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Romance in Paradise: 3 of St Lucia's Top Honeymoon Destinations

Romance in Paradise: 3 of St Lucia's Top Honeymoon Destinations

Though the island boasts a huge selection of honeymoon hotel and resort options to suit any budget, here we discuss three of the best.

East Winds Inn

Those who seek peace, quiet and space away from the tourist crowd during their honeymoon need look no further than East Winds Inn in Labrelotte Bay. Winner of TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award in the categories of Top Hotels, Best Service and Romance, the team here leave nothing to be desired in their quest to create your perfect honeymoon or romantic getaway.

26 open style cottages are nestled in 12 acres of lush tropical gardens on the gorgeous Caribbean beachfront on the northwest coast of the island, allowing you to open your bedroom doors right into paradise.

Particularly renowned for their outstanding cuisine at the 'Flamboyant' restaurant, including freshly-caught fish and pastries made daily on-site, East Winds Inn is one of the few Caribbean hotels to have their restaurant certified by the prestigious Chaine Des Rotisseurs guild.

East Winds Inn doesn't clutter up its experience with an abundance of watersports and activites, but aims to keep relaxation and quality time as the focus of its appeal. The Bamboo Lounge sets the stage for tranquil evenings with soft jazz, local folk groups and live performances on the Caribbean's first Steinway concert piano, specially shipped in from New York. The East Winds Inn's beach hosts a steel band once a week for a dose of local flavor.

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Top 10 things for kids to do in St Lucia

Top 10 things for kids to do in St Lucia

It was not all that long ago that Caribbean holidays were only accessible to the wealthy and required multiple flights and airport transfers. With the international travel market changing so drastically in the last few years, Caribbean breaks have become far more accessible, particularly for families. Prohibitively high flight costs have now dropped dramatically with the rise of budget providers such as Thomas Cook and the emergence of plenty of competition keeping the prices down.

Now that St Lucia has become affordable for those with children, other concerns come to the fore. Well established as a romantic honeymoon destination with three Sandals resorts and plenty of other adults-only hotels, parents may worry if St Lucia offers enough to keep their little ones occupied.

Here we run down 10 activities that families with kids can enjoy whilst soaking in the beauty of this tropical paradise.

1. Splash around at Coconut Bay's water park

Frequently thought of as the best hotel in Vieux Fort and just two minutes' drive from the airport, Coconut Bay Resort is great for families with young children. Their water park is particularly spectacular and the only one on the island. Kids (and brave parents!) will love zooming down the great selection of waterslides.

There are also lazy rivers and wading pools for chill-out time, and for the ultimate in relaxation, try the swim-up bar, where children can gulp down mocktails along side their cocktail-sipping parents.

2. Go whale watching

Try Hackshaw's Boat Charters or any other recommended provider for a whale tour. Your experienced tour operators will zip around the sea to track humpback and sperm whales, dolphins and even orcas, all for your viewing pleasure. Of course, there's no guarantee that the majestic creatures will be around when you are, but these experts have an excellent track record and will do everything they can to try and seek them out.

To avoid disappointment, make sure you book before you arrive on the island as these tours are popular and can get booked up very quickly.

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'Immersion' in St Lucia - Part 2

'Immersion' in St Lucia - Part 2

To continue on your St Lucian immersion journey, you could...

6. Go 'Square'

Assou Square, held on January 1nd and 2nd every year and affectionately called 'Square', is a celebration that all the family can enjoy. Traditionally celebrated in Walcott Square in Castries, it has been tried in different locations in recent years, though it returned to its city-centre home last year and looks like it will stay put for the next few Januaries.

A main stage is set up to host a huge variety of entertainers throughout the two days. Calypso singers, known as Calypsonians, strut their stuff to the frantically-paced beats and chant uplifting lyrics in an explosion of energy. St Lucians try their hand at Country and Western singing and dancing, and the most talented receive prizes and accolades.

Stalls abound with a huge variety of hot food, snacks, soft drinks and chilled alcoholic beverages, including the local 'Piton' beer. There's plenty to do for kids, with games, bouncy castles and face painting to keep them occupied.

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'Immersion' in St Lucia Part 1

'Immersion' in St Lucia Part 1

'Immersion' is the new buzzword in travel circles. It shuns cookie-cutter beach all-inclusives and characterless package holidays in favor of seeking out experiences that reflect the genuine feel of the country.

Immersion traveling says sun, sea and sand can be found in thousands of places all over the world, but what is it about your destination that makes it different? What makes it unique? It is pretty difficult to capture the real spirit of a place if you're cooped up in a resort.

This is where 'tourist' ends and 'traveler' begins. Perfect for those who crave adventure and culture, approaching holidays from this revolutionary perspective  will create unique memories that last a lifetime.

Here we run down 10 immersion experience ideas to get you started:

1. Join in Independence Day Celebrations

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St Lucia - Battle of the Beaches

St Lucia - Battle of the Beaches

It doesn't take a lot of research to realize that St Lucia is a pretty special place. With its unusual mix of French, English, African and Amerindian cultures, beautiful beaches and undulating tropical scenery, it makes for breathtaking exploring. Add to that the excellent range of accommodations, from exclusive, adults-only luxury, to quality family resorts, and there is something to cater for everyone.

The hotels and resorts in the north of the island are spread around Castries, Rodney Bay, Cap Estate and Gros Islet, which are all within close proximity to each other. In the south, the main cluster of hotels is to be found in southwesterly Soufriere, though Vieux Fort at the most southerly tip is home to the popular Coconut Bay. The north and south offer vastly different atmospheres and experiences at their beaches.

For many people, a good quality beach is a holiday staple. Though St Lucia is relatively small at just over 600kmĀ², the road between Soufriere and Castries can take up to 80 minutes to travel, so choosing the right location for your stay could save you a lot of time and expense.

For the North

- Reduit Beach Excellent for swimming and has a huge amount of watersports available at decent prices. Popular with visitors and locals alike, the weekends see it play host to numerous beach parties and picnics, music pumping out of beach bars and food and drink plentiful at Spinnakers.

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Luxury in Soufriere, St Lucia

Luxury in Soufriere, St Lucia

If you are looking for a luxury break overlooking the Caribbean Sea, look no further than Soufriere, St Lucia. A quiet area on the island's west coast with beautiful beaches and panoramic views, Soufriere is home to more than ten outstanding hotels.

Here we compare three of the finest luxury hotels situated in Soufriere - Jade Mountain, Ladera Resort and Sugar Beach.

Jade Mountain, owned and designed by architect Nick Troubetzkoy, places bold design on the highest hills of Soufriere and is the only resort boasting a view of both the Piton mountains that jut out of the Caribbean Sea. In among Forbes magazine's Top 10 Luxury Boutique Resorts and voted top Caribbean Resort in both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines, the hotel has worldwide recognition but remains exclusive and private.

Ladera Resort didn't come far behind, voted 6th in Conde Nast and 7th in Travel & Leisure. Situated in the former Rabot Estate, one of Soufriere's oldest cocoa plantations, it offers rainforest and beach surroundings for adults only.

Sugar Beach is much larger and accommodates families as well as couples and individuals. With a huge range of activities on offer, luxury relaxation and recreation is accessible for all the family. One of the best beach settings on the island, it is ideal for those who enjoy watersports.

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