Saint Lucia Travel Guide
A hotel with its own cocoa plantation? Pretty cool. A hotel with its own cocoa plantation that organizes weekly tasting sessions of the inhouse chocolate? Even better.
A “chocolate laboratory” is the newest amenity at St Lucia’s Jade Mountain, in which you can learn how to make your own chocolate. Pretty good, and not too expensive at $45 per person for an hour-long session.
But better still are the new “chocolate sensory tastings”, held every Tuesday at 10am. You’ll get to taste all incarnations of chocolate and soon-to-be chocolate, from the cocoa bean to cocoa mass; and after you’ve put in all that hard work, they’ll reward you with Emerald Estate (the house label) chocolate bars and homemade truffles.
Oh, and the tastings are free.
Now the company is heading to the Caribbean to assume management of St. Lucia's Discovery at Marigot Bay.
In Fall 2014, it'll be completely rebranded as Capella Marigot Bay, St. Lucia, a 124-room resort fronting a marina where yachts of all sizes bob in the bay. Guests will be able to charter boats for snorkeling, diving, and sailing excursions up the coast. Oh, and if you book a suite, you'll get a view of the bay from your private plunge pool.
Hotel Rebrandings / Viceroy Hotel Group / St. Lucia Hotels / Caribbean Hotels / Beach Hotels / → All Tags
After what seems like an interminable amount of time (really, about four years in the making) St. Lucia's Jalousie Plantation, originally to be called "The Tides", was named Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, on December. 1st.
We visited the property about three years ago where renovations (which eventually topped out at $100 million) had already begun on transforming Jalousie into a more sleeker resort. Coincidentally that's when the Viceroy Hotel Group had taken over Tides properties in Mexico and renamed them Viceroy as well.
Although there's a new lobby and reception area, the resort's most evident and beautiful change are the additions of the new luxury villas that come with their own plunge pools and butler service. Another improvement is the Rainforest Spa, which now has seven treehouse treatment cabanas to experience more authentic and organic therapies such as the sulphur and lime body wrap or papaya and sea salt body polish.
For the single workaholics out there who blew the summer stuck behind a desk and now don’t have a titillating tale to write about (and win a stay at The Standard Miami), we give you a gentle tsk tsk, but a chance to redeem yourself.
While everyone else gets back in work grind, use that stored up vacation time and head to The The BodyHoliday at LeSport in St. Lucia where the all-inclusive health and wellness haven is hosting a “September Solos” retreat from now until the 30th.
On the agenda is the makings of a perfect date—daily spa treatments, gourmet dinners, cocktails, and sunset cruises and champagne concerts.
We have a confession to make. Just over a year ago, while on a visit to the Fond Deux Cocoa Plantation Hotel on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia (see those awesome pics here), we inadvertently trespassed on the edge of a new hotel property. Don't worrya guard stopped us after emerging from a gingerbread-looking guardhouse. Where the heck were we? As it turns out, it was the Hotel Chocolat, which just opened February 28.
The Hotel Chocolat isn't so named because it sounds pretty; the place is high up on the island, within the actual chocolate-producing, 18th-century Rabot cocoa estate. The hotel was constructed here because its British owners are themselves crazy for the stuff, and manufacture a brand of chocolate already named Hotel Chocolat. This then is the embodiment of their dream, and guests are of course invited to learn from and participate in various chocolatier activities.
The Bachelor / Reality TV Hotels / Romantic Hotels / St Lucia Hotels / Jake Pavelka / Vienna Girardi / Tenley Molzahn / → All Tags
Last night, the 14th season of 'The Bachelor' came to an appropriately romantic end amongst the dreamlike, exotic environs of the island of Saint Lucia. Since St. Lucia is known as a seriously romantic destination, we weren't too surprised that the crew hauled Jake the pilot and his final three girls down there, but we were shocked at how much they got around the island's many luxurious hotels. Let's break them down, shall we?
· Jade Mountain
This is without a doubt the most important hotel of them all, so we're starting with it. It's where Jake stayed, and it's where the pivotal decision moment happened at the end of the season. Jade Mountain is an architectural, organic masterpieces, and it's consistently ranked as the top Caribbean resort, with room rates (starting from $1,200 a night) to reflect its pedigree. Infinity pools, open-air sanctuary suites and ridiculously awesome views complete the package. It was up on it's Celestial Terrace that Jake chose his final girl.
