Coconut Bay Resort & Spa is an all-inclusive resort in St. Lucia with three pluses for families:
- value pricing
- waterpark, with two body slides, and a lazy river
- Cocoland kids club, with huge play areas including a water-play zone
St. Lucia is in the eastern Caribbean. US visitors often route through Miami (approx. 3 hours flying time) ; direct flights also depart from several Northeast US cities.
The island was ruled by the French and later by the British; many tourists visit from the UK.
St. Lucia is known for scenic beauty, and especially for the twin peaks of the Pitons in the southwest. The island has jungle and plantations; the sea has coral reefs.
Coconut Bay Resort & Spa has 85 acres just five minutes from the Hewanorra International Airport, in the southeast of the island on the Atlantic coast. (This airport has few flights per day, so noise is not an issue.)
Guest units are in 4-story buildings in north and south zones: north zone is close to the family-friendly main pool and waterpark; south zone is near the adults' pool and spa.
CocoLand Kidz Klub
This spacious kids' club goes way beyond the typical "friendly little clubhouse" type that characterizes many all-inclusives; while not at the level of "mega kids programs" at more expensive resorts, Cocoland is a stand-out effort in its price range.
- infant and toddler care, with staff-to-child ration of 1-to-3*
- supervised activities designed for two age groups: 3-9 (Coco Kidz) and 10-14 (Coco Adventure)
- mascots who visit the Club and also welcome kids in the lobby every evening
- large playground
- waterplay zone with showers and squirters
- spacious area for arts & crafts
- nap area
- evening hours
- CocoPack with bag, hat, water bottle: pre-register so your child receives this kit on arrival.
For Teens: teen area "Da Buzz" has video games, ping-pong table, adjacent snack bar.
More Features for Families
Value pricing: guests find an attractive price point; check also for promotions that offer an entire vacation for a family of four at a special rate. (Off-season is the best time to find such promotions, and Caribbean "off-season" stretches from May through December.)
Beach: is not the big draw at this resort. Guests will find a lovely but smallish stretch of beach that's kept free of sea-weed; along it is a sheltered swimming area. Those who want a better beach need only walk 5- 10 minutes to the right of the resort; most guests, however, seem content to enjoy the excellent pools and waterpark.
Waterpark: two body-slides provide an adrenaline rush; meanwhile the lazy-river is highly enjoyable.
Pools: the large main pool is a hit with families, with shallow water plus "shoreline entry" that's especially good for toddlers. A swim-up bar connects to this main pool. Meanwhile, the adults' pool actually is "adults-only", in a quiet area.
There's a sports pool, too.
Spa: excellent services and price point, and sea-side location. Guests can opt for an outdoor massage; or take an in-room with door open so you can hear the waves.
Activities On-Property: include paintball field (extra charge; some complimentary rounds); exercise classes; two-hour walk to a nearby town, a good chance to see a slice of life on St. Lucia. Tennis with free lessons ( -bring proper shoes), basketball, ping-pong, and snorkeling offshore. (Not much to see, but kids like it anyway.) Nightly entertainment can include live music: check recent comments at a site like TripAdvisor.
Tours Off-Property: many excursions available. Catamaran outings, rainforest adventure with zip-lines, "drive-in volcano", day-trip to the nearby island of Martinique -- and much more.
Fine-Dining Restaurants: Italian and Asian choices and guests can partake as often as they like. (Many all-inclusive resorts limit the specialty-restaurant meals per guest.) Families can dine together, at an early sitting; alternatively, kids can spend the evening at Cocoland while parents dine.
New programs for older kids are planned: check Coconut Bay site for updates.
Keep in Mind
- the location is on the Atlantic coast of the island, so don't picture a Caribbean turquoise-blue sea.
- location 5 minutes from the airport is great for families. (Some resorts need an hour drive.)
- the beach is limited but pools and waterpark compensate; or take a short stroll to the better beach. (See above).
- the location isn't in a tourist zone so expect to spend your time either at the resort or on escorted tours. Or rent a car, if you can drive on the left side of the road.
- gents need long pants for the specialty restaurants, where jeans, shorts, flip-flops, and t-shirts are no-no's*.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.