Covington Vacation Advisor Tracy Carr enjoyed a summer vacation on the lush Caribbean island of St. Lucia. In this two-part series, she shares where she stayed and what she did on the tropical island paradise.
My summer vacation needed to check two boxes: active outdoor adventure and luxurious accommodations. Throw in nice beaches, tropical foliage, pleasant weather, and maybe some exotic wildlife and St. Lucia was the answer.
Sandals Grande St. Lucian
I spent six nights on the beautiful island of St. Lucia, using two different resorts. The first three nights were at the all-inclusive Sandals Grande St. Lucian on Rodney Bay in Gros Islet, St. Lucia. The resort is located on its own peninsula cradled by the Atlantic on one side and the turquoise blue waters of the bay on the other side. The layout of the property is very walkable with lush grounds and lots of relaxation areas: a fire pit area, wicker hanging chairs, hammocks, and Balinese floating beds.
Sandals Grande St. Lucian has over 300 rooms in multiple room categories, ranging from standard garden view to lagoon swim-up with direct pool access, to the luxurious private pool rondoval room. They are all nicely decorated with rich mahogany king-size beds and every room has either a patio or balcony.
There are twelve gourmet restaurants on site, including Italian, Indian, Oriental, Caribbean Jerk, Pizza and Crepes. I didn’t have an opportunity to try them all, but did especially enjoy the plentiful buffet breakfasts, Soy, the sushi venue, and Gordon’s on the Pier, a romantic over-the-water seafood restaurant that seats only 14 couples.
The resort offers an abundance of activities: watersports, Red Lane® Spa, a fitness center, hikes, nightly entertainment, boutique shopping, and complimentary golf at sister property Sandals La Toc. Unlimited watersports of every type of imaginable, including scuba diving, are included along the sheltered mile-long beach. I tried jet-skiing for the first time and WOW, I’m ready to go again! At the spa, classic European rituals are infused with a Caribbean flair. My Night Blooming Jasmine Massage in the garden was just heavenly. There was also a lively nightlife with dancing to a local band.
If you can tear yourself away from all the activities at the resort, a hike in the Pigeon Point National Park is a must. There are two hikes: the easier one is to the ruins of 18th-century Fort Rodney where old canons still remain. The more strenuous hike is to the top of Pigeon Point where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular 360-degree views. On a clear day, you can see the island of Martinique. Admission to the National Park is $7, giving you access to the fort, hiking trails, and the white sand beach for the day.
Sandals Exchange Program
There are three Sandals properties on St. Lucia: the Grande St. Lucian, Sandals La Toc, and Sandals Halcyon Beach. With the Sandals exclusive exchange program, you can stay at one and play at all three in St. Lucia. That means you have access to a total of 27 restaurants, 10 pools, 11 whirlpools, and 21 bars! Complimentary round-trip transfers between all resorts are part of the Sandals’ Luxury Included® difference.
St. Lucia Airport Transfers
Sandals also includes complimentary round trip airport transfers from the Hewanorra Airport at the southern end of the island. St. Lucia is only 27 miles long, but roads are twisty and many are unpaved, so the shuttle ride is about one hour and forty minutes to Sandals Grande. Private transfers are available for a cost of $99 each way, or if you don’t want to endure the ride, swift helicopter transfers are available for $200 per person, each way.
The Sandals Grande St. Lucian part of my vacation was high-energy and action-packed. With so many activities built into Sandals’ Luxury Included® pricing, it’s a great choice for honeymooners and couples who want to prepay everything so they can be carefree and wallet-free while on vacation. On the second half of my vacation, I took the activity down a notch and the luxury up a notch. Please read about my stay at Capella Marigot Bay in Part II.