Most have heard about the azure waters, soft sands and beautiful coral reefs of the Caribbean; but did you know that this region also makes for an epic wellness retreat destination? I recently explored the curative cultures of Saint Lucia and Antigua in the Caribbean. From all-inclusive resorts with tons of active classes and excursions to secluded hideaways offering morning yoga and pilates overlooking the beach, I spent a week partaking in experiences to better my mental and physical well-being.
For those also looking to get healthy while exploring luxury resorts in the Caribbean, check out these three must-have experiences on Saint Lucia and Antigua.
1. An All-Inclusive Wellness Retreat With A Playful Twist
Where: The BodyHoliday, Castries, Saint Lucia
The Experience: The BodyHoliday is a wellness retreat that’s more about getting active (while having fun) and eating nutritious meals (that also taste good). Oh, and there’s chocolate and wine, too. Lots of wine. In fact, around 5pm you’ll start seeing most guests hanging out on the beachfront deck savoring high tea — except that along with their macaroons and finger sandwiches there’s cava and rose.
But that’s because they’ve earned it, as days here are not spent sitting still. Sure, you can spend time napping on the beach, but there’s also a rotating itinerary chock full of active endeavors: hikes, bike rides, sailing, cardio, yoga, meditation, pool aerobics, beach volleyball, Caribbean dancing, archery and much more. That’s on top of an included spa treatment each day. I loved it because it felt more like playing in a beautiful place than actually working out.
Major Highlights: Sunset yoga on top of a treehouse, dinner at Tao (make a reservation before you get there, although it’s still all-inclusive!) and the opulent spa with its grand courtyard reminiscent of an Indian palace.
Rates: $560-$1,460 per night, all-inclusive.
2. Sustainable Opulence Meets Outdoor Immersion In Saint Lucia
Where: Jade Mountain, Soufriere, Saint Lucia
The Experience: It’s hard to pinpoint what my favorite thing about Jade Mountain was: the in-room chromotherapy Jacuzzi; having my own infinity pool; having my own butler; the property-wide view of the Pitons and Caribbean Sea; the singing birds that flew into my room through the missing fourth wall. That’s right; no room at Jade Mountain has four walls, glass or windows. Instead, Jade Mountain’s architect owner Nick Troubetzkoy provides guests with amazing views of the Pitons while also helping them feel like they’re floating above nature.
While taking a rain shower a bird literally perched up next to me. I could even feel the cool jungle breeze blow against me. It felt very voyeuristic yet safe, as luckily nobody can actually see in. It’s the type of place where you’ll experience pure opulence while also enjoying a wellness trip as you get active on their 600 acres — try the jungle biking! — and eat meals with ingredients sourced from their own organic farm.
Major Highlight: Along with a Swedish massage in the onsite spa, the whole no-fourth-wall thing is really amazing. It’s hard to describe, but it truly made me feel a part of Saint Lucia’s beautiful landscape. Fun fact: no dynamite was used in the property’s construction, and they hired all locals to do the job.
Rates: $1,110-$3,480 per night + 10% service charge + 10% VAT.
3. A Truly Tranquil All-Inclusive Beach Stay To Find Your Zen In Antigua
Where: Hermitage Bay, Saint Mary Parish, Antigua
The Experience: Chakra-focused treatments enjoyed to a natural soundtrack of waves, morning meditation and yoga while looking down on the calm Caribbean Sea from an aerial zen deck, with a glass of white wine while eating a waterfront fresh catch meal. Oh, and don’t forget falling asleep on your deck with a book in your lap after a nature walk with the staff. This is the perfect place to go to if you want to get healthy while gaining an extended family in Antigua, as the entire staff will know your name before you arrive.
It’s also a “choose your own adventure” kind of stay. Option 1: do absolutely nothing but drink Mojitos in the sand, get massages and soak in the standalone tub and let all your stress melt away. Option 2: take part in morning yoga and Pilates, accompany the chef as he picks produce in the property’s organic garden and standup paddle board until the sun sets, and let all your stress melt away. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll leave with a tan body and relaxed feeling.
Major Highlights: A Garden Tour with a staff landscaper to learn more about how local flora is used for culinary and curative purposes. Also, a Swedish massage — possibly the best I’ve ever had!
Rates: $1,303 to $2,753, based on double occupancy and inclusive of taxes and service charges.
Have you explored wellness at any of these luxury resorts in the Caribbean? Please share your experiences in the comments below!
Note: this itinerary was crafted for me by my trip sponsor Tully Luxury Travel. You can contact them to have an itinerary customized for your wellness needs, too!