Choosing where to stay in Saint Lucia can be difficult. Even though it is a small island, it has contrasting regions. The north of St. Lucia is different from the south creating two very atmospheres. We are here to help you decide which side of Saint Lucia is best for your vacation.
We stayed on both sides of St. Lucia and loved both. In fact, we suggest splitting your vacation between the north and south of Saint Lucia. But more on that later. For now let’s look into what each side of the island has to offer.
What Side of the Island to Stay on in St. Lucia – North or South
Choosing which part of Saint. Lucia to stay on depends on your taste and what atmosphere you are looking for. The North is a great choice for families and people looking for nightlife, while the south is perfect for romantic escapes and honeymoons.
Below, we break down the resorts and the attractions to help you make your decision and the most of your trip to St. Lucia.
The North – Saint Lucia Nightlife and Beaches
The north side of St. Lucia is located near the capital city of Castries. This is where you’ll find the bars and nightlife, restaurants, and a huge choice of all-inclusive resorts and hotels.
The north is also where the cruise ships come into port, and it is the busier part of the island. This is the most popular area to stay in Saint Lucia with resorts lining Marigot Bay to the South and Rodney Bay to the North of the capital.
The north is a good place to choose in St. Lucia if you are looking for beach activities and nightlife. There are plenty of places to go bar hopping along the beach and lots of restaurants to choose from. It is also a good choice for families as compared to the more private resorts to the south.
The Rodney Bay waters are calm and inviting for watersports and there are plenty of places to go snorkeling right off the shore.
St. Lucia Hotels North Side
The north has a lot of family friendly hotels and all-inclusive resorts. There are dedicated restaurant, bar and shopping zones and long white sand beaches.
Our Stay at Calabash Cove Resort and Spa
Calabash Cove is a luxury boutique all-inclusive resort and spa that caters to adults only. We loved our stay here and it had everything we could hope for in a romantic vacation.
Staying at a seaside villa we had an amazing vacation with our own infinity plunge pool and views of the Caribbean Ocean right next to their private beach. Our two-room villa had its own outdoor shower, infinity plunge pool, sitting room with a stocked bar and cable TV.
Ammenities of Calabash Cove Resort
- Beach villas have private infinity pools and outdoor showers
- Located on Rodney Bay, you are close to all the major watersports of St. Lucia.
- Private white sand beach with several private cabanas and lounge chairs
- Watersports directly on the resort – stand up paddle boarding and kayaking
- It has a gorgeous infinity pool. One of the better infinity pools we’ve seen in a very long time.
- Award-winning Windsong Restaurant – known for its Caribbean and St. Lucian Cuisine
- pool bar
- Beach or Pier sunset dinners
Other Hotels in St. Lucia North
Bay Gardens – Good for families, this resort is located on the beach it is also walking distance to Rodney Bay.
Royalton St. Lucia Resort and Spa – Good for families, but also section for adults only. Located directly on the beach. All-inclusive packages, royal Spa and different pools for all ages.
Cap Maison – A boutique hotel on a sandy beach. Located on the Caribbean side near Gros Islet. Located by Cap Estate making it a good hotel choice for golfers.
When looking for hotels in the north, look for a resort that offers all-inclusive rooms (meals can be quite expensive in Saint Lucia) with a private plunge pool, views of the ocean and a dedicated sand beach.
Note: Saint Lucian beaches are open to the public, so you get the added bonus of being able to interact with the locals.
Things to do in St. Lucia’s North
Pigeon Island National Park – A former pirate hideout and military Fort, Pigeon Island was turned into a National Landmark in 1972. There are old ruins, beautiful sandy beaches, snorkeling, and restaurants. There are shops just outside the entrance to grab a bite to eat.
Pigeon Island National Park is connected to the island by a manmade causeway. Formerly a fort This is an amazing half-day trip in St. Lucia that has some amazing hikes to the top of the island and fort for incredible views of Rodney Bay.
Reduit Beach – Reduit Beach is the place to be for watersports. Considered St. Lucia’s best beach, Reduit Beach is a long sandy beach that stretches along Rodney Bay. Most of the all-inclusive hotels are located along the bay.
Marigot Bay – Marigot Bay is located south of Castries and is another popular place to stay in St. Lucia.
Castries Market – Castries Market is an outdoor vendor market dating back to 1891. It’s a lively market that is popular with locals for fruit, meat and vegetables and tourists can grab souvenirs and local crafts.
Rodney Bay Village – Rodney Bay Village is the hot spot for nightlife, shopping, restaurants, a Casino and mall.
Beach Party – Gros Islet Beach Party is a weekly street party happening on Friday Night. Rodney Bay Village is a good place to go bar hopping.
The South – The Laid Back Retreat
For people looking for an indulgent luxury escape, pampering in a luxurious spa or a honeymoon escape, the south of the island might be your place of choice. But the south is also the place for nature lovers and plenty of excursions off the resort.
