Special article for Tropical Traveller
We settled into Rodney Bay Village as if it were home – the kind of holiday experience we like: a cozy, low-rise community, pedestrian-friendly and accessible to an array of shops, restaurants, and side trips.
I found my “roost” outside the Bonne Baguette French Bakery on the street at Rodney Bay Mall. Here I enjoyed watching tourists on their way to shopping and tours. Just blocks away, the soft sand of Reduit Beach extended a welcome. Clear waters gleamed. Sunsets glowed over bobbing boats as the surf meandered ashore.
Daily visits to the supermarket connected us to the St. Lucian people. We filled our cart with banana chips, apples, yoghurts, wholewheat buns, cheese and – of course – bananas for snacking. Catching my eye on the wall was a framed list of fifty-two virtues, “The Gifts of Character,” which included Generosity, Integrity, Consideration and Joyfulness.
We relished the restaurants, most notably Razmataz, festive in gold-laced tablecloths, white latticework and high back chairs. Like homing pigeons, we returned several times. We found many excellent restaurants. The hamburgers and fries at the Fire Grill hit the spot late one evening.
A short ride to the Rodney Bay Marina led to extraordinary views as yachties assembled for food and spirits in the setting sun. There was no greater comfort than soaking in serenity as we savored Café Ole’s pumpkin soup, Panini sandwich and salad. One afternoon we returned for scrumptious Italian-style coconut ice cream, just two doors down at Elena’s.
We traveled by bus to historic Pigeon Island National Landmark. The fort is the site of numerous battles between France and Britain. Now, 44-acres of grass and ambling paths surround the garrison ruins. A fifteen-minute uphill walk offered a stunning view of the demure Caribbean Sea coming into contact with the thrashing Atlantic Ocean.
Walking back to Rodney Bay along Pigeon Island Beach, we passed Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort. When we approached a canal, a security guard came to our aid by ringing an old-fashioned bell, summoning another security guard in an inflatable dingy to ferry us to the other side. From there we continued on foot to Gros Islet where we found our way to the Castries-Gros Islet Highway to catch the bus to Rodney Bay.
The tourist experience is enriched by many varied experiences: snorkeling, sailing, sugar-to-rum tours, Gros Islet Friday night “jump up” with its dancing, music and food. Castries is also of interest with its famed market, Derek Walcott Square and the harbour which daily shelters mammoth cruise ships.
Four months later, I still wallow in snug memories of Rodney Bay. One particular virtue from the “Gift of Character” wall sign comes to mind: Joyfulness.
Mural inside Coco Resorts lobby.
Coco Palm's poolside bar and restaurant.
Kim's Rodney Bay Village hideaway at La Terrasse
The Boardwalk Bar at Rodney Bay Marina - hip and happy!