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Cover Story — 40 Under 40 Awards 2012
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  • 1. Cover Story — 40 Under 40 Awards 2012Pinnacle Point Beach And Golf ResortCover Story — 40 Under 40 Awards 2012Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf ResortShe has successfully launched marquee hospitality and lifestyle bands including Stingaree,Searsucker, W Hotels, Starwood Luxury Collection Properties, Hard Rock Hotels & Resorts andSprinkles Cupcakes. J Public …. His philanthropic commitments …St. Lucia Snap ShotArticle by Janus GyanSt. Lucia Snap ShotThe foremost attractions in St. Lucia are great beaches, friendly people, stunning mountainscenery, a steaming volcano, plantations, bird-watching, turtle-watching, all forms of watersports(including scuba diving, sailing, snorkeling, windsurfing and kite-sailing), hiking, tennis and goodfood.With all its natural beauty and hiking trails, St. Lucia is a great destination for outdoorenthusiasts who want to visit a Caribbean island-especially if they prefer less-developed areas.But anyone who loves great beaches amid beautiful scenery and plenty of peace and quiet willbe very happy in St. Lucia.St. Lucia SightseeingExquisite gardens abound on the island of St. Lucia. There’s Diamond Botanical Gardens inSoufriere, which features restored mineral baths, picturesque waterfalls, a nature trail andestate; and the Mamiku Gardens in the eastern part of the island. If you have time, also visit theBonne Terre Tropica Gardens on the north side of the island and the gardens at the La SikwiHistorical Sugar Mill & Plantation at Anse La Raye.St. Lucia See and Do GuideVisitors to St. Lucia in the Caribbean will find a lush tropical island. Gardens abound-includingthe Diamond Botanical Gardens, Waterfalls and Mineral Baths-as do beaches with sand in avariety of colors. (Anse de Sables and Pigeon Point are both excellent.) The St. Lucian watersprovide several ways to spend the day, including snorkeling and diving. Hikers also will enjoy aSt. Lucia vacation, with many trails exploring the rain forest.Shopping on St. Lucia consists of some duty-free shops and lots of specialty shops selling localarts and crafts. For travelers on Caribbean vacations, St. Lucia provides plenty to do and see,both underwater and on shore.Beaches-all of them public-come in a variety of colors on this island. Those along the northwestshore tend to be very white, those in the middle have beige or tan sand and those farther south,around the volcanoes, have black sand. (St. Lucia originated from a volcano, and the presence 1/5
  • 2. of volcanic rock causes the black sand). If there’s a bad beach on the island, we haven’t foundit. Waves are quite powerful along the Atlantic Coast, where only strong swimmers shouldventure out. On the western (Caribbean) side, the water is much calmer.With the exception of Reduit Beach, fronted by a number of hotels, most beaches are big, cleanand relatively isolated. Two of our favorites are Anse de Sables, across from Hewanorra Airport,near Vieux Fort, which is popular with surfers, and the beach on Pigeon Point, north of Castries,which has white sand and is good for swimming and picnicking.Marigot Bay, south of Castries, has a white-sand beach that is known as the setting for theoriginalDoctor Doolittle movie. Just north of Castries Vigie Beach is a palm-shaded stretch ofbeige sand at the end of Choc Bay.The little beach at Soufriere is better for sunning and lunching (at the Hummingbird Hotel andRestaurant) than for serious swimming-there are a lot of yachts anchored right offshore. For agreat beach, exciting snorkeling and fine food, take the bone-crunching drive on a rutted dirtroad to Anse Chastanet Resort, north of Soufriere, where the views of the Pitons arespectacular, and the snorkeling and diving are world-class.You can also reach the beach by water taxi from Soufriere, and the views are even better fromthe water. (If you do take a water taxi, be sure to reserve one for the return trip.) The water taxiwill also pick up and drop off at Anse Mamin, a quiet hideaway around the coastal curve of theresort’s property.Other nice beaches on the Caribbean coast include Anse Cochon, south of Marigot Bay andmost easily accessed by boat, and the beach at Laborie, the fishing village between Choiseuland Vieux Fort. Your presence will probably attract some attention from local children-beprepared to chat or play soccer.For a real adventure, rent a four-wheel-drive Jeep and take the road from Babonneau east toGrand