As breath snatching as it is serene, Marigot Bay hotel has one of the best locations on St Lucia. Set into the hill above the Caribbean’s most beautiful harbour, the luxury hotel is a sprawl of palm fronds, sun beds and two infinity pools. The mega-yacht marina below means top-tier people watching and a flow of local fishermen peddling the freshest catches, but the secluded spa, romantic restaurant and tucked-away suites ensure maximal seaside seduction.
Get this when you book through us:
A bottle of wine on arrival, with early check-in/late check-out; GoldSmiths receive a bottle of prosecco, early check-in/late check-out and a free room upgrade (subject to availability)
Extremely flexible, with check-out available until 6pm. Earliest check-in, 6am. If the room is not yet available, guests are welcome to use the restaurants, pools and spa facilities.
Double rooms from £355.75 ($487), including tax at 7 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 10% per room per night on check-out and an additional service charge of $6.00 per person per night on check-out.
Rates include round-trip airport transfers, daily breakfast and boat shuttle service to a nearby beach.
Rise early for morning yoga and pilates on the deck overlooking the marina. Many afternoons, the fitness centre also offers classes in the healing herbs used in the spa.
At the hotel
Spa, gardens, library, relaxation lounge, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: free refreshment centre, Acqua di Parma bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Though the bay-view rooms offer prime vistas, several Resort View One-Bedroom Suites have a hot tub on the patio, which can be requested upon booking.
There are two sun-heated freshwater infinity pools, each surrounded by cabanas, umbrellas and sun loungers. The upper-level pool is family-friendly with bay views; the lower pool offers an adults-only dip, with a swim-up pool bar.
Tucked behind a veil of palm fronds, the Auriga Spa is an indoor-outdoor sanctuary inspired by nature. Treatments use native traditions, sea salt, volcanic rock and local herbs. There is also a menu of signature treatments inspired by phases of the moon.
Bring your nautical niceties: access to the region’s toniest marina means mariners from the world-class yachts often head to the hotel for dinner.
All common areas, including the pools and restaurants, are wheelchair accessible. There is one dedicated ground-floor room adapted for wheelchair access.
All ages are welcome: there are kids' menus, plenty of activities for little Smiths and four hours of free babysitting a week. For ages 5-17, there's a charge of 50 per cent of the nightly rate.
Nab an open-air table along the edge of the terrace for photo-worthy views with Caribbean jerked chicken and catch of the day.
Don maxi dresses and linen pants for seaside evenings on top of the world.
Perched at the highest point on the property, The Grill at 14⁰61⁰ – open for dinner and breakfast – has panoramic views of the bay and marina below. The indoor-outdoor restaurant features an open kitchen, with a wood-burning grill that turns out dishes made with fresh-caught fish, local herbs and vegetables from the kitchen garden. The more casual all-day Hurricane Hole in Marina Village offers continental breakfast, bar snacks, sandwiches and Caribbean-flavored entrees. For a romantic occasion, guests can arrange dinner for two in the Spa Village Tree House.
The intimate, cellar-inspired Rum Cave specialises in the Caribbean's best-known spirit, as well as single-malt whiskey. Spirits and cigars are served from wooden trolleys, with live music playing most evenings. The Rum Cave serves Caribbean fare for lunch and dinner, including peppered beef and Creole-marinated chicken. The Pool Bar and its adjacent Brut Bar are open by day, from 10 and 11am until 6 and 5pm, respectively, serving all manner of beverage, including rum punch and frozen drinks, as well as local ceviche, sandwiches and bar snacks.
Hurricane Hole serves from 7am until 5pm. The Grill serves breakfast from 7am until 11am, and dinner from 6pm until 11pm. Rum Bar is open from 11am until 1pm.
Room service is available from 7am until 11pm, and includes classic cereals, eggs and pastries in the mornings, then salads, wraps, burgers and fish throughout the day.
You’ll find Marigot Bay in a cove on the west coast of St Lucia.
The island’s main gateway is Hewanorra International Airport (www.slaspa.com), a 60-minute drive from the hotel. It offers flights from London (www.ba.com), New York (www.united.com) and other major cities. The hotel can arrange transfers, starting at $100. There is a smaller hub, George F L Charles Airport, which primarily operates flights within the Caribbean, and is a 35-minute drive from the hotel.
Those interested in exploring the island should hire a car from the rental kiosks at the airport, but take note that signage is very light, so many of the landmarks along the route are restaurants, fire stations and water tanks, rather than actual road signs. The hotel is on the west coast, and staff can provide the detailed driving directions. Valet parking is available at no charge.
Sailors can drop anchor at the marina, a yachting destination and renowned safe harbor in tropical storms. Guests who choose to arrive by boat must reserve their slip with the hotel in advance.
Worth getting out of bed for
Although plenty of guests will be content to settle in beside the infinity pool and plan nothing more exerting than a spa treatment, Marigot Bay offers plenty of activity along the western coast of St Lucia. Each guest is assigned a dedicated personal assistant to maximise enjoyment, starting with arrival travel logistics and including any romantic meals or whims along the way. Those looking to migrate from the pools to the sea can board a free ferry to serene LaBas Beach, but the staff can also assist with rentals of snorkel equipment and point guests to the best spots around the island for spotting rainbow-coloured fish. The waters off St Lucia are also ideal for jet skiing, sunset cruises and deep-sea fishing for marlin and tuna.
