From the white-sand beaches to the rugged mountains, St. Lucia’s natural beauty is exceptional. And fortunately, most hotels embrace the island’s landscape, allowing guests to immerse themselves in the stunning surroundings. However, with their breathtaking scenery and stellar amenities, these luxury accommodations come with a hefty price tag. The good news: Despite its modest size, St. Lucia possesses a wide selection of hotels, from beachside boutique properties to secluded all-inclusive resorts. To find your ideal balance of cost and amenities, read on for five luxury hotels in St. Lucia and their cheaper, but still incredible, alternatives.
To fully immerse yourself in St. Lucia’s lush, tropical landscape without skimping on comfort, look no further than Ladera Resort. This former cocoa plantation offers rustic-chic accommodations, with open-air guest rooms featuring four-poster beds draped in mosquito nets, plunge pools, and patio space for admiring the surrounding 15-acre grounds. The absence of TVs is ideal for unplugging and appreciating the remarkable scenery, though Wi-Fi is available if needed. Ladera’s restaurant and many of its any guest rooms afford show-stopping views of the Pitons — two soaring volcanic spires and St. Lucia’s most famous natural landmark. Although the secluded clifftop property lacks direct beachfront access, there is a free round-trip shuttle to Sugar Beach. Meanwhile, other attractions like Sulphur Springs, the seaside town of Soufriere, and Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens can all be reached in under 15 minutes by car.
Just a kilometer down the road, Fond Doux’s 250 years of occupancy, colonial architecture, and affordability set it apart from the chic Ladera Resort. However, both properties take full advantage of their secluded setting and surrounding rainforest. Fond Doux covers 135 acres, with quaint guest room cottages dotting the scenic terrain of palms and fruit trees. Several cottages have private plunge pools, while all of them feature spacious terraces and front porches fitted with hammocks and chairs. Guest rooms also lack TVs and AC, but the higher elevation affords a gentle breeze on cooler nights. The resort’s main pool may not be ideal for swimming laps, but the cascading falls between the split-level pools provide a tranquil spot to admire the views of the property and cocoa plantation. Other perks include a free shuttle to Sugar Beach and two on-site restaurants.
When it comes to romantic retreats in St. Lucia, Jade Mountain Resort sets the bar high. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Pitons, the resort’s architecture rivals the extraordinary natural surroundings. Still, the 29 spacious suites, called “sanctuaries,” are hands-down the highlight. Through an open fourth wall, each has a sea view from the entire room — from the canopied bed, raised whirlpool tub, and (in all but the entry-level category) private infinity pool. Despite not having AC, temperatures are effectively controlled by ceiling fans and a steady sea breeze. To reach the sea below, guests can take a five-minute shuttle or descend a 300-step staircase to the sandy beach at the resort’s sister property, Anse Chastanet. Just offshore, an unspoiled coral reef offers excellent snorkeling. Guests can also earn their PADI certification through the resort’s scuba center or experience the natural beauty from the comfort of a beachside lounge chair. The two resorts share 600 acres, which include several trails for hiking and biking (mountain bikes are available on-site). Although there isn’t much else within walking distance, guided tours can be arranged to nearby spots like Tet Paul Nature Trail and Diamond Falls. This slice of paradise requires some effort to reach (a 90-minute drive along rugged roads with hairpin turns), so you may want to consider the short helicopter flight, especially if you get carsick easily.
The Alternative Romantic Pick: Cap Maison
While Cap Maison may not top Jade Mountain’s style and luxury, this clifftop retreat promises plush accommodations and gorgeous views at a fraction of the price. The property, which is comprised of whitewashed buildings with enclosed courtyards and lush gardens, is set on a former sugarcane plantation. The Villa Suites, which come with full kitchens and airy sitting rooms, are an ideal option for friend groups or families with kids. Meanwhile, couples will be pleased with private ensuite terraces fitted with whirlpool tubs. All guests have access to the resort’s two main pools and Smuggler’s Cove beach — a quiet crescent of sand that can be reached by fairly steep stairs. The two on-site restaurants allow guests to choose between French Caribbean cuisine and casual beachside dining. Although it’s not quite as secluded as Jade Mountain Resort, Cap Maison still exudes a peaceful atmosphere and elegant ambience for a romantic getaway.
