Laid-back luxury in St. Lucia

Distinct with its rainforest-capped peaks, white, warm beaches, and fun-loving feel, St. Lucia makes for a romantic and high-spirited honeymoon destination. The island, situated in the Windward Islands of the West Indies, blends beautiful landscapes with stunning shorelines and a laid-back culture.

STAY
Though there are several resorts on the island, Rendezvous Resort is a couples-only, all-inclusive retreat situated along the Vigie Peninsula on the northwestern part of the island. There, you call the shots. If privacy is what you seek, sleek rooms boast ultra-comfortable beds and glass chandeliers hanging over open-room bathtubs. Relax for an afternoon on a secluded cabana along the lazy river or mingle with other couples at many of the resort’s themed nights (think: requisite steel-drum dance). You also can always chat with the local artists on site most days with an array of interesting hand-made St. Lucian crafts.

Steal a kiss under the resort’s signature and striking 150-year-old Saman tree, romantically lit at night with candles and chandeliers, or toast to the two of you in the Champagne Bar, complete with wine tastings and live piano. Once you’ve had your fill of cuddling under the crackling palms and soaking in the St. Lucian sun by day, take a hike to the 36-foot Vigie Lighthouse, built in 1914, with its white tower with signature red lantern and notable views.

EAT
Rendezvous Resort’s recently developed Malabar Beach Club is an intimate, fine-dining sail-covered option with ocean-front tables and views of the Caribbean Sea and Vigie Lighthouse. Shoes are optional at this romantic spot, with its signature Saman tree and driftwood furniture and light, à la carte meals. Opt for the daily catch, an ever-changing locally caught fish option—though all options use local island ingredients and fresh market produce. Don’t miss the weekly Caribbean night, when the property serves up authentic, local fare under the stars.

For a nice off-resort option, make a reservation at the Coal Pot Restaurant, located on the waterfront of Vigie Marina. A family-run business since 1968, the Coal Pot offers up French-inspired dishes with a locally fresh flair. Start with a bowl of local Caribbean callaloo soup or fish chowder. Tuna, Kingfish, and Dorado dot the seafood menu, while other entrees range from rack of lamb to duck. End the experience with a slice of pineapple cheesecake or  sample some rum and raisin ice cream.

PLAY
Hop a helicopter ride to take in the island’s full romantic feel. Formed by volcanic rock, St. Lucia blends lush, tree-covered peaks with the beauty of the rainforest. You’ll spot waterfalls, banana plantations, and natural harbors. And the twin peaks along the southwest coast—Gros and Petit Piton—are highlights. Once you’ve seen St. Lucia’s beauty, soak up her culture at a Friday night “jump-up” at Gros Islet. Like a mini Bourbon Street, each week comes to a close with locals and tourists alike gathering to dance in the streets, sample local and light Piton beer, and sample local dishes, mostly local fish and chicken, grilled on open barbecues. Stop by Irie Bar, a laid-back, walk-up spot, popular with the locals, and order a couple rum punches made with the locally distilled Chairman’s Reserve rum.