Places to stay
Elegance in St Lucia, coastal luxe in France and a gourmet bolthole in Dorset
Sandals Regency La Toc
Glamorous and all-inclusive aren’t two adjectives that usually go hand in hand but Sandals has made an art of combining them throughout the Caribbean. Its flagship St Lucia resort is a shining example of its service-led ethos. Set over 85ha, it’s an undeniably elegant spread of pools with swim-up bars, tropical gardens and rolling fairways, flanked on one side by an arched golden beach and a lush hilly backdrop that is typical of the eastern Caribbean on the other.
When Sandals says all-inclusive, it means all-inclusive. So should you not want to laze by one of its three pools (there are lively and quiet options depending on your mood), you can join a yoga class, tee off on one of the nine golf holes or take to the jade green seas to windsurf, paddle board or scuba dive.
Minibars are restocked daily with quality spirits and mixers, Appleton rum cocktails pour freely from the eight bars and the nine eating options range from top-grade sushi and Italian fine dining to Kimonos, a theatrical teppanyaki restaurant. And if that’s not choice enough, there are two other Sandals resorts on the island, with guests encouraged to ‘stay at one, play at three’, opening up the options to 27 restaurants. Sandals is aimed at couples, and there’s a romantic flourish to all rooms, which range from handsome pool-side doubles to duplex sunset-view suites with outdoor tubs. The latter come with butler service, assisting you with everything from check-in to booking meals and reserving beachside cabanas complete with beer-packed cool boxes. EM. From £2,599 per
week. 0800 022 3030, sandals.co.uk
Clockwise from top: spend your days soaking up the Caribbean sunshine; Ashdown Park’s sweeping grounds; one of the large suites; classic interiors; enjoy a sunset dinner at Sandals