A detailed and thorough review of our trip to Coconut Bay Resort in St. Lucia with our two young children. This is the perfect vacation spot if you need a little extra support with your children- they have an on site daycare, lots of kid friendly activities, and it seems well designed to support children AND parents having a good time.
A detailed and thorough review of our trip to Coconut Bay Resort in St. Lucia with our two young children. This is the perfect vacation spot if you need a little extra support with your kids so you can enjoy some time with your significant other- they have an on site daycare, lots of kid friendly activities, and it seems well designed to support children AND parents having a good time.If you don't follow my blog regularly, I occasionally like to write about traveling with our children. It's something that I enjoy and I like sharing tips and tricks for making travel easier. I try to review everything on my site very honestly- I'm not sure brands always love that, but I'll try to give you the good and the bad in a nice way so that you can decide whether or not a resort is "for you." Different people like different things so I'm sure one resort that didn't fit well for me might fit well for someone else.
As for Coconut Bay in St. Lucia, I cannot say enough good things. They are very nearly my dream hotel. I'll get into a few "dream" items that I'd love to see them add- they have a huge property so they certainly have the room for it. But I will absolutely return here because it's pretty perfect as is.
And my 2 year old is super cute when he frequently asks "Go Sent Lusa?!"
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Traveling to and from St. Lucia
Coconut Bay is *maybe* a 5 minute drive from the airport- and most of that drive is their driveway. I'm pretty sure that I could have walked faster if there had been a direct path- they should totally create a little driveway and use one of those white tram things that they have at the zoo and such.
Because it was so close, we got to watch the planes come and go from the pool and beach which the kids LOVED. But I got a pretty good sense of how few flights go in and out!
It was pretty fast to get through check-in and security- again, not a ton of people. That said, at least one plane got delayed leaving and the airport was PACKED. People were standing up waiting because there was no seating left. My family was flying home to Boston and it was their flight- they had gotten there early so they had been waiting quite some time. It was hot. We were sweating like pigs. The air condition either didn't work well due to the sheer mass of people or just because it wasn't a very good system- not sure which. There wasn't anything for the kids to do... we didn't even want them to move because it was so packed so we sat them down with the iPad. I don't believe they had wifi and we were international so that was out. The windows are only in the front of the airport, where all the gates are. This means that you can't go sit at the window with the kids to watch the planes come and go- something that entertains my kids quite a bit normally. Also- again- not too many planes coming and going. Ah yes, and I sweat so bad from the heat that I had to give myself a baby wipe bath in the restroom. Haha.
|Check out the crowd behind my Dad, Stepmom and G. Yikes.|
Oh- and they don't have ramps to the planes. It's all those big wheeled stairways. Not a big deal, but I figured I would mention it in case anyone is petrified by them.
The rooms have a refrigerator which they keep stocked with your choice of items- including a bottle of champagne and beer, juice, water, and soda. No extra fees for these as it's all inclusive. They do deliver a light snack in the evenings- I thought this was overkill, but a nice touch. I felt a bit guilty because we were so stuffed from our other meals that we just didn't eat them, except on the last evening.
I'll say that the hotel was full occupancy when we went, and you would have NEVER known it. I always felt that we had plenty of room for whatever activity we choose to do. And it always seemed quiet- not sure if we got lucky with quiet neighbors, but I think the A/C might have just done an awesome job as a sound machine.
The Pools, the Slides, and the Lazy River
There's also a swim up bar with an adult and children's side. They're in the shade- which is nice for staying out of the sun, but you can move back into the sun if you get chilly.
The Lazy River is a lot of fun! My kids enjoyed this, although I think the pool held more appeal because sitting and relaxing isn't on their agenda at 2 and 4 years old.
The slides are AWESOME. One slide was closed for repairs, but it was the kind that is closed up so I was fine with that. The open sky one was open and I liked that they had lifeguards ensuring you practiced good safety, but that they weren't as strict as they are in the USA. The kids weren't allowed to wear swimmies down the slides, but we were able to go down with them between our legs. Once my oldest was comfortable, I would go down first and then he'd go down next. I would wait for him at the bottom of the slide and catch him once he was in the water (he's not a super confident swimmer yet). SO much FUN! We went down that slide approximately a million times.
