TravelWeekly

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THE CHOICE OF TRAVEL PROFESSIONALS

2006

St. Lucia

Weddings
Getting married in paradise has never been easier 14

Festivals
Jump up and join in the fun at the annual carnival 17

Cricket

Activities

The world’s best are coming Where to burn off excess to visit in 2007 22 energy – on land and sea 24

The Pier House Restaurant at Sandals Halcyon Beach, St Lucia – the Eastern Caribbean’s most idyllic restaurant.

If your customers are looking for that perfect holiday they’ll remember
forever, tell them about Sandals Halcyon Beach St Lucia. At this idyllic retreat, nestling along breathtaking Choc Bay, everything they could desire is included. Here, they’ll discover luxurious rooms just steps from the ocean; magical gardens dotted with lagoon pools and no fewer than three gourmet restaurants. If they’re feeling active, there’s world-class scuba-diving, sailing, tennis and more. If not, they can curl up with the one they love and simply laze away the delicious hours in this intimate corner of paradise.
Stay At One, Play at Three Sandals In St. Lucia

If they can bear to be parted from their Halcyon hideaway there are two more Sandals Resorts in St Lucia to tempt them away. As part of the Sandals all-inclusive exchange package they can enjoy a round at the nearby Sandals Regency St Lucia Golf Resort and Spa at La Toc or pamper themselves in the stunning spa* of Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa & Beach Resort. With three times as many activities and with fourteen outstanding restaurants, ranging from classic French to authentic Caribbean, they’ll be spoilt for choice. With our “Stay at One, Play at Three” package it’s like having three holidays in one. Sandals, for couples in love.

For more information, call Sandals on

www.sandals.co.uk.

020 7590 0210

*Spa treatments additional.

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St. Lucia

Welcome to our world
Whether it’s beaches, jazz or the Cricket World Cup, St. Lucia can’t fail to disappoint
he beautiful island of St. Lucia has much more to offer than golden beaches and palm trees. In fact, this guide would have to be twice as long in order to cover everything. There’s so much happening on our island right now it’s hard to know where to start. How about hotels? Not only did the Ladera win the prestigious ‘Best in the Caribbean’ category at the Condé Nast Traveller Awards last year, but a series of upmarket properties are due to open, confirming St. Lucia’s status as a luxury destination - you can read all about that on pages 8-12 of this guide.

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So much to see and do

Wherever you stay on St. Lucia you’ll be comfortable, but if your clients are the kind who want to explore beyond their hotel, you’ll find plenty for them to do on the island, from diving in the clear Caribbean Sea to yachting in the Atlantic Ocean. There's a raft of information for active types on pages 24-25. Of course, our most exciting sports story has to be the Cricket World Cup, which comes to St. Lucia in summer 2007. The competition travels all over the Caribbean, but we will be hosting the England team for most of the duration, and we’re promised some of the most exciting play, with six first round matches and the semi final. Work is underway at our Beausejour Stadium, which will be able to seat

20,000 spectators in time for the competition. But sport isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and if your clients are after a more cultural holiday, then St. Lucia won't disappoint. As well as the famous Carnival, for which all the Caribbean islands are well known, St. Lucia is home to a highly regarded international Jazz Festival. This year saw UB40 bring the house down, and next year’s event promises equally big names. As you'll see on pages 17-21, we're committed to cultural events on St. Lucia, and we continue to innovate. Last December saw the Caribbean’s first major World Music showcase, Kalalu, which mixed African folk with Latin funk and contemporary jazz. Eclectic yes, but certainly popular. We’re looking forward to welcoming the festival back next year, just as we’re looking forward to welcoming you and your clients to our island. Listen to what the agents in this guide said about our fam trips last year and learn for yourself just what we have to offer. If there’s anything you’d like to know more about on our island, give us a call on 0870 900 7697, visit the website www.stlucia.org or e-mail sltbinfo@stluciauk.org. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Contents

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Mapping It Out Find your feet with our guide to the major sights. Plus, 10 reasons to visit now

St. Lucia News All the latest from the operators and the tourist board

8
Patricia Charlery-Leon UK and Ireland director of marketing, St. Lucia Tourist Board

Hotels See what’s happening in the accommodation sector Weddings Getting married in paradise is easier than ever

14 17

Festivals Join in the fun at one of St. Lucia’s many celebrations

Cricket World Cup St. Lucia is getting ready to welcome England and the world in 2007 Getting Active Do your body a favour with a health giving break

22 24 27

Factfile and Operator Listings All the information you need to know

UK & IRELAND Published by: Travel Weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5AS Tel: 020-8652 8230; Fax: 020-8652 3956 Designed by: RBI Creative Written by: Jane Dunford Travel Weekly editor: Richard Siddle Sales director: Julie McInally Production manager: Brian Chapman Managing director: Trevor Harding Printed by: Cradley Print, West Midlands © Reed Business Information Limited 2005

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St. Lucia

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Mapping it out
Get your bearings and discover the island’s highlights
1 Pitons and Sulphur Springs (Soufriere)
The two magnificent Piton mountains on the south west of the island - Gros Piton and Petit Piton - are a UNESCO World Heritage site. The energetic can enjoy guided hikes to the top for stunning views. Nearby lies the world’s only ‘drive-in volcano’ with the bubbling pools of the Sulphur Springs at the crater’s heart. Outside the Springs visitors smother themselves in mineral-rich mud and wait to dry in the sun before washing in a warm river. Virgin Holidays offers a ‘land and sea’ tour with a boat trip to Soufriere from the north, a visit to the Sulphur Springs and the Botanical Gardens, for £49 per person, with lunch.
tip of St. Lucia is a great place for picnics. A causeway was built to join the island to the mainland in the 1970s. The island is steeped in history - it was a pirate hideout in the 1550s and the site of battles between the French and English, the ruins of 18thcentury forts remain. Today the island makes a picturesque backdrop for the annual St. Lucia Jazz festival.

3 Friday Night Jump
Up (Gros Islet)
Anyone wanting to party Caribbean-style should head to Gros Islet for the Friday night ‘Jump Up’. St. Lucians know how to have fun and there’s music and plenty of time to bump and grind until the early hours. The village transforms into a colourful carnival atmosphere, with people dancing through the streets to reggae and soca beats. Grab a rum punch and join in the fun. If you’re hungry, dine alfresco from one of the barbecue stalls.

Anse La Raye on the west coast is a pretty, traditional fishing village. Visitors can wander along the waterfront with its quaint wooden houses and colourful boats, watch bread being made in a traditional bakery and see the fishermen at work in dugout canoes. On Friday afternoons the sleepy village comes alive with the weekly Fish Fry, with locals and visitors munching on the catch of the day. Stalls sell the freshest fish you can eat - with everything from lobster to Conch on the menu.

4 Anse La Raye

6 Maria Island Wildlife
Reserve
Off the southern tip of St. Lucia by Vieux Fort, the Maria Islands are a protected area. They are home to many varieties of birdlife as well as two species of reptile found nowhere else in the world, the Kouwes snake and the Zandoli Ti lizard. Tours can be booked through the National Trust offices at Pigeon Island.

Falls 5 Latilleeast of the island, On the
just north of Micoud on the edge of the rainforest, the Latille Waterfall and Gardens is one of St. Lucia’s hidden treasures. Trails lead through the organic fruit, herb and flower garden to the beautiful Latille waterfall which cascades 20ft into a deep swimming pool - the perfect way to cool down.

2 Pigeon Island
(Gros Islet)
Once the home of the Amerindians, the beautiful 44-acre Pigeon Island National Park at Gros Islet on the northern

St. Lucia’s bustling capital is home to many historical sites, including the beautiful Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the Central Library. Guides are available to take visitors on the Castries Heritage Walk. The shopping’s great too, with an excellent covered craft and fruit and veg market as well as duty-free bargains at La Place Carenage Shopping Mall and Pointe Seraphine.

7 Castries

10 reasons to sell St. Lucia
1. Natural beauty St. Lucia is
a spectacularly beautiful place — the twin peaks of The Pitons are its trademark but the whole island is stunning. Lush rainforest covers much of its mountainous interior and there are tropical gardens bursting with colour. The bubbling Sulphur Springs and the calm Caribbean Sea coastline offer a contrast to the dramatic Atlantic shore. between 26C and 28C. Rainfall is heaviest from June to November, but even then it comes in short, sharp bursts and is no problem for holidaymakers.

