Marigot Bay can be found four miles south of St Lucia’s capital, Castries, and is widely considered to be the most beautiful bay of the Caribbean. It’s easy to see why. Playing host to film crews from Dr Dolittle (1967) to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, it truly shows off the beauty of this tropical corner of the world.
Forming a ‘hurricane hole’, Marigot Bay is a natural refuge for boats of many shapes and sizes to seek and hunker down when the occasional tropical disturbance makes its petulant way over St Lucia. Thankfully most of the time, Marigot Bay provides an idyllic oasis to the eponymous Marigot Bay Resort, Spa and Marina and its most charming village – either for the weary holiday-maker or those of a more adventurous bent.
Premium suites at the Marigot Bay Hotel rise above the mangrove swamps, where thankfully no python was seen to romp, but do afford the visitor magical views from every angle of their residence, especially from the terraces’ private hot tub. With an inclusive package be wary not to fall into a sleepy stupor trap from the exquisite food on offer throughout your stay. Three excellent dining areas are on offer. The Brut Bar situated at the main swimming pool offers the most extraordinarily generous Bloody Marys and fresh sashimi rolled before you, and many more local delights besides.
As well as the tranquility of the in-house spa, a private beach is either a complimentary ferry ride across the bay or a gutsy swim, should you choose. Draped in coconut palms, this beach is where you find the sea kayaking and paddle board station. Sea kayaking into the neighbouring bay is not for the faint of heart, but most rewarding. The thrills and spills are plentiful and a truly unforgettable experience, which further broadened our horizons to the majesty of the island.
There is so much to explore and experience in Marigot Bay. I was thoroughly spoilt by having my birthday there and it was wonderfully topped off by having the head chef and my wife team up to create a secret eight-course tasting menu on the private, candlelit veranda overlooking the marina. All delightful courses reflected my favourite bites, with a St Lucian twist. A cracking spread — and needless to say we heaved and waddled ourselves back to a cabana by the pool to enjoy a nightcap or two. We were most definitely unsafe to have another dip in the pool until the morning.
The hotel sits delightfully on the side of a rolling green hillside on the southern side of the bay, almost feeling like it has been built into it, with no disturbance to the ecosystem. We were truly immersed. With so many nooks and crannies to explore we were especially delighted when we discovered the Rum Cave.
Recently refurbished we revelled in an evening of rum tasting and tuition, history and the importance that rum has played to the St Lucian economy. Word to the wise: make sure your stomach is suitably lined before embarking on this potentially inebriating tutorial. Unlike wine tasting, you are unable to spit back the distilled goodness into a bucket, and will be frowned upon.
It is tricky to work out where Marigot Bay hotel really excels. Tricky, because it outperforms in every facet that makes a holiday truly unforgettable. It is where I found the soul of St Lucia. The friendliness and inclusiveness of the staff is authentic and contagious. The hotel and marina sit harmoniously amongst Marigot Bay Village, further reflecting the inclusivity of this corner of paradise. With gorgeous bars, boutiques and amenities, you are never far from items of necessity, but you are soon able to retreat back into the holiday adventure of a lifetime mode. Marigot Bay, the hotel and resort, is not so much a treasure trove but a treasured cove.
For more information or bookings, visit marigotbayresort.com or telephone +1 758 458 5300
Extras: Marigot Bay is also a member of the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts Program so guests receive the following perks when booking using an American Express Platinum Card: daily breakfast for two, room upgrade at check in where available, noon check in, 4:00 p.m. check out and free WiFi. An added perk unique to this property is £75 credit to use on the property.
By Benjamin Barclay, Editor
All images courtesy of the resort