Here in England, I’ve been having a year of the staycation – exploring tiny corners and lovely new things close to home that I had no idea existed. But this week I started a new job – with the same company but in to a new role. It means that I’m taking a bit of time away from social media and the blog to really focus on my new role and give it my full concentration. The next few weeks on the blog are going to be scheduled posts, already written so please do bear with me responding to comments as I may be a bit slow.
For this post, I’m pausing the staycation write ups and throwing it back to 2018 and a wonderful trip to St Lucia because I keep finding myself dreaming of the beach. The Caribbean is absolutely beautiful, full of island paradises. Picking between islands is hard enough, let alone then between the multiple amazing resorts on offer. When visiting St Lucia, we stayed at the incredible Sugar Beach Viceroy hotel in the Soufriere area of the island. Here is the review from our stay, if you’re needing inspiration for a visit.
Soufriere is a few hours’ drive from the island’s main airport, along narrow windy roads. There are hotels with a much shorter transfer time and if you suffer from travel sickness like me, that can be a blessing.
However for me it’s worth the drive if you’re wanting to explore a bit of the island because it’s close to some of the island’s most famous attractions. For example, it’s a short journey to the Pitons for the beautiful views out over St Lucia, and it’s close to the sulphur springs and waterfall trails. It’s therefore perfect if you’re planning on seeing a bit more of the country and not just the resort.
It isn’t close to other restaurants or near enough a town to walk, so if you’re going to St Lucia for nightlife there are probably better choices. If you’re going for romance and beautiful beaches, you can’t beat it!
We chose Sugar Beach because each of the stunning villas has a little private plunge pool, which was the perfect dose of luxury for our relaxing stay. The terrace and pool area was beautiful to spend the days sunbathing and reading on.
The villa itself was also spacious, including a big four poster bed, bar area, walk through wardrobe, large bathroom with 2 sinks and a bath, and a separate shower room. On arrival there were fresh coconuts and rum in the little bar area which made for a lovely welcome.
The rooms were clean and turned down daily, with fresh towels whenever needed. At the time, it was probably the best hotel we’d ever stayed in, and I really can’t fault the rooms themselves.
Where to start on the service. Second to none. With the villa rooms, you are given a walkie talkie and can call your own personal butler any time you want – to book dinner, to come and pick you up for dinner, book a tour, get drinks etc. Our butler was called Sherman, and he was AMAZING. I always find rooms with butler service uncomfortable – I hate that I am sitting in this beautiful hotel room, asking someone else to do everything for me; it feels wrong. So instead we just got to know Sherman, we shared our rum with him on our terrace, we had chats with him, and yes he ordered us a couple of tuk tuks but he never once got our drinks or ordered our food. He was such a wonderful man, and my one regret of the holiday is not getting a photo with him.
Awaiting a tuk tuk and at dinner
Aside from Sherman, the whole hotel staff were great – we also had a private dinner down at the beach one night and everything was just perfect with candles laid out rose petals everywhere. Beautiful. Even on arrival, the staff could see I was unwell (all that travel sickness) and immediately got me cold towels, lemon water and a bed to lie on.
Food & Drink
The food at the resort was really good, and the cocktails delicious. However, they were really pricey – in fact, I would say over priced for what you got. That said the beef skewers, prawns and Pina Coladas really were amazing!
Breakfast was also a good spread, offering a cold buffet as well as omelettes, waffles, pancakes, eggs etc off a cooked menu.
We ate most of our dinners in the Bayside Restaurant right on the beach – there are themed nights, from traditional St Lucian, to BBQ, to pizza nights. There is then also an upmarket restaurant called The Great Room which serves A La Carte dining. For lunch, there is the Jalousie Bar on the beach to grab a snack, and then if you really want to go all out (as we did on our last night), there is also the option for private beach dining.
The hotels’ best amenity is its beach, nestled amongst the Pitons. It’s epically, stunningly beautiful and you can easily spend a day just lying on the beach watching the world go by.
In addition, the hotel is home to one of the best spas I’ve ever been in. Set in the thick jungle, the wooden huts make the perfect spot for a relaxing massage. The treatments are expensive, but absolutely worth it if you want to unwind; I had a bamboo massage and it was heavenly.
There is also a fitness centre offering all the mod-cons and gym equipment, as well as offering weight loss programmes and classes such as yoga. I’m not really in to all of that so I didn’t make use of these facilities.
There is also a great pool looking out to the Pitons, tennis courts for use, a pool table, beach volleyball, plenty of hammocks and table tennis on site. We don’t have children, but saw advertised The Sugar Club which runs activities for children aged 4-12 to give parents a break and time for that massage!
The hotel also offers a range of tours and activities; for example guided hikes to the Pitons, boat trips and a visit to the Sulphur Springs so seeing the island can all be arranged from the comfort of your hotel room. For more on what to do in the area, you can read my post here.
Overall, I would say staying at Sugar Beach is well worth the money. It is expensive, but no more so than similar hotels in the Caribbean and I think the location and things to do on the doorstep really set this hotel apart. If you ever get the chance to stay here, then I totally recommend it. Stay safe and happy travelling!