St. Lucia Vacations Get Better

St. Lucia sees improvements to its hotel product, agent outreach and accessibility By: Mark Rogers
The BodyHoliday, which has been closed for most of the summer season, is slated to complete its $20 million renovation and reopen this September. // ©...
The BodyHoliday, which has been closed for most of the summer season, is slated to complete its $20 million renovation and reopen this September. // © 2011 BodyHoliday

The Details

Saint Lucia Tourist Board
www.saintlucianow.com

Saint Lucia is riding a wave of major on-island developments that include multimillion dollar hotel openings and renovations as well as resort spa enhancements. Saint Lucia also continues to enjoy its status as the prime destination for couples, earning the World Travel Awards’ honor of “World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination” eight times since 2002.

The island is also seeing increased airlift from American Eagle. The carrier has commenced a second daily service between San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) and Saint Lucia’s George F.L. Charles Airport (SLU), further enhancing Saint Lucia’s convenience for travelers flying from the states on American Airlines.

“Both the public and private sectors on Saint Lucia are dedicated to improving the island’s tourism infrastructure and supporting growing arrivals, as every Saint Lucian shares an appreciation for the power of tourism as a key economic driver for our economy,” said Senator Allen Chastanet. In addition, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board has launched Saint Lucia Agent Months (SLAM) to bring agents to Saint Lucia through October so they can experience the destination first-hand. The promotion includes booking incentives, special rates on accommodations and reduced airfares on American Airlines. Travel agents will visit the island’s diverse tours, land and sea attractions and conduct numerous site inspections of Saint Lucia’s hotels and resorts. For more information on SLAM, agents can contact the Saint Lucia Tourist Board at 800-456-3984 or via email at information@stlucia.org.

Sprucing up the Hotel Product
Among the key hotel developments is the opening of the new Hotel Chocolat. This boutique hotel is set in the Rabot Estate, a working cocoa operation. The property features 14 luxury Cocoa Cottages, a pool clubhouse and a massage pavilion. The British-owned operator plans to break ground on a new Chocolate Factory to be located next door to Hotel Chocolat. Currently, with its Engaged Ethics Cocoa Programme, Hotel Chocolat is revitalizing the cocoa industry on Saint Lucia by offering high-quality seedlings, technical assistance and advice by purchasing crops from local farmers. By growing its own cocoa, Hotel Chocolat will be considered one of the world’s few origin-chocolatiers.

The BodyHoliday resort will complete its summer refurbishment project, totaling $20 million in renovations, and reopen its doors to visitors this September. The effort encompasses the total refit of public areas including Cariblue Restaurant, the Piano Bar, the wellness center’s treatment rooms, Tao restaurant as well as a new beach-front deck and a new clubhouse pool. The Standard Garden View rooms are being renovated while the Grand Luxury Ocean Front Rooms and Junior Suites will receive enhancements. Additionally, The BodyHoliday will be opening The Penthouse of LeSport, a room that will feature a private hammam (a marble-slab heated massage bed).

The Jalousie Plantation is undergoing a $100 million enhancement and will be re-branded and re-launched as The Tides, Sugar Beach in 2012.  So far, the physical transformation includes the renovation of its Luxury Sugar Mill Rooms and the construction of new luxury villas and a brand-new destination-spa. The Jalousie Plantation is the only resort on the island to offer the experience of night snorkeling, with an up-close look at the nocturnal underwater wonders of Anse des Pitons and Jalousie Plantation's National Marine Reserve.

Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa opened a new Samsarati Spa last April. The spa takes its name from the Sanskrit word meaning “flow of energy.” World-renowned O Spa London runs the operation. Treatments utilize ingredients sourced from organic and sustainably harvested crops.

Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa recently added two new restaurants and upgraded its spa.  Calabash is the resort’s new Caribbean specialty restaurant and the Capri restaurant offers an Italian and seafood menu. The newly renovated waterfront Kai Mer Spa has been refurbished with three new beachfront spa cabanas and a relaxation patio. 

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