01 of 09
Why Saint Lucia Is a Top Luxury Travel Destination in the Caribbean
The Caribbean has many beautiful islands. But Saint Lucia has become an A-list Caribbean isle for luxury travelers.
Saint Lucia has worked hard to become a luxury travel destination. Amongst its draws: it is English-speaking, with nonstop flights from North America; the island is gorgeous, with rainforest-carpeted volcanic peaks; the food, chocolate, and rum are delicious, And here's the point of this story: one of Saint Lucia's greatest appeals is its luxury hotels, perched in amidst mountains and beach.
Saint Lucia's hotels kick-started the worldwide tropical-hotel trend of the front wall completely open to nature and the view. (Read more about what luxury travelers can expect on Saint Lucia — among other appeals, chocolate tourism!)
You will get to see Saint Lucia's most elite hotels in this story. See which one captures your Caribbean fantasy.Continue to 2 of 9 below.
02 of 09
Jade Mountain Resort
Jade Mountain is one of the world's most luxurious and architecturally dramatic resorts. One hot conversational topic amongst guests is "what does Jade Mountain remind you of?" Some guests liken it to the mountain home of mythological gods, while others think it's a private getaway on some culturally advanced distant planet Jade Mountain guests enjoy is one of the greatest hotel views on earth: sapphire Caribbean sea below the emerald twin peaks of the Pitons Mountains.
With only 29 suites, Jade Mountain is a refined, adults-only, private-feeling boutique hotel. Accessed by private bridged walkways, these enormous, flowing suites have an open wall framing the view, with either a spacious outdoor infinity pool or Jacuzzi to lounge in.
Since 2013, Jade Mountain has been ranked either #1 or #2 hotel in the Caribbean by Travel + Leisure. How upscale is Jade Mountain? Beyond the simply amazing design, it has its own helipad for your VIP arrival. The resort's service is of the highest... level, with personal butlers who seem to know what you want before you do.
Guests tend to fall hard for the resort's dining. Jade Mountain Club serves three meals a day showcasing James Beard Award-winning chef Alan Susser's "jade cuisine," a marriage of modern global cooking and Saint Lucia's multicultural culinary heritage. Many ingredients are grown on the resort's 600-acre estate.
This is a sensual resort. Jade Mountain Club's full menu is served at private dinners in guest suites. Extravagant chocolate tastings and desserts at the resort's Chocolate Lab showcase the beans grown on Jade Mountain's chocolate plantation. Kai En Ciel Spa is hushed and meditative. In addition to everything on offer at Jade Mountain, guests can enjoy all activities and facilities at posh sister resort, Anse Chastanet.Continue to 3 of 9 below.
03 of 09
"Anse" means "cove," and hotels don't get more private than this 49-room boutique resort. It's buffered by 600 tranquil surrounding acres. The property's breathtaking backdrop is the breathtaking Pitons peaks. Rooms are individually designed with a strong indoor-outdoor feeling. The best views are offered by Hillside Deluxe accommodations, around 1300 square feet, with a wall-length open balcony.
Ans Chastenet can be as serene or as active as guests prefer. The resort's two beaches — reached by a 100-step tone stairway — border Saint Lucia's most colorful coral reefs, guaranteeing memorable swimming and snorkeling. Further aquatic recreational choices include scuba, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and sunset cruises enhanced by Saint Lucian rum. Twelve miles of hiking and jungle-biking trails criss-cross the adjacent historic plantation, Anse Mamin.
Quiet relaxation is provided by two restaurants and bars and a full-service spa, Kai Belté, offering sea-view yoga and... unique spa treatments that soothe the soul with Saint Lucian herbs and volcanic minerals.
Anse Chastenet tempts gourmets with three restaurants including a treehouse dining terrace. A variety of cuisines cover "rainforest vegetarian," Creole, and Saint Lucian-East Indian fusion. Chocolate treats are made from property-grown beans.Continue to 4 of 9 below.
04 of 09
Ladera Resort is not on the beach. But guests think its setting is even better. Ladera is perched directly onto an emerald-carpeted Saint Lucian hillside. You feel you're at the dead center of some dazzling green planet, with incredible Lord of the Rings vistas of volcanic mountain peaks, the emerald rainforest, and the sparkling Caribbean.