The BeachThe beach was emptier than I expected, although they have such a long stretch of beach that it's pretty easy to spread out. That said, the beach gets a lot of kelp due to the side of the island the resort is on. They had a tractor constantly going up and down the beach to pick up all the seaweed. The kids loved the tractor.
We didn't do much in the water because our kids are pretty young and the waves were pretty strong. I wasn't worried about walking into the water as there are some areas with a line of rock to break up the waves, but my kids got nervous in the kayak with us. I think this is one of the downfalls of this side of the island- but the BENEFIT is that the resort gets an amazing breeze that cools you down! I loved that.
My kids loved playing in the sand. We brought a few sand toys for them. We found a shady spot with some seating for us and it was very, very comfortable. And it kept the kids out of the sun so we didn't need to worry as much about sunburns.
The man running the little shed to sign out equipment was awesome. My husband wanted to snorkel and the man went out in the kayak with my husband to show him the buried plane. No joke. My husband thought that was really great. Next time we visit, I want to check it out as well.
There's snorkeling, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards to use for free.
And the view from the beach is GORGEOUS.
The main buffet area always had a small area setup with "kids food," although my kids ate food from many of the other areas of the buffet as well.
For the Kids
We did naps in our room initially, but discovered that there's some nice shaded hammocks and my kiddo would fall asleep on me in one of them while I read my book. I just tried to cover him up a bit more to protect him from any sun that peeked through. It was pleasant.
My only suggestion would be for them to add more things for children (and adults) to do indoors for rainy days or to just take a break from the sun. We liked the video game room at another resort we went to. With our kids being so young, we really tried to take lots of little mini breaks from the sun. The resort has lots of shaded areas which we utilized, but we would sometimes go back to the hotel room to put on the tv for an hour to get into some A/C and out of the sun completely.
We often went into the lobby to sit at the tables for a while. They have a couple of small sets of blocks which the kids liked. It worked, but there were sometimes a lot of people in there with the same idea.
My kids still talk about their animal friends.
Definitely the coolest resort playground I've ever seen. There's a big pirate ship, mini zipline, and lots of shade.
The cutest thing was that at the end of the trip, the staff and kids created a little booklet with printed photos of the different things they did at daycare. We got it at the end of the trip. Super awesome touch. .
Daycare closes at 5, but they have some activities for older kids (3+) in the evening that are there and free if you sign up.
You'll want to put together a small bag for each child with a change of clothes, a swim suit, some sunscreen, and diapers/wipes.
For Adults Only
The wedding pavilion and spa are over there, both of which are attractive, quiet buildings. I saw a couple of wedding parties. There's a few photos of the area in the video below.
Booking Your Trip
Looking at the hotel list for the day we left, I *believe* these are some other options for direct flights. There were likely different options on different days. The way it looked when I was booking, there were direct flights some days but not others so it made the most sense for us to do exactly a week so we could fly in and out on the same day (the day with the direct flight):
- Boston: JetBlue
- Atlanta: Delta, Virgin Atlantic
- NYC/JFK: Jet Blue
- Chicago/ORD: United
- Miami: American Airlines
- Charlotte: American Airlines
- Newark/EWR: United
- London/LGW: British Airways, Virgin Atlantic
- St. Georges: British Airways
- Tobago: Virgin Atlantic
- Toronto: Air Canada
Quick Review from the Kids
Godric (4): The slide, the bus from the airport, the lazy river, the boat, and the elevator.
What to Pack
- Swimmies for the kids if they need a little extra help in the pool.
- A clothesline or short pieces of rope for hanging wet bathing suits.
- Small toys to play with in the sand. My kids loved having some toy monster trucks.
- Laundry bag and a travel container of detergent if you want to do some laundry during the trip.
- Sunscreen. Lots of it. Bug spray. Small first aid kit (they have a nurse, but eh... we often get "boo boos" that don't need a nurse's intervention).
We will be back St. Lucia and Coconut Bay. We love you.
PS. Special request- indoor laser tag. I mean, because you've got paintball, a ton of property, and why not? Lol.
Have you ever been to St. Lucia or Coconut Bay? What would your favorite activity be there?
OH! And I think our next family vacation may be to Italy so keep an eye out for that. It's still not 100% but I reallllllly hope it happens!