Blithe spirit, island hopper and fearless fashionista, Ju-Lo gets the skinny on four sizzling sybaritic weekend sojourns in the Caribbean.
Words by Juliet Austin.
Faced with a weekend of domestic drudgery, I did what any Nobel laureate wannabe would do... several phone calls and feats of fancy fingerwork later I could all but hear the champagne corks popping into the plunge pool. Herein, lie the chronicles of Ju-Lo, aged 43¾, weekend jetsetter and cut-throat media-vixen.
Sandals Grand St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort, St Lucia
Friday (7:48 am): (Happy hour tipples: 14 – it is all-inclusive; calls to Rory: 41)
En route to Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort – assigned to company credit card, naturellement, and armed with selection of to-die-for beach suits. Rummaged through plane seat pocket and found book, Fifty Shades of Grey. Sounds dull but better than avoiding amorous glances of Mr. Suave in seat 6A. Am channeling J-Lo in new Jackie-O shades – perfect for ‘luxury-included’ getaway. Have adopted alter ego, Ju-Lo, for duration of trip (middle name is Louise). Screams star quality, no?
(7:50 am) Yet another look from Mr. Suave! Bet he’s on ‘boys-will-be-boys’ weekend. Bottom dweller.
(8:06 am) Mercy! Stowed bodice-ripper in carry-on. Note to self: purchase Kindle.
(11:04 am) Hot damn! Am beyond excited. Attempted nonchalance but practically levitated when escorted to ultra-grand luxe beachfront rondoval (picture dreamy mahogany four poster, private sundeck, plunge pool and Jacuzzi under the stars) by personal butler, Rory (no, really)! Trained by Guild of Professional English Butlers apparently… Says he, handing me personal cell phone: “Your wish is my command.” As I see it, have two options: marry him or pack him.
Saturday (11:02 am): (Tipples: 11 – better; calls to Rory: only 15; moments of contrition: 43) Awoken by aroma of bacon sarnie à la Rory (oh, he’s good). Donned Jackie-O’s for Red Lane Spa detoxifying massage. (How apt. Wonder if they do liver transplants?)
Appetiser at swanky Gordon’s Restaurant last night followed by orgasmic dessert at Toscanini’s, then on to Olde London Pub whereupon I discovered Mr. Suave propping up bar. Transpires he’s getting married today in a Sandals’ WeddingMoon… guess I got the wrong end of the stick. Churlish to abandon him on stag night. Took advantage of resort’s ‘Stay at One. Play at Three’ offer and headed off for a round of golf at Sandals La Toc followed by a swim at... Please God, no! Hazy recollection of Flipper impression at Sandals Halcyon Beach swim-up bar….
(10:19 pm): Stress of unprofessional conduct, immanent unemployment and destitution kneaded away by expert hands of masseuse. Solitary afternoon (with Rory, of course) contemplating options and navel: sea, plunge pool, Jacuzzi. (Fresh fruit? Don’t mind if I do.) Outdoor shower, bath. (Bubbly? Why not.) Repeat... Have finally met a man who knows what I want before I do. Surprise candlelight dinner on the beach (while he folded my clothes for packing), then ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ on vast plasma screen TV. Finally living the life to which I was born.
Sunday (1:36 pm): (Calls to Rory: 73) Ju-Lo has left the building. Bid emotional farewell to Rory and my hedonistic haven. Back to face the music. Now, where is that book?
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Friday (9:03 am): (Tipples: 23 – I mean, some were mixed with juice; calls to Juan: a conservative 17) Winging my way to DR for all-inclusive Hard Rock-ing weekend guaranteed to rekindle creative juices and cement my career as Ju-Lo, footloose-andfancy- freelancer. Will become writing sensation, deluged with requests for witty repartee, acerbic insights and razor sharp wit.
(11:37 am) Hot tamale! Upgraded to jaw-droppingly humungous (like 7,700 square foot) oceanfront Rock Star Suite (it’s the shades, you know). Picture Lenny Kravitz meets Gwen Stefani complete with white leather, baby grand piano, mega-screen TV and impossibly huge party-central balcony. Entertained in exclusive lounge while Juan (the new Rory) unpacked luggage. Baby – you’re a star! Furnished with personal cell phone (24-hour life support), fully stocked (and free!) not-so-mini bar and pool table for all my diva desires. Locked toothbrush in oversized safe by mistake (just practising). Juan saved the day.
(3:58 pm) Cranked out playlist on iDock music system and blissed out in double Jacuzzi with bubbles galore while ordering munchies from 24-hour in-room dining service. Very LA. Called Juan to discuss outfit selection – suggested Gaga-esque ensemble (cheeky but undeniably à propos). Ordered up Fender Stratocaster for pre-dinner jam session to set mood for Oro Nightclub which promises to ‘seduce its guests into uninhibited euphoria.’ Steady on! Can’t decide on Chinese, Mediterranean, Italian or the Cirque de Sushi experience. The Brazilian comes ‘sword style’ – sounds painful. Might just tinker on slot machines – you never know.
Saturday (5:17 am): (Calls to Juan: 1; winnings: $168,142.31; YouTube hits: 2,079 and counting) Am rich! But have felt better. Juan says if I return Tommy Lee’s Mötley Crüe spaceship outfit, they will drop charges due to windfall at the casino last night. Spent hours in Rock Spa’s cutting edge ice room attempting skin purification – lost cause (and my way – this place is huge!), but very cool. YouTube footage of my attempt to scale Oro’s two-storey LED wall has gone viral. Angst-ridden. Job surely in jeopardy this time. Time for retail therapy at Rock Shop. Can’t decide between HR Baby Enamel Skull Buckle or HR Love Hurts Necklace. Mo’ money, mo’ problems!
