As Black women, we deserve some good R&R every now and then. This includes quiet time to unplug, destress, and become one with God’s green earth. But with the “noise” of home, family, work and other life obligations, sometimes even a staycation or traditional vacation isn’t enough.
That’s why we all must discover one of the Caribbean’s best kept secrets: St. Lucia.
As soon as you step off the plane at Hewanorra International Airport in St. Lucia, a wave of relief will pass over your body. Not only will it feel good to leave behind the frigid winter temperatures (if you live on the East Coast) of home, but the realization that sets in about being at a destination that is built on natural relaxation and rejuvenation will quickly nourish your spirit.
St. Lucia, an island known for its lush natural beauty and health-focused offerings, is as diverse as it is beautiful. Very rarely do we travel to destinations that are not just centered around partying, fete hoppin’ or consuming exuberant amounts of alcohol all in the name of “relaxing” or spending time away from home — though, if that’s something you wanted to do here, of course you’ll be able to find it. But it’s about much more than that here. In St. Lucia, locals welcome you “at home,” their home — and more importantly, to a destination of peace. Something that isn’t very easy to find.
While it may seem like a trendy word that’s overused by bloggers and fitness enthusiasts in the United States to promote the latest health and fitness products, wellness, is integrated into every aspect of the Saint Lucia experience. The light, yet flavorful cuisine at places such as Golden Taste in Gros Islet, or Hi Tide Restaurant at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort will keep your body full and nourished, while St. Lucia is also known for its world-class spas and an array of outdoor adventure opportunities—like snorkeling its vibrant coral reefs, climbing the infamous Pitons (the island’s two distinctive, volcanic spires) and exploring the National Rain Forest.
Inspired by the natural bounty and healing plants of Saint Lucia, most of the resorts on the island offer spa treatments that incorporate locally harvested ingredients (from bananas and coconut to aloe vera and cocoa beans). At the adult-only Ti Kaye Resort & Spa for example, treatments range from relaxation massages and chocolate wraps to papaya facials, all sourced locally. Located above the secluded Anse Cochon cove, Kai Koko Spa, also known as “Coconut House” is inspired wholly by nature and the beautiful surrounding scenery of St. Lucia. The resort itself features cottages that offer postcard perfect views of the island, you’ll be engulfed in the beauty of its lush natural surroundings.
But you won’t want to stay inside to experience the charms of St. Lucia. Adventures all begin outside with the island’s beautiful scenery, which ranges from the twin Pitons -– the island’s conical seaside mountains –- to a simmering volcano and lush rainforest.
The top “must do” event to add to your wellness getaway, includes a visit to Soufriere. There, you’ll soak in the restored baths in the Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens or in the bathing pools at the nearby Sulphur Springs with purifying mud. The mud is said to detoxify the body and helps heal sunburns, eczema, sore joints and more. It’s the ultimate natural spa treatment. As if black didn’t already not “crack,” islanders also insist that that this experience will make you look and feel younger. Don’t believe us? That means you’ll just have to try it out for yourself.
If you explore the island by a boat such as Sea Spray Cruises, or by land, you’ll notice that scattered resorts line the hillsides, while locals provide a warm welcome to guests from around the world. It’s different here, and something that must be experienced, and shared by all.