In this post:
- ➻Introduction: Time to Relax on the Honeymoon Isle
- ⤷Arrival (Landing) at the Windjammer
- ➤Conclusion and Rating
➻Introduction: Time to Relax on the Honeymoon Isle
“Lucas. You don’t have to be number one. You can relax sometimes.” A physician told me that once, as he was worried about my lifestyle.
Someone recently posted their “30 before 30” list. It had something about a vacation in it. And with some odd regret, I realized that I was 29 and had never taken time off to actually just relax. Nor had I ever taken time off to go abroad. Pathetic.
So at work I controlled some air traffics, got off work, drove to the train, took the train to the airport, loaded up into utter chaos.—which remained present for the duration of the redeye—thus causing me to miss sleeping. 9 hours later I arrived in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, the Honeymood Island!
PROBLEMS GALORE. I won’t elaborate here. Very challenging problems! My heavens, I’d hoped to be a lazy sea dog, relaxing on the beach. Why was everything going wrong?
Still, press on. Simple, really. Driving on the wrong side of the road wasn’t a problem, despite traffic laws being a mild form of suggestion rather than anything to actually follow. Abandoned the GPS. There are no road signs nor numbers, so you just kind of make your way.
Eventually I was heading down a hill and saw a small sign amidst a clutter of signs with some writing on it—The Windjammer! That was my first resort for this stay, and I’d later stay at the incomparable Caille Blanc. I chose both based off of pictures on Google Earth. While the Caille Blanc was on a cliff, the Windjammer Landing seemed to have a nice, sandy beach, which is rare for St. Lucia. The price was also great, at about $80/night for me.
People had reviewed it and had said that it was a quiet place (you know, where people annoyingly keep to themselves and aren’t going on like howler monkeys in heat) where night life doesn’t exist. Since I’m not a hound-dog sex-fiend or crazed drug-hippie, this was the right place for me. If you’ve met me, you know that I have a bad disposition, am asocial, standoffish, attractive in neither form nor personality, and possessed of a bad sense of humor.
Really, then, it’s better if I can be left alone, and people can have enough ground distance to “respect my distance,” which all the girls on earth have learned how to do. (I wear deodorant, but the stink of a rotten Limburger personality is hard to cover up.)
⤷Arrival (Landing) at the Windjammer
I made the left at Flavours of the Grill and drove down the road, eventually arriving at a guard shack. They waved me down the hill to check in, which was gorgeous, with a small parking lot.The open-air check-in was beautiful. I parked in staff parking, as I’m rather a boob, and presented myself. Lindon, the “arrivals” manager (all the French people I met would ask, “Are you landing?”), said that I looked tired and stressed. He was the sort of kind spirit (met three of those type immediately) that I could learn from. He seemed genuinely happy and also amused.
“Lucas, take the rum punch here and the cold towel. Got sit one one of those couches. Finish the drink. We are going to make sure that you relax. No rushes. No worries. Just relax. And I’m upgrading you to the deluxe villa, so that you are right on the beach, and by the restaurants. You won’t have to take a shuttle to your place. Oh, and here is a parking badge that lets you park in the staff lot instead of the shuttle lot. You can park right outside the offices. No need to move your vehicle. Stay close to your place. Now go sit down and drink your welcome drink. Prove that you can relax.” (My paraphrase.)
The welcome drink kicked my dang butt and made me feel dizzy—I wasn’t ready for the alcohol which it must have had. I looked around while drinking the beverage; there was a pool down below checkin, and the beach beyond that, with some intermediate buildings that appeared to be eateries.
After finishing my punch, a man showed up with a van to take my luggage, and I received a full map of the grounds; there were restaurants all around the sprawling grounds, which reached up into the hill above. My room was right above the beach, however, so the closest restaurants were only about a 60-second walk downhill for me.
The van ride itself was about 200 feet. We parked and walked down a path another 50 feet to my ground-level room; the man showed me around, pointed out the pools, and asked me if everything was OK. By this time the rum punch was really kicking my butt and my ears were basically deaf, so I thanked him and sent him on his way.
The room itself was no villa, but very nice, with a shower and separate bathtub, a food prepr area, couch, fridge, etc. It was basically a small suite with a long, rectangular design. I liked that a miniature infinity pool was right outside my door, and it cascaded to another just a flight of stairs down. As a final thought on this, the area is rural enough that you can listen to all of the amazing songbirds at night. I loved that.
