St. Lucia Update
St. Lucia isn’t the easiest place to get into (or around) right now.
That’s actually a good thing.
If you have clients who want to travel to the Caribbean but remain hesitant due to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Lucia stands out as a destination that takes visitor health and safety seriously.
Like most of the Caribbean, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has discouraged travel to St. Lucia due to high rates of COVID-19. That’s definitely worth considering while booking client travel, but the warning comes with a grain of salt, as COVID-19 rates in St. Lucia are on par or lower than most places in the U.S. And unlike crossing a state border, you need to present a negative COVID-19 test to get into St. Lucia.
As we discovered during a recent visit to the Windjammer Landing resort, upon arrival all visitors also receive temperature checks, as well as verification of vaccination status. Those who present valid documentation of full vaccination status receive a wristband that allows some freedom of movement around the country, whereas unvaccinated visitors are restricted to their destination hotel or resort for at least two weeks.
About 70 percent of visitors to St. Lucia are fully vaccinated, according to tourism minister Ernest Hilaire, who added that St. Lucia set new records for overnight arrivals in July and August, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Generally speaking, COVID protocols on St. Lucia remain far more diligent than in the U.S. Use of hand sanitizer is required upon entering any building, and masks are mandatory indoors and in taxis; drivers will also give you a spritz of sanitizer before you enter their vehicle. It was a similar situation at Windjammer Landing, with near 100-percent mask compliance by staff and guests when indoors except when seated for meals.
Like many resorts in St. Lucia, Windjammer Landing also arranged for on-property COVID-19 tests required for reentry into the U.S. at the conclusion of guest visits.
Windjammer Landing Raises Profile, Adds Villas
Set on 60 hillside and beachfront acres on St. Lucia’s northwest coast, Windjammer Landing has been somewhat pigeonholed as a timeshare property even though it actually has a healthy mix of villas and hotel-style accommodations.
By stepping up its spa, dining, and activity offerings — including an innovative new underwater yoga program, resort management is looking to get away from that reputation and raise Windjammer’s standing with travelers and travel agents alike. In fact, the resort’s versatility is among its strongest selling points, with accommodations located both on the ocean and on a terraced hillside with dramatic water views.
Guests can choose between everything from a hotel room priced at a few hundred dollars per night to four-bedroom luxury villas. And while the whitewashed hillside villas with their private pools are stunning, the newest additions to the collection are sleek and modern residential-style waterfront villas steps from beach bars, dining, and resort activities on land and sea.
Body Holiday and Rendezvous Reopen
Two of St. Lucia’s most famous resorts are once again welcoming guests. Spa resort BodyHoliday and couples-only all-inclusive Rendezvous both reopened in mid-October, with BodyHoliday taking the opportunity to unveil some new offerings at the same time.
“The pandemic has changed the definition of wellness – broadening the way we think about taking care of our mind, body and spirit, how we take care of ourselves,” said Andrew Barnard, executive director of Sunswept Resorts, which operates both BodyHoliday and Rendezvous. “Self-care is more important than ever now, whether that be a regimented fitness routine, new nutritional program, or cocktails on a beach.”
The new “Wellness Rehabilitation Program” at BodyHoliday includes individually tailored relaxation, fitness, holistic nutrition and restoration regimes for guests, while the “COVID Convalescence Program” is a five-day retreat to improve the health and wellness of individuals previously infected by
The resort also is unveiling new immunity-boosting and corporate wellness programs and the new Hibiscus Villa, which can accommodate up to six guests in three bedrooms and has a deck and gardens overlooking the Caribbean in one of the most private settings on property.
Cabot Saint Lucia to Debut in 2022
Pro golfer Ben Crenshaw is part of the ownership group developing Cabot Saint Lucia on Point Hardy, a 375-acre peninsula at the northern tip of Saint Lucia. Set for an initial opening in late 2022, the mixed-use residential and resort project will include an 18-hole oceanside golf course, luxury condos, and a 40-suite hotel (the latter slated for a 2023 opening).
Savings in St. Lucia
Sandals Resorts’ 40-Day Anniversary Sale is open for booking for forty days through November 23, 2021 and is available at participating Sandals Resorts including Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort in St. Lucia. Couples booking a stay of seven nights or longer for travel anytime between July 31 and October 2, 2022, will unlock a special room rate of only $200 per person, per night. Guests at Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort can immerse themselves in total relaxation in St. Lucia and float from their room right to the resort’s iconic swim-up pool bar.