Author: Jillian Ryan
Tags : Winter Getaway
Find the perfect island hotel or resort, all-inclusive or luxury villa, for your family vacation with our guide to St. Lucia's top family beach resorts.
The influence of years as an English or French colony (and top value airfares) have made the lush island of St. Lucia irresistible to tourists who have, in turn, inspired a sophisticated and stylish resort scene. For more recommendations of family-friendly hotels on this Eastern Caribbean isle, plus names of some of the island's small B&B's, contact the St. Lucia Tourist Board (888/4-STLUCIA).
St. Lucia Family Resorts
Forbidden Beach, Eden Bay, P O Box 251
Soufriere, St. Lucia
Spectacularly situated in Soufriere on the southeast side of St. Lucia, Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, is the former Hilton Jalousie Plantation after undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation. The resort offers luxurious private bungalows on 100-plus acres framed by the Piton peaks and has a complimentary year-round children's program for ages 4-12, with nature walks, beach excursions, and toys. There is also private babysitting available for children under 4, which should make it easy (if you needed any convincing) to "park" the kids while you enjoy a massage on the beach, play tennis, or head out to the gorgeous, super-gourmet restaurant. The balconied, Piton view and seaview villas are incredibly romantic. There are elegantly appointed one-bedroom cottages, most of which feature a queen bed and a pull-out sofa in the living room, plus their own private plunge pool (may be too deep for little ones.) Families with easy-to-tire toddlers may find the golf-cart commute to a private hillside hideaway too wearing, and should request one closer to the beach.
Anse Chastanet Resort
P O Box 7000
Soufriere, St. Lucia
Since this glowing review of Anse Chastanet, the 600-acre resort has expanded and blossomed. In addition to the super private Jade Mountain villas built high above the main resort on a hillside overlooking the sea and the Piti and Gros Piton mountains (on many publications "Most Romantic Resort" lists), there are 12 miles of walking and hiking trails in the Anse Mamin valley, three restaurants, two bars plus the Jungle Grill at Anse Mamin, an excursions desk and car rental desk, beachside boutiques, an art gallery and library. The 49 guestrooms range from studio to two-bedrooms, each designed in a stunningly unique way to accentuate the environment and views. There's watersports galore (no organized kids club); on-site vendors include the highly regarded Scuba St. Lucia, Bike St. Lucia and Kayak St. Lucia. On the historical plantation of Anse Mamin and Emerald Estate, the chef grows its own organic produce. The new Kai Belte Spa has a yoga and wellness focus.
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort
Labrelotte Bay, P.O.Box 1504
Castries, St. Lucia
The Windjammer Landing Resort, another villa/bungalow complex that is popular with families, is situated on the beach near the St. Lucian capital of Castries. With six restaurants, 1 to 4 bedroom villas grouped in a modern, three-story buildings wrapped around a large pool, it's a busy resort, but the attentive service and children's facilities are highly praised. Facilities include floodlit tennis courts, aquatics and aerobics in the fitness center, a PADI dive center, mini-market, and all the watersports gear you'll need for its sheltered bay. White stucco, red tile-roofed, Mediterranean-style villas are clustered into 'villages' amongst the wooded hillside. Parents will love the spacious one-and two-bedroom villas with seaview balconies, ceiling fans, minibars, kitchenettes and plunge pools. The well-regarded Jacquot Fun Club kids' program hosts children 4-12 with full days of activities, and now, from 6-10pm, so adults can have a romantic evening on their own. (Teen programs only kick in when enough of these tough-to-wrangle kids are in house.) Limbo dancing, shopping trips to the Castries market and T-shirt dyeing are some of the non-beach pursuits. Those traveling with toddlers will really appreciate the availability of skillful nanny service. This resort offers a daytrip by sailboat to Martinique, though the sometimes choppy seas may make it too adventurous for little ones.
St. James Club Morgan Bay
Gros Islet, St. Lucia
A resort with nine lives, this was formerly the Wyndham Morgan Bay Resort, then an Almond resort and now the St. James Club Morgan Bay run by Elite Resorts. Guests will find 345 guestrooms and suites overlooking the beach or gardens. Housing ranges from studios to 1BR suites and family units, nicely decorated in a tropical style. On property there are four restaurants, several bars, a fitness center and a full-service spa which has been recently expanded. Activities available at no charge are windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, table tennis and an adult supervised kids' club. Families will enjoy the four freshwater pools together. Located outside Castries on a small, 22-acre landscaped hill overlooking Choc Bay, this full service resort is a favorite with divers as well as families because of its all-inclusive policy, where taxes and tips, rooms, meals, drinks, all sports and activities are wrapped up in one price. The Kids Club operates daily, with 3 to 12-year-olds swimming, taking dance lessons and playing video games together.
Ti Kaye Village
Box GM 669
Castries, St. Lucia
For a different style, this cluster of 33 units high above Cochon Bay is a more rustic, isolated and dare we say it -- romantic -- choice for the adventuring family. At Ti Kaye, all the simple but sophisticated units have large seaview balconies with double hammocks, big king-size beds with fresh white linens, and mosquito netting. Some are individual cottages with their own plunge pools. Though amenities like a minifridge and air-conditioning exist, what is special are the open-air showers surrounded by stone walls draped in living plants. Seven duplex cottages contain 14 of the units, and since they adjoin through balcony doors, families usually book these. Modest rates include breakfast; there is a restaurant on the premises.