TRAVEL One Destination, Limitless Inspiration DISCOVER ST. LUCIA BY SAMANTHA READY LOCATED IN THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN LIES THE BEAUTIFUL ISLAND OF ST LUCIA. IF IT WERE TO BE A JEWEL IN THE CARIBBEAN’S CROWN IT WOULD BE THE EMERALD. LUSH, GREEN AND ALLURINGLY TROPICAL, ITS LANDSCAPE IS DOMINATED BY THE DRAMATICALLY TAPERED MOUNTAINS, THE PITONS, TO THE WEST; RAINFORESTS AND WATERFALLS, INCLUDING THE 15M HIGH TORAILLE, TO THE CENTRE; AND IS HOME TO VOLCANIC BEACHES, TURQUOISE SEAS AND A NATURAL CHARM, THAT EXTENDS BEYOND ITS FLORA AND FAUNA TO ITS WARM-HEARTED, FRIENDLY PEOPLE. 114 In fact the island itself is a unique proposition, looking for seclusion, privacy and utter romance for a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon or couple’s escape? Then the stunning open-walled suites of the Ladera resort (www.ladera.com), with its swing over an open-to-nature private plunge pool, stunning views of the Pitons and utter seclusion, has you covered. Nominated as one of the Top 20 hotels for romance in the whole Caribbean for 2020 it is simply breathtaking, totally awe- inspiring, and sumptuously romantic. but actually the opportunity to twin or multi-centre your stay. With different towns and resorts an hour or so by road, but a million miles by make-up, providing limitless opportunities for exploration, relaxation and rejuvenation. The added bonus is that you can hire a driver for your stay, allowing you the chance to move resorts, explore the island and visit the must see spots with ease. However, if action, adventure, thrills and spills in more your cup of vacation tea, the natural landscape offers a myriad of possibility; hiking, mountain climbs, zip- lining, scuba diving and sailing - and that’s just by day 2! And of course, with it’s laid back Calypso vibe, miles of beaches, and sun-filled fun, St Lucia is also the perfect family destination. Which was just as well, as I come complete with a work-overloaded husband and three beautiful (yet occasionally annoying) children in tow. We met George as soon as we left the airport, forget Uber, George was a local font of knowledge, history, tourism board experience, and anecdotes, in a laid back, wide-smiled, dreadlock-swaying package. Backseat DVD players kept my two-year old entertained for our airport transfers, whilst George not only navigated our journey along the winding, mountainous roads of the island, but also the bombardment of questions from my beyond excited five-year-old, who frankly never shuts up and was ecstatic to have a new victim to interrogate; all with utter ease and enthusiasm. Measuring just 27 miles long by 14 miles wide, the mango-shaped island offers not only the chance to choose one key resort for our much needed family holiday, We loved St Lucia by the time we left the airport car park, and it only got better from there. And this is exactly what we did for our one-week stay.