5 Most Romantic St. Lucia Resorts For Couples
PHOTO: Capella Marigot Bay. (Photos by Lori Rackl unless otherwise noted)
Love is in the air — at least it will be with greater frequency when United Airlines rolls out new service next month to St. Lucia, one of the Caribbean’s hottest spots for couples.
United is launching inaugural non-stop service between Chicago and the island’s Hewanorra International Airport starting Dec. 19. An additional weekly flight on Sundays between Newark and St. Lucia debuts the following day.
These extra flights reflect the growing popularity of the “Helen of the West Indies,” where the number of U.S. visitors so far in 2015 is up 7.5 percent compared to last year, according to the St. Lucia Tourist Board.
That’s a lot of lovebirds flocking to this tropical paradise’s seductive, secluded resorts, which happen to be tailor-made for honeymoons, anniversaries and couples’ escapes.
Here are five romantic St. Lucian retreats sure to set your heart aflutter:
Capella Marigot Bay
Personalized service is paramount at this luxury 124-room resort sequestered in picturesque Marigot Bay, a so-called hurricane hole because it’s protected from the storms that occasionally buffet this part of the world. (And nothing kills romance like a tropical storm.)
Capella’s reaches out to guests in advance of their arrival to find out what they like. That means a bowl of mangoes or a fridge stocked with the resort’s signature chocolate stout might be a few of the surprises waiting in your newly renovated room. (The general manager discovered that a husband and wife liked playing board games, so he used Scrabble letters to wish them a “Happy Honeymoon.”)
Chill out in a poolside cabana or have a cocktail at the swim-up bar while the friendly staff makes the rounds with complimentary ceviche and fruit kebabs.
The Grill restaurant is lovely, but it’s hard to beat a private table for two in the resort’s treehouse.
Thanks to the three-wall concept, you can stay in your room and still enjoy the outdoors at this intimate, adults-only property nestled 1,100 feet above the Caribbean Sea. Each of the 37 suites and villas has open-air views of the majestic Piton Mountains, with nary a window or wall getting in the way of those stunning sunsets.
An abundance of tropical hardwood furniture — all made on-site by local artisans — and colorful tile mosaics in the private plunge pools and bathrooms, separate Ladera from the pack of high-end resorts, whose contemporary design sometimes lacks personality.
Keep in mind that the three-wall concept isn’t for everyone. A harmless gecko might pop in to say hi, and be prepared to be serenaded to sleep by tree frogs that sound like a creaky swing set. (Amenities in the rooms include earplugs and sleep masks, as well as star charts, binoculars and squirt guns.)
Rest assured that when you wake up, you’ll be greeted with a vista that will make you want to stay put.
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
These 14 rooms, built among hilly cocoa groves, make a sweet lodging option for chocolate fans.
The pair of entrepreneurs behind a British-based chocolate company opened this hip hotel in 2012 on their 140-acre cocoa estate, where daily tours give visitors the low down on how beans are harvested and turned into mouth-watering treats. You and your honey can even make your own chocolate bar.
Chocolate permeates every facet of the property, from the menu at the spa to the restaurant, where every dish contains some form of cocoa. (Chocolate and seafood, you might ask? Trust me. It works.)
Guests are welcome to explore the grounds of this working plantation, or just relax by the infinity pool with Boucan’s signature cocktail, a cocoa Bellini, soaking up the view of Petit Piton piercing the sky.
Photo courtesy of Jade Mountain
Truckloads of awards have been bestowed on this architectural marvel, which was designed by its owner. The sweeping panoramas from its mountaintop perch are just one of the “wow” factor elements.
Most of the 29 suites — called sanctuaries — have private infinity pools that seem suspended in the sky. Like Ladera, Jade has done away with the fourth wall, making guests feel like they’re living in The Fanciest Treehouse Ever.
The resort’s organic farm keeps the exclusive dining room’s kitchen well stocked. Or guests can opt to have any meal, any time, in the privacy of their sanctuary. They also can take classes at the on-site chocolate laboratory that opened last year.
A pair of beaches are part of the sprawling, 600-acre estate that includes Jade’s sister property, Anse Chastanet.
ABC’s reality dating show, “The Bachelor,” filmed here twice, most recently for Juan Pablo’s season that aired last year.
The net result is a self-contained retreat that has it all, whether you’re looking to snorkel and sunbathe on the sand, bike and hike in the mountains, or do nothing at all.
Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort
Photo courtesy of Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort
Matt Damon rented this entire place in 2013 to renew his wedding vows, so that should give you some idea of how special it is.
Formerly the very beautiful Jalousie Plantation resort, Sugar Beach got a new name — and even more beautiful — after a $100 million-plus renovation.
It’s ideally situated between the Pitons on a crescent of powdery sand shipped in from Trinidad. (Black sand is the norm on this part of the volcanic island.)
A collection of 59 villas, eight bungalows and 11 rooms dot the 100-acre parcel that used to produce sugar cane.
Today’s cash crop consists of happy travelers, especially after a visit to the nearly 10,000-square-foot Rainforest Spa.
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