Offering its own private beach for guest relaxation, complimentary water sports, hearty meals from all over the world and service you honestly cannot fault, St James’s Club Morgan Bay has it all – Spabreaker Blaise explains…
Arriving on the south of the Island of St. Lucia, the clear tropical air embraced us. We were met by our driver, Terry, who straight away was extremely welcoming and courteous. Taking our bags, and offering us cold drinks (we used A-2-B Transfers), Terry ended up being a brilliant tour guide too, proudly explaining parts of the islands where many of the exotic fruits come from, homemade rum, cocoa plantations, and consequently where Hotel Chocolat was first invented!
Though the journey lasted about an hour and a half, I honestly felt like I knew the island and its history by the end! Terry also mentioned St. James’s Club is in a perfect location for getting around; a stone’s throw from the capital city of Castries, or the notorious Rodney Bay, which boasts its very own casino, nightclub and duty free shopping centre.
“Homemade rum, cocoa plantations, and where Hotel Chocolat was first invented”
When we arrived at St James’s Club, we were pretty tired and hungry but excited to drop our bags off and cool down by the pool. Straight away, we were greeted by the hotel staff and while we waited to be checked in we saw a table with a lady dressed in carnival attire, and were invited over. The young lady was cooking up some treats, homemade savoury snacks and cocktails (rum punch) – it was just what we needed.
We were taken to our rooms by golf buggy, literally a two minute drive but the staff insisted. We were fortunate enough to stay in one of their upgraded rooms, the Sea View Deluxe Twin, where the air conditioning was already on, which was a dream. The view from the room was breathtaking, overlooking the bright blue sea, palm trees and grounds. A great sized room and en suite bathroom, equipped with both a bath and shower and comfy double beds.
While you are on the island, make sure you book yourself onto one of the sea excursions, and make sure it’s Jo’s Cruises, which is exclusive to the hotel (you can find them at the water excursion outlet on the bay). They offer day trips, we did the Tour da Springs, cruising past the famous Petit Pitons, then snorkeling off of the island, where we saw some amazing coloured fish, and turtles.
We then went on to visit the Sulphur Springs, where we got to experience what is very similar to a mud rasul, applying the clay to our bodies, and bathing in the hot water streams of the volcano. We then went onto the 20ft waterfall, which was nice and cool and just what I needed. We had lunch with one of the locals, mouthwatering home cooked food, with mild to hot spices (tasty and edible even for the feint hearted).
They even made an anniversary and birthday cake for two of the guests, having been informed only the evening before! The whole experience was something else. Finally, we took the cruise back, playing some of the local soca music, and impressively a lot of popular songs from all over the world, we were lucky to have some of their famous homemade rum and ended up having a boat party – an amazing way to finish off the cruise (costing about US$75 per person inc tax).
“Bathing in the hot water streams of the volcano”
There are six restaurants on-site at St James’s Club Morgan Bay, all of which require a reservation booked locally, except for The Palms Restaurant and The Plum Tree Bar and Grill. To name a few, the buffet style The Palms Restaurant – admittedly, far from a buffet standard. The food was amazing and the menu is always changed daily. Whether it is Mediterranean, tex mex, Italian, and English roast. You name it!
The Morgan’s Pier restaurant – my absolute favourite – needs to be booked, and is very popular so make sure you do! The food is absolutely mouthwatering, and they offer an array of dishes to choose from, surf and turf (burger and fish) to jerk steamed fish. The Płúm Tree Bar and Grill restaurant offers day snacks from 11am-7pm, mainly burgers, fries, some local fried foods and drinks but it’s perfect for those fussy eaters. Le Jardine restaurant, which offers fine dining French cuisine, taking influence from the French invasion back in the 18th century. The service, ambience, everything was beautiful and stunningly complimented by a pianist and their very own wine connoisseur. (US$35 Dollar Supplement to dine here).
After some amazing days of water excursions, mountain trekking and dancing, we had booked our treatments in. Now, I have been to quite a few spas, but there is something extraordinarily serene when you can overlook a glistening Caribbean ocean, with nothing but the sounds of birds, the sea and the wind blowing through the palm trees. Absolute bliss.
The treatments lasted about 90 minutes. I managed to double up on the treatments – as I said, nothing was too much trouble for the staff. First off I was greeted by Evelyn, a really lovely local lady who really finds out what you are wanting to experience. She lets you smell the oils, making sure you like the aromas, that we were comfortable and felt relaxed. I opted for the Caribbean four hands massage, where two therapists work in harmony to relax your body. I sunk into warm towels, and literally fell straight asleep. Waking up, my body felt ridiculously light, almost limp. It was the best massage I have ever had, so on the very last day, I had it again!
“The best massage I have ever had…”
Every evening the venue offered some amazing entertainment, whether it was a tribute night (we had Adele/Ed Sheeran), karaoke, salsa classes, the venue had it all. There was an amazing Fete Bor La Mer beach BBQ for all the guests, which happens every Wednesday, turning the whole resort into a carnival extravaganza. Acrobatics, fire breathing, hogs roast, local delicacies, cocktails, dancing, you name it, it was there!
Many of the hotel guests were either on their honeymoons, had just got married at St James’s Club Morgan Bay or were returning families. There was a lovely atmosphere throughout our stay, and nothing was too much trouble. There was never a queue for activities, for dinner or drinks. This was my first visit to the Caribbean, and it’s definitely not my last. If you are thinking of going, go, and if you want to enjoy a heart filled, relaxing break in authentic luxury,St James’s Club Morgan Bay is the way!
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