I’ve never before seen a profession that brings individuals together as strongly as the travel industry has done for me. From my suppliers to my peers, this relationship-driven industry has blessed me more than I ever thought possible. No one else on this planet quite understands the same trials and tribulations that someone your same age and in your same industry can. They’re the ones who laugh at you when you forget to book your own rental car or retell that embarrassing story about the time you created a new dance move in the Ellerman House villa. They’re the ones who look you in the eye and say, “It’s time that you moved on, we’ve been waiting for this day – we are so proud of you,” whether it’s about a personal or professional decision regarding the chains of undeserving individuals that you once allowed to hinder your growth. They’re the ones that will blatantly pick apart the most minute details of a room – from the light fixtures to the bathroom sinks – making you feel like less of a total travel snob. Well, maybe not less of a travel snob – just one in good company.
There are times that travel alone is enough to fulfill us, then there are times that the company you travel with is what gives you the strength to pick your head up, face your battles, and carry on with poise and confidence. We know that our actions have the power to determine the future of the travel industry and that isn’t knowledge we choose to take lightly – our conversations revolve around making ourselves and our businesses better, taking the ethical path to success, and how much food and drink we can consume over the course of a given fam trip. It’s not always a gossip sesh over piña coladas (although it often is), it’s the shaping of ourselves as professionals and recalling the stories that have gotten us to this point. We’re all figuring this business out one step and misstep at a time, but we’re also all figuring it out together.
So, when Capella Marigot Bay invited a group of us down to experience their new property firsthand, we were thrilled at the chance to reunite in paradise and check out our newest partner property in St. Lucia with one of our all time favorite sales reps, Mr. John Ladd(meister). The weekend did not disappoint – an overindulgent four days of food, drinks and laughter at this gorgeous little harbor-side gem of a hotel.
I truly don’t think I’ve ever eaten this much in my entire life. The food started on our way from the airport, when our driver offered to stop us by a creole bread stand – which is piping hot fresh bread slathered with butter and cheese and anything else you’d like to add. Having had this treat before, I was the first one to say “YES! We have to go!” – everyone else looked at me like I’d grown a second head, just wanting to make it to the resort without any further delays (since I had already delayed us once with a bathroom break – sorry, team). However, this was one of the most widely discussed food items