No surprise that more couples today are stealing away from hectic, stressful daily life to spend “time-out” side-by-side at a spa.
What better way to renew the spark and energy of a romance than with a little private “us” time for hands-on therapy. With V-Day just around the corner, hotels and resorts are ramping up the romance by bringing out the big guns: champagne, chocolate and roses.
One newly-upgraded resort on the lush island of St. Lucia has positioned itself to dish up romance year-round. The entire concept of Rendezvous, an all-inclusive, boutique resort and spa for couples only, has, in fact, been condensed into three little words and spelled out in its URL — theromanticholiday.com.
Located on Malabar Beach, about three kilometres from the capital city of Castries, the 17-year-old, 100-room resort re-opened in November following a $15-million facelift and expansion that included the addition of a spa and gym.
Romance is the name of the game here. In fact, the hotel could be considered quite openly suggestive as elements of their deco get right to the point. For instance, while some boutique hotels hold the green apple as their signature item, here it’s the Anthurium — a rather phallic-looking plant. Then there’s Rodin’s Kissing Couple. Along with CD players and king-size, four poster beds, a replica of the embracing nudes statue is prominently displayed in each guest room.
An expansive open-air space encompassing bar, lounge and dining area all overlook pristine Malabar Beach. Le Rendezvous is the only hotel on this three-kilometre beach and the red flags you see planted in the white-sugar sand does not signal dangerous waves but that another round of cocktails — or a freshly squeezed passion fruit from the juice bar — is being requested. An intimate finer dining restaurant is called Trysting Place.
t’s a quiet, tranquil space — no blaring music, no loud holiday-camp type activities — nicely appointed and service-oriented. General manager Yhasmine Remy says two of the things that make Rendezvous special are “the atmosphere and the personalization of service — meeting the needs without being intrusive.”
A short stroll from the lobby, guests find The Water Garden Spa — a self-contained, two story building houses three, spacious and naturally lit treatment rooms and offering a good selection of services including a variety of massages, scrubs and esthetics.
Outside there’s a swimming pool (the second on the property) where, before or after treatments, guests cozy up on moon-shaped, wicker settees. Nearby, the Water Garden is a man-made river winding seductively around semi-private islands with water-waiter service and beds of plants and foliage sourced from around the island to attract birds.
For the fit-minded, there’s a modern, well-equipped gym and a fitness instructor offering daily classes such a yoga, Pilates and water aerobics. Golf and tennis pros are also on hand. Bicycles and helmets are available for guest use and there’s at least one guided tour into the city. Skip it unless you enjoy cycling very busy city roads.
While many hotels are big on the arrival ritual —glasses of chilled champagne and other gestures of welcome — check out procedures typically comes with less fanfare.
One of the points of distinction at Le Rendezvous is its “departure lounge.” Guests catching a late day flight can use Hospitality House which includes the gym, showers and change rooms.
Yasmine says one of her personal goals is to make the departure as special as the arrival.
Part of that ritual is the Wishing Well — when couples leave, Remy explains they are encouraged to make a wish. “Hopefully,” she says, “they wish to come back.”