Two criteria stood out for my partner and I when planning our first trip to the Caribbean. We wanted to visit somewhere that would give us the opportunity to dive into a range of exciting activities while also offering pristine, golden beaches where we could relax with a cocktail or two. The obvious destination? St Lucia, of course. Renowned for its flourishing green foliage, exquisite beaches and its spectacular twin pitons, St Lucia ticked all of the boxes and proved even more sensational than we had hoped.
Travelling in Style
Arriving at Hewannora airport, we opted for a helicopter transfer to our hotel just outside of Castries, the capital city. Having never travelled by helicopter before, I can now declare that this is an absolute must do. Nothing provides the stunning panoramic views of the rainforest, the beaches and the Caribbean Sea quite like making your way across the island in a helicopter. If you’re all for arriving in style, comfort and luxury then a helicopter transfer is most definitely for you, particularly if staying in the North of the island, which can be around an hour and a half drive from Hewannora airport.
Hopping off the helicopter after a short ten-minute flight, we arrived at our base for the week, Rendezvous. An all-inclusive, boutique hotel exclusively for couples, Rendezvous is synonymous in St Lucia with romance and tranquillity. Having opened in 1966 as a family owned resort, the emphasis is very much on creating a relaxing retreat for couples to recline, unwind and do some serious chilling out together, away from the distractions of modern life.
On arrival we were greeted with a refreshing cocktail and the warmest of welcomes from the lovely Rendezvous team; at Rendezvous nothing is too much trouble. From the moment we set foot in the resort, the staff were keen to tailor our stay to fit in with our tastes, thereby ensuring we could really make the most of our time together in paradise. Thanks to the handy online check-in, available prior to arrival, we were whisked to our gorgeous Veranda Suite, drinks in hand, within minutes of hopping out of the helicopter. Overlooking seven acres of botanical gardens and the pristine beach, the Veranda Suite exuded peaceful luxury in a uniquely casual Caribbean way. Taking full advantage of the daybed on the large Veranda balcony, we spent many afternoons taking in the impressive view while sipping sparkling wine. Bliss!
Wining and Dining in Paradise
Our first evening began with a visit to the Champagne Bar, which serves a different champagne or sparkling wine each evening between 7 and 8pm. The chance to be soothed by the soft tones of the bar’s pianist while sipping some of the resort’s best bubbles meant this was the perfect start to our evening. Evenings did not end there, however. Those considering themselves true foodies will be right at home with the dining options boasted by Rendezvous. With three restaurants on the resort, there is plenty to sample, with each offering a distinctly different style of cuisine and ambience.
The Terrace restaurant provides open-air dining overlooking the calm and enchanting Caribbean Sea, with a buffet-style spread for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you’re looking to maximise the evening romance, opt for a candle-lit board-walk table, just off the beach and close enough to the sea to hear the gentle Caribbean waves.
For an especially memorable evening, head to the Trysting Place restaurant. This elegant, fine-dining restaurant serves French cuisine and provides the ultimate romantic experience. The steak is second to none and an absolute must, while the enticing desserts will ensure you won’t want to pass on pudding.
If chilled, exotic beach vibes is what you look for with a meal, look no further than The Malabar Beach Club, the very latest addition to the Rendezvous dining scene. Leave your flip flops at the entrance and dine with your toes in the sand while marvelling at the sheer beauty of one of St Lucia’s finest beaches. This a la carte restaurant was our favourite for a light lunch accompanied by a chilled glass of rosé wine, with a surprisingly vast afternoon menu offering something for all tastes. Serving sumptuous Caribbean cuisine in the evening, a meal at the Malabar Beach Club is a restaurant that all guests must experience.
Of course, our treasured experiences at Rendezvous did not conclude with evening meals. Retreating to the suite at the end of the evening to find it illuminated with candles and host to soft, tranquil music is just one example of the special touches Rendezvous glories in. At Rendezvous, romance really is king.
Rest, Relaxation and Rendezvous Fun
If you really want to push the boundaries of relaxation, a trip to the Elemis spa is a must during your time at Rendezvous. Set in the quiet surroundings of the Water Garden, the spa truly is an idyllic haven. Like me, you will find that that one trip is simply not enough! With an extensive range of treatments, guests are spoiled for choice; however, I would strongly recommend the Balinese Massage for you and your partner in the couples’ treatment room. You’ll soon find there’s nothing that can loosen those muscles and help you unwind quite like an hour in the Rendezvous spa.
If the spa isn’t your thing, fear not. For thrill seekers, there are plenty of thrills to be found. The list of water sports available at Rendezvous is absolutely unrivalled on the island. Sitting on a stretch of 2-mile-long beach, the resort makes full use of the sea! From water-skiing, to kayaking and tubing, amateurs to seasoned professionals are all catered for. Rendezvous also boasts an impressive scuba diving offering for those wishing to explore the island’s underwater wildlife.
For those preferring their activities on land, the sheer number of activities will mean you are spoiled for choice. From tennis to archery, yoga, cycling tours and wine tasting classes – you really can be as active or as chilled as you wish at Rendezvous. You can even learn how to give your partner a massage at the spa! Check out the activities board in reception each morning to see what is on offer for that day. For guests who prefer to relax on the beach, there are plenty of beds available, spaced generously throughout the beach, and bar staff are always on hand to take drinks orders. I recommend the ‘Rendezvous kiss’ cocktail; a refreshing, fruity concoction perfect for those hot St Lucian days spent relaxing.
Exploring the Island
Visiting other parts of the island is something you can also do, allowing you to take in the full beauty of this island paradise. Take a day to explore the sights on the south of the island, including the magnificent pitons, two glorious mountains that take your breath away when you spot them after travelling along the winding roads of St Lucia’s fresh green surroundings. Our day trip, organised by the Inspiring Travel Company’s local representatives, was certainly a highlight of our holiday.
Collected from the hotel at 9am by a local tour operator, we spent time visiting a banana plantation, a drive-in volcano (the only one in the world!) and a lovely botanical garden with a waterfall before enjoying lunch at the Boucan Hotel and Restaurant, which you may know as the Hotel Chocolat hotel and restaurant.
Lunch at Boucan came with an eclectic, chocolate-inspired menu and a jaw-dropping view of Petit Piton. We enjoyed a 3-course menu, with each course incorporating cocoa from the plantation on site. The perfect stop-off for chocolate lovers! We concluded our fantastic daytrip with a sunset cruise along the coast back up to the North of the Island, with unlimited rum punch and incredible views of the island, the pitons and the Caribbean Sea. We’d enjoyed our day, but it was a pleasure to be returning to the tranquil luxury of Rendezvous, our romantic home from home in St Lucia.
If you would like to learn more about Rendezvous, call our Travel Specialists today or make an enquiry here.