The bewitching beach scene of The Landings Resort and Spa in the Caribbean paradise of St. Lucia, with the shapely Piton Mountains in the background, offers an enticing path to self-care, attracting sunworshippers to her healing shores. Situated on the eastern edge of the Caribbean chain, the lush volcanic island is part of the Windward Islands. With expressive hands, a local resident described how the string of Caribbean islands resembles a necklace—pointing out that St. Lucia’s location is near the necklace’s “pendant” of Barbados.
To better understand the character of the island, though, think of St. Lucia as female—rippling with charm, power and feminine mystery— because she’s the only island named after a woman, the patron saint of Syracuse, Saint Lucy, a name meaning light. Flexing her female muscles, she’s a personality-rich island with diverse attributes, offering many choices for a rejuvenating itinerary.
You’ll want to clock-in long hours reclining on the beach overlooking turquoise water while also spicing things up with enriching adventures. From visiting the volcanic mud baths to stargazing with an astronomer, here are ways to fully experience The Landings and surroundings so you depart authentically refreshed and satisfied—mind, body and soul.
Rejuvenation Starts at the Resort
The Landings is a 5-star gem nestled in Rodney Bay at the northern part of the island requiring a quick helicopter transfer from the main international airport in Vieux Fort on the southern tip, a service arranged through concierge. If weather interferes, as it did with us, sit back and enjoy the scenic 2-hour taxi ride which takes you through the middle of the island, densely covered by rainforest.
Feel like a VIP with the resort’s sit-down check-in experience—complete with island punch and cool washcloths—before being whisked away via golf cart to your villa. From 1-3 bedrooms, with a roomy 950-square feet to 2300-square feet living space, you’re going to feel pampered. The water view—whether marina or ocean—connects you to your surroundings but when it’s time to do more than looking, choose from the stunning private beach or four pools to cool off in.The Beach Club makes a cheery setting for breakfast, served buffet-style with international cuisine. The restaurant has a split personality, however, because at night it comes to life, providing a vibrant outdoor dining experience with live music and dancing. For special celebrations, head to The Palm which offers seasonal cuisine channeling an “East Meets West” theme. Tip: Order the scallops risotto and pan seared striped sea bass—but save room for the chocolate tart.
You can’t help but become a regular at The Coffee Shop—guilty!—located off the lobby, convenient for all the in-between times when you feel peckish or need a caffeine boost. With picnic tables shaded by umbrellas, the breezy beachfront café Callaloo near the water sports desk (chock-full of snorkeling gear, paddle boards, kayaks and more), is where I encountered my first Smooth Operator, a divine cocktail with pineapple juice, coconut cream, Blue Curaçao, and Bounty White, the island rum.
Helping to flush away stress, the resort spa is a 7,000-sq.-ft. wellness kingdom featuring a full menu of massage, waxing and hair salon treatments. I opted for the signature 60-minute Lucian Paradise massage. Tadifa started my treatment on a balcony where birdsong filled the air, and I enjoyed a refreshing wintergreen essential oil foot-soak before moving indoors for my massage, which used pure coconut oil and a locally produced kukui-rose-water cream.
Ever feel like you haven’t had a real vacay because the basic to-dos are still on your plate? The Butler Service helps with various tasks, from executing the mundane—such as doing laundry, stocking the refrigerator or arranging tours and dinner reservations, to designing the super specific wedding proposal. This service is available as an add-on amenity if your villa doesn’t come with it— because who doesn’t need a butler in their life?
Stargazing Experience Opens Up the Heavens
The Landings delivers a slice of heaven with the newly-launched Stargazing Experience—two-hours on a private boat equipped with a telescope, personal astronomer and of course, snacks. A picnic basket with fresh culinary delights from the resort kitchen plus a blanket injects luxury into your starry excursion. Whether you hope to master the constellations or simply enjoy a star-studded night, this singular activity will be a highlight of your stay.
Sulphur Springs and Mud Baths
Previously the island’s capital, Soufrière is situated on a caldera— making its harbor one of the deepest in the Caribbean at 600-feet. Soufrière translates “sulphur in the air” referencing the rotten egg smell from the volcano. Some areas are off-limits due to smoldering 340-degree water temperatures, but the Sulphur Springs tour gets you safely up-close-and-personal.
As we headed to the adjacent Mud Baths, our guide said to expect the healing waters to make us look 10-years younger. Alas, one dip didn’t do it for me—but my skin felt remarkably smooth.
Take a Walk Back in Time
Steps from The Landings, experience island history on Pigeon Island—best appreciated with a guide by your side. Though a popular destination for hiking, picnics and events, it’s a national landmark, so significant that British royalty recently visited. The island features ruins of the old British military base from the many battles fought against the French in the 1700s, who occupied the nearby island of Martinique—about 25-miles away.
We shadowed our guide Dalton at Morne Coubaril Estate a 18th century plantation which combines history and adventure, passing a cluster of bamboo, the island’s national plant and the calabash tree, the national tree. The island has a long-established reputation for chocolate production and Dalton invited us to try a fresh cacao bean. True, it looks a bit unappetizing and tastes slightly bitter but is totally worth experiencing on an island known for their cacao.
Up the road, try the delicious national dish of saltfish and green bananas at the Fond Doux Eco Resort restaurant before strolling the hushed grounds which vibrate with spiritual energy. The hidden-gem resort and cacao plantation adopted eco-friendly practices long before ecotourism emerged—a must-see unspoiled sanctuary.
Enjoy a Boat Tour
Sometimes the ride is as instructive as the destination—something we experienced aboard Happy Dayz, the boat which took us along the gorgeous western coastline. Our guides shared their island, pointing out the celebrity-favorite Marigot Bay, breathtaking with bobbing yachts. Scenes from movies like Doctor Dolittle and Pirates of the Caribbean franchise have been filmed in the quiet picturesque bay, which is dubbed “Hurricane Hole” because boats in the area shelter here when storms are approaching. We viewed the famous Jade Mountain from a distance, the most opulent resort of the island and setting for The Bachelor.
When pointing out Gros Piton and Petite Piton, our loquacious guides said the locals think of the renowned twin peaks as St. Lucia’s breasts—harkening back to the island’s female identity. It made me smile because the island’s motto, Let Her Inspire You, evokes an enchanting and bedazzling siren—so fitting for an island which inspires, whether you’re on the beach sipping a cocktail or out exploring.