3. Diversity St. Lucia offers a
huge diversity of attractions and activities to suit everyone's tastes. There's jungle mountain-biking, hiking, sea kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, fishing, horse-riding, sailing, 4x4 jeep safaris — to name but a few. And even if you just want to chill out on the beach there's plenty of choice with rich dark volcanic sand beaches in the south; golden sands in the north and pockets of glorious white sand dotted around.

2. Weather You can visit St. Lucia
at any time of year and not be disappointed by the weather. The sub-tropical climate virtually guarantees warm, sunny days, with the cooling trade winds keeping the heat at bay. Average temperature is

4

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St. Lucia
Pigeon Island ● Gros Islet ● Rodney Bay ●

2

8 3

George Charles Airport

9 ● 7
Castries

Course 8 Golflovers should head to Golf
the island’s main course, the St. Lucia Golf and Country Club on Cap Estate in the north of the island. Set in rolling hills, the 18-hole championship golf course has great views over the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea. Guests at The Village Inn and Spa at Rodney Bay receive free golf packages, green fees for non-guests start at US$70 per person for nine holes or $95 for 18 holes.

Marigot Bay


Anse la Raye

4 ●
Canaries

Dennery


Petit Piton Gros Piton

Soufriere

5 ●
Micoud

9 Rodney Bay Village Rodney Bay Village on
the north west coast is St. Lucia’s largest leisure centre with dozens of shops, restaurants, bars and clubs. It’s a lively place to stay for clients looking for nightlife and entertainment. Close by is Rodney Bay Marina, one of the most modern in the Caribbean with 232 berths - an obligatory stop for sailors in the Windward Islands.

● 1 ●
Choiseul

6
Vieux Fort

Hewanorra International Airport

4. Accommodation There's a huge choice of accommodation on St. Lucia to suit every budget and taste. From lively all-inclusive properties with plenty of entertainment to hip boutique hotels, luxurious plantation inns, or simple St. Lucian guesthouses, the island can cater for families, couples and groups of friends of all ages. Visit Intimate Inns at www.inntimatestlucia.org 5. Hospitality The welcoming
smiles of local people add to visitors' enjoyment. St. Lucians are warm and friendly and genuinely want to show guests the best of their island. The pace of life is very laid-back, perfect for a relaxing holiday.

6. Festivals St. Lucia offers plenty of festival fun, adding to the appeal of a holiday on the island. St. Lucia Jazz is a highlight with acts from around the globe performing jazz, fusion and rhythm and blues. During Carnival, tourists join in with the locals to party the day and night away, with a vibrant show of costumes and dance. 7. Flora and fauna St. Lucia has
an abundance of wildlife. In the rainforest there are dozens of species of bird — the Jacquot parrot is a highlight. Visitors can go turtle watching, and see the beautiful creatures lay their eggs on the beach at night, and whale-watching from the northern tip of the island.

Beneath the waves there's an amazing variety of fish and marine life. Botanical Gardens and hotel grounds around the island have a vibrant array of flowers, from Bird of Paradise to Bougainvillea and Ginger Lily.

plantation houses to historic military locations. The English and the French fought over St. Lucia for 150 years — it changed hand 14 times — and reminders of its chequered past can be found across the island.

8. Cuisine Food lovers will relish
the local Creole cuisine in St. Lucia and enjoy the French influence in many of the island's dishes. Then there's Italian, Chinese, India and Mediterranean among the mix on offer — and seafood, of course, features widely.

10. Sports St. Lucia will host the
England cricket team for the first-round matches in the 2007 Cricket World Cup — a must for any cricket lover. The Beausejour Stadium is being revamped for the occasion. For those who want to get active themselves, the St. Lucia Golf and Country Club provides a stunning golf course.

9. History and culture Rich in history and culture, there are plenty of heritage sites to visit, from

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News

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You’re so beautiful
part of a £1.75 million global initiative funded by the St. Lucia government — began in early November with the launch of a glossy brochure and billboards in London and on selected motorways. Advertisements in trade and consumer publications will be rolled out shortly, including glossy magazines and national newspapers, with TV and radio slots also running in the US. Designed by a Canadian company, The Backroom
eight-day Secrets of St. Lucia guided walking tour, including a hike up Grand Piton and a walk from west to east across the country from £1,149. Premier Holidays was another newcomer in 2005, with Coco Kreole hotel in Rodney Bay new for 2006, taking the number of hotels featured to 13. Seven nights at Coco Kreole lead in at

he St. Lucia Tourist Board has launched a new, innovative multi-media advertising campaign in the UK, aiming to set it apart from its Caribbean rivals by highlighting the island's natural beauty. The campaign features the strapline “You Are So Beautiful” and bears the message “Come experience beauty in all her wondrous forms and incarnations”. The new creative campaign –

Agency, the range of visuals includes images of The Pitons, a long-snout butterfly fish with black finches sitting on a wire, a tropical waterfall surrounded by lush greenery and a picturesque fishing village. A new logo with the red hibiscus flower has also been created to highlight St. Lucia’s natural beauty. St. Lucia Tourist Board director of tourism Peter Hilary Modeste said: “It’s a really eyecatching, bright and colourful campaign and very different
£819, with flights and breakfast. Many other operators have increased their product offering, introducing the island's new hotels. Abercrombie & Kent features the new Discovery at Marigot Bay and The Plantation on Cotton Bay, and introduces the Jalousie Plantation and The BodyHoliday at LeSport for the first time.

from others out there. St. Lucia stands out for its lush greenery and so we particularly wanted to highlight its natural beauty. We're using the imagery to give a real feel for the island and to lead people to the website for more detailed information.” There are plans for joint advertising with hotel and tour operator partners, and a drive to promote St. Lucia Jazz will begin in January, focusing on the festival's unique party atmosphere.

New operators

Several UK tour operators have introduced St. Lucia to their programmes for the first time this year. Naturetrek featured the island this winter with a tour in December and offers a nine-day trip with bird-watching, whalewatching and hiking, from £1,995. Headwater features an

www.stlucia.org

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News
Agent fams are a priority

Cream of the Crop

St. Lucia's hotels raked in the accolades at the prestigious Condé Naste Traveller Awards 2005, voted for by readers of the UK's best-selling consumer travel magazine. Anse Chastanet (pictured right), one of the most scenic resorts on the island, was named the third best leisure hotel in the Americas and the Caribbean, with voting criteria including location, ambience and service. The BodyHoliday at LeSport and the Jalousie Plantation were also voted in 7th and 11th place respectively, making St. Lucia the only Caribbean island to have three hotels in the winning top 20 Overseas Leisure Hotels category. The BodyHoliday at LeSport also came third in the best Overseas Destination Spas award. Overall, the island was ranked at number 13 in the World's Top 20 islands, with the natural beauty and friendliness of locals seeing off the competition. Meanwhile, Coco Kreole

Training update

scooped the Best Small Hotel in the Caribbean Award from the Caribbean Hotel Association in November. The 20-room property, which opened in 2004, prides itself on personal service and comfort at affordable prices.

The St. Lucia Tourist Board is planning to step up its work with agents, with two new staff members allowing more time for personal visits and training. In October, Atlyn Forde was appointed marketing executive. The tourist board is keen to push the St. Lucia training programme on Travel Weekly’s website (www.travelweekly.co.uk) - a module course in 10 stages, covering all aspects of the country. Beginning with simple facts, the higher levels are scenario based with agents required to make recommendations for specific clients. Those completing level five get a cuddly parrot and congratulations letter, those at level seven receive a certificate and agents completing level 10 get priority for a place on a fam trip. Currently 1,420 agents have registered, 60 have completed the programme, 664 are on level five and 696 are on level seven. "More and more agents are

taking part, it does take commitment and we are looking at incentives and other ways of motivating agents to sign up," said Patricia Charlery-Leon. Joint promotional events with tour operators are also planned and a 'St. Lucia Month' - rather than previously held 'St. Lucia Week' - will take place in 2006, with activities for the trade and consumers designed to raise awareness of the island. A team will be visiting agents and operators for training session, there will be competitions and prizes and a gala dinner awards ceremony. Travel agent and tour operator staff are welcome to contact the St. Lucia tourist board to request training.

