I must admit this last trip to St. Lucia had me bummed out before we even left LA. Traveling the day after Christmas leaving my family just felt kinda icky. Yes, I am a seasoned flight attendant accustomed to traveling on average 15 days a month, but for some reason 8 days on an island alone was making me feel sad. Fortunately, the lovely people and culture of St. Lucia were able to turn that around rather quickly.
St. Lucia is made up of inviting locals who are eager to share their stories and history of their island. I instantly fell in love with their culture. Everyday in St. Lucia was better than the previous…which was hard to do because each day was unpredictably perfect.
Arrival in St. Lucia
From above, St. Lucia looked much like other islands…isolated. By the time we put the plane to bed dusk had set in. I will say this much, the coolest part of international travel in corporate aviation is going through customs. We are personally escorted by a handler, no lines, no waiting it’s all very efficient. Once we load up our driver’s mini-suv I heard the words I could not believe… “It is going to take 1 hour and a half to get to your hotel” Noooooooo! Like whyeeeee?? Side note: I’ll let you in about my role… I do not make the hotel reservations, the pilots do. So basically we arrive in a city and often times I am clueless where we are staying. This trip we discussed a hotel but wow a long car ride?? I made myself comfy and gave myself a wee pep talk, like girl get it together. In the darkness on a two lane road uphill, down hill, twisting , winding, going a tempered 40 miles per hour I let my mind imagine the views of the coastline and the dense greenery of the rainforest.
After a 90 minute commute we arrived at our resort, the Hilton Harbor Club in Rodney Bay located in northern St. Lucia. The hotel is in an ideal location with plenty of dining options both on property and within walking distance. In fact, I frequently walked to the marina to eat.
$390 per night
Large & modern. I had a corner room with a view of the bay. In room fridge & Nespresso. They also offer swim-up rooms with your own private swimming pools.
- Full Gym with spin bikes, full weights and yoga in the am. My goal was to workout three days while staying here and I can happily report that I met my goal. It’s so important for me to stay in a routine while I’m traveling.
- The Spa at Harbor Club was amazing and their prices were very affordable. I had a 50 minute Swedish massage for $85 w/tip. Ahhhh so relaxing.
- Complimentary Boat & Van Shuttle to the beach at Pigeon Island (5 min ride). The driver, Stewart was the kindest, super cool dude and I enjoyed chatting with him about the island.
- Four Outdoor Pools
There are 5 restaurants conveniently located on property. Actually 6 but Positano’s was closed for the season.
- 7th Heaven Bakery is a Swiss inspired coffee shop and bakery with beautiful freshly made baked goods, gelato, and a full coffee & tea service. It’s so good even the locals are regulars. I pretty much frequented this bakery every day. The staff are so lovely and they make the best iced soy lattes!! I may have also indulged in a cookie (or two LOL).
- Dockside Pizzeria offers handmade wood fired pizza. The seafood pizza I had a taste of was absolutely delicious!!!!!!! Unbelievable, TRULY!
- Julia’s Restaurant is the on-site breakfast/lunch/dinner restaurant with lovely outdoor seating overlooking the marina. I had the pleasure of meeting Jasmin, a local from Soufriere and the hostess. She was not only beautiful but it was a pleasure sharing familiar conversations with her as if we have always known each other. She and I share a passion for healthy lifestyles. I enjoyed eating here and clearly island fries make me HAPPY.
- Sushi Deck is a rooftop sushi bar with a beautiful view overlooking Rodney Bay. Their sushi chef Ricardo is an international award winning sushi chef. I would go back to the hotel just to eat his unbelievably delicious preparations and share a conversation.
- Harbor Bar offers a casual hangout with full bar and televisions. I didn’t partake but my pilots really loved the Chairman’s spiced rum.
Unlike Turks and Caicos, St. Lucia doesn’t offer long continuous beaches. The beaches here are shorter and more isolated. In order to get beach access, I took the water taxi three times over to Pigeon Island.
Pigeon Island is a National Park with several historical forts and hiking, including a trail to a cliff side that overlooks the harbor. I enjoyed spending time at Pigeon Island’s local restaurant, which served drinks and local foods. You’ll need to bring cash unless you spend over $25.
The rocky areas near the beach were great for photos. I also passed time watching snorkelers.
My main excursion during my time in St. Lucia was a day trip on a catamaran to Soufriere with Carnival Sailing. The cost for the trip was $110 and we left our hotel at 8:10 am and returned at about 4:30 pm. We sailed the gorgeous west coast of St. Lucia passing local fishing villages along the way. To get from the northern part of island to Soufriere was 1-½ hour.
In Soufriere, I visited the botanical islands and learned about the native flowers and trees. Chocolate, bananas, coconuts, mangos and avocados are all exports of St. Lucia. I was fascinated to learn that St. Lucian’s are naturally very hollistic in their diet with local ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, etc. We also saw the famous Diamond Waterfall where scenes from one of my favorite movie, Romance in the Stone was filmed.
From there, we went to Sulphur Springs where we had the choice to go on a history tour of a drive in volcano or enjoy the hot springs and mud bath. Naturally, I chose the hot springs. I must confess, I didn’t come fully prepared for the mud bath. I was wearing a gorgeous white bathing suit that I was not about to ruin so I had to improvise and change into my shorts. It was well worth it! My legs felt AMAZING afterwards!!
For lunch we ate at the Fond Doux Cocoa plantation where we enjoyed a Creole style lunch including beans, sweet plantains, grilled vegetables, and salad. Other island specialties I tried while in St. Lucia was salted cod w/ green fig (looked like banana but not sweet and has a firm texture) and raw conch salad marinated in citrus flavors (similar to ceviche).
After lunch we drove out to a protected reef area where everyone was free to get off the boat to swim and snorkel. I personally didn’t get off the boat. I used the free time to be a good blogger and take lots of pics.
New Years Eve
New Years Eve in St. Lucia was quite festive. There was a big party that brought in all the locals. They had fireworks, music, dinner, and drinks. The tickets were $75-$150. Since I don’t drink, the cost was a little out of my price range so I decided not to attend. However, I could hear the local Caribbean bands from my window and it seemed like a great time. Instead, my guys and I enjoyed our own New Years celebration at the marina for sushi.
While it was hard to leave home, in the end I had the BEST WEEK all by myself! It was a great opportunity to unwind and mentally prepare myself for the new year ahead.
See Also: Park Hyatt St. Kitts Review