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A Diamond Affair at The Royalton St Lucia:
The concept of an all-inclusive resort like the recently opened Royalton on St Lucia is both amazing and terrifying for me. As an independent traveller for most of my life, I’m used to planning my itinerary, finding the best restaurants to visit, working out the tours and trips I want to take and generally living anything but a resort kind of life. But, on St Lucia, nirvana is perhaps most easily found at a luxury resort like The Royalton.
St Lucia luxury resorts like the Royalton offer some of the best hospitality on the island – and the perfect chance to relax and rest as you enjoy your ocean view suite. If like me you are lucky enough to have Diamond Club membership you’ll also get your own personal butler to cater to your every need! Of course, if you want to travel around St Lucia and enjoy some of the wonderful activities outside of the resort, that’s easy too – your butler can arrange a cab for you. But if you just want to lounge for the day by the pool, enjoy the beach and perhaps indulge in a spa treatment, there’s nothing stopping you from doing so at what must be one of the best St Lucia luxury resorts.
The Royalton is a recently opened all-inclusive resort to the North of St Lucia. It offers a whole range of services and facilities, starting with suite accommodation throughout the resort. You can choose to stay in Hideaway, the adult only part of the Royalton in St Lucia or in the Diamond Club for premium facilities and butler service. And, you can pick from a ground floor suite with plunge pool or accommodation higher up with a balcony and sea view. I took a look at some of the other accommodation on the resort which starts with a luxury junior suite as big as many London flats.
I loved my corner suite with freestanding bath and with a wrap around balcony that gave me the ultimate sunset views. I stayed in the Chairman’s Building in Diamond Club, right on the beach but, unlike the Royalton Hideaway Diamond Club across the bay, in accommodation that works just as well for families, with interconnecting rooms if required.
But, it seemed fine for couples or single travellers too and was blissfully quiet. Diamond Club, like Hideaway, has its own pool facilities and a charming lounge/reception where you can grab a drink or snacks most of the day. That said, I spent most of my free time outside on the beach or by the pool, where the pool bar and cafe served excellent cocktails and freshly cooked food throughout the day.
The Royalton offers a menu of possibilities which should suit everyone. It’s tailored luxury, where you pick the elements that matter for you. Even at the most basic, you will have suite sized accommodation with an amazingly comfortable bed, fast, free wifi, a large bathroom with tub and rain shower and all those nice little touches that make for a luxury experience – robes, slippers and a fully stocked mini-bar. If you prefer an adult only all-inclusive, then Hideaway on St Lucia has its own facilities, including a rather good restaurant serving fresh seafood.
The main resort has entertainment each night and can be quite lively. If you want to party the night away, there’s often a live band and dancing.
But if you prefer a quieter life, there are a range of restaurants and even an excellent chef’s table experience which can be tailored to your own preferences.
I tried both the Hideaway restaurant, Dorado and the main resort Calypso where they focussed on Caribbean specialities. Sadly, I didn’t have a chance to try the signature Royalton Steak House, Hunters – but there’s always next time!
Breakfast each day at the Royalton St Lucia was either room service or in the main restaurant, gourmet Marche where there was a vast range of options including some really delicious local dishes. I developed a taste for saltfish and bakes for breakfast, though I never quite managed to try the local ‘cocoa tea’ which is much closer to hot chocolate than a tea you or I would recognise.
There’s a well-equipped spa. I had a wonderful facial and manicure there and regretted not having time to use the indoor hydro pool, steam room and sauna. There’s also a gym and a kids club. But, for me, the Royalton came into its own as an all-inclusive resort during the day.
There are so many outdoor pool options and, since the resort itself is right on the beach, watersports and swimming in the sea. Diamond club and hideaway guests have their own beach areas but, to be honest, there’s so much space that it is hardly necessary.
Unless you happened to want a poolside cabana there was really no need to reserve your spot – there were always plenty of loungers with poolside or sea views at The Royalton. There’s a kids pool with slides and tipping buckets. And, the resort runs guided walking tours of the local area if you want to explore a bit more.
What did I like best about the Royalton, St Lucia? It’s honestly hard to pick one aspect as it was an excellent all-round experience. For me, it was the flexibility that this kind of travel allows. I don’t think I’ll ever turn into a ‘stay in resort’ kind of traveller – I loved St Lucia for some of the out-of-resort experiences too, but the good thing about somewhere like the Royalton is that you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. You can come and go just as much as you like, safe in the knowledge that when you’ve finished exploring you’ll come back to the ultimate luxury and seamless customer service in your St Lucia luxury resort.
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I travelled as a guest of the St Lucia Tourism Authority. For more information about where to stay and what to do, check their website.
I stayed at The Royalton St Lucia
I flew to St Lucia with British Airways. Non-stop flights from London Gatwick take around eight and half hours. British Airways flies to St Lucia seven times a week.