The spa menu says it all: it includes a 50-minute customised facial for youngsters up to the age of 14, while they sip a banana-coconut smoothie and listen to the latest sounds on an MP3 player. Pampered or what?
The Landings is a five-star resort that sets the tone for the rest of Saint Lucia in terms of style and luxury – and that welcomes children with open arms. It sits in idyllic Rodney Bay on the north-west of the island, 20 minutes from the capital, Castries, and a stunning hour or so’s drive over the mountains from the airport with its stream of Virgin jumbos.
The kids think they’ve landed in heaven the moment the resort gates swing open and they step into the magical three-storey open-air atrium that doubles as reception, bar, shopping gallery and restaurant. Through the far opening we can see yachts bobbing in the marina and sun glinting on the sea, where a galleon star of Pirates of the Caribbean (filmed locally) might be passing, full of revellers.
The plantation-like buildings house massive suites you could actually live in. Our two-bedroom place managed a pair of huge balconies (one for sun, one for shade), a vast living area with a full kitchen, three bathrooms and enough TVs that no one was disappointed.
The soft white beach and placid waters are ideal for children, who can hop into a small sailing boat with their parents for a twirl around the bay, with its green, mountainous backdrop drifting away to the jungles, rainforest and pointy Piton mountains in the haze.
Family packages include activity credits to encourage children to try other activities such as snorkelling and kayaking. Breakfast in your suite is included, although that means missing out on the open-air seafront restaurant (complete with swimming pool), where à la carte delights are served. There is also a good children’s menu in the evening, with a local touches such as chips made from breadfruit.
The children’s favourite is a lift on the resort’s speed-boat up to Pigeon Island, a 19th-century British Navy look-out point that’s now a National Park, followed by a walk to the cannon emplacements on the twin peaks then the chance to relax with a mango juice and a grilled fish lunch in the waterside shack, Jambe de Bois (which, they excitedly find out, translates as Wooden Leg).
Another highlight for the kids is the manager’s weekly party by the marina, where they scoff barbecued chicken while we sip rum punches as the fiery red sun sinks behind Pigeon Island. Excursions include bumpy rides up to the rainforest and banana plantations, catamaran trips down the coast, outings to evening ‘fish fry’ parties and more.
The Landings manages to unite old-time fun with modern luxury. And you can’t get much more luxurious than the spa. Even if you feel $110 is too much to give your little darlings a healthy glow, you might decide that you deserve the $230 La Soufrière and Lime treatment, where you're smothered in soothing volcanic mud then given a sweet-scented massage.
To ‘lime’ on Saint Lucia is to relax, and that’s something you really can do at this fantastic property.
Read more about family holidays at The Landings.