Romance in Saint Lucia

Photo by Nordica Photography

Photo by Nordica Photography

Valentine’s Day sets the perfect tone for February, making it the ultimate month of romance. Whether cozied up in cold weather or adventuring in the sun, I love having an excuse to give romance the attention it deserves. Of course, here in St. Lucia, every time of year offers countless opportunities to celebrate love. In the spirit of February and Valentine’s Day, I’d like to share with you my top five favorite romantic activities in St. Lucia!

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1. Nothing says romance quite like sharing a glass of champagne with your loved one. Now add to the equation Capella Marigot Bay’s signature plunge pools and I think you’ll agree with me that clinking glasses in the relaxing warm jet streams of your suite’s private hot tub is one of those private personal moments to be remembered and cherished.

2. Sharing thrilling adventures with my significant other is a must on my romance to-do list. That’s why a helicopter ride around St. Lucia makes the cut! It is the perfect blend of thrill-seeking and awe-inspiring beauty. Amidst the rush that comes from skimming above the Pitons, there are plenty of opportunities for adorable couple selfies and jaw-dropping landscape photos that will make your Facebook friends swoon! For example:

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3. Spending some quality time in Auriga spa is my favorite way to recuperate and pamper myself after a day of adventuring. Making it a couple’s massage is the perfect way to elevate levels of romance by experiencing ultra relaxation together!

Photo by Nordica Photography

Photo by Nordica Photography

4. Sunsets are the epitome of quintessential romantic activities. There’s something about the simplicity of the setting sun coupled with the brilliance of the sky that causes us all to take a moment and appreciate the beauty of life. Watching the sunset by boat while on the Caribbean takes it to a whole new level. Thankfully, the Marina never has any shortage of sunset-related boating activities. I’m a big fan of the catamaran sunset cruise because it’s the perfect blend of private and social. You’ll get lost in the sunset together and then spend some time dancing, laughing and drinking with new friends.

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5. The best way to end a day of romance is with the perfect dinner. I love the private canopied treehouse lit by candlelight. I’m lucky to have enjoyed many romantic dinners, but this experience exceeded every expectation I’ve ever had about what it means to share great food with your favorite person in the world in a setting that helps you fall in love all over again.

I hope I’ve provided you with some romantic inspiration for this month of love! If you’re interested in setting up any of these activities- whatever the time of year- your Capella Personal Assistant will be able to arrange everything. Don’t hesitate to let us know! In the mean time, I wish you a full month of unparalleled romance.

The Farmer’s Market at Capella Marigot Bay Marina Village

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The new Farmer’s Market at Capella Marigot Bay’s Marina Village is one of my new favorite events! Indulging in fresh local produce is something of a hobby of mine and I love to take full advantage of the delicious fruits and vegetables native to this stunning tropical climate. If you have yet to try a fresh St. Lucian mango or drink fresh St. Lucian coconut water directly from its source, I must insist you rectify this matter as soon as possible! 

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In addition to produce from local St. Lucian farmers, the Farmer’s Market features local spices, St. Lucian pastries and preserve, and fresh island smoothies. Trust me when I say, sipping on a delicious and healthy banana mango smoothie while walking the Marina’s Boardwalk is nothing short of incredible. 

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Local spices are one of my favorite ways to enjoy the taste of the Caribbean at home. One bite and you will be instantly transported back to palm trees swaying in warm Caribbean breezes. Plus, it is a great way to expand your cooking repertoire to include new flavors.

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Local artists also bring arts and crafts, artisan jewelry and other items that embody the spirit of St. Lucia and the Caribbean to the Farmer’s Market each week. I love purchasing gifts for my loved ones (and for myself!). They quickly become priceless mementos, rich in memories.

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The Farmer’s Market at Capella Marigot Bay’s Marina Village takes place every Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm and is curated by Executive Chef Billy Boyle and his team. It brings the best of local St. Lucian goodness and fits nicely into my resolutions for the new year of eating fresh and experiencing local cultures! I hope you will have the opportunity to experience it yourself, but in the meantime, I leave you with a delicious Caribbean smoothie recipe that happens to be my personal favorite.  

You will need:

Approximately 3 medium bananas

2 mangos

1/4 cup coconut milk (sweetened or unsweetened depending on preference)

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup ice cubes

I recommend chilling the bananas and mangos for about an hour. Once chilled, be sure to peel and slice them. Add them to the blender along with the coconut milk and honey. Blend until smooth. While the blender is still running, add the ice cubes one by one and continue blending until smooth. Serve and enjoy! Imagine yourself strolling along the Marina boardwalk watching the boats go by.