The Bachelor / Reality TV Hotels / Romantic Hotels / Island Hotels / St Lucia Hotels / Hotel Packages / → All Tags
We don't know about you, but the ABC Show "The Bachelor: On the Wings of Love" has us falling more in love with the romantic island of St. Lucia more than the hunky pilot who stars, and his three potential mates with whom he's traveled to this tropical place. Jake Pavelka, a pilot for Atlantic Southeast Airlines, is nearing the end of his reality television search for his love, and the cast and crew of the show have flown down to St. Lucia, known as a honeymoon paradise, for the final couple episodes
Amongst all the bikinis and sunset smooching, we get glimpses of Jake's fabulous "Fantasy Suite" at Jade Mountain Resort, which we visited ourselves recently. But on tonight's episode, Jake has his last-chance with Tenley at Jalousie Plantation, and the hotel has pulled out all the stops to recreate the romantic experience for you with a "Wings of Love" package.
Hmmm...we don't recall seeing this garden topiary during our stay at the Body Holiday LeSport in St. Lucia last fall but that's what the hotel is showing off in their print ads. If only our bottoms looked liked this after a week in a hotel. Usually, three days into a hotel stay and we're already walking around with a top button on our pants permanently loosened.
Then again, the hotel's mission statement is to combine a relaxing luxury hotel stay with fitness and wellness programs so showing off a perfect backside makes sense. After all, they couldn't use Amy Winehouse as a spokesmodel, could they?
So the deal is, if you stay four or more nights at their property, and one of those nights happens to be the 20th of the month (valid through December 2010), that night will cost you only $20. In addition, they're offering a few other goodies:
· 20% discount on luxurious spa treatments
· 20th Birthday and 20th Anniversary candlelit dinner
· 20 hours of complimentary babysitting/nanny services
· 20% savings on a romantic sunset cruise
· 20 percent savings on food and beverage all-inclusive packages
· Sun Dollar Savings (resort credit) worth up to $200 per night per stay
Find out if it's a deal or no deal, after the jump.
We've spent a week teasing you with images of beaches and infinity pools on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, and so now let's round out the hotels with one that includes massages dailyBodyHoliday LeSPORT.
You may already know of this all-inclusive, adults-only resort from last winter's Amy Winehouse St. Lucia debacle, where she holed up on the island, crawled around on the floor, snatching guests' drinks, and generally wreaked havoc until Le SPORT gave her a talking to. We may have even been sleeping in the same bed as her, but shudder at the thought. LeSPORT is far too good for Le Winehouse.
Have you been digging our recent tours of St. Lucia's Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts, but perhaps the prices or beachside locations aren't up your alley? Well, while we were on the island and jumping from active volcano to scuba diving, we came across Fond Doux Estate, a working cocoa plantation that also functions as a boutique hotel comprised of several individual villas scattered around the lush grounds.
It was a complete surprise to be walking through foliage just short of a junglewith starfruit, cocoa pods, banana bunches and ginger lilies all aroundand then to emerge into a clearing with the cheery yellow cottage, Angelina Villa, you see above. This house, over 200 years old, is one of the ten cottages available for your stay, but sadly it's the only one we saw since the grounds are so sprawling. Fond Doux is not on a beach, so families or couples who elect to stay here will get a decidely non-touristy look at St. Lucia. And for nightly rates beginning from only $100 and cocoa tea with breakfast, the deal is literally sweetened.
Forget Disney Worldwhen you wish upon a star, this is where you hope you are. Following our visit to the uber-luxe Jade Mountain resort on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia last week, we headed down the hill a bit to peek behind the doors at Anse Chastanet, owned by the same folks and with the same impressive views of the Pitons, but a tad older a property with thankfully less expensive nightly rates.
Just outside the town of Soufrière on the southwest coast of the island, Anse Chastanet is a tribute to the indigenous charm and pride of the island, since much of the staff and property itself is of St. Lucian origin, and it's been hopping since it opened its doors in the late 1960sdon't worry, it was freshly renovated in 2004. It's now known as the premier St. Lucian resort for scuba diving (with the first scuba center on the island), bird watching, and jungle mountain biking (they have their own 12 miles of trails).
And of course, it's quite the honeymoon and destination wedding hotspot, having been voted one of the "Top 25 Resorts: Americas & The Caribbean" for 2009 in CN Traveler, and #1 of the Top Five Places To See In Your Lifetime by good old Oprah.