Heaven, hot and dazzling, arrives with two butlers. Gem and Trisha. As the sun sets over the ocean, they serve champagne in a curtained shack – a cozy retreat on a white powder beach.
They laughed. They sent snacks and compliments until the cloudless sky was dyed red by the impending evening.
Such are the delicate, delectable details offered by Regency La Toc, one of only three five-star Sandals resorts in the world. Caribbean That paradise is Saint Lucia.
It was an extremely unpleasant experience for a Negro last holiday at a hotel where the restaurant’s blackboard boasted: “Today’s special: no chicken.”
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Gem and Trisha, who added a silver service to our stay, nodded in understanding as my wife Julie’s words added a hint of bitterness to the sweetness of our glasses of rum.
“I have been waiting for you, arms and legs, for 30 years,” she hissed, “no tip. I’m not surprised it needs two of them.”
The “missions” undertaken by my wife would have been without lavish compliments from Gem and Trisha. Add a Jeeves-like cynicism. “You look great, Mike,” Gem said. “No one here believes you’re 63 years old,” says Trisha.
“Your nose hair needs a trim,” Julie whispered. “And for God’s sake, take off that ‘I went to Keswick Pencil Museum’ t-shirt before I die of shame.”
“Have you been to Keswick Pencil Museum?” Trisha asked. “So amazing.”
Paradise – all-inclusive paradise – offers a steady stream of scrumptious food and colorful cocktails with exotic names.
Since returning, I have been trying to buy a ‘Dirty Banana’ from my locality. Regulators have launched a petition asking me to be reinstated. The police investigation is continuing. Both still seem to be a small price to pay for the week-long respite of life.
As Covid’s shackles are slowly lifted for visitors, La Toc provides a tonic for the nagging pains of the pandemic.
This is luxury in the heat with suites, ocean views, butler service. Enjoy premium brand drinks at eight bars, fine dining at nine restaurants offering Caribbean, French, Italian, British and sushi menus. Enjoy the golf course, gym, spa, poolside bar and nightlife. There’s even an English pub, The Cricketers.
The sparkling starry evenings around the fire pits on the grounds are a particularly magical one.
And Saint Lucia, with its pristine beaches, hummingbirds, forest walks and dormant but still boiling volcano, is an ideal place to raise a glass back to normal.
No wonder the island’s hosts include Mick Jagger, Oprah Winfrey and George Foreman.
They bought a green pearl located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Dominated by the Pitons – two steep volcanic outcrops 2,500ft high – the land is hilly and sometimes untamed.
The night market in the capital Castries – 10 minutes from La Toc – is colorful and vibrant.
The people are friendly and God-fearing. On several occasions, our driver, Simeone, followed cars with warning labels: “Be Satan.” I expected to see roadside signs declaring, “Slow your speed or face the wrath of our Lord.”
Islanders are happy that cruise lines – vital to the economy – are back in operation. They admit that times have been tough without them, but now their ships are docking.
Getty Images / iStockphoto)
You must visit the Soufriere volcano and the bubbling hot springs around it.
The air smelled of sulfur and tar-black mud spewed from the fissures surrounding the monster’s base, it was hard to believe that magma hadn’t flowed from Soufriere since 1766.
On the moon-like crust, one crater – named Gabriel Crater – emerges with more fury than the others.
It is named after a guide who fell into a boiling pit and survived, with second-degree burns, to tell the story.
The springs flow into a mud bath renowned for its rejuvenating qualities.
“Come in,” Gem urged. “You’ll emerge from the mud looking 20 years younger.” A mixture of luck has not yielded Yours Truly the desired results. “Your nose hair still needs trimming,” my wife says as I get up from the goo.
AFP via Getty Images)
I want to thank Saint Lucia for rediscovering my lost sense of adventure.
Before flying out, eating a box of expired yogurt set off an adrenaline rush. Here, I tried a Segway tour – a two-wheeled scooter guided by the rider’s body movements – through a spectacular nature trail.
I view it as a preparatory step for the upcoming mobility scooter years and start with caution.
Lately, I’ve been piloting the machine with the confidence of my Raleigh Chopper childhood.
The elderly scooter owners who move frequently at my local supermarket have been warned. A new leader of the pack awaits in the wings.
It’s the attention to detail and the determination to go the extra mile that make La Toc – dubbed the island’s most stylish resort – so special.
The flabby frame and Keswick Pencil Museum t-shirt temporarily reduce the flashy look to a few notches. For that, I apologize.
This is a 220-acre adults-only resort located on a crescent-shaped beach and divided into three villages, catering to those who want total relaxation, along with a main area that offers relaxation and entertainment. Vibrant mind for night owls.
Before anyone pointed out that it was “disco silent” night, I watched the crowd of individuals reeling and believed that a strange religious ceremony was taking place.
It turned out that they were planning to “push the pineapple, shake the tree”.
The sunset suites are luxurious, with plunge pools, four-poster beds, and drink cabinets.
The food is on a gourmet level – you must try the French restaurant that specializes in brick-thick tenderloin.
I even frothed with my breakfast. And I’m not alone. “But you’re the only one pouring it on your muesli,” says Julie.
What’s more, guests have access to amenities at the Sandals’ two other resorts: the more intimate Halcyon Beach and the larger Grande.
Sandals, all smiling, know how to pamper you.
And what’s more, the pandemic paperwork required to get to the destination has been dramatically reduced. Sadly, sunny, Caribbean bliss was soon superseded by the realities of life in the Black Country. Back home, I dared ask Julie for a cuppa.
“Make your own tea,” she replied, adding sarcastically: “What did your last housekeeper die of?”
It can be embarrassing to serve someone who refuses to take off his or her cloth hat, even while in a tent.
The stream of praise also dried up. Julie added: “I think it’s done the hard skin on your foot.
Book a vacation
Sandals offers an all-inclusive week at the Sandals Regency La Toc resort in St Lucia, staying in the Sunset Bluff Oceanview One-Bedroom Butler Suite, from £2,395/person. Includes flights with Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow on November 7 and transfers; Suite Emerald Honeymoon Hideaway Grande Luxe on November 3 from £1,649 per person. Learn more at sandals.co.uk.
You can also get more information about stlucia.org.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/travel/caribbean/inside-lavish-st-lucia-resort-26447098 Inside the lavish St Lucia resort with its own private pool, butler service and stunning views