The following article was featured on the Cosmopolitan website on August 16th, 2019. The link at the end of this post directs to the original article.
Selfies from your seaside villa will make all your followers jealous.
PEOPLE, amiright?! Always wanting something from you… “Hey, can you give me advice?” “Hey, can you read this email?” “Hey, can you pay your rent?” “Hey, can you wake up? This train is no longer in service…”
Can a girl just BE sometimes? Like, where does she have to go to just sip on her morning espresso at a chill table on the ornate balcony of her own private villa overlooking the soft, rolling waves of the aqua blue Caribbean Sea—completely undisturbed?
Oh. Calabash Cove Resort & Spa in St. Lucia. Okay, cool.
Seriously, this tropical, adults-only oasis perched on the west coast of the West Indies Island in the Caribbean is the perfect destination for anyone looking to take a T.O. from daily life for a hot second. It was also ranked one of the sexiest hotels in the world by Cosmo itself. With only 26 rooms—eight of which are awesomely large private villas—Calabash Cove and its staff make sure you feel like you’re their only guest at all times. And you know what that means: No judgment when you take ALL the vacay pics!
Whether you arrive solo or with a sister, friend, or lovahhh (like I did), you better like the company you’re keeping—because for the next few days it will just be you guys in this cliffside paradise. (Honeymooners, this is where your search ends, btw.)
The Boyfriend and I had the pleasure of staying at the resort for four blissful days in July (when rates are less expensive than in the busy winter season). Here’s exactly what you gotta do to get the most—and I mean the MOST—out of your trip, St. Lucia’s top attractions included. And come to terms now with the fact that your Instagram page will look laughably bleak in the wake of this sexy, sand-and-sea-heavy adventure.
1. Order room service to your private Water’s Edge Cottage plunge pool.
There should be a new word for “famished” after taking a 4.5-hour direct flight from JFK and then an hour-and-20-minute drive on the windiest, steepest roads across an island and through an actual rainforest. (Yes, the popular Hewanorra International Airport, UVF, is on the southern end of St. Lucia; Calabash Cove is on the northwest side. Trust me, the trek is worth it.)
In the lobby of Calabash Cove Resort & Spa’s airy and pristine main entrance, you’ll be greeted by the concierge and a bright and fruity rum punch—the first of oh so many to come. You’ll notice the concierge isn’t wearing a name tag as she goes over the details of your all-inclusive package. None of the staff at Calabash Cove wears one because everyone goes out of their way to introduce themselves and shake your hand as soon as they see you—and then greet you with the warmest, personal hello throughout your stay.
But right, back to that all-inclusive thing. It’s everything. Every single meal, every single drink, every top-shelf liquor, every minibar goody, every room service order, plus a selection of 20 bottles of wine, and tips—it’s ALL included in the all-inclusive, hun.
So you better believe you’ll be ordering tempura shrimp with salad and wasabi mayo, Calabash burgers, and fried plantains to your room before you even start to unpack. And then you’ll feel bloated and dopey as you wade the travel day away in a beautiful, private, Insta-worthy Caribbean Sea-side plunge pool. Built just for two, of course.
2. Paddleboard or kayak at your leisure on the Caribbean Sea.
Who likes water sports? Answer: Every feet-flapping human who appreciates when their playground is warm and clear so they can see exactly what’s happening beneath them. I’m assuming, like me (a shark-fearing wave worshipper), that’s you. So definitely take advantage of the two free paddleboards and two kayaks just itching to be used on Calabash Cove’s private beach. Don’t worry, you won’t be fighting off anyone else to have your turn…because, um, there no one else is here.
As you paddle, expect to see sea turtles, plenty of fish, crabs, a few sting ray, a pack of sea urchin, and some of St. Lucia’s 50 species of birds in the sheltered waters of Bay of Bonaire.
At this point, bless up that you’re on the west coast of the island. Because over on the east, which hugs the Atlantic Ocean, global warming is creating a bit of a smelly seaweed dilemma. No joke: Rising sea temps are killing the underwater plants, and shifting ocean currents are pushing this carnage right onto the beaches. It creates a smell so pungent, you have to plug your nose while driving past the coastline. THIS IS CLIMATE CHANGE REALITY, PEOPLE. And it’s directly affecting a country whose main source of income is tourism.
But thankfully, not on Calabash Cove’s side of the island. There’s just the sea waves rocking you to sleep in your massive, mosquito-netted canopy king bed. And oh yeah, your partner lying next to you…nudge, nudge.
3. Get the kinks worked out with a couples massage.
Speaking of not sleeping, I’ve never dozed off during a massage, because I’m one of those type-A people who wants to stay present so I can squeeze out every single second of being pampered. But I came oh-so-close to succumbing to a deep snooze during our couples massage at Ti Spa, the resort’s on-site wellness center.