Healthy Resolutions in St. Lucia

The dawn of a New Year is always an exciting time that I enjoy for a variety of reasons beyond NYE parties and toasting champagne at midnight! I love making resolutions and setting goals towards an even brighter future. I would wager there are only a few people out there who have not resolved to be healthier in the coming year and rightfully so. The ambition to continuously strive for healthier habits is well-ingrained in most people. One of my favorite things about St. Lucia is how amazing I look and feel when I spend time here. Clean air, outdoor activities, sunshine and fresh food is a definite recipe for personal well-being.

In honor of the New Year, I decided to share my favorite ways to jumpstart health and well-being resolutions in St. Lucia. I find it to be a great reminder that “healthy” doesn’t have to mean bland or boring!

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We all know exercise is a primary factor in our health but I’ll take adventurous exercise over gym exercise any day! St. Lucia has a wide array of hiking trails that vary in difficulty. On days when I want a more leisurely hike, I’ll venture over to Tet Paul and when I’m up for something a bit more challenging, I like to hike in the Rainforest. But my favorite hike is up the Pitons! Though the difficulty level is more advanced, the rewards are unprecedented. Not only will you feel great from a cardiovascular perspective, but reaching the top will give you a sense of joy and accomplishment that isn’t quite as profound on a stairmaster. Take a look:

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I have a hard time remembering to eat the correct amount of fruit each day, that is, unless we are talking local options. There is nothing quite like fresh Caribbean mango or pineapple. Smoothies by the pool are another of my healthy treat choices and of course, the ultimate, fresh coconut water!

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I love having a coconut first thing in the morning and then again throughout the course of the day. Aside from being delicious, coconut water straight from the fruit leaves me feeling rejuvenated, hydrated and practically glowing.

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Swimming is an amazing form of exercise because the water provides natural resistance without any impact on your joints. Therefore snorkeling tops my list of healthy outdoor activities, as it combines swimming with underwater adventure! When I snorkel, I don’t even realize that I’ve been swimming for over an hour straight because I’m far too mesmerized by life under the Caribbean sea. Plus, my underwater camera helps me capture incredible photographs. I highly recommend bringing one along.

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Being healthy is about so much more than just exercising and eating right. So many of us forget one of the key factors in our well-being – relaxation! I never feel better than right after a massage or spa treatment. Not only does it ease the aches and pains that build up in joints and muscles, but it also is a great way to mentally unwind.

No matter where you are when you’re getting a jumpstart on your health goals for the New Year, I certainly hope you will remember to take some time for yourself to relax, de-stress and feel better overall.

I wish you a happy and healthy 2016!

The Holiday Season in Saint Lucia

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One of my favorite things about travel is experiencing the different customs that exist in cultures around the world. The holiday season is an exceptionally good time to do just that! Here at Capella Marigot Bay, we’re celebrating the holidays and ringing in the New Year with traditional St. Lucian foods, drinks and festivities. Today, I’ll be sharing my favorites with you.

Bamboo Bursting

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While most people associate carols and mistletoe with the holidays, St. Lucia celebrates with a type of bamboo cannon that they craft themselves to create loud bangs and beautiful explosions of light. Accomplishing the desired effect takes precise skill and quite a bit of practice, making observation of this tradition even more exciting. Throughout the holiday season, you can hear the bamboo bursts echoing softy around the hills of the island.

A Traditional St. Lucian Christmas

If you enjoy experiencing local traditions as much as I do, you’ll love the Traditional St. Lucian Christmas. Members of the Capella Marigot Bay team tell stories passed down from their ancestors and share the island’s traditional Christmas foods and drinks such as St. Lucian Black Cake, made from rum and fruits, and the Holiday Sorrel Drink, made primarily from the beautiful, bright red Sorrel flowers.

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New Year’s Eve Fireworks Cruise

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Fireworks are a New Year’s staple in St. Lucia and I cannot think of a better vantage point to observe them from than on the Caribbean sea! The New Year’s Eve Midnight Cruise brings you to a location on the Northern part of the island where we could see several firework displays while we sipped champagne and a live DJ inspired our dancing spirit. Ringing in the New Year with so much energy, fun and excitement around me definitely set the tone for an incredible year and I highly recommend the experience.

