As the Duchess of Sussex once said: “Do you ever have that vacation that is so good that you’re conflicted between wanting to share it with the world versus tucking the memories snugly under your pillow so that no one ever finds out about this specific sliver of paradise?”
Meghan Markle’s now-defunct lifestyle blog, The Tig, was a hub for the former Suits actress to share her LA confessions, favourite travel destinations, ultimate foodie spots and more. Most poignant were her entries on the Caribbean, where she wrote of the “cool Caribbean sea” and the “ocean breeze lulling you to sleep”.
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I ventured across the pond in search of said crystal waters and idyllic white sands and flew to one of the Caribbean’s stunning islands, St Lucia. This Eastern Caribbean island nation is home to volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, turquoise waters and fishing villages – and BodyHoliday, a luxury all-inclusive wellness resort.
The view from BodyHoliday’s Wellness Centre was a tropical paradise
The royal family are no stranger to wellness retreats. While the Duchess of Sussex is known for extravagant wellness habits, it turns out that Queen Consort Camilla is equally invested in her health and wellbeing, having returned to the Indian holistic health centre Soukya eight times since 2010.
So, as I embarked on my royal-inspired wellness retreat, I admit I was a little apprehensive. I pictured endless gruelling workouts followed by miserable juice-fuelled lunches. I started to debate whether I had packed enough Go-Ahead bars in my hand luggage for secret snacking, bought out of fear I wouldn’t make it through a week of eating nothing but raw vegetables. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised to discover that BodyHoliday is not your typical wellness retreat.
Yoga on the resort’s Hibiscus Deck was a sunset delight
This welcoming, paradisic resort situated on the island’s picturesque northern coast channels anything but restriction. What instantly impressed me was the lack of judgement among staff and guests. While yoga classes, spinning, Pilates and island hikes are aplenty on the packed daily schedules, guests are equally encouraged to wind down and soak up the sunshine while sipping on free-flowing cocktails. Did I mention afternoon tea is served every day? Quite the royal experience.
Reading The Tig got me seriously excited to try Caribbean cuisine. Meghan told her readers that authentic Creole food could be “as transportive as the vacation itself.” BodyHoliday’s restaurant offering truly exceeded my expectations, and totally changed my perception of all-inclusive dining.
In the past, I’ve typically loathed the repetitive ‘bottomless’ buffet offering at other resorts, but BodyHoliday offers the perfect balance between buffet dining and à la carte. All the food was fresh and delicious, and the variety of restaurants ensured you never ate the same thing twice.
Food at BodyHoliday was hearty, wholesome and delicious
I became particularly partial to the jerk chicken wrap served at the wellness cafe, followed by a healthy serving of the peanut butter cookies I squirrelled into my beach bag to enjoy throughout the day. Cariblue, the hotel’s main restaurant where guests can enjoy their five-star buffet breakfast each morning puts on a Caribbean spread for lunch and dinner.
Its smaller, more intimate sister restaurant Cariblue Windows offers an elevated dining experience accompanied by wine pairing, while Tao, the resort’s signature restaurant, offers the most sumptuous maki rolls and nigiri sure to set any sushi lover’s palate alight.
By far the most enticing thing about BodyHoliday is its spa offering – where every guest is entitled to a complimentary treatment each day of their vacation. After a morning of beach bootcamp and a sweaty jog along the coast, traipsing up to the Wellness Centre became a favourite part of my routine – if only every day ended in a 50-minute Heaven and Earth massage.
The calming treatment rooms made for the ultimate relaxation setting
While the complimentary treatment offerings won’t leave you disappointed, there is an endless list of specialist and holistic services available for those who want to indulge a little further on their holiday. The Indian Head Massage, part of BodyHoliday’s Ayurvedic Centre, lulled me into a sleep I’ve only dreamt of since. Equally, the resurfacing Fire & Ice facial using iS restorative skincare at the Skin Clinic, left me with a Hollywood glow worthy of a red carpet.
The resort offers 155 rooms, each offering stunning views of either the garden or the ocean. I was lucky enough to stay in a double room overlooking the bay, which became my favourite spot to wind down and watch the tangerine sun set into the sea. The crisp sheets, sprawling king-sized beds and heavenly pillows make for a blissful sleep, with each room decked out with a rainfall shower and free-standing bath.
The resort’s sea-view rooms are particularly noteworthy
Your room is also one of the few places where you’ll have access to Wi-Fi as BodyHoliday encourages you to embark on a semi-digital detox, which means no internet access on the beach, by the pool, in the spa, or in the restaurants.
My BodyHoliday takeaway
“Give us your body for a week and we’ll give you back your mind,” is the somewhat intimidating mantra that sits front and centre of BodyHoliday St Lucia’s website.
However, this wellness retreat does more than just restore you. It’s the perfect balance of wellness and exercise and is a holiday that embraces all types of holidaymakers – whether you’re into food, facials or fitness. You’ll feel inspired to go off and do your own thing, be it sunbathing on the beach or trying windsurfing, and then regroup with your loved ones for meals.
British Airways offer package deals to BodyHoliday St Lucia for 2023
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If like me, you’re a yogi at heart, the endless offerings for sunset yoga, morning Vinyasa, and even aerial yoga were enough to convince me to want to rebook. It also is an all-inclusive that doesn’t encourage overindulgence, but rather channels balance, leaving you endlessly recharged.
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