Today I’m sharing the highly requested travel guide for St. Lucia! I packed in as much info as possible, with both wins and losses from our trip and a roundup of my top 3 favorite resorts. I hope this helps you plan your future trip to the beautiful island of St. Lucia!
Before I dive into my recommendations, I want to share a little bit about my personal experience. There are two main cities in St. Lucia – Castries and Soufrière. Castries is the capital, so (from what I’ve heard) it’s a more developed city with nightclubs, restaurants, shopping, etc. We chose to stay in Soufrière because it’s known as the more scenic part of the island. However, Soufrière is incredibly underdeveloped. The buildings in town are in pretty bad shape and the roads are really scary – trust me on this one, DO NOT drive on them unless you absolutely have to. And I also want to note that this has nothing to do with the hurricanes last fall. St. Lucia is one of the only islands that wasn’t hit by the storms – the locals consider themselves very lucky!
My mom and I stayed at a resort called La Haut. It had an awesome infinity pool, and the view from our patio was breathtaking. With that said, it wasn’t all inclusive (they didn’t serve dinner), so we rented a car for our stay. Not only are the roads dangerous, but you have to drive on the opposite side of the car and the road! It’s hard for me to think of a way to accurately describe the roads to you, and the best description I can come up with is never-ending hairpin turns. There is truly not one part of the road that is just a straight shot. They also dig these massive gutters on each side so that the rain water doesn’t flood the streets (since there is a rainforest on the island it poured almost every night, which was super peaceful!). They are about 3 feet deep, meaning that if you drive just a little off of the road, your car is getting stuck in a trench – the only way out is by calling a tow truck. Luckily that never happened to us (thanks mom!), but I was definitely a backseat driver – “THE GUTTERS MOM, THE GUTTERS!!”.
Everybody prefers different types of experiences when they travel. Some people love adventure and others just want to relax. I would say that I’m a mix of of both – when I travel in Europe I love to immerse myself in the culture and be a little more adventurous. When I go on a beach vacation, all I want to worry about is what time is socially acceptable to order a Piña Colada. So for me, an all inclusive resort is my best bet for my next trip back to St. Lucia. There are a few really nice ones on the island, and since our resort didn’t offer dinner, my mom and I took the opportunity to snoop some of the other hotels. Note that I can only speak to the resorts in Soufrière, as we never went to Castries (they are a 2 hour drive apart).
- Sugar Beach. This is by far and away my favorite resort on the island. It honestly might be my favorite beach resort EVER. I can’t say enough fantastic things about it. It’s situated right on the water between the two Piton mountains, so the views are incredible. The staff is warm and friendly, and all the meals we ate there were delicious. They offer a wide range of activities to their guests such a paddle boarding, snorkeling, sailing, etc. The beach area is stunning, complete with super comfy sun beds and straw tiki huts for when you need some shade. I honestly can’t imagine a more picture perfect resort than Sugar Beach, I truly hope to go back to St. Lucia with Connor and stay here.
- Anse Chastanet. We came to Anse Chastanet to check out the snorkeling, as it’s supposed to be some of the best on the island. I personally thought it was just okay – I saw a few cool fish and some sea urchins, but nothing too spectacular. That can really vary day to day though, so it’s possible we just had bad luck. We didn’t see much of the resort itself, but I’ve heard really great things about it. It’s the sister resort to Jade Mountain, which is the most expensive resort on the island, starting at $1,500 a night. So while Anse Chastanet is (slightly) more affordable, you can expect the same 5-star experience. The highlight of our trip to Anse Chastanet (which is a black volcanic sand beach) was taking a short, 10 minute walk over to the white sand beach, Anse Mamin. There is a little outdoor burger joint there called the Jungle Grill, and they are known for making the best burgers in the world. We ordered the Caribbean burger, and it was melt-in-your-mouth amazing. And you have to get the plantain chips too! They are a local favorite and sooo yummy.
- Hotel Chocolat. Situated on a cocoa plantation (hence the name), Hotel Chocolat is one of the most unique resorts I’ve ever visited. We went for dinner based on TripAdvisor reviews – their restaurant, Boucan, had a 5-star rating. We were a bit skeptical going into it, because all of the items on their menu are cooked with an element of cocoa bean. Chocolate in my entrée? That didn’t sound too appealing. However, everything we ate was absolutely fantastic (we shared the seared Tuna for dinner) and it was interesting to see how they incorporated the cocoa bean into the dishes. For dessert we got the chocolate lava cake, which is the best I’ve ever had. The resort itself feels like you’re right in the middle of the jungle, and all the villas have a very spa-like atmosphere. While you aren’t on the beach, they offer a free shuttle service down to Sugar Beach everyday, so you can easily get there (without having to worry about a car).
Wherever you decide to stay in St. Lucia, I know you’ll have a wonderful trip because the island is beyond beautiful. The above are my personal recommendations based on what I look for in a beach vacation – relaxation. What do you look for when planning a beach vacation? Are you adventurous or do you like to unwind? I would love to hear your opinion!