Depending on where you are in the country right now, it may not be feeling very much like spring. Yes, baseball has started, and yes, your phone promised (promised!) double-digit temperatures sometime in the next week, but be honest: you’re still wearing a down jacket and wishing you were somewhere else.
So go somewhere else.
Good weather is not around the bend — we’re a good month away from that, at least — so you might as well find a peaceful corner of the world to warm your bones and defrost your winter-beaten soul. (You know what we mean.) And that, we’re pretty sure, is why God invented Saint Lucia.
Saint Lucia is kind of a hidden gem in the Caribbean. It’s quite far south, it’s quite small, and it’s relatively underrepresented on Instagram — which is a good thing, if what you’re looking for is complete respite from your life and your snow-soaked problems. More importantly, there’s a place on this unassuming island that is its own little secret — a small harbour known as Marigot Bay. This is the place you should go.
Saint Lucians are proud of Marigot Bay for its geological anomalousness, but we like it mostly because of the yachts. Though, we suppose, both are intertwined. The bay, a couple of kilometres up the coast from the famous Piton mountains, is surrounded on three sides (and then some) by hills; the opening is narrow, but still big enough — and the water still deep enough — to host an armada of large boats. This makes it one of the safest harbours in the Caribbean — it’s effectively hurricane-proof — and therefore the place where smart boat owners park their rides whenever they have the chance. (When we were there, the marina was jammed full, mostly with imposing white yachts and one truly impressive 54-metre schooner.)
As a general travel rule, going where yachts go is a good idea. In Marigot Bay, it means you’ll end up at the Capella Marigot Bay, the five-star resort that has a commanding perch over the whole area. The hotel is made up of luxuriously appointed suites surrounding a central pool. It’s a beautiful setting, true, but the hotel’s real strength is its service, which is unparalleled pretty much anywhere on the island. Guests each have access to a personal assistant throughout their stay, who can help arrange excursions (we recommend the sunset cruise), spa treatments, or even a trip to the local market with the hotel’s chef, which, we can assure you, is one of the most lively produce runs you’re likely to take anywhere.
All of this is great. But what we like most about the hotel is that it feels like the kind of place people keep coming back to, year after year. The yachties in the marina certainly seem to. If you follow their lead, you won’t just have an early spring vacation, you’ll have discovered your own little secret. And if you go soon, you can safely hold onto it until at least next winter.