St. Lucia: A Lover's Paradise

Tropical perfection in St. Lucia's Marigot Bay  (DigitalVision)

Think sultry nights on a secluded beach, relaxing in a hammock for two, dancing under the stars…and then think St. Lucia. This island, a tropical gem secluded in the Caribbean between Martinique and St. Vincent, is truly a lovers' paradise, replete with the rugged volcanic peaks of the Pitons, dense tropical rainforests, and beautiful exotic birds. Compact, unspoiled, and relatively unknown, it's like traveling to the South Pacific—minus the jet lag.

On St. Lucia, nature and civilization stroll hand-in-hand with a soothing medley of waterfalls, rainforest hikes, pristine beaches, and top-notch luxury resorts. There are bounteous picnic spots on the island, such as scenic Marigot Bay, fantastic spots for exploration including the tropical park at Pigeon Island, the bustling open-air market in Castries, or miles upon miles of azure sea—a view best witnessed from the privacy of a beach cabana. Simply put, St. Lucia invites you to get lost—in both yourselves, and your opulent surroundings.

Of course, one can't visit St. Lucia without at least considering one of these top three hotels. Anse Chastanet welcomes a sophisticated clientele looking for privacy and superior accommodations. With plantation-like rooms boasting open-air showers and three-walled bedrooms, it provides the ultimate mix of luxury, privacy, and total accessibility to nature. Snorkelers and divers across the Caribbean come out to experience the vibrant marine life found in the waters of St. Lucia. Couple that undeniable island asset with dizzying views that rival any on the island by staying at the hillside retreat, The Ladera. Perched high on cliffs overlooking the water, the hotel complements its no-phone and no-TV policy by offering private plunge pools in every suite. Finally, for a laid-back, personable vibe without the hefty price tag, set your compass towards TiKaye Village. It's located in a remote spot above a secluded beach and boasts five-star service, charming rooms, and lush surroundings.

Provided you're staying at one of these three hotels, you won't have to travel far to experience the best of St. Lucia's gastronomic offerings. At Anse Chastanet, feast on exquisitely fresh seafood in the tree-house section of the Piton Restaurant (800.223.1108). For those hanging their hat at The Ladera, the Dasheene Restaurant (758.459.7323) offers internationally acclaimed fare in an open-air dining room with breathtaking views. As for the menu at TiKaye's balmy outdoor restaurant Kai Manje (758.456.8101), well, it's to die for. A favorite spot for local gourmands, head chef Paul Yellin draws them in every night with inventive Creole-inspired cuisine.

And for a little action after-hours, head on over to the Friday night street party in Gros Inlet called the "Jump-Up." With locals and tourists dancing to the sounds of reggae, hip hop, and calypso well into the night, it's an authentic Caribbean celebration you and your dance partner will never forget.

Published: 27 Jun 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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