You don’t have to go halfway around the world to release your happiness endorphins, but if wellbeing and finding elusive inner peace is on your agenda, Saint Lucia offers a natural tonic and provides the perfect option for those who want to mentally re-charge and zen out.
Located in the Eastern Caribbean, St Lucia is the perfect destination for anyone seeking an authentic, stress-free, sun-filled break, offering a landscape that is as diverse as its heritage. Friendly locals thrive on tourism so it’s no wonder St Lucia is becoming a wellbeing sanctuary for travellers who are finding peace amongst the spectacular dramatically tapered Piton mountain backdrop.
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Visitors can’t help but get inspired by the vista, which includes Qualibou Caldera – the world’s only drive-in volcano (which is stabilised by the surrounding sulphur springs), along with the towering Pitons, natural waterfalls and dense rainforest. Enjoy a spellbinding panorama of colourful coral reefs and exotic marine life at Anse Des Pitons, Anse Chastanet Beach or Virgin Cove which benefit from its location enjoying the Atlantic (cold) and Caribbean (warm) seas, and teem with marine treasures.
No two parts of the island are alike – from the verdant jungle in the north to the seaside resorts in the south, each with their own characteristics with opportunities to inspire visitors to mentally recharge in nature.
It would be impossible to visit St Lucia, and not come home revitalised. The sunshine, smiling locals and sublime coastline are more than enough to awaken your senses. The only downsides are the first class service, unintentional healthy eating, dramatic landscape and beaches – which you will never tire of in one visit.
A trip to the natural Sulphur Springs in Soufrière, is a must, which is generally followed by an open air mud bath. Legend states this clay helps detoxify the body, heals sunburn, is a tonic for eczema and soothes sore joints. Locals also use it to preserve their skins youth – I can’t guarantee that, but you will leave with super soft skin!
The impressive Gros and Petit Piton mountains dominate the horizon, but are best seen from the sea – with plenty of touring boats offering half day and day trips. The UNESCO heritage recognised twin peaks, rise two thousand feet above sea-level, and guides are available should you want to tackle the summit by foot.
With more and more people prioritising mental health, it is no wonder that holiday destinations are picking up on the trend, and there are numerous resorts in the Caribbean that offer wellness packages, promising to rejuvenate and recharge visitors in an organised setting.
Whether you want to learn about nature, participate in power walking, improve your yoga technique, relax in a natural spa or sample delicious healthy cuisine, you can follow your own programme, and push your limits as far as you want to.
The five star Marigot Bay Resort is an impressive bolthole which is nestled into the verdant landscape on the south west of the island. With its own private harbour (complete with visiting super yachts), the vibe is traditionally authentic and understated.
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Dark wooden balconies and window shutters blend in with the backdrop, and the spacious resort cascades down the valley, with many of the 124 rooms overlooking the pool, whereas the higher suites provide an uninterrupted view of the marina and the vast ocean. Each apartment has a lounge and kitchen, meaning you can be as independent as you wish. The fridge is re-stocked with Piton beer, water and mixers daily, or utilise the on site restaurants for a variety of local foods, tapas and sushi. The hotel even boasts an intimate treehouse for any guests wanting something more private.
The spacious grounds and two pools means you are never cramped when you want to lounge. Ample sunbeds, wicker seating and decks offer privacy and space with plenty of options to recharge on site. However, the hotel also promotes an energising health and wellness programme for those seeking something more active, with nature walks, power walks, yoga, pilates and a fully equipped gym with Personal Trainer available.
But if you are tempted to try out snorkelling, kayaking or paddleboarding, you just need to contact your personal assistant who will link you up with their recommended guides and suppliers, based on the facing shoreline, and jump aboard the complimentary shuttle boat across to the nearest stretch of sand.
After you have exerted yourself with activities, the Marigot Bay Spa Village is a place to recoup- whether this in the jacuzzi, steam or sauna cabana. Or try one of the Spa’s signature treatments referencing the moon’s journey, and take inspiration from its monthly cycle. Designed with 100% organic products from The Organic Pharmacy, the four distinct therapies work to revitalise and rejuvenate, and utilise local products to nourish the skin and draw toxins out of the body.
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The therapists pride themselves in practising the same technique as their ancestors, which involves the healing laying of hands or ‘fwote’. The treatments have evolved over the years, but they still retain a holistic approach to wellness and health as the key to longevity, and every treatment is designed to soothe the mind, and invigorate the spirit.
The St Lucian philosophy is to self-medicate and to work with natural ingredients which have been handed down over generations, and this has filtered through into cooking, medicine and mental wellbeing.
Eating and wellbeing go hand in hand, with as much importance placed on the spicy Creole cuisine. Expect seafood such as Mahi Mahi, tuna, bass, red snapper and sole which are in plentiful supply, and Marigot’s menu fuses West Indian, African and French flavours. The Grill at 14°61° restaurant has an inventive menu offering everything including salt fish, green bananas, plantain, salt fish, cassava bread and crab back. But for a more casual experience, check out the Hurricane Hole, poolside tapas bar and Rum Cave.
The unrivalled combination of natural beauty, long sandy stretches of beach, and friendly locals, have earned St Lucia its reputation as one of the most scenic islands in the Caribbean.