Americas

St Lucia in summary

Stepping off the plane and hitting that comforting warm wall of heat and seeing tropical plants bursting from the hills, you know the week ahead in the Caribbean sunshine is going to be just what you need. 

Whether that’s an adventure soaring through the treetops, beach time, partying at the jump up or tasting endless delicious dishes.  There is something for everyone just over 8 hours away from the UK.  We love our weeklong escapes to the Caribbean and although we would love more, often our time doesn’t allow it.  People travel to Las Vegas for less time and usually for a more hectic time and so 8 hours really isn’t that far for paradise.

We have visited St Lucia a couple of times to explore this wonderful tropical island.  I’m not going to lie, the transfers are not as easy ride, so to speak but they are well worth it.  Unlike some of the other Caribbean islands, St Lucia is green, hilly and feels very genuinely Caribbean.  The roads wind left to right and back up and down and so if you are not good in cars, make sure you get a front seat or, if budget allows, enjoy a helicopter ride and sample the undulating landscape from above.

The island is sprinkled with stunning hotels, basic apartments, larger high end apartments such as The Landings, all inclusive properties and more unique stays such as Boucan by Hotel Chocolat.  There is an option for everyone to enjoy what’s on offer here. 

We have stayed at Sandals Halcyon which is a smaller all-inclusive resort perfectly located between the other two Sandals hotels on the island.  We love the grounds at the hotel which are tropically rich and make the resort a cosy haven.  There is the option of a ground floor or first floor room and this low-rise approach makes The Halycon a home away from home.  The smiling staff, wide ranging culinary options, activities on offer (including the Caribbean’s longest pool!) and beautifully furnished rooms make relaxing here a breeze.  You are also able to explore the other hotels on the island using the free shuttle bus and the Grande is next door to Pigeon Island and the Friday night jump up which shouldn’t be missed.  Also, if you are considering a wedding abroad, the Grande does have the most stunning over water chapel.

We enjoyed kayaking, paddle boarding, Big Mable (!), a boat trip to see the Pitons, Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens (and of course the spa which takes 10 years off your age!) and the Tree Top Adventure Park at Dennery to name just a few.  We sipped fresh coconut water from coconuts picked within the hour and watched intricate sushi dishes being made in front of us whilst also enjoying the dusky sea view below.

Then, after a week of drowning our senses in new experiences, we always reluctantly step back onto the plane and walk through the Narnia wardrobe, returning to our version or normal but already planning our return.

Get in touch today to start planning your next adventure!

toni@holidaysplease.com

07951 219293

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Americas, Reviews, Trips

The Beauty of Bequia

There are specks of paradise in this world which become havens of tranquility, where our souls can truly rest and escape the real world. There are places where we feel part of the family from the moment we step foot inside and where even our tears want to leave us and linger when we must leave. A place where you get to sit under the stars watching movies you grew up with whilst eating popcorn from bowls moulded from earth sprung seeds. We have found our slice of paradise at Bequia Beach Hotel.

large straw umbrella nestled in the sand at Bequia Beach Hotel on the island of Bequia in the Grenadines with two sun loungers looking out to turquoise waters

This perfectly understated hotel is nestled in the South of the island, although hardly a stone’s throw from the North due to the island being no more than 7 square miles. The welcome starts before you reach its unassuming entrance which for us was at the small port. A smile, open welcome and our drinks order taken, we zipped off in our island taxi to find out where we would be staying for the next 4 nights. The taxis on Bequia are not your traditional taxis! Imagine an open back pickup truck with a canopy and side benches. They are brilliant fun and have the most hospitable drivers and everyone on the island knows Uncle Bill!

Mint green shack set up as a shop on the island of Bequia in the Grenadines

Stepping out of our taxi and into the hotel, we were greeted by several staff and taken to the lounge which is a museum of a bygone treasured age. Our sunset drinks with cocktail umbrellas were waiting for us and any weight which we may have had resting upon our shoulders melted away.

peach coloured rum cocktail decorated with an umbrella, slice of pineapple, a cherry and paper straw

We were taken to our beachfront junior suite which felt secluded but was just steps away from the beautiful natural sands. Absolutely no filters needed at this stunning hotel where every joy is simple and nature prevails. The rooms are quirky and are fitted with objects which inject the rooms with personality and the occupants with a smile. Vintage travel posters, boats decorated with sails displaying the Star Spangled Banner and chairs which you can sink into help to make this one of the most cosy, comfortable and stylish hotels we’ve stayed in.

a beachfront junior suite with four poster bed at Bequia Beach Hotel

The pool is set back a little from the beach and has the most comfortable sunbeds dotted around with neatly rolled up towels inviting guests to take a break. Not far away you’ll find the beach bar and if you’re there at the right time, a coconut stand where freshly dropped fruit will quench your thirst. 

turquoise swimming pool at Bequia Beach Hotel in the Grenadines

We stretched our way to younger spines with the incredible yoga instructor, Patricia, who will guide you into position and turn you into your best warrior. If you prefer something more active then why not try one of the more adventurous activities on offer such as kayaking. Paddle up the coast to survey the nearby fishing boats and scan back to the hotel to take it all in from a different angle whilst manoeuvring through turquoise waters.

The Bagatelle restaurant is open for every meal of the day. Not only offering tantalising treats for your tastebuds but also a view to satisfy your memory bank. Staff tend to your every need in the Caribbean way and in the evenings this is transformed into an area to entertain and the sand becomes the dance floor.

cycling on Lower Bay Bequia in the Grenadines

If you’re itching to explore the island, take a bike from the hotel (you’ll be given a helmet) but you may be pushing more than cycling as Bequia is not a flat island. We made the mistake of braving the heat and tired muscles to cycle to Lower Bay. It would have been more pleasant to take the half an hour or so walk but we did enjoy the breeze as we raced down the hills! The hotel has a lovely spot at Jack’s on Princess Margaret Beach with turquoise striped umbrellas gifting shade to its sundrenched occupants. The sea is clear and warm and the hardest thing you’ll do is pick which dish you’ll have for lunch from Jack’s. A walk into town is what you’ll need after tasting too much and it’s only a half an hour easy stroll and a great place to pick up souvenirs.

Hammock stretched between two palm trees at Bequia Beach Hotel on the island of Bequia in the Grenadines

After a day lazing on the beach it’s back to cool off in the pool, to drink in the beautiful gardens, sway in the hammock looking out to sea and sink into your sun lounger whilst dreaming of your next exciting adventure.

We have put together a very short video to give you even more of a taste of this wonderful island.

Get in touch today to start planning your adventure!

toni@holidaysplease.com

07951 219293