|Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
|St. Lucia: Coconut Bay Resort and Spa - Family Fun on the Beach.
Experience the authentic (yet-to-be-discovered) Atlantic side of St. Lucia. Nestled amid swaying palms along Savannes Bay on the island’s undiscovered south coast, with friendly people, beautiful vistas and Caribbean “quiet” days, The Bay is offers families an all-inclusive beachfront vacation option.
Walk along the soft-sand beach, wiggle your toes in the water, watch local fishermen, count sea gulls, snorkel in the bay, sip tropical drinks and gaze at the surf as the sun sets. This is the good stuff.
Our visit was short but rewarding. The Bay is an enchanting spot from which to discover the island or simply chill out and recharge. The staff continually look for ways to make the vacation experience better for their guests. From weddings and vow renewals to reunions and family celebrations, they enjoy the opportunity to make once-in-a-lifetime memories happen.
Resort: Step off the plane at St. Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport, and you’re about five minutes from one of the best-kept secrets in the Eastern Caribbean. Coconut Bay Resort and Spa is nestled along St. Lucia's pristine Atlantic shores. Spanning 85 lush acres fringed with coconut palms, The Bay is a secret getaway spot offering guests of all ages an easy all-inclusive vacation. The lobby area is an open space with huge over-stuffed colorful seating and tables with chess, backgammon, checker-game designs painted on them. Not just for families, the resort provides services to meet the needs of families with young kids while not diminishing the service to adults. From the first welcome drink to the last bite of pineapple, it’s all good.
Amenities: The 254-room property offers Caribbean-cool views from every room, some of the pristine ocean and others of the tropical island. And along with either a king-size bed or two queen-size beds that sleep up to four, you’ll have a comfortable, separate sitting area. Amenities include air conditioning, ceiling fans, satellite TV, direct dial telephone, in-room safe, iron, ironing board and bathroom with shower and hairdryer. Bonus points: Need more family space? Connecting rooms are available by request. Need to know: Wireless internet connection is also available in certain locations on property. Voltage in rooms and throughout the property is 220 volts and electrical outlets accept only the British standard flat 3-pin plug. Guests are advised to bring a converter and an adaptor with them, as they are not provided by the hotel. The front desk staff will charge cameras for guests.
In addition to comfortable sleeping arrangements, guests receive a welcome drink on arrival and a weekly cocktail party hosted by resort managers and staff. Full breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks each day at a choice of three restaurants or the beach grill. Unlimited juices, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages at a choice of three bars, plus the swim up pool bar. Within site of the scrumptious adult buffet tables there is a smaller children’s food buffet serving a variety of kid-friendly comfort foods including pizza, spaghetti and pancakes as well as tempting fried plantains, luscious pineapple, tamarinds, coconut juice and Caribbean treats. The two specialty restaurants each have a children’s menu which changes during the week. Bonus Points:
Clever drinks abound, young kids can sip a “Bob-the-Builder” (banana/milk/milo) drink or sample a “The Harry Potter” (Sprite/grenadine/tomato juice). This is the good stuff.
Activities: On site you’ll find three pools and a water park - the largest one on the island of St. Lucia. The water park features two tropical waterslides and a lazy river which carries guests effortlessly along winding turns and under cascading waterfalls. Directly in front of the main lobby area is a pool set up for volleyball and a daily entertainment program provides a variety of land and pool activities. Throughout the week guests enjoy evening entertainment and theme nights featuring the uniqueness of the island and its culture. The Towel Hut by the pool provides beach towels, board games (on loan) and also water-sport items for day trips. Also in this area are two pool tables, ping pong, Foosball and an arcade with two video game stations. On site is a fitness center offering the latest in exercise equipment for individual workouts as well as aerobics classes. The tennis center features four courts. Bonus points: There is an outdoor whirlpool as well as an adults-only pool.
Comments from parents: While at the resort I had the chance to speak with several parents on vacation with their children. No one was disappointed and everyone was impressed by the friendliness of the always attentive staff –like staying with friends.
Sheryl from Tyrone, Georgia (mother of a three-year-old) said, “What I enjoy the most is the freedom Eli has to be able to run and play with me able to see him while having adult time.”
I talked to Sheryl several times they have a 21 year-old daughter in college. She found Coconut Bay Resort and Spa while surfing the Internet.
