Saint Lucia is the perfect place to unwind and lose yourself in the beauty of the Caribbean. Whether you are planning a family vacation or looking for a romantic getaway, Saint Lucia has something for everyone. I went to Saint Lucia with my family in February for 10 days to escape the cold Chicago winters. Funny story – actually not that funny at the time – but I got stuck in New York the Thursday before due to a huge snow storm and almost didn’t make it back to Chicago for my Saturday morning flight. That was stressful but made me even more ready for the trip!
Saint Lucia is part of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly the British Commonwealth) and is located in the south of the Caribbean near Barbados and Martinique. This year they celebrated 39 years of independence. The official language on the island is English but you will find a lot of french influence (street names, cities, etc.) because of the 14 year battle between the British and the French over this Island. A perfect example of this is their capital Castries which was named by a French Marshall.
There are two airports serving Saint Lucia. The first is UVF (Hewanorra International Airport) which is located about 40 miles south of Castries. This is most likely where you will fly into. The other airport is George F. L. Charles which is located in Castries but is only used for flights between the Caribbean islands. I will warn you – the planes (or at least the ones I flew in) were pretty old. I’m talking little tv with a credit card swipe on them to pay for movies old, so bring a good book or download some movies before you leave.
Transportation to and from the Airport:
My mom booked our transportation through Saint Lucia Airport Shuttle. The drivers we had on the way there and the way back were very friendly. One thing we were warned about was that people outside the airport will look at signs and write down someones name to confuse the people into thinking they are their driver, and then will charge them at the end of the ride. Make sure if you schedule and pay for a car in advance that you confirm the driver has your reservation number before you get in the car with them. I didn’t experience this while I was there but I was warned so it must happen from time to time.
One more note about transportation: The roads in Saint Lucia are VERY windy so I recommend packing Bonine if you get any type of motion sickness.
Where I stayed:
The Windjammer Landing Resort which is located in Labrelotte Bay, St.Lucia and is nestled on 55 acres of lush green landscape overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It is about an hour and a half drive from the airport to get to the resort.
The resort is spread out throughout a mountain so it’s a steep climb to the top of the property where some of the Villas are located but they have shuttles which can bring you to and from the lobby / pool area. If you are feeling adventurous you can walk up the hills to get back to your room. I walked up a few days and it quickly got my heart racing and bum burning.
The Windjammer just built a brand new gym facility with treadmills, ellipticals, weights and a fitness studio with yoga mats and exercise balls. The gym is located near the Spa and tennis courts.
While I was there the Spa was having a valentines day special where you got an 80 minute couples massage, mineral bath, wine and chocolates. My sister and I decided to turn this into a sister special instead of a valentines special. The massage itself was AMAZING! They did a really good job and being someone who has been getting massages since I was 10 you can believe me when I say this was good. The mineral bath was, well how do I put this.. awkward. The woman who brought us to the room shut the door and said “don’t giggle girls”. If you are there with a boyfriend, husband or alone it would be great. Not so much with your sister, but it was still cheaper than buying individual massages so it was worth it.
All non-motorized activities are FREE! They had everything from Kayaks to paddle boats to paddle boards. My sister and I did paddle boarding and it was really fun! I saw a lot of other people using Jetski’s, tubing, skiing and many other water activities but those will all come with a fee.
Located right by the lobby is a small market where you can buy wine, chips, bread, peanut butter – pretty much any little snack item you can imagine. A lot of days we would go in there in the morning to buy big waters to bring to the pool. A few nights when we didn’t feel like dressing up we also bought bread from the market and made grilled cheese or peanut butter sandwiches for dinner.
I stayed in a 3 bed 3 and a half bath villa for the first week and a 2 bed 2 bath villa for the last few days of the trip.
3 Bedroom Villa:
This is a perfect place to stay if you are coming with a few other couples or in our case a family where the kids want their own rooms. The villa was broken up into two sections which was divided by an outdoor patio complete with a private pool and a table large enough to seat at least 8 people. The upstairs of first half of the villa consisted of a living room and a half bath. Downstairs was 3 bedrooms each with their own bathroom and amazing view overlooking the bay. The other side of the villa was a full kitchen which we kept stocked with snacks from the market.
