Few destinations do luxury like St. Lucia. With its always-camera-ready twin Pitons and sparkling sea views, the Eastern Caribbean isle truly sets the stage for some over-the-top vacationing. Here, our 5 favorite luxury hotels on the island—plus, all the vacation essentials you'll need to blend in with your swanky surroundings.
Honeymooners and couples flock to this romantic 32-suite resort, perched on a cliffside fronting the famous Piton Mountains with the Caribbean Sea lapping a thousand feet below. Formerly a famous cocoa plantation, Ladera puts its natural surroundings front and center: open walls bring you one step closer to your fresh-water plunge pool and the colorful jungle setting, not to mention those unobstructed views of exotic sunsets. Tempting as it is to linger in your room, made from tropical timber, the Bar at Dasheene is sure to lure you out with live music, dangerously delicious rum cocktails, and chef Nigel Mitchel's sophisticated spins on regional dishes.
Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort
This former sugar plantation-turned-rainforest respite is a favorite for young families thanks to its all-inclusive option, popular on-site kids club, and JetBlue’s seasonal “Mint” flights that fly between JFK and St. Lucia’s Hewanorra airport. However, there’s plenty of tranquility to be had: 67 luxury villas are built in small clusters, each with its own oversize plunge pool and located minutes away from the secluded white sands of Sugar Beach. Don’t miss the stilted tree house spa or the off-site treatment at Sulphur Springs, which incorporates volcanic mud and a waterfall cleanse. We’re pretty sure that’s how past guests Gwyneth Paltrow and Minnie Driver preferred to relax.
Marigot Bay Resort and Marina By Capella
Set in a hill overlooking the scenic, yacht-dotted Marigot Bay, the Marigot Bay Resort and Marina has serious tucked-away appeal. And while there’s no beach on-site, we promise you’ll hardly miss it, owing to the luxe resort’s stunning tropical scenery (all flowering trees and coconut palms), top-notch amenities—we’re talking three swimming pools, a stellar swim-up bar, a yoga studio, and a secluded spa—and plenty of luxury-minded offerings, like private butlers and treetop dining. Your serene guestroom has an expansive balcony, outdoor Jacuzzi, and a canopy bed with mosquito netting, making it hard to find a reason to ever leave, but we’d recommend stealing away to the cellar-inspired Rum Cave for live music, spirits and cigars, and the fresh catch of the day.
Jade Mountain Resort
Does anything scream “this is paradise” more than an open-air hotel room? One glance at this cliffside aerie in the cliffs of St. Lucia and you’ll see why it’s been voted one of the world’s best honeymoon hotels year in and year out. Each "sanctuary," as rooms are aptly named, features an open fourth wall from which to soak in the sweeping view of the island's iconic Pitons—whether it’s from your whirlpool bathroom tub or private infinity pool. When you're not taking in those panoramic vistas, head to the restaurant, where a James Beard Award-winning chef prepares multi-course menus on request, or get your blood pumping by mountain biking in the nearby hills or diving at the resort’s five-star scuba center.
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BodyHoliday Saint Lucia
A luxe, wellness-centered resort on St. Lucia’s northwest tip, BodyHoliday may not be brand-new but it continues to be a favorite among our global JS correspondents. The beachfront resort offers endless outdoor diversions, from scuba and spinning to sailing and tai chi, plus three pools (including a hilltop infinity pool overlooking the Caribbean) and direct access to a velvety, white sand beach. Meals are all organic and primarily grown on the 42-acre grounds—highlights include the Asian-Caribbean flavors at TAO and the fruity drinks and small bites at The Deli, a casual spot on the beach. Spa treatments are also included, so don't think twice about booking a pampering ayurvedic massage treatment at the sprawling 33-treatment room wellness center.