Friday, April 29, 2016

Chocolate & Coral are major events on St. Lucia

The Pitons are a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the lush tropical island of St. Lucia  (
ST. LUCIA Nestled in the eastern Caribbean Sea, the lush island of St Lucia has long been a favorite port of call for sailors, but it is now coming into its own as a popular tourist destination.

The influx of visitors could not have come at a better time with the increasing growth in worldwide banana production taking its toll. Though it was first under the influence of French settlers, followed by the British in the mid-17th century, St Lucia became a sovereign nation in February, 1979.
St Lucia is a favorite spot for sailing  (wikipedia)

Popular attractions are the island’s drive-in volcano, the Botanical Garden, Pigeon Island National Park and the majestic landmark twin peaks of The Pitons, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Since gaining its independence however, St Lucia has also become home to some of the finest resort properties in the Caribbean. JadeMountain Resort, known for its open-air sanctuaries and breathtaking panoramas was recently named to the American Express Travel list as one of the world’s top 25 hotels. In the process, Jade Mountain captured the award for "Most Breathtaking Views."
Infinity pool at Jade Mountain Resort which is famous for its magnificent views  (
Another St Lucia property, which has also received high marks from Conde Nast Traveler, is Anse Chastanet with its idyllic location in the shadow of the Pitons. Situated on the southwestern coast of the island, Anse Chastanet features 49 individually designed rooms that are tucked within a tropical garden at beach level.
The Pitons as seen from a room at Anse Chastanet Resort in St. Lucia  (
Whether travelers choose Jade Mountain or Anse Chastanet, each property is offering a unique experience during the month of August.
Jade Mountain celebrates Chocolate Heritage Month with a program that traces the history of chocolate as an Aztec beverage, its influence in European exploration and contemporary production.
Making chocolate the hard way from the real stuff  (Taylor0
Guests will be greeted with a chocolate amenity and cocktail, a Chocolate Lovers Breakfast in Bed celebration and a chocolate-infused spa treatment.

There will also be classes in Chocolate Sensory tasting as well as an opportunity to make a personalized chocolate bar.
Chocolate packages will continue throughout the year for visitors who are unable participate in the August Festival.
 What better way to savor one of the finest resorts in the Caribbean than basking in the decadent world of chocolate?
Meanwhile, at Anse Chastanet, the resort has announced its dates for a rare annual event which it has participated in for nearly two decades. Thanks to its location, Anse Chastanet annually witnesses one of Mother Nature’s most spectacular performance when the coral spawns each year. This year the spawning is predicted to take place from August 24-26th.
Spawning brain coral is a rare annual phenomenon that can be viewed in August at Anse Chastanet Resort  (wikipedia)
The phenomenon was first discovered in Australia in the 1980s at the Great Barrier Reef. The annual mass reproduction is now known be critical to coral reef survival.
When the spawning process is underway, coral release millions of packets of egg and sperm cells that appear underwater as massive clouds of white and pink. The upward “snowfall” drifts toward the surface for fertilization and the sea is partially covered by the slicks of coral larvae before settling to the bottom to create next generation of coral.
Though much of the process continues to be a mystery, scientists have been able to accurately predict when it will take place. A week or so after a full August moon, just an hour or two after sunset, using darkness for cover, Anse Chastanet’s in-house diving staff takes scuba divers and snorkelers out the witness this rare phenomenon.
Everywhere you look on St Lucia, the Pitons dominate the view just like the Jade Club at Jade Mountain Resort  (
Whether your choice is chocolate, spawning coral or anything in between, St Lucia is rapidly becoming a travel destination that appeals to a new generation of island hoppers. Sailors and day-trippers from cruise ships are slowly learning they are going to have to share the paradise that was once their domain.
And for those newcomers who are “discovering” St Lucia, Jade Mountain or Anse Chastanet just may be your last resort.