A short while ago an invitation landed in the UWM office, would we like to go to St Lucia, what a question, wait whilst we give this careful consideration for all of a nanosecond.
The resort in question has been on our radar for a while and we knew that we had to visit and write about it, this time, there was no discussion, it had my name all over it! It was a short 3-day trip, literally a weekend in the Caribbean. I am ex-crew so used to flying all over and literally stopping over and flying back so the 3 days in St Lucia didn’t phase me, I am immune to jet lag!
With suncream packed, the obligatory hat and glasses firmly in the bag I met my fellow journalists on a Thursday morning at Gatwick. A bunch of fine females, Glamour Magazine, National Geographic – I was in excellent company. The thought of spending even 3 days with people you don’t know, in a resort you don’t know, it can all be a little daunting and I cannot deny I was a tad nervous – what if we didn’t get on! I kept thinking it is only 3 days and my mission is to write, to write like all the greats before me, Orwell, Shakespeare, Austen, Woolf even Blyton! Ok maybe going too far but you get my drift.
After boarding, I made myself comfortable and was glad to find myself sat next to a lovely young lady who was travelling out to Mustique for a friends wedding. This friend happened to be a rather famous food blogger and writer so this lady and I bonded straight away and had a great few hours chatting about life, love and the universe; in between food, drink and movies. We said our goodbyes on arrival and I thought how lovely her weekend was going to be, and how much that was one wedding I wanted to cover.
Our journo team re-grouped and we were met by our lovely hosts. Cold towels and drinks awaited us and a lush air conditioned people carrier to take us to our hotel. The journey was almost an hour, we went up and down hills, lush countryside, ocean views. Had we not been so hot, sticky and tired from our flight we would have paid more attention. Our driver was very knowledgeable and kept us entertained.
We arrived! Happy to disembark we were greeted with beaming smiles, more towels and drinks. Introduced to our own personal assistants we made our way to our rooms. My assistant was Stephanie and she was just too lovely, she told me that all of her family live in Camden! She escorted me to my room, ground floor with lots of lush greenery in front of it. As we walked along I saw some of the rooms at their own personal hot tubs, silently praying that I had one of these rooms, she made a turn into one of them! Hoorah! Now I know I am in some kind of second heaven. Once she had explained what every gizmo in my room did, I was left to unpack before meeting the girls for dinner later. It would have been rude not to do it, so I unpacked in about 5 minutes and jumped straight into the hot tub with a cold beer in hand. I just sat there thinking this morning I was in a very cold UK, now I am sat in a hot tub in about 85’ degrees, how wonderful life is.
I quickly made friends with my neighbours, also sat in their hot tub! To my delight, they were on their honeymoon having just wed at Greenwich, not only that, the bride was a cake maker! You will read more about Sarah and Dave in another article as I thought it would be a cool idea to ask them to write about their stay too. So you get my perspective as a journalist and their honeymoon perspective. One resort, two stories. (A huge thank you to them both, not only for writing but for being the best neighbours ever!).
After a long soak, followed by a shower, I met the girls for dinner at the Rum Cave. Here we met with Zina (Marketing), Scott (Dir of Marketing) and Daniel (GM). To be 100% honest we were all so tired I think the evening went in a blur. I know the food was gorgeous, as was the company, I can’t comment on the drink as after one I think I gave in and retired to bed. We had a full on day planned tomorrow and I needed my sleep.
Friday morning, 5.30am wide awake! Mmmm time for a mooch and see the sun come up. This resort has a beautiful tranquillity about it and as the next couple of days passed, I realised that it didn’t matter how many guests were there, it maintained that beautiful elegance and serenity, never felt crowded. It is the kind of place where you can have as much solitude or companionship as you require.
After breakfast, we made our way down to the marina to catch a boat! Today was all about climbing! Our plan was to take a boat out along the coast and enjoy the scenery, pitch below The Pitons (mountains, famous, I will expand) and go and explore. We would be going up mountains and down mountains, eating, going to plantations, drinking, more plantations. Followed by more boat and some snorkelling. These trips are planned and hosted by Jarod who owns Discover St Lucia Tour. I am including a link to his day trips as they are certainly worth considering if visiting the island.
Returned, tired but exhilarated we went to shower and returned for dinner. This evening was a little more relaxed and it was just our girls sampling the local cuisine and having a few rums. I could not have asked for a better group of girls to be away with. Considering we had only known each other about 36 hours, this was essentially a girls holiday, professional of course.
Saturday was upon us and I slept like a baby until 7am (might have been the rum). Today was all about relaxation and rest. We split into two groups and the agenda was simple, one-half could go to the spa and choose from a vast selection of treatments, whilst the other half would be going to have a lesson in how to make your own body scrubs, then vice-versa in the afternoon. I opted to go and do the scrub class first, something I have always been keen to learn. Frida was our host and what an amazing lady she is! I love their philosophy that nothing goes into a scrub unless you can eat it (until you get to the essential oil of course). Frida was absolutely lovely, she is a real gem. Very knowledgeable and great fun to spend a couple of hours with. We made scrubs for the body and face, I have the recipes and I cannot share them! I am making scrubs now as gifts for all of my friends. Two months on I still have the scrub that I made on this trip, I use it every week. My skin has never felt so good, the smell is a constant reminder of my time spent here.
