Tracy Carr is one of Covington’s vacation advisors specializing in a variety of cruise lines, Disney, Sandals Resorts and Turk & Caicos. She has worked as a vacation advisor for nearly three decades and like most travel consultants, loves to travel. Today she shares with us her recent trip to St Lucia.
The Island of St. Lucia is shaped a bit like an avocado and has two airports. Vigie Field is on the northwest side in Castries and is closer to many of the resorts; however, it primarily serves local inter-island flights, so we flew into Hewanorra at the southern end in Vieux Fort. The Sandals Halcyon is about an hour and 45-minute drive over scenic, but very curvy, mountainous roads. We used the transfer offered by the resort because we didn’t need a rental car once there.
My husband and I arrived to a very warm welcome at the small and intimate Sandals Halcyon Resort and our honeymoon beachfront walkout concierge room. Our room was nestled in a stunning tropical paradise and looked out to the pristine silver-white beach and emerald waters. On our first evening we made dinner reservations in the Famous Pier Restaurant. There is no additional fee for dining there, but it books up quickly, so reservations are recommended. The dining room sits over the water and from this vantage point we feasted on marvelous Caribbean seafood delicacies, listened to the ocean lapping below, and watched a spectacular sunset. What a treat!
When you stay at one Sandals resort, you can play at the others, so one morning we took the complimentary 10-minute transfer to the larger Sandals Regency La Toc resort. This is a very active property with lots of cozy areas to relax. The beautiful new millionaire suites offer a full 180 degree view of the Caribbean, butler service, and a three-level outdoor sundeck with private pool and whirlpool. The resort offers a choice of nine restaurants, including Italian at Armando’s atop the romantic bluff, and 5-Star French cuisine at the incomparable La Toc with white-glove service and to die for French pastries. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the Pavilion restaurant and headed back to our haven at the Halcyon. We relaxed by the pool while watching the pool volleyball and catching up with some overdue reading. For dinner this evening, we opted for the Romantic Candlelight Dinner for 2 (optional fee of $170.00 per couple) and it was amazing. We previously met with the concierge to select a dining location (beach, gazebo, gardens, balcony or pier) and four-course dinner selections. Dinner included chilled house champagne, a long stem rose and white-gloved waiter service. This was a highlight for both of us and would make a memorable surprise wedding gift for newlyweds.
Another day, we went to the rainforest for a three-hour zip lining tour. I thought I must be nuts, as I’m afraid of heights, but it turned out to be one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done. Upon reaching the rainforest we were quickly fitted with our equipment, clamps, helmets, and gloves. Shorts and open shoes are not recommended. After a demo on how to glide, we climbed to the first platform. Hubby had to go first to reassure me. Knowing that he was waiting on the next platform, I had the courage to let go and I screamed all the way across at this pulse pounding and thrilling adventure! The wind blew in the tree tops, reminding me that I was 200 feet up in the air hanging on I wire! My favorite zip was 1802 feet long. The waterfalls below, the treetops whistling by, the wind in my face as I reached speeds up to 35 mph, the pure beauty all around me was exhilarating! And sharing the experience with my partner gave me the courage to do it again. We returned to the Halcyon with smiles galore and fresh cocoa powder, one of St. Lucia’s few exports. We celebrated with an Italian dinner at Mario’s and like all of our dining so far, it was excellent.
When our stay in paradise came to an end, we decided to take the optional helicopter transfer back to the airport. The cost was $189 per person for a scenic 15-minute flight that was absolutely amazing. The aerial views of the famous volcanic Pitons, the gorgeous coast line, and remote waterfalls and bays are worth every penny. Besides the sheer beauty and the time factor, it was far easier on motion discomfort than the twisty car ride.
We enjoyed Sandals and St. Lucia so much that we plan to return next summer. Sandals also has resorts in Jamaica, Nassau, Great Exuma and Antigua. I am a Sandals Specialist and know them all well, so please let me help you choose a Sandals Resort for your next vacation.