Ready for sun-kissed afternoons and umbrella cocktails? The Caribbean is calling …
BY MEREDITH DIERS
The allure of the Eastern Caribbean nation of St. Lucia is anchored in its incredible landscape, defined by calm, turquoise blue waters juxtaposed by the dramatic Piton mountains. Combine that with the island’s French and English history and a vacation here is primed for posh play. While the coast claims volcanic beaches, iconic reef dives, and luxury retreats, a trip inland reveals a lush rainforest and the famous Toraille Waterfall.
THE ADVENTURER: Visit Anse Mamin Plantation, part of Jade Mountain’s 600-acre sister Anse Chastanet Resort. Eight miles of bike trails wind through tropical vegetation and historical remains that date back to the plantation’s 18th-century beginnings. Towering over 2,600 feet above the sea, the peak of Gros Piton beckons. The hike to the top is moderate to steep and can take up to four hours. Begin in the center of the town of Fond Gens Libres (Valley of the Free People) and progress steeply upslope. Many guides are descendants of the brigands (black freedom fighters) that used the Gros Piton as a haven during the 1948 slave rebellion.
THE ROMANTIC: A romantic spa ritual for couples, the Alchemy of Two at Jade Mountain starts with a hot tub soak infused with Body Bliss Elixir Male and Elixir Female Oils, followed by a synchronous massage. It concludes with a gender-specific elixir to open energy gateways. Or, every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort offers a Champagne Sunset Cruise. Take a relaxing boat ride on Sugar Beach’s yacht while sipping champagne and watching the sun cast its brilliant yellow and orange hues across the ocean.
THE FOODIE: Jade Mountain Club features modern fusion by James Beard award winner Chef Allen Susser, while the Coal Pot, convenient if you’re staying in Castries, is a hot spot for the most discerning diners. Known for Caribbean-influenced dishes, try the mahi mahi in lemon-butter sauce and the locally inspired Lucian callaloo soup.
THE WELLNESS SEEKER: Two morning yoga classes are held daily—one at Jade Mountain and the other on Anse Chastanet’s beach. Also spend an afternoon at the Viceroy’s Rainforest Spa. Harnessing the nourishing ingredients of nearby volcanic springs and fertile cocoa plantations, its range of signature treatments include bamboo massage, hot rock therapies, salt scrubs, and holistic treatments.
TURKS AND CAICOS
Once you experience the hues of blue waters found along the coast of the Turks and Caicos, you’ll most likely be dreaming of a return trip. Home to the famous Grace Bay Beach and the Northwest Point Marine National park, this chain of 40 islands ensures fun for couples, families, and the intrepid solo traveler.
THE ADVENTURER: Visit Amanyara Resort’s Nature Discovery Center, where guests discover wildlife through guided hikes, snorkeling, and the Adopt-A-Coral program. With guidance from the resort’s resident naturalist, learn how to catch flipper tag and release turtles. Spend a day lazing on the sand at Half Moon Bay, accessed only by boat.
THE ROMANTIC: Enjoy a romantic dinner at Infiniti Restaurant & Raw Bar at Grace Bay Club. Start with the Mahi Mahi Carpaccio, followed by the local Strawberry Grouper, and after dessert take a starlit stroll along the shore.
THE FOODIE: Arguably the best restaurant in Provo (the main island), Da Conch Shack and Rum Bar is worth more than one meal, as is Mr. Groupers’— an island standout for fresh seafood. Find incredible fine dining at Seven Restaurant at Seven Stars Resort & Spa, while a handcrafted cocktail and conch fritters at the famed Hemingway’s is a must, too.
THE WELLNESS SEEKER: Aman Spa overlooks a large reflecting pond with lush vegetation surrounding the four treatment pavilions. Experience one of the signature smoking ceremonies. Stemming from the ancient Egyptians and Native Americans, this treatment calms and centers with smoke from different woods and resins that have particular healing powers.
Beach Bliss. For more info on sun and sand, enter OFFER M19868 on our website.