Resorts that go Beyond
Today’s Caribbean travellers want more from their vacation time than a sun lounger and a pool. They want to engage in new activities, have unique experiences, and go home feeling both refreshed and enriched.
Words by Natasha Were.
Give them your body for a week, and they will give you back your mind – this is the claim of a world-class wellness resort located on a sandy beach in scenic St. Lucia. Guests can plan their days around the almost unlimited activities programme, which features everything from yoga and Pilates to group mountain bike rides or runs, water sports, fitness classes, fencing, archery and more. In between, recharge at juice bars, delis, Ital, Ayurvedic and fusion restaurants – but make sure you find time for your daily complimentary spa treatment and afternoon tea.
Surrounded by tropical forests, with views over a marine reserve, Jungle Bay is all that an eco-resort should be. Elegant villas are built from natural wood and stone, food is fresh as can be, sourced directly from local farmers and fishermen, and activities are all nature-based. These range from energetic hikes to hidden waterfalls and boiling lakes, to soaking in hot springs, touring organic orchards and cooking classes. The popular wellness adventure package includes daily spa treatments, yoga classes in the sea-view studio, and unique excursions around the ‘nature island’.
From the neatly trimmed lawns and candy-striped beach umbrellas to the louvred shutters and rattan furniture, The Dunmore stands out for its retro appeal and vintage glam. Established in 1963 as a members-only club, it now offers 18 picturesque private cottages and five larger villas but retains an air of hushed exclusivity. A high-end, low-tech hideaway, activities are suitably mellow: there’s a heated pool and massage cabana set back from the beach, and golf buggies can be rented to explore further afield. Come sunset, however, dressing up for cocktail hour and dinner is de rigueur.
A 1940s mansion transformed into a boutique hotel, Cobbler’s Cove is reminiscent of an English country estate, but with the addition of turquoise sea, shady verandas and swaying palm trees. There’s plenty to do beyond luxuriating in the sumptuous suites: as well as one complimentary boat trip each day of their stay, guests have free access to kayaks, paddleboards, Hobie cats and windsurfers. For landlubbers, there’s a spa, tennis court and gym on-site, and guided tours of remote rum shacks, tropical gardens and inland hikes can be arranged.
A five-star cliff-top resort, smartly restyled in sunny tones with nautical accents, this Auberge Collection Resort sets the standard for island glamour. Palm lined paths lead through the 25-acre grounds – which include three dining venues, a fitness centre, tennis and basketball courts and two infinity pools – to the powdery sands of Meads Beach. Borrow a bike to tour the island, join one of the complimentary fitness classes or go sailing on a classic sloop. Then head to the spa for a signature massage using warm shells instead of hot stones. Special rates for Caribbean residents.
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