St Lucia Travel Diary
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For someone who is terrified of flying, I seem to travel quite a bit. Look forward to weekly Travel Diary posts about destinations from Europe, to the Caribbean, and everywhere in between. Here is my St. Lucia Travel Diary to help you get a sense of what my trip was like, and perhaps score some intel on what to do (or what to avoid).
“Who takes a helicopter to get to their hotel?” I gasped to my man upon landing at Hewanorra International Airport in St. Lucia. We were headed to the Sandals lounge to wait for our automotive shuttle to one of their three resorts on the island when we happened to notice that there was helicopter transport.
Don’t get me wrong; with my fear of flying/boats/extremely tall buildings the likelihood of getting me on a helicopter is pretty much “nope.” Chalk it up to honeymoon exuberance, I figured.
But then we got in to our microbus shuttle and realized that there is no direct, straight-through-the-island route to the resorts. Rather, you spend nearly two hours up and down winding mountain roads. With the Gravol locked in my suitcase, the helicopter was suddenly sounding like a great idea.
Where I Stayed
During this trip, we were able to take advantage of having multiple Sandals resorts on the island. We stayed at the La Toc property, known for its golf. My man and I are beach people, so we spent most of our time at another location. Here’s the rundown:
Regency La Toc
- Pros: Newer feel, great food (we were told by other guests this resort had the best food out of the three).
- Cons: Very limited poolside chairs often reserved by the butler service before 6am. Pretty much a non-existent beach (very small, red flags and heavy waves for days).
- Pros: Closer to the La Toc property (both are in Castries).
- Cons: Older feel. We spent a couple of hours here and just opted to go back to the Grande.
Grande St. Lucian
- Pros: The best beach out of all three – we spent majority of our time here.
- Cons: Older feel. Furthest from our hotel so the shuttle trips were a bit tedious.
Our tendency had been to book trips fairly last minute, and for this trip we were unable to get the Club Level service we had experienced in the Bahamas. Although it is fairly easy breezy to hit up the drop-in restaurants, it was quite frustrating not to be able to get reservations otherwise. Not having that level of service while still paying a hefty premium “luxury included” price tag didn’t jive for me.
When I Went
This trip took place in May, and the weather was excellent. No complaints!
Who I Traveled With
I traveled with my man during this trip (naturally for a couples resort, right?). If you meet us in person, ask us about the pigeon.
What I Did
This trip will forever be etched in my memory for an excursion where I honestly thought I was going to die. We booked a day trip through the front desk (Island Routes is part of Sandals). It was supposed to be a “short” boat ride to Martinique. Except, by short they actually secretly meant “over an hour and a half.” You can read about my prayers for safe passage in my Martinique Travel Diary.
Aside from exploring Martinique, we spent a lot of time hanging out at the beach. We rented a very dodgy jet ski which was rather concerning when we saw one fail (or run out of gas). My man loves his horsepower toys, so this was definitely a moment where I just grinded my teeth and braced myself.
One thing that the Sandals chain does really well is try to create activities and events on-property – whether a little fashion show, or a Newlyweds Game, or a night market of food from the different regions of the islands. Anything involving food or dessert is really the go-to for me, so this won me over.
There are a ton of different options and tours – from Joe Knows to exploring the Pitons yourself.
How I Got Around
We booked our trip to fly down through our beloved West Jet (YYZ à UVF). Like you’ve learned, the car ride to the resort was nausea-inducing and should really be reconsidered for those who get car sick (Chopper! Chopper! Chopper!). All other time was spent in the same mini bus type of shuttle, whether heading to other resort properties or to Marigot Bay to catch the demon catamaran to Martinique.
Travel: F (damn road and sea travel)
Food – On Resort: A-
Food – Off Resort: B
Activities: B (boat-hate aside, we didn’t really do many activities)