Posts Tagged With: caribbean

An escape for the Mind, Body and Soul

For most of us from the U.S., whose idea of a vacation is a 3-7 day getaway to an over-crowded beach or theme park, I don’t think we have any concept of a true “holiday”. Europeans, though, believe in it whole-heartedly and I got to witness it first-hand on a “work” trip to St. Lucia. (Yep, still can’t believe I get to put the words “work” and “St. Lucia” in the same sentence!)  My mother and I went to the captivating island to attend a destination wedding/honeymoon symposium that was sponsored by the St. Lucia tourist board.  We had our choice of several high-end, all-inclusive resorts to stay at and after much research, deliberation and finger-crossing we decided on The BodyHoliday/Lesport.

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Let me first say that the raw beauty, charm and mystique of the island of St. Lucia can barely be put into words and it deserves its own post (and probably will).  But the BodyHoliday, with its secluded and private location at the top of the island, set back in a beautiful, lush bay and focus on luxurious and personal service, was truly a resort like I’ve never experienced!  After a long (1.5 hours), winding (resulting in carsickness) and scenic (through mountains & the rain forest!) drive from the airport, we were greeted with a cocktail and cold towel by friendly and professional staff.  From our first impressions of the personnel, grounds, beach, our oceanview room, the wellness center, restaurants and outdoor activities scheduled from dawn until dusk, I knew we were in for an incredible (and potentially exhausting!) 6 days!

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Not only is The BodyHoliday located in paradise (literally), this health and wellness resort is an all-inclusive on steroids!  The usual amenities of luxurious accommodations, all meals (plenty of delicious healthy, gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options) and bevs (including wine and cocktails), and friendly/attentive staff are, of course, included.  Also included is a daily spa treatment, and no that was not a typo, one spa treatment PER DAY!  Just a sampling of the treatments I received were a Lucian Lime & Ginger Body Scrub, Aloe Vera Body Wrap, Full-body massage and an Aromapure facial.  All superb!!  Also included through the wellness center are all watersports (motorized AND non-motorized), yoga/pilates, spinning (in a tree house!) and a vast variety of fitness classes. There are guided morning walks and bicycle rides into the island and professional instruction in tennis, golf, scuba and archery!  I was pretty motivated to participate in as many classes and activities as possible and kudos to my mom, she did do one morning walk!

treehouseWellness+Center+Pooljuices

One of my very favorite things about this particular vacation (uhm, I mean work trip) was the incredible variety of people we met.   Most of our fellow guests seemed to be European, from Britain in particular, and were warm, friendly and VERY sociable.  Almost every single one was on a return trip to The BodyHoliday (some go annually and stay for weeks) which really says it all!  Joining our new friends for high tea every afternoon and drinks after dinner (and working on my British accent) was definitely a highlight of the trip!

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Even though it may sound like an all-work/no-play trip (yeah, right), trust me, this girl did get in PLENTY of beach time!  The turquoise water was exquisite and hanging out in a cabana while being served yummy fruity drinks was a fantastic way to recover from my exhausting workouts (hehe!).  No need was unmet by the wonderfully attentive BodyHoliday staff, and I distinctly remember not having a care in the world!  Although I think The BodyHoliday (and St. Lucia in particular) is a very romantic destination, especially for activity-oriented people, it would also be great getaway for a group of friends, girls’ trip  (where my girls at??) or even singles!  If you really want to unplug, unwind, relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul, then let me prescribe the BodyHoliday as the perfect remedy!!  ….and take me with you 😉

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Sandy Lane = PARADISE!!

My husband and I recently returned from an incredible week-long vacation that included visits to 6 Caribbean islands and many of their finest resorts.  One, Sandy Lane, was head, neck and shoulders above the rest!

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Set on the beautiful western coast of Barbados, Sandy Lane conveys luxury and excellence on every level.  Pulling into the grounds all I could say was, “Wow!!” and thought it had to be one of THE finest resorts on the planet!  We were greeted by an extremely friendly staff with warm smiles and chilled eucalyptus-scented towels.  I may be easily impressed, but I thought this was an extremely nice touch!  The entrance and terrace perfectly frame the breathtaking view of the pristine resort grounds and the beautiful, turquoise blue Bajan water.  We were then given an extensive tour of the entire resort by a lovely and gracious staff member.  One of the very first things I noticed was the extensive use of the color pink in the furnishings and decorations.  I asked about this and found out the owner’s favorite color is pink (like ME!!) and that’s what lead to the color palette selection.  I’ll be honest, this was absolutely one of my favorite things about the resort!

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The exquisite design and attention to detail in the restaurants, bars and lounges can’t even be put in to words.  I can only imagine the delightful experience it must be to relax with a cocktail and enjoy a delicious meal in the open-air, beachfront setting.  Every where we went, I couldn’t help but notice the extremely high level of service by the staff and the huge smiles on their faces.  You could tell they absolutely love their jobs and work tirelessly to maintain the level of service and consistency to give resort guests a one-of-a-kind experience.

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If I had one word to describe Sandy Lane’s accommodations, it would be – STUNNING!  All the guest rooms we saw, from garden view to ocean view to suites, are huge and exceptionally luxurious!  They are impeccably decorated and styled, there is a ton of closet space and the bathrooms are large and elegant.  No detail is overlooked – the finest linens on the beds, the fluffy robes and slippers in the bathroom, the fresh and clean smells of luxury bath products and a touch-screen remote that controls the lights, curtains, air conditioning and music.  I could totally see myself and my husband relaxing with a glass of wine on the expansive balcony, listening to soft jazz as the sun slowly set.

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The Spa at Sandy Lane is over 40,000 square feet of pure luxury and includes a state of the art fitness center.  Since I am one of those wackos that likes to work out on vacation, this is actually very important to me.  The spa facilities are exquisite, with every possible amenity and treatment you could imagine.  I was absolutely drooling over the outdoor relaxation area that included hot and cold showers, a whirlpool, hot tub and steam rooms.  The Spa Cafe offers a light and healthy meal option which is the perfect complement to a day at the Spa.  Also served by The Spa Cafe and a swim up bar, is the gorgeous pool with cascading waterfalls.  Relaxation at it’s finest!

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For those that don’t think that relaxing by the beach with an umbrella drink is the best vacation ever (what is wrong with them??), there are plenty of options for the active-minded.  In addition to a variety of water sports, there are 9 tennis courts and 2 world-class golf courses.

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One of the main reasons for our visit to Sandy Lane was to preview it for a wedding and/or honeymoon destination for our clients.  It really goes without saying that the service and attention to detail that is evident throughout the resort would translate in to a magical wedding celebration or an unforgettable honeymoon.  The beautiful facilities, variety of location options and an on-site wedding planner guarantees a one-of-a-kind event.  If it was good enough for Tiger Woods’ wedding, you know it has to be GOOOOOD!!!

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Let me finish by saying that my husband, whose idea of a fun is sitting in a deer stand at 6:00am in 30 degree weather, was equally blown away by the beautiful and luxurious Sandy Lane.  We couldn’t stop raving about it during and after our trip and are definitely planning on making a trip to experience this amazing resort for ourselves.  Hopefully, in the very near future (hint hint) – 3 year anniversary, maybe??

Romance, Relaxation & Rejuvenation…. Sign. Me. Up.

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