It was a sweltering Friday morning as I made my way from an Introduction to Archery class that was way more gruelling than I thought it would be. It was the third day of my stay at the idyllic BodyHoliday on St Lucia’s north coast and I strolled around the Coubaril Valley area of the property as I tried to cool down. As I took in the lush greenery and immaculate landscaping that surrounded the tennis court, golf course and meditation pavilion I felt a mix of admiration and gratitude.
But wait… How is it this place has been a 30 minute flight and 20 minute drive away from me all my life and I had no clue until July? The BodyHoliday has to be St Lucia’s best kept secret from Bajans. Well, kinda. Many staff members told me about relatives living in Barbados. The resort also once had a Bajan general manager and the chef at their award-winning Asian fusion restaurant Tao is a Bajan. Yet most of us probably don’t know the huge range of water and land sports, fitness classes and health and wellness treatments that available so nearby. Why had no one told me that I could learn to sail, handle a bow and an arrow, get an Ayurveda consultation and learn just how unfit I am all in one location?
It was like a whole new world, partly because so much emphasis was placed on offering activities and experiences that aren’t typical in the Caribbean. Many hotels boast about being unique. The BodyHoliday actually is. I’m back home but I’m still in awe at the enormous amount of work that has to go into keeping all these aspects of the resort running smoothly. Based on the hotel’s website and the Tripadvisor resort, I went with high expectations and was impressed from the morning I arrived and was quickly whisked away to my room. These are my thoughts on some of the key aspects.
I’d booked a standard garden view room but I think I got an upgrade because I ended up with a four poster bed with a view of the ocean, albeit with some trees partially blocking my view. Everything was clean and practically everything I could want was provided including a bathrobe, tea and coffee making supplies, umbrellas and the thing that sealed the deal… Ren products and a magnifying mirror in the bathroom. I did have one issue with my sink not draining properly but that was quickly fixed after I made a phone call.
I didn’t take advantage of all the food options but I enjoyed those that I did partake in. A wide variety of options were presented at breakfast including fruit, pastries, French toast, waffles, pancakes AND crepes as well as cooked options. I loved the salads, wraps and smoothies offered at the deli and the scones served with afternoon tea were divine! Dinner at Tao was also fantastic with very attentive service. Cookies, banana bread and other sweet treats were also available at the deli during the day. Oh, the cutest tea set was delivered every night with turndown service and the cocktails were on point.
Remember what I said earlier about my unfit state? I wasn’t able to do half the things I wanted to do since my usually unused muscles needed to time to recuperate. Also, it was a vacation and lazy time had to be scheduled in as well. I pushed myself through the morning walk to Golf Hill, took a BodyStretch class and learned to sail a hobie cat along with my bow and arrow adventure. I also went off property one day to do the Piton Nature Walk which I’ll share in another post. There are endless things to do during daylight hours and definitely something for everyone. It’s also fine to do nothing and have staff bring you drinks on the beach.
The BodyHoliday includes a 50-minute complimentary spa treatment for every day you’re at the resort with the exception of your arrival and departure days. I got an Elemis facial, hand and foot massage and coconut and spice massage which focused on the back, neck, shoulders and scalp. I enjoyed all three and actually dozed off a minute during the latter. Scrubs, body wraps and hydrotherapy are among the included services along with a wide range of offerings at additional cost. I found the spa therapists to be professional and they explained exactly what each treatment would involve before proceeding. I also had a 15-minute skin consultation followed by product recommendations.
There was always something picture worthy no matter where I was. A lot of attention is clearly paid to landscaping, keeping the pools clean and even touching up with paint when necessary. The secluded cove was also kept pristine. With all the mirrors around and more than adequate lighting, the result was an Instagrammer’s dream. My favourite spots were Coubaril Valley and the spa area with its Ayurvedic temple designed by Indian craftsmen.
There is entertainment every night with a mix of steel pan, DJs and live bands. There was also classical jazz one night in the piano bar but I didn’t go. Harmonites Steel Band played near Cariblue restaurant on Caribbean Buffet Night and I thought they did a good job inclusive of some reggae tunes. Later that night DYP performed in the clubhouse and they also did a good mix of pop beats, dance tracks and reggae hits.
Overall, my experience was an exceptional one and I would definitely return!