Serenity at Coconut Bay in St. Lucia is well named. I knew that the minute I entered my suite, not through the usual hotel guestroom door; instead I passed through an arched wooden gate and entered a private enclave and sanctuary whose perimeter was bordered by a tall, white fence draped in bougainvillea
The L-shaped patio featured a plunge pool with a small waterfall, a bar topped with St. Lucian river rock, a coconut tree, chaise lounges and an outdoor shower.
"Do you like?" asked Gregg, my butler.
"I like," I said. "I really like."
Inside was just as pleasing. From the four-poster mahogany bed, I had a view of the plunge pool and the colorful foliage outside. The bathroom had a roomy, glass-walled shower; double basins; an oversize soaking tub; and an array of Molton Brown toiletries.
My suite, in fact, was so enchanting that I found it hard to leave.
"That is what many of our guests tell us," said Bernard Mazet, general manager. "With 24-hour room service, in-suite spa services and a butler on call, guests' needs are quickly met."
Next to the gate that served as the entryway was a small opening to what Mazet called the privacy box.
When guests order room service, the butler places the order inside the box and rings a bell to announce its arrival.
Serenity opened June 1. The 36-suite, adults-only, all-inclusive luxury resort is adjacent to Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa in Vieux Fort, 10 minutes from Hewanorra Airport on the southeast coast of St. Lucia.
Although the suite is the destination at Serenity, there's plenty to experience beyond the sanctuary, including butler and wait service at the Serenity lap pool and the six spacious cabanas that ring the pool, the Serenity Spa, a bocce court and a putting green.
Paradise Beach, 150 steps from Serenity (I counted), is a mile-long stretch of soft, white sand with the watersports area at one end where several would-be kitesurfers were taking lessons.
I also saw turtle nests in the sand, the sites for eight large beach cabanas that are planned and the canopied area where weddings are held with the sea and the Maria Islands Nature Reserve as the backdrop.
Serenity's Great House restaurant, designed as a grand St. Lucian mansion with vaulted ceilings, reclaimed wood and white brick and lighting fixtures created by local artisans, features a menu of Caribbean cuisine as well as traditional dishes.
Aunt Debbie, a local chef and former restaurant owner, presides over the chef's table six nights a week. The table seats up to 12 for family-style dining.
It's a true Caribbean meal that includes St. Lucian lobster, conch fritters, fried plantains, callaloo soup, fried fish cakes, pepper pot stew and banana cake.
"These are my mother's recipes," Aunt Debbie said. "I want to give our guests a little taste of St. Lucia."
The tour desk at Serenity can arrange off-site excursions, such as a four-hour snorkeling trip aboard a catamaran, horseback riding on the beach and island tours.
Guests also have access to the facilities at Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa, the adjacent 250-room sister property featuring five pools, nine restaurants and seven bars.
Beach barbecues feature country music, s'mores are served at fire pits scattered about the property in the evening and when all is done, it is a one-minute walk back to Serenity.
Guests can close their gates and shut out the rest of the world. I did just that.
Rates through Dec. 31 start at $699 per night, double. See www.serenityatcoconutbay.com