Saint Lucia Is the Caribbean’s Fastest-Growing Destination

Few Caribbean destinations boast the sheer diversity of Saint Lucia’s hotel product. The range is vast, from tiny eco-friendly retreats to sprawling beach resorts to all-inclusives and full-fledged bucket-list experiences. That means there’s something for every kind of traveler here, whether you want to bring your family to the sand, take your significant other on an adults-only escape or spend a few nights in the rainforest.  
 Here are 15 great Saint Lucia resorts worth checking into right now.  
 Marigot Bay Resort It’s hard to find a more complete resort in Saint Lucia, with a broad portfolio of amenities, including a spectacular island beach, outstanding, diverse food, a serene spa and the added benefit of the energy of a megayacht marina. And that’s without mentioning the spacious, beautifully appointed rooms (just make sure you get one with a private hot tub.)
 Ladera The resort that pioneered the three-walled concepts remains one of the Caribbean’s most romantic hotels — and one of the region’s most authentic places to stay, too. The wood construction, warm service and breathtaking scenery will take you to another place entirely — while never letting you forget you’re in Saint Lucia. 
 Jade Mountain Home to perhaps the world’s most iconic infinity pools, this resort is equal parts luxury hotel and spaceship, a transformative experience that has long set the standard for adults-only retreats. The only problem here is the withdrawal when you come back to earth. 
 Cap Maison This is Saint Lucia’s hotel for gourmands, for those who love good, old-fashioned luxury, the kind you find in world-class restaurants, in gastronomically-inclined beach bars and in voluptuously designed hotel rooms. This is the essence of boutique hospitality. 
 The Landings You can travel across the island and not find better service than you get at The Landings, perched on a gorgeous stretch of beach in view of Saint Lucia’s Pigeon Island. This is one of the island’s best beach hotels, and it’s got some of its most comfortable rooms, with the full kitchens giving travelers the chance to experience a different level of living in Saint Lucia.  Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort The blinding white sand and position at the base of Gros Piton provide for an intoxicating ambience, one that’s only enhanced by the amenities from on-the-sand bungalows to the ethereal Rainforest Spa. That’s without mentioning one of our favorite bars on the island, the rum-focused Cane Bar. 
 Ti Kaye This has long been one of Saint Lucia’s best-kept secrets. There are just 33 cottages and rooms at this adults-only resort, with breezy oceanfront accommodations and a locally-focused spa. But the real standout is the food and beverage offering, which includes the largest underground wine cellar on the whole island.    Fond Doux Whether you stay here for one night or a week, a stop at Fond Doux is a must for those in search of the essence of Saint Lucia. Set on a 250-year-old plantation, travelers here become immersed in the natural splendor of the island, from freshly-grown cacao to a host of nature trails. When you stay here, you’re right in the heart of the rainforest — and it’s not an experience you’ll soon forget.  
 Bay Gardens Beach Resort You won’t find a better value anywhere in Saint Lucia than this Reduit Beach standout, long one of the most beloved Saint Lucia resorts. And if you want to hop around, it’s part of a burgeoning collection of hotels, from the Bay Gardens Marina Haven to a new villa collection called Water’s Edge.   Stonefield Villa Resort This is a place that just oozes romance and authenticity, with a collection of 17 one, two, three and five-bedroom villas in view of the Pitons. And, yes, they’re full-fledged villas, each of which boasts its own private pool and outdoor shower. This is a place for serenity and seclusion, where you’ll enjoy a very different kind of life in Saint Lucia. 
 St James’s Club Morgan Bay It’s a classic Caribbean all-inclusive, but it’s also got the laid-back ambience Saint Lucia is famous for. That’s a rather delightful combination. Here, you get six restaurants, six bars, four pools (including a spectacular rooftop adults-only pool near the spa) and a wonderful location that puts everything from golf to nightlife within very easy reach.  Sandals Regency La Toc We couldn’t do a list of must-visit resorts in Saint Lucia and not mention Sandals, which boasts three Saint Lucia resorts, including the Grande St Lucian, the Halcyon Beach and the La Toc, with La Toc our favorite for some time. The property, set on a 220-acre estate and a lovely stretch of beach, has nine eateries, eight bars and offerings like unlimited scuba diving and free greens fees. Serenity at Coconut Bay The newest addition to the popular Coconut Bay resort on the south of the island is a stunner, with 36 beautifully-appointed suites, all of which have their own private plunge pools. This adults-only oasis is a new level of luxury all-inclusive in Saint Lucia, and instantly one of the island’s most sought-after stays. The Harbor Club, Curio Collection by Hilton This new hotel in the Gros Islet area is a wonderful addition to Saint Lucia. The maritime-inspired design is hip and fresh, the dining options are varied and the pool complex, home to four multi-level pools, is worth the trip on its own. Add that to a marinafront location and you have an energetic hotel perfect for active travelers. Hotel Chocolat It’s hard to think of a cooler place to stay in Saint Lucia than this tiny boutique in Soufriere set on a working cacao plantation. It rather deftly marries the cool and the authentic, with rustic-chic “lodges,” a show-stopping infinity pool and one of the best restaurants on the island. But what you really won’t forget is the joy of making your own very own chocolate bar.
By

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Saint Lucia is the fastest-growing tourism destination in the Caribbean right now, according to the latest data released by the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

The “Helen of the West Indies” reported a total of 386,127 stayover tourists in 2017, an 11 percent improvement that was the highest growth rate of any destination in the region, with Belize a close second.

It was a strong statement for an island that has long been one of the favored honeymoon destinations in the region and now seems to have transcended that into an all-around getaway, particularly a new leader in the Caribbean event space (like its high-profile Saint Lucia Food and Rum festival).

The Landings, Saint Lucia.

That’s along with a slate of exciting new hotel projects, from the recently-debuted Harbor Club hotel in Saint Lucia (which is soon joining Hilton’s Curio Collection) to the already-underway Sandals LaSource St Lucia project, which launched last year. (Sandals also announced last week that golf legend Greg Norman would be transforming its recently-acquired course in Saint Lucia, as well.

Last year, the island saw debuts of a pair of new resorts from Canadian brand Royalton and an expansion of the popular Coconut Bay with the adults-only Serenity at Coconut Bay resort.

Reduit Beach

Reduit Beach in Saint Lucia, home to the Bay Gardens resort.

Saint Lucia also posted very strong growth on the cruise side, with a total of 668,006 cruise passenger arrivals last year.

That represented a 13.6 percent increase over 2016.