheless, the transfer is still under two hours and is a lovely introduction to St Lucia, showcasing the island’s winding mountain roads surrounded by lush greenery.
On arrival at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, families are greeted with the words “Welcome to Paradise” and this couldn’t be more accurate. The resort is spread throughout 100 acres of tropical gardens with rooms and villas nestled into the hillside and a majestic view of the Piton mountains from the beach. Nothing is too much trouble at Sugar Beach and whilst the on call butler provided with every room takes some getting used to, families looking for pure indulgent luxury won’t be disappointed. I stayed in a Luxury Villa which comes with either one or two bedrooms, a separate living room and terrace with private plunge pool. Rooms are all decorated with white wood and marble furnishings and the four poster beds complete with mosquito nets are heavenly after a busy day on the beach.
The kids club at Sugar Beach occupies a large, airy space and there are plenty of outdoor activities for children aged 4 upwards, giving parents the chance to enjoy the spa or water sports. The Rainforest Spa is a little piece of heaven, with luxurious treatment rooms housed in thatched tree houses dotted throughout the hillside. Restaurants include The Great Room for formal dining and the Cane Bar which serves sushi but my favourite was the open air Bayside Bar and Restaurant overlooking the sea and offering informal lunch and dinner including the fresh catch of the day.
Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, was the perfect introduction to St Lucia, defining “idyllic” and offering refined luxury but with the laidback feel many families look for. It would be a hard act to beat but the next morning I had to move on and was lucky enough to experience more of St Lucia’s luxury family friendly hotels.
The drive north felt less like a transfer and more like a guided tour of St Lucia’s natural wonders, with winding mountain roads surrounded by rainforest interspersed with colourful local towns and always under the watchful eye of the majestic Piton mountains. There is a lot to do for families who like to experience a little adventure – Pigeon Island is a national park with some of the island’s most stunning beaches as well as hiking trails, snorkelling and kayaking, Soufriere is home to the Caribbean’s only drive through volcano and Dennery’s Treetop Adventure Park has 12 ziplines with fantastic views of the rainforest and coastline.
The majority of the hotels in St Lucia are situated in the north of the island, close to Rodney Bay with its shops, restaurants and nightlife. Families can choose from All Inclusive luxury to self-catering, with plenty of supermarkets nearby. The Landings offers stylish luxury, constructed around a marina and with good sized 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites as well as an excellent kids club; Windjammer Landing is a larger resort with great facilities and self-catering villas as well as traditional hotel rooms and the 4-star St James Club Morgan Bay is an excellent value All Inclusive family resort.
Just eight hours away and with only a five hour time difference, St Lucia is a great option for families looking for guaranteed sunshine for October half term, Christmas, February half term and Easter. And despite the Caribbean’s traditional winter sun label, it really is a year round destination. Summer is traditionally a little wetter but the downpours are a far cry from the rain we’re used to in the UK – travelling in September I witnessed the heavens open for around 20 minutes on just two occasions and within 10 minutes of the rain stopping the ground was once again dry. Prices are often very competitive with European hotels around May Half Term and in the early summer and with year-round temperatures of 28 – 32 degrees, stunning beaches and great family facilities what’s not to love?
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