Forget the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's holidays. 'Tis the season for a new and improved BodyHoliday, and I was on a mission to celebrate it on a recent visit.
After being closed over the summer for a $20-million renovation, The BodyHoliday at LeSport in Castries, St. Lucia, is open again for business. But this time, there are significant improvements to public spaces and dining venues, including a new infinity-edge swimming pool and boardwalk (where morning yoga classes are held by the beach), and an expanded water sports center (where guests take free, daily waterskiing, windsurfing, and scuba lessons off of Cariblue Beach). There's also free use of kayaks and hobiecats, plus tubing.
The resort's 30,000-square-foot spa and wellness center is its main attraction. Resembling a palatial, courtyard oasis, it's set atop a hill above the resort's other common areas and boasts 33 treatment rooms on two floors. Guests roam the center in robes and yoga gear, moving from meditation class to spinning to a full body massage.
I took advantage of the center's new Ayurvedic Temple, which is adjacent to the center's pool and open-air massage area. Hand-carved wooden doors and accents fool you into thinking you've been transported to India. Holistic treatments are the name of the game in this temple, and I decided to try three that are scarce on mainstream spa menus: ear candling, bolus bag massage, and a Thai massage. The most unusual was the bolus bag massage, which involves using essential oil-soaked muslin bags filled with healing herbs and oats to work out muscles in strokes and pounding motions. Two therapists synchronize movements on both sides of your body to ensure equal pressure. The technique not only works out kinks but is aimed at relieving joint and arthritic ailments.
An expanded skincare and beauty clinic with four modern treatment rooms in the same vicinity offered me the opportunity to reward my bravery, which I gladly took. There's nothing like a gel pedicure, eyebrow threading and tint, and collagen facial (using marine-based Thalgo products, the resort's exclusive skincare provider) after a hardy muscle work session.
Inclusions of a BodyHoliday stay are accommodation, meals, wine, and cocktails, one signature spa treatment per day (excluding arrival and departure day), water sports, golf, tennis, Tai Chi, fencing, archery, yoga, Pilates, fitness classes, and live music. A last minute promotion of 25 percent off plus a $100 credit for the wellness center is available through December. www.thebodyholiday.com
For general trip-planning information, see our St. Lucia Travel Guide.