2 Bedroom Villa:
The 2 bedroom villa was adorable! I’m sure each of the villas are decorated differently depending on when they have been upgraded but the one we stayed in (28) was so cute. When you first walk in there is a large living area, a kitchen, and a balcony that looks right over the bay. Downstairs there is a bedroom with 2 twin beds, a bathroom and another patio area with lounging chairs. Upstairs there is a master bedroom with a bathroom and another balcony (SO MANY BALCONIES). The best part of the master bedroom is there is an extra set of stairs that takes you up to the roof of the villa where there are 2 chairs. It’s the perfect place to drink your morning coffee and take in all the amazing views!
Where to Eat:
At the Resort:
If I’m being honest – overall the food in Saint Lucia was OK. I wouldn’t say it was terrible but it wasn’t nearly as good as other places I have been. Also – remember that you are on an island, and island time is a real thing, so if you’re hungry make sure to order your meal immediately when your server arrives because it will take a while to come out.
Jammers: Casual restaurant right off the beach.
Embers: Even more casual restaurant right on the beach. They have great nachos, burgers etc. This was probably our favorite place to grab lunch when we didn’t just get food from the little market.
Upper Deck: Upper Deck is the fanciest restaurant at the resort. It’s located right next to Jammers right on the beach and serves steaks and seafood.
Rodney Bay Area:
Rodney Bay is about a 10 minute cab ride from the Windjammer Resort. For 4 people it was a $14 cab ride each way (about $3.50 per person). If I’m being completely honest I don’t think the area is that great to walk around… but there are some pretty good restaurants:
A little more on the pricy side but this was one of the best meals we had while we were on the Island. Everything from the steak to the seafood is delicious and had an excellent presentation.
I have recently become a huge fan of Indian food and this place did not disappoint. We had the Chicken Tikka Masala, Beef Bhuna, Alu Gobi,Steamed Basmati Rice andGarlic Naan. If you have never had Indian food I recommend this order as it’s a good mix of Chicken, Beef and Veggie. We also had the deep-fried chocolate cake and gulab jamun for desert! YUM! It’s also worth noting that the service here was excellent. The owner was there the night we went and made it a point to come over and ask us about out experience.
Other Restaurants I didn’t try but got recommended by other people at the resort:
*Spinnakers (Rodney Bay): Cute beach restaurant which apparently has amazing burgers.
*Masala Bay (Marigot Bay): Owned by the same person as Spice of India. This is his newest restaurant which is Indian / Asian fusion. It has great reviews on Trip Advisor!
*Tapas on the Bay (Rodney Bay): I walked through this restaurant to take a picture and it looked adorable. It has seating outside where you get a gorgeous view of the bay while you eat your meal.
What to Do:
Catamaran Day Tour:
This was the only tour I did while I was in Saint Lucia. My family is more of lay in the sun all day kind of vacationers, at least when we are at a beach resort. The tour set sail from the Windjammer at 8:30 in the morning and headed towards the Pitons. The Pitons are 2 mountains located near the town of Soufrière in the south west part of Saint Lucia. I have heard they are great for hiking if you are into being active on vacation.
Soufrière is one of the most popular places to visit in Saint Lucia. Not only because it’s located near the Pitons but also because of other attractions including the Sulphur Spring and Mud Bath. The tour I went on took us to a waterfall and the mud baths. When I thought of a mud bath I envisioned a big hot tub like place where you just sit in mud. That is not that this was. You first go into a hot tub like bath and then walk out into another area where there are buckets of mud to lather on yourself. One you have as much mud on your body as you want, you wait on the rocks for it to dry, then go back into the hot tub like place to rinse off the mud. hahah not that exciting but worth doing if you’re in the area just to say you did.
The catamaran tour I was on only sailed through the bay, we didn’t actually stop, but it was a gorgeous spot. It easy to see why this is such a popular place to film movies such as Dr. Dolittle.
Cocoa Plantation Tour
We stopped at a Cocoa plantation for lunch and learned about how they make chocolate on the island.
*If you do the mud baths, bring an old swim suit – it will never be the same once you do this and the Sulphur does not smell the best. Also, do this towards the end of your trip if you want to have nice nails. Mine was painted “funny bunny” by OPI and they ended up a weird beige color.
*Bring Bonine chewable tablets if you get car (motion) sickness.