After lunch at the pool bar (try the club sandwich!) it was my turn for a treatment. Now during my scrub lesson, Frida looked at me and said straight away there is something wrong with your back, you are carrying tension in your shoulders and neck. How she could possibly know this I have no idea but she is 100% correct. She walked over and with one movement completely relaxed my shoulders. She said I needed the detox massage/wrap and had instructed her colleague that that was the treatment I needed. Now never one to argue, I changed into my slippers and gown and followed my therapist into the treatment room. Two hours later having been scrubbed, wrapped, showered in the outside (yep), creamed and given an extra massage as a little treat (under Frida’s instructions) I hadn’t felt this good in years! The Spa here is just something beyond special. The staff are lovely, in fact wherever you go here everyone is so nice, genuinely nice.
Time to relax and get ready for dinner. First, we had to go rum tasting! We had a fabulous hour and all enjoyed sampling the rum available. You can do this as an experience and I would urge anyone visiting to do this! Not being a rum drinker I found it very insightful and rather tasty!
I had no idea that the resort were putting on some very special dining for us. Scott joined us again (I am not sure if he wanted to see us so much this trip or was just keeping a watchful eye). I have never seen so much food in my life! It just kept coming and coming and coming. Members of staff joined us so we could learn more about them and their lives and how they came to be here. A most enjoyable evening and I took some time to chat with their head Chef, Billy and learn more about his family and his journey. Again, I felt overwhelmed by the love that the staff have for this place, and their commitment and passion for making every guest have a stay to remember. We adjourned to the rum bar (again), bed was calling, time to call it a night (several rums later).Sunday morning and I had agreed to meet Alice one of the fellow journos at 6sh to go and see if we could find seahorses which visit the marina before it gets too hot. We are both keen photographers and share a style, very urban. We like to take pictures that show life, show a moment. Off we went, no seahorses but plenty of little boats, lizards and boardwalk. Disappointed that we had failed to capture any aquatic life, we headed off for breakfast which was down at the marina. We also took
Sunday morning and I had agreed to meet Alice one of the fellow journos at 6sh to go and see if we could find seahorses which visit the marina before it gets too hot. We are both keen photographers and share a style, very urban. We like to take pictures that show life, show a moment. Off we went, no seahorses but plenty of little boats, lizards and boardwalk. Disappointed that we had failed to capture any aquatic life, we headed off for breakfast which was down at the marina. We also took time to take in the Heidi Klein store that is based there (just too many lush things – check out their feature in this issue). We had another lush breakfast then went to meet Steve the Marina Master. He took us out in his dingy to chat about how this marina is one of the most popular in the Caribbean due to its natural form and that in bad weather it provides seclusion and safety for even the largest of yachts.
We sailed past the beach – have I mentioned the beach? Marigot Bay is not your usual resort. It does not have a beach in front of it, there is the marina. It does have large lush pools, which serve delicious treats on the hour every day. To get to the beach you go by boat, 5 minutes across the marina and voila! Personally, I am not a beach person so the fact you have to take a short boat trip is not a real issue for me, neither is it for the many guests I asked. If anything they like the fact you take a boat to your own private beach – it adds to the whole ‘exclusivity thing’.
Now it was time for some R&R! We had 4 hours to do what we wanted until it was time to leave. Some of the girls headed for the pool, one hit the gym (seriously these girls love the gym and were in there every morning!). I took my chance and caught up with Scott for a more one-on-one tour and to talk weddings. We looked at the gardens, the marina bridge and the reception room. The very cool thing about Marigot is that you can have your wedding the way that you want it. The team here are so accommodating, you can get married on the bridge, have your reception on the lawn or vice-versa. If you want to get married at 2 that is fine, 3 is fine, 4 is fine. What would you like to have for your wedding breakfast? Everything is just fine here, it is easy. If you are looking for a Caribbean wedding that is tasteful, bespoke then you have come to the right place.
This resort has everything you could want for a wedding or honeymoon. There are 67 rooms and 57 suites all surrounded by over 30 acres of lush rainforest it is a tropical paradise. They only have one wedding a day here so you are guaranteed their undivided attention plus all wedding packages include cake, champagne a room upgrade and access to a Romance Specialist (love this rather than ‘Wedding Planner’).
This resort truly deserves to be listed as one of the best the island has to offer and I was incredibly sad to leave. As we gathered in Reception to await our chauffeur to the airport I think we were all a little hesitant to leave. The staff bid farewell in the same fashion they greeted us, all lined up with beaming smiles and a wave, just this time there were a few tears. I have made some great friends here from Stephanie my assistant to Billy the Chef, Zina and Scott – I promise I will be back; as soon as I can!
PS: Guess what? Who should I bump into on my way home in the departure lounge but the same lovely lady I flew out next to. The wedding was wonderful and they all had a fabulous weekend, so from us at UWM, congratulations to Deliciously Ella and Matthew Mills on their nuptials.
Accommodation prices start at USD $690.00 for a Bay View Room and USD $940 for the Bay View Suite. Flights from London Gatwick to St Lucia start at £458 return.
Photography supplied by Capella Marigot Bay St Lucia.