St. Lucia -- in the Eastern Caribbean-- is known for scenic beauty, and especially for the twin peaks of the Pitons in the southwest. The island has jungle and plantations; the sea has coral reefs. St. Lucia was ruled by the French and later by the British; many tourists visit from the UK, and driving is on the left. Direct flights from the US to St. Lucia are increasing, as are all-inclusive resorts.
Almond Smugglers Cove is on the northwest coast, eight miles north of capital city Castries, and across from the St. Lucia Golf Resort & Country Club. The resort was formerly the Club St. Lucia.
- the resort has 357 rooms, in five categories, in single-story buildings on 60 acres. All rooms have been redone and have terraces.
- Almond Smugglers Cove has four restaurants: continental (at The Cove), seafood, casual Italian, and an adults-only dinner restaurant serving Caribbean dishes. The Cove serves British-style Afternoon Tea, with pastries and sandwiches. There's also a Beach Grill, a Kids Club buffet, and room service for lunch and dinner.
- Watersports include snorkelling, windsurfing, hobie cat sailing, kayaking, banana boat rides, water skiing (with instruction.) For an extra charge: 2-seater battery operated boats with water cannons, a big hit with kids.
- Pools: Almond Smugglers Cove has 5 pools, including one for families and one adults-only; main pools are freeform; there's also a swim-up bar and a waterfall.
- Land Activities: tennis courts, squash court, fitness centre, free green fees on the nearby Cap Estate Golf Course. (with some limits; and cart fee charges apply). Beauty treatment rooms; spa is due to open. (Check site for updates.)
- Kids Club: designed for educational fun from newborns up. Kids center is in a fenced area with indoor and outdoor play areas. Kiddie pools, too.
Almond Resorts have Kids Clubs for different ages: Nursery, for infants to 24 months; Mini Kids for ages 2 to 4; Kids Club for ages 5 to 7, and 8 to 12. Expect nature walks, tennis and golf clinics, jewelry-making, cooking, beach cricket and volleyball, Calypso and dance lessons, and more. The Kids Clubs have kiddie pools and playgrounds; Almond Smugglers Cove has a Teen Club, too. Nursery and Mini programs end at 5, but babysitting is available (at an extra charge.)
- the Hewanorra International Airport is in the south of the island; the drive is only 30 miles, but can take 1-1/2 hours. (Helicopter ride takes 20 minutes, approx. $120/adult.) Another airport, F.L. Charles,serves smaller planes and is 15 minutes from the resort.
- one of St. Lucia’s top restaurants-- The Great House-- is adjacent to the resort; it's not in the all-inclusive plan, but guests can get a credit to use for meals at The Great House.
--Check prices for Almond Smugglers Cove, at Kayak.com