In Love With Saint Lucia

Everything about St. Lucia is completely and utterly magical. I just got back from the island and I can’t say enough good things about it. Everyone we met was so friendly and incredibly proud of their stunning island. It is absolutely one of the most gorgeous islands in the Caribbean which you will notice at every turn–whether you’re taking a dip in sparkling blue sea, hiking or ziplining through the lush rainforest, or just taking in the unparalleled views with a rum cocktail.

A few weeks back I did a post on the Jalousie resort’s terrific design makeover, so I decided to follow my own advice to hightail it to the under-the-radar hotel with my family. Come December the resort will be rebranded as the Tides Sugar Beach and it will be under-the-radar no more. Right now, only half of the hotel’s 112 redesigned rooms are open (heaven!), along with a unique new treehouse spa, and two yummy restaurants. The Jalousie is utterly amazing from the terrific design, to the location, to the warm staff. It is hands down the best resort on St. Lucia right now. Read on for my pics of the resort along with some info about other hotels on the island:

Located smack in the middle of The Pitons, the breathtaking mountains seen in the first pic, the Jalousie has a location that can’t be beat. Most of the beaches on St. Lucia are black sand, but Jalousie’s is one of the few white sand beaches (I heard they bring in the sand from Trinidad)

The Bayside restaurant is a fabulous beachfront lunch spot with the best tomato salad ever. If you prefer to stay barefoot all day, you can also order lunch on your beach chair, under a palapa–amazing.

The oversized pool sits in the shade of one of the Grand Pitons and it was a favorite with kids. The week I was there, the Jalousie had a great mix of guests–lovey honeymooners, loads of families, and several older British couples who seemed to always be holding hands–so cute.

A view of the Jalousie from the water. The hotel is designed to respect the incredible landscape, especially since the Pitons are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the pride of the island. The little white cottages you see on the hillside are the villas, there are many more but you can’t see them which is brilliant.

The cliffside villas are so charming and painted cream, pale blue, and pink. Notice the great trim detail, the trim is different on each one.

Each group of villas (about 9 in each group) share the services of an amazing butler. The butlers are the friendliest, most helpful, nicest guys around. Aquinas pictured above, and Montgomery, were butlers extraordinaire. When my son fell down and cut his knee Aquinas appeared 3 seconds later with surgical gloves and a first aid kit. So nice.

Each villa has it’s own plunge pool. With the pool, the view, and a little room service, you could stay in your room all day.

This picture gives you a sense of how the villas jut over the cliffside.

Because the villas are far up the hillside, you really have to take shuttle vans up and down. It  isn’t a big deal at all, but if you just prefer to walk to dinner and the beach, the Sugar Mill Rooms above are more centrally located, no shuttle needed.

This is the view from the roomy deck one of the Sugar Mill Rooms. Another plus to these rooms is price point–they are offering these in August for $270 a night. Honeymooners take note!

Here is the inside of a Sugar Mill Room. The designers kept the look beachy and casual in all white.

This is the reception area of the treehouse spa. Look closely and you’ll see the walls are made from interlocking tree branches.

The design of the spa feels like an entirely different world than the rest of the hotel. Each of these little treehouses is an individual treatment room built on stilts over a little river. You can hear the water flowing  while you have your treatment–nature’s groovy soundtrack.

We took a water taxi to Anse Chastenet for lunch one day. The resort is a favorite of the big travel magazines so I was curious. It wasn’t what I imagined at all….it feels a bit 70s with lots of plaid everywhere (and the waitresses wear plaid uniforms and headbands that match). It was incredibly crowded, but that could have just been the day we were there.  If you look at the picture above, the building that looks like a car park above Anse Chastanet is Jade Mountain,  a very pricey new resort (rooms start at $1000 a night). The 4th wall is open giving guests a striking view of the Pitons. They share the beach with Anse Chastanet.

Anse Chastanet does have lovely views. I adored the flowers they painted inside the roof. It would be a pretty design to paint on the ceiling of a girl’s room.

The Ladera is another resort that gets a lot of buzz. Above is a pic of their restaurant Dasheen, which features the most glorious view. See below.

Isn’t this incredible? It would be hard to tear yourself away from this view of endless sea and sky paired the the Pitons. (notice the Jalousie tennis courts below to give you a sense of things). Because the Ladera is on a cliff, they don’t have their own beach access, instead they use the Jalousie beach. They do have a small pool.

The rooms at Ladera feature mahogany floors, walls, and furniture (which does have a bit of a 70s feel too). The 4th wall is open, and there are plunge pools in the front of the room. We took this pic at night and with all the sounds of the rainforest and the mountain breezes, it feels like you’re in sort of a luxe treehouse. (Note if you require total quiet to sleep or are afraid of heights this is not the hotel for you) Because of the open rooms, both Ladera and Jade Mountain are more spots for couples. Lots of honeymooners at both.

Leaving you with a last shot of a view from fabulous Jalousie. Making this my screensaver!