“Good food, good times, good people”, that’s the motto of this friendly, family run boutique hotel. Coco Palm, located at Gros Islet, St Lucia, is just a few minutes’ drive from the Rodney Bay Marina. The hotel is owned by Alan Chastanet, leader of the Island’s opposition party and former Tourism Minister and is managed by his delightful sister Feolla.
After a magnificent two weeks spent sailing around St Vincent and the Grenadines, we arrived looking and feeling somewhat dishevelled. We were longing for a long hot shower, a bed in which to practice our starfish impersonations and to banish the continual rocking motion that one suffers after a period of living on the high seas.
A warm welcome awaited us and we were quickly shown to our wonderful swim-up room with steps leading down into the refreshing free-form swimming pool. The room was bigger than the space we’d shared with 6 other people on the boat with not one but two double beds, a much needed rain shower and a little terrace to on which to sit out and relax. The free fast wifi, was perfect for reconnecting with the world.
I’m reliably informed that the hotel is a regular spot for those topping or tailing their sailing trips and looking for some much needed, land based luxury. I did spot a couple of familiar faces, other yachties, whom we had seen navigating a similar route.
We headed out to the brightly coloured gardens, soothed by the gentle breeze whispering through the palm trees. In this peaceful little haven, there’s a lovely relaxed vibe, sometimes a DJ or steel band playing and plenty of space to find a spot on the pool side loungers. Guests vary from families to couples, reflecting the range of affordable options the hotel has to offer, from room-only to fully inclusive.
The pool meanders along the pretty pastel facade of the building and in a sizzling 29 degrees, it’s perfect for popping in for a quick cool down but equally big enough for a good swim. After two weeks at sea, a sand and salt free pool suited me fine! However, Coco Palm is only a matter of minutes walk to the beautiful Reduit Beach and is reputedly the best beach in St Lucia. Reduit is a pretty inlet, safe for swimming. Beach vendors are discouraged from operating on Reduit Beach but one can still purchase fresh fruit and coconuts, delivered by boat or a tasty roti from “Liz the Roti woman” who patrols the beach selling her delicious snacks from a cool box.
There are a number of dining options at the Coco Palm starting with a decent buffet breakfast, which unlike that served in many other hotels has a different selection of hot dishes every day. Guests can dine alfresco in the plantation style Koko Cabana for lunch, dinner and poolside snacks or enjoy delicious Creole gastronomy at the vibrant Creole Grill.
If you prefer to explore the local eateries, the back of the hotel is literally just off the main street with a wide range of international restaurants close by, and if you are an avid juicer like me, you can get your chia seed and spinach fix from Felly Belly just across the street.
I’m sad to say that as we stayed at the Coco Palm over the New Year Bank Holiday I wasn’t able to sample the extensive list of spa treatments that are offered in a little custom built cottage in the hotel grounds. The chocolate mint massage sounded intriguing and I’m told that clients come from far and wide to experience a sports or remedial massage from masseur Donovan.
After just three days at Coco Palm, I was well on the way to being restored to my former self and ready to fly back to England, well rested and full of optimism for what the New Year has in store.
Getting there: Coco Palm is situated on the north of the Island, approximately a one hour drive from Hewanorra International airport. We used the executive transfer service from St Lucia Airport Taxi’s who provided a safe, professional transfer in a fully air conditioned car.
Carolyn Pearson is the founder of women’s business travel network www.maiden-voyage.com