Home » Caribbean Journal (2011) »North & Central America »St. Lucia

Caribbean Log – Powered by British Airways. Smugglers Cove Hotel, St. Lucia

Let’s take a short break from my stories and present you the hotel I stayed. Actually, it is not a hotel, it is an all-inclusive resort called “The Smugglers’ Cove”. Apparently, in this hidden gulf, the smugglers did a very lucrative business with the surrounding islands, so the name remained. Now the only smugglers seem to be the US tourists who smuggle margaritas all over the property. For some reason, they cannot make mojito, which I would also smuggle…

First and foremost, I should say this was my first all-inclusive experience ever. I’ve never been to Antalya or Sharm in an all-inclusive resort, so this was a first for me. I think this is an interesting concept, quite attractive for many, but not for me – especially as the soles of my feet get really ‘itchy’ when I find myself in a new place… All-inclusive resorts are designed for people who enjoy lying on the beach, drinking their cocktails in the shade (or in the sunshine), and maybe get involved in several other activities that are more or less interesting. All inclusive-resorts create a universe of its own that is quite different from the rest of the island. And many people love that universe.

I also liked it, I can’t deny it! It would be impossible not to like Smugglers Cove… It’s a genuine botanical garden, with carefully trimmed green lawns (well, well, the British school… ), tens of thousands of flowers and beautiful colorful homes exuding optimism. I went for a tour in the Maldives about a year ago… True, the landscape there is amazing: white sand, green sea, absolute luxury, but I don’t know if I felt as good as I feel here… If you are not wearing Calvin Klein slippers, you don’t belong there… While here you get the same Paradise (true, in a different style), but you can still relax and be yourself. You can go into the swimming pool even if you don’t leave your Philippe Patek watch on your chaise-longue, in plain sight.

Smugglers Cove is located in the northern part of the island – obviously, next to the sea shore. In St. Lucia, just like in Mexico, all the beaches are public property, so anyone can go to the beach and nobody can stop them. So if you want to go swimming in the Caribbean, you can always meet some fan of Hagi’s wearing his golden chains around his neck or some boy ready to sell anything you would like to buy… True, the beach was also the place where we met Captain Typhoon, so the concept of public beach is not so bad, after all…

However, if you want to stay put in your own universe, you’ll be happy to know that this hotel has no less than eight swimming pools of various sizes and depths. If you want to sit at the bar sipping cocktails with your behind bathing in the water, no problem… If you want to play water volleyball, you have a special net. Fancy a Jacuzzi? No problem there, either… Of course, you are surrounded by so many palm trees that make you realize you are in the Caribbean, but unfortunately for people with more sensitive skin, nobody thought of building a swimming pool in the shade… So you can get tanned (or burnt) in less than half an hour on a really sunny day!

You also have about four restaurants – The Cove (international), Creole Grill (these guys make fresh stakes on the grill for lunch, every day, by the swimming pool), La Trattoria (à la carte) and Cafe Asia… It’s so obvious I am not a regular customer of all-inclusive resorts… Now that I am writing this story, I realize I only went to The Cove so far .

Other than that, you have well-organized daily schedules – beer drinking competitions, football playing on the beach, volleyball playing in the pool, evening concerts and sometimes even karaoke; on some days you get some “special” programs – aqua fitness, yoga, tai chi etc. etc… Of course, there is also a spa – but it’s rather expensive, and not so popular.

You can take soca dancing (a Caribbean dance) classes, or learn how to use your bow and arrows! Lovers of aquatic sports have many options – as part of the “all inclusive” offer – such as water ski (make sure you make your reservations before it’s too late), or water ski, sailing and windsurfing classes (you have to know one or two things for this); you can ride ‘the banana’ or take a small kayak or a pedal boat and go further away from the shore, out into the small bay connected to Smugglers Cove.

Honestly, I spent some wonderful days in Smugglers Cove. Like I said, there are so many things you can do without going out of this resort… But it would be a shame, because St. Lucia is worth visiting. However, if you manage to find the optimum balance between hotel fun and island exploration, you can spend a gorgeous vacation in this small botanical garden!

For more details, visit Smugglers Cove St. Lucia.

And now, of course, the photos.

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The resort…

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This is how the rooms look like.

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The entrance to my room

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And the inside of a room

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Gift shops (not open at 7 a.m. )

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Copa de Oro

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Breakfast

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Some uninvited – but really nice – guests popped in for breakfast

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A whole string of swimming pool photos

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All-inclusive activities

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Caribbean beach

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Aquatic sports

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