More good news: a "white powder" beach down below is easily reached by resort shuttles that are frequent and free.
Ladera's 37 individual villas and suites are three-walled, with open views yet a feeling of complete seclusion. Suites lead right into each suite's seductive private pool. The natural, artistic decor is rainforest chic (and the wifi is strong and complimentary). Apart from the silky sheets and plush towels, everything in your suite is made by hand on Saint Lucia. The resort is an elegant and romantic retreat for sophisticated couples (kids are not invited). Service is as refined as anywhere in the world.
Ladera's restaurant, Dasheene,... is named for an island vegetable. Its Saint Lucia-raised chef, Nigel Mitchel, is renowned throughout the Caribbean for his Shrimp Dasheene. What's for dessert? A confection featuring the chocolate of Rabot Estate, which surrounds this delicious resort.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort
Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort is glamorous and genteel, with a worldwide reputation and clientele. It is a full-sized resort of 150 accommodations and buzzes with the excitement of a well-populated and well-served clientele.
Sugar Beach is enviably set on perhaps Saint Lucia's most coveted spot: on a sugar-sand beach that nestles between the two Pitons mountain peaks. The views of sea and mountain are dazzling, and guests spend considerable time lazing on the beach. When they venture into the crystalline waters, they find that this is a great spot for snorkeling and diving. A PADI dive shop on-premises certifies divers and runs dive trips to nearby scuba sites like Superman's Flight, a drift dive along the underwater base of the volcanic Pitons.
Sugar Beach's dining is as fashionable as its setting and design. The Great Room specializes in French-Asian seafood; The Terrace is genteel and romantic, with candlelit tables overlooking the knockout view; and Bayside, right on the beach,... is an informal spot for snacks and light meals. The Cane Bar draws an island-wide crowd for its rum tastings and rum-based cocktails such as daiquiris and mojitos.
The choice of Sugar Beach accommodations is broad: from trim rooms that solo guests love, to doubles, beachfront bungalows, secluded hillside villas, and apartments with full kitchens for that vacation-home feeling. Rooms are done in sparkling white, and come with personalized butler service.
Patrons of the spacious Rainforest Spa undergo treatments in a private treehouse with a bubbling stream running underneath. Kids who are lucky enough to be brought to this refined resort get to enjoy two kids' clubs.Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
The elite villa community Cap Maison offers a taste of both the Caribbean and the Atlantic. The hotel — one of the best in the Caribbean — is a rambling mansion on a seaside promontory, and its name means "Cape House."
Distinguishing itself from other Saint Lucian resorts, Cap Maison is not on the mountain-facing side of the Pitons. instead, it perches on the island's craggy Atlantic north shore. The beach is wilder and the surf more invigorating than on the other coast. Every aquatic activity imaginable is offered, and guests can charter the property's 46-foot Sea Ray motor launch for day cruises.
The resort is boutique-sized, with 49 suites set in airy three-story villas. (Repeat guests say that top-floor suites deliver the top views.) Suites are enormous, and some have kitchens for home-style vacations.
Cap Maison's restaurant, The Cliff at Cap Maison, is one of Saint Lucia's best, with overwater deck dining. The bar finesses Caribbean cocktails, and a "Champagne... zipline" whooshes bottles of bubbly to villa decks from an outdoor rock pool.Continue to 7 of 9 below.
07 of 09
Marigot Bay Resort and Marina
The Caribbean is one of the world's most beloved sailing regions, and Marigot Bay Resort and Marina immerses visitors in Saint Lucia's traditional sailing culture. This luxury resort is set alongside the island's Marigot Bay, valued by sailors as a safe harbor. Thi natty nautical resort is complemented by a working marina and invites travelers from around the world to immerse themselves in the island yacht and sailboat scene right before their eyes.
Marigot Bay Resort and Marina features 67 sunny guest rooms and 57 suites. Every accommodation is equipped with a spacious veranda and extensive views of either the bay or the property's lush tropical gardens. (The bay-view rooms are most in-demand.) Guests in 35 rooms have their own hot tubs.
Both the marina and the resort cater to upscale travelers with refined tastes in food and drink. The resort's main restaurant, Marigot Bay The Grill at 14°61°, led by chef Billy Boyle, serves carefully prepared farm-to fork dining.an intimate Rum... Cave houses specialty local rums and offers rum tasting classes.
