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Reality TV romance and real-life wanderlust collide each season on ABC's hit series' The Bachelor as viewers root for their favorite contestants and drool over the dreamy locales the finalists travel to for their overnight dates. I'm lucky enough to have visited St. Lucia, where season 14 was shot (the last episode airs on March 1), so here's the dish on the romance quotient of the locales and resorts where the action unfolded.
Jake in St. Lucia
Date Details: St. Lucia, one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, made a stunning backdrop as pilot Jake tried to determine which of the finalists would end up as his co-pilot for life. He invited Gia to hike Pigeon Island and then wander the colorful street market in Gros Islet. Next, he and Tenley took to the skies in a helicopter to soar above the Pitons, the isle’s famous twin peaks, and then touch down for a picnic at Balenbouche Estate. And finally, Jake and Vienna sailed (and playfully walked the plank) aboard the Brig Unicorn, a 19th-century ship replica.
Fantasy Suites: Jake’s first dinner/overnight date with Gia was at Cap Maison, a tranquil retreat located on the island’s northern coast above scenic Smuggler Cove. Jake’s next two dinners/overnights, with Tenley and Vienna, were at The BodyHoliday LeSport, a spa-oriented adults-only all-inclusive with a Caribbean-colonial-meets-Asian-Zen vibe.
Rose Ceremonies: With a sunset backdrop at Cap Maison, Jake decided to send Gia home. Being a connoisseur of St. Lucia, I could tell from the previews that he and his final two (Tenley and Vienna), as well as his family, move south to two fabulous resorts overlooking the Pitons for the last episode, airing March 1, 2010. Filming locations include intimate, five-room Arc en Ciel, where Jake’s family meets Tenley and Vienna; white-washed, beachfront Jalousie Plantation resort, where Jake and Tenley spend the night after a romantic sail; and colorful, artistic Anse Chastanet, where Jake and Vienna spend the night after playing in the steaming Sulphur Springs. The final rose ceremony was shot on the rooftop of Jade Mountain with its panoramic views.
Romance Quotient: It’s no wonder why lush and lovely St. Lucia regularly ranks among the world’s most romantic isles. It’s one of my favorites in the Caribbean and my ultimate getaway would be a few nights at ultra-sexy Cap Maison (from $405) followed by a few more at visually stunning Jade Mountain (from $900). Visit our St. Lucia Travel Guide for more trip-planning information.