I had been keen to visit St Lucia, the island that Foder's describes as "one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean", since our special Destination page in May last year. And it didn’t fail to live up to the claims.
The breathtaking scenery hit me immediately as I started the hour-long taxi journey from the south to the north of the island. St Lucia is well known for its beaches, but it was the dramatic, mountainous terrain that stood out -- a volcanic landscape against a tropical rainforest.
I spent the week at the 5-star all-inclusive resort bodyholiday LeSPORT. It brought all-inclusive to a whole new level. Even before I arrived at the resort, I was encouraged by a bodyholiday consultant to schedule in my treatments and wellness programme. The Sunday Times voted the spa one of the top three international spas worldwide in its 2011 Travel Reader’s Awards and my trip included one free treatment each day. For some, this is the highlight of their stay. But I was drawn to the comprehensive activity programme.
The resort offers a wide variety of sports and classes -- far too many to list here. The gym was one of the best equipped I have ever seen at a resort, and the climb up the 50+ stairs to get to it was a fitting warm up. My workout was under the scrutiny of the well-known resident fitness instructor Felix, who is a former body-building champion of the Caribbean. You can’t help but leave feeling a little inadequate.
I had my appointments set prior to my visit and started the week with a 30-minute sailing lesson. Soon it was just me, the HobiCat and the light winds. I managed to sail back to the shore with no great panic and took to the water most days. Tuesday, I joined the tennis session, which was very sociable and gave me the opportunity to mix with other guests. It’s through the activities that you understand why this resort is so popular with solo travellers. There is plenty to do all day and during the evening you have the option to join a group table to meet other guests who are also travelling alone. Needless to say, they were the liveliest bunch during the week.
With everything catered for, it was difficult to justify a visit away from the resort. There are many places to visit on the island, but I was most interested in the Pitons, which soar half a mile over the ocean. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the twin peaks are best seen from the sea. I opted to take a 38-foot catamaran from the beautiful Marigot Bay -- the 2-hour sailing was possibly the most relaxing part of my entire holiday.
After my activity-filled days I did not feel at all guilty about taking advantage of the wonderful dining and bar facilities. I watched the sun set most evenings at The Clubhouse bar, with Piton beer in hand. The dining in the Cariblue restaurant was superb. The ingredients are fresh and you are always given a healthy option. It was, however, difficult to turn down the complimentary wine.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the bodyholiday and a week wasn’t really enough. Having set off with some trepidation and the worry that fellow guests would be bronzed goddesses, I was relieved to find that this resort catered for all shapes and sizes. And with all the activities and spa treatments, you can certainly treat your body like a temple during the day, but for me, the dancing and socialising in the bar at night was one of the main highlights.