Third trip to the Body Holiday! I have had great social holidays there each time before but the rooms were getting pretty tired. Now that the place has been refitted however it really deserves its high prices and a 90%+ rating. Its a great resort and I recommend it thoroughly.
The first thing to mention is that the return rate for guests is very high. I met people on this trip who were on their 3rd, 5th, 10th, 15th visit! So they must be doing something right...
While it's very good indeed don't expect Four Seasons 5 star standards, because the staff, although lovely, are just not up to it. But its location, thoughtful management and recent updating have made it an excellent 'Caribbean 5 star'. While the prices are not cheap the fact that most stuff is included - unlimited drinks and food, sports equipment, *excellent* gym, beach equipment, daily spa treatment - means that the overall value is quite good.
What was nice to see on this trip was the care that had gone into the menus and the design and service touches that made the trip special (and some formal performance management too, try and spot the balanced scorecards for staff). Wide range of food options from healthy
wraps and veggie juices to fresh pizza and ice cream. How about beach waiters who would offer chilled face cloths and Pimms right at your sun lounger? How about floating communal sun loungers in the crystal clear sea? How about the swimming waiters who bring your cocktails out to you while you float 20m offshore on a lounger, while brightly coloured shoals of fish dart about underneath!?! (seriously). You can always borrow a free snorkelling outfit and check the the fish out - or even take your PADI scuba dive course and get a closer look. How about a beautiful yoga room with huge windows overlooking peaceful and tranquil trees - where you can even practice on the roof with Lilly, the wonderful and inspirational yoga instructor (she would be a standout at a big city pro studio, let alone at a holiday resort).
I was never a fan of the spa myself personally, and I guess many males are the same. Example - getting moisturiser rubbed into your hands and feet for an hour - what's the big deal about that? I'd rather paddle board for the hour (and did). If you are a spa pro you will find that a lot of the treatments are simply delivered in too rote a fashion. I guess this is a requirement of getting enough trained staff to deliver enough treatments on such a small island. This trip I simply cancelled them all after the first (all body massage) was as average (and the staff member as unenthusiastic) as I remembered from the time before. But conversely a premium (USD130) massage from a senior therapist, Billy, was EXCELLENT. Shame they don't allow guests to trade all the inclusive treatments for one or two premium ones. Also, it was kinda dumb to put the class studio (used for noisy dance classes, zumba etc.) right in the middle of the spa 'oasis of calm' - whoops.
Each of my three visits have been as a single (male). If you go as a single the genius feature of the resort is the communal dining tables. If you don't want to be Billy No-Mates all holiday you simply go to the (piano) bar before dinner one night and a staff member will round up groups of singles at 7.30pm and make up large communal dining tables. So within a couple of hours you are already on first name terms with a bunch of other singles. After a couple of days of this you have plenty of new friends to sit on the beach with, join for a class, take a scuba dive, sit in the bars...the social aspect is what makes this place for me. By the end of every visit I have made a
whole new set of friends. And what friends...thanks to the (high) prices and the singles-friendly garden rooms the resort attracts an amazing cross section of well educated, interesting, professional and successful individuals (mostly 35+). Usefully, there is a nice mix of countries too - quite a lot of Brits, but other countries too. Its not too much an all-US resort as some place in St Lucia (Sandals?) are.
The resort IS rather female-heavy - many more single women than men. I guess this is due to the spa aspect of the resort being more promoted. But really there is no reason this should be the case. What with all the watersports, gym, golf, tennis, volleyball, scuba etc. there is just as much for male visitors to do as women. And the male half of the many couples there all seemed to be having a good time.
Is it perfect? No. But honestly most of the complaints I heard or read below are real first-world ones (wine is too cold, food took too long to arrive, why did we have to dress smartly for dinner? etc.). The only real complaint I had was that the tiled surfaces are lethal when wet, so walk very carefully.
If you go forget about complaining. Just wander down the lovely beach past all your new friends, into the crystal clear sea and lie on a floating sun lounger with a cocktail brought to you by a cheerful waiter. And remember how lucky you are!
Suggestions for hotel management;
1. Give every guest a $ value of spa treatments included with their stay, rather than a stock list of prebooked standard ones. That way guests could choose what suits them, perhaps just 2 or 3 premium treatments, rather than 10 standard ones.
2. Also, give each guest a fixed amount of Body Holiday 'dollars' for staff tips. Then, instead of trying to remember staff names (and them trying to impress them on you all the time) for the paper (!) customer survey we could simply pass it out as tips on our last day. That would be a nice way for the guests to say thank you, and easy for you to figure out which staff members should be training the others in customer service...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The BodyHoliday, LeSPORT - The only vacation to combine the pleasures of personalized rejuvenation in a luxurious holiday environment with the opportunity to acquire skills and insights that will enhance the rest of your life. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Bodyholiday, Lesport Hotel Castries
- Le Sport St Lucia
- Bodyholiday At Lesport Castries
- Bodyholiday At Lesport Hotel Castries
- Bodyholiday Lesport
- The BodyHoliday, LeSport St. Lucia/Castries