Sometimes, if you listen very closely, you can hear absolutely nothing.

 

It’s a perfect soundbite, and I’m probably not the first to hear it, but Anthony Bowen, president of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, makes a perfect point.

 


St. Lucia, a tiny volcanic outcrop in the eastern Caribbean just 22 km wide, specializes in calm.

 


It can be a dramatically beautiful place. Its volcanic heritage provides sharp topography (most famously in the Pitons, two towering shards of lava punched through the earth’s crust) but elsewhere it is softened by acres and acres of banana plantations.

 


And of course the sea is ever-present — the Atlantic on one side and the Caribbean on the other —both wonderfully adept at that soft lapping which is nature’s own Valium.



St. Lucia is simply one of the most perfect places on earth to do nothing.
As he shows me around one of the island’s success stories the Windjammer Landing resort, where he is also Managing Director.



“In the first world you’ve have forgotten the art of relaxing,” Bowen said.



“You come to St. Lucia and you’re reminded of the primordial need to kick back and do nothing.”



Two decades ago the island’s politicians, particularly three-time Prime Minister Sir John Compton, became acutely aware of the need to shift St. Lucia’s commercial emphasis from agriculture to tourism.



And Windjammer was one of a new breed of St. Lucian resorts designed to accommodate the era of relatively cheap international travel.



It has just celebrated its 20th birthday.



It is a stunning development. The whitewashed, red-roofed villas, with their private pools, and hot-tubs lend a Mediterranean feel, but the tropical backdrop and white sands and cobalt waters of Labrelotte Bay are pure Caribbean.



It is Nirvana for anyone looking to stop the world for a couple of weeks.



That is not to say there aren’t things to do. The resort and the island offer an extensive program from snorkelling and sailing to volcano and helicopter trips.



And, don’t miss the islanders’ own entertainment — the Friday night “jump up.” I joined one at Gros Islet where the entire town seemed to have turned-out to set up temporary sound systems and even more temporary bars selling the island’s famous rum and the dancing goes on pretty much until dawn.



But that, with a little limbo thrown-in, is about as strenuous as it gets.



As Anthony says: “You won’t find a sweeter people than the St. Lucians, or a more relaxed people.



“You eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired, play when you’re not!
“As long as St Lucia Windjammer can keep offering that then people will feel they have really got something valuable from their stay.”