Much More Than a Spa in St. Lucia
Guests love their BodyGuards...
Any resort facility is only as good as its frontline staff and the team at The Body Holiday at LeSPORT is simply superb. Without fail they offer thoughtful, efficient and welcoming service sans any hint of pretension. Guest falls under the jurisdiction of a 'BodyGuard' (these are both male and female) who are young, energetic, buff, lovely to look at, and responsible for leading sports and fitness classes. If this were a summer camp, they would be called counsellors--teaching you new skills and making sure that you're having fun.
On my first day of holiday, I received a phone message from one of the BodyGuards inviting me to join the 'community dinner table' that evening. As a solo traveller this minimized any stress of eating alone and I looked forward to meeting staff member, Henderson and the other singles at the end of the day. What a lovely experience! Guests all stayed way past dessert and coffee, talking about home, telling travel stories and forging liaisons that lasted our complete stay. We waved hello on our way to spa treatments or walking on the beach. We chatted about successes, failures and dreams. We drank chilled champagne together and toasted spectacular sunsets from the clubhouse patio. It was extremely hard to feel alone at LeSPORT.
Spah-h-hing with a difference...
The Oasis, a two-level body and relaxation facility stands on a hill seventy-eight steps above the rest of the resort. I must admit I huffed and puffed my way up the first couple of days but I, like the rest of the guests, were pros at the trek as the week wore on. We all viewed this extra exercise as a tiny toll to be paid for the lavish pampering available at the summit. Besides, it was so very good for us!
Most new spas in North America are being designed in the 'simple living' style--straight lines, earth tones and sparse ornamentation. Not so at this Caribbean oasis which is styled after the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. Think exotic, think fabulous. Think giant glass vases filled with floating blossoms, archways, colonnades, courtyards and calm reflecting pools. It was a joy to complete a spa treatment or a yoga class and then stretch out on one of the many lounges set around the pool area. There was an unwritten rule that this was a quiet, meditative place with guests deep into their own relaxation rituals--a pleasure you don't often find in public places.
Most spas wait until you arrive to schedule your pampering treatments. More often than not the slots you want aren't available because someone else has already scooped them up. At LeSPORT all guests are entitled to a free fifty minute pampering treat each day of their stay (except for arrival and departure dates). You can actually book your included treatments times online at least two weeks before you arrive. This way there are fewer programming surprises once you get there. What do you fancy --a Swedish Body massage, Aromatherapy, Rejuvenating Facial or a Ginger Lily and Lime Glow? Just log on and key them in.
Want extra spa treatments not included in your package? The exotic choices go on and on, ranging from relaxation therapies to Ayurvedic, holistic and rejuvenation therapies. There are fees for these exclusive services but indulging in Abhyanga (synchronized four-hand massage) or a Balinese Exotic Facial (using Ylang Ylang oils and Hibiscus cream) are special treats that don't present themselves very often. I say, "You go girl, you deserve it."
One of my favorite spa experiences...
The Deluxe Coconut and Spice Combo massage designed to alleviate back stress was part of the package and an absolute delight. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I scheduled two of them. One was done behind a screen, under a deep blue sky and against a backdrop of crickets chirping and birds calling to each other. A few days later, I savored the second one in a newly decorated treatment room sporting pale apricot and gray walls, white latticed windows and sheer moss green tied-back curtains.
Imagine the glorious scent of local organic coconut oil laced with island spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Add to that a therapist (Simonette) with strong hands and a caring attitude. For fifty minutes I was in 'St. Lucian' heaven as the tight muscles in my neck, shoulders and back were cajoled into submission. To close the session, Simonette allotted fifteen minutes entirely to scalp massage and combing my hair with her fingers. That was it. I was down for the count!
Eat, drink and be merry...
When it comes to meals, snacks and beverages, be prepared for a cornucopia of choices. If you're there to lose weight, you'll need will power but you can definitely do it. In fact I felt it was a dieter's delight with the fabulous fresh fruit stations at each breakfast buffet, huge salad bars available for lunch and tasty low fat, low sodium entrees for dinner. Not there to count calories? Then consider yourself in heaven, and remember, meals are all part of your package.
This is a storybook setting. Year-round tropical temperatures allow for open-air seating with the beach, palm trees and the ocean in full view by day. In the evenings the facilities are dressed up in hundreds of twinkling lights. Guests are able to choose from a plethora of dining opportunities--each with its own particular style and cuisine.
The main more formal dining room is the Cariblue where the menu choices range from Indian and Mexican buffets to a la carte entrees. The Deli is where the lunchtime bikini-clad crowd pop in for paninis, snacks and fabulous fruit smoothies. The Club House barbecue is designed for those who like to dress casually and eat informally.
The only restaurant at the resort that requires a reservation is TAO which serves award-winning East/West Fusion cuisine. Picture a starter of mirin glazed onion tarte tartin followed by ginger mahi mahi served over somen noodles with vegetable threads. Dessert was Fruit Sushi--local fruit wrapped in a crepe and sweetened Japanese rice served with lemon grass and ginger dipping sauce. Oh my goodness it was good!
At any time of the day or evening the bars at LeSPORT are ready to deliver your beverage of choice --chilled white wine, beer, tea, cappuchino, fruit smoothies, rum and lemonade, cranberry and soda, vodka martinis, champagne. You name it, the bartenders can pour it. Sitting on the beach and feeling thirsty? A staff member takes your order and delivers it with a smile. This is still all part of the package. When was the last time you were pampered like that?