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Travel: Caribbean clean in the wellness paradise of St Lucia

© Press Association ImagesYoga in the St Lucian sun
Yoga in the St Lucian sun

As A-list wellness resorts go, you will not find a better place to recharge your batteries.

The original St Lucian sanctuary has been bringing zen to its well-heeled clients for the past 30 years.

Built into a secluded, beach-fringed hillside near the popular Rodney Bay, BodyHoliday enjoys year-round sunshine. And with a world-class spa, golf academy and water sports centre, there’s an equal amount of adventure and indulgence to soothe stress.

The privately owned, all-inclusive resort doesn’t feel like your regular beauty spot where you’re fighting tooth and nail with other guests for space. It has just 155 rooms, which range from simple but comfortable garden rooms to luxury oceanfront views with squishy king-sized beds and sweeping balcony views out to the Cariblue Bay, where you can lazily watch fishermen bringing in the day’s catch.

© Press Association Images
Jade Mountain, with the Pitons in the distance

You’ll find everything from a state-of-the-art gym to a purpose-built “Ayurvedic” pavilion (in case you’re not up on your wellness trends, Ayurveda is an ancient Indian healing system).

The all-inclusive rate includes a daily 50-minute spa treatment, so I started each day with a soothing massage, facial, body scrub, body wrap or hydrotherapy treatment. The abhyanga massages are particularly fantastic – a therapist slathers your body in hot oil and massages any knots and tightness from tension areas.

There are additional treatments you can pay extra for, including reiki, osteopathy, acupuncture, Thai massage and hypnotherapy, and there’s a specialised skin clinic with Skinceuticals and Thalgo treatments, nail, hair and make-up services, and an infra-red sauna.

The option to set your ideal holiday pace is definitely one of the resort’s main draws if, like me, you hate admin. Ahead of your stay, simply log on to the website and choose your treatments and activities. A handy tablet in each room shows your daily itinerary.

One of the more interesting offerings is the BodyScience clinic. Analysing an array of personal data and diagnostics, the in-house doctors use your results to suggest a bespoke health programme that’s tailored to your needs, whether that’s a specialised diet, nutritional supplements, body treatments, or meditation and yoga.

© Press Association Images
East Winds beach

The relaxed Cariblue restaurant has a virtuous à la carte dinner menu that’s marked with gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and Ayurvedic choices.

One of my favourite spots was I-TAL, a farm-to-fork private dining experience set in a wooden treehouse high in the lush hillside jungle. Usually, guests can forage for their own food and help to cook up their dishes but with Covid restrictions still in place, you simply need to turn up and tuck in.

As well as blissed-out relaxation, you’ll want to roll up your sleeves and get involved in some adrenaline-pumping adventure too.

Fitness classes ranger from gentle sunrise yoga out on the hotel’s wooden jetty to high-intensity gym sessions.

Try your hand at archery, golf, tennis and cycling, as well as pool volleyball and aqua fitness, or learning to sail.

Plus, there’s a scuba school. St Lucia has some incredible dive sites; from reef dives to underwater wrecks. We spent a day enjoying a boat trip from the resort to a spectacular marine park at the base of the famous Piton mountains in the south which is renowned for its tropical marine life, including parrot fish, trumpet fish, sergeant majors, Moray eels and sardines.

© Press Association Images
Travel writer Liz Connor

In an age when one in six people takes solo holidays, the resort is a safe, friendly and welcoming place to spread your wings and “find yourself”, meet other friendly people or simply enjoy some time away to reflect.

With the Caribbean ocean lapping your toes, the sun beating down on your skin and no place to be except for a massage table or a beach lounger, it’s hard not to leave feeling restored.


P.S. St Lucia is home to the world’s only “drive-in” volcano. The Sulphur Springs are warm volcanic pools which pull crowds of tourists from all over the world, with regenerative mud baths and plenty of fun activities including nature walks and, you guessed it, a volcano you can drive around.


Factfile

Carib Tours offers a seven-night all-inclusive trip at BodyHoliday from £2,749 per person, including flights from London Gatwick.