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Where to go…
The hardest part of travel, to me, is figuring out where to go… because I want to go EVERYWHERE. I love traveling and would travel full time if I could. Despite my indecisiveness, I knew when I was trying to choose a honeymoon destination, I wanted all of the stereotypical honeymoon romance. I wanted a relaxing but adventurous beach honeymoon with a hotel room to come home to each night decorated with rose petals. I wanted massages and candlelit dinners, but also excitement and adrenaline. Clearly, I didn’t really have high expectations 😉 I ultimately chose for us to honeymoon in St. Lucia.
I found a great deal on Costco for a 5 star resort that had tons to do and an amazing room, and that was the end of the search. The resort was Serenity at Coconut Bay. I was in love with the pictures of this place. The beach looked beautiful, the resort was alluring, and there was a sister resort full of pools, waterslides, and activities. As if that wasn’t enough, the giant hotel rooms had their own small pool! I was sold. I was so ready to experience the beginning of our marriage on a paradise island with beautiful mountains, beaches, rainforest, and chocolate.
St. Lucia was a dream
The romance, beauty, and food in this country did not disappoint. As well as the adventure! When we arrived to our hotel, we found our room was exquisite. First off, the room was huge. Secondly, we basically had our own “backyard”. The outside oasis included a soaking pool with a waterfall you can turn on and off, hammock, bar area, and fully stocked mini-fridge that was refilled daily. We also had a 24/7 butler, 24/7 room service, and multiple excursions already planned out for us and included in the package we bought- all we had to do is choose when we wanted to do everything. Yep. We were in paradise.
The one and really only downside (but a big one) we found out about was the beach at our resort. We discovered we were on the Atlantic side of the island instead of the Caribbean side, which I would’ve never realized from the blue-green water on the resort’s website. When we were taken on a tour of the property, we showed up to a beach with 20 mile per hour winds and seaweed invested waters!
Apparently a couple years ago, the tides started to change, causing seaweed to approach the shore and a more windy climate. The resort compensated for this unfortunate circumstance by offering free shuttles to the closest Caribbean beach, and hiring really awesome wind surfers at a party they put on by the beach.
We decided to take matters into our own hands, though, and rent a car and explore all the best beaches on the island! In this picture, you can see the difference between the blue Caribbean water (left) vs the rough, seaweed filled Atlantic water on the left (that brown round formation you see in the water is seaweed!) Thanks to the rental car, we were able to spend our time on the left side!
The service at the resort was 11/10. Everyone was super accommodating and friendly, but what topped off the top-notch service was the butler. We had butler 24/7 who made any and every reservation for us and ensured our honeymoon was amazing.
For example, one night, we were on a catamaran cruise, and realized that we forgot to book a rental car so that we could get to our reservation at hotel chocolat in the morning… we didn’t have a phone and the rental car office was going to be closed by the time we returned to shore. Thankfully, the butler went out of his way to make calls and book us a rental car while on the catamaran. Without the butler, we would’ve missed our reservation! The butler would bring us room service at 2 am if we were up for it, stock our room with drinks, leave us treats in our room, and bring us fresh coconuts with a straw each day. 🙂
Honestly, the service at the hotel is what really created the high-class, romantic feel. We were greeted back from our excursion with a bed saying “welcome back”, a fruit tray, and beds laid out for our in-room couples massage. We were serenaded each night at the Serenity restaurant with music that had island flare, and the quiet ambience at the resort added to the romantic vibe. With all of the adventures we experienced during the day, the romance and relaxation was perfect for at night.
This was a romantic poolside bungalow dinner that was included in our package at the resort, ignore our devil eyes in the photo.
St. Lucia was full of adventure, and since it was our honeymoon, we made sure to experience all we could fit in in a week.
The Best Tour
The best tour that we went on was the private island tour. We had our own personal tour guide that took us to explore the island! The tour guide took us to some amazing look-out points where we could witness the beauty of the island from above. We saw the world’s only “drive-in” volcano that is still alive and bubbling!
Close by, we took a dip in the sulfur hot springs. These hot springs were HOT, especially in 90 degree weather. Here we covered ourselves in mud that’s supposed to make you look 10 years younger (people tell me I look 17 so I guess this means I looked 7 after that mud bath :P). Getting to throw mud at each other was definitely a highlight of the trip- except when Ryan threw it straight at my face and into my eyes with no forewarning. Pro tip: The mud burns if it gets into your eyes. We were able to rinse that mud off by showering in a beautiful waterfall, and head to the botanical gardens.
