St. Lucia is one of the most striking islands in the Caribbean and while beautiful beaches beckon, when it’s time to take a break from sun and sea, an artistic treasure chest should delight young visitors.
Turquoise water, lush vegetation and those stunning twin Pitons rising up from the sea equal tropical Nirvana. With such a setting, no wonder St. Lucia is so popular with honeymooners.
Many of these couples find themselves drawn back to the island once they have children, so the island is a popular destination for families, too. St. Lucia is a 4-hour nonstop flight from numerous cities in the Northeastern U.S.A., making it an easy choice for a long weekend break or a lengthier holiday.
Crafty Kids, Come On Over
With so much natural beauty to stimulate the senses, it’s no wonder creative juices flow on St. Lucia.
For families with an interest in visual arts and crafts, a visit to Caribelle Batik shouldn’t be missed.
Located on the Howleton Estate, a Victorian mansion situated high on a hill with stunning views and flower-filled grounds, this informal craft studio is a feast for the eyes.
Visitors may watch the creative process up-close and mingle with the talented craftspeople who work on the premises. A welcoming, homespun air prevails, though the crafts being made are quite sophisticated.
If you’re not familiar with batik, this is the place to become acquainted with it.
Batik is a venerable art form that existed at least as far back as the 4th century B.C., when batik fabrics were used to wrap mummies.
The technique, known as wax resist, consists of applying melted wax to fabric before being dipped in dye. Wherever the wax has seeped through the fabric, the dye will not penetrate and a pattern will be created. Stencil may also be placed over the fabric to act as a barrier to the dye.
The batik process is most highly developed on the island of Java in Indonesia but it is also prevalent in St. Lucia.
The artisans who work here are a highly skilled group. They work outdoors and encourage visitors to watch the batik process up close.
Pretty Purses That Are Award Winning
Artist Christy Samuel puts her heart into each colorful purse she creates. Thankfully, her talent has not gone unnoticed. In June, 2018, she flew to Washington, D.C. to accept Caribbean Style & Culture Award Of “Excellence- Fashion Innovation” at the 2018 Caribbean Style and Culture Awards.
Christy’s studio is located at Howelton Estate and you may watch her as she meticulously handcrafts purses. She is happy to chat with visitors and answer any questions about her process.
Christy can customize a purse to suit your taste. It is also possible to purchase one of Christy’s readymade bags at the shop on site.
All-Hands On The Chocolate Deck
At Howelton Estate, the arts include the culinary arts. If your family loves chocolate, the hands-on chocolate-making classis truly memorable. The chocolatier will take you through the entire delectable process as you shape gorgeous confections. The treats are all yours to eat immediately or, if you’ve got willpower, to take home.
The health benefits of dark chocolate have been widely praised so you need not feel an ounce of guilt as you consume these bonbons.
Of course, you may simply watch the yummy sweets being made by the pros and purchase them at the gift shop, but do-it-yourself is much more fun.
Shop for Colorful Souvenirs
All the batik items for sale at Howelton Estate incorporate tropical motifs and are handmade on site. There are a variety of additional items for sale, including Christy’s purses, jewelry, dresses and shirts made by other artisans around the island. This is the spot to buy the luscious chocolate made on the estate.
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort is located on a sandy beach on the island’s Northwest coast. This 195-unit Mediterranean-style hillside property is spread over 60 landscaped acres bursting with colorful flowers.
Multi-gen families should consider booking one of the eight spacious and new North Point villas. Each contemporary villa is stylish and comfortable. Natural wood contrasts with limestone floors and crisp white walls. Artwork by local artists adds native flair to the interior space.
All North Point villas include a private master en-suite bedroom with a king-sized bed as well as second and third en-suite bedrooms each with two queen-sized beds. Ground level villas feature outdoor showers, generous outdoor living spaces, a private garden and lavish infinity-edge pools. Upper level villas have outdoor kitchens and dining areas. Oversized rooftop plunge pools appear to flow into the ocean.
Five restaurants serve everything from a refreshing ice cream cone to a gourmet meal of just-caught seafood.
So Much to Do
There are six swimming pools plus numerous units have plunge pools, so aquatic options are plentiful.
Non-motorized watersports are complimentary, including windsurfing, sailing, tube rides, kayaking and snorkeling.
The Jacquot Fun Club offers supervised daily activities for kids 4–12 years of age. Age-appropriate activities for 13–17 year olds should keep hard-to-please teens entertained. These clubs are free for resort guests.
For younger children, a babysitter can be arranged for an hourly fee with advance notice.
For more information on the visiting the island, go to www.StLucia.org
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