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St. Lucia There & Back Part 1: Glencastle Resort
Each day of my stay on the relaxed tropical Caribbean island of St. Lucia began at the Glencastle Resort tucked away and up on a hill in Gros Islet. It is a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle from the string of resorts and small boutique hotels in Rodney Bay (a high tourist trafficked area) which was perfect for my vacation needs. I knew where the action was when I wanted to be in it and I knew where to hide when I needed that as well. Upon check-in I immediately felt at ease and welcomed by a family of front-desk staff at my new seven-night home away from home.
The manner in which I discovered the Gelncastle Resort is unlike hotel, hostel and accommodation searches from the past. For starters I called up the Ginger Lily hotel located in Rodney Bay one late night and confessed that I really liked their hotel and would love to crash there, but it was way out of my budget and if it would be possible to assist me in my complete 180 of travel plans - last minute. I needed something a bit cheaper and the gentleman on the other end promised to make some calls to help me out. The next day he informed me that the best place he could find in my price range was the Glencastle. I thanked him though I don't know what it was he discussed or whether he passed along my poor sad sob story, but I couldn't have scored a better place to rest my head and dream of handsome island men fanning me on an idyllic beach all while sipping on cool coconut water.
I was led to a room on the second floor and to the far left back corner of the hall. The woman from the front desk had walked me back to show me first where the room was, how to operate the AC (very important) and the television station featuring ideas on places to go while on the island. When she left I continued to inspect my new place. Here I was thinking I was going to receive a room with a garden view, but to my surprise my balcony door opened up to a view of the near by Rodney Bay among other pleasant things like the ocean and...
Looking down into Gros Islet and towards Rodney Bay.
...the young boys at the St. Lucia Boys Training Center. If I'm not mistaken it is some type of reform school and located directly across the street from the hotel. On my lazy afternoons I'd watch the sunset from the balcony and the boys play soccer and other games from below when breaking from a book or magazine. On my excursions outside of the hotel I'd hear an occasional kissy sound escape the mouths of one of the youngins, but aside from that the Boys Training Center was just another building across the way and didn't take away any of the Glencastle's charm.
Charming is exactly what it was all the way through. On my first day I befriended a girl working behind the hotel bar who gave me my first rum with honey and lime in less than two hours of being on the island to help cure my cold symptoms and later showed me around the streets of Gros Islet at the Friday night Jump Up (a weekly night party in Gros Islet). The bar was a warm place and I am not saying this because of the rum, vodka and other alcoholic beverages that can be found on the shelves. The staff at the Calabash Bar located inside the Glencastle adjacent to the La Pomme Canelle restaurant is super friendly and full of tips and pointers of navigating ones way around a strange place. I started each day with the exact same breakfast which tickled my fancy not to mention my taste-buds.The morning staff was very pleasant.
The evening chef was a soft-spoken guy who was equally accommodating if not more. It had been my plan in the beginning to get out and nosh on dishes found in various places of the island, but the chef's cooking at Glencastle won my heart so I found myself inside the hotel restaurant on many occasions. The menu features a number of fresh seafood selections in addition to favorites like curried chicken and on Saturday's they have a BBQ with an especially delicious island salad made of green banana accompanied by rice, potatoes, fish and grilled chicken and ribs of course. My favorite dish was a shrimp over rice in a tasty red sauce that had a tangy kick to it. Both the restaurant and bar are very cozy. The restaurant is spacious with several windows allowing the wind's breeze to pass on through. The Calabash bar is completely open air and painted with bright yellows and lime green colors. In regards to atmosphere they each get high scores.
There are two pools on the property to splash around and cool off on extra hot days without gaining a sandy bottom in the process. The lower pool is located near the front reception and there is the rooftop pool which is quite nice and a little more secluded. Each time I ventured up top I found myself left alone from the rest of the hotel guests and overlooking almost all of Gros Islet. It is suggested one catch at least one sunset from the rooftop pool.
If yoga is on your planner while vacationing, keep the Glencastle in mind. As far as I can tell they are one of the few places on the island that even offer yoga on a daily basis. Yoga sessions run in the morning near the car park and more info can be provided by the front desk if needed. Other services offered include a daily shuttle running twice to popular beach areas (Rodney Bay & Pigeon Island), conference space and a banquet hall for meetings and other special occasions.
Overall the Glencastle Resort can accommodate anyone and provide all with an experience in St. Lucia that is one of its own.
The Glencastle Resort is located in Massade, Gros Islet in Saint Lucia. They can be reached by telephone at 1.758.450.0833 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To view their website and get room rate info click here.