The botanical gardens were beautiful, I learned how to spot many different tropical fruits, and saw diamond falls. Diamond falls is a famous waterfall on the island that’s unique because it has many minerals in the water that causes the rock to sparkle like diamonds. It was really awesome to explore some of the island’s most famous points, and to have the chance to learn about the island from someone who was born and raised there!
Other Worthy Mentions
Some other adventurous tours we were on included zip lining through the rainforest and snorkeling. Both were a blast! We would HIGHLY recommend diving or snorkeling if you are ever in St. Lucia. We’ve been snorkeling/diving many places throughout the Caribbean and French Polynesia, and the coral in the reefs in St. Lucia takes the cake. The variety and color of the coral were just beautiful… there were “sea ants” that were stinging me up though! I don’t know if it was the time of year or what… but a wet suit might be smart to prevent that.
The Adventure (and Stress) of Renting a Car
Renting a car also allowed us to experience tons more adventure. Part of the adventure was simply DRIVING. The roads were insanely curvy, steep, and on the opposite side of the road that we are used to. Ryan gets anxiety when I’m driving to begin with, so I let him drive the whole time while I sat back and attempted to not have a panic attack with him behind the wheel… luckily I live to tell the tale.
With the rental car, we were able to explore Sugar Beach, Marigot Bay, Anse Chastanet, and Reduit. Anse Chastanet was our favorite because it was beautiful AND we had the place to ourselves most of the time! The only other people there were locals who showed us spear fishing. The secret to beaches in St. Lucia are- they are ALL public… so if you see signs that say you aren’t allowed on the beach, ignore them, set your towel down, and soak up the sun.
If we are being honest, one of the major reasons I chose St. Lucia over other Caribbean islands is because of the chocolate. I have a sweet tooth (maybe more accurately sweet TEETH), so details about how my favorite food group is created was very fascinating to me ;). We went to hotel chocolat, which was such a beautiful resort, and did the bean to bar tour!
During the bean to bar experience, you have the chance to learn the history of chocolate, and then make your own! Before making our chocolate, we learned about the cacao fruit and how cacao beans become the chocolate we know and love. It was so interesting to taste the fruitiness of the cacao fruit pulp! It was yummy but NOTHING like chocolate. The pulp had a tropical fruit flavor that was sweet but a little tangy. Click here to see what Cacao fruit looks like!
Also, let me tell you, crushing up cacao nibs is HARD WORK. You need some serious arm strength to do it… probably why my chocolate didn’t taste quite as smooth as Ryan’s… I still had some uncrushed cacao nibs. We then mixed oil and sugar in, making bittersweet chocolate. Not quite as great as milk in my opinion but still yummy!
My favorite part, though was tasting the locally inspired dishes at hotel chocolat’s restaurant. EVERYTHING had chocolate in it somehow. This is HEAVEN. PARADISE for any and every chocolate lover. The bread had chocolate dipping sauce, the local flatbread dish called roti had cacao nibs, and of course, the dessert was CHOCOLATE. The dessert was a titon inspired chocolate lava cake with chocolate ice cream (the picture above). I’m salivating just thinking about it months later, if that tells you anything about how it tastes.
Of course, the all-inclusive resort had amazing food as well. It was amazing to taste the local fruit juices (Ryan’s favorite) & fulling dinners with at LEAST 4 courses. With fresh smoothies, AMAZING homemade french toast, steak, pork, chicken, burgers, french fries, as well as local St. Lucian dishes, we never had to worry about being hungry.
If I Could Do it Again
I would. For sure. But I would do it a little differently now that I know the island more. Serenity was amazing for the relaxation and service, but I would probably only spend part of my time there. The rest of the time, I would stay at a resort on the Caribbean side with the more beautiful (and less seaweed filled) beaches. I’d go scuba diving (since I’m now certified!) to see the beautiful reefs closer up. Another experience I would definitely have to have is hotel chocolat. I would go there again and try the tree to bean part of the tour, as well as enjoy an encore of chocolate lava cake that’s to die for. Last but not least I’d go to the mud baths again… who doesn’t want to look 10 years younger? 😉 (I actually don’t really because then I’d look 13 and 13 year old me is not something I miss) So basically, if you are visiting, these are some MUST sees. We had a wonderful time and would definitely return if we get the chance. It was a honeymoon I will never forget!