Inspired by Saint Lucia’s lush natural environment, the resort’s Auriga Spa utilizes indigenous ingredients. The Auriga Spa is a wellness sanctuary inspired by the island’s natural environment. Treatments reflect each moon’s cycle. Certain therapies use pure sulfur minerals from St. Lucia's volcano.
An exclusive Marina at Marigot Bay accommodates some of the most luxurious mega-yachts in the world. Setting the experience apart from other luxury resorts, guests are paired with their own Personal Assistant who arranges personalized activities before they have even made their way to St. Lucia.
Complimentary activities from a homemade facial secrets class to a coconut experience where you learn how all the parts of a coconut tree can be used for health purposes, the resort offers a variety of complimentary activities for guests to take advantage of during their stay.
The staff at this resort embodies the definition of five-star hotel service. Upon booking, every room or suite is assigned a Personal Assistant who calls guests in advance of check-in and takes care of their needs throughout their visit. The entire staff, down to the housekeepers, work together to provide a caring, personalized guest experience.Continue to 8 of 9 below.
08 of 09
BodyHoliday is an indulgent, high-end all-inclusive beachfront resort with a twist: it focuses on fitness and spa. The typical guest comes here to bask in Caribbean pleasures and also to get into peak physical and mental shape.
The resort experience here is deluxe. Most rooms are big and sunny, with spa-like bathrooms. Single rooms are offered to solo travelers, who make a considerable portion of BodyHoliday's clientele. (The resort offers "solo weeks" regularly as well as theme months like Octoba Yoga.) BodyHoliday is very social, and some guests return the same week year after year to spend time with the friends they met at BodyHoliday.
Almost everything (meals, cocktails, sports and classes, entertainment, tips) is included in room rate. Guests also enjoy a 50-minute spa treatment daily and a personal trainer as part of the deal, and certified divers get one free dive daily. Fitness pursuits range from the expected (yoga, Pilates, tennis, golf) to connoisseurs' pursuits (sailing... classes, tai chi, meditation, boxing, coastline biking). The resort's WellFit trail combines hiking with a series workouts marked by signs. And since this is the Caribbean, three pools complement a pristine beach.
The resort's "Good Diet" cuisine is healthful and delicious, based on the premise that "Food is your body’s fuel, but it is also your body’s pleasure." The property's four restaurants include TAO, an acclaimed Asian-fusion kitchen.
This adults-only hotel is a favorite for girls' and guys' getaways and is popular for pre-wedding shapeups.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Boucan by Hotel Chocolat
Attention, Caribbean-loving chocoholics! You can immerse yourself in everything chocolate at this chic boutique hotel. Boucan by Hotel Chocolat is the most choco-centric resort in choco-craving St. Lucia. It is located on Rabot Estate, Saint Lucia's oldest cacao farm. It is now owned by the Hotel Chocolat brand, whose headquarters are near Cambridge in England.
A member of the prestigious Design Hotels association, Boucan is an extremely private inn with only 14 accommodations and a spectacular infinity pool done in iridescent black-quartz mosaic. Individual guest villas look and feel like sleek, modern cabins. They are done in modern eco-chic style, with wood, glass, and plants for a clean and attractive organic look. The villas' outstanding appointments include free, strong wifi, open-sky rainforest showers, and private verandas to take in the panorama. (The hotel's elevated perch 1,000 feet from sea level affords dazzling views of the Pitons peaks.) These hotel accommodations... invite guests to nest.
But there's so much here for chocolate fanciers to explore; Boucan is a celebration of chocolate culture in all its forms. There's chocolate, chocolate everywhere beginning with your morning coffee blend. Boucan's signature activity, which few guests miss, is the three-hour, interactive Tree to Bar Chocolate Experience, led by the resort's chef. This three-hour immersion allows participants to graduate from chocolate fancier to chocolatiers. The Cocoa Rejuvenate Spa incorporates cacao into every treatment, demonstrating why by cocoa butter has been celebrated throughout history for its silkening effects.
The resort's exceptional restaurant showcases the property's cacao beans in more than dessert. The kitchen team uses cocoa to enhance fresh-caught seafood and house-grown fruits and vegetables, and when guest get home they're inspired to cook with chocolate.