Nestling on its own private, tropical hillside and overlooking the calm waters of Labrelotte Bay, Windjammer Landing in St. Lucia is undoubtedly the ideal place for a honeymoon. With its mountaintop vistas, private villas, romantic, oceanfront dining, and spa services, I’d like to renew my wedding vows just to honeymoon in the most romantic place I’ve visited. It isn’t just a honeymoon destination though; it’s one of the most child-friendly resorts in the world. Travel with children to some luxury resort destinations and you get the feeling that kids are an afterthought. Daycare and babysitting services can be non-existent or grossly overpriced and amenities and services are solely focused on adults. At Windjammer Landing, though, children are special guests and a top priority, just like the parents who bring them. They offer babysitting and nanny services day and night, two swimming pools devoted exclusively to kids, tons of daily activities, and the Jacquot Fun Club, making certain that children have as much fun as grownups.
Upon arrival at Windjammer, kids receive special welcomes. A counselor from the Jacquot Fun Club greets children at check-in, giving each one an activities/coloring book containing information about the children’s club, a bag of Gummy Bears, and a club T-shirt. They want children to know about the program and feel comfortable with the counselors. Athena proudly wore her t-shirt regularly; I couldn’t get her to take it off. She was excited to be part of a “big kid” club.
The Jacquot Fun Club offers a supervised program of daily activities for children ages 4-12. Children under four may attend with a nanny or a parent. The Club House, the Jacquot Fun Club Center, is a white, island-style wooden cottage prettily trimmed with blue. Colorful murals of the Pitons, palm trees, bamboo patches and geckos decorate the air-conditioned playroom that’s stocked with puzzles, crafts, and board games. Care is taken to ensure a variety of activities and create a child-centered program that is equally educational and entertaining. Kids engage in nature hikes, shell hunts, bottle fishing, coconut bowling, face painting, boat rides, cooking with the chef, t-shirt making, and pool swimming. Themed evening activities include pajama night with popcorn, Caribbean night, pirate night, disco night, movie night, and pizza night. In addition, sometimes the counselors take groups off-property to visit a nearby mini-zoo, go on a treasure hunt in the ruins of the historic fort at Pigeon Island, or take a jeep safari to a waterfall. There are swings, bouncers, slides, and a sand pit outside the kid’s club, which all younger guests are welcome to use.
While at the kid’s club, Athena made a tie dye shirt, built a castle from blocks, danced at Caribbean night, read books with counselors, and swam in the pool.
Rather than worrying about dropping Athena off to play, she woke up every morning asking me when we could go to the club house. Most times I joined her and we participated in the fun activities together. The staff welcomed me as if I was part of the family and I felt comfortable spending the full morning hanging out and soaking up their creativity.
With so many big kid activities available on the property like the Big Mama boat ride, snorkeling, or water-skiing, I took advantage of the nanny service during our stay as well. The nanny service is available daily and only costs $7 per hour. I hired a nanny from 1-4 on the third and sixth day of the trip. While Athena played with a private nanny at the club, I explored the grounds, enjoyed a facial at the spa, rode Big Mama, went snorkeling and water-skiing, and bounced on the water trampoline. Every parent needs a few minutes to themselves and at Windjammer Landing I didn’t need to feel guilty about it. We were both having fun and enjoying activities separately. It’s simple and rewarding for everyone.
The kid’s club isn’t the only place for children to have fun. For pool-lovers, there is a large kiddie pool and equally child-friendly main pool with stairs, a shallow end, and a waterfall. Athena and I also enjoyed our own private villa pool that made evening swims and quick dips much more accessible. Ocean-loving kids, and adults, can swim out to Windjammer’s floating trampoline for a bouncy respite before plunging in again to climb the ersatz rock wall that bobs invitingly nearby. Although St. Lucia, a volcanic island, isn’t known for its beaches, most of which are dark sand, Windjammer Landing’s 1000-foot stretch of calm shoreline provides ample opportunities for fun.
The extensive list of complimentary activities at Windjammer include snorkeling, sailing, kayaking, and windsurfing. Also, families can play beach soccer, try dance aerobics, loosen up at the oceanfront stretch classes, or show-up at any of the other complimentary activities scheduled daily. To extend the list even further, there are full and half-day tours by land and sea. They offer sailboat tours, jeep tours, and combination tours. There are off-island tours via plane and catamaran, forest zip-line and gondola tours, volcano tours, cycling tours, deep-sea fishing, dolphin and whale watching, kayaking, horseback riding, scuba diving, golf, bird watching, helicopter tours, plantation and historical tours, shopping tours, and even a Friday night fish fry in a quaint fishing village. Athena and I jumped at the opportunities to explore the island with the full-day catamaran tour that included a waterfall swim, hiking at a volcano, and snorkeling.
All of these experiences were exceptionally family-focused, but if any one thing made Windjammer Landing a truly remarkable family experience, it would be the extraordinary staff and personable service. Athena ran to Glen at the front desk like a long-lost family member and she chatted with all of the staff in the restaurant like they were life-long friends. Mark, the General Manager, was on a first-name bases with her, often stopping to chat by the pool, at meals, and on the beach. A friendly, smiling face was viable every moment of the day at Windjammer. Children might be even more attuned to people’s attitudes than adults and Athena loved every staff member at Windjammer Landing.
Athena and I have visited many countries, destinations, and resorts together and each new adventure offers us a chance to create lasting memories. Our time at Windjammer, though, was unique. We bonded on a deeper level. The comfort of being immersed in such a child-centered environment allowed us to focus on what was important – our time together. Rather than worrying about schedules or where we were off to next, we could focus on putting our feet in the sand, splashing in the pool, building castles, and making crafts together. Windjammer Landing is one for the record books.