Anse on the Atlantic coast. It’s about a 90-minute drive. The spectacular, windsweptbeach is often deserted, and it’s a great place to camp, picnic or stroll. Beware of the strongcurrents, however. Grand Anse is the most dangerous beach on St. Lucia, and you’re taking arisk if you do anything more than wade in the water.Leatherback turtles go ashore on Grand Anse to lay eggs, and the endangered creatures, thelargest marine turtles in the world, are protected during the August nesting season by a youthorganization that patrols the beach.As for beach attire, there’s been some French influence, but the British attitude predominates:Unless you’re in an isolated setting, plan to wear a swimsuit at the beach.Bird WatchingSt. Lucia is the only place on Earth bird-watching enthusiasts will spot the rare St. Lucia parrot(Amazona Versicolor) which is called jaco or jacquot by islanders. Once among the mostendangered parrots in the world (as few as 100 lived in the wild in 1975), the population nowstands at about 800, and there is a US$ 5,000 fine for hunting the bird. The cobalt-blueforehead and scarlet breast are especially striking.Special four-hour tours are arranged through the Forestry and Lands Department for earlymorning or late afternoon trips. Tours are US$ 30. For more information, phone 451-1691.Boating & SailingSeveral cruise operators offer full-day and half-day tours of the island’s coast that includesnorkeling in secluded bays, refreshments or lunch, and perhaps some type of entertainment.Sunset cruises and party boats also are popular. 2/5
  • 3. St. Lucia has excellent surfing-board, kite and wind-in the bay near Vieux Fort in the south andat Cas-en-Bas in the north. Beginning surfers will prefer the calmer waters on the Caribbeanside of the island, and equipment and instruction are available at most large hotels andwatersports shops on many beaches. (US$ 15-$ 30 per hour or US$ 40-$ 50 per day forboards; lessons are US$ 75 per session. Prices go down for longer rentals, multiple lessons andpackaged surfing vacations.)Sea kayaking has become increasingly popular, especially with ecotravelers, and St. Lucia’sshoreline is cut by fantastic coves, hidden caves and steep cliffs, which are ideal for exploringby kayak. Guided tours run about US$ 70-$ 90 per person.FishingSt. Lucia’s waters are good fishing grounds for blue marlin as well as for mackerel, kingfish,tuna, dorado, wahoo, barracuda and sailfish. Most boats accommodate six to eight anglers.GolfSt. Lucia has ideal conditions for golfing vacations, and the island has an 18-hole course andtwo nine-hole resort courses that are open to the public. Also, an 18-hole Greg Normansignature course has been laid out along the remote Atlantic shores of Praslin Bay, and JackNicklaus has designed an 18-hole course for the Raffles Resort development on the far northcoast at Cas en Bas.Hiking & WalkingMuch of St. Lucia’s interior is rain forest, and the best way to experience it is on a hike. A guideis recommended for hikes of all levels in the rain forest because it’s easy to get lost in thedense plant growth. Wear sturdy shoes and take a rain poncho, a bottle of water and a snack.Hikes along designated trails, priced at US$ 2-$ 30 depending on distance and duration, maybe arranged by contacting the Forestry Department. Phone 468-5645.http://www.geocities.com/sluforestrails.The two small Maria Islands are a nature reserve operated by the National Trust. They can bevisited by advance arrangement. Phone 453-7656.Scuba & SnorkelingDiving and snorkeling are best in the Soufriere area, which is protected by the Soufriere MarineManagement Area (park fee US$ 5 per day or US$ 15 per year). In fact, the beach and reef atAnse Chastanet Hotel, just north of Soufriere, are considered one of the 10 best dive sites in theCaribbean, with more than 150 species of fish (including the bizarre and uncommon frogfish anda 6-ft/2-m worm that has defied classification). The reef and the impressive underwaterpinnacles nearby are accessible just by wading out from shore.You can see giant sponges at the Piton Wall. Wreck divers may want to explore the Volga, justto the north of the Castries harbor, or the Lesleen M, a freighter sunk intentionally near AnseCochon in 1986 with several open compartments in its hull.In the event of a diving emergency, the Diver’s Alert Network (DAN) will provide treatmentadvice and, if necessary, arrange for evacuation. Phone 919-684-8111 or 919-684-4326. (Bothlines connect to DAN’s headquarters in the U.S. and accept collect calls.) DAN also answershealth-related questions about diving. For more information, phone 919-684-2948 or toll-free800-326-3822. http://www.diversalertnetwork.org.Tennis & Racquet SportsMany of the large hotels and resorts have tennis courts for guest use. Nonguests may play atsome hotels when courts are not being used by guests.If racquet sports are the prime focus of your vacation, consider staying at one of the following: 3/5
