The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia was almost a place of fantasy to me until recently. I first learned about it from a UK friend several years ago, and I knew that it was a place I wanted to visit. She raved about the resort, told me about the included daily spa treatments, all of the activities, and the motto which is “Give us your body for a week, and we’ll give you back your mind.” Then, as I became a travel advisor, I further learned that it is a resort that is respected in the travel industry. Fortunately, I was able to send some clients there in the past couple of years, and they had wonderful experiences. One client, a solo traveler, stayed for seven nights and wished she had stayed longer. After my visit of five nights, I couldn’t agree more! There is so much to know, and I’m so glad I went to discover the ins and outs of BodyHoliday.
Fortunately, Delta has a direct flight from Atlanta to St. Lucia every day, and I believe Miami and NYC are the only other direct flights. The island is in the Atlantic time zone, so they are an hour ahead of EST. Although the flights isn’t terribly long, you arrive at BodyHoliday in time to freshen up for dinner on the first day. Now that I have done the trip, I know how to make the journey the most enjoyable experience possible--one of many benefits of booking with me.
CHECK-IN & ROOM
Check-in at the resort was one of the easiest experiences I’ve ever had. I was traveling with a friend, and we were quickly whisked away to our ocean view room after a quick stop at the welcome pavilion and concierge desk. The room was very comfortable, with all of the necessities. It was well appointed, as they say, and although it wasn’t sleek and modern, there was nothing to complain about, especially after seeing the view of the Caribbean and the resort. We were told to stop by the front desk at our leisure to complete check-in, and I found this such a lovely way to handle it!
On the first night, we dined at Cariblue, which could be considered the main dining room if we were talking about a cruise ship. The dining area is completely open air and surrounded by beautiful landscaping and views of the sea. Since food is so important to me at all-inclusive resorts, this dinner was very important as the first impression I would have. The servers were so lovely from the start of the first dinner until our final lunch. The main course of dinner was mahi-mahi, which was delicious and beautifully presented. The other courses were absolutely lovely as well. As is true at good resorts, the included wine was fine but nothing to write home about. It’s certainly a notch above some resorts out there. They have a renowned wine list and wine cellar, if you choose to purchase other wine.
The variety of meals offered throughout the week leaves no room for boredom. The restaurants are Cariblue, Windows, Pavillion Grill, and Wellness Cafe. All dining experiences were good, and after this trip, part of the value I can add for my clients is advising them on how to plan in advance, which is definitely necessary. Breakfast is always a buffet, and it is fantastic. There are a few lunch options, and the Tuna Niçoise Salad at the Wellness Cafe stole my heart.
BodyHoliday has an online app called Webroom, which allows guests to select their treatments in advance. You can book the included treatments, as well as other treatments that are extra. Honestly, the app needs improvement, but it is also very useful for planning in advance. Once they work out the kinks, it will be fantastic. Regardless of the issues, it’s always fun to have something to login to and dream about your vacation. In the Webroom, you can see everything from gentle massages to facials and body scrubs to Ayurvedic treatments.
All treatments take place in the spa, aka Wellness Center. Getting there involves a trek up a rather long staircase since the resort is basically built into a hill. People with mobility issues shouldn’t necessarily rule out the resort for this reason, because it is possible to get some help. On my five night trip, I had four treatments, because there are no included treatments on the day of arrival or departure. This actually makes sense. In the spa area, there are many rooms, and you’ll find out which room is yours upon checkin in at the spa.
Typically, the person performing the treatment will be waiting and tell you what to expect from the treatment. They may also ask a few questions, and depending on the treatment, they may or not carry on a conversation. Regardless of any of that, they are all extremely competent and caring. While I know they do the same things over and over, I also felt like they really cared. There are “upsells” occasionally, but they are done in a subtle way that doesn’t make you feel any pressure.
Oh my goodness, there are so many activities. It feels like being at camp for adults. In my time at BodyHoliday, I got to experience many fantastic activities. The people who lead them are great at what they do. Some of the staff have advanced degrees, while some are Olympians! I’m so grateful for the experience I had at BodyHoliday that opened my eyes to new things or helped me to experience things I’m familiar with in new ways. New experiences for me were Tai Chi and golf. The Tai Chi teacher is also a golf pro, and he is a wonderful teacher. Seriously, I would like to spend a week with him to gain more wisdom. I also took part in several yoga classes, as well as Caribbean dance and Aqua Fit. I love opportunities like this when you can comfortably get out of your comfort zone!
I really can’t say enough about these experiences. I will often say that things are life changing, and that is because I believe that lives can be changed in small ways all the time. Whether it was a pearl of wisdom I gleaned from a yoga or tai chi class or the confidence I gained from a golf class, who knows what will come of these experiences.
This visit to BodyHoliday, as well as a few of my trips in recent history, have inspired a new focus on wellness travel. What I love is that wellness travel comes in many forms. It can mean daily massages, and it can include multiple activities and healthy, delicious food, and each resort has its own style. I believe that travel nearly always inspires better mental health, and when better physical health is also accomplished while also having a relaxing and enjoyable vacation, the effects can be longer lasting and beneficial. If you are looking for a new experience in your vacation, I recommend trying a resort with a wellness focus, and I would love to help you find the right match for you. Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).