St. Lucian Escape
My wife and I recently had the pleasure of spending four nights at fun-filled Coconut Bay. We live in Miami, so it was a quick flight on American Airlines (about 3.5 hours), and we were there in no time. Their website always mentions how the resort is “five minutes from the airport.” That’s truly not an exaggeration. It took us longer to grab our carry-ons and disembark from the plane than it did to arrive at the resort!
We decided to book a Concierge Junior Suite with Ocean View, in Harmony, the adults-only wing of Coconut Bay. The room is on the top floor (fourth floor), and includes nightly turndown service, VIP check-in and resort orientation, reserved dinner seating at themed dinner shows, and many other perks. The price difference is almost negligible when compared to the other ocean-view rooms, and trust me, the upgrade and concierge services is well-worth it.
Day One: Country Western
After freshening up, we were ready to sample some of the fantastic dining options at the resort. By chance, we arrived on Country Western Night held on the Splash pool deck. Now before you start scratching your head due to the confusion of country and the Caribbean, allow me to explain. After WWII, soldiers came to St. Lucia, and they introduced the music to the island. The locals quickly adopted Country Western as their own, and it has been a mainstay in the St. Lucian musical landscape ever since. There was even a feature-length documentary called “Make Mine Country” about the improbable rise of Country Western music on the island. So while at first glance, it may seem out of place, Country Western is a fundamentally St. Lucian experience.
And it was an experience that should not be missed. If I could describe the performance in one word, it would be “fantastic.” It truly was an amazing show that you won’t want to miss if you visit the resort. And there’s a great BBQ buffet with local plates and desserts. There was no shortage of food at any point, really.
Day Two: Sightseeing Adventures
The next morning we grabbed a quick breakfast at Coconut Walk, they make a great omelet by the way, and then took a quick van ride to the docks where a catamaran took us on a Land & Sea tour. This is a great tour for guests interested in exploring the island as well as the ocean and surrounding beaches and you can book it with friendly staff in the resort’s adventure desk.
The Catamaran is quite large and has cabins, a bathroom, and areas to tan as well as shaded areas. The crew is very friendly and attentive. Later in the day, both soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are served, as well as local St. Lucian snacks.
If you love the ocean and sea life, there’s optional snorkeling in crystal-clear waters right off the shore at Sugar Beach. You will have the opportunity to see lots of colorful fish and coral. Don’t forget to try some of the local fruits including mangoes, soursop, and starfruit. There’s also fresh coconuts that a man with a machete will hack open for you which makes for a refreshing treat.
There’s a second stop with more snorkeling and several underwater caves to explore if you’re feeling adventurous. But if at any point you feel like taking a break, there’s cold beer and rum punch waiting for you back on the boat.
Lunch and Mud Baths
We stopped at a charming local beachside restaurant, where we sampled some local dishes including pork curry, jerk chicken, and chicken dumplings. After our meal was over, we drove to the mud baths and hot springs.
The springs are healing, warm and very soothing. And you have the opportunity to rub the cleansing mud on your face and body, which purifies and of course provides a “youthful” feeling to your skin. Our tour guide walked us through the process.
St. Lucia’s Soufriere volcano is the world’s only drive-in volcano and a must-see on the island.
Dinner at Calabash
If you visit Coconut Bay, you must try Calabash for dinner at least once. The food is absolutely wonderful. I started with pan-seared scallops with a bacon jam, which were flavorful and perfectly cooked, followed by filet mignon with a blue cheese drizzle and grilled shrimp. Oh, did I mention there was an amuse bouche of a mini crab cake? Delicious. The food was paired with a great Cabernet that was very smooth and delightful. A note worth mentioning: Wines and premium liquors are included in your stay at Coconut Bay!
