Saint Lucia is famous for its balmy weather, Pitons, and white sand beaches. But did you know there’s more to your visit to Sandals in Saint Lucia than just lounging? Here are five amazing travel experiences at Sandals in St. Lucia:
1. Spice Shopping at the Castries Market
Opened in 1894, the Castries Market has been rated #3 of the Top 10 Food Markets by National Geographic, and is bustling with action. Booths are stocked with island spices, tropical fruit and vegetables, seafood, meats, and condiments such as hot sauce.
Stop for a spice lesson from Dorothy Beausoleil – otherwise known as “The Spice Lady” (below). At her stall, you can buy vanilla pods and little bags of saffron, cinnamon, and turmeric for cooking at home.
Outside, a man lops off the tops of coconuts with a machete and adds a straw. I wander the market carrying my coconut, sipping its sweet milk – my saving grace from the heat.This is one market worth leaving the beach to explore. The Castries Market is open daily (except Sundays), and Sandals staff can help guests arrange visits.
2. Relax by the Bonfire
As night falls, grab a cocktail and unwind by a crackling fire. At Sandals, open fire pits are nestled in every corner of the resort grounds, illuminating the turquoise pool and the dark sky. I dig my feet into the white sand, listen to the waves crash, and watch the flames dance in the shadows – the ultimate beach bonfire.
3. Indulge at the Chocolate Buffet
Saint Lucia is one of the top exporters of chocolate in the world – so why not indulge while you’re there? One evening each week, Sandals Grande St. Lucia hosts a poolside chocolate buffet – and it’s a feast. There’s a lavish display of hand-crafted dark, milk, and white chocolate petits-fours, bon-bons, truffles, and a chocolate fondue with fruits. Guests gorge on these chocolate treats while drinking cocoa and chocolate martinis. As I lick chocolate from my fingers, I silently agree that this is a decadent experience.
4. Dine Over the Sea at Gordon’s on the Pier
Romance starts at Gordon’s on the Pier. The restaurant is perched at the very end of a pier jutting straight out into the Caribbean, offering sweeping views of the bay and the night sky. Seated on the pier, guests savour a three course gourmet meal of seafood and steak, all while enjoying a warm Caribbean breeze.
5. Take a Day Trip to Morne Coubaril Estate
A two hour drive from Sandals, the Morne Coubaril Estate sits high above the Bay of Soufriere, offering a leafy oasis for its visitors. Our guide leads us through the Plantation gardens, describing flora and the replica village depicting life from two centuries ago. A baby goat follows our tour group, bleating loudly as we pet her furry head sprouting tiny horns.The Plantation currently produces cocoa, coffee and copra, as well as tropical fruits, such as orange, grapefruit and lime, all of which are used to make juices. In the barn, taste a ripe cocoa bean at the cocoa and coffee house, and learn about the process of fermentation – which involves “The Chocolate Dance” (below).
Our group gets a demonstration of de-husking a coconut (again, with a machete) and drying the copra in the oven before having a taste of coconut water.
HOW TO BOOK:
Sandals offers couples-only luxury resorts in St. Lucia, Jamaica, Antigua, the Bahamas, Grenada and Barbados, featuring gourmet candlelit dining for two, gorgeous tropical settings and some of the world’s most exquisite beaches.
Book your vacation package at www.sandals.com or through your travel agent.
The writer was a guest of Sandals Resorts. The company did not review or approve this article.