aerial view of a beach at windjammer landing resort and residences in st lucia

I’m a sucker for a view, so when I learned that my suite at Windjammer Landing Resort on St. Lucia was located about midway up the jungly mountain that dominates the resort rather than right on the beach, I was thrilled. From my breezy perch I could take in the resort’s white-crescent beach, swaths of tangled jungle, and the lapis-hued Caribbean Sea. Even better, since I faced west, I had a front-row seat to sunsets that varied from cool purples and blues to fiery reds, pinks, and oranges.

In 2023, the resort completed a $12 million renovation that included construction of a collection of sexy oceanfront villas as well as a refresh of estate villas, restaurants, the lobby, and the spa. Nearly every aspect of the resort — from upgrading food and beverage options to adding a bevy of new spa treatments to creating unique experiences that draw on St. Lucia’s native foods, plants, and customs — has been fine tuned. 

a dining table facing a body of water at windjammer landing resort and residences in st lucia
Courtesy of Windjammer Landing Resort & Residences

But what hasn’t changed is the sense of place that gives guests visiting Windjammer Landing the opportunity to experience a bit of St. Lucia’s culture. Some were small details — like stocking guest rooms with locally made soaps. Others, such as when our driver stopped on the way from the airport at a tiny outdoor bakery set into a mountain slope so we could taste locally made bread, were unique experiences we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Both helped me fall in love with St. Lucia and Windjammer Landing.

Here are some of the other reasons you need to plan a stay at all-inclusive (and child friendly) Windjammer Landing.

The Cuisine

outdoor dining area facing a body of water at windjammer landing resort and residences in st lucia
Courtesy of Windjammer Landing Resort & Residences

I loved the food at Windjammer (there are plenty of splurge-worthy wines, Champagnes, and super premium liquors, too), starting with breakfast, which was served in a breezy second-story porch overlooking the ocean and featured, amid an indulgent bounty of breakfast all stars, a delicious assortment of St. Lucian specialties like fried plantains, salt fish, and something called a roast bake, which was a delicious hot roll that I slathered with butter. The resort has a cool variety of restaurants, too, such as Masala, an Indian restaurant where Chef Vikram Singh makes everything, including deliciously chewy, bubbly naan, from scratch. There’s also a steakhouse, a tapas restaurant that serves fresh, perfectly rolled sushi and a casual bar where you can grab a burger or a salad. One morning, I discovered a “secret” breakfast hideaway called Papa Don that sits on the top of a bluff overlooking the ocean. With its red-tile floor, beamed wooden ceiling, and whitewashed walls, it resembled a villa in the Greek Isles.

There are Cool Activities You’ll Actually Want to Try

Most resorts give guests complimentary access to paddleboards, kayaks, and other non-motorized watercraft, but for all-inclusive guests, Windjammer Landing also throws in motorized sports like kneeboarding, wakeboarding, and even water skiing. I reluctantly dragged myself out of bed one morning to attend an outdoor yoga class and was so glad that I did. Our instructor’s soothing but authoritative voice gave me the boost I needed to reach taller and higher; later, surrounded by clouds of bright pink bougainvillea and shaded by mango trees, my child’s pose embarrassingly evolved into a brief nap.

Most of the activities for children are also complimentary and vary by day; just ask and, based on your children’s interests, resort staff will plan a full itinerary for each child that can go as late as 10 pm.

You Can Bed Down in a House with a Full Kitchen — or a Regular Hotel Room

overview shot of windjammer landing resort and residences in st lucia
Courtesy of Windjammer Landing Resort & Residences

Villas like mine, which hug the hillside, have full kitchens, at least three terraces, and en suite bathrooms plus a powder room; guests can choose between one and three bedrooms. Butler service is included; my butler, Ian, made sure I had everything I even hinted that I might need, like extra cream for my coffee, a flashlight for nighttime strolls, and a few sweet treats in the fridge. But here’s my favorite service: when I was ready to go to the beach, I would call Ian and he’d find a chaise lounge and set it up for me. No waking up at dawn to put an old paperback and a water bottle on an unoccupied lounge: when the butlers are in charge, hitting the beach (or the pool) is a stress-free experience.

There are also regular hotel rooms and, further up the hill, majestic private residences with private full-sized pools and large yards.

Sitting just steps from the sand, the newest addition to the resort’s lodging lineup are the contemporary Ocean Point residences, dramatically-designed spaces that impress with massive 12-foot tall doors, seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces, oceanfront infinity pools and, in ground-floor units, stone-walled outdoor showers. Like all of the villas, they have multiple bathrooms, full kitchens, and washer/dryers.

