Born to Rum - St Lucia & Dominica
Updated: Feb 7
Island hopping doesn’t usually conjure up the image of the Caribbean, it’s usually reserved for the likes of the Greek Islands. However, this trip provided us with the opportunity to stay on two Caribbean islands, in four resorts, all unique in their own way.
So much so – it was hard to fit it all into one standard blog, so you can click each hotels name for a more in-depth picture of our experiences at each stay.
Like most of my client base I live a mere ten minutes’ walk to the runway at Manchester Airport – so flying from anywhere else always seems like a huge effort. But with a choice between a direct flight from Gatwick Airport taking 8.5hours, or a 35-hour flight with 2 stops from Manchester – it was a no brainer.
Our trip started at the Holiday Inn Worth, where we had an overnight stay & 12 days parking booked.
We were up early & on our way to the airport in the cab arranged by reception for us, dropping us at South Terminal we made our way into departures. Bag drop was quick & easy, with staff around to assist with any issues. Before we knew it, we were through security & we set about starting our holiday the right with, a prosecco & a pint! Not much later the screens flashed with our gate & we were off, boarded within moments & in our seats the flight began.
Arriving at Hewanorra airport we were most definitely starting to feel the tiredness kick in after losing five hours with time difference. We knew we had to push through, once we cleared customs & exited the airport, our contact Willett was there waiting for us. He took our bags, loaded us into the car & as we left the airport began to tell us all about the villages & townships we were passing through. As we drove, he leant over, lifted the lid of a cooler & popped open 2 bottles of Piton, the local lager, named for the 2 mountainous peaks that are the icon of this Caribbean paradise.
He explained that he was taking us to see the island before he dropped us at our resort, our first stop was the lookout point at Dennery. With views over the bay & the town of the same name, Willett explained this was a fishing village, the church we could see was over 100 years old & he explained the area has had a resurgence of late with a growing music scene that is its own genre called ‘Dennery Segment Music’
As we looked about Willet returned to the car & came back with 2 fresh coconuts, tops cut off, popped straws in, handed them over, while taking some pictures of us with the scenery in the background.
Leaving Dennery, we drove out over the island & explaining there were more villages also doing some unique things, he pulled the car over & took us inside what seemed like a roadside shack. Inside there was a wood fired oven hollowed into the natural rocks of the roadside. It was amazing to see, but the best bit – warm fresh bread & cheese! Snack in hand we climbed back into the car & Willett continued the drive, talking to us about the rainforest area we were driving through as well as more details on the local people, the upcoming celebrations for Creole month & before we knew it, we were there, Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa in Rodney Bay.
Home for the next three days, armed with lots of tips about places to see in Rodney Bay & where to eat for some traditional creole experiences, we headed to check in.
After the sights & sounds of Rodney Bay we checked out & Willet was there as planned to collect us & take us to the airport. This time we were headed to the little domestic airport of Castries. By far the most impressive check in I have ever had, in all my years of travelling. Bags dropped, boarding passes collected we left the small outdoor check in area, crossed the road to the departure lounge, which also happens to be a decked area, next to the beach & the Caribbean Sea. From the selection of rum shacks we chose Petra’s, the service was excellent, not to mention the Rum & Cokes – which was considerably more rum than it was coke!
The light aircraft with approximately 20 seats was now ready & once boarded we took off. 45-minutes later, we landed in Marigot airport, Dominica. The flight into the island was amazing with views of lush vegetation, groves & waterfalls as we approached landing.
Arrivals was easy to navigate & once outside we were met by Clem, knowledgeable & friendly he gave us lots of insight into the island, the people, history & culture on the 60-minute drive. Arriving in Roseau, we were handed over to the porter at Fort Young Hotel, for check in. Fort Young Hotel was to be our base for the next 3 days.
After our stay was over, it was time to return to St Lucia to complete our trip. We had a schedule change to our return flights, which was disappointing but luckily there was a catamaran sailing that left Roseau on the Saturday & would take us right into Castries harbour. Once booked, we made our way to the ferry terminal which was a four-minute walk out the front of the hotel. Arriving at 8.30am to clear port customs, the sailing was just over 4 hours. The journey was smooth & stopped in Fort-de-France, Martinique to collect & drop off passengers, the ferry operates a little like a water taxi service between the West Indies so that people can move about inter-Caribbean.
Arriving in Castries, the port was busy & it took a while to get through the immigration process. But once we had fulfilled all the necessary requirements, we were out the doors & there with his cold Pitons & trusty car was Willett. Waiting to speed us onwards to our next stay at the beautiful East Winds
Again, we only had three days here, before we moved on, but this stay was the opportunity we had been waiting for, sea, sun, sand, & a self-service swim up bar!
When the three nights had ended, again Willet arrived to transport us over his island home, driving us down to the south coast through Marigot Bay, filming location for Pirates of the Caribbean, into Anse la Raye & up to views over the bay with the Caribbean Sea framed by the village on the shore & the magnificent Pitons, making sure we had lunch with a view at a family friends’ restaurant before finishing the drive to our final stay for two nights Rabot Hotel from Hotel Chocolat
It's safe to say that this was a whirlwind tour of these two very unique & diverse Caribbean Islands, but it won’t be our last. We can't wait to go back as a family next time.
Want to use my expertise garnered on this trip to plan your own Caribbean adventure?