This was actually our first solo vacation since our honeymoon (last year we stayed with Emmanuel’s extended family in Mexico). We absolutely loved our trip to Italy, but it was much more of an adventurous vacation than a relaxing one! This time around, E and I craved a destination with a slower pace, where we wouldn’t be tempted to plan a million things and we could just relax and enjoy each other’s company. We’re both workaholics and we usually like it that way, but we needed some downtime. Our upcoming second anniversary was the perfect excuse to slip away from the Boston winter for a week.
Originally we had thought about going to Hawaii (still on my bucket list), but after doing a bit of research, it seemed like we would have FOMO the whole time because there’s SO much to do while you’re there! Plus, my #1 wish was to have a room overlooking the ocean — and I quickly learned that any ocean view rooms in Hawaii come with huge price tags.
SO, out of curiosity, I pulled up Airbnb and started randomly exploring other coastal/island destinations to see what kind of rentals popped up! As soon as I pulled up St. Lucia, Villa Pierre immediately caught my eye and I was instantly sold.
Since we were staying in the slow-paced southern tip of the island (a good distance away from many of the touristy destinations), we knew we would be spending a good chunk of time just chilling at home — so we splurged a bit more than usual for our accommodations. And honestly, Villa Pierre was worth every single penny!!
Not only did we have a room with a view of the ocean, but we actually had an entire deck overlooking the water! We knew it was going to be beautiful based on the pictures, but when we first arrived, the view took my breath away. We had complete privacy and peace, but we could still drive 5 minutes into town to grab groceries whenever we needed to. We also had our own pool so we could swim at home on the days we didn’t feel up to driving.
Villa Pierre’s staff (Skinner, Alina, Kersheik, and Shanice) took incredible care of us and made us feel right at home! If you are ever considering a trip to St. Lucia, we would wholeheartedly recommend staying at the villa.
Even though our original intention was to stay at the villa most of the time, curiosity got the better of us and we alternated chill days with a few day trips.
Driving was absolutely INSANE — even E said so, and he drives in downtown Boston every day! We knew it would be a bit challenging due to driving on the opposite side of the road, but that was actually the easiest hurdle. S. Lucian roads are extremely windy, very narrow/steep at times, and filled with potholes and aggressive drivers. There aren’t really sidewalks, so we shared the road with pedestrians, bicycles, and even chickens/goats/cows/dogs, who loved to hide around blind corners so we couldn’t see them coming. It felt like a real accomplishment whenever we made it to our destination safely.
However, as stressful as the driving was, I still think it was a fantastic way to see the island. We drove through so many little villages, into the rainforest, over streams, past stunning lookouts, and even through a banana farm. I don’t think E enjoyed it quite as much since he was behind the wheel, but I was really grateful for the view from the passenger’s seat! Thanks for driving babe! 🙂
Here was the first of our day trips: Sugar Beach! This little beach is actually an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s tucked in between the Pitons (the famous landmark and pride of St. Lucia). There were only about 15 other people there at the same time as us, which we couldn’t believe because it was just STUNNING! And as the cherry on top, all of St. Lucia’s beaches are public and free.
Villa Pierre is located on the same mountain as the Vieux Fort lighthouse, which we never would have discovered without the help of the guidebook! It’s actually the second highest lighthouse in the world and the highest in the Americas. We loved it so much that we went up twice — first by car, and then again by foot (only about 45 minutes to get there and a nice little hike). I’m so scared of heights and the extremely strong winds didn’t help much (sometimes I thought I was about to get blown off the side of the mountain), but it was worth it for the views and the photos!
So many of the things I loved about St. Lucia were impossible to photograph — the ever-present breeze, the stunning height above the water, and the sound of the birds and the waves. I’m sad that I couldn’t capture the FEELING of St. Lucia, but then again, maybe it was a gift to visit a place where it was better to enjoy it in person than to try to capture it with my camera. Didn’t stop me from trying, but I did feel a lot more present than on our trips to Italy and Quebec (where I constantly felt called to take pictures).
Our farthest destination was yacht-filled Marigot Bay, which was about 3 hours (round-trip) from the villa. Apparently this is where they filmed Dr. Doolittle — I need to add that to my watch list! We weren’t sure what to expect and we were honestly a little underwhelmed by the area. There isn’t much to do or see. However, it did make for some fabulous pictures, especially from above on the road that leads into town!
One thing we did love about Marigot Bay was a little food stand that we found on the beach. We enjoyed talking to the owners, Sue and Peter, and learning more about the island and how they met. If you’re ever in the area, definitely pay them a visit!
On the drive back from Marigot Bay, we stopped at a couple of lookouts. The most impressive was Mandele Bay:
One day we ventured down to The Reef, which is the local seaside bar/food stand. We had fun watching the kite surfers and soaking up the chill vibes. We each ordered a piña colada, which apparently in St. Lucia means 90% rum and 10% sugar. They packed a punch…good thing we didn’t have any other plans that day!
The following are a couple of cell phone snapshots I couldn’t part with. The one on the right is the stunning view from the airplane window as we flew into the airport. My biggest regret from the trip is that I didn’t have my “big camera” ready to snap that picture…sigh!! If you fly into the airport in Vieux Fort, I would recommend snagging a window seat on the lefthand side of the place (if you’re facing the cockpit) to take full advantage of the view.
This trip marked my first time sleeping in a bed with mosquito netting! I know it’s there for practical purposes, but I loved how beautiful it made the bed look with the light filtering through!
Apart from a couple of casual local restaurants, we never went out to eat, so we splurged a bit for a private dinner with Villa Pierre’s Chef Smiley. It was my first behind-the-scenes look at the work of a talented chef, and I was mesmerized by how quickly and adeptly he moved around the kitchen! Somehow he whipped up four delicious courses (and managed to wash all the dishes) in two hours flat. Magical.
We hadn’t had professional photos taken of us since our wedding (except for a few scattered DIY shots from Italy and Mexico), so I brought along a tripod and remote to take some pictures of the two of us. He made me the happiest girl in the world. 🙂
Before we came to St. Lucia, I fell in love with a picture that I had seen of a rope swing tied to a palm tree. I was pretty obsessed with finding it…and on our second-to-last day, WE DID!!! It’s tucked away on Laborie Beach right outside the Salt Rush Cafe. I could have stayed in that swing allllll day.
Here’s Wilson, the owner of the cafe and the brilliant man who thought to add a swing to the palm tree! We loved chatting with him (and the food was delicious, too!)
Of all the adventures we had, my favorite day was our last. We stayed at home all day watching rain showers come and go, hopping in the pool, reading, and sipping coffee. It’s uncharacteristic of both of us to completely relax and not plan anything, but I think we both savored the change of pace.
We’re sad to say goodbye to the island, but very grateful for a week spent in paradise! I will always treasure the memories we made on this trip! We planned for this to be our only big trip this year, but I’m already itching to travel again…someone please stop me before I break our budget!!
If you liked this post, you might enjoy these posts from our honeymoon: