Online Lifestyle Magazine

6 February 2018

St Lucia - Travel Diary


With its vast rainforest and stunning mountains, St Lucia competes very highly as one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. Along with its lush forests and mountains, St Lucia boasts volcanic beaches, luxury hotel resorts and fantastic reef diving opportunities. If you have never been to the Caribbean before St Lucia is the perfect island to start with, and this travel diary of our trip might spark the adventurer in you and give you a helping hand when deciding on your next holiday.


With this travel diary, I might have to pull the memories from the depth of my psyche as we went on this trip in November 2013, despite that I really wanted to write about it as the start of my travel series. 
I find picking a holiday destination so overwhelming, I never know where to start and like most people I have to work to a budget. This holiday was the first time Thom and I were going abroad together and also it was to celebrate his 30th Birthday so I knew I wanted it to be special. Three weeks before we went to St Lucia Thom proposed to me, which gave us another reason to make it the holiday of a lifetime. I am essentially the travel agent in the relationship, and so I do all the scouring of websites, reading of travel guides and spending hours of my life on Trip Advisor. Thom trusts me to pick the best places and I haven’t failed him yet.

Weather

We wanted to go at the end of November so that we were away for Thom’s big 30th celebrations, because of the time of year I knew we would have to travel a little further afield to get some sunshine. The Caribbean has some of the most desirable weather in the world, with temperatures ranging from 24-30ÂșC which means it is never cold and never too hot. Ideal months to go to the Caribbean are December - April when it is a lot less humid, dry and cooler. May - November can be wetter with hurricanes likely between July and October. 

St Lucia has a tropical climate so it can be higher humidity and wetter than other Caribbean countries. We went right at the end of November beginning of December and only had one day where it rained heavily for a long period of time. There were small showers from time to time, but so insignificant that I would just put my towel over my head and it would be sunny and dry again in minutes. Other than that is was glorious. 

Hotel - St James Club Morgan Bay

Once I pinned down a country it was time to choose a hotel. This is the part that stresses me out the most. I am so happy that when I was of age to book my own holidays the internet and hotel reviews were a thing. How on earth did my parents know where was good to go, by trusting the word of a travel agent and a brochure? No thanks! It wouldn't feel right if I didn't scrutinise every single hotel review on Trip Advisor and then be put off by that one terrible review in a sea of excellent ones, what if I also get infuriated by the fact that there was only margarine and not real butter and it ruins my entire holiday? This was a genuine complaint, I truly worry about the human race...

Even though I love reading everything I possibly can about potential hotels I do try to take guest reviews with a pinch of salt. The problem with reviews is that everyone is different and has different tastes, I am sure I wouldn’t even notice some of the things people complain about on Trip Adviser.

That being said the hotel that finally got my vote when booking St Lucia was St James Club Morgan Bay. On paper, this hotel had everything we wanted, All inclusive, swim-up bar, adults only pool, fantastic reviews and was in the budget.

St James club is roughly a 2-hour drive from Hewanorra International Airport, we decided to get a shared transfer which had a few other people in a minibus that we dropped off at different hotels. You can get a helicopter which would have been incredible but was a little out of our price range.

When we arrived we were greeted with some rum punch and it was at that moment I truly felt like I was in the Caribbean, it was very exciting. The staff were incredibly welcoming and friendly, which followed through our entire stay. This hotel is All Inclusive for everyone that stays here, so no weird wrists bands or worrying about how much you are spending, you can just drink and eat to your heart's content.

Our room was in one of the blocks on the hill overlooking the whole resort, we got there at night so didn't realise how stunning our view was until the morning. We were over the moon with the room it was huge and had a very generous balcony, the location also helped us work off the buffet by walking up and down that hill a few times a day. It is a large complex but they have lots of golf buggies to give you lifts to your room if needed. 











