The Caribbean might be the number one location for destination weddings, but it's so much more than a honeymooners' paradise.
Yes, there are always going to be the newly wed couples enjoying their first dance under a pagoda on the beach, but it actually sums up the laid-back attitude St. Lucia to a tee and is one of the reasons you won't ever want to leave.
But while it might traditionally have been seen as a middle-aged couples destination (no kids allowed), Sandals St. Lucia is bringing a whole new crowd in these days and it's no surprise, what with the sunshine, beautiful turquoise sea, beachfront bars and characteristic Caribbean hospitality.
We found ourselves staying at Halcyon Beach, the smallest of the three Sandals resorts the island of St. Lucia has to offer, and with tranquil gardens and an immaculate white sandy beach on its doorstep, it's the perfect place to relax and get a slice of that true island feeling.
Staying in one of the beachfront walk out rooms, you couldn't have asked for more and could lay in the ridiculously comfortable king size bed, gin and tonic in hand with a view of the ocean lapping lazily only a few steps away.
With every amenity you can imagine including a coffee maker equipped with a delicious Jamaican Blue Mountain blend and a fully stocked bar, we weren't left wanting for anything, but any questions and one of the helpful butler staff were on hand to sort us out.
Wandering out into the resort, you're never more than five minutes walk from one of the pools, Jacuzzis or the beach itself. Ditto one of the beach bars, where you can pick up a snack or get one of the friendly bar staff to whip you up a drink (our vote is for the rum based milkshakes).
Eat & Drink
The beauty of the Sandals experience is that it brings a more luxurious meaning to the all-inclusive experience. With the three resorts dotted across the island, you are free to travel, eat and drink to your hearts content at whichever you please, so if you fancy a change of scenery, just hop on the shuttle and head further afield.
With two pools on site, there are also six different restaurants to choose from at Halcyon alone. Add to that the 17 at the two larger resorts, Regency La Toc and Grande St. Lucian, and you should probably prepare yourself for a culinary adventure.
The experience really is about discovery dining and from traditional St. Lucian fare that puts local on the menu at the Pitons Restaurant to Italian at Dino's and even British grub at traditional pub The Cricketer's Arms, there's something for everybody.
Seafood is, of course, a big part of the menu and the majority of restaurants offer some nod to this, be that with fish dishes or the incredible barbequed lobster served on the terrace at lunchtime.
For anyone looking for something a little more romantic, the resorts will happily organise for a private candlelit meal on one of the beautiful beaches.
What to do?
With so much going on between the resorts, you could spend an entire week without venturing farther into St. Lucia, but if you can drag yourself away from a lounger or the spa, you'll be rewarded with bustling city centres, lush green rain forests and banana plantations that stretch as far as the eye can see.
The resort itself is more than happy to organise excursions and as well as trips into Castries to visit the markets bursting with spices, fresh fruit and coconut water.
Our stand out trips included a morning spent snorkeling one of the islands many coral reefs that are home to over 150 species of fish, or exploring into the rainforest on a buggy safari.
The Low Down
Holidays at Sandals Halcyon Beach, St Lucia start from £1,409 per person. Price includes Luxury Included accommodation, return flights from London and resort transfers, for travel dates until 1 – 30 November 2014.
For further information or to make a booking please contact Sandals Resorts on 0800 597 0002 or visit sandals.co.uk
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