See what the Grand Fam agents had to say
The St. Lucia Tourist Board took a Grand Fam of 34 agents from the UK to St. Lucia for eight days at the end of September, with Virgin Atlantic and BWIA. The groups split in two and visited a wide range of hotels; and sites including the Sulphur Springs and Toraille Falls, and went jungle biking and on a sunset cruise. ● Julie Benfield, Banana Travel, Great Dumow “It was my first time in the Caribbean and it was completely different from what I'd expected — I'd thought it would be more like Barbados with a flat landscape, but it was so green and mountainous. We watched the sunset over The Pitons from a plunge pool at the Jalousie Plantation — just incredible. The sunset cruise was another highlight. There's loads to do on the island too, it's very versatile and would suit a whole range of clients. I'm much more confident selling it now.” ● Emma Taylor, Let's Go Travel, Taunton “I loved St. Lucia. The trip was great, very well organised and we saw such a lot. The excursions were good — you could go mountain-biking or snorkelling and have massages. We went horse-riding — I'd never been before but it was fantastic, we went down on to the beach. I loved Sandals Halcyon, and Anse Chastanet was wonderful, the staff were so friendly. I know what type of clientele different properties would suit now — Rodney Bay's great for groups of young people, it's lots of fun and very safe too. The Sandals properties suit different types of client, I'd say the Halcyon's for slightly older couples who want a quieter time.” ● Monica King, Tropic Breeze, near Plymouth “It was a brilliant trip, the scenery was magnificent. It was what I was expecting and more. It's just so beautiful, particularly the beaches on the southern tip. Anse Chastanet was my favourite — there's a lot of steps there though so you have to be agile. The gardens at Sandals Halcyon are absolutely beautiful, East Winds Inn is lovely too, very peaceful. Rodney Bay's great fun, with shops and nightlife if you want that. It's worth reminding clients that it is tropical though — it can be very hot.”

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Hotels

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Hot properties
Award-winning hotels and a focus on quality make St. Lucia a top choice

W

hen the Ladera scooped the best hotel in the Caribbean prize in Condé Nast Traveller's annual awards, it confirmed the fact that the island can compete with anywhere in the luxury stakes. Several new properties are due to open in 2006, in addition to the established and recently opened. Quality is the theme that runs throughout all of St. Lucia’s hotels - here's a selection of the newest and best to visit right now:

Barbecue night at East Winds

This exclusive villa resort rises up a tropical hillside from the crystalline waters of Labrelotte Bay. All the scenic delights of Rodney Bay are nearby, whilst an 18-hole golf course is just a few minutes drive away. A strong hint of the Mediterranean is evident in its design, yet its panoramic ocean views and palm-fringed beach are unmistakably Caribbean. And whilst the private plunge pools and candlelit restaurants have been designed with romantic couples in mind, the children’s programmes and complimentary water sports make it a tropical paradise for everyone.

Call 0870 160 9644 www.eliteislands.com

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Plantation on Cotton Bay

Where? Cotton Bay. Why now? The new resort for Spring 2006 and the first to be built on the island's northern Atlantic shore has already got people talking. Next to the St. Lucia Golf and Country Club, it’s one hour and 20 minutes from Hewanorra International Airport. What's it like? It's a luxurious complex of apartments, townhouses and villas set on the sheltered, crescent-shaped beach at Cotton Bay, with cool breezes and safe, shallow water. Scattered around the lush gardens, accommodation is offered in one to four-bedroom units. Each is self-contained with kitchen, living room, dining room and DVD players. Townhouses and large villas often have their own private pool, butler and maid. Luxury suites have direct access to a 25metre lap pool and children's pool. There are three restaurants, the Fourteen Sixty One beach restaurant, the Fine Dining restaurant, and the spa's rooftop Heaven restaurant, as well as a champagne bar. Water sports on offer include scuba diving and there’s a Hummingbird Kids’ Club, open in high season. The property is managed by the team behind The BodyHoliday at LeSport, so it’s no surprise the Elemis Casuarina Spa is a highlight – there’s even a couple’s retreat for pampering alongside your partner. Who would it suit? Families, groups of friends and golfers after a spot of barefoot elegance. Price? Caribtours offer seven nights room-only from £1,473 per person, including flights. Special offers of a free night for stays of six nights or three free nights for those staying 11 nights apply from April 23 to September 30. Helicopter transfers can be arranged.

latest of many accolades. What's it like? An incredibly romantic, peaceful retreat hidden in the mountainside offering something a little out of the ordinary. The environmentally sensitive design incorporates the signature openwalled rooms, giving the whole place a ‘back to nature’ feel, without scrimping on any luxury. The views across the tropical rainforest to The Pitons are simply breathtaking, particularly around sunset. There are just 19 suites and six villas – each with a private plunge pool – the west side completely open while still ensuring privacy. The hotel’s restaurant, Dasheene, is one of the best-known on the island, with head chef Orlando renowned for his innovative take on Caribbean cuisine. There’s a small spa, which opened last year, pool, bar and library. Activities ranging from birdwatching trips and scuba diving to guided rainforest hikes can be arranged. A complimentary shuttle bus takes guests to Soufriere and local beaches. Who would it suit? Honeymooners and couples. Under fifteens are not permitted. Price? Carrier offers seven nights at Ladera from £1,305 per person, twin-share in a one bed suite with plunge pool, including breakfast, flights and transfers.

Premier All-Inclusive

St.Lucia’s

Water Park Resort

85 acres of lush tropical grounds provide the backdrop to a fantastic family holiday. Kids of all ages will enjoy the Resort's amazing Water Park and free-form pools and the fabulous kids' centre with its many and varied activities.

Coconut Bay Resort and Spa

Ladera

Where? High in the jungle-clad hills five minutes from Soufriere. Why now? It’s the name on everyone’s lips as the most romantic hideaway after winning the Best Hotel in the Caribbean award from Condé Nast Traveller in the US, the

Where? On the southern Atlantic coast, 10 minutes from Hewanorra International Airport. Why now? The all-inclusive resort opened earlier last year and has recently added The Coconut Bay Water Park, the island’s first water park with dramatic waterfalls, waterslides and various swimming pools. Surrounded by 85 acres of coconut palms, the 254 suitesize rooms all have ocean views. There’s a wide range of facilities with three pools (one’s adults only) and the water park has lazy river tubing, two chutes and a freeform pool. Free group tennis lessons are available on the four courts, there’s a spa, fitness centre, www.stlucia.org

• Fabulous water park with lazy river ride and 2 water chutes • 3 swimming pools including an adults only pool • 4 bars including swim up pool bar • 3 restaurants plus a beach grill • Extensive kids' activities centre, with its own water play feature • Disco and a range of evening entertainment • Just a few minutes drive from the International airport • Wedding packages available
SPORTS • 4 floodlit tennis courts (group tuition included) • 2 full-size basketball courts • Fully equipped gym (Cybex equipment) • Variety of activities including pool and beach volleyball, water aerobics, power walks and nature trails • Games area, including table tennis, pool table, arcade and computer games

Available through all major tour operators. For more information visit

continued on p10»

www.coconutbayresortandspa.com email sales@group-promotions.com or call on +44 (0)1582 792260

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basketball courts, volleyball and aerobics. Windsurfing conditions are great on nearby Anse de Sables beach, where Club Mistral windsurf centre offers lessons for beginners and the experienced. There are two a la carte restaurants: Silk which serves Asian cuisine, and the Italian Bellagio. There’s also a buffet in the main dining room, the Beachside Grill for snacks, three bars and a swimup pool bar. The Kids’ Club keeps little ones busy all day, with fully supervised activities for three to 12 year olds and

babysitting available (at a local charge). For the adults, there’s plenty of evening entertainment with a nightclub, weekly cocktail party and themed nights. Who would it suit? There’s something for everyone here – anyone looking for a lively resort with plenty of activities won’t be disappointed. Families will love the wide-ranging facilities. Price? Virgin Holidays is offering an early-booking bonus. Couples who book by April 30 2006 receive a £50 discount on holidays between January 3 and April 30 2007. Seven nights cost from £889, all-inclusive, with flights.

