Why do we travel? Waking up to the sound of crashing waves, surrounded by rugged volcanic coastlines and groves of palm trees, certainly has its perks. But it is perhaps even more primitive. Immersed in the new and unexpected, it lifts our spirits, clears our heads and renews a sense of optimism.
Saint Lucia offers dramatic landscapes. Located between Martinique to the north and Saint-Vincent to the south, it is more mountainous and generous than its sister islands in the Caribbean. Surrounded by turquoise water and pale sand, it’s a place honeymooners flock to and families love, but it’s also home to BodyHoliday, one of the world’s most impressive all-inclusive health and wellness resorts. .
When BodyHoliday opened in 1988, the idea of a wellness resort was so novel that the contractors building the 33-treatment-room spa thought they were building a second hotel. It was long before the gong bath, hygge and the self-realization workshop were part of our everyday language.
The initial ambition was a haven for high-strung baby boomers to relax and rejuvenate. In the years that followed, it became so much more. Located on a crescent-shaped beach nestled around 32 acres of tranquil gardens, today guests arrive and receive a personalized itinerary and a thick booklet outlining the more than 40 daily classes and activities included. Add to that, with the exception of arrival and departure days, every property guest enjoys daily 50-minute spa treatments – from a menu of twelve (plus countless more specialized treatments and high technology at an additional cost) – throughout their stay.
Most rooms have been renovated in recent years, but remember this isn’t the Maldives, so don’t expect sleek curves and glass-bottom suites. The Caribbean has always been a destination that favors laid-back charm over opulence. With only 155 rooms in total, options range from Standard Garden View Rooms (ideal for solo travelers) to larger Deluxe Ocean View Rooms (or actually ocean front), Grand Luxe rooms, Junior Suites, Suites and a Penthouse – the main differentiators along the way being size and landscape.
Rooms are bright and airy, with large terraces offering the sounds of the sea as a wake-up call. Inside, soft furnishings are coastal-inspired creams, whites and dusty blues, while generously sized bathrooms come with tubs, showers and delicious REN toiletries.
Located on a crescent-shaped beach surrounded by 32 acres of tropical gardens and three freshwater swimming pools, guests are encouraged to rejuvenate and reboot. Rooms are secondary to amenities: the siren call of this resort. You stay at BodyHoliday (and then come back) because of the infrared sauna, meditation, fitness classes, hiking, golf, tennis, fencing, archery, water sports and everything else.
The staff to guest ratio at BodyHoliday is practically three to one. And the team focuses on the laser to help customers adopt healthy and lasting habits. From Pilates to osteopathy, from skin analysis to Ayurvedic massage, from breathing work to bootcamp, all facets of the mind, body and soul are addressed.
And for those looking to change their lives, the BodyScience program offers clients a doctor-created, targeted itinerary based on physiological indicators, such as heart rate, stress and hormone levels. This process often begins before the guest even arrives on the island, using blood samples and telephone consultations.
Often health and wellness focused resorts can be austere or exhausting, but BodyHoliday is all about balance and guides vacationers to make informed yet realistic choices. Similarly, it is not difficult to work up an appetite, given all the activities on offer.
There is a sense of fun here. Once you’re done exploring the confetti-colored fish in the ocean, test out the smart seaside ordering system. Simply raise the flag next to your lounge chair and a staff member will appear, margarita in hand. trailer.
As for the restaurant, there are buffets, barbecues on the beach, gourmet and a la carte restaurants, it’s all there. Tao serves an East-meets-West menu, while elsewhere, with two nightly sittings, Cariblue Windows serves a gourmet tasting menu (with or without wine pairings) to remember. And during the day, between Cariblue; the Pavilion Grill; and the open-air Wellness Cafe, offering healthy smoothies, juices and wraps all day, it’s inconceivable to go hungry.
And for another change of gear, refuel with a seasonal vegan menu made with local ingredients (picked from nearby organic gardens), at the resort’s I-Tal farm. A short drive from the resort, overlooking the Coubaril Valley, experience private dining and watch the sky change from red to orange to pink.
But perhaps what’s most appealing about BodyHoliday is its flexibility. You can be a saint, do downward dog and drink ginger shots from sunrise to sunset; you can dance until dawn in the dimly lit piano bar; or any other combination thereof. You can do a lot of everything or a lot of nothing, and isn’t that exactly what vacation means?
All-inclusive rates cover meals, beverages, use of sports facilities, group lessons, diving, water skiing, fencing, a daily spa treatment and more. The minimum age for guests is 16 years old. For pre- and post-trip Covid testing, visit Qured.