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Honeymoon: St. Lucia

> Written by Bob Curley

The twin Pitons rising majestically from the shoreline of St. Lucia once served as a friendly landmark for sailors out at sea; today, they beckon couples to an island where serene beaches, a friendly culture and vibrant nightlife complement perhaps the greatest collection of luxury resorts in the Caribbean.

The Gros Piton and Petit Piton mountains are visible from nearly everywhere on St. Lucia, but several of the island’s most romantic resorts sit at the very feet of these paired peaks, includ - ing the dramatic Ladera with its mountainside open-air villas and private plunge pools, and the Viceroy Sugar Beach, where the tranquility of the treehouse-like Rainforest Spa is matched only by the private luxury of the resort’s romantic villas, cottages,
bungalows, and residences.

For beachfront luxury, the Water’s Edge cottages at Calabash Cove echo the style of Bali, lovingly crafted in m ahogany and with plenty of snuggle opportunities in their waterview bedrooms, jacuzzis, deck hammocks, and outdoor rain showers. Family owned and for couples only, the 100-room Rendezvous resort on two-mile-long Malabar Beach is an all-inclusive with fabulous food, a nightly champagne happy hour, and an intimate lazy-river pool.

Sandals Resorts helped invent all-inclusive travel in the Caribbean, and two of the chain’s finest hotels are located in St. Lucia. The beachfront Rondoval rooms at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian are butler-served and feature their own private plunge pools just steps from the Caribbean, where you can drink in views of distant mountains and historic Fort Rodney. The Sandals Regency La Toc occupies a 220-acre waterfront estate with a challenging nine-hole golf course, new Millionaires’ Suites with 180-degree vistas, a PADI-certified dive center, and eight distinctive dining experiences.

A little more outside the box—but definitely unique—is the Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, a resort set amid the fields of a working cocoa plantation. It’s a chocolate-lovers’ paradise in every sense of the term, from the sights and sounds of the Rabot Estate to the cacao cuisine served at the restaurant and the cocoa-in -fused treatments at the spa. The resort club pampers guests with personalized service, while a speedboat awaits at the shore to whisk you to your choice of several secluded beaches that you’re likely to have all to yourselves.

Once you’re ready to explore, you’ll find adventures great and small await you on St. Lucia. You can mix with the locals at the big weekly “jump ups” in Gros Ilet and Anse La Reye, munch on the catch of the day at the Saturday night fish fry in Dennery, or cruise the vibrant restaurant, bar, and dancehall scene in Rodney Bay.

Thrill-seekers will love the ziplining course at the Morne Coubaril Estate, where views of 3,118-foot Mt. Gimie, the Pitons, and the town of Soufriere flash by as you race along a course that includes the scenic Joy Ride, the “look ma, no hands” Starfish, and the speedy George of the Jungle line. Or, climb St. Lucia’s most famous landmark: the hike to the top of the larger Gros Piton is actually easier than the steeper climb of Petit Piton, but either is guaranteed to be the memory of a lifetime.

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