Al from Toronto, (father of an eight-year-old and a four-year-old) told me that his family takes a vacation every three months. When they first arrived, his wife and daughter headed to the spa to have their hair braided. His wife commented on how incredibly clean and well-managed the spa was. They loved the resort, the facility in general, only suggestion for improvement - to include peanut butter for sandwiches on the menu. (Their wish is already a reality.)
Sandra and Clive also from Toronto (parents of a five-year-old) were impressed by the efficiency of the “Kidz Klub” children’s activity center. They liked the idea that for a child to use the activity center, parents must check the child in and provide emergency contact information. If a child has a food allergy, they ask a parent to pick them up for lunch.
There’s a spa: Located on the property, at the edge of the sea is the Kai Mer (French Creole for house by the sea). The tranquil facility provides guests with ocean view treatment rooms with private outdoor showers, relaxation lounge, 12-head Swiss hydro shower, two steam rooms and two sauna rooms. The spa offers an extensive selection of treatments, facials, massages and pedicures. Best news for families, teens are allowed.
CocoLand. Created for the Resort’s younger guests CocoLand combines fun with education. The action starts as soon as the kids arrive at the resort when they receive their CocoPacks. These include a tote bag, water bottle with strap for the jungle tours, T-shirt, bucket or baseball hat and scrapbook to record adventures from CocoLand. Because the youngsters are pre-registered, the planning and organizing is already done, allowing the kids to get right to the fun. There are two age groupings, with curriculums designed to cater to the different interests of each. Children ages three through eleven are part of the CocoLand Kidz Klub, while ages nine through fourteen make up the Adventure Club. The kids that qualify for both groups have their choice of which group they want to experience.
While at the Kidz Klub, youngsters take informative nature hikes on Coconut Bay's eighty-five palm-fringed acres and learn about the Caribbean's geography and St. Lucia's ecology. They also participate in supervised arts and crafts, enjoy the Caribbean's largest all-ages water park and play at the Kidz Klub water playground. All kids will discover St. Lucia's history dating back to tales of pirates, local traditions and up to current day customs. Exploring lush foliage and indigenous animals from the iguana to the orange winged parrot will be part of the fun and enlightening curriculum.
The Adventure Club for the older kids combines a variety of physical and educational challenges that require teamwork and problem-solving skills. The water park has two huge water slides and a lazy river. The "Coconut Canon" is the fastest water slide in the Caribbean with kids reaching blazing speeds until they're shot out of the slide like a rocket. The "Survivor-like" Adventure Club for the older kids combines a variety of physical and educational challenges. Though no kids will be voted off the island, the tasks will be exciting and stimu lating. Need to know: Each staff member at the center is CPR certified.
All-inclusive cost: The all-inclusive vacation rates include hotel taxes and gratuities.
Location on the planet. The Bay is located less than a 10-minute drive from St. Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport on the island’s southern shore. Need to know: The island capital, Castries, is located approximately 90 minutes from the resort and is served by the George Charles inter-island regional airport.
Coconut Bay Resort and Spa.
Vieux Fort, St. Lucia. Resort 1(758) 459-6000, reservations toll-free 1-866-978-6226. In the United Kingdom or Europe call: 44 1582 792260 or www.cbayresort.comTerrific Vacation Books
Curious Clownfish. By Eric Madde & Adrienne Kennaway, Little Brown & Company; (July, 1990). one of our all time favorites, this book is a pure delight to share with young children. The large, bright illustrations and the endearing story make this an ideal airport companion.(Ages 2-5)
Anancy-spiderman. by James Berry, Walker Books; (July 27, 1989). Every young child will be enchanted by the folktales of Anancy (Anansi). This book contains a collection of 20 tales about the antics of the West Indian trickster and his companions Bro Monkey, Bro Dog, and Bro Tiger. This collection is ideal for an airport layover or a prelude to naptime. (3-10)
A Caribbean Counting Book. by Faustin Charles. Houghton Mifflin; (March 3, 1996). The perfect trip companion for parents with young travelers, this book engages tykes in the island culture with rhymes and rhythms typical of Jamaica, Martinique to the Dutch West Indies. Count pawpaws and breadfruit, guava, centipedes, and fish. This book works really well with the lighthearted
A Caribbean Alphabet by Frane Lessac's. Both create a sense of place for young children by making them a part of the learning base. (Ages 2-5)
Travel Communications Inc. Comments, reviews and information based on a site visit 3/2006. Please confirm details prior to making vacation plans. Updated 2013.