PHOTO: The Royalton Saint Lucia Resort & Spa is designed to accommodate families as well as luxury-focused guests. (photo by Brian Major)
The all-inclusive, 455-room Royalton Saint Lucia Resort & Spa opened officially this past week following a February “soft” launch.
The new resort is Saint Lucia’s largest, designed for a broad slice of vacationers, from families to wedding and romance guests, to upscale travelers who prefer an adults-only experience.
A family-focused section features a water park and kids’ club. There’s also the Hideaway at Royalton Saint Lucia, a resort-within-a-resort featuring its own infinity pool deck, private stretch of beach and beach bar. Finally, Diamond Club accommodations emphasize luxury amenities and services.
Some controversy has accompanied the Royalton Saint Lucia Resort & Spa’s arrival.
Saint Lucia’s first new major resort in years joins a competitive hospitality marketplace featuring several other well-recognized boutique hotels and all-inclusive resort brands.
Earlier this month, Saint Lucia tourism stakeholders recently expressed concerns regarding “poaching” of experienced staff following the soft launch. For their part, Royalton officials are moving carefully, saying this week the resort is operating at around 30 percent of normal capacity as a full staff contingent is hired and trained.
“You haven’t had a hotel of this size open in Saint Lucia in some time," said Jordi Pelfort, managing director of Blue Diamond Resorts, Royalton’s parent firm. “It’s a process. I hope we will be at our expected level very soon, but right now we are happy at what we have.”
He continued, “It’s a resort with a lot of product differentiation. You can come here with small kids and have an awesome time. We have an adults-only section that can accommodate people from ages 20 to 60, and they will have a phenomenal time. So I really think we’re suited for a lot of people.”
The new resort is expected to profoundly impact Saint Lucia’s tourism sector. Sunwing Travel Group—owner of both Royalton and parent firm Blue Diamond Resorts—operates airlines, tour operators and travels agencies in Canada and the US. It plans to bring thousands of new visitors to this (at-times) under-the-radar Caribbean destination.
Here are five reasons to visit the Royalton Saint Lucia Resort & Spa right now before the crowds grow bigger:
Sun and Fun:
The spacious, sleek-looking property is located on a relatively small but intimate and attractive stretch of beach. Nearly every public area and room faces the beachfront.
Although they are located in different parts of the property, the Hideaway Infinity pool, resort pools and the Splash Pad water park all face the beach, located in a picturesque, calm-water Caribbean Sea cove that features beautiful sunsets. A water sports and excursion desk operated by Nexus provides beach activities.
READ MORE: 7 Great Things To Do In St. Lucia
The Royalton Saint Lucia offers a superior room presentation with spacious, deluxe accommodations featuring complete modern amenities. Guests can choose from the property’s Resort section (largely for families) or the Diamond Club section for families and groups seeking premium amenities.
Accommodations at the Hideaway at the Royalton Saint Lucia section cater to age 18 and up. Guests in this area also enjoy access to all resort restaurants, bars and activities, plus health and wellness facilities. Accommodations across all three categories feature outstanding facilities including in-room Jacuzzi soaking tubs, ground-floor, semi-private swim-out pools and terraces overlooking the ocean.
Diamond Club guests receive butler service, plus personalized check-out and check-in at an exclusive Diamond Club lounge. The lounge also features snacks, desserts, wine and premium liquors. Diamond Club guests also enjoy preferred room locations and upgraded room service menus.
All rooms and suites are equipped with Royalton’s “DreamBed” mattresses and high thread count sheets. Accommodations also include 24-hour concierge service, USB recharge and Bluetooth audio stations, complimentary Wi-Fi service, in-room safe, rain showers, satellite television, stocked mini-bars, 24-hour room service and balconies or terraces.
The resort offers a multitude of dining and cuisine options on a no-reservations-required basis. Armadillo features Tex-Mex fusion including grilled seafood and hickory smoked meats. The Beach Club Grill serves Caribbean-style grilled chicken and fish authentic just steps from the beachfront; It also includes a kids section for family-friendly daytime dining without leaving the beach.
Gourmet Marché is an international breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet offering local ingredients and international flavors served at expansive, well-laid out stations.
Zen features Japanese cuisine, including fresh sushi and an authentic Teppanyaki experience. Grazie Italian Trattoria offers Italian cuisine while Hunter Steakhouse features an array of prime meats prepared in an open kitchen. The steakhouse also features Cave Wine Cellar, a private dining room, while Calypso offers Caribbean specialties.
Other options include Café Lounge & Scoops Gelato, a specialty coffee and ice cream parlor, along with Nibbles, a food truck offering smoothies and snacks. Guests can also opt for 24-hour room service or the “Culinary Experience”: Seven-course gourmet meals featuring a custom menu, musical accompaniment and attentive personal service.
READ MORE: Is St. Lucia the Bora Bora of the Caribbean?
An on-property Nexus Tours office can arrange a variety of off-resort activities on this lush and mountainous island: From visits to the Pitons UNESCO World Heritage Site to catamaran trips, dune buggy and mountain-biking excursions and guided trips to the Friday night street party in nearby Gros Ilet.
Guests in all sections can rent beachfront cabanas featuring plunge pools, full food and beverage services, stocked refrigerators and in-cabana televisions.
The Royal Spa is a full-service facility providing an extensive menu of health, wellness and beauty services. It features a hydrotherapy circuit plus a variety of massage, body and facial treatments.
The supervised kids club for ages 6 to 12 features a Kids Adventures program while a Hangout Teens Club offers guests ages 13 to 17 a place to make friends, play video games and enjoy on-resort outdoor activities.