 

These are my personal favorites but the holiday season in Saint Lucia includes countless activities to choose from. I highly recommend perusing the Daily Activities of the Festive Season Calendar, which you can find right here on the Capella Marigot Bay site. Your Capella Personal Assistant can arrange any of these activities and will help create a most memorable experience for you and your loved ones. ‘Til then, I wish you and yours a wonderful Holiday season filled with joy, love and just the right amount of adventure!

A Recipe For Winter In Saint Lucia

 

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December is upon us and with it comes winter in the Northern Hemisphere.  But there is no such thing as winter in Saint Lucia.  In fact, the high season is just beginning. While there is no bad time to visit this year-round summer paradise, the high season is my personal favorite. With less humidity and rain, the weather permits for optimal pool, beach and adventure-going days.

I’m a big fan of travel and experiencing all seasons in a variety of places, but there’s something about Caribbean sunshine that simply can’t be beat. So I’d like to share with you my top three favorite St. Lucian activities to beat the winter blues.

Zipline In The Rain Forest

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A zipline rainforest excursion is a certain cure-all. Being surrounded by lush, green vegetation and interesting tropical plants coupled with the thrill of zipping from treetop to treetop is a great way to get your heart racing.  You’ll practically forgot that winter even exists!

Horseback Riding on the Beach

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I like lounging on the beach as much as the next person, but adding the horseback riding element to a beach excursion takes it to a whole new level. Experiencing the sun, surf and sand from a whole new perspective creates such wonderful lasting memories that will keep you warm even during cold winter nights.

Cruising on the Caribbean

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My favorite activity resides on the Caribbean Sea itself. There’s something so amazing about sitting aboard a yacht or catamaran with a tropical drink in hand and watching the sun dip below sea level. For added adventure, I like to dive in for some snorkeling to experience the under-the-sea world. Other times, I enjoy simply lounging port-side and letting the rum punch work its magic.

Until we see get to see you here in St. Lucia, I’d like to share a rum punch recipe that will bring the tropics to you in the mean time.

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Ingredients:

3 cups orange juice

3 cups pineapple juice

1 cup lime juice

a pinch of cinnamon

a pinch of nutmeg

6 shakes of angostura bitters

2 1/2 cups dark or light rum

grenadine syrup

approximately 1 1/4 cups simple syrup or to taste!

Mix all the ingredients except the grenadine syrup and the simple syrup in a pitcher. Slowly add the grenadine syrup while stirring until the color looks like a glorious sunset. I like adding the simple syrup last so I can sweeten it to my personal preference.

You can drink it right away but it’s best when refrigerated overnight to give all the flavors a chance to come out. Serve over ice, take a sip and close your eyes. You’ll be temporarily transported to palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze. Cheers!

 

The Tet Paul Hike

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November is Health & Wellness Month in St. Lucia and with good reason! The island’s mix of adventure and tranquility provides an unbeatable setting for physical, mental and spiritual health. Here at Capella Marigot Bay, a 24 hour fitness center, yoga classes, spa treatments and an array of nutritious meals ensure that achieving health and wellness is always easy and fun. Even after just a couple of days here, I always feel rejuvenated!

Outdoor activities in such a pristine setting are a cornerstone of health and wellness and in St. Lucia that exists in abundance.  One of my personal favorites is the Tet Paul Nature Trail. The difficulty level is just challenging enough to make it a great cardiovascular activity while still being pleasant!

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Tet Paul is an excellent nature hike as there are plenty of plants, fruits and flowers to observe and learn about. Our guide, Jarod, was quick to point out the amazing tropical plants we were seeing along the way.

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I saw my first ever pineapple plant in person on the Tet Paul hike! We were even able to try some of the fruits that grow in the area while we were there and they were incredibly flavorful as well as nutritious.

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But of course, the main attraction is the view at the top of Tet Paul! Once you reach the end you are rewarded for your hard work with the most glorious view of St. Lucia’s Piton mountains. That alone is worth the trip and while no photo can truly do it justice, I can tell you that you won’t be disappointed.  It also happens to be the perfect spot to “Touch the Top of the Pitons” a social media phenomenon where visitors take photos of themselves touching the top of these iconic Caribbean mountains and share it online!

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I would love to see your “Touch the Top of the Pitons” photos so be sure to tag me @CapellaStLucia on Twitter and Instagram. ‘Til then, Happy Hiking! Even if you aren’t in St. Lucia for Health and Wellness month, I highly recommend treating yourself to some outdoor activities and of course, a great massage. You deserve it!