IDK if it was the traveling, the yummy food in my stomach, or the relaxing candles and music our massage therapists set up, but I was blissed out in less than a minute. If you come here with your hubby or wife on your honeymoon, I high-key suggest the same treatment. Better yet, try the Island Romance Signature Treatment, a ~romantic~ massage for two set up on the resort’s outdoor boardwalk or gazebo. DREAMY.
4. Have the happiest happy hour at C Bar.
Chris. He’s the bartender you’ll come to know and love at Calabash Cove’s swim-up pool bar called C Bar. This is also a chill spot (with, you know, regular tables and chairs) to hit up for a cocktail and light bites before a night out.
As Chris makes your rum punches, ask him to tell you all he knows about St. Lucia and its culture. He’s a lifer who never wants to leave his beloved island, and he’s got a few ideas of how locals and tourists alike can help maintain its natural beauty and uniqueness. (No one wants Tulum 2.0, okay?)
Oh, and because you’re definitely going to want to recreate these rum punches at home, here’s the full recipe:
St. Lucian Rum Punch
Makes 10 to 12 servings
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
2½ cups dark or light rum
grenadine syrup (enough to make it a pink sunset color)
1¼ cups simple syrup
Mix it all up in a large pitcher with ice, let chill, then serve with an Insta-ready garnish like pineapple, cherries, and/or an orange slice. You’re welcome.
5. Hit up the Friday night street party at Gros Islet.
Street parties are a major part of life on St. Lucia. In fact, the day before we arrived, St. Lucia had just ended its Carnival celebration, which we heard rivaled the feather-clad parades in Brazil. On any night of the week, a random rager—we’re talking fresh food, music, booze, and lots of dancing—will pop up at an empty roadside shack, and the very next day, you won’t find any evidence of it. It’s wild!
On Friday nights, the Gros Islet Street Party is where you wanna be. This weekly event brings out locals and tourists alike to fill up on local seafood, grilled chicken, and pork; chug Piton beers; and dance in the streets to the DJ’s hits. Calabash Cove’s owner and managing director, Konrad Wagner, was our gracious host. He took us to Duke’s Place for (duh) rum punches before we moved to a different spot for garlic shrimp and rice. It was all sooo good, and the perfect appetizer for people-watching as the crowd started getting loose to reggae.
6. Get a full island tour—and see the Pitons—on a Catamaran cruise.
The Pitons’s claim to fame is that they’re one of the most photographed twin peaks on Earth…so you can’t leave St. Lucia without seeing them up close and snapping a pic for yourself. I can confirm: They really do take your breath away.
We hopped on Sea Spray Cruises Tout Bagay full-day Catamaran tour to see these iconic mountains, dubbed Gros Piton and Petit Piton, which were formed by a volcanic eruption millions of years ago. FYI: This catamaran tour has a van pick you up from Calabash Cove and drop you off at the nearby dock. From there, you (and a group of about 50 to 60 other tourists) sail all the way down to the south side of St. Lucia to see the Pitons, visit a St. Lucian waterfall, tour the ACTIVE volcano that formed the island, take a dip in the Sulphur Springs (great for the skin, but super smelly!), eat lunch made by locals, and snorkel for a bit before heading home. It’s a marathon of a day, but it packs in all of St. Lucia’s highlights with direct transpo to/from your resort, so I def recommend it. (Just make sure to pack plenty of snacks, SPF, and sunscreen with you!)
7. Have the most extra dinner on a pier surrounded by nothing but waves and stars.
Of course, as soon as I was convinced our time in St. Lucia couldn’t get any more meta, Calabash Cove pulled out all the stops for our last dinner on the island: A private dinner for two hosted on the resort’s outdoor boardwalk—a special treat you and your partner can also book through the concierge.
Listen, I have not been, and will never be, a contestant on The Bachelorette, okay? So, I WAS NOT prepared for the primetime-ABC-level romance this experience packed into one meal. Right before sunset, we could see from our villa the staff setting up our white linen table on the boardwalk. (I may have been squealing, and yes, there is video proof of this.) Around 6:30, we walked across the resort’s garden-filled grounds down to the boardwalk, which was lined with dozens of candles and conch shells (check the video in my Insta post below). At the end of the pier, our server was waiting for us with a bottle of champagne chilling—nothing but the sea waves and the fading sunset at his back. “We are not worthy!” is all I could keep saying.
After the champagne was popped, we were served a delicious four-course dinner—including a fresh clam, scallops, lobster, and veggie main course, with chocolate cake for dessert—while I joked that now would be a good time for the BF to propose. JK, my heart would probably combust from too many feels. And as amazing and sexy as this trip had been, I wanted to live so I could do it all over again.
Read the full article here.
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