‘Give us your body and we will give you back your mind,’ promises the BodyHoliday, St Lucia – just what I needed after turning 29 and going through a period of unusual personal stress – thanks to all the impossible must achieve by 30 goals I’d set myself (some of which I still haven’t achieved at 32 and I’m ok with that).
I arrived expecting it to be like a bootcamp, which is what I thought I needed (further pressure and punishment). It couldn’t have been more different. Yes, I had a timetable of sorts, but it was up to me how I filled it. Daily inclusive treatments from anti-ageing facials to traditional Ayurvedic rituals at the spectacular hilltop spa were not to be missed, and the rest of your days could be spent on the beach, at a fitness class or hiking the Piton Mountains. With three restaurants on-site, there’s also plenty of choice when it comes to food, and healthy options are clearly marked on every menu and buffet – you can also see a nutritionist if you feel like you need more guidance. I should add they serve a number of mean cocktails that are not to be missed – after all life is all about balance (even at The Body Holiday).
The resort is situated on the north-west tip of St Lucia, sitting on Cariblue’s crescent beach, surrounded by 42 acres of lush tropical gardens. There is an air of friendliness and warmth from staff and fellow guests. The hotel promotes a sociable environment, from weekly movie nights and group sunset cruises (I thought this would be a ton of loved up couples but it was pretty much a boat party and I loved it!) to a dedicated ‘solo’ table at mealtimes, which made forging new friendships easy. I arrived during Jive June (there’s also September Solos and Octoba Yoga), which offered guests the opportunity to learn to foxtrot, jive, tango and cha-cha. I tried a couple of the classes and they were enjoyable, all-ability affairs with fantastic teachers, highlighting the resort’s unique fun and relaxed attitude towards health and fitness. Outside of the resort hiking the Pitons is a must as is the Friday night Jump Up! Like Notting Hill Carnival this street party takes place every week. A sound system stands at a cross road, pumping out bashment tunes for the locals to dance the night away to. Those who aren’t partying sell fresh coconut water and food from make-shift stalls at the front of their houses – keeping revelers hydrated and fuelled well into the early hours of the morning. The atmosphere was amazing, I’ve not experienced anything like it before.
With so much on offer in and out of the resort, it’s up to you whether you want to dip your toes in or fully submerge yourself. My hunger to try new things like dance, archery (I’m a natural, apparently), and to take advantage of the pro tennis coaching meant that nothing was a chore. As I had more fun, I realised I’d been taking life a tad too seriously and when the end of the trip rolled around, I was on my way to acquiring a calmer, lighter state of mind.