The idyllic island of St Lucia is one of the jewels in the Caribbean crown, and when it comes to places to stay, the options suitably lean towards the luxurious.
Catering to the huge number of sun-seekers who travel to St Lucia every year are a huge number of accommodation choices, most of which range between the high-end and the truly opulent, and each offering their own flavour of the Caribbean – not to mention fabulous amenities set against a gorgeous backdrop of natural beauty. If you’re coming to St Lucia and are struggling to pick a luxury hotel or resort out of the multitude of options available, then we’ve done you a good turn by comparing ten of them below, listed in order of proximity to the airport.
Serenity at Coconut Bay
Part of an 85-acre beachfront estate in the town of Vieux Fort, just minutes from the airport, this adults-only resort offers the chance to be relaxing in your private pool before your feet have barely touched the tarmac. There’s a distinctly tranquil vibe around the resort, where a central pool, bar and restaurant serve as the focal point, and there are also tennis courts, and a chic bar and lounge. Guests also have access to the myriad of amenities at the much larger Coconut Bay Resort & Spa, three minutes walk away, where there’s a choice of nine restaurants, five pools, a spa, a water park and a mile-long beach. Back at Serenity, suites (or ‘sanctuaries’) are clustered amid tropical plants and decorated in a calming palette of muted grey, blue, white, and green, accented with native stone floors and mahogany furniture. Enclosed behind a tall wooden fence, each suite has its own courtyard with a plunge pool, wet bar with fridge, and a hammock slung between two coconut palms. The island’s iconic volcanic peaks, the Pitons, are a 15-minute drive to the village of Laborie, from where the spires are a 30-minute cruise away.
An idyllic hideout nestled high on a hillside above Choiseul on St Lucia’s picturesque west coast, this resort is the perfect choice for those keen to get off the beaten track. Accessible only by driving down a dirt road starting at the base of Gros Piton, the one-acre resort positively exudes character and charm, with its tropical plant varieties and stunning vistas. Each of the six wooden-built studios is distinctly designed, with one featuring green hardwood floors and mahogany furniture, and another purpleheart floors and blue mahoe furniture. All units boast lofty ceilings, kitchenettes, terraces with homemade hammocks, tables cut from red cedar tree trunks and panoramic sea views. In the evening, guests can enjoy a rum punch on the pool deck before tucking into a three-course meal at the restaurant. The local Anse L’Ivrogne beach is a 20-minute walk, while you can get to the start of the Gros Piton hike in 15 minutes on foot.
Part of the same company as the renowned UK chain of Hotel Chocolat stores, this hotel is set on a historic 250-year-old cocoa-growing plantation up in the hills two miles south of Soufrière. In homage to its heritage, the hotel offers imaginative cacao-themed cuisine in its restaurant, along with colonial-chic bedrooms. Below the restaurant is a residents-only area with an infinity swimming pool and sun loungers. A rustic-chic spa offers treatments using cacao-infused products and guests can sign up for tours to learn about the cocoa-growing process, and even make their own bar of chocolate. The 14 rooms have a modern, pared-down aesthetic, with think white wooden walls, brown boarded floors, dark wood furniture, and arty prints of cocoa beans. The famous Sulphur Springs are half an hour’s walk away, and for beach action there’s a complimentary shuttle to the white sands of Anse des Pitons.
An adults-only resort with a setting that almost defies belief, this is widely cited as one of the world’s most exceptional places to stay. Positioned on a volcano ridgeline 1,000ft above the Caribbean Sea, a five-minute drive from the nearby coastal town of Soufriere, guests are treated to front-row seats where they can marvel at the twin peaks of Gros Piton and Petit Piton volcanic plugs. Lush tropical gardens bursting with colour and scent can be explored via stone paths that wind through the resort grounds. Built from locally harvested hardwood, stone and terracotta, guest suites all have the fourth wall missing, so they are entirely open to the dramatic view (not to mention the resident hummingbirds and geckos) while remaining completely private. Some even have their own plunge pool. Food and beverage offerings include an acclaimed destination restaurant that serves up contemporary Creole cuisine and guests can also enjoy live music with sunset cocktails at the bar.
One of St Lucia’s most famous resorts, Jade Mountain cuts an imposing presence from its hilltop perch in a jungley 600-acre estate in the island’s south-western reaches. The distinctive concrete resort has the appearance of a futuristic lair straight out of a James Bond film, with each of the 29 suites accessed by its own long, bridge-like walkway adding to the sense of drama. Abundant tropical foliage softens the look and feel. Meals are served at the Jade Mountain Club, an open-air space near the top of the property, and you can also have drinks up on the rooftop terrace. On the steep slopes below Jade Mountain lies sister hotel Anse Chastanet Resort, all of whose facilities guests have access to, including several restaurants and bars a spa, watersports, and a dive centre. Lots of other activities are also on offer, including yoga, a mountain bike trail, walking nature tours, and chocolate tours.
