Lush, secluded and utterly enchanting, the St Lucia resort of Marigot Bay is a Caribbean dream – the perfect luxury retreat for honeymoon indulgence
Words: Libby Norman
We had heard that people return time and again to Marigot Bay Resort & Marina because it’s one of those secret spots that represent the true Caribbean spirit. Its claim to fame partly rests on location; author James A. Michener described Marigot Bay as the most beautiful bay not only in St Lucia, but also in the whole of the Caribbean. That’s a pretty high bar, but journeying in from the capital Castries with our resort driver our first sight of the Bay justifies purple-prose descriptions.
The bay is surrounded on all sides by steeply forested hills and remains a protected beauty spot. The first impression as we descend from the lookout point above the bay is lush greenery and piercing Caribbean-blue ocean. I half expect to see Captain James Sparrow’s galleon tracking across the horizon. It isn’t, but I do spot a rather lavish yacht gliding smoothly out of the bay.
We are greeted with delicious fresh fruit juice at the shaded outdoor reception area, and then led swiftly to our apartment. This is when we start to understand the allure of Marigot Bay Resort. Our quarters are tucked into the hillside and we climb wooden stairs to get to them – our own private treehouse apartment. The whole resort feels part of an unspoilt environment, mainly built in wood and designed so that every apartment not only blends into landscape, but also has superb views down to water.
Our space is vast, very cool and with polished dark wood floors, comfy chairs, huge dining table and a smart kitchen. Double doors lead off the living area to a deck. From our eyrie we have a panoramic view down to the bay. The bedroom has a huge bed draped with muslin mosquito net and there is another smaller deck out front. The bathroom has a vast shower laden with Acqua Di Parma goodies. Through its shuttered windows I can hear tropical birds singing in the trees.
“One of my favourite spots becomes our balcony. Some of Dr Doolittle was filmed right here in Marigot Bay”
The resort soon feels like a small and very friendly village, a place where staff greet you by name. There’s a fabulous infinity pool with swim-up bar and restaurant and, on the level below another infinity pool. The loungers are plentiful and if you need a retreat from the sunshine you can hunker down in one of the lavish cabanas and draw the curtains. From every part of the pool areas the views to the bay below are spectacular. We head down and take a stroll along the marina. At the harbourmaster’s office the noticeboard gives storm advice – not because we’re expecting bad weather anytime soon but because this is a well-known spot for safety when the mercury isn’t set so fair. The restaurant at the end of the marina is called Hurricane Hole, appropriately.
While Marigot Bay Resort’s team can organise a whole host of activities – from scuba diving and sailing to piton climbing – we soon get into the swing of being decadently lazy. One of my favourite spots becomes our balcony. Some of the original Dr Doolittle was filmed right here in this bay and I start to feel as if I am talking to the animals – or they to me – because every morning we are visited by cheeky and cheerful tropical birds. Breakfasts are another favourite time, with fresh eggs to order, delicious breads, pastries and lots of tropical fruit. Every day we breakfast outside so we can keep an eye on the yachts and also watch the birds line up in the hope of crumbs.
The food all across Marigot Bay Resort is sublime, with emphasis on fresh and local ingredients. The Grill at 14°61° serves delicious steaks and seafood and we love the St Lucian twists – rum sauce options on steak and coconut and pumpkin with local seared snapper. The St Lucian mac & cheese is also something to indulge in, at least twice. At the pool bar we have salads, Maki Rolls and Sashimi with our lunchtime Piton beers, and the fabulous team here cook and make to order. They also mix a mean cocktail – our Mudslide on the swim-up side becomes a sundowner ritual.
“The food is sublime and we love the many St Lucian twists – rum sauce on steak and coconut and pumpkin with local seared snapper.”
On one night we are treated to a session at the Rum Cave, learning about the history of rum production from our knowledgeable host. He serves us generously with fine rum and we become converted to the local Chairman’s Reserve before enjoying a very long night’s sleep. On another evening we attend a barbecue at Hurricane Hole, a feast of local and spicy St Lucian cuisine that keeps us going back for more.
In between swimming and lazing and eating, we find time to wander round the tropical gardens. One day I have a one-to-one lesson in propagating hibiscus (which I never can get to flower) from the extremely knowledgeable gardener. The gardening team have created a lovely area for wedding ceremonies – and there can be few more romantic spots for a destination celebration. There’s a glorious spa and a treehouse tucked away in the trees for private dining.
While I count the birds, my partner spends time scrutinising the bay, and this leads to a serious case of yacht envy. He watches one vast boat called Imagine over several days being scrubbed to gleaming perfection and then – when its owner arrives – waves it off to sea regretfully. He decides that when we have saved enough to buy a larger and more beautiful yacht than this impressive ocean-goer, we will moor it right here. I am in complete agreement because Marigot Bay is most definitely a place to savour the magic of the Caribbean.
Marigot Bay Resort & Marina
Marigot Bay has reduced its nightly rates from now until December 2019. Rates start at US$295 per night for a Resort View Junior Suite (excluding tax and service charge) including daily breakfast for two, or US$465 per night to upgrade to the ‘All Inc-Lucian’ meal plan. For more information about weddings, honeymoons and holidays, visit marigotbayresort.com
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