Travel

Exploring the Real St Lucia

Exploring the Real St Lucia

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If you love the Caribbean but haven’t visited St Lucia yet, this is an island that you need to try and venture to. The first thing that hits you about St Lucia is the incredible scenery. I can totally understand why the island is so popular, with honeymooners and romantic getaways; the landscape is so lush that it feels seriously romantic. So much so, I didn’t put my camera down apart from when I was actually sleeping and eating.

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Saint Lucia is halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago, its known as the “Helen of the West Indies,” probably because of its natural beauty and diverse attractions. I have never before been so in awe of a place until I stood 600 metres above sea level overlooking the Piton Mountains. A UNESCO World Heritage Site with a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes, so make sure your cameras are fully charged. Also do not forget to bring your mosquito spray! If you decide to go trekking you are definitely going to need it.

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If you are a bit of an explorer or instagrammer then you will love getting trigger-happy at the bustling marketplace in their capital, Castries or the quaint fishing villages along the coastline.

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So for a moment forget the sunshine, the iconic scenery and beaches, the fresh fish and exquisite foods but let’s talk about the heritage, we could all learn a few necessary lessons from the St Lucians. One thing that you just can’t fully capture on camera is the local spirit and how healthy and vibrant the locals are.

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You could be driving up and down some of the islands mountainous roads and see locals from as young as 3-4 up to 80-90 years walking up and down these steep roads as if the land is just flat. Children are outside playing in the beautiful fresh air instead of stuck indoors on technology and glued to TV’s. The elderly are also outdoors and probably still working but look half the age we do here in the UK. And the question is why? Well the answer is quite simply, life is much more real! We learned so much about the St Lucian culture with our incredibly knowledgeable tour guide Jamal on the Tet Paul Nature Trail. The local communities actually have an innate understanding of the highly nutritious lifestyle of living off the land. Jamal had such an incredible knowledge of the benefits of different plants and how various plants can help with different ailments, as did our fabulous driver Sheffield.

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It’s not just the eating habits and outdoor lifestyle its also the community feel that people still like conversations and talk about history and heritage and experiences whereas here in the UK and a lot of the world we have lost all of this and can become stuck in the rat race, obsessed in technology and fast fixes. I suppose that’s quite ironic coming from a blogger, yes I need to take heed too.

So here’s a bloggers guide to St Lucia, a few places you need to tick off your bucket list when you visit.

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SULPHUR SPRINGS

Sulphur springs is a great experience, its does smell a tad odd but if you can get through that smell, well wow your skin will feel amazing and this is yet another way the St Lucians keep there skin looking and feeing so youthful.

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TET PAUL

Then there is the Tet Paul Nature Trail, wow just wow, not only do you learn so much about the local plants and fruits, you have a great little workout with the lovely walk but also experience the most incredible views you have probably ever seen.

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HOTEL CHOCOLAT

Then for the chocolate lovers you cannot go to St Lucia without experiencing the Hotel Chocolat Bean to Bar experience. This is the one and only original Hotel Chocolat. We explored the nursery and plantation from tree to bean and bean to bar, we learnt about the journey of a cocoa pod first hand, then made our own chocolate and enjoyed a fabulous lunch in Boucan by Hotel Chocolat.

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THE RAINFOREST SPA – SUGAR BEACH

I could not resist treating myself to a massage in the actual rainforest, I mean how closer to nature and cool can you get post 8hour flight. I opted for a late evening one is definitely a good idea because you don’t want a massage in the peak of the sunshine. The rainforest spa blends traditional St. Lucian culture and has seven tree house treatment gazebos including a couple’s cabana with watsu soaking pool and one earthen steam room warmed by volcanic spring water. My treatment was incredible especially considering the morning of my flight I had trained and then travelled 10 hours total so a deep tissue massage was the perfect end to my day.

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BAYSIDE RESTAURANT BBQ NIGHT

If you want to soak up an authentic St Lucian vibe with fab music and a yummy BBQ then head to Bayside restaurant on a Friday night. There is a live band playing on the beach the atmosphere is really relaxed and should I say a tad romantic too. The beach is lite up and the BBQ is off the scale, I was so greedy I went up for a second portion.

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THE GREAT ROOM

If you are a bit of a foodie or hopeless romantic, dinner at The Great Room is a must. This is fine dining at its best in true classic Caribbean style. Situated on a stunning veranda in between the two Pitons with a pianist playing how more romantic can you get. The food was out of this world and the sommeliers wine/ champagne pairing for our dishes was just perfection. Make sure to dress up and make sure your man where his dress shoes and a shirt.

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We stayed at the 5 star Sugar Beach Viceroy Resort, which sits under the gaze of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Pitons and I’m sure it has the longest drive I’ve ever seen! They have around 100 rooms; cottages, bungalows and luxury villas which overlook the Caribbean Sea. I absolutely loved the privacy factor, so if we had taken the kids they could’ve ran around like lunatics in our villa with the private pool and no one would have noticed. It is definitely high-end contemporary Caribbean luxury. Usually when I’m away I go to bed late and don’t exercise but our villa and views were so stunning we went to bed early, so we could be up fresh in the mornings. I indulged in yoga and meditation before grabbing a tuck-tuck shuttle to stuff my face on the fab breakfast selection, who knew fresh Kale juice would be so good for a hangover though! I really had to pinch myself at the four-poster bed, big dressing room and bathtub omg I need all those here at home.

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The flight is roughly 7.30-8 hours direct from the UK to St Lucia. We flew with BA premium economy from Gatwick, which gave us that extra bit of leg space and a flow of wine to enjoy while watching movie after movie.

Love Naomi xx

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Images Haydn Isted

For more information on the resort or St Lucia:

www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/en/sugarbeach

http://saintluciauk.org/

Naomi Isted
Editor in Chief, Naomi Isted is known as The Ultimate Lifestylist to her readers and viewers. She is a TV Presenter and Columnist. Ranked in the Top 100 LFW Social Media Influencers AW14 & SS15, Brand Ambassador for Pears Soap UK. Her Celebrity beauty TV Series currently airs to 27million homes on Physique TV in UAE, previously on Wedding TV in the UK. She brings fashion and beauty advice to her readers and viewers on a daily basis. She is Fashion and Beauty Columnist for Herald Scotland and has a Fashion and Beauty Bridal Blog for HELLO. She can usually be found attending celebrity fashion and beauty events in and around London and sharing the latest fashion and beauty trends with her readers.

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