The town of Soufriere // © 2011 Mark Rogers
St. Lucia has elevated the visitor experience with a combination of new attractions, an appealing family promotion, the island’s first casino and a brand new retreat targeting health and wellness travelers.
The island’s first health and wellness retreat will take place in Soufriere, a quaint seaside town with great views of St. Lucia’s signature landmark, the Piton Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The retreat will take place Nov. 17-20 and will feature workshops and wellness experiences, featuring some of the world's foremost experts in yoga, feng-shui, art and cuisine. The retreat will promote a wide variety of approaches to enhance health, including nature trail hikes, bicycle rides and other specially designed experiences.
The health and wellness retreat is being produced by the Soufriere Foundation in partnership with Soufriere's resort community and in concert with the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.
Soufriere is also the site of the island’s newest zipline experience. Soufriere Hotwire Rides is located at the Morne Coubaril Estate and offers a zipline ride with views of Petit Piton, the Caribbean Sea and an elevated glimpse of the town.
Our Planet Centre, a new attraction at Castries harbor, taps into visitors’ interest in environmental conservation in an educational and interactive way. The multimillion dollar center opened last month and features the largest mirror-sphere in the world, producing a giant kaleidoscopic display for video screening. Other features include a hologram recorded specifically for Saint Lucia by Prince Charles, multiple touch-screen displays, a simulation hurricane room, as well as a NASA room designed specifically by the NASA team to stream weather information. Our Planet Centre is the first of its kind in the Caribbean, and all proceeds from the attraction will go to St. Lucia’s environmental projects.
The new 30,000-square-foot Treasure Bay Casino opened last December at the new Bay Walk Mall in Rodney Bay Village in Gros Islet. The casino, the first on the island, features 250 slot machines and 22 game tables.
St. Lucia is gearing up to capture its share of family travelers this summer with an ambitious island-wide value-added program it’s calling Go Bananas. The program includes many of the island’s resorts and excursions and provides special activities for kids, as well as parent-friendly perks such as room upgrades, discounts at restaurants and free babysitting.
The Go Bananas program is in effect through Sept. 30 and lets children ages 16 and under stay, play and eat for free. Activities geared towards children include Go Bananas, mixology sessions at participating hotels, where kids can learn how to make non-alcoholic beverages with bananas. There are also complimentary excursions such as ziplining, skyrides, horseback riding, whale watching and heritage tours. A Saint Lucia discount card and discount booklet can be used in many of the island’s restaurants, shops and tours with savings up to 15 percent. The program is rounded out with a Go Bananas Express special immigration line, complimentary room upgrade based on availability and a chance to win a five-night return trip to Saint Lucia for a family of four.
Participating hotels include Almond Morgan Bay, Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa, Bay Gardens Hotel, Bay Gardens Inn, Coco Resorts, Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa, Cotton Bay Village, Discovery at Marigot Bay Resort & Spa, Fond Doux Holiday Plantation, Four Springs Villa, Habitat Terrace, Hilltop Views Guesthouse, La Haut Plantation, Royal by rex resorts, St. Lucian by rex resorts, Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa, The Landings, Village Inn and Spa and Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort & Spa.
Participating attractions include whale watching with Captain Mike’s, Rainforest Sky Rides, International Pony Club Horseback Riding, Rainforest Canopy Adventures, Eastern Caribbean Diving, Fond Latisab Creole Park, Fond Doux Plantation, Grande Anse Turtle Watch, Latille Waterfall, Lushan Country Life, Mamiku Gardens, Morne Coubaril Estate/Soufriere Hotwire Rides, Pigeon Island National Landmark and Heritage Tours of Saint Lucia.