There are 4 pools all together at St James club, but we mainly stayed around the one with the swim-up bar, not sure why... There is another pool right next to the swim-up bar, which had all the aqua aerobics and pool games. The 3rd pool is the kid's pool which was on the other side of the resort which we never went to. I really liked that this was a family-friendly resort but if you want to avoid kids then it's easy to do, especially at the 4th pool which is set just up the hill overlooking the beach. This pool has it's own bar so you can spend all day here if you want. We loved heading up there after lunch to chill out with a cocktail in the pool looking out to sea, it was so peaceful and an incredible experience.







St James Club has 6 restaurants so all-inclusive never gets boring. What I loved was that they were totally different types of restaurants so you never felt like you were just in a resort eating the same food every night. My favourite restaurant was Morgan's pier, with its a la carte menu of seafood and just grilled deliciousness you can enjoy your food surrounded by the ocean. There is one restaurant you have to pay a supplement for if you go but Le Jardin is definitely worth the $35 each. We went for Thom's birthday night and they decorated the table and got him a birthday cake which I thought was a lovely touch. If buffet food is what you like then The Palms restaurant is for you, there is an amazing selection of food and they do theme nights as well. The Bamboo restaurant is where we would go for lunch and on an evening it is another delicious a la carte menu like Morgan's pier and La Jardin. There is a grill at the kid's pool which families with kids would probably find invaluable, as you don't have to uproot everything to go for lunch. Since we went in 2013 they have opened a Pizza and Pasta restaurant which I am gutted we never got to try as it looks very tasty. 

You have a lot of options when it comes to alcohol as well, they definitely don't give scrimp just because it is all-inclusive. Spirits are local but I certainly couldn't tell the difference, cocktails were plentiful and local beers and wines delicious. Thom became obsessed with the local beer Piton which you can only get in St Lucia, so another trip might be on the cards in the future. You could even get prosecco by the glass which I think goes above and beyond what an all-inclusive resort needs to offer.



Exploring the Island

I love getting out and exploring a country when I'm there and I wasn't going to miss the opportunity to see this beautiful island, however, we had also said we were going to use this holiday to completely relax and just eat and drink lots. The compromise to this was to book a full day excursion that packed in as much of the island as possible.

We started early in the day when the open-top jeep arrived to pick us up, I was really excited about this as it made the entire day exciting, unlike spending all day on a stuffy coach like a bunch of tourists. The views were spectacular especially when we went high up towards the mountains. We visited the Volcano, which is definitely worth a visit even if it is a sulphur hot spring and absolutely stinks! But it is a beautiful sight, it even has pools that you can swim in as well. Two beautiful waterfalls were also part of the trip, one of which is the waterfall featured in the movie Superman 2, there's a little bit of trivia for you. We explored little towns and fishing villages and everyone we met was incredibly friendly, our guide gave us so many facts and stories about the island, like how there are no monkeys in St Lucia which is why they can produce so many bananas to export! 


















The day trip ended with the most beautiful catamaran journey back to our side of the island, as you can see from the pictures it is a breathtaking place. We stopped at a little inlet for a swim on the way and the water was crystal clear. Thom "nearly died" in the sea, something he still struggles to talk about to this day (a wave went over his head...). Aside from that drama, it was one of the best experiences of my life and I would go back to St Lucia in a heartbeat.

If you want a giggle here is a little home video of Thom opening his birthday cards on our balcony. Thom seems to have an issue with the birds...


Booking information

We booked through British Airways for the flight and the hotel, which was easy and painless. The flight was great it is only 8 hours from London. All the transfers were sorted when booking (we paid extra for this) and all round we were happy with the whole experience.

In my opinion, St Lucia is the type of place you go and stay in an All-Inclusive type hotel, the resorts are built in the most beautiful places and you can relax and soak up the sun and stunning views. As we went all inclusive we didn't take much spending money at all. When we went out on our day trip drinks and food weren't expensive at all.

You can also book directly with St James Club via their website



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