Regency La Toc
Located on a crescent-shaped beach amid green hills on a coral cliff, close to the St Lucia capital of Castries, this resort is a bit more traditional in style than its sister Sandals properties listed below. Facilities include a nine-hole golf course with ocean views, a state-of-the-art spa, and three swimming pools including the largest swim-up bar on St Lucia. Guests can partake in water sports and beach volleyball, and there’s nightly entertainment too. The 331 rooms and suites fall into a head-spinning 19 categories with three levels of service. The Sunset Bluff Village is almost a resort within the resort, offering elevated views and butler-serviced villas with private pools. Rooms vary in design, ranging from traditional colonial Caribbean style with four-poster beds, mahogany furniture, and rugs with palm frond patterns, to Creole style with gingerbread trim and beach-inspired artwork, to more modern looks with neutral and cool blue colours, wall-mounted TVs, and marble floors. Equally expansive are the food and beverage opportunities, with a total of nine restaurants and eight bars. Nearby attractions include the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the charming town of Soufriere, and the deep sea sport fishing haven of Island Routes.
The Landings Resort & Spa
This sophisticated all-suite resort is situated on the southern stretch of Pigeon Island’s soft-sand beach at the quiet end of bustling Rodney Bay, and within easy walk of the island’s eponymous nature reserve with its fort and marine museum, A tall, palatial lobby complete with palm frond-adorned cushions strewn on velvet sofas welcomes guests, while large Corinthian pillars rise up to the balcony above where the spa and gym can be found. Three pools ensure there is never overcrowding and there are also non-motorised watersports, two tennis courts, a children’s playground, and a kids’ club. Apartment-style suites feature soft but stylish décor and come with a fully functioning kitchen, a living area, and a furnished terrace (with marina or sea views), while some also have a whirlpool tub. There’s a beach shack restaurant serving up local cuisine, or for more formal dining an indoor Mediterranean restaurant. Breakfast is a help-yourself buffet that can be enjoyed with the ocean breeze in your hair at the Beach Club.
The smallest, quietest and most affordable of the three Sandals resort on St Lucia, Halcyon Beach boasts a prime spot on an unspoiled stretch of perfect white-sand beach just outside of the island capital of Castries. Low-rise French-Caribbean style buildings feature exposed stone walls and white shuttered windows, set amid tropical gardens. Cottage-style accommodation creates an intimate feel, and the gardens with their mature trees and flowering hedgerows lend a decidedly English look and feel. There are two pools, both with swim-up bars, and a second, sheltered bar with twin billiard tables provides an ideal break from the sun. The lushly landscaped grounds offer plenty of opportunity for wandering and lounging in oversized daybeds, on swinging benches, in oceanfront whirlpools, and on sofas set around fire pits. All water sports are included in the resort’s all-inclusive rates. The 169 guest rooms include quaint, cottage-style rooms awash in a soft palette of creamy beige and ivory, with walls accented by sepia-toned photographs of seashells and local flowers. A choice of six restaurants cater to varied tastes, and include a sushi bar offering seating at communal hibachi table or outdoors in a setting lit by lanterns and sprinkled with bamboo. You can reach Castries’ colourful central market in just a few minutes by road.
Sandals Grand St Lucian
Perched on a spectacular peninsula that runs between Pigeon Island and Rodney Bay on St Lucia’s northeast coast, Caribbean touches combine with a colonial feel at the Sandals Grande St Lucian. Elegant rose-coloured buildings resemble a British palace, with stone archways leading through the grand three-storey open-air lobby, where panoramic views greet you on all sides. A pool with a swim-up bar and huge tower rising from its centre, stretching piers with fire pits, a beautiful spa, and a choice of eight restaurants are among the stand-out amenities. Water sports are a big deal here too, with scuba diving windsurfing, sailing, paddle-boarding, and water skiing all on offer. Evenings see casino nights, reggae nights, chocolate buffets, and more. Accommodation includes Over-the-Water Honeymoon Bungalows, complete with direct sea access and over-water hammocks, or book a Beachfront Suite and step outside onto your deck area, then slide into your private whirlpool or plunge pool while your personal butler brings you a cocktail. The resort’s 12 restaurants range from barefoot beach casual to fine dining, and there’s also a choice of seven bars. The vibrant village of Gros Islet is an 8-minute drive away.