There’s Room to Roam

I’m not great at doing nothing, so by the time I’ve explored a resort and walked the beach, I tend to get a little antsy. Not at Windjammer. The 65-acre property was filled with enough hidden staircases and pocket gardens to keep me happily occupied during my entire stay. I also enjoyed my daily walk along the hillside paths that wind between the villas and the main part of the resort. Like me, many guests took on a daily challenge of climbing to the very top, where, on a clear day, you can catch a glimpse of Martinique to the north. Shuttles are, of course, always available — just call and it will be there within five minutes. My only disappointment was the time of year I visited: it would have been a treat to eat a ripe mango (May, June) or coconut (July-December) straight from the tree.

Wellness Offerings and Local Culture Make it Easy to Destress and Detoxify

a mini pool facing a body of water at windjammer landing resort and residences in st lucia
Courtesy of Windjammer Landing Resort & Residences

Nature-based wellness is part of the culture in St. Lucia — nearly everyone I spoke to was well-versed in the specific benefits of certain fruits, vegetables, roots, seeds, and most notably, sea moss, an antioxidant-rich ocean plant that’s consumed either as a smoothie add-in or in pre-made bottled drinks.

Staff members urged me to visit Soufrière’s famous sulfuric mud pits, raving about what it would do for my skin and sharing that they went whenever they could, as much for the mud’s skin-perfecting ability as for its full-body detox qualities. “Leave that mud on until you get to the waterfall,” one staff member instructed, speaking about the island’s famous Toraille waterfall, which I was told would slough off dried mud better than any shower. “It needs that time to set on your skin.” I’m glad I took her advice. Wading into the bone-chilling pool so I could be pummeled by more icy water was one of the high points of the trip. And my skin, as advertised, was remarkably clear and soft for days. 

The resort’s small market stocks a huge variety of local remedies and wellness products including sea moss in all of its forms, local coffee and chocolate, dried volcanic mud, fresh ginger and turmeric for tea, local rum, and even bars of the organic island-made soap that I’d fallen in love with in my room.

a beach near windjammer landing resort and residences in st lucia
Courtesy of Windjammer Landing Resort & Residences

If you’re looking to delve more deeply into wellness, the resort offers a number of cool therapies like a scuba-based underwater breathwork program that utilizes yoga poses, meditation, and purifying Kapalabhati breathing, as well as a dive tour, to release stress. The Full Moon Ritual takes advantage of the monthly lunar gravitational cycle with a program of yoga, a night dive (or massage and guided meditation), stargazing, and a plant-based dinner.  

Don’t miss the actual spa, where massages, wraps, and facials are enriched with local cacao, aloe, papaya, and volcanic mud; most are paired with a handcrafted tea or other beverage that will enhance both the experience and its efficacy. My therapist coaxed the tightness out of my muscles with sure-handed strokes, hot stones, and a large piece of bamboo, by the end I was both relaxed and invigorated.

Additional (Adults-Only) All Inclusives on St. Lucia

There’s plenty of room for romance at Windjammer Landing — the spa is child free and some of the pools and restaurants are adults only. Still, if you’re looking to get away from little ones, here are a few adults-only, all-inclusive resorts to consider:

Jade Mountain

a bedroom with a view of greenery mountains and a body of water at jade mountain in st lucia
Courtesy of Jade Mountain

Reached via a series of suspended walkways, rooms — which are called sanctuaries — at this pampering resort have only three walls, all the better to take in the view of the Pitons and fresh mountain breezes.

Hideaway at Royalton St. Lucia                       

Guests at this resort-within-a-resort have full access to the Royalton St. Lucia’s full range of amenities including eight restaurants, a huge hydrotherapy spa, and several pools.

Serenity at Coconut Bay

Serenity at Coconut Bay lives up to its name: not only is it located on the island’s quiet southeastern coast, but the 36 oversized suites each have large private patios with plunge pools. The resort’s beach is a mile long and looks out over the Maria Islands Nature Reserve.

BodyHoliday St. Lucia

It’s all about wellness at this legendary resort, where rates include a daily 50-minute therapy including massages, facials, and wraps. There are also mindfulness programs, yoga, rigorous island adventures and, for refueling, six restaurants.

Ti Kaye

Each of the 33 rooms and suites at this mountainside resort are perfectly positioned to catch St. Lucia’s glorious sunsets; afterwards, stroll to Kai Manje restaurant, where you can choose wine to accompany your meal from the largest cellar on the island.

Zoetry Marigot Bay

This 133-room resort overlooks yacht-dotted Marigot Bay, which baby boomers might recognize as the setting for the final scene in the original Dr. Doolittle movie. Beyond food and drink, rates include wellness treatments, water shuttles, and other amenities.

Featured image courtesy of Windjammer Landing Resort & Residences