At last years #TeamCoco retreat, we all wrote down our career and travel wishes for 2018. Some of us wished for Safari, some of us wished for private Beaches, but our girl Jenna wished to tick the Caribbean off her extensive bucket list. Luckily for her, the opportunity came up for a luxury long weekend in St Lucia and she was more than qualified for the job…
“Whenever I thought of the Caribbean I always thought of the three R’s – Rum, Reggae & Rihanna. What I didn’t think I’d find was Sushi, Sailing & Scrubs. Thankfully, the Scrubs weren’t the 90’s R&B kind and the ocean related elements were out of this world. St Lucia may be paradise, but Marigot Bay is so much more than that. Marigot Bay Resort & Marina is almost the cornerstone of this Island province. Not only by namesake, but it’s connection to the Yachters and the local community makes it a sanctuary with no discrimination.
A very Island welcome
Stepping off the flight, the 26 degree heat and glorious sunshine made a welcome change from rainy London. As you’d imagine, the humidity resulted in beads of sweat interrupting my fresh blow-dry, however our host gladly had us covered. Passing us an ice cold towel and a bottle of local water as soon as we stepped through customs, we adjusted to the climate whilst being heckled by cheeky taxi drivers. Handed over to our own private driver, we were set for the scenic route through some very windy roads to reach Marigot Bay.
Arriving at the resort, it was the definition of an island welcome, minus the steel drums. Our bags were picked up and taken to our suites; we were passed a Caribbean Ice Tea and assigned our own personal guide to take us to our rooms. Walking through the resort, you genuinely feel like you’re in the rainforest. The suites are built high and encased in natural wood giving it a treehouse like feel. However don’t let the rustic exterior fool you, the rooms are pure unadulterated luxury.
Ground floor ‘resort view’ suites (starting at £696 per night on a room only basis) come with their own private outdoor hot tub and second and third floor suites have an amazing view of Marigot Bay itself. I was lucky enough to have a resort view suite with a private pool, and it became my place of solace during the trip. There’s something incredibly indulgent about getting in your own private hot tub with a bottle of beer and a good book whilst the sun goes down. It beat sitting in my bath at home that’s for sure.
Throwing myself on the kingsize bed after a hot rainfall shower, I took in how beautiful this suite really was. With traditional Caribbean accents to pure white bed linen with cushions that gave me serious island vibes, I could have easily gone to bed early each night. Strolling around the spacious Kitchen and lounging on the sofa became a usual part of my early morning routine. These suites give you the freedom to be as close or as distant from your partner as you’d like, but as they’re so romantic, hopefully the former!
As it was my birthday the day I arrived, my room was kitted out with balloons and even a personalised chocolate cake baked by the resort chef. This was alongside the bottle of Chairman’s Reserve Rum and fully stocked fridge that every guest receives on arrival. Inbetween dining at the resorts extensive range of restaurants, it was great to dive into some chocolate cake and an ice cold can of Coke at my leisure. These thoughtful details paired with the fact that check-in and check-out was completely flexible meant I could settle in immediately.
From Creole fusion to classic Japanese
As a total foodie, I naturally like to plan my trips around my meals. Luckily for me, Marigot Bay Resort offers a range of creative dining options under the direction of Executive Chef Billy Boyle. The Grill at 14°61°, showcases modern Caribbean cuisine with quality local ingredients and seasonal dishes, I dined here on many evenings (both privately hosted and in the main restaurant) and it was divine. Bringing together the flavours of Saint Lucia, seasonal menus feature inventive and contemporary influences from international cuisine to complement the traditional Caribbean offering. Signifying the hotel’s longitude and latitude, 14°61° sits at the heart of the resort, allowing breath-taking views across the bay.
The swim up bar and Brut Bar became my two favourite places to dine al fresco and drink Prosecco on the resort. From the freshest Sashimi i’d tasted in a long while to a huge range of Sushi Rolls, it’s a Japanese haven in the heart of the Caribbean. We spent many afternoons lazing in the sun by the pool and diving into the Brut Bar when the Monsoons began.
For the ultimate romantic experience, the Treehouse private dining offering is an intimate and beautiful way to retreat for an exceptional dinner. We took advantage of a private ‘Body Scrub Making’ class organised by the hotel team as an alternative use of the space. Sitting in a genuine Treehouse surrounded by natural ingredients and our own private tutor, we mixed up gorgeous coffee and cocoa scrubs that rivalled store-bought.
However, if you’re looking for something more informal – The Rum Cave is a hidden delight. Offering not only an extensive selection of rums to sample and learn about, it also lends itself to casual dining in an intimate setting. My top tip is to order the Buffalo Chicken Wings and Tempura Vegetables, they go down great whilst looking out onto the Marina. The Hurricane Hole Bar & Restaurant has also had a sparkly new refurbishment and is open for both hotel guests and flip-flop-clad visitors to the resort, whether they come by land or sea!
With 5* luxury, classic Caribbean hospitality and even your own dedicated PA, Marigot Bay Resort & Marina is a must stay whilst in Saint Lucia. Rumour has it Simon Cowell hid from a Hurricane here, so if it’s good enough for him, it’s definitely good enough for us!”
Marigot Bay Resort & Marina offers a bay view 1 bedroom suite for 2 from £696 on a room only basis. Flights from London to St Lucia are available direct with British Airways.
Read Jenna’s full Marigot Bay experience in House of Coco’s ‘Islands’ Issue, which will be hitting shelves in December.