Not usually being a beach or resort person myself, I probably never would have taken this vacation if it weren’t for two things. #TNI (a twitter travel chat), and theExplorateur (who was sponsoring that chat). On the last #TNI of December 2010, just before new years, I won 3 nights for two at The Body Holiday. I received the email explaining the details, and couldn’t really believe it. The resort is all inclusive – food (from 4 on site restaurants), drink, room, a massage a day, and a slew of activities (including yoga, tai chi, meditation, and scuba); all I had to do was pay for the flights…and it could be used anytime within the next year.
I asked my friend Jason to go with me, and of course since I’ve instilled the travel bug in him, he accepted. Jay and I always have a ball together, and I couldn’t fathom taking anyone else now…no one could have appreciated it as much either.
We had planned to be on the beach by 3:00 pm. Our flight was supposed to land at 2:00, and the airport was supposedly 20 minutes away. The day before we left however, I got a call from cheapoair, and was forced to change plans. This change in flights landed us at the same time, but at the far airport…2 hours away. I might add that the hotel covered the cost of the taxi (both ways) as well – which I was originally told would not be included.
Here’s the rundown:
Traffic on the island is great, until you hit Castries. Castries is the capital city…it is where cruise ships come in, and where most of the population actually lives. Without traffic Castries center would be about 15 minutes from The Body Holiday, with traffic it’s more like 45 minutes to an hour.
My suggested timeframe for staying at the Body Holiday would be at least one full week. Three nights isn’t necessarily enough to enjoy all available activities to their fullest (especially when you come in and leave from the far airport), and definitely not enough time to brave the traffic and explore Castries while trying to utilize everything that’s included at the resort.
Upon entering the room you are greeted with a bottle of champagne and basket of fruit, as should be the case at any good resort (Jason and I graciously drank the champagne while taking pictures of our first St. Lucian sunset). On the bed you will find a pillow menu, with six different options, so your sleep will be perfect. There is also a skin care basket prepared for each person.
The service is impeccable – anything we asked for was provided, pretty much immediately. Everyone on the grounds was attentive and helpful, and extremely friendly.
The activities are so plentiful that you could fill up your schedule sheet very quickly during the day. Time slots on certain activities that you will be interested will overlap, which is why you’ll want to spend at least a week at the Body Holiday. You’ll definitely want to take advantage of the included massage-a-day, and if you’re as lucky as me when you choose the Coconut Spice back rub, you will receive the best massage of your life (mine was from a blind woman whom I could feel sensing every knot in my back). I paid to have acupuncture as an additional treatment – it was clear that the acupuncturist was a professional and knew what he was doing. That was my first acupuncture session (without electro-pulses), and I rather liked it. We were also provided facials, but I gotta be honest, it felt like a lot of stuff on my face by the end. I went immediately to the room to clean it off.
Since we missed the first yoga session available the day after our arrival, we did morning yoga on the beach. Being a yoga-lover, Jay took advantage of all the yoga classes possible (as well as the meditation sessions)…I pretty much missed every one because I was relaxing so hard.
One thing I’d like to note is that if you expect to get a chair on the beach, you better be up at the butt-crack of dawn to claim one with a towel…that seems to be what everyone else does, and if you don’t adopt this practice, you will definitely not get a chair until the sun starts setting. Like I said before, I’m not usually a beach person, however I spent a good amount of time laying on this beach – and since the ocean temperature was really nice, I even went in a few times, cooling off from the humidity-ridden, hot, island air.
There were dancing lessons in the clubhouse one of the nights we were there, but without too many night activities the best thing to do is sip on free drinks while listening to the water lap onto the sand. If you’d like you can also request a bottle of wine to bring back to your room with you.
The food in both Carriblu and Tao is nothing short of amazing – to be honest, I’m still craving items from both of them. Tao is the resort’s most popular (and smallest) restaurant, and because of this the staff schedules a reservation for each set of guests prior to check in, so they do not miss the opportunity to eat there – this reservation can be changed upon request. Both Tao and Carriblue have a la carte menu items that you can choose to enjoy at an additional fee.
The deli makes simple, but delicious sandwiches, and their fruit smoothies are amazing! The clubhouse/grill is not so bad – the food is fresh, but since I’m not a huge fan of buffet style meals, I wouldn’t boast about it. Breakfast is also buffet style, with cooks to prepare hot items. I actually really enjoyed the breakfast buffet, there were a lot of great options, and many things with passion fruit (which I love).
Unlimited drinks really gets out of control. With Pina Coladas and Rum Punches all day, and vino all night, by the last night Jason and I felt like pure liquid and were claiming that we would never drink again (of course we did have one last drink before we checked out).
If you’re looking to relax, The Body Holiday is an ideal place for it. While the price is high, the luxury and pampering provided make every cent worthwhile. Often I vacation for longer periods, and am constantly on the go. With as much work as I’ve been doing recently, this kind of trip was exactly what I needed. I did not return from The Body Holiday feeling as though I needed another vacation to recover from it, as is usually the case when I travel.
Cariblue Beach – PO Box 437
St. Lucia (Castries) [Vigie],
St. Lucia 00000, Saint Lucia