Where to Stay in St Lucia for a Local Experience

The immense conical peaks of the Pitons are two of the many must-see sights of St Lucia
The immense conical peaks of the Pitons are two of the many must-see sights of St Lucia | Courtesy of Ladera Resort / Expedia

The Caribbean’s sexiest island is lush, unspoiled and home to hushed, oasis-like resorts – spread out along its undulating coastline, between thick rainforest interior and smooth, sandy beaches. If you can’t take a week of pure lazing, plenty of thrills lie beyond the infinity pool – ziplining through the tree canopy, hiking coastal trails, and the big one: climbing one of the twin, conical peaks known as the Pitons. Here are the best places to stay in St Lucia for a local experience.

Tet Rouge Resort St Lucia

Luxury, Resort
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Tet Rouge Resort St Lucia
Courtesy of Tet Rouge Resort St Lucia / Expedia

Set down south in handy-for-the-airport Soufriere, this adults-only collection of sea-view suites feels lavish and exotic, from their polished wooden floors and linen-draped four-posters to outdoor showers overhung by bird of paradise flowers. A luminous infinity pool overlooks thick tropical foliage, then endless Caribbean sea – to get into it, take the short drive to Anse L’Ivrogne beach, at the base of Gros Piton, for tranquil swimming and snorkelling.

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Rabot Hotel by Hotel Chocolat

Boutique Hotel
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Rabot Hotel
Courtesy of Rabot Hotel / Expedia

Owned by swanky chocolatiers Hotel Chocolat, this series of eco-lodges are built into a verdant cocoa estate, where you can learn to make chocolate bars from raw cacao between sunbathing sessions. Delicious eco design channels the island’s natural resources from rooms to treetop-level infinity pool. Slightly inland from the Piton peaks, you’re close to outdoorsy activities and sights, as well as ravishing beaches, but you’ll need a car or a local driver to get around.

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East Winds Saint Lucia

Resort, Luxury
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East Winds Saint Lucia
Courtesy of East Winds Saint Lucia / Expedia

Dotted around yet more balmy green gardens, East Winds’ pastel-painted mini cottages look good enough to eat. A curvaceous lagoon pool and thatched pool bar get the indulgence started, but the real draw is the estate’s Garden Spa, tapping into the grounds’ natural ingredients (aloe vera, rosewood, lemon zest) for its holistic treatments. A luxe take on all-inclusive means delicious buffets at breakfast and lunch, and a glam four-course dinner with a nightly changing menu.

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Ladera Resort

Resort, Hotel
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Ladera Resort
Courtesy of Ladera Resort / Expedia

Teetering on the edge of a high forest ridge, with dazzling views down to the sea, framed between the Piton peaks, Ladera has one of the island’s best views. Its couples-focused, adults-only wooden villas have a luxe-treehouse feel – they are open to the elements, like stage sets – while a wooden swing over the infinity pool is catnip for Instagrammers. You’re inland, but there’s a free shuttle to the nearest beach – and a luxurious spa is set to open in 2021.

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Pink Plantation House

Guesthouse, Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
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Pink Plantation House
Courtesy of Pink Plantation House / Expedia

Painted a fetching shade of Pepto-Bismol pink, this large rental house sits in the hills above Castries, the capital of St Lucia. Its interiors are calm, cool and homey, with dark woods and beach-house prints spread across two bedrooms and a generous open-plan living area.

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  • Mango Beach Inn

    Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel
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    Mango Beach Inn
    Courtesy of Mango Beach Inn / Expedia

    Among a cluster of hotels in western Marigot Bay, these relaxed stone-built apartments feel like having your own waterfront beach house in St Lucia. Fringed with luscious gardens of palms and hibiscus flowers, they’re fronted by a peaceful wooden pool deck and palm-shaded stretch of beach deck – and owners Judith and John are more visible than most, offering local restaurant tips and assisting with anything from car hire to excursions.

    Alize Inn

    Inn, Budget Hotel, Guesthouse
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    Alize Inn
    Courtesy of Alize Inn / Expedia

    Styled like the houses you see around the island – boxy buildings painted peppy shades of coral, powder-blue or custard, with white-latticed verandas – Alize is a cheerful and welcoming prospect. Rooms are old-fashioned and traditional, with painted wooden headboards and palm-print curtains, but the guesthouse feel is glammed up by a huge pool terrace with loungers as well as pool toys for the kids. Although it’s slightly inland, it’s just a two-minute drive to sporty, sandy Rodney Bay beach.

    La Dauphine

    Guesthouse, Villa, Boutique Hotel
    Map View
    La Dauphine
    Courtesy of La Dauphine / Expedia

    A traditional white-clapboard inn on a former cocoa plantation, La Dauphine is shrouded in tall tropical foliage, with a dreamy infinity pool and thickly cushioned loungers. Spacious room options range from huge villa suites with four-poster beds, kitchenettes and seaview balconies to a two-storey honeymoon villa done up in an elegant, colonial style. Amping up the romance are its fabulous views of the sunset.

    These recommendations were updated on January 9, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.