  • 4. Rex St. Lucian in Reduit Beach, Jalousie Plantation in Val des Pitons or Windjammer Landing inLabrelotte BayAs in most of the Windward Islands, St. Lucia was originally inhabited by the Arawak, who weredriven out by the Caribs before the arrival of Europeans. Accounts differ as to the firstEuropeans to visit St. Lucia: Some maintain that Columbus sighted the island on 13 December1502 (though his logbook suggests otherwise and St. Lucians have changed the name of thepublic holiday from Discovery Day to National Day); others believe that it was another Spanishexpedition, a group of shipwrecked French sailors or Dutch explorers who first reached theisland. The Carib warriors prevented any permanent settlement of the island until themid-1600s, when French colonists established themselves there.Like so many other Caribbean islands, St. Lucia became a political Ping-Pong ball, bouncingback and forth between France and England 14 times. As a result, both countries influenced theisland’s culture. In 1814, France ceded St. Lucia to England, and it remained an English colonyuntil the 1970s.Nonetheless, French traditions remain strong: The local Roman Catholic Church is influential,and most residents speak Creole. English is the official language, however, and except for trulyremote areas of the island, most people speak English.St. Lucia gained its independence from England in 1979 and is now a member of the BritishCommonwealth. The major businesses are agriculture (primarily bananas, though that crop’sprofitability is declining) and tourism. Efforts to attract offshore banking have been relativelysuccessful. The country also has the most diverse manufacturing sector in the EasternCaribbean; products include clothing and toys.St. Lucia has been the site for a number of Hollywood movies, including the original DoctorDoolittle, Superman II, Water with Michael Caine and Firepower with Sophia Loren.Leatherback turtles, the largest on Earth, lay their eggs on Grand Anse beach on the northeastside of the island between March and July.In the past 30 years, the population of the native, endangered St. Lucia parrot (Amazonaversicolor), or jacquot, has tripled, from as few as 100 in 1979-when the jacquot became theisland’s protected national bird-to approximately 800 now living in the central mountain rainforest.St. Lucia is a popular honeymoon destination, and some couples even choose to tie the knot onthe island. Visitors must reside on the island for two days before applying for a marriage license,which will be processed within two business days. (Don’t schedule your wedding to take placeuntil the fifth day you’re on the island.) Couples will need a passport, birth certificate and, ifapplicable, proof of divorce or the death of a former spouse.Cap Estate, at the very northern tip of the island, is an exclusive community with palatial homesset on at least an acre/hectare each. It also has the elegant Great House restaurant, whichcontains the Derek Walcott Theatre. (Walcott is one of two St. Lucian Nobel Prize winners. Hewon the 1992 prize for literature, and Sir W. Arthur Lews won the Nobel for economics in 1979.)The nature preserve on Maria Island, off Vieux Fort, is home to two species found nowhere elseon Earth: the Kouwes snake and the Zandoli Terre lizard. The islands are closed to visitorsannually April-September. 4/5
  • 5. About the Author Driven by a relentless curiosity, Janus began his research on St.lucia travel to identify what it is that clients want. One year later, after intense data mining, blog reviews, travel reviews and forums the answer was shockingly apparent. Adventure travelers want fun, raw island adventure fun. Not Just some tour guide trotting along with little or no engagement with his team. Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included. The Links – Pinnacle Point Beach & Golf Resort Visit at Pinnacle Point Beach & Golf Resort; www.thelinks.eu.com Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf Resort More information on South African experience at : http://southafricanexperience.com/cover-story-40-under-40-awards-2012/ 5/5Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org)