The BodyHoliday LeSport
Castries, St. Lucia
This 155-room Cariblue Beach getaway is renowned for its world-class spa and a holistic vacation philosophy that embraces both the spiritual (meditation, stress management and tai chi classes are included) and the physical, with an impressive lineup of activities running the gamut from Pilates, step and salsa classes to instruction in the circus arts of trapeze and tightrope walking. Activities staff members, called BodyGuards, help guests navigate the diverse schedule. Richard Lockstone, the buff Brit who heads the health-and-well-being program, says that the majority are passionate about fitness "but they also have widely varying levels of experience, so we design our classes so that anyone can benefit."
Post-exertion, guests enjoy blissful (and included) 50-minute daily treatments at the hilltop Oasis spa, where indulgences such as the Lucian Lime and Ginger Scrub are well-deserved rewards. Hoping to discover a latent sporting talent, I scheduled a full day of activities, beginning with an early-morning run followed by a midday Martial Fun class. An introduction to martial arts, it entailed running, hopping, skipping and jumping through and around a rope ladder and plastic cones on the floor – a warp-speed incarnation of a playground game that was followed by a rigorous series of moves from the Asian martial art muay thai. As I huffed, puffed, jabbed and hooked my way through the class, it felt a little light on the "fun" to me. Perhaps archery would be more my thing.
Fueled by a healthy lunch on the sun-dappled terrace of the seaside Deli, I set off for my 3:00 p.m. class. After fitting me with plastic arm guards, BodyGuard Tony explained the anatomy of an arrow, how to stand and where to aim. ("Not at your feet or your friends.") But despite his painstaking instruction and after a dozen valiant attempts, I was still missing the bull's-eye. Fearing I'd become a hazard, I made a graceful exit and trotted over to the resort's undulating 18-hole golf course for my putting class.I was immediately put at ease by Edwin's soft-spoken and patient manner as he "introduced" me to my club and demonstrated the proper grip, gently adjusting my body into the required stance. Then he deconstructed the basics of the swing, showing me how to move my arms like a pendulum through the three, six and nine o'clock positions. On the first attempt I missed by a mile, but on the second, bingo – a hole in one! My streak continued as I nudged the ball with just enough force and precision to propel it toward the hole, where it toppled in again and again with a satisfying "plop!"
"Remember, golf can take a lifetime to master," Edwin cautioned. But as I swaggered off the green at the end of the session, I was deaf to his advice. For today at least, I'd found my calling.
From $363 in low season ($489 high).*
*Rates current as of the time of publishing. Please call to confirm prior to booking your trip.