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Quintessential Caribbean

Paradise found!

On gorgeous St Lucia, Ben Bailey found snorkelling, sand and serenity by the bucketful - not to mention the rum cocktails

The first thing that hits you about the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort is the sheer size of the place. You can see it before you arrive - and from absolutely miles away.

The 60-acre estate, draped along 60 acres of Saint Lucia’s northwest coast in Labrelotte Bay, completely dominates the landscape. The red-roofed, white buildings gleam in the Caribbean sun with the resort sitting above the largest, crescent-shaped, white sand beach on the island. It is a sight to behold.

Honeymooners and families alike flock to the picturesque spot which is just 20 minutes outside of Castries - St Lucia's capital and most exciting city - and 90 minutes from the airport.

With 116 suites and villas, five first class restaurants and an array of activities and water sports at your disposal it is an easy place to while away your days in the sunshine.

We arrived in a blur of excitement. Rum cocktails were thrust into our hands and we were ferried off to our villa a short shuttle ride up the hillside. The trade off in relying on shuttle buses to access your villa is immediately offset when you see the view.

High on the hillside with balconied bedrooms, marble bathrooms and a private pool – our home for the next week did not disappoint.

We spent our days swimming, snorkelling and sailing around the picturesque island.

 

High on the hillside, Windjammer's villas all offer far-reaching views

 

THE PITONS

At night we drank Piton beer - named after the island’s two most famous mountains – and dined in each of the restaurants on the resort.

The multi-level seafood and steak restaurant, Upper Deck, was the pick of the bunch. With the calm waters lapping against the shore and palm trees silhouetted against the sunset, we enjoyed grilled prawns and filet mignon accompanied by South American cabernet sauvignon.

Our other favourite eatery was the lovely Papa Don’s, nestled in the hillside the open-air venue serves rustic, Italian dishes accompanied with a collection of scrumptious Caribbean cocktails.

In the mornings we would devour delicious breakfasts from the Dragonfly restaurant next to the resort’s main pool and look out at the beach before heading off to explore the island.

The island is itself a historical enigma - St Lucia changed hands between Britain and France 14 times (sparking 14 separate wars!). In 1814, the British took definitive control of the island. Because the island's switching between British and French control had caused so much conflict, Saint Lucia was also known as the 'Helen of the West Indies' - a reference to Helen of Troy, the wife of Menelaus, whose abduction by Paris led to the Trojan War. 

In 1979 it became an independent state of the Commonwealth. Today many of the locals speak Creole owing to their French history, while much of the architecture is British. 

 

Fire blowing evening fun

 

JAZZ & ARTS FESTIVAL

St Lucia has a strong music tradition and the biggest festival of the year is the internationally-renowned St Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, held in early May at multiple venues throughout the island. It encompasses culture, visual art, alternative music, education, fashion and food and draws visitors and musicians from around the world. 

We set off on an island adventure and hiked through the rainforest and swam under waterfalls.

The volcano mud baths are an absolute must but nothing beats the catamaran cruises.

With our legs dangling off the front of the boat we glided over the water, rum punch in hand, as we watched the stunning sunset.

St Lucia also prides itself on its beauty under the sea, where scuba divers can explore the island’s magical coral bays and colourful marine life that will make your eyes bulge. 

For those wanting to unwind further then Windjammer’s brand-new spa is the place for you.

The 6,500 square ft centre opened its doors last year and with six treatment rooms, a Japanese soaking tub, steam rooms and an outdoor rain shower, your every need is catered for in splendid style.

As our week drew to a close we reluctantly said our goodbyes and as the plane took off we looked down one last time at the island paradise of St Lucia. Well, not the last time actually. A return is being planned as we speak.  

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