Updated: Jan 14, 2019
My wife and I were married in St Lucia earlier this year, a fact which pretty much cemented the destination as our favourite in the Caribbean for the foreseeable future.
The island itself has long been a honeymoon hot spot and has established itself well among our clients as such, perhaps tied with the Maldives when it comes to both inquiries and bookings.
As it lies a little further south than what might be considered more “traditional” Caribbean destinations, the island tends to avoid too much disruption from the fraught hurricane season. A fact which means it might also soon become your family favourite for sunny winter escapes and romantic celebrations!
September is the slowest month for travel in the Caribbean
Fair weather at home, kids returning to school, the line-up of Thanksgiving celebrations and the subsequent build-up toward Christmas are just around the corner. Not to mention, unfortunately, that the peak of the hurricane season falls mid-September… all of which contribute to a diminished passenger count at this time of year.
But just like Machu Picchu closes for maintenance during the rainy month (locally) of February, many properties in St Lucia take advantage of the quiet to perform upgrades and to make their considerations for seasonal availability!
First up, at the time of writing, Christmas availability for villas in the Marigot Bay and Cap Estates are both looking pretty good. So, for those of us who dream of a green, tropical Christmas, maybe 2018 is the year and we can get a head start on enjoying the warmer weather.
The legendary Coconut Bay Resort & Spa re-opens today, having applied upgrades to several dining and relaxation features of the property. Think - additional kitchen equipment, greater shaded areas, and more luxury loungers.
Dining, relaxation, and conservation
Call me a nerd, but I’m perhaps most pleased to have learned of their conservation efforts, which include their “Skip the Straw, Save a Turtle” initiative. Meaning a huge reduction in the plastic waste that comes from the consumption on site, this time aimed at the adults only Pool Bar in Harmony and the Splash Pool swim-up bar.
I’ll be covering the reduction of plastics in the Caribbean tourism industry in more depth later in the season, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out!
St Lucia’s Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet has made it clear that his vision for sustainable tourism on the island involves the whole community and not simply the big resorts.
This means a return to basics in some of the events for which the island is well known, such as the jazz festival. The idea is to get more people visiting smaller communities, supporting small and micro-business, and for local vendors to promote more products made locally in the Caribbean.
To make things easier for such ambitions, some infrastructure investment is underway including resurfacing and improvements of the roads.
When the locals complain about traffic, it really isn’t anything with which we’re not familiar in larger cities throughout North America – local traffic in St Lucia can sometimes be more a result of the island's fantastic topography, with local roads winding between landmarks or traversing peaks and pitons. Planned improvements will reduce this time and allow better transfer times to enjoy your time off-site during your next visit.
Like rum? Love St Lucia!
There’s also been announcement of a $50M investment in a world-class museum by an as-yet-unnamed rum distillery. Hope they do tastings with the history lessons!
Larger plans include a new cruise port and the wooing of a major cruise company to feature Vieux Fort as home port. Each of us here at Odyssean Travel is pretty excited to learn more and to share the news when it falls in our inbox.
World-first 6-Star Sandals luxury resort is coming
As mentioned, my (now) wife and I enjoyed a truly stress-free experience during our wedding week at the Sandals Regency La Toc just this last April. Dining and relaxation, punctuated with some adventure activities off-site, we made memories to last a lifetime but still can't wait to return.
The Sandals brand has found such success in St Lucia that they've announced their fourth resort on the island and first ever 6-Star resort!
The existing shared dining experience meant access to 27 restaurants for Sandals guests, there’s no way anyone could try them all in one visit – with a fourth property, the prospects for dining pleasure might truly be incredible.
Getting there gets easier
And as far as getting to St Lucia, there are already a number of direct and even daily flights from US cities (below) while Air Canada offers year-round direct flights from Toronto in addition to a peak-season schedule from Montreal. Package companies Sunwing and Transat round out the options for Canadian vacationers.
(Photo credit St Lucia Tour Board at www.stlucia.org)
Recently updated schedules into the peak season will include a second daily flight from Miami with American Airlines and additional weekend departures with JetBlue from Boston and United from Chicago.
Aims for the island are to build and fill 2,000 additional rooms during the next few years, including boutique properties and to bring that local charm to new visitors in an authentic, more locally focused atmosphere.
Have you a favourite memory of St Lucia that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!
Are you looking to make your own memories in future? Write us today so we can plan your next luxury island escape to the Caribbean’s honeymoon hot spot in St Lucia