Barbados and this is its first property elsewhere. What's it like? A good all-inclusive with 238 rooms set on a sandy cove, surrounded by 22 acres of tropical gardens. There are six pools (three for children), a fitness centre and good range of land and water sports, including tennis, windsurfing, snorkelling,

rooms are open-sided. The new Jade Mountain Club is a resort within the resort, with bedroom, living area and extravagant infinity pool flowing into one another to create what appears to be a floating platform with the fourth wall missing - and The Pitons and Caribbean Sea as a backdrop. There are two restaurants, the hillside Piton

Almond Morgan Bay

Where? Almond Morgan Bay Beach Resort, on the west coast, three miles from the capital Castries. Why now? It’s a new venture, having opened in November 2005. Almond Resorts already has three four-star hotels on

waterskiing and reef fishing, with free tuition. Golf’s available at discounted rates at the nearby Cap Estate course. Guests can choose from four gourmet a la carte restaurants – French Creole, Caribbean Fusion, Continental and Seafood. Four bars serve premium brand spirits – all included in the price. There’s a spa and Kids’ Club catering for all ages, from newborns through to 16-yearolds, with activities from T-shirt painting to beach cricket. The hotel was designed with families in mind – the standard rooms can sleep two adults and two children – and there are plenty of playgrounds, pools and activity centres. Who would it suit? Families looking for quality, value and a range of facilities. Price? Thomas Cook Signature offers seven nights’ all-inclusive at the Almond Morgan Bay from £1,229 per person, including flights.

Restaurant and Trou au Diable on the beach, two bars, and a dive centre on-site. Snorkelling is great and windsurfing, sunfish sailing and kayaking are on offer. Guests can go mountain biking on trails through the nearby rainforest, there’s a spa with treatments including Ayurveda and shiatsu, and a boat service to a second beach at Anse Mamin. Who would it suit? Romantics and nature lovers – it’s ideal for honeymooners or wedding couples. The diving’s great right off the shore, so divers and snorkellers would love it too. It’s extremely laid-back vibe suits those looking for understated luxury. Price? The lead-in price with Jetlife CaribWorld is £116 per person per night half -board in a superior hillside room.

Anse Chastanet

Where? Set on a hill overlooking The Pitons, close to Soufriere. Why now? It’s the talk of the town with the 24 new ‘infinity suites’ at the Jade Mountain Club due to open soon, upping the luxury ante on St. Lucia. What's it like? A beautiful secluded hideaway climbing the hillside, with its own pretty beach. All 49 rooms are individually designed by the architect owners using local woods and fabrics, with art by St. Lucian artists. There are no telephones or TVs and some

Discovery at Marigot Bay

Where? On the west coast. Why now? It's the latest addition to the stunning west coast, opening this spring. What's it like? Managed by Sonesta International Hotels, Discovery has 124 luxury rooms and suites, with one, two and three bedrooms, half with

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www.stlucia.org

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Papillon, St Lucia

Affordable St Lucia

Whether your customers are looking for a fun filled family break, a relaxing romantic retreat or even a dream wedding or honeymoon, a rex resorts holiday on the unique island of St Lucia is the perfect solution.
Choose from the Royal, Papillon or the St Lucian With three stunning rex resorts on the island your customers will be spoilt for choice; they can enjoy the luxury and sophistication of the Royal; or the well established and relaxing St Lucian; or for thrill seekers, the Papillon is the place to stay where numerous water sports and activities are on offer.

All-inclusive price includes:

• Beautiful beach locations • All meals and selected drinks • Daily activities programme • Regular entertainment • Kid’s Club • Windsurfing and Sailing • Snorkeling • Tennis
Room only holidays also available

For Trade support and bookings call

020 8741 5333 or visit www.rexresorts.com

Plus resorts in: Antigua • Grenada • St Lucia • Tobago • Barbados
Terms and Conditions Apply. Packages vary by hotel – see website for details.

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plunge pools. It’s a mix of hip design with Caribbean touches, combining state-of-the-art features (including WiFi internet access and flat screen cable TVs) with tropical, rustic charm. Marigot Bay is recognised as one of the prettiest bays on the island and the views from the rooms are postcard perfect. There are three restaurants and lounges – the Rainforest Hideaway serves fusion cuisine – two bars, a kids’ club and the Lapli Spa with complimentary yoga and t’ai chi. The 60-berth marina has a choice of shops, cafés and yachting facilities and there are water sports, including sea fishing and sailing. Rainforest treks and birdwatching trips are available too and there’s a ferry taking guests on a two-minute journey across to the beach. Who would it suit? Anyone interested in sailing and those

seeking to simply relax and rejuvenate – couples and families alike. Price? Abercrombie & Kent offer seven nights from £1,165 per person, for room-only accommodation, including flights.

Coco Palm

Where? Coco Palm, Rodney Bay Village. Why now? It only opened in September and is the hot, hip sister property of the awardwinning Coco Kreole. What's it like? Chic, fun and affordable, the three-star 83room hotel is owned by a St. Lucian family and blends warm Caribbean décor with modern touches including WiFi, DVDs and cable TV. The vibe is very relaxed, there’s no formal check-in – ‘hosts’ are assigned to each of the hotel’s four floors to see to guests’ needs. Like nearby 20-roomed Coco Kreole, Coco Palm has been designed using Feng Shui principles, combined with the artistic expertise of Island Outpost’s Dawn Scott. Rooms have views of the tropical garden or pool - and there are six swim-up rooms with steps straight from the balcony. The colourful, Plantation-style Ti Bannane Caribbean bistro serves regional cuisine with a twist created by a Trinidadian chef in the open kitchen, and Kafe Kaiso on the third floor is a blues bar and restaurant open daily from 11pm. There’s live music three times a week, with a steel pan band for Sunday lunch. Rodney Bay Village, with over 32 bars

and restaurants is within easy walking distance for those who want to get out and explore. Who would it suit? Clients who want to be close to the action at Rodney Bay Village and anyone looking for a stylish, inexpensive place to stay. Price? Kuoni Travel offers seven nights, bed and breakfast at Coco Palm including flights, from £649 per person.

Jalousie Plantation

Where? Jalousie Plantation, between the Piton Mountains. Why now? Formerly the Jalousie Hilton, the hotel has recently been taken over by SunSwept Resorts, owners and operators of The BodyHoliday at LeSport. What's it like? The location couldn’t be better. It’s set on a hillside above a beautiful white sandy beach between The Pitons and surrounded by 325 acres of vibrant tropical forest. Once the site of an 18th-century sugar mill, now incorporated into the resort, it’s natural St. Lucia at its best – guests can follow trails inland to explore the mountainous interior. There are

112 rooms and suites, the Villa Deluxe and Villa Suites have private patios with plunge pools. The Sugar Mill rooms are great for families with plenty of space. There are four restaurants on site, The Plantation offers fine dining, while The Pier is more casual. Non-motorised water sports are complimentary and there’s a PADI dive centre - the diving here is among the best in the Caribbean with sites like Superman’s Flight and The Coral Gardens nearby. There’s a threehole golf and putting green, spa, tennis courts, squash court and trekking, sailing and fishing on offer. The Learning Centre caters for children between five and 12, with a programme of activities focused on the environment. Who would it suit? Any client looking to holiday in beautiful surrounds with great facilities and a relaxed atmosphere from family groups to couples. Price? Caribbean Expressions offers a week at the Jalousie Plantation from £1,275 per person, room-only in a Sugar Mill room, including flights and transfer.

Accommodation, service, cuisine, and spa as spectacular as the view.
WWW.
Above
&

.COM
beyond

St.

Lucia’s

Luxury

Resort

Reservations@Ladera.com

866

290

0978

800

738

4752

This is where heaven meets earth. Saint Lucia’s magic Piton mountains create a valley of lush tropical abundance named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The beach borders a protected underwater park. Oprah Magazine says that of the five things you must do in your lifetime, a visit to the Pitons is Number One. This is where you can escape to luxury and the regeneration of your senses, at the world’s most spectacular resort.

Goddid it.