The southern end of St. Lucia is home to the Gros and Petit Pitons that are a marvel to see. These UNESCO World heritages sites are not to be missed no matter where you are staying. The Pitons are the symbol of St. Lucia. These two giant volcanic spires stand tall over the Caribbean Sea. Gros Piton is 798.25 m (2618feet) high, and Petit Piton is 743 (2437 feet) m high.
Revolving around the french colonial town of Soufrière, The South is where you want to be if you want a vacation that focuses on a mix outdoors and pampering. Plus, secluded escapes.
Hotels in St. Lucia – South
We stayed at Stonefield Villas Resort which was gorgeous. This all villas resort has incredible views of the Petit Piton. It is locally owned and operated and was one of the first resorts opened near Soufriere. You can actually walk to Soufriere if you are feeling up for it. (When the COVID restrictions ease.
It is located high in the jungle, so you need a shuttle to the beach, but it is well worth it for the views. All rooms are suites with their own plunge pool so why would you ever want to leave? We loved our stay here.
- Swimming pool
- private plunge pool in all villas
- Mango Tree Restaurant
- Choice of an all-inclusive stay
- unparalleled views of the Petit Piton
- All rooms either have piton or ocean views
- Full-service spa
- Shuttles to Sugar Beach and Malgretoute Beach
- Easy hike to see ancient petroglyphs on property
- Day tours can be booked directly at the hotel and transportation will pick you up at your villa.
Other Popular hotels in St. Lucia – South Side
Jade Mountain Resort – Jade Mountain Resort is the most expensive hotel in St. Lucia located on the West Coast of the Island. When we asked our driver what are the best hotels in St. Lucia, this was at the top of his list. Located on the private estate of Anse Chastanet, it has an infinity pools and views of the ocean and pitons.
Anse Chastanet – owned by the same people that brought you Jade Mountain Resort, this is another high-end hotel on Saint Lucia. Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet are the only resorts with views of both the Petit and Gros Piton mountains floating upon the Caribbean Sea
Sugar Beach – Voted one of the best hotels in the Caribbean. Located on the white sand strip of Sugar Beach, this is the best beach on the south side of the island. Located on the South West Coast of Saint Lucia between the petit and Gros Piton, it has one of the best locations on the south side.
Beaches are public on Saint Lucia so anyone can visit Sugar Beach and Stonefield Villa Resort offers free shuttles to Sugar Beach for guests.
When looking for a hotel in the south, we suggest an all inclusive hotel that includes meals. Food can be quite expensive not he menu. We suggest a hotel that offers private villas with a private plunge pool and rooms with a view of the pitons.
Things to do in the South of St. Lucia
Sulphur Springs and Volcano – It is the only drive in volcano in the world, and if you have never seen an active volcano in your life, this is the place to do it. Once you are done touring the massive crater, take a mud bath in the sulphur springs pools known for their healing qualities.
Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens – Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens is a beautiful garden walk filled with tropical plants and flowers. Learn of St. Lucia’s native flora as you walk towards the gorgeous cascade of Diamond Falls. Diamond Falls was used for a scene in one of our favourite travel movies, Romancing the Stone.
Hike the Pitons – The Pitons are the most recognizable landmark. These two volcanic cones reach up from the Caribbean Sea creating one of the most striking scenes in the Caribbean. The pitons are the symbol of St. Lucia and are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Be warned, climbing both pitons is strenuous and involves a bit of technical climbing with a bit of scrambling.
Snorkelling – St. Lucia has snorkeling all around the island. Anse Cochon is a protected marine reserve that is great for snorkeling and diving.
The Verdict – North or South?
In our opion, a seven day trip to St. Lucia should cover both. The two places are so completey different and truthfully, we found three nights to be more than enough at both. So if you do decide to go to St. Lucia, split it in two.
It would be a shame to go to St. Lucia and never see the Pitons if you only stayed in the North. If you are staying in the North, you can do a day trip to the pitons, but the roads are winding and narrow. It can take 90 minutes to 2 hours to get out to the Pitons driving, so be prepared for a long day.
And it would be a shame to miss seeing some of the best beaches of the country in the North. Plus, we really loved seeing Pigeon Island National Landmark and we enjoyed the calm waters of the north for Stand up Paddle Boarding and Kayaking.
We started our trip in the South and then had a driver take us to the north. We left Stonefield Villas at 10:00 am and were checked into Calabash Cove by 12pm. Even if your room isn’t ready, it’s okay because there is a pool bar and lounge to relax and enjoy the Caribbean sunshine.
So, there you have it, our breakdown of the best hotels and things to do on both the north and south sides of Saint Lucia.
When traveling to Saint Lucia during COVID-19
We travelled to Saint Lucia while the CDC had it at a level 1 COVID-19 low rating and they are doing everything to make the island safe and ready for visitors in 2021.
While in Saint Lucia, you can only stay at certified COVID safe hotels, you can only take certified COVID safe transportation and only certified COVID safe attractions are open.
You can read all the details here at St. Lucia’s International Arrivals Information page.
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