No more than ten minutes after rolling my suitcase out of St Lucia’s Hewanorra International airport, I find myself reclining poolside, sipping from a fresh coconut under the shade of a palm tree.
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As I came to find out during my stay at Serenity at Coconut Bay Resort, its impossibly convenient location is just one of the things that makes this adults-only, all-inclusive suite resort a little piece of Heaven nestled on St Lucia’s luscious south coast.
Luxury cabanas on the beach
A warm welcome from the resort’s team; icy-cold cocktail in hand… my first ever visit to the Caribbean was certainly off to a good start. Granted, it’s hard not to fall in love with the sheer beauty of this palm tree-jewelled oasis, where each of the 36 rooms is a unique suite, boasting plenty of indoor and outdoor space and a level of privacy worthy of an A-lister.
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Settling into mine, with its four-poster king bed, waist-deep bath, plunge pool, hammock and very well-stocked outdoor bar – there’s part of me that doesn’t want to set foot outside of my little sanctuary for the rest of the trip. And the thing is, you really don’t have to.
One of the plunge pool and butler suites
Serenity – a cool, calm, grown-up enclave of the wider family-friendly Coconut Bay Resort – puts luxury, privacy and romance and at the top of its agenda, so it’s no surprise it’s a mecca for honeymooners, wedding couples, and long-time partners alike. But if you do manage to tear yourself away from your own personal paradise, there’s plenty to explore, as I found out…
Whatever you want to do with your holiday, your personal butler can arrange it for you. Now, cast any away any images of bow ties, white gloves and stiff upper lips – Serenity’s aren’t your old-fashioned Downton Abbey-style butlers.
My butler Kimberley was warm, engaging, funny, and full of ideas for helping me make the most of the island during my stay.
Serenity butlers can offer private in-room dining
Serenity’s attentive butlers can do as much or as little for you as you like – from arranging in-room dining or a private couple’s moonlit dinner, to organising an excursion or whizzing you down to the resort’s Paradise Beach in a golf buggy for a champagne picnic. You simply give them a ring on a dedicated mobile phone, and they will make your wishes come true.
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First up on my agenda was unwinding with a massage – always the best way to recuperate after a long-haul flight the day before, I’m sure you’ll agree.
As with most things at Serenity, you can tailor it to your own taste. One of the resort’s skilled therapists can come to your suite, or you can head down to one of Coconut Bay’s oceanfront spa cabanas, where the sound of the waves and the salty air will elevate your massage to new heights.
Now suitably relaxed – and another rum punch down – I moseyed through the tropical flower-lined winding paths to Serenity’s Greathouse Restaurant for a truly wonderful wine tasting hosted by Neige, the resort’s wine expert. Each wine was beautifully paired with cheese, and Neige talked us through them with expertise and humour. It was the perfect holiday activity, and I was reliably informed by a couple doing the tasting with us that it was one of the highlights of their honeymoon.
Day two brought with it the chance to catch some rays by Serenity’s beautiful pool, which boasts six shaded cabanas (the early bird gets the worm on these… they get snapped up quickly) and 24 in-pool sunbeds – bliss! Then, it was time for my kite-surfing lesson. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect; I’ve never been one for water sports (unless you count frolicking in the waves trying to get an Instagram picture – and yes, I did a little of that on the trip, too. There were sea hammocks, it would’ve been rude not to!)
Sea hammocks - heavenly!
After a crash course from Coconut Bay’s local kite-surfing guru, however, I felt like I could conquer anything. What a wonderful way to spend the afternoon in the Atlantic surf, and just one of the activities on offer on Coconut Bay’s mile-long Paradise beach (others include a romantic horseback ride along the sand or a tranquil afternoon spent in a private beach cabana on stilts).In fact, Serenity guests enjoy complimentary access all areas to the whole Coconut Bay resort – including its expansive swimming pool complex complete with a lazy river and swim-up bar.
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On top of all this, Coconut Bay is a wedding location, offering not one but two options for a dream destination wedding. Couples can choose between the resort’s stunning oceanfront gazebo, or the exclusive Eternity Beach. Determined not to provide ‘cookie cutter weddings’, Coconut Bay’s dedicated team pull out all the stops to create the perfect personalised special day.
Next up on my trip was the Land and Sea Adventure, one of the resort’s day excursions that can be arranged for you by your butler. Up bright and early (and after a quick in-suite breakfast of French toast), we were whisked off to a port, where a catamaran was waiting to take us to see St Lucia’s most famous sight – The Pitons – in all their glory. Once we were finished admiring the two volcanic peaks (a World Heritage Site, no less), we jumped off the boat into the crystal-clear aquamarine waters for a spot of scuba diving, getting up close and personal with the island’s breath-taking coral reefs.
Take an exciting boat excursion
Once back on dry land, the adventure continued with a mountain-top lunch against a picture-perfect backdrop of the Pitons, before the final stop at the St Lucia Sulphur Springs mud baths, where we plastered ourselves in mineral-rich, detoxifying sludge, before rinsing off in some very warm sulphur baths. All in all, a very pleasant experience (as long as you hold your nose!).
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After an action-packed day (and a soak in an aromatic fresh petal-laden bath run by Kimberley), I’d certainly worked up an appetite. Luckily for me, there were endless foodie options on offer to tickle my tastebuds.
One thing I found out pretty quickly: this isn’t your average all-inclusive food. From themed food nights with a buffet of freshly prepared local delicacies served from the poolside cabanas, to the traditional delights of The Greathouse restaurant, to Coconut Bay’s seven fabulous eateries, the food is certainly a highlight of the resort.
Sample a delicious poolside buffet
Each night, of the week, there is something new to try out, so I never got bored. At Serenity’s weekly Rum and Food Fete – a celebration of the culinary delights Caribbean has to offer – my mouth watered as I loaded up my plate with refreshing seafood salad, rich jerk-spiced meats and sauces and patisserie-level desserts.
Over at Coconut Bay, the Jerk Treehouse is a must-visit for lunch, serving up the Caribbean trifactor of jerk meats, spicy rice and festival (sweet fried dumplings). Unforgettable. Breakfast is just as impressive – a highlight for me was the jerk chicken and waffles. With round-the-clock in-room dining available at Serenity, you can simply place your order with your butler, or fill out your wish list and hang it on your door the night before.
Some of the evening entertainment available
All suites have their own privacy hatch, meaning your room service order can be left for you to collect in your own time – which I thought was the perfect discrete touch for all couples – especially those on honeymoon.
Coconut Bay at dusk
Needless to say, by the end of my stay, I was reluctant to leave. Serenity’s dedicated team of staff, effortlessly beautiful natural surroundings, and meticulous attention to detail offers a blend of sumptuous romance, fun and pure indulgence; the perfect recipe for a one-of-a-kind couple’s getaway. A jewel in the crown of the endlessly charming Caribbean.
To book your trip to Serenity at Coconut Bay, visit: www.serenityatcoconutbay.com
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