Travel agent Sandra Parnell is very familiar with the Southern Caribbean having vacationed there many times. One of Sandra's favourite islands is St. Lucia, renowned for its stunning natural beauty. From the capital of Castries to the remote northern coast, Sandra has a lot of good advice for those planning a trip to this Caribbean gem.
The St. Lucia Experience
"I've been to St. Lucia three times now and have to say this island is one of my favourites. The scenery is spectacular and diverse. Mostly it is mountainous, covered in rain forest but the north is desert-like, a complete contrast with cactus growing in the dry landscape. It's beautiful too. There are spectacular views everywhere you go - certainly the perfect spot for those looking for a scenic vacation."
"The island also has a good safety record and good natured people. Service at the hotels is second to none. These are points which will certainly enhance your vacation experience."
Things to See and Do
"If you don't want to just sit by the pool, there is plenty to see and do on St. Lucia:
St. Lucia Resorts
"You won't find budget all inclusive resorts here. St. Lucia is known for its mid to upscale properties."
"One of the best ways to book these 4 and 5-star luxury hotels is through our hotel network which offers competitive rates plus these exclusive amenities:
"My experience at three of the member resorts has been excellent. Here are some details to give you an idea of what to expect at a St. Lucia resort."
"The Almond Morgan Bay and Almond Smugglers Cove are four star, all inclusive resorts. I found the staff to be excellent and friendly."
"Both have four restaurants including a casual venue for buffet breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, popular with families; Italian; Oriental and the more upscale, adults only restaurants. There were no complaints about the food and we enjoyed some outstanding meals. I particularly enjoyed Morgan Pier as it was right on the water."
"The Morgan Bay is built up a hill so you have a choice of garden view rooms on the lower level or ocean view up the hill with wonderful views. A shuttle bus takes you around the resort, so you don't have to worry about the steep climbs."
"The Smugglers Cove is a huge resort covering a hilly 60 acres. Again there is a shuttle to take you around. Here we had a lovely one bedroom suite, large with a private patio and greenery. We never saw our neighbours. It was very quiet and secluded."
"Swimming pools are very clean even first thing in the morning. There were no handrails however for those who need assistance, to get in and out of the pool."
"Another St. Lucia resort in our collection is Body Holiday Le Sport, an excellent spot for yoga and spa vacations. The food here is really good and your stay includes a spa treatment each day."
By Susan Milne