by Candyce Stapen
Guests are greeted with cool towels and fruit punch and introduced to their “personal ambassador” upon arrival at the Windjammer Landing. The personal ambassador is available to schedule restaurant reservations, spa appointments or provide island tour information, more towels or anything else.
Kids receive special welcomes too. A counselor from the Jacquot Fun Club greets children ages 4 to 12 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. “We want the children to know about the program and to feel comfortable with us,” says Gale Charles, the children’s club supervisor.
Located about five miles or 15 minutes from Castries, Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort occupies 60-acres on St. Lucia’s northwest coast. A sandy beach stretches for 1,000-feet along the calm waters of Labrelotte Bay. From the shore, the resort sweeps up a lushly landscaped hillside. Designed by Barbadian architect Ian Morrison to look like a Mediterranean village, Windjammer’s units display such typical Moorish elements as stucco facades, archways, domes and red-tiled roofs. All of Windjammer’s 161-units are either suites or villas. That means the resort’s accommodations provide ample space plus the comforts of home.
Towering palm trees as well as red, purple and yellow bougainvillea, hibiscus and other flowers line the roadways leading to the units. The island has plenty of green on its hillsides, rainforest and valleys where locals farm banana and cocoa trees.
Our Editor Loves
- All units are either suites or villas
- Complimentary Jacquot Fun Club
- Complimentary snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking and sailing
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
The Hibiscus Suites work well for families, especially if you book one of the twelve 1,570-square-foot two-bedroom units. These are situated in three or four story buildings with no elevators. To avoid hauling tots and strollers up and down the stairs, parents with kids should request ground level units.
Each two-bedroom suite comes with a full kitchen opening to a living area with a pull-out couch and flat-screen TV, plus a master bedroom with another TV and bath. The second large bedroom has another TV and bath. The contemporary decor of white walls, ceiling fans and beige rattan furnishings is enlivened by blue batik pillows, conch shells and other island touches.
Each Hibiscus Suite has a 300-square-foot terrace (counted in the unit's total footage) that comes with a two-person hot tub, as well as a table seating six. Plan on outdoor meals or morning coffee in your own bubbling tub. A kiddie pool and a regular pool front the units, which are within walking distance of the beach. Also, only the Hibiscus Suites have in-room washers and dryers.
The resort offers one- to four-bedroom villas ranging from 1,200-square-feet for a one-bedroom to 2,200 to 3,600-square feet for a four bedroom unit. Most come with their own private plunge pools. In addition, Windjammer offers even larger three and four-bedroom Estate Villas, approximately 3,600-4,200 square feet. These villas (Prince Charles and Princess Diana are said to have stayed in one) come with their own full-size pools as well as spectacular hilltop views of the turquoise Caribbean Sea.
Each 3,600-square-foot Estate Villa gives families plenty of room to hang-out together, whether on outdoor decks or in the oversized living room. Instead of razzle dazzle furnishings, the units come with full size pools with panoramic views of the Caribbean and St. Lucia's lush hills. The comfortable decor features beige rattan couches, white walls and serviceable furnishings. A dedicated chef is included with the Estate Villas. Families with preschoolers should realize that the infinity edge pools and, possibly other outdoor areas, do not have railings. Reaching the hilltop villas can be difficult and shuttle vans do transport guests who request one.
No matter where you stay, a maximum of two children under 12 stay free per unit with parents. Cribs, high chairs and bed rails are available at no charge. Rollaway beds require an additional nightly fee.
Spent two weeks at Windjammer Landing. The weather was spectacular. We ate at all the restaurants at the resort. We loved all the food. So fresh and good. The only complaint is that they need some variety in their dessert selections. The ice cream is delicious but you don’t want it every day.
We go to Windjammer every 2 years. The setting and location are very appealing. However there is a lack of ambiance. It must emanate from the top. There is a lack of smiling from many of the staff. It is as if they are not happy which is uncharacteristic of the St Lucians. We were at a resort 10 minutes away the week before and everyone smiled! We have noticed a significant decline in the helpfulness and friendliness since our last visit. We own a 2 bedroom timeshare which is outstanding. Even at the Owner's and Manager's cocktail party it is the first time the GM has not at least said hello. we saw him for a brief time and the he disappeared. The food was so so. The shuttles to the higher villas were very good and the drivers were excellent
Although St. Lucia, a volcanic island, isn't known for its beaches, most of which are dark sand, Windjammer Landing's large stretch of cafe au lait shore provides ample opportunities for fun. Water-loving kids (and adults) 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. Palm trees and thatched roof palapas provide patches of shade on the sand. The resort, however, does not currently offer beach umbrellas.
There are six resort pools, two of which are children's pools. Tweens, teens and twenty-somethings play water volleyball in the main pool and tots happily splash by the shore or in the kiddie pools. One is located by the main pool and another, along with a full size pool, fronts the Hibiscus Suites. Lifeguards do not patrol the pools, nor the beach.
Water and Land Sports
Windjammer Landing's family-friendly attitude extends to activities, many of which are complimentary including snorkeling, sailing, kayaking and windsurfing. Lessons are available for a nominal fee. 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. Waterskiing, kneeboarding or wakboarding are also available for an additional fee unless you are a Premium All-Inclusive Plan guest and that the motorized water sports are included. The complimentary tennis clinics are fun on the two synthetic grass courts. A tennis pro offers private lessons for a fee.