After breakfast, we felt like relaxing a little, so we swung by the Harmony Oasis Pool. It has a nice size pool with cool water, as well as a heated whirlpool. It was nice that we didn’t have to get out of the pool for drinks. Waitstaff pass by frequently to take your cocktail order which is quite convenient. We also spent some time at the Harmony Tiki Pool and the Tiki Bar, both of which are lively and make for a major hangout area. The bartender, Dylan, happily whipped up a couple Coconut Clouds for us while we enjoyed an immaculate view of the Ocean and a cool breeze.
Not just on day three, but pretty much every day, we made a visit to one of the many bars at the resort. During the day I’d recommend hitting up one of the pool bars, the swim-up Oasis Bar, or the Lobby Bar. But at night, the Peter John’s Rum Bar (upstairs by Silk and Calabash) has good music and a piano player. Rum Bar is probably also the most robust bar on the resort, with a full range of premium liquors to choose from (which, as I understand it, is very rare for an all-inclusive resort). There’s also a nice terrace with fire pit where you can sit and star gaze and relax with a drink.
The Jerk Treehouse
A new and popular dining option at Coconut Bay is the Jerk Treehouse. The food is buffet-style, so there’s no wait, and they offer some tasty island favorites including sweet plantains, jerk chicken, sausage, ribs, and beef patties. There’s also a must-try dish called festival that is not to be missed; it’s sort of like a cornbread fritter. And Chef D. told me you won’t truly be able to say you’ve gone to the Caribbean until you’ve eaten it at least once (and you’ll definitely eat it more than once!). The meat falls right off the bone, and everything tasted great. Plus, it’s right by the pool, which gives you the opportunity to lay out or go for a swim after you’ve eaten.
Dinner at Veranda
If you want a gourmet dinner, but don’t feel like eating at Calabash or Silk, there’s the option to eat on the Veranda on the second floor. Guests can enjoy everything from steaks to fish in a romantic outdoor setting where you can hear the entertainment of the evening while you dine.
Day Four: ATV Tour
Most guests only take about one tour during a seven-day stay. Not us! We did two tours. The second tour was an ATV ride through the mountains. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. There are 45-degree inclines, rocks, trees, rivers, and other rough terrains. But it’s a lot of fun. We went with two other people, who also enjoyed it. If you get the chance, I’d highly recommend this tour as you end up on a black sand beach and can take the time to enjoy the water if you choose. The tour guides are patient and very friendly and the views are incredible.
After a day of bouncing around on an ATV, we were ready for massages. The staff at Coconut Bay’s oceanfront Kai Mer Spa are great, very professional, and make you feel relaxed. I opted for the tranquility massage, which was 30 minutes and involved soothing coconut oil. Listening to the crashing waves, soft music, and being rubbed down with oil was the perfect combination. Very relaxing indeed.
There’s no shortage of entertainment at Coconut Bay! Right next to the lobby bar, there’s also a drink nearby, they have lovely ladies in Caribbean dress dancing to live music. The performance also included stilt walkers, a large steel drum band, acrobats, and fire breathers. Everyone including kids and adults were dancing to the island beats. It’s definitely worth stopping by. And it makes for a nice pre-dinner show for sure. FYI- Caribbean night takes place once per week on resort.
Dinner at The Greathouse
It was our last night on resort, so we decided to go to the Greathouse at Serenity, Coconut Bay’s new luxury resort for dinner. There is a surcharge fee for Coconut Bay guests but the food and the service was fantastic and well worth it! The chef prepared a chicken tortilla soup which was blended and topped with an avocado foam. For our next course, we had pan-seared scallops with fresh tomatoes and local greens from the resort’s Greenhouse. Finally, they served us a well-seasoned, juicy porterhouse steak with grilled shrimp. The food was excellent and they paired the dishes with a great white wine, and later, red wine. We would love to go back there one day as we understand the menus will change depending on the availability of locally harvested fish, fruit, and veggies.
Sad to Say Goodbye
After lunch the next day we headed back to the airport. We were sad to leave Coconut Bay, but hopefully we’ll return soon! It was a magical experience filled with great food, friends, and adventure.
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