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
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
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.
Quite a long review here but please read.
Plenty of availability on well kept beach - a big thank you to the delightful Dwain and the others whose names I do not know, all of them have a smile and 'good morning' for you.
Reception - all staff (but one, young lady with glasses) are super helpful and lovely so thank you Cheira, who has always been amazing, Anna and the others, sorry don't know your names.
You are assigned an Ambassador to look after you, ours was Essie who is incredible.
Lindon, Ian, Arlington are as special as the ladies.
Beach towels super soft and Colletta who runs the towel hut is the friendliest of people you would ever meet.
Breakfast at Dragonfly, service rather slow but the wonderful Cheryl and Nadia will always look after you.
Shuttle service excellent - John, Niles, Jimmy, Heston, Justin and Terry are so very helpful and a delight to talk to.
Gardens by North Point beautifully maintained by the wonderful Damien, although this year there was a lack of other gardeners and we felt that some of the gardens needed some TLC.
Beach bar great, ran mainly by the lovely Nona.
Jammers bar - definite improvement with service and staff, a special mention for a new trainee Matthew, such a charming young man - he will go far I hope.
The staff here are wonderful and really make the holiday special, now for the nitty gritty.
Windjammer need to improve in many ways if they want to be 'up there'
Many areas in dire need of TLC - Hibiscus lower pool looking rather scruffy, many of the steps in resort need attending to and more lighting at night. Gardens other than North Point - full of weeds and uncut grass.
On several occasions on checking our bill (folio) there were many mistakes but were soon rectified. Note - do check carefully as we had other clients bills on ours.
Communications between different departments can be sporadic.
No information brochure in villa, there is a weekly leaflet published (not always correct!) and a television screen in reception, but it would be nice to have something in your room.
No plate of fruit in room on arrival - that was the kind of touch that made things special.
No flowers in washroom any longer - again a touch that is missing.
One tap and the hand dryer in beach washrooms not working.
Food - I am really surprised by the positive reviews, as it has gone downhill, on two occasions we were not charged for our meals because they were inedible, fish over cooked and dry, vegetables generally only tepid. No consistency in what you are served and not served as advertised. There is definte room for a vast improvement here but I understand there is a new Food & Beverage Director - I really hope he can sort things out. I wish you well Shaun.
Nothing wrong with wine or beer EXCEPT wine is now served in plastic glasses in Jammers restaurent - totally unacceptable but I always asked for a glass and staff were more than happy to oblige in fact one of them said they were embarrassed about the plastic 'glasses'
Upper Deck - service remains very slow. (not charged the night we dined there, fish had a strange smell - did not want to risk it, vegetables lukewarm).
Dragonfly( ran by the great Benton) in the evening - no atmosphere/ ambience inside, outside terrace is fine, where Fish Fry is served.
Jammers - service good. Food variable.
Pappadon's re-opened after refurbishment still ran by the efficient, helpful Joyce, but again service very slow - hopefully just teething problems.
Accommodation - extremely disappointing this year, evidently they were trying to make Hibiscus suites look more modern - it wasn't good in many ways but they did change the furniture for me after 4 days!
Lack of equipment in kitchen, broken microwave and ice maker - these things should have been checked before arrival.
North Point villas outstanding, I feel not enough emphasis is being placed on some of the older properties.
Having had my moans I would however like to say that Windjammer is still special, mainly because of the staff, the beach and it is such a peaceful resort, only ruined by some noisey guests occasionally. Evening entertainment enjoyable and not intrusive.
Beach games ran by the extrovert Jackie and Kizzy - great fun.
Several guests I talked to are of the same mind as me but we really want Windjammer to be as good as it was and we wish you all well and would like to suggest you listen to the staff as they are the ones guests talk to.
We stayed here for a week in a one bedroom villa which was quite spacious with good views of the sea. The housekeeping service was great. Food choices are good if you don't want to cater for yourself. A 25 minute walk will take you to the supermarket if you don't want to get a taxi to Rodney bay. The Glace supermarket has an ok choice and is so much cheaper than the on site little market. We drank tap water all week and were totally fine. It is a quiet resort with little evening entertainment during October. It probably livens up when the season kicks in. Rodney Bay is $25 each way taxi fare. A good place for families and couples.
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.