Interested in exploring the island’s inland rainforests and remote beaches? Hire a car. The world’s only drive-in volcano, Soufrière – it’s like a Caribbean Old Faithful – is an hour south of the hotel and a fun stop. As for time by the sea, Anse Chastanet Beach, on the southwest coast, is ideal for snorkelling, and has dark, soft sands for lounging. Anse de Pitons Beach, named for its setting at the base of the Pitons peaks, has volcanic sands, and is a perfect picnic spot.
Marina Village, just a quick walk from the hotel, holds excellent restaurants for anyone looking to explore beyond the hotel. The waterfront restaurant Masala Bay specialises in Indo-Chinese dishes made with Caribbean ingredients, such as mahi mahi with chilli and garlic, and lamb with ginger and spices. A 20-minute drive from the hotel, the aptly named Pink Plantation House Restaurant is a candy-hued plantation-style home high on a hill with perfect sea views, a spacious veranda and a garden of tropical palms for added ambience. Shop the artist’s boutique on-site for pottery or postcards, then sit down to local specialties, including curried shrimp, lobster and fresh juices.
St Lucia had long been on my Carribean bucket list – every picture of it I’ve seen has temptingly captured the massive Pitons, the lush jungles, and the ice-blue water. Following a stressful, work-filled summer, I decided it was time to put my dream vacation in motion. Luckily, it’s one thing to fantasize about a luxurious vacation in St Lucia; it’s quite another when you’re assigned a personal assistant who can make your imagination a reality.
What sets Marigot Bay Resort & Marina (née Capella) apart immediately are the handcrafted
touches that said personal assistant (as well as other staff) will attend to upon your arrival.
I’ll admit, I was a bit put off when, prior to the journey, I was contacted by Tricia, our assistant for the duration of our stay. I come with a healthy dose of New York cynicism wherever I travel – what were they trying to upsell me? But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Tricia was not only a native-born local of the island who knew answers to all of the adventure-seeking questions I had, she was a kind, funny, sharp woman.
When I informed her that my traveling Mrs Smith was celebrating a birthday on this trip, she made sure to ask what kind of dessert she enjoyed and what her favorite colors are. I knew immediately this trip was going to be special.
After an hour’s drive from the airport through endless banana plantations and winding hills, we were more than thrilled to receive the cold hand towels and spiced rum iced teas we received at check-in, as well as a warm greeting from Tricia herself. She escorted us – after a whirlwind tour of the expansive, well-manicured property – to our (upgraded) room on the very top floor, featuring mahogany wood paneling, a four-poster king bed with canopy, and a refrigerator stocked with water, juice, and soda, along with two patios that overlooked the entirety of the property and the bay. The room, to our delight, had been garnished with an enormous chocolate cake, balloons, a photo of my friend, a handwritten note, and a small bottle of local rum to aid our celebration.
The room itself faced directly over the Marigot Bay harbor, glittering with beautiful (expensive) yachts and aquamarine water. Marigot Bay, for those who may not know St Lucia well (as I did not), is situated squarely in the middle of the island – meaning you should prepare to either spend all of your time at the resort, or pony up for first-class tours and drivers.
You might be tempted to find the nearest, nicest beach adjacent to that cold, sapphire water – however, the only potential downside is there really isn’t a beach at Marigot. You might hear you can take a ferry across the bay, which is true, but be prepared to find a little slip of a rocky local’s beach where fishermen have the daily catch slung over their shoulders, children splash and play, and men are quite...observant of the tourists, particularly women, who come through. Not a bad spot for the two-for-one sunset happy hour at Doolittle’s, but if it’s powdery white sand you’re seeking, you’d better spend your time (and money) hiring a driver or water taxi to Sugar Beach.
But back to Marigot. There are two large pools (one directly over natural water) that any guest can enjoy, as well as a jacuzzi, which you have access to with a spa treatment (this information was not disclosed to us in advance, although we discovered it upon asking, so be bold!) If water is your thing, you’ll certainly also enjoy a hand-crafted, strong cocktail and a fresh sushi roll at the swim up pool bar, as we did.
For other dining options, there is the more standard Grill with options including the fresh fish
of the day and cheddar polenta, which the chef herself came to our tableside to describe, or the Rum Cave, which offers daily rum tastings, in addition to its tapas-style menu. Slightly odd Spanish leanings aside, it is reasonably priced and allowed us to sample with gusto. You may have to share a bite or two with one of the half a dozen or so resident cats, mind, but they’re friendly little beggars, so who can be mad?
After returning from dinner each night, we find special treats as part of our turndown service.
The lacey mosquito netting is billowing across the bed as we find delicate pastries one evening; spicy popcorn another, along with two ice-cold local beers to enjoy as a nightcap.
We’d spent a relatively short time at the resort, so when we heard about the barbecue and karaoke party that the entire staff was putting on on our last evening, we felt compelled to attend out of sheer curiosity. In preparation we slipped on our soft cotton robes, sipped our local rum and listened to the sound of the water while sitting on our patio after sunset. We couldn’t think of any place we’d rather be.