Saint Lucia Incentive Travel – “Let Her Inspire You”
I recently visited Saint Lucia for the first time and highly recommend this island destination for your next incentive travel program. Saint Lucia is a Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles nestled between Martinique, Barbados, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The island measures 27 miles long and 14 miles wide and is lush with rainforests, volcanic beaches, and pristine beaches. The iconic Piton Mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop that have achieved UNESCO World Heritage Status. Saint Lucia is truly a magical destination to experience.
What is Saint Lucia’s climate like?
Saint Lucia experiences a tropical climate and is warm all year round, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to upper 80s. The best time to visit is from December to April since it is the coolest and least rainy part of the year. Saint Lucia can be affected by hurricanes from August to October, however, they haven’t experienced extensive hurricane damage since 1980.
How do I travel to (and within) Saint Lucia?
Hewanorra International Airport at Vieux Fort (UVF) is the second-largest airport in the Caribbean serving international flights. There are numerous nonstop flights to Saint Lucia from Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, London. New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and Toronto. Miami has the most departures with an average of 12 flights per week. Flights from the US range from 4-6 hours. Chicago is starting nonstop service in December 2019 and London starting November 2019.
Ground transfers can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on where your hotel is located. Winding mountain roads offer beautiful scenery as you drive through the middle of the island. Our group stopped at a local shop and sampled delicious cheese-stuffed creole bread and fresh-squeezed juice. It was a nice break in the drive after a long day of travel.
Saint Lucia offers world-class accommodations of 4 to 5-star incentive-quality properties with top-notch service. The northern and western part of the island is dense with hotels. I recommend a split program when visiting Saint Lucia by spending half the time in the western region and the remainder in the north. The western region is focused on rest and relaxation with excursions focused on nature and well-being.
Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort
One property I fell in love with during my trip was Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort in Soufriere. The location of the resort is spectacular; set within 100 acres of rainforest on the site of an 18th-century sugar plantation at the foot of the breathtaking Pitons and white sand beaches. The resort offers many different room categories from luxury guestrooms, cottages, and villas to beachfront bungalows and four-bedroom beachfront homes (96 villas and 22 multi-bedroom residences). Spoil your attendees with a plunge pool, private patio and butler service in every room. The Rainforest Spa was a highlight of the resort, with treehouse treatment rooms and a temescal, or steam dome, to detox. There are numerous event spaces for incentive groups from the beach, to the different restaurants and deck venues.
Marigot Bay Resort
Another property I stayed in was the magnificent Marigot Bay Resort, Spa & Marina. This resort is located on a marina so a great option for water activities, shopping, and restaurants. The beach is located on the other side of the bay from the resort. I was thoroughly impressed with the room product at this resort. The Junior Suites are 915 square feet and the Suites start at an expansive 1345 square feet with a living room and dining room. Another great perk at this resort is the option to add the all-inclusive dining package for your group to enjoy the multiple restaurants. Our group hosted an amazing rum tasting in the rum cave and then dinner on the terrace with a steel pan player. You truly live like a king when staying at this resort.
Royalton Saint Lucia
The northern part of the island is a bustling area with many hotels, restaurants, and nightlife. I visited several resorts during my trip and was impressed by the all-inclusive Royalton Saint Lucia in Cap Estate. There are 166 rooms that are split into 3 distinct areas: general for families, Hideaway for adults and Diamond Club for the elite experience. The hotel offers many concessions for groups such as a complimentary welcome cocktail, private check-in and registration, spa and private event discounts and more. This resort is a good fit for groups that wish to enjoy many dining outlets, entertainment and activities on property.
The Landings Resort & Spa
The Landings Resort & Spa by Elegant Hotels in Gros Islet offers convenience along with top-notch dining and atmosphere. Tucked on the shore of Rodney Bay, this hotel is 5 minutes away from the island’s best restaurants and nightlife. This property was unique as it has its own private marina, making it a perfect choice for those looking to add secluded boating or yacht experiences to their itinerary.
Other hotel brands, such as Ritz Carlton, Fairmont, and AMResorts plan on opening resorts in the near future, further guaranteeing Saint Lucia as an emerging incentive destination.
Additional Luxury Hotel Options
- Cap Maison Hotel (Cap Estate)
- Sandals St Lucia Resorts (Gros Inlet & Castries)
- Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort (Castries)
- Ladera Resort (Soufriere)
- Jade Mountain (Soufriere)
- Anse Chastanet (Soufriere)
Incentive Travel Activities
My favorite part of Saint Lucia, when compared to other Caribbean islands, is the unique and authentic excursions offered on the island. There is no shortage of options for incentive travel groups looking to appeal to everyone on the team.
Pigeon Island National Park
Pigeon Island National Park at Rodney Bay is a great option for incentive groups, as it includes hiking on the peaks, bird watching, exploring the historical heritage of fort ruins and relaxing and snorkeling on the beach. On our trip, we arrived at the beach to local Caribbean music, fresh coconut drinks and ate local St. Lucian cuisine with our toes in the sand. It was an amazing way to kick off a great week in Saint Lucia.
Therapeutic Mud Bath at Sulphur Springs
The mud bath was definitely the most memorable excursion I experienced at Saint Lucia. The Soufriere Volcano last erupted in the 1700s and the springs originated from a weak spot in the crust of the collapsed crater. The mud baths detoxify the body and help with sunburns, sore joints and more. Our group had an amazing time lathering up with mud and relaxing in the boiling water.
Gros Islet Street Party
Every Friday there is a street party in Gros Islet where the streets are blocked off and locals and tourists come to eat, drink, dance and have fun. There is local, authentic food to sample, such as BBQ, conch, lobster and salt fish. The rum punch and Piton beers were flowing. The DJ is blasting loud music on the street and everyone is dancing together. The street party was my favorite memory of Saint Lucia and I can’t wait to be back soon with an incentive trip to experience it again.
Additional Excursion Options
- Segway Tour Nature Trail Experience
- Catamaran by the Pitons
- Rum Tasting
- Rainforest Adventures
- Spa and Wellness
Sample Incentive Travel Itinerary
• Arrival to airport
• Check-in to Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort
• Welcome Reception on the beach
• Optional Activities: spa, mud bath, jeep tour, hike Pitons, catamaran snorkel, diving
• Private Dinner in the Great Room restaurant
• Catamaran sail to The Landings Resort
• Off property dine-around dinners, Gros Islet street party
• Beach day at Pigeon Island
• Farewell Reception on a yacht in the marina