Sitting on the dock of the .................. Bay Gardens Beach Resort, Rodney Bay, St Lucia
If you were to ask me a month or so ago, what the biggest sticking point of booking a Caribbean holiday is – it would be that we are a family of 6, which includes 4 hard to please teenagers who would need ample space as a family as well as great facilities for the kids – which, I would have added is hard to come by in the Caribbean.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
We arrived at Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa on a balmy Sunday in the late afternoon. Within moments we were checked in by the friendly staff and taken to our one bedroom suite with pool view which will comfortably sleep four people.
A spacious entrance hall that had a small bathroom with toilet and sink, leading into a spacious open plan lounge area with double sofa bed, to the back of this space was the spacious and well-equipped kitchen area. Complimented by double patio doors opening to pool view with terrace.
Off the lounge area was the bedroom, which was beautifully decorated. The bed had been adorned with fresh flowers and our towels made up to resemble two swans. We had a large king size bed, with an en suite bathroom, bath over shower, toilet and two sink vanity complete with toiletries and fixed hairdryer.
In addition, the room could also be interconnected with next door, meaning this would then sleep up to 8 people.
We were staying on a bed & breakfast basis and despite having a big list of places to try for food & drink we were by now exhausted so we headed out of the room and over to the bar area by the pool. Even this late in the evening you could feel the sea air breezing through the open restaurant area just to the side of the bar, and after a few cocktails we headed off to bed.
Waking in the morning we were keen to explore some more, and we headed out of the gate by the pool onto Reduit Beach. Starting at the outcrop at the side of Bay Gardens Beach Resort, on the water away from the shore is the adventure challenge splash-park. Stretching from here, all the way around the bay to Maries Fish Shack at the far end the sand is blissful and was the perfect way to start our day with a walk up the beach.
We headed back to the hotel for breakfast which was buffet style, with fresh fruits, cheese and breads, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, fried plantain, pancakes, jams, muffins and to every kids delight – breaded chicken pieces. Complimented by freshly squeezed fruit juices, coffee and the national favourite cocoa tea – which is a funny sort of hot chocolate tea. I wasn’t keen at first as it felt like hot chocolate with my breakfast but after a small taster of Pauls I was convinced.
After breakfast we decided that we were going to have some time on the beach, and we went back to the room to grab a few things. It’s worth noting that all beaches in St Lucia are public, so you have a mix of families who are there for a beach day as well as the local beach hawkers who are selling their wares. In the first few minutes of your arrival, they make a fuss of you and are wanting to sell their hand made crafts and services. But a gentle conversation and a polite no thank you sends them on their way. They are all regulated and licenced to be on the beach, so its not worth their while to upset the security guards who keep a watchful eye – and in all honesty – they are just trying to make a living.
Like all of us it’s been a long two years with no income for these locals who rely on tourism to ply their trade.
Once we were settled on our sun loungers we relaxed and whilst I caught some rays, Paul headed for a dip. The calm waters allowing him to swim out and bask in the warm Caribbean Sea. A few hours in and we decided we best make the most of the hitlist that Willett had given us for the best things to see and do in Rodney Bay.
We started with short walk out to the main area and a trip to Chef Robby’s which was amazing. Paul had a whole red snapper grilled and I had a local creole dish with rice. A few bottles of piton and a cocktail later we were ready to head back, but what we hadn’t really considered was the searing temperatures at this time of day. Lucky Bay Gardens Beach Resort has three other hotels in Rodney Bay, and a shuttle that runs between them all. So, a short walk up the road to Marina Haven and we were in a lovely cool vehicle making our way back.
We had lots more planned for that day, but with the previous days travel still weighing on us we settled for a short walk out onto the road where the resort is and a couple of cocktails in a local bar.
After another hearty breakfast the morning was spent soaking up the atmosphere at the pool.
The following morning was an early start as we were up, packed and off for breakfast before we were due to check out and make our way to the airport for our flight to Dominica.
Our stay in Rodney Bay wasn’t long enough for us to acclimatise and enjoy all the resort had to offer, but we cannot recommend Bay Gardens Beach Resort enough. From the facilities to the friendly staff, with the lovely Waltrude at the helm as general manager our stay was perfect from start to finish. It’s left us with a definite thirst to get back with the family
Don’t miss…. Gros islet Friday Night Street Party or Pigeon Island National Park
Must do… Try the local cuisine out in Rodney Bay – we recommend Chef Robby’s out by Rodney Bay Marina
Money… everywhere takes cash in local East Caribbean Dollar or US Dollar, if you are paying by card then make sure you pay in East Caribbean Dollar which is the local currency and usually means a better rate of exchange - check with your card issuer before you travel about foreign transaction charges.
Want to use my expertise garnered on this trip to plan your own Caribbean adventure?