Kids' Club and Teen Center
The complimentary Jacquot Fun Club, named for the colorful St. Lucian parrot, operates daily, year-round program for ages 4 to 12 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and from 6:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Overseen by enthusiastic supervisors, the program combines outdoor play, crafts and local culture. Lunch with the counselors is an option.
The child-to-counselor ratio is kept to 5:1. At busy times, counselors separate the kids into groups for ages 4 to 6 and 7 to 12. Unless many 11- and 12-year-olds sign-up, the Jacquot Fun Club because of the age breakdowns is likely to be best for ages 4 to 10. With many teens in-house, the resort hosts teen only activities such as beach volleyball and kayaking and the resort opens a teen room.
At the Fun Club kids engage in nature hikes, shell hunts, bottle fishing, coconut bowling, face painting, boat rides, cooking with the chef and pool swimming. Youngsters learn some local patois and also master Limbo and Reggae dance moves. Themed evening activities include pajama night with popcorn, pirate night, disco night and pizza night.
In addition, sometimes the counselors take the group 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.
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. In the Club House's gated front yard sand cushions the kids' swings and climbing equipment.
Each night offers a different events or entertainment. There are limbo dancers, live music, beach barbecues and more.
Opting for the all-inclusive plan and eating on property proves not to be a hardship when five restaurants serve appetizing meals. All restaurants feature kids' menus. Items include burgers, fried chicken, spaghetti and meat sauce and grilled cheese.
All-Inclusive Premium Plan
The All-Inclusive Premium Plan covers breakfast, lunch and dinner plus all beverages, including name-brand liquor. With parents on the all-inclusive program, children under 4 years old eat for free and all meals for ages four through 12 are covered at a child's rate, per child, per day. For those 13 years and older, the price of the All-Inclusive Platinum Plan per person, per night and at a lesser rate than adults. For families with active, hungry teens as well as college age kids and for those adults who enjoy a beachside Margarita or two, the all-inclusive plan makes sense, especially if you don't want to cook in your villa.
Embers and Toppers
Embers, a restaurant on the beach, serves up lunch daily and the weekly beach barbecue (mentioned above) as well as a bountiful Sunday brunch of ham, roast beef, fish and other items. Kids quickly discover Toppers, adjacent to Embers, and belly up to the open window to order ice cream (homemade sorbets are available too). These are complimentary on the all-inclusive plan.
Jammer's and Upper Deck
Situated waterfront along a covered deck, Jammer's Bar & Grill offers a lunch and dinner menu of burgers, rotis, salads and pasta. In the evening, the Upper Deck, located on a slightly higher deck than Jammer's, emphasizes seafood. The grilled Dorado with black bean salsa and plantains (very good) costs about U.S. $22.
Situated mid-mountain, Papa Don's serves Italian-inspired items. The tasty fare includes a kids' cheese pizza, and the house specialty seafood pizza.
Dragonfly, the resort's signature restaurant, serves breakfast and dinner. The nicely presented Caribbean Asian fusion fare includes Bangkok Thai shrimp and tea smoked duck breast.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
It's nice to have a personal ambassador, who advises on local adventures, books reservations, expedites taxis and handles other details. The friendliness of the staff is also outstanding.
A small grocery store on property sells cereal, milk, juice, fruit, ice cream, bread and other staples. As a convenience, the resort will send you a grocery list, stocking your villa prior to your arrival with your requested items. There's no fee for the service. You pay only for the groceries purchased.
Trained babysitters are available to guests for an additional hourly rate. Reservations at least 24 hours in advance are required. Car seats are also available to rent per day.
Complimentary Wi-Fi access is available throughout the resort.
The Art of Smart Timing
Windjammer Landing's high season ranges from about December 21 through April 18th and low season runs from April 19th through December 20th.
Many airlines fly into Hewanorra International Airport at Vieux Fort on St. Lucia's southeast coast. From there it's a 90-minute drive along some winding roads to Windjammer Landing. Taxis are available. To avoid the drive, a few vacationers hire a helicopter for the 12-minute, scenic but pricey flight to the George F. L. Charles Airport near Castries. From that facility, which accommodates smaller planes than Hewanorra, the drive to Windjammer Landing is about 15 minutes.
The only caveat for a family stay at Windjammer is the shuttle vans. You either ride these or walk the switchback roads to your accommodations. To avoid or at least limit your reliance on the shuttle, book one of the Hibiscus Suites located within walking distance of the beach, the lobby and several restaurants. Tackling the steep, snaking road to the hilltop villas can be difficult. Most often, a shuttle arrives within five to 10 minutes of phoning for one. However, when the resort is full, waits can be longer and the van may need to loop around, stopping along the way to pick up or drop off other people. Make sure little kids prone to car sickness sit up front.
For Mom and Dad
The Windjammer's spa is small with just three massage rooms and feels more like the villa it formerly was than a spa. But for those who want a quiet lounge chair, by the virtually deserted spa pool and listen to the soothing fountain as you sun, this is your spot.