The location was pretty convenient for me, although a number of people during my stay there commented that it was “remote” and “for quiet, French people who want to be left alone.” I saw a number of kids, but it was mostly older couples; during the first three hours alone, I was asked where my girlfriend was by at least five people. They were all very happy, but one French lady commented that she was sad that I had no companionship for my trip. Okie dokie? Everyone seemed confused as to why I was alone. I guess it’s the Honeymoon Isle and all.
Most significant to me is that it’s not near the Pitons. If you want the true St. Lucian experience, you’ll have to make your way down to them, and as above, I recommend the Caille Blanc villa, if you can afford it. It has views that you’ll never, ever forget.
It was a bit of a trek to do many activities, since the northern section of the island is really more for socializing, while the middle portion is better for scuba, visiting rainforests, etc. I still made the hour-long trip down to Marigot Bay to go kayaking, though. I also took a 20-minute drive to catch a cruise over to France and caught a trip basically from my room to go scuba diving.
I liked that I could snorkel at the beach, which was a little murky in areas, but had tons of fish, some octopusses, etc. Their pier also allowed me to sleep in an extra 90 minutes the day of my scuba diving excursion, since the scuba company will boat down to pick you up on the way to Anse la Raye.
The buildings are gorgeous, and done in the Greek style. While I stayed seaside, many of the locations are up on the hill, which could be quite a hike. It seemed to me, however, that many of the uppermost accommodations were timeshares or residences. If you are in the upper area, you can request a little taxi of sorts that’s free, and runs up and down the side-winding roads. I only ventured up the hill once, and grabbed a pizza, which brings me to…
The food on site was exclusively bland, and while the frozen beverages were yummy, I thought that they were overpriced; some were in the $18 range. This definitely is an incentive to get the all-inclusive meal plan, which includes drinks, but there’s simply no way that it works out financially to me, as I don’t drink enough to float a battleship. Given the lackluster food, I ate at other places during my stay, and went to local grocers, as well.
Oh, and on a final note, I checked out their room service one night, just to see how it was, ordering a simple burger and fries. The delivery was prompt, the food was exactly as I’d ordered, and the fries were still very hot!
All the activities were free, but I didn’t need snorkel gear, so I never saw what type they offered as “free rentals.” Often the used ones tend to be gross, at least from my point of view. If I would have had the time, I would have learned basic sailing, which they taught. I don’t know if it cost extra, and I didn’t have time to find out. I did yank a kayak from them, and that was a blast, though they don’t let you take them far.
There tended to be a staff employee on the beach who told you about further offered activities, some of which were free, and some of which were paid. I was not interested in any of them, so I declined to hear his spiel. To the man’s credit, he remembered that I’d declined and never pursued anything further during my stay, although he did converse with me a few times just to ask if there was anything he could do to make life easier for me! That was appreciated.
One sour note: they were oddly stingy about towels, which were all tagged in and out. At one point, they somehow lost one of my tags, which made the process of exchanging them come to a halt for 45 minutes, as the staff were all to nervous to take unilateral action. I called the front desk and talked to the man who rum-punched me, Lindon, and he apologized profusely and said it wasn’t a problem. (And made sure that it wasn’t.)
➤Conclusion and Rating
The Windjammer isn’t a great place if you’re looking to have a party or want to be able to step out into a party. If you want a pleasant beach away from crowds with a few on site activities, it’s pretty decent. It’s also about 15 minutes from Castries and from Gros Islet; I really loved that it was only a 7 minute drive to church at the Gros Islet Church of Christ, where the folks were very welcoming.
The food isn’t awesome, but often island food tends to be bland, from what I’ve seen so far, if you stick to the resort fare. Step out and get your own, but don’t be suckered into buying the “St. Lucian” dishes, which are very underwhelming and bland.
The area itself is quite picturesque. I visited some of the other resorts just to check them out, and I think that, for the Gros Islet area, the Windjammer was my favorite location. I really loved, too, that it was protected from the wind.
⭐⭐⭐⭐ ☆ (4 stars)
- My scientific rating system. It doesn’t exactly apply to resorts, but you can get the gist.
- Beauty. This is a very pleasant area with a nice, private beach. St. Lucia is a volcanic island without many white beaches, so that’s important to me. I loved the Greek housing style. It can’t hold a candle to the Pitons, so I’ve deducted a star for that.
- Lodging. I had a standard mini-suite. It was well cleaned, had great water pressure, and all of the fixtures were solid.
- Crowds. It was very quiet when I was there.
- Location. A short drive from Castries and Gros Islet/Rodney Bay. There is a mini-mart about 7 minutes away, but if you’re pressed, they of course sell some items on site.
With love, always