Enjoy These Island Hideaways in St. Lucia, Barbados and Tobago

If you try to conjure up your idea of paradise, chances are the Caribbean would some pretty close, sugar-white beaches, luxurious resorts and miles and miles of aquamarine seas make it one of the most idyllic destinations on earth.  And at around eight hours’ flight from London, it’s an ideal place to enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

But which of its many islands to visit? St. Lucia, Barbados and Tobago, with adventure, vibrant culture and movie-star coastlines wrapped into each one – should be right at the top of your ultimate Caribbean wishlist.

Whether it’s  exploring the rainforest and peaks of St Lucia, enjoying the beats and beaches of Barbados of diving among coral in blessed-out Tobago, there’s something for everyone in these diverse and indulgent islands.

What sets St Lucia apart from its Caribbean neighbours are the swathes of thick, fresh-green rainforest that blanket the island, making it a truly tropical-looking paradise.  The north offers a wide choice of bars and restaurants and plenty of golden beaches to keep your tan topped up, while the south is a more tranquil affair with volcanic beaches and a real get-back-to-nature vibe. This surplus of the natural beauty makes St Lucia one of the most romantic places in the world; you’ll be hard pushed to find a finer spot for lazy days followed by candlelit dinners for two.

The northern tip of St Lucia gives off a secluded and relaxed air, but it still close enough to the island’s main draws – namely, the stunning, mountainous landscape – to feel like you’re in among the action.  It’s here that you’ll find the peaceful and rejuvenating the BodyHoliday, a healthy retreat offering wholesome experiences that are guaranteed to return you back to your normal life refreshed and rejuvenated.

Relaxation comes first at this all-inclusive five-star hotel.  The BodyHoliday has everything you need to rid you of the stresses of daily life, including an award-winning spa where guests benefit from one free spa treatment each full day of their stay, and tasty, nutritious food in its wide range of restaurants.

Certain months are themed around a different aspect of wellness, get stuck into JiveJune, with 16 different dance classes each week covering the jive to tango, as well as WellFit Families, where teenagers and adults alike can get their hearts racing with activities including waterfall abseiling, diving, and tennis.

St Lucia isn’t all stunning beaches and bays, although it does these rather well, too – it’s also home to some true natural wonders.  The iconic Piton Mountains, lush rainforest and even a ‘drive in’ volcano stand St Lucia apart from its Caribbean cousins.

The Pitons are brought into sharp focus at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy resort.  The world-class resort is stretched across 100 acres of lush tropical forest in a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with unparalleled views over the stunning peaks.

You’ll get the classic St Lucia holiday experience here, think chic waterfront dining, clean while lines in its expansive villas and residences, and vast vistas over the blues and green of the rainforest and sparkling Caribbean Sea.  Whether you’re with the family or on honeymoon, this intimate property has something for everyone.  Enjoy a wide choice of watersports, relax in the indulgent Rainforest Spa, or simply kick back in the sun while a butler attends to your every need.

It’s no surprise St Lucia is one of the world’s most romantic destinations, with miles of pure white-sand beaches framed by cobalt seas and lush greenery, it’s the ideal place to enjoy quality time with your significant other.

Which is perhaps why the intimate environment of Rendezvous chose St Lucia for its exclusive couples-only luxury resort, set on a glorious two-mile stretch of white-sand beach.  The boutique bolthole does an excellent line in romance: think candlelit beach dining, private hideaways accesses via a lazy river and an indulgent, blissfully peaceful spa.

With only 100 rooms, each stunningly furnished and with king-sized beds, this hotel prides itself on being an exclusive and discreet hideaway for couples, it’s the perfect place to reconnect.

Tobago is one of those islands that proves good things come in small packages.  At just 42km across, it’s the mellow foil to neighbouring Trinidad’s party-hard personality, the sort of place you’ll wander around barefoot, in a sundazzled daze, chatting to locals at open-air bars and perhaps mustering just enough energy to snorkel its sparkling bays.  Known for stunning dive sites and nature reserves, Tobago is perfect for nature lovers and determined dawdlers alike.

Tobago knows how to kick back and enjoy its natural beauty.  Unspoiled rainforest, superior diving and hidden beaches framed by palm trees are just some of the sights.

Coco Reef is traditional Tobago at its best, and it’s full of charm, from the cosy and rustic rooms to the friendly service. Found on the only private beach on the island, Coco Reef is surrounded by 10 acres of lush, manicured gardens, providing a great chance to absorb the island’s natural beauty.

There’s a huge range of complementary activities to get involved in, including sailing, windsurfing and snorkelling, which is particularly good in the resort’s manmade reef.  Lay back on its perfect slice of beach and feel the island’s  beauty wash over you.

Barbados is like four islands in one.  This classic Caribbean destination offers a heady mix of beachside glamour, lively resorts, and untamed natural beauty.  Then of course, there’s the historical capital of Bridgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Put simply, it has something for everyone.

Whether it’s absorbing local culture, sending your heart rate soaring with watersports or simply stretching out on the mile after mile of unspoilt coastline fringed by palm trees that makes your perfect holiday, Barbados has the ideal mix for a truly memorable family trip.

Ocean Two makes the idea base.  Its spacious one or two bedroom suites, many with ocean views come with expansive balconies, king-sized bed plus sofa bed, and fully equipped kitchens as standard, giving families space to enjoy quality time together.  There’s even a pre-arrival grocery service, a private in-suite and beachside chef and a coconut vendor on the beach.

Just beyond Ocean Two’s shore you can snorkel and kayak, and even further out you’ll find pretty coral reef to explore.  If that’s all too much, retire to the adults-only rooftop patio and plunge pool.  It’s been a hard day, after all.

The lively island of Barbados is a vibrant, colourful place to spend a week immersed in traditional Caribbean culture. Street parties and carnivals call Barbados their spiritual home, so be prepared to join in.

All-inclusive, family-friendly Sea Breeze Beach Hotel, on the southern shore of the island, knows Bajan culture.  It’s walking distance to Oistins, which hosts the iconic Friday night fish fry, but the cuisine in this small resort is just as noteworthy:  three eateries, including the refined Azul fine dining restaurant, will keep your tastebuds on their toes.  The resort has just 78 rooms, meaning relaxation comes high on the agenda, and if you want some time without the youngsters, head to the adults-only pool and Jacuzzi after dropping the kids off at the Kids Club.