I booked a 6 day stay in a 3 bedroom villa for the second week of December for the primary purpose of attending a destination wedding at another resort. Due to the short notice, we quickly reserved the villa after reading a few reviews. When I initially booked the trip, I was skeptical even though many of the reviews rated the resort highly. Although this was my first time in St. Lucia, I’ve traveled to a number of Caribbean islands in the past and stayed at both the chain all inclusive as well as high-end residential resorts but I have concluded that the Windjammer is now my #1 favorite Caribbean destination. Upon arrival at UVF, a very easy airport to navigate, we proceeded quickly through customs and to the Budget auto rental window to obtain our reserved rental. After a about 25 minutes of paperwork and waiting on our car to arrive we were loaded and on our way. I will note that we did not find driving in St. Lucia as problematic as some of the other reviews have indicated. If you have ever driven through mountains on narrow country roads, you’ll be fine but if well marked freeways are your thing you may struggle. Prior experience with right hand drive is likely beneficial as well. The trip from the airport to the Windjammer took about an hour and a half. I did a significant amount of landmark navigation via Google earth ahead of time and good thing I did. The maps that came with the car were not that detailed and the roads were not marked well at all but luckily I was on the lookout for the Windjammer after passing the Glace supermarket and noticed the sign (it was not well lit or very noticeable- a true understatement of what was to come) and you cannot see the resort from the highway.
After turning off the Castries Gros-Islet Hwy, we followed a one lane road about a mile and arrived at the Windjammer gate and were promptly directed to the lobby. After about a 15 minute check in process we were escorted to villa 35, a 3 bed, 3 bath villa on 3 levels. The top floor (which was level with the road) contained the kitchen, living, dining and balcony. The middle floor had 2 bedrooms and 2 baths and the bottom floor had 1 bed and bath with French doors opening onto a patio and plunge pool. The villa was well equipped in every way. Even though many of the reviews indicated only the bedrooms had air conditioning, villa 35 was air conditioned and had windows (except for the bathrooms) throughout. The tile floors, rough hewn wood and overall architecture of the resort was fantastic and an excellent blend of Caribbean and European style. We did not opt for the all inclusive package so we made a quick trip our first morning to the Super J and stocked up on breakfast, lunch and snacks for the week. Every room in the villa truly had awe inspiring views. On a few occasions I walked down to the beach just to take in more of the scenery but we never had to wait more than a few minutes on a shuttle to and from the villa. We found the grounds and beach to be very well maintained. During our stay we dined at Jammers (dinner on night 1), Dragonfly (breakfast on morning 1), Embers (lunch, snacks and beers occasionally from the beach) and Papa Dons (dinner on night 4). We found all of the restaurants on the property to be great, the staff was attentive and food was excellent. As noted in some of the other reviews, we did encounter a few cats while dining but no one in our party found it to be a significant issue.
While at the Windjammer, we also booked 3 excursions through the resort concierge- the catamaran cruise to Soufriere and the Pitons, SCUBA and a rainforest tour. The catamaran tour, through Jammers Day Sail, lasted the entire day and was awesome. The tour down the coast provided for hundreds of great photo opportunities, once in Soufriere we took in a waterfall, volcano, lunch/ tour at a coca plantation and plenty of pics of the Pitons. On the trip back, the cat stooped at a few locations for snorkeling and photos in Marigot Bay. Overall, I highly recommend this. Two of us did a 2 tank dive excursion through Eastern Caribbean Divers via the Windjammer and highly recommend that as well if you’re certified. The Anse La Raye wall and 165 foot freighter were awesome dives and the dive master and crew were great. The other 3 of the gang did the rainforest tour and reported back it was also excellent. The majority of the trip was spent taking it easy and enjoying the view from the villa and spending time in the sand. The beach is large enough that it was never crowded, clean and free from rastas aggressively pedaling their goods. The sea is calm and warm and while the water is not as clear as some may expect, it is still beautiful and not overly murky.
The Windjammer is in a perfect location, it is secluded in a lush tropical private bay and the villas blend seamlessly into the hillside for a truly picturesque view from any angle. However, you are only a few minutes from the Super J and Mega J shopping centers for groceries, beer and wine as well as shopping and dining in Rodney Bay and Castries. Many of our evenings were spent at various restaurants (Charthouse, Chef Xavier’s, the Bread Basket etc) and shopping outlets in Rodney Bay.
While the stay was excellent, its worth noting that we had a few minor issues that the resort resolved quickly, one of which involved an AC unit and ceiling fan both going out within minutes of each other but within 10 minutes of calling the front desk, all was repaired. The only downside was that I wish our pool had been situated to have direct sunlight but given the design of the unit the pool was on a covered patio but still provided for some terrific sunset views.
Overall, when compared to other resorts where I have previously stayed, the Windjammer is worthy of the highest of ratings. I found that unlike some of the Sandals resorts, the pictures on the Windjammer website were very indicative of the grounds, villas and amenities, I felt less “trapped” and also got more value for my money. While compared to, for example, the private residences with plunge pools at the Crane in Barbados, clearly the Windjammer villas are not as luxurious or modern but when considering the environment, architecture and style of the resort, I felt just as at home at the Windjammer as I have other more expensive/ high-end resorts at a fraction of the cost. I also want to note that on our drive back to UVF, we took our time and stopped a number of times along the way for pictures and lunch in the village of Dennery at the Tjwizin Mele (what a view). Overall, our experiences at the Windjammer were great in every way and envision future family trips back- several of us are already checking our 2014 calendars. If you’re planning a trip to St Lucia, I highly recommend that you consider the Windjammer for a truly awesome Caribbean experience.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort & Spa in Saint Lucia, offers an unforgettable Caribbean vacation for families, honeymooners and couples. This exotic 60-acre full service resort is a panorama of picturesque, spacious and secluded hillside villas. With breathtaking views of the cobalt waters of the Caribbean Sea, this Mediterranean village resort is alive with the sights and sounds of beautiful Saint Lucia. Absorb the stunning beauty of nature at the Windjammer Landing. From dining on tropical fruits at sunrise to enjoying a refreshing cruise at sunset and only your choice of what to do in between. Richly appointed with the warmth of wood and an exotic blend of tropical furnishings, your spacious villa sets the mood for complete relaxation and truly your greatest escape. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Hotel Castries
- Windjammer Landing Hotel Beach
- Windjammer St Lucia
- Windjammer Landing Resort Beach
- Windjammer Landing St Lucia
- St Lucia Windjammer
- Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort St. Lucia/Castries