Set on a steep, terraced hillside, the 60-acre Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort delivers a picturesque location and a multitude of amenities for travelers of all ages. The sandy beach on Labrelotte Bay provides calm swimming conditions, a beach bar, and a variety of water sports like snorkeling and kayaking. Shops, restaurants, bars, and the main pool are in short walking distance of the shoreline. The resort’s teen center, which offers games and organized programs, is based here as well. Children 12 years old and younger can participate in the daily kids’ club, too. Meanwhile, adults can find some respite at the resort’s on-site spa or embark on a scuba or jet-ski excursion. Accommodations range from standard 425-square-foot Ocean View Rooms to four-bedroom hilltop villas. Fortunately, all units are oriented toward the Caribbean Sea below.
Bay Gardens Beach Resort offers a range of activities to occupy both kids and adults. However, its location on the shores of Rodney Bay in Gros Islet allows guests to take advantage of more neighboring attractions than Windjammer’s secluded hillside enclave. The property borders lively Reduit Beach, a public stretch of sand where locals and tourists relax and swim in the tranquil sea. The sprawling lagoon pool at the center of the resort provides a less-trafficked spot to unwind, as do the day beds interspersed around the palm-fringed grounds. On-site activities include beach volleyball, tai chi, and nighttime entertainment such as live music and fire dancers. Offshore snorkeling or excursions to nearby Pigeon Island National Park can be arranged as well. Splash Island Water Park, which sits just off Reduit Beach, is popular with families for its obstacle course.
Nestled between the Pitons along one of St. Lucia’s most scenic white-sand beaches, Sugar Beach’s location makes it a top choice for beach bums and nature lovers alike. The surrounding 100 acres constitutes a portion of the Pitons Management Area — a UNESCO site that is distinguished for its local flora, fauna, and geothermal features. The hotel’s combination of elegant decor and colonial-era architecture further enhances the incredible setting. All guest rooms feature terraces with plush furniture and private plunge pools — many with jaw-dropping views. Luxury villas and beachfront bungalows grant even more amenities, like kitchens, outdoor showers, hot tubs, and larger terraces. The coastline here is divided between the main beach and a smaller, adults-only stretch, which can be reached via a walking trail. The calm bay lends itself to swimming and other water sports, including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and snorkeling. An on-site scuba center offers PADI certification and excursions to 16 different dive sites. Parents can enroll their children in the kids’ or teen club, leaving them free to indulge in the treatments at the Rainforest Spa or undertake the strenuous, but beautiful, Gros Piton trail.
Although it may not be framed by St. Lucia’s most famous peaks, the Calabash Cove Resort and Spa offers a beachfront stay that won’t break the bank. The secluded Mosaic Beach provides excellent swimming conditions, characterized by calm, lapping waves. The beach can be easily reached via pathways that meander between palms and well-manicured gardens. With only 26 rooms, guests won’t have to compete for an umbrella or lounge chair on the sizable beach. Snorkeling equipment and kayaks are also on hand for exploring offshore into Bonaire Bay. Given the resort’s position on St. Lucia’s western coast, the wooden pier and beach are ideal spots for taking in the sunset. All guest rooms include balconies with sea or pool views, while a select few suites have wraparound porches and private plunge pools. The main pool is fitted with a swim-up bar and an infinity edge, so guests can still admire the sea with a daiquiri in hand.
The newest of the three Sandals properties in St. Lucia, the Sandals Grande St. Lucian has no shortage of amenities and activities available for guests. Much of the action is concentrated at the expansive white-sand beach as well as the main pool, which features a well-stocked swim-up bar. The resort’s three other pools are suited for a more laid-back environment. Guests can mingle on the volleyball court or chill out in one of the plush beachside cabanas. More active pursuits include windsurfing, waterskiing, and scuba diving, while relaxation awaits at the Red Lane Spa. Dining options range from 12 all-inclusive restaurants to private beachside candlelit dinners. The property’s 301 guest rooms vary in grandeur, but all have balconies or patios. More luxurious accommodations add hot tubs, outdoor showers, and plunge pools.
While Sandals caters to a more social, party-oriented crowd, we recommend Stonefield Villa Resort for travelers seeking a relaxed, adults-only retreat in nature. Spanning 26 lush, tropical acres, the resort’s 17 villas maintain a secluded feel. Each villa is equipped with a private plunge pool and veranda strewn with hammocks and lounge chairs. The lush foliage produces fresh mangoes and papayas, depending on the season, while also providing a home for birds such as parrots and hummingbirds. The clifftop location grants exceptional views of Petit Piton and the Caribbean Sea, especially from the Mango Tree Restaurant and pool area. To access the coast, guests can hop in a shuttle to Sugar Beach or walk to Malgretoute Beach. Although the beach is rocky, it offers great vistas of Petit Piton.