For an island nation steeped in such calming and relaxing beauty, Saint Lucia's colonial history was a tumultuous one, having been under British and French control seven times each. The country's mountainous geography, out of step with the more low-lying islands of the Caribbean, offers dramatic views of towering green hills above sandy beaches and clear blue water. These all-inclusive resorts allow visitors to experience everything that Saint Lucia has to see and do.
Sandals Resort Properties
This entry is actually three choices in one. Sandals runs a trio of resorts on Saint Lucia:
- Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort and Spa
- Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort
- Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
Each resort offers an exchange program that lets you stay at one while enjoying what the other two have to offer, including round-trip transfers among the resorts, free of charge. Regency La Toc overlooks the sea in an old estate on a lush bluff with the focus on promoting the nearby golf course. Scuba diving and water sports are provided on an unlimited basis. The Grande is located on its own peninsula near Rodney Bay. With twelve dining options, six bars, and a wide variety of luxury suites, the Grande is positioned as the most luxurious option of the three. The price for entry is a little higher, but the accommodations are posher. Halcyon Beach is a little smaller than the others—it has two pools, fewer than Regency or the Grande, but it makes up for it with a couple of swim-up bars. The rooms here are more affordable, and while the number of options available to you onsite might not be as broad, remember that you can always travel to the other two to expand your options. All in all, the trio of Sandals resorts offers guests 27 restaurants and a staggering variety of places to dive and play underwater.
East Winds Inn
East Winds Inn seems to thrive on repeat business. New management has taken over quite recently and begun making improvements—but very gradually, and in consultation with their guests. It seems to be working. They are actively involved on their own TripAdvisor page—where, rather than give a boilerplate "thank you" response, the manager takes time to address his guests, many of whom have come back multiple times over the years and who seem to regard the place as that a dear friend rather than a resort. East Winds' "premium all-inclusive" packages certainly invite you to make yourself at home, and between water sports on the sea, yoga, pilates, and the twelve acres of tropical gardens, it's a home you won't soon forget.
Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa
Coconut Bay offers two separate wings, an adults-only area called Harmony and a family-oriented area called Splash. Harmony focuses on tranquility—the Kai Mer Spa, quiet pools, and more. Splash focuses on more playful things, like a water park and a paintball court. Despite its proximity to the airport, the resort is spread out across 85 acres, and guest reviews have remarked on not feeling crowded despite the occupancy. In addition to food and drink, you also get supervised activities for children under 12, resort entertainment from yoga to sports, kayaking and snorkeling (with instruction for watersports), and transportation to and from Hewanorra International Airport.
As the (admittedly odd) name might suggest, the BodyHoliday focuses on physical wellness. The Wellness Centre is a top focus and has been voted the top spa in the Caribbean by Spa Finder, as well as a top "destination spa" in a Conde Nast Traveler survey. Personal programs cost extra but focus on everything from busting stress to toning up. There's also a dazzling array of activities, from yoga (another of the resort's core features) to diving and golf, but also archery, tai chi, rappelling, and more. The website is good at delineating what's included and what's extra so you know before you book. Of course, it's not all exertion here. There are plenty of places to relax, including the guest-favorite Cariblue, a breakfast/lunch place on the beach that becomes a music venue at night. And don't think for a second that just because you're here for wellness means there isn't plenty of wine.