Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Low Key, High Service, East Winds Inn, St. Lucia

Gareth Leach, General Manager of East Winds Inn in St. Lucia told me that often his staff will tell him, “Don’t worry, you can go do something else.” He isn’t being plied with the cliché Caribbean phrase, “Don’t worry, be happy.” It is actually true; they will get the job done without him hovering. After 18 years at East Winds, Leach says, “I’ve always found St. Lucians to be very well motivated.”

Housekeeper, Merle Prospere, has been at East Winds for 20 years. Some of the gardeners celebrating their ten-year, or more, are familiar faces to East Winds guests returning again and again. One English woman I met was vacationing at East Winds for the tenth year in a row. Obviously the resort is serving up a vacation formula that works flawlessly for their clients, while keeping themselves contentedly employed! A first time guest, expressed, “It’s pretty near perfect!” This is what makes it so…

East Winds offers a very intimate, appropriately elegant, without being up tight, vacation experience. Recreation is basic, off the grid, and to my mind charmingly English–ping pong, shuffleboard, reading (there are books available in all the common rooms). If you’re a garden enthusiast, the grounds are lovely and one can identify tropical plants with the help of a printed guide. A new yoga space is available with classes twice per week. It is a large, elevated, open roof pavilion, with no walls on three sides and glossy floors. You can do your downward dog and see the

birds and blooms–feel the breeze.

While an East Winds vacations seems low-key and no-fuss, the staff does seem to fuss over you. A vegetarian may check out Chefs menu by 2pm. If there isn’t anything that peeks his or her fancy, Chef will meet with said vegetarian to create additional menu choices for that evening. Gluten free travelers can bring their own gluten-free flour and the East Winds kitchen will bake bread for them. Tea is served every afternoon. The swim up pool bar is self-service. Here, kids do love to “play bartender” but staff is also

available to prepare a special drink or two or…. And I should mention that all alcohol, including Champaign, is included in the price of your room, as is all dining.

And a lovely dining experience it is! See my next post for further details on that front.


Thomas Bricker said...

Wish I was there right now!

Luxury Traveler said...

Holidays at eastwinds inn are really great. thanks for the post.