Spa with treehouse massage hut and gym with yoga classes
A two-minute water taxi to the shared beach
Valet parking and free Wi-Fi
Not directly on the beach
Some rooms require walking up several flights of stairs
No kids' club, though babysitting services are available
Location may feel too secluded for some
This 124-room, four-and-a-half-pearl resort on Marigot Bay certainly takes advantage of its scenic (and hilly) landscape. Not only is Capella the most luxurious hotel in this part of St. Lucia, but the attached marina pulls in jaw-dropping sailboats and yachts from around the world. Families and couples can spread out in one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites with modern kitchens and washer/dryers, as well as at the two outdoor pools (one adult-only) and spa with yoga studio. Each room is assigned a personal assistant, and chic dining options include a rum cave and sushi bar. A small beach is located across the bay, but those who want direct beach access and Piton views should consider Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, though rates are higher.
Service and the beautiful landscape are standouts at this luxury resort.
The Capella Marigot Bay Resort opened in 2006 and is anchored (pun intended) to a pretty marina lined with huge yachts. Of course, the marina is only one aspect that makes this luxury resort arguably the best in the area; also noteworthy are the chic, contemporary furnishings throughout -- lots of vaulted wood ceilings, chandeliers, and stone detailing. Capella is noticeably focused on service: Every staff member (even the gardeners) go through a rigorous application process that tests hospitality, and each room is assigned a personal assistant to arrange things such as couples' massages and day trips. Friendly staff greet arrivals with cool towels and refreshments and if allowed, assistants will often surprise guests with surprises and treats in the rooms. Both couples and families frequent the hotel, but the vibe is consistently peaceful and relaxing. Evenings are especially magical as the resort slowly transforms to a warm, atmospheric glow after sunset. Dressy guests emerge from their rooms and boats, while the sound of tree frogs and soft music permeates in the background.
A slowly developing area in St. Lucia's west coast between Castries and Soufriere
Getting around St. Lucia is much easier to do by boat than by car, hence Capella's popular on-site marina. However, not everyone has this luxury, and those traveling by vehicle should expect an hour-long, expensive taxi ride from Hewanorra International Airport at Vieux Fort (UVF), or 30-minute ride from George F. L. Charles Airport, near Castries (SLU). Newcomers not arriving by boat will venture through St. Lucia's notorious hills to get to Capella -- great for adventurous types who appreciate hidden gems rather than mainstream resorts scattered along the island's northern coastline. The only road that gets to Marigot Bay heads steeply upwards, passing a small village, when gorgeous views of the bay first appear. On the way back down, Capella's minimalistic signage points to a brick-paved turnaround driveway.
The hotel is situated on Marigot Bay, which doesn't have the same level of resort development as the north coast, yet it's not quite as remote-feeling as the area around Jade Mountain. Conveniences are available at Marina Village, including a bank, boutiques, high-quality supermarket, duty-free outlets, an art gallery, bakery, and ice cream parlor. The resort's free water taxi makes regular rounds to the shared beach, as well as restaurants such as Rainforest (fancier) and Doolittle's (more casual). Because of its somewhat secluded location, some guests may find Capella too isolated to spend the whole vacation.
Modern and spacious rooms, some with kitchens and hot tubs
Situated across 30 acres, many of the 124 contemporary rooms and suites at the Capella are more like small, luxury apartments than conventional hotel rooms. There are still standard guest rooms, but the larger one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites -- each with a fully stocked kitchen, washer/dryer, and living/dining room -- make up about half of the resort's inventory. They're located in several buildings, some which are closer to the marina and others that climb uphill behind the pool, requiring several steps (no elevators). But the higher the room, the better the view.
Stylish decor is similar between types and includes gorgeous hardwood floors and furnishings against aqua and coral palettes. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, DVD players (guests have access to a movie library), minibars, pod espresso machines, and generous tea sets. Master bedrooms have four-poster canopy beds with pillow-top mattresses, while sleek bathrooms have walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads, Italian Acqua di Parma toiletries, bathrobes, and slippers.
For an extra fee, guests can upgrade to the suites with a small plunge pool. However, these rooms are only on the lower floors, sacrificing the quality of the view. Additionally, all of the pools are in clear view of other guest rooms and not ideal for an intimate, romantic soak. Penthouse Suites have loft-style bedrooms that overlook the living rooms, not to mention spacious decks with outdoor hot tubs and the best views.
Guests are more likely to use the two pools versus the beach across the bay.
Across the bay is a small stretch of volcanic sand called LaBas Beach, available to guests of the resort and marina. The beach isn't quite as nice as other spots in the Caribbean, as it's quite small. But, the water is clear and calm (great for swimming), plus Capella has a section of sun loungers and non-motorized water sports (snorkeling, windsurfing, Hobie-cat sailing, and kayaking). A free two-minute ferry from the public dock makes regular rounds from morning until late afternoon every day except Sunday, when the beach is supposedly reserved for locals. Many guests choose to stick to the resort's two pools: A smaller infinity pool is for adults only and overlooks the bay, while higher up is a large pool with children's section, swim-up bar, and ample terrace space.
Close to the marina is the Auriga Spa for natural, locally inspired treatments. A handful of indoor massage rooms have outdoor decks and open-air showers, while a shared Zen garden offers wooden soaking tubs, as well as a sauna, steam inhalation room, and hot tub. Couples' treatments can be arranged in the romantic treehouse. The modern fitness center has up-to-date cardio and weight-training equipment, along with an outdoor deck for yoga, Pilates, and other daily fitness classes (for an extra fee). The resort does not have a kids club, but guests who stay a week or more can arrange one four-hour babysitting session (no charge) for children 12 and under. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.
Impressive dining options on-site include sushi bar
Capella's main restaurant, The Grill at 14⁰61⁰, is a fine-dining option named after the location's latitude and longitude. It has a beautiful dining room and terrace overlooking the bay, and is open for breakfast and dinner. Guests can watch the culinary team at work in the open kitchen, which has a coal-burning grill for seafood and prime meats, while herbs, fruits and vegetables are sourced from the resort's on-site garden as often as possible. Adjacent to the restaurant is an open-air lounge and bar for cocktails, though most guests head downstairs to the Rum Cave and terrace.
The authentic, distillery-like Rum Cave serves regional rums and cigars along with beers, wines, whiskeys, specialty cocktails, and small plates. Live music is offered most evenings, and there are regular rum tastings. For lunch, most stick to the main pool and order sushi, ceviche, salads, and sandwiches. Guests can swim-up to the bar and order, or will be taken care of from pool attendants who make regular rounds. A casual restaurant called Bayside Cafe has take-away coffee, smoothies, pastries, sandwiches, and ice cream, as well as a seated waterfront patio serving a la carte fare. Private candlelit dinners for two can be arranged in the spa's treehouse.
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