Sunday (5:30 am): (Tipples: just the one; calls to Juan: none – sob!) Decided against early morning ‘European-style’ bathing at Eden Pool (too much exposure, if you catch my drift) in favour of heavenly hydro massage and private breakfast on beach courtesy of my trusty butler, Juan. Need to book next weekend trip... St Barts? Terribly discreet, I’m told. P.S. Perhaps Simon Cowell will let me borrow his jet ski. P.P.S. Eight-square-miles… bound to cross pecs – I mean paths!
Hôtel LeToiny, St Barts, French West Indies
Friday (10:09 am): (Lustful thoughts about SC: 25) Headed to ‘the Caribbean’s St Tropez.’ Opted for private jet from St Martin – I am newly minted. Zut alors! Am now ensconced in très chic, pastel-hued Villa Suite on the wildly romantic Côte Sauvage overlooking exquisite Toiny Bay. Have own gated entrance, complete with ‘do not disturb’ flag on red mailbox (like, how cute is that?), gourmet kitchen, vaulted ceiling, hardwood floors, secluded terrace, infinity pool and personal lifestyle assistant, Pierre. A girl could get used to this! Day is young… Maybe an alfresco lunch at the Villa courtesy of hotel’s “at home away from home” private dining option followed by retail therapy in capital, Gustavia this arvo – miniature Champs Elysées. Cartier is calling! Thought of great title for Simon Cowell exposé: The Joy of Pecs.
(11:09 pm) Bought new outfit befitting cavorting nouveau riche socialite. Hoping to score invite to Russian oligarch’s mega yacht. Wonder how much a helicopter sets you back these days? Visited Serenity Spa Cottage for body peeling massage with coconut oil and papaya, then supped on purple artichokes at La Gaïac Restaurant (don’t know which of us smelt more divine) after personal tour of culinary God, Chef Stéphane Mazières’ organic green house. Oooh-là-là – am loving this Relais & Châteaux hotel. Retired early to study Jennifer Aniston’s paddle boarding form in People Magazine in anticipation of tomorrow’s lesson. Am blissed out in bed drinking in sea vista, and maybe a glass or two of bubbly – merci Pierre!
Saturday (11:58 pm): (Tipples: no comment – drowning sorrows; lustful thoughts about SC: 12) Am deflated. Thought I was bang on trend and sylphlike until supermodel instructor told me she thought my ‘vintage look’ was ‘brave’. There followed spectacular paddle boarding wipe out caught on wave webcam by Editor who tagged images on Facebook. Sure I spied SC’s man mountains milliseconds before board smacked me in eye. Can you cry underwater? Love new Jackie-O’s like never before. Perhaps a dip in my personal pool and piping hot café au lait from Villa’s Nespresso machine will fix me up.
Sunday (9:13 am): (Tipples: none – on health kick; lustful thoughts about SC: zero – where was he in hour of need?) Watched goats frolic on hillside at dawn. Love untouched wilderness and never want to leave. Hiked Petite Anse to Columbier Beach – only accessible by foot or boat. Am weighing up pros and cons of moving into Hôtel Le Toiny permanently and becoming recluse. Studiously ignored endless PINGs from Editor.
The Viceroy, Anguilla
Friday (10:04 pm): (Tipples: Yes, please!) Riding wave of euphoria. Editor caught wind of Hard Rock debacle. YouTube phenomenon has catapulted Caribbean weekend getaways into spotlight and would I consider writing a reflection for upcoming issue..! Am resplendent on sun lounger beside saltwater infinity pool overlooking endless expanse of sea at eye-wateringly sexy, super-chic, creamy-dreamy Viceroy on Anguilla’s West End. Designed by foxy interior designer to the stars, Kelly Wearstler, resort oozes sophistication (as do I, in glam designer wardrobe courtesy of good old company credit card). It rocks très elegante, Californ-i-a vibe down to a ‘t’ (taupe, trimmed and tasteful) – all woven jute, sultry leather, hammered metalwork, petrified wood and modern contours. (As opposed to ‘vintage’ ones – hmph!) Sundowners at The Half Shell bar followed by gastronomic red snapper spectacular at Cobà Restaurants overlooking Barnes Bay and Meads Bay. Am vision of understated elegance, happily ensconced in my heavenly surroundings. All is well with the world.
Saturday (7:11 pm): (Tipples: 5 – discovered Barnes Bay Punch. When in Rome….) Suppressed urge to gun it around 35-acres in golf buggy. Tempting but will not make same mistake twice. Keep expecting to see Orlando Bloom or Sofia Vergara gliding down cool, silvery stone corridors or nursing frozen mango margaritas at the bar. Watched pelicans swoop during boat trip to Sandy Island (booked by ever-efficient butler) followed by fresh crayfish in shade of tiny beach shack – then stepped back into glass-wrapped, cliff-top sanctuary. Like I’m part of living Vogue centrespread – a lavish monochromatic mirage. Restrained urge to break out neon thong and instead spent three hours perfectly refined in beachy neutrals exploring resort’s thousands of feet of private beach. Am the poster child for low-key allure. Off to The Spa for Heaven and Earth signature treatment. This place just makes me a better person.
Sunday (6:07 am): (Tipples: 3 – purely medicinal) Am incapacitated and entirely dependent on butler. Tried soaking poor, quivering self in heated patio plunge pool, but have failed to move from Villa’s swinging double daybed on account of attending Barry’s Bootcamp (a Kardashian sisters’ fave, I’m told). Matter-of-factly explained predicament to Editor – will petition for danger money in future. Enforced extended stay (willing to take this one for the team) and mandatory deep-tissue massage. Am a rock. Maybe I should investigate the resort’s residence option?
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