‘No pressure, no problem’ is the motto in St Lucia, we’re told by a local. He’s right: a feeling of relaxation and happiness permeates throughout the island – and, as a visitor, it’s easy to slip right in. Of course, the landscape helps. Even by Caribbean standards, St Lucia is utterly beautiful: a paradise of golden beaches, coconut-laden palm trees and, in the south-west corner, The Pitons: two volcanic spires emerging from the ocean. But the people also play a big part: friendly and laid-back, with an infectious energy.
Nowhere encapsulates the St Lucian spirit better than The Landings Resort and Spa: a five-star, all-suite hotel complete with its own white sand beach, numerous pools and restaurants, and a 7,000 square foot spa.
Review: The Landings Resort & Spa, St Lucia
The Landings is perched on the quiet end of Rodney Bay on the northern part of the island, not far from nature reserve Pigeon Island. It’s around a 90-minute drive from Hewanorra International Airport – but if you’re looking for a particularly glamorous transfer, the hotel can organise for a helicopter to whizz you across the island. As you fly over the luscious rainforest and picture-perfect ocean, you’ll get a great feel for St Lucia as a whole.
Upon arrival at the hotel, the first thing you’ll notice is the sense of space. The Landings is expansive, with a mix of one, two and three-bedroom suites – all with beautiful views of either the marina, the beach or the ocean. These are not so much rooms, but apartments which you could easily live in full time – and, in fact, some of the suites at The Landings are privately owned. Classic Caribbean décor runs throughout: think warm woody tones, bamboo and rattan furnishings, with island-inspired artwork on the walls.
All suites have well-equipped kitchens, with the option to order provisions ahead of time – and there are even washing machines and dryers, plus laundry detergent. Rooms feature en-suite bathrooms, and most apartments have living areas with sofas and tables. All suites have their own terrace, and many categories offer the option of a private plunge pool.
At the centre of The Landings you’ll find a multi-story palatial lobby complete with marble flooring and large Corinthian pillars, which rise up to the balcony where the spa and gym are located. The grounds across the resort are extremely well kept, filled with palm trees, greenery and pink bougainvillea.
All types of holiday-goer are catered for here. If you’re after a fly and flop-style getaway – no judgement here – there are endless places to sunbathe, swim and relax in the sunshine. You won’t have to fight for a sun lounger either: The Landings has its own private beach complete with ample deckchairs, plus four different pools dotted around the resort, so it rarely gets crowded even in high season. A range of different water sporting activities are also on offer, and all B&B guests have included access to the non-motorised varieties, such as snorkelling, paddle boarding and kayaking. Motorised activities, such as jet skiing, are also available for a fee. Elsewhere you’ll find tennis courts and a kids’ club run by the lovely Aunty Cathy.
Another idyllic way to explore the St Lucian waters is via boat. The Landings offers numerous boating experiences, including a sunset catamaran cruise, where you’ll be treated to canapés and drinks while listening to Caribbean music and soaking up the spectacular scenery.
The Landings’ spa is another highlight. If you’re after a bit of holiday pampering, there’s a salon offering nail and hair appointments, alongside eight holistic treatment rooms, some with their own outdoor hydrotherapy terraces. A range of different treatments are available to book, from massages to body wraps and facials, as well as treatments specifically geared towards women going through the menopause. Products from SkinCeuticals and Elemis are used, and rooms are scented with coconut and bamboo candles made locally. Other spa facilities include a steam room, hot tub and relaxation area.
If you can prise yourself away from your sun lounger, there’s plenty to explore near The Landings. A trip to Reduit Beach in Rodney Bay is a must, with more than a mile of golden sand and views across to Pigeon Island. Have lunch at beach bar and restaurant Spinnakers, which offers an eclectic mix of Caribbean cuisine – from seafood Bouillabaisse to butterflied shrimps and pan-fried mahi mahi.
Those up for travelling a little further should organise an excursion to La Soufrière, an active drive-in volcano in Saint Vincent. Afterwards, take a dip in the warm mud baths at Sulphur Springs – push through the heat and you’ll be rewarded with baby-smooth skin – before cooling off in the nearby waterfall.
While you’re in this part of the island, head to The Rabot Estate to try its bean-to-bar Project Chocolat experience (from the Hotel Chocolat company). You’ll take a tour round the rainforest and learn about how cacao grows before hand-crafting your very own chocolate bar. Then, grab a bite to eat at the on-site restaurant, which offers street food-style cuisine and plenty of chocolate-inspired treats.
Being a Caribbean island, it’s no surprise the hills, forests and waters of St Lucia are packed with tropical fruits and vegetables and an abundance of fresh fish – which the culinary team at The Landings puts to excellent use. There are four different food spots at the resort, our highlight being Callaloo Beach Bar & Grill, perched directly on the beach. The perfect lunch spot, it serves up vibrant salads jazzed up with papaya, plantain and passion fruit; BBQ chicken wings; tiger shrimp creole; and a St Lucian delicacy: breadfruit and saltfish croquettes. Pair with a rum punch or a pint of the local beer, Piton.
Other restaurants include The Beach Club, which serves a breakfast buffet on the water’s edge, plus casual dining for lunch and dinner. The Palms, meanwhile, is an elegant spot with an open-air patio overlooking the marina, serving a seasonally changing menu of meat, fresh fish and seafood cooked over a lava stone grill. All guests will have breakfast included in their room price, but an all-inclusive package is also available.
THE FINAL WORD
The Landings Resort & Spa is a crowd pleaser, catering for families, couples and groups of friends alike. The resort always feels peaceful, even when it’s fully occupied, and warm and welcoming staff will learn your name and go out of their way to make your stay perfect. The only problem? You’ll never want to leave – so don’t be surprised if your trip ends with an enquiry about the private residences.
From £368pp per night including breakfast, landingsstlucia.com