The journey from Hewanorra International Airport in the south of the island to our destination, luxury hotel Cap Maison, on its northernmost tip, brings all my imaginings of Saint Lucia to life. There’s lush foliage, banana plantations and gorgeous coloured houses dotted throughout the hills. It’s all so green! Our driver chats and waves at almost every car that passes – from the very beginning the friendliness of the Saint Lucians is so apparent. As we pull up at the hotel, we realise straight away this trip is going to be amazing. For starters, there’s a beautiful fountain and landscaped gardens full of brightly coloured plants, and through the pretty hacienda-style villas we can see the ocean, irresistibly glinting in the sunlight.
We’re shown to our room – a gorgeous ocean-view villa suite with rooftop pool. With panoramic views of the tropical foliage, the beaches and the horizon, plus a huge verandah, lounge and full kitchen, we could happily stay here forever. Sipping a beer on the rooftop terrace, bathed in a balmy breeze, while taking the occasional dip into our private pool is the stuff dreams (or honeymoons!) are made of.
Caribbean delights Cap Maison has two fabulous restaurants – The Cliff at Cap, which overlooks Pigeon Island and the sea, and The Naked Fisherman, a laid-back restaurant one minute from the main hotel, right on Smuggler’s Cove beach. Each morning, we enjoy breakfast at The Cliff at Cap – from waffles, pancakes, frittata and avocado toast to fresh fruit and pastries – all with a view of blue skies and even bluer water. We often choose to eat here in the evenings, too, dining on fresh fish (the chilli prawns are unforgettable), steaks and desserts you’d travel the world for. Pistachio ice cream and a trio of chocolate cakes are particular dessert favourites. The waiters and waitresses know our names from the very first day and the service is second to none. The Naked Fisherman beach bar is our lunchtime go-to. After a morning on the beach (paddleboarding and snorkelling), fresh calamari served with a mango dip, alongside large glasses of crisp rosé, is perfection. At night, this beach restaurant takes on a different vibe, coming alive with music, fairy lights and dancing. We watch the chefs cook local fish in front of us on the barbecue, and listen to the sound of the sea lapping against the sand as we soak up the Caribbean atmosphere.
Breakfast views from the Cliff at Cap
One evening we have a very special treat – cocktails and nibbles at private dining area, Rock Maison, below the Cliff at Cap. With views as far as Martinique, and lit by tiki torches, couples can arrange for a private dinner here or even have a small wedding ceremony or reception. A zip line from the main restaurant brings champagne to you as you watch the sun set and listen to the waves. Another special dining experience is when the hotel arranges a fabulous picnic for us on Pigeon Island National Park (about 15 minutes away by car). An amazing hamper of fresh prawn salads, prosecco and fruit is taken there for us, along with towels for the beach. Many couples choose to marry here on the beautiful 44-acre national park, which is steeped in history, and then have their ceremony at Cap Maison.
Rock Maison is the ultimate romantic dining experience
The island… by sea!
One incredible way to see the Pitons, two beautiful volcanic spires, and the rest of the island, is by boat, and Cap Maison has its very own! The 46-foot Sea Ray motor yacht is certainly impressive, and we tour right up the island to the fishing town of Soufrière and the sulphur springs. We take a trip to the mud baths where we coat ourselves in the healing mud and then sit in the sun until it dries. Next, we head to a powerful waterfall, which certainly wakes us up, and where we wash off the remaining mud, leaving us with beautifully soft skin. Our journey back is spent on the foredeck of the boat, with a beer in hand, sunbathing and taking in the lush views. The crew are great at pointing out celeb haunts, film locations and topping us up with drinks. Just perfect!
Cap Maison’s private yacht
Saint Lucia keeps surprising us, because the next day we’re shown a wilder side to this paradise when we’re taken zip lining. Kurt, our chatty driver, takes us right into the heart of the island, to the rainforest at Babonneau. The sights and sounds of the forest are fascinating and exotic, and our instructor, Shonell, who has a wicked sense of humour, zip lines with us around the course – flying through the incredible canopy and encouraging us when needed. Then it’s back to the hotel for an amazing massage (the perfect contrast to throwing myself from great heights). I couldn’t be any more relaxed.
Saint Lucia’s lush foliage
I’m so sad to leave Saint Lucia, and this gorgeous boutique resort. It’s relaxed, but the service is fabulous – nothing is too much. You’d like a barbecue on your terrace? Of course. Yoga overlooking the beach early in the morning? Done. A wedding with fire-eaters and views of the ocean (we saw this!)? No problem.
For romance, great food, and that refreshing Caribbean friendliness, this is the place.