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Sugar Beach, St Lucia

Sugar Beach, St Lucia
Sugar Beach, St Lucia

Arriving in St Lucia from a cold and wet London is like stepping through the looking-glass. The wall of tropical heat that greets you as you step from the plane, the speed with which you whisk through the airport formalities and the tortuous roads circumscribing the island suggest a parallel reality from the one you left a mere eight-and-a-half hours previously.This was my second trip in less than 10 months. Marcus, Olga and I discovered Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort formerly known as the Jalousie Plantation, in January, and with no previous experience of the Caribbean apart from a quick trip to Cuba in my twenties, booked a return visit almost as soon as we got back home.
The landscape is impossibly thick with vegetation and as you leave the airport you catch glimpses of the wilder Atlantic east coast across vertiginous valleys.
Sugar Beachis on the west side, in an idyllic spot between the looming Pitons, the guardian peaks of the island. There is a gentle crescent of sandy beach. The 70-odd low white villas which comprise the main accommodation rise well spread across the lower sides of the valley above the Bayside Restaurant, the Beach Bar and the pool
A Caribbean idyll to be decorated, but our Grand Villa fulfils all my inarticulate desires. The monochromatic decor – white four-poster beds draped with mosquito nets; white-painted and white-cotton-covered wooden furniture; white shutters – does nothing to detract from the enthralling views that thrust themselves upon you at every moment of the day.
Each villa has a deck and a plunge pool, which we made very little use of. We could hardly drag ourselves away from the beach during daylight hours, and even used the gorgeous main pool reluctantly.
The beach is paradisiacal – there is no other way to describe it. There is no swell at all on the sea, so we could let Olga wander in and out at will. The water is utterly translucent and there is an area of protected seabed where I saw three times as much live coral and marine activity as I did in Sharm el-Sheikh.
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