Reed Travel Features senior editor Felicity Long visited Club
St. Lucia on a press trip with her 5-year-old daughter Chloe. Her
CASTRIES, St. Lucia -- There are two ways to approach a stay at
an inclusive resort with young children: Never leave the resort or
"do" the island.
For our visit, we opted for a little of both, to get the flavor
of the destination and to enjoy the activities at Club St.
During our almost two-hour ride from the airport, we saw what we
had been told in advance about St. Lucia: The island is beautiful
and, in areas, unspoiled.
St. Lucia boasts a rain forest, a volcano and the towering Piton
Mountains that are as green as any Irish countryside. We also saw
grinding poverty amid the brightly colored homes en route to our
I wasn't sure I would be comfortable renting a Jeep and
exploring with my daughter. The organized excursions seemed a
Members of our group rented a taxi for shopping in Castries, not
far from the club. The outing cost about $40 in cab fares and
resulted in good finds at great prices, they reported.
Our priorities on arrival at Club St. Lucia were quite simple:
Find the beach; hit the pool.
Like any parent with a young companion, we spent mere minutes in
Our trolley driver, who dropped us at our room, had told me,
"You can't get lost here," but I advise recent arrivals to carry a
I got lost several times during our stay and finally got the lay
of the land on the last day of our visit.
At the 372-room resort, spread over 50 acres, flowering trees
dot the landscape and two beaches beckon. One, near the main club
area, is for sunning, swimming and water sports. The second offers
a more-quiet ambience and clear water for snorkeling.
Three swimming pools range from the noisy family scene to a
serene pool at the St. Lucia Racquet Club, which welcomes Club St.
Lucia guests free of charge. Because activities are free at the
inclusive property, I sampled waterskiing and took my daughter
paddleboating. An older child in our group tried kayaking.
Meals are included, and there was something to eat at any hour.
This is a definite advantage for families with young children since
kids notoriously are hungry just before and after meal times.
Beverages also are complimentary and readily available.
During our stay, we ate at Angelo's Pizza and Pasta House as
well as at the main dining room buffet, which wisely offers its
children's dinner service at 5:30 p.m.
The food was ordinary but plentiful, with fish and pasta in
various sauces. Nothing, however, was plain enough to suit my
daughter, who likes her food unadorned. The fresh fruit, always
available at the buffet, was much to her liking. Breakfast was kid
friendly, featuring pancakes, eggs, bacon, boxed cereals and
We also ate dinner one evening at the Great House restaurant,
located near the resort. Meals at the Great House are not covered
in the inclusive program, but Club St. Lucia guests receive a
dining discount; returning resort guests get a complimentary
The property features a Mini Club for children ages 4 to 12,
with activities that vary from day to day.
I enrolled Chloe in the program on our second morning. She
colored, watched videos and played an outdoor water-balloon-toss
game. An avid swimmer, Chloe disliked being indoors, so she spent
the rest of our stay at the beach and pool with me and some new
The club has water sports, pool activities and tennis lessons
for children age 7 and up as well as off-property excursions for
all age groups.
Outings include visits to an ice cream factory and a primary
school at the town of Gros Islet. Chloe and the other kids gave
high ratings to the children's club evening program, which featured
a pirates theme, crab races and dancing to live music. Evening club
hours are 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Parents dining out have to keep one eye on the clock to retrieve
their children at the appointed hour. Private baby-sitters can be
booked through guest services to watch the kids for the rest of the
An all-day boat ride; visits to Sulphur Springs volcano, and
time spent at the waterfalls and displays at the Diamond Botanical
Gardens rounded out our days.
Club St. Lucia
Phone: (800) 777-1250
St. Lucia Tourist Board
Phone: (888) 4-STLUCIA
Fax: (212) 867-2795