0870 220 2344
For information and reservations please call us or visit www.thejalousieplantation.com

Weddings

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Love island
Tying the knot in paradise has never been easier

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ith a winning combination of beautiful beaches, dramatic scenery and romantic allure, St Lucia, makes a fantastic wedding destination. Kuoni weddings co-ordinator Fred Harrison said: "St Lucia is our number one destination for weddings in the Caribbean. It's just got that romantic appeal and has such a good selection of hotels there really is something for everyone, whatever type of wedding they want." Properties such as Club St Lucia by Splash, which is perfect for families, appeal to large wedding parties with children, the Sandals Resorts are great for groups of couples, while many boutique hotels such as Anse Chastanet offer an intimate experience — they'll even embroider the names of the bride and groom on their pillows. With more hotels opening on the island, the choice keeps

growing. The new Almond Morgan Bay Beach Resort plans to focus on weddings with specially built gazebos on a pier and cliff-top. The wedding package is free for those staying 10 nights and the hotel has introduced a new range of optional extras, including a gospel choir and private beach barbecue. At most hotels clients have a choice of where to marry, usually on the beach or in the grounds — The Bodyholiday at LeSport has a particularly popular gazebo overlooking the ocean, while Anse Chastanet has a secluded tree house. Virgin Holidays offers a choice of three packages at the Estate House, Pigeon Island. The Luxury package costs £715, the deluxe is £915, while the Premier package costs £1,215, with extras including airport lounge access, wedding cake and additional photographs. Traditional church weddings are also an option, although these take longer to arrange, as the

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REAT C OUPLES H AVE F INALLY F OUND T HEIR R IGHTFUL P LACE I N T HE S UN .
Time is so precious that great couples learn how to steal it. In an intimate, tropical garden by the sea, in Saint Lucia, we help you rediscover what made you a great couple in the first place. Without the distraction of children or singles, you have every opportunity to celebrate and invigorate your unique bond. And while some couples-only holidays get in your face with holiday-camp games and loud music on the beach, Rendezvous gets in your heart with an idyllic time in an idyllic place created by romantics for romantics. Two miles of stunning white sand beach, glorious food and drink, first-class accommodation, a full programme of land and water sports are all included.

The World’s First Boutique Hotel For Couples
To find out more call 0870 220 2344 or visit our website www.theromanticholiday.com.

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Weddings

couple's local parish priest has to liaise with a priest on the island. Besides offering exotic photo opportunities, it's the ease of having everything organised and the cost — a fraction of what it would be to wed in the UK — that keeps clients coming to St Lucia to marry. And with few more romantic destinations in the world, newlyweds are in honeymoon heaven without having to travel anywhere. Couples only need to be on the island for four days prior to the wedding and all paper work is taken care of, so there's nothing to do but relax. Many hotels offer free basic wedding packages when couples are staying for a minimum number of nights or have groups of a certain size, and there are often substantial savings to be had with free bride places and early booking discounts. With three hotels on the island, Sandals performs the greatest number of visitor weddings on St. Lucia and for couples wanting to upgrade,

four new themed packages are available from this winter. Designed by American celebrity wedding planner Preston Bailey, the Floral Elegance Collection, The Water Lily Collection, The Seascape Collection and The Crystal, cost from $1,700 to $5,000. An ultraluxurious package that includes a private jet, special location and extravagant musical performance is being developed. Guests booking a wedding or honeymoon before December 31 2006 for 12 nights or more in a concierge room for travel before the end of 2007 will also receive a Wedgewood tableware set and a set of Samsonite Luggage. Organising weddings is hard for a travel agent but worthwhile – if you need help with a full package or advice on organising weddings in St. Lucia, contact one of the island’s wedding coordinators: Awesome Caribbean Weddings (awesomecaribbeanweddings.com) and Dreamy Weddings and Tours (dreamyweddings.com).

Case study

Tracey and Jonathan Wise from Gosport booked their wedding with Kuoni at Going Places in Colchester and married in St Lucia last April Why did you choose the Caribbean for your wedding? Jonathan was born in Grenada and brought up in Trinidad — so the Caribbean was a natural choice. We didn't want a traditional wedding and just wanted a small event. Initially we wanted to go to Grenada but because of the hurricane decided to go elsewhere. We looked through the brochures and the travel agent suggested a few options. I loved the look of St Lucia so we decided to go there. Where did you stay? We spent 10 days at Club St Lucia by Splash. It's all-inclusive so you don't have to worry about anything. How many people went? The two of us and my two sons, aged 16 and 18. How was the wedding? The whole experience was faultless. The wedding co-ordinator thought of everything — and the package included the bouquet, button holes, champagne, flowers, cake and all the paperwork. Because we were getting married between November and 5 April it was free too — all we had to pay for was the photographer. We got married in a gazebo overlooking the sea, it was beautiful and specially decorated for the occasion. I had worried that it would be a bit of a conveyor-belt wedding but it really wasn't, we were the only people marrying that day and if felt very special. The staff were superb too — and our room was wonderful, they decorated it with rose petals on our wedding day — every little detail was thought of. And the honeymoon? We spent a lot of time just relaxing, we went out on a catamaran and kayaking and saw a bit of the island but it was great to really chill out. The hotel was perfect because it catered for all ages, my sons had loads to do. There are lots of activities if you want to join in, but there's an adults-only pool too, so you can read your book and drink cocktails, while the pool volleyball and the noise is somewhere else. Would your recommend it? Definitely. It was superb, no hassle and everything was perfect. We met other couples who married there too — we all want to go back for a reunion for our 25th anniversaries! The whole thing cost less than £5,000 for the four of us — it was great value too.

An intimate

all-inclusive exuding quality and charm.

East Winds Inn
La Brelotte Bay, Gros Islet, PO Box 1477, Castries, St Lucia, West Indies Telephone: (758) 452 8212 Fax: (758) 452 9941 E-mail: eastwinds@candw.lc

www.eastwinds.com

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Weddings

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Selling points
● It’s easy. Stress to clients wanting to marry in St. Lucia that all the preparation is done for them — all they need to do is provide simple documents such as a valid UK passport and original birth certificate. Couples can get married on the day they arrive as long as they have completed the correct paperwork beforehand. ● It's personal. Emphasise that each wedding is designed personally, with a wedding co-ordinator in resort working with clients to finalise details. There's a choice of location and many hotels will only offer one wedding a day — find out if this is important to them before selecting property. ● It's great value for money. With the average wedding in the UK now costing around £16,000, marrying abroad is a much cheaper option and wedding packages are complimentary for some minimum stays. Even the most elaborate, expensive packages are a fraction of the price of a wedding at home. ● It's a ready-made honeymoon. After the big day, the couple can enjoy a honeymoon at their hotel without having to move. They may want transfer to another property on the island for more variety, or to leave the rest of the wedding party behind for some privacy. Alternatively, there are plenty of other Caribbean islands close by for a twin-centre option. ● There's great choice. On St. Lucia there's a wide range of properties — from tiny boutique hotels, to large family-orientated resorts, so there is something to suit every couple's needs. Find out exactly what the clients want and the make-up of their party and then suggest a property to match. ● You can easily up-sell. Suggest to clients that they might want to upgrade their flights or book add-ons such as limousine transfers or lounge access — it's a once in a lifetime experience so they're more likely to splash out on extras.

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Festivals

C’mon, feel the noise

St. Lucia is renowned for its festivals – the island loves to party
rom the home-grown rhythms of calypso and reggae to country and western crooning, St. Lucia loves music and the island’s alive year-round with different festivals and concerts. The biggest and most well known is St. Lucia Jazz held each May, which brings thousands of visitors from across the Caribbean and further afield flocking to the island. Initially devised as a marketing ploy to boost visitor numbers during low season, 2006 will see the festival celebrating its 15th year with what promises to be the best event yet. It’s a major moneyspinner, injecting over £10 million into the local economy in 2005, and something the tourist board is keen to promote. With big names such as BoyzIIMen, Courtney Pine, Luther Vandross and UB40 among previous performers, it’s become one of the premier musical events in the world. St. Lucia Tourist Board director of marketing Patricia

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GIVE US YOUR BODY FOR A WEEK AND WE’LL GIVE YOU BACK YOUR MIND.

The BodyHoliday at LeSPORT in Saint Lucia is the first luxury resort in the world to combine all the pleasure of an active beach vacation with cares designed to relax and revitalise body and mind.
....endless sun, massages, golf, scuba, yoga, fresh mango, juicy steaks, abseiling, Puligny Montrachet, live jazz, Absolut vodka, fencing, lobster, water skiing, "Best Restaurant In The Caribbean" (TAO), windsurfing, Bollinger, foie gras, reflexology, Ayurveda, sashimi, great salads, Elemis, cycling, tennis, facials, Suikudo, reflexology, sailing, dry martinis, soft adventure, endless sun ...

To find out more call 0870 220 2344.

