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The poolside paradise hotel
Rodney Bay’s Harbor Club hotel may look business-like from the front, but at the back is an impressive collection of stacked swimming pools, each overlooking the yacht-laden marina beyond.
It’s a tranquil spot for sure, and while the best pina colada’s on the island (I’d know – I’ve tried most of them) may tempt you to stay within its walls, the hotel is well placed for exploring the north of the island.
Harbor Club has a relatively small footprint, yet the food selection is top-notch, with five eateries to choose from, including Italian fine dining, sushi and a casual coffee shop.
Our favourite was the wood-fired poolside pizzeria.
Rooms are modern, clean and spacious. Many have views over the harbour, and some have swim-up pools to boot, great for kids raring to go in the morning.
Those wanting to improve their sandcastle skills will be disappointed that there’s no beach at the hotel. But the 10-minute shuttle service to nearby Pigeon Island, with white sand galore, more than makes up for the loss.
Super child-friendly, staff remember their names, as well as their favourite drinks and treats, which was a really nice touch.
The rustic beachside dinner date
Consistently voted to be one of the top eateries on the island, it’s not hard to see why diners continue to flock to The Naked Fisherman.
Set on the beach underneath the Cap Maison hotel at Smuggler’s Cove, it manages to be luxurious and completely rustic at the same time.
Festoon lighting guides the hungry down the cliffside, where large thatched umbrellas atop a wooden platform await, creating a wonderfully romantic atmosphere.
As you’d expect, it’s seafood that takes centre stage on the menu. As we listened to the lapping of the waves on the shore, we ate a tiger shrimp Creole board (around £32) and chowder (around £14).
Despite the engagement-worthy setting, there was a delicious children’s menu too.
The Instagrammable peaks
A trip to Saint Lucia simply cannot be undertaken without a visit to the Pitons, the two astoundingly beautiful twin mountains in the south of the island.
While the intrepid can hike to the top, with a toddler in tow we chose to view them from the sea. To take us there, we hit Tripadvisor and for around £55 per person booked a boat ride with Captain Mike’s.
Setting off from a harbour in Castries, the capital of Saint Lucia, we set sail in search of dolphins, whales – and the Pitons.
While we saw a grand total of zero wildlife while on board, as the peaks of the Pitons loomed into view, we didn’t mind. Truly spectacular, they’re one sight it would be criminal to miss.
The shopper’s haven
A Saturday morning spent in downtown Castries would not be complete without a shopping spree around the cavernous Castries Central Market. Selling local produce from bags and dolls, to bowls and jewellery, it’s a great place to wile away an hour or so, sourcing souvenirs and chatting with makers and craftspeople from the island. Practise your haggling if you dare – we did, with limited success. At the back of the covered market are food stalls, too, dripping with exotic fruit and spices.
The soothing mud bath
If your muscles ache from exploring, a trip to the island’s volcanic Sulphur Springs, nestled near the Pitons in the south of the island, is a must.
Watching the piping hot water bubble up is mesmeric, and if you’re lucky you may even see a geysir emerge from the pools.
Around £100 per person (www.sulphurspringstlucia.com) buys you a half day tour, which includes the Springs, mud baths and beautiful 50ft waterfall.
Submerged in the gloop, you can almost feel the mineral-packed mud doing you good. We did not want to leave.
*A seven-night stay at the Harbor Club, Curio Collection by Hilton, Rodney Bay, starts from just £1,211 per person. This price is based on two adults sharing a standard Island View Room on a bed and breakfast basis, when departing on 30 May 2023. Direct economy flights from London Gatwick and in resort transfers are also included.
For more information visit www.theharborclub.com. To make a booking visit www.tui.co.uk or call 020 3451 2688 for expert advice.
*Direct BA flights from London Gatwick start from £523, visit http://www.ba.com.
For more information visit http://www.stlucia.org.
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