St. Lucia’s Capella Marigot Bay is an Oasis of Wellness
Photo courtesy of Capella Marigot Bay
Tucked away in a discrete, quiet corner of the island of St. Lucia is the Capella Marigot Bay, a 124-room resort with a decidedly island vibe, under new management with the capable eyes of former Ritz Carlton President Mr. Horst Schulze.
It is easy to feel as though you’ve come to a place where you can heal, far from the madding crowd of skyscrapers and elbow jostling, especially once you sip the deliciously sweet welcome iced tea made with locally distilled Chairman’s Reserve Rum— complete with cinnamon stick — at the porte cochere.
The undulating island of St. Lucia, with its iconic Pitons, has a long history. Its position was so attractive that the locals went to battle with the French 14 times. The British ended up seizing reign in 1814, and the nation received independence in 1979.
There’s good reason that both the British and French wanted to gain control of this lush island, gifted with natural resources from volcanic beaches, a caldera near the fishing village of Soufriere (which was founded by the French and the original capital of the island), gushing waterfalls, and botanical gardens. Sugarcane was a major cash crop here, long before tourism inevitably took over.
But what St. Lucia has in natural marvels, including mountains dripping with fresh fruit, and beautiful bays, fishing towns and inlets, is a bevy of truly beautiful resorts, each one more beautiful than the last.
The Capella St. Lucia is one such gorgeous gem, designed in treehouse fashion. As I wandered through its corridors one night, listening to the symphonic sounds of tree frogs, marveling at the hedges of crotons, ferns and Taiwanese apple trees, I already felt spiritually and mentally healed by listening to the sounds of nature.
The philosopher George Santayana said, “The earth has music for those who listen.” Well, he would have certainly felt at home on this island, which prides itself on healing. There is wellness everywhere you look, listen, and touch. The hotel has a welcome kiosk at the airport, which gives you a sense of place even before you arrive at the resort, with fresh-baked coconut cookies and the welcome iced tea.
This gesture is not only a symbol of hospitality, it’s personalization.
But wellness is a theme that isn’t just a byproduct of the prompt room service and anxiety-reducing drinks. It comes as part and parcel of the land, from the time when the Caribs and Arawaks, the indigenous population of St. Lucia, practiced a system called fwote, a massage technique using the healing laying on of hands. These Amerindians used to use a massage oil called fiksyon as a dressing or panse.
There are four restaurants on property, including a gorgeous rum cave, and the Auriga spa, which has thoughtful healing touches like chlorophyll water (which tastes less swampy than it looks), to moon phase treatments (which sounds hokey, but actually has merit) designed to help you with renewal and introspection. If you visit, the volcanic hot stones massage is well worth it.
The resort gardener too, Stamislas Edward, has created a maze of discovery with graceful crotons, non-native Taiwanese apple trees, ferns and lovely paths. A walk through nature itself promotes healing and wellness.
But in the end, it is the resort’s location that wins out. Marigot Bay, located on the leeward side of the island, is so calm and quiet you can hear a pebble drop in the water. Several boats quietly anchor here, and there are small beaches and hiking trails for those who love the outdoors.
And if a fine glass of rum is the way to heal, the St. Lucia Distillery, located in the Rouseau Valley, is just the ticket. Take a tour of the grounds and come home with a fine bottle of Chairman’s Reserve, made and bottled on the island.
READ MORE: Saint Lucia’s Sublime Singularity
All these factors are reasons that have contributed to the island’s growing connection to wellness. Take a trip out here; you’ll leave feeling refreshing and in tune with yourself.
Flights from the East Coast to St. Lucia last only 4.5 hours, and carriers include JetBlue. Prices for resort-view rooms start from $550 per night during low season (May 16 to November 3) to $990 per night (peak season from Dec. 19 to Jan. 2).
More by Charu Suri
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