THE WORLD’S FIRST WELLNESS HOLIDAY.
www.thebodyholiday.com

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Festivals Title title
Charlery-Leon said: “St. Lucia Jazz is a very important event for us, it’s been a runaway success and just keeps growing. We want to promote this and St. Lucia’s many cultural attractions - there will be adverts for Jazz from January, we aim to raise awareness both among the public and agents.” Radio promotions and competitions on Choice FM and Smooth FM are in the pipeline, and the tourist board is looking into working with UK jazz clubs and record stores on promotional activity. Virgin Holidays Caribbean product manager Alison Smith said: “I think some clients do now book specifically for the Jazz festival, it’s becoming more well known. For others it just adds an extra dimension to a holiday they were planning anyway.” On the back of the success of St. Lucia Jazz, a new World Music festival was launched last year, held at Choc Bay from December 1 to 4, further upping St. Lucia’s credentials as the music capital of the Caribbean. Kalalu, sponsored for 2005 by Heineken, brought together artists from around the world offering a mix of music from African street songs to salsa and Latin funk. South African legend Hugh Masekela headlined, playing alongside St. Lucian home-grown talent such as Roland 'Boo' Hinkson. But besides these major players, other smaller, more local festivals and celebrations punctuate the calendar too. October is Creole Heritage Month with a series of events held to celebrate Creole culture at communities across the island, incorporating traditional

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songs and dances. The month culminates with International Creole Day, a worldwide celebration in all countries that speak the Creole language. In March there’s a festival of comedy with Caribbean storytellers and comedians entertaining the crowd at Pigeon Island, while December sees the Festival of Lights and Renewal, when the Christmas lights are turned on and festivities include a lantern making competition. On February 22, Independence Day is feted, with a host of concerts and activities organised to mark the end of colonial rule in 1979.

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Jazz St. Lucia Jazz will be celebrating its 15th year in 2006, from May 5 to May 14. While the line-up is set to be announced in January, some top international acts are guaranteed. For a 10-day period locals and visitors party day and night at various locations around the island. Dedicated Jazz fans won't be disappointed, but the festival offers a wider range of music than the name suggests, with something to suit all fans. In Derek Wallcott Square, next to the cathedral in Castries, families and groups of friends gather for Jazz in the Park, with local school children dancing to bands from around the world. Indoor and outdoor venues host a huge variety of acts on 15 different stages, with local artists inspired by the festival over the years holding their own alongside the big names. The event culminates with open-air performances on Pigeon Island — with stunning views over the coast by day, and a blanket of stars filling the sky at night. To be close to the action choose to stay in a hotel around Rodney Bay, where after-show parties keep bars open all night long. Tickets for the festival can be brought on the island, or in advance via the website at www.stluciajazz.org. To guarantee accommodation, clients are advised to book early during St. Lucia Jazz. 18
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Festivals

Carnival

Another landmark on the St. Lucia calendar is the annual Carnival — taking place on July 17 and 18 2006 — which brings in the crowds, particularly from around the Caribbean, though increasingly from overseas. Every year, hundreds of people flock to the capital Castries, dressed in colourful, glittering costumes, ready to party until dawn. Parading through the streets behind floats with steel drums, young and old alike dance to the latest soca and calypso hits. One of the highlights is the calypso competition, when the island’s best performers compete for the Calypso King or Queen’s crown. The countdown to Carnival begins long in advance, with calypso competitors performing for a place in the finals. Other titles up for grabs are Carnival Queen, and King and Queen of the Band — individuals from particular bands perform in full carnival costume before a panel of judges. With its roots in ancient European festivals and Ghanaian and West African traditions, Carnival in St. Lucia was initially a pre-Lenten affair, with Shrove Tuesday known as Mardi Gras. But recently the date was changed to mid July — moving it out of the shadow of Trinidad and Tobago’s famous carnival which still takes place before Lent. While previous promotions by the tourist board have focused on the ethnic market, through the Voice and Soca News, as well as with Virgin Holidays and MTV, new initiatives are being developed to target a wider market. A float at Notting Hill Carnival, run with Virgin Atlantic and Bounty Rum, is planned to attract more visitors for 2007.

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Festivals

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Festivals calendar
FEBRUARY: Independence Day
February 22 is Independence Day. Granted in 1979, it is celebrated with formal ceremonies and sporting events. the Caribbean, attraction many international acts.

JUNE: Fisherman’s Feast

APRIL: Earth Day

The Fisherman’s Feast begins with a church service, followed by feasting and partying.

costumes winds through the streets of Castries and prizes are awarded for the best band and Calypso King and Queen.

NOVEMBER:

All Souls Day (Fet Le Mo)

April 22 is St. Lucia’s Earth Day. Celebrations begin with a ceremony at dawn at Pigeon Island National Park, organised by the St. Lucia National Trust.

Calypso season

AUGUST: Market Vendors Feast; The Rose Festival

On All Souls Day, St. Lucian’s remember their departed ones by burning lamps and beautifying cemeteries.

Calypso singers organise shows and competitions in Calypso tents around the island, with the audience rejecting or accepting prospective new talent.

Market vendors’ festival of food, song, dance, with Castries market the main centre of activities. The Rose Festival honours the rose with a big party.

DECEMBER ARC yacht event

MAY: St. Lucia Jazz

Since its inception in 1992, the event has gained a reputation as the premier jazz festival of

JULY: Carnival

St. Lucia comes alive with Calypso music and dancing. A grand parade of colourful

OCTOBER: International Creole Day

St. Lucian’s celebrate the Creole culture with music, dance and traditional food.

Competitors in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, the international yacht race, begin arriving on the island. December in St. Lucia is a month-long festival, revolving around National Day celebrations and Christmas — there’s the Festival of Lights, featuring a lantern-making competition, the National festival of choirs and a market festival.

Connecting the Caribbean

With over 100 daily flights to fourteen Caribbean destinations, Caribbean Star connects you when and where you want to fly...
Anguilla Antigua Barbados Dominica Grenada Guyana St.Kitts St. Lucia Santo Domingo St. Maarten Trinidad Tobago St. Vincent Tortola
For information on ticketing and sales in the UK contact: info@flycaribbeanstar.co.uk For schedules and on-line bookings visit: www.flycaribbeanstar.com

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Festivals

Hummingbird Beach Resort

Hummingbird Beach resort is located in the old French Town of Soufriere, situated on St Lucia’s western coast, with a breathtaking view of the world famous Pitons. We have 10 beautifully (and traditionally) decorated rooms with four poster beds. Some with air conditioning and rates are moderate. We are well known for our French Creole and a la carte cuisine, cocktails and fine selection of wines. We have a studio with beautiful batiks made locally. Warm and friendly staff awaits you. For reservations, please contact us at telephone numbers

Fax number 001 7584 597033 Web address is www.istlucia.co.uk

001 7584 597985 001 7584 597232 001 7584 597402
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Cricket

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A sporting chance

A

All eyes are on St. Lucia next year when it welcomes nations from around the globe as host of the 2007 Cricket World Cup
cross the Caribbean, the islands are gearing up to host the 2007 Cricket World Cup, but only one island will be home to the England team for the majority of the event – St. Lucia. A semi-final will be taking place on St. Lucia, on April 25, as well as England’s Group C matches against New Zealand, Canada and Kenya. And with an estimated 20,000 British fans expected to attend the tournament, the island has been busy working on its infrastructure – improving and building new roads, building hotels and upgrading sports facilities – to ensure everything goes smoothly. St. Lucia Cricket World Cup CEO Ernest Hilaire said: “It’s a huge thing for us and with all the publicity surrounding England’s Ashes victory, cricket is more in the public eye than ever. We're expecting UK fans to come in their thousands.” To cope with all the predicted arrivals several new hotels have opened, others are in the pipeline and floating hotels planned. Among new additions opening in time for 2007 are Plantation on Cotton Bay, Discovery at Marigot Bay and Praslin Heights. A hospitality programme, where local people will welcome fans and offer them a homeaway-from-home experience is also being organised. The £50 million five-star Sapphire Cove resort on the south-western coast will have two holiday villages, two boutique hotels, opening in early 2007. The Landings, a new development by SunSwept Resorts, is also being constructed on Pigeon Island Causeway, the country’s first private marina and leisure development. Besides plans to upgrade roads, infrastructure improvements include the multimillion dollar expansion of Beausejour Stadium. The stadium’s capacity will be increased from 12,000 to 20,000 and lights are being installed for day/night games — the first venue in the Caribbean to have this facility. Indoor practice areas are being built and the Media Centre’s being enlarged, with Wireless Internet access. Several operators will be putting together packages, offering tailor-made trips including tickets to selected cricket matches, as well as a choice of set tours taking in a range of matches. Packages will be on sale soon, though details have yet to be finalised.

All reassuringly Elite Island Resorts.
ANTIGUA Galley Bay: St. James’s Club, Antigua: Occidental Grand Pineapple Beach: Dian Bay Resort & Spa ST. LUCIA Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort TORTOLA Long Bay Beach Resort & Villas THE GRENADINES Palm Island ST. KITTS Sugar Bay Club

Call 0870 160 9644 or see www.eliteislands.com

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Cricket

Where would the personalities of the victorious England 2005 Ashes team like to stay?
Andrew Flintoff: Man of the moment, the larger-than-life northern charmer’s a sociable creature and has a young baby girl, so somewhere that's family-friendly but still lively would tick the right boxes. Flintoff and family can check into their own villa at the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort, located on the island's North-west coast, on Labrelotte Bay. Guests can take advantage of the water sports facilities, tennis courts, fitness centre and Serenity Spa. Kevin Pieterson: The cool 25-year-old batsman might like somewhere a little swanky, that's also close to the action, so the Royal St. Lucian could be the place for him. With its allsuite accommodation, pampering spa and choice of chic restaurants, it offers luxury without being OTT. There's a wide range of sports facilities for him to keep in tip-top form, and jazz bands, music and dancing at night. Rodney Bay Village isn't far away when it's time to party, with several good bars and nightclubs. Michael Vaughan: Team captain Vaughany likes a bit of class without being too flashy — so he should check in somewhere sophisticated but unstuffy. East Winds Inn could be the answer — it's intimate, secluded and laid-back, with a Club House where guests just help themselves to the bar, there's a weekly champagne party and beach barbecues, and it's all-inclusive so no need to keep reaching for the wallet. Alternatively, for relaxation near the rainforest, Ti Kaye is a great place to really get away from it all.

Cricket World Cup 2007 Match Fixtures

Group Stage
Date Wed 14 Mar Thu 15 Mar Fri 16 Mar Sat 17 Mar Sun 18 Mar Mon 19 Mar Tue 20 Mar Wed 21 Mar Thu 22 Mar Fri 23 Mar Sat 24 Mar Sun 25 Mar Group C St. Lucia Kenya v Canada reserve day ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND reserve day ENGLAND v CANADA reserve day New Zealand v Kenya reserve day New Zealand v Canada reserve day ENGLAND v KENYA reserve day

Semi Final
Date Wed 25 Apr Thu 26 Apr Semi Final 2 St. Lucia Semi Final 2: 1v4 reserve day www.stlucia.org

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Activities

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Making a splash
St. Lucia’s varied landscape lends itself to activities of all kinds. The mountainous interior and tropical rainforest offer hiking and mountain-biking opportunities, while few places can compete when it comes to sailing and diving. And if it all gets too strenuous, a choice of top-notch spas will pamper you back to life
Soft adventure challenging designed by world biking champion Tinker Juarez. For riding of a different kind, saddle up at one of the island’s stables and venture out on horseback. Trek inland, or along a beach – galloping along the water’s edge and riding bareback into the warm water with the horse swimming beneath you is an amazing experience. Sample product: The International Pony Club outside Gros Islet offers two-hour treks to Cas En Bas beach on the wild, deserted Atlantic coast, with horseback swimming, for US$50 (£27.50), and is one of several options. Spas The laid-back charms of St. Lucia will have stress and strain soon melting away - but to ensure complete relaxation, there are several top-notch spas. Guests are

Don't want to laze on the beach all day? St. Lucia is the perfect adventure playground with activities from hiking and

mountain biking to horse-riding and jeep safaris. Nature trails lead through the rainforest, to the top of mountains, past waterfalls, through old plantations, or along beaches. There are over 30 species of bird to be spotted in the forests – keep an eye out for the rare Jacquot parrot. Hiring a bike

to explore is another popular option. Next to Anse Chastanet Resort, Bike St. Lucia offers mountain biking along 12 miles of specially-designed bike tracks through the tropical vegetation of what was the 18th-century Anse Mamin Plantation. Routes are graded to four levels – the most

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Activities

pampered in idyllic surroundings, with the huge variety of treatments often drawing on natural resources – from exotic fruits to rainforest plants. For a total health-focused break, the BodyHoliday at LeSport has spa treatments and activities as part of the all-inclusive package try the Devil’s Mint Body Scrub, with seaweed and peppermint essential oil, or the Deluxe Coconut and Spice Combo massage. Elsewhere, Sandals Regency St. Lucia Golf Resort & Spa at La Toc and the Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort have dedicated Signature Spas. The intimate Anse Chastanet’s Kai Belte Spa offers a wide treatment choice, from shiatsu to it’s own version of La Stone therapy. Couples massage courses are taught, and yoga and pilates classes are now available. New properties have cottoned on – the Plantation on Cotton Bay, managed by the same team from LeSport, will have a stunning Elemis spa, while Discovery at Marigot Bay will have a Lapli spa with complimentary yoga and t’ai chi. Sample product: Abercrombie & Kent offers seven nights at The BodyHoliday at LeSport from £1,699 per person, all-inclusive, with flights. Diving St. Lucia offers spectacular diving opportunities for all levels of expertise, and there are plenty of good dive centres around the island offering tuition. The area around The Pitons close to Soufriere has some of the best sites in St. Lucia, with the coastline dropping away as dramatically below the sea as it soars above. For snorkellers and

beginners there are shallow reefs teeming with fish, while sheer walls, steep drops and caves appeal to the more experienced. At Anse Chastanet the reef’s accessible directly from the beach, with a coral wall falling away to 140ft and stretching around the headland of Grand Caille. At Anse La Raye there are great wall and drift dives to be had, while the Coral Gardens at the Base of Gros Piton offers breathtaking underwater scenery. The Keyhole Pinnacles consists of four seamounts rising from incredible depths to within a few feet of the surface, while Superman’s Flight, is a spectacular drift dive on a gentle wall which drops to 1,600 feet. There are shipwrecks to explore too. The Lesleen M, a 165-foot freighter, was sunk in 1986 to provide an artificial reef and lies in 60ft of water near Anse Cochon on the west coast, south of Marigot Bay. Sample product: Hayes and Jarvis has dive packages with Scuba St. Lucia at Anse Chastanet for £155 for 10 dives. Seven nights at Anse Chastanet cost from £959, with flights. Sailing With its clear waters, sheltered harbours and fine sand beaches, sailors have been drawn to St. Lucia’s shores for centuries. Novices and the experienced alike can charter boats of all kinds from around the coast – Rodney Bay and Marigot Bay are the two most popular marinas with plenty of choice – and the island’s a hub for some of the main events in the yachting calendar too. One of the world’s largest international yacht races, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), ends at Rodney Bay Marina in December, after the long journey across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands. Since it began in 1986, the race has continued to grow, with over 225 yachts from 25 nations now taking part. Every January, the St. Lucia Regatta is held in Rodney Bay too, with yachtsmen coming from all over the globe for three days of racing and partying. For anyone wishing to try their hand at sailing – whether it’s

Ground Handlers
Aktive Tours Barefoot Holidays Barnards Travel Cox & Co Solar Tours & Travel Spice Travel Limited St Lucia Representatives Minvielle & Chastanet Tours Email: info@aktivetravel.com Email: barefoot@candw.lc Email: toucanholidays2001@yahoo.com Email: coxco@candw.lc Email: solartours@candw.lc Email: casalucia@candw.lc Email: pauline@stluciareps.com Email: mcee@candw.lc

simply joining a day’s cruise or hiring a crewed, skippered or bareboat yacht – St. Lucia can easily accommodate. Navigating around the island and then through the gentle waters of the Grenadines is a popular route, but even a few hours out on the ocean waves is a must-do

experience - even if its just Sunfish sailing from your resort. Sample product: Nautilius Yachting offers bareback, skippered and fully crewed boat charters from St. Lucia. A week’s charter of a 55ft yacht with four people sharing costs £1,125 per person, fully crewed.

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Factfile

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Tour operator contact details
A&K Chapters Abercrombie & Kent Caribbean Airline Network Airworld Luxury Aquatours Azure Barefoot Traveller Best@Travel Bridge The World British Airways Holidays Caribbean Collection * Caribbean Fantasies ** Caribbean Select Hotels Caribbean Unpackaged ** Caribbean Vacations Caribtours Carrier Carte Blanche Classic Resorts * Complete Caribbean Destinology Dial A Flight Ebookers Ebookers * Elegant Resorts Erna Low Expressions Holidays Exsus Friendship Travel * Funway Holidays Harlequin Worldwide Hayes & Jarvis Headwater Hidden Retreats Holiday Place (The) Indigo Holidays Individual Holidays ITC Classics Jetlife Joe Walsh Tours * Key To America Key2Holidays 0845 0700 618 www.akchapters.com 0845 0700 614 www.abercrombiekent.co.uk 0870 700 0543 www.airlinenetwork.co.uk 0870 444 4567 www.airworldtours.co.uk 020-8398 0505 www.aquatours.com 01244 322 770 www.azurecollection.com 020-8741 4319 www.barefoot-traveller.com 0870 709 3030 www.bestattravel.co.uk 0870 814 4400 www.bridgetheworld.com 0870 243 3407 www.baholidays.com 00 353 21 463 5556 www.caribbeancollection.ie 01257 251 501 www.caribbeanfantasies.com 0870 844 0370 ww.caribbeanselecthotels.co.uk 020-8446 8122 www.caribbean-unpackaged.com 020-7580 7181 www.hotel-caribbean.com 020-7751 0660 www.caribtours.co.uk 01625 547 020 www.carrier.co.uk 020-7735 9923 www.villasandyachts.co.uk 00 353 1 874 5000 www.classicresorts.ie 01423 531 031 www.completecaribbean.co.uk 0800 072 2227 www.destinology.com 0870 333 4488 www.dialaflight.com 0870 888 8886 www.ebookers.com 00 353 1 488 3507 www.ebookers.com 01244 897 999 www.elegantresorts.co.uk 020-7594 0290 www.bodyandsoulholidays.com 020-7433 2610 www.expressionsholidays.com 020-7292 5060 www.exsus.com 0289 446 2211 www.friendshiptravel.com 0870 444 0770 www.funwayholidays.co.uk 01708 850 300 www.harlequinholidays.com 0870 366 1636 www.hayesandjarvis.co.uk 01606 720 033 www.headwater.com 0161 926 9262 www.hidden-retreats.com 020-7644 1770 www.theholildayplace.co.uk 0870 121 220 www.indigoholidays.co.uk 01753 889 044 www.individual-holidays.com 01244 355 300 www.itcclassics.co.uk 0870 787 7877 www.jetlife.co.uk 00 353 1 241 0888 www.joewalshtours.ie 0113 398 3013 – 020-7749 6800 www.key2caribbean-holidays.com Kuoni Travel Moresand Moorings (The) Naturetrek Nautilus Yachting North America Travel Service Oceans Apart Luxury Travel Owners Syndicate (The) Peregor Travel Premier Holidays Prestbury Travel Prima Choice Holidays Q Holidays Quest Travel Ramblers Roxton Bailey Robinson Scott Dunn World Seasons in Style Only Exclusive Travel Sovereign Worldwide Spaluxury Sportif SR Villa Rentals Sunset Faraway Shores Holiday Team (The) Thomas Cook Signature Thomson Farway Shores Thomson Worldwide Tradewinds Trailfinders Travel 4 Travel Focus * Travel4less Travelbag Travillas Tropic Breeze Tropical Locations Tropical Places * Ultimate Honeymoons Virgin Holidays Voyana Caribbean Western & Oriental 01306 744 442 www.kuoni.co.uk 0870 027 5055 www.moresand.com 01227 776677 www.moorings.com 01962 733 051 www.naturetrek.co.uk 01732 867 445 www.nautilus-yachting.co.uk 020-7499 7299 northamericatravelservice.co.uk 0870 486 6688 www.oceans-apart.co.uk 020-7801 9809 www.ownerssyndicate.co.uk 0845 345 0003/4 www.peregor-travel.co.uk 0870 889 0808 www.premierholidays.co.uk 01625 858 158 www.prestburytravelgroup.co.uk 0845 345 0875 www.primachoice.com 0870 720 1127 www.qholidays.co.uk 0870 442 3519 www.questtravel.com 01707 331 133 www.ramblersholidays.co.uk 01488 689 700 www.rbrww.com 020-8682 5020 www.scottdunn.com 0151 342 0505 www.seasonsinstyle.co.uk 0161 233 0123 www.onlyexclusivetravel.com 0870 243 0635 www.sovereign.com 0870 747 5765 www.spaluxury.com 01273 844 919 www.sportif-uk.com 020-7207 6658 www.srvillarentals.co.uk 020-7498 9922 www.sunset.co.uk 0870 837 5001 www.theholidayteam.co.uk 0870 443 4447 www.tcsignature.com 0870 160 4528 www.thomson.co.uk 0870 160 7430 www.thomsonworldwide.co.uk 0870 751 0003 www.tradewinds.co.uk 020-7937 5400 www.trailfinders.com 0870 608 2444 www.travel2.com 00 353 21 425 1025 www.travelfocus.ie 0871 222 3423 www.caribbean-holidays4less.com 0870 900 1352 www.travelbag.co.uk 0845 345 2405 www.travillas.com 01752 873 377 www.tropiccaribbean.co.uk 020-7229 9199 www.tropical-locations.com 00 353 1 433 1029 www.tropicalplaces.ie 0870 350 0464 www.ultimatehoneymoons.co.uk 0870 220 2788 www.virginholidays.co.uk 020-8515 4855 www.voyana.com 0870 499 1111 www.westernoriental.com

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www.stlucia.org

TravelWeekly

* denotes Irish tour operator; ** denotes accommodation only operator List supplied by the St. Lucia Tourist Board. This is not a comprehensive list of tour operators to St. Lucia

travelweekly.co.uk

Factfile

Where is it?: Part of the Windward Island chain, the 238 square mile island is 1,300 from south-east Florida, 21 miles from Martinique, 24 miles north of St Vincent and 100 miles north-west of Barbados. Time zone: GMT -4 Getting there: There are seven weekly flights to St. Lucia. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly direct to St. Lucia from Gatwick. BWIA flies from Heathrow. Your clients can travel from Manchester with Virgin or bmi to Barbados and connect for the onwards journey. There are two airports, Hewanorra International Airport and George FL Charles Airport for inter-island connections. Currency: The currency is the Eastern Caribbean Dollar, with £1 currently worth EC$4. US dollars are widely accepted. Entry requirements: Visitors must carry valid passports, but visas are not required for US or most Commonwealth country residents. Please call the Passport office on 0870 521 0410 if you are unsure. Weather: St. Lucia enjoys a sub-tropical climate, kept cool by trade winds. The average temperature is 26C to 29C, with rainfall heaviest from June to November. Health: Vaccinations are not essential

however, Tetanus, Typhoid, Polio and Hepatitis A are recommended. Drinking water is safe from the tap. There are several pharmacies in Castries and Rodney Bay. Language: English is the official language, but French Creole or patois is widely spoken. Shopping: Local shops are generally open from 8.30am to 4pm on weekdays and on Saturday 8am until noon. From local craft markets to duty free shops, there’s a wide variety available. Electricity: 220v 50AC. Dining: St. Lucia offers a wide variety of cuisine using fresh local ingredients - Caribbean Creole is popular - with everything from roadside stalls selling fried fish to top-notch restaurants such as Dasheene at Ladera. There are also Chinese, Indian and Italian restaurants. Costs: Prices on St. Lucia are reasonable. A three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant will cost around £15. A bottle of beer at a bar costs around £1.50. St. Lucia Tourist Board Lower Ground Floor 1 Collingham Gardens London SW5 0HW Tel: 0870 900 7697 Fax: 020 7341 7001 Email: sltbinfo@stluciauk.org Website: www.stlucia.org

TravelWeekly

www.stlucia.org

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Now open, Almond Morgan Bay will bring the premium all-inclusive experience of

All-inclusive splendor now awaits on St. Lucia.8
Almond Resorts to the shores of St. Lucia

Almond Morgan Bay, St. Lucia. Now open.

Renovations and improvements across the resort will surround your clients in four-star luxury from the moment they pass through the new entrance area and lobby, while the stunning seaside location will continue to treat families and c o u p l e s a l i k e t o t h e u n p a r a l l e l e d b e a u t y of St. Lucia.

Contact your preferred Tour Operator or Almond Resorts (UK): 0871 871 2828 or www.almondresorts.com.
A L L - I N C L U S I V E R E S O R T S : A l m o n d B e a c h V i l l a g e, S t. P e t e r, B a r b a d o s • A l m o n d B e a c h C l u b R e s o r t & S p a, S t . J a m e s, B a r b a d o s A l m o n d M o r g a n B a y, S t . L u c i a ( O p e n e d N o v e m b e r 2 0 0 5 ) • A l m o n d C a s u a r i n a B e a c h R e s o r t , B a r b a d o s ( O p e n i n g 2 0 0 6 )

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