It’s never been at the top of the trendiest places to stay in Saint Lucia. But Saint Lucia’s venerable Windjammer Landing resort has just completed a major upgrade, one that could turn an under-the-radar Saint Lucia property into a new resort destination.
Saint Lucia’s Windjammer Landing resort a successful marriage of private villas and resort amenities that will appeal most to travelers who are willing to sacrifice a little bit of convenience for an abundance of personal space and privacy.
And a just-finished, $12-million renovation seems destined to make Windjammer even more attractive.
Set around a small crescent of beach on Labrelotte Bay, Windjammer Landing is about as far from the airport as you can get and still be on Saint Lucia: it’s a good hour and a half drive along some beautiful if occasionally twisty roads to get to the gates.
The upside of the location near the northern tip of the island is that the resort is convenient to beautiful Rodney Bay and the village of Gros Islet, site of Saint Lucia’s Friday night street party and a must-do on any visit to Saint Lucia.
Accommodations at the resort are divided between hillside villas and a newer set of residential style, three-story villas at beach level. The latter are closer to the the pools, the five restaurants, the spa, and all of the water sports activities, but we stayed in the hillside villas and that would be our recommendation for other guests, too.
The views from the hillside villas are absolutely spectacular. Windjammer Landing may be among the minority of Saint Lucia resorts that don’t offer even a glimpse of the island’s famous twin Pitons mountains, but that does nothing to detract from the experience of waking up to a sweeping vista of the Caribbean Sea.
The villas themselves are equally pretty, with private pools, patios and large windows on every level that take full advantage of the awesome eye candy. Full kitchens and layouts with up to three bedrooms make these accommodations a great choice for families or groups on an extended stay: villas sleep 4-12 guests and range from 1,875 to 4,200 square feet in size.
Units are stacked fairly close together, but you’ll rarely see or hear your neighbors unless you want to, and the comparatively remote hillside location is especially peaceful and magical at night, when soft landscape lighting highlights the tropical lushness around each whitewashed villa, the hills come alive with the sounds of frogs and insects, and the stars pop out in the skies above.
There is a price in convenience to pay for the serenity, however: getting from the villas to the beach area where all of the resort amenities is requires a bit of effort— or at least planning. A single switchback road leads to and from the villas, and while there are a couple of sets of stairs spanning the steep hillside, the walk down for breakfast can be a shin-stressing affair. As for walking back uphill to your villa — don’t even think about it unless you’re training as a mountaineer.
Of course, the resort doesn’t expect you to walk at all: Windjammer Landing has a fleet of shuttles on constant call to shuttle guests back and forth to their rooms. Honestly, it never took more than 5 minutes to hitch a ride.
The resort recently completed renovation included new oceanfront villas, improvements to the other villas on property, and a new restaurant.
One thing that does stand out, however, is a heightened commitment to a sense of place, with a redesign billed as showcasing “the very best of Caribbean chic.”
“Taking inspiration from its Caribbean Island setting, the new design nods to nautical and coastal elements, with a base of soft muted neutrals and pops of all shades of the Saint Lucian blues,” according to the announcement made by the resort in January 2023. “Throughout the resort, custom-made wood furnishings including mindi and teak are used, and natural rope and rattan furnishings can be found in the outdoor spaces.”
We’re also excited about the addition of a new rooftop bar and lounge (“The Perch”) at the hotel’s signature Dragonfly restaurant, a needed element of nightlife excitement that should nicely complement the after-dark entertainment that we enjoyed, including live bands and a lively karaoke night. Dragonfly has also been enhanced with a new covered patio and original artwork by Caribbean painter Sandy Layne, another nice splash of local color.
Locally sourced materials are now more prevalent in the hotel lobby as well as the guest rooms, including the just-added beachfront Ocean Point Residences which also gain their own private clubhouse. The resort also is adding a new layer of exclusivity in upscaling the six villas at the very top of the hill, now rebranded as the “Manor Collection.”
The all-inclusive package at Windjammer Landing includes a lovely breakfast service with made-to-order food stations; we found this to be the most memorable meal of the day, but the renovation project includes a refresh of the dining spaces plus the addition of an Indian dining concept at the beachfront Embers, which will transform into “Masala by Embers” at night. Thankfully undisturbed is the resort’s palapa beach bar, set half into the surf and conveniently close to a set of overwater hammocks—perhaps the most relaxing spot Windjammer has to offer.
In addition to hammock swaying and cocktail sipping, Windjammer offers a number of activities that serve as occasional diversions from the beach and sun. Complimentary water sports include snorkeling, windsurfing, pedalboating, paddleboarding, and kayaking, and an on-site dive shops can organize lessons, excursions, and special experiences like underwater yoga.
The resort spa, just rebranded as Serene Spa and Wellness, offers interesting packages like the Full Moon Ritual, which includes yoga both underwater and on land with a guided meditation, an evening boat ride, a communal plant-based dinner, and a stargazing session.
Windjammer Landing hasn’t always been at the top of the list of the buzziest Saint Lucia resorts. But those who come tend to come back: repeat guests are everywhere, and the resort’s villa accommodations certainly stand out among the island’s hotel properties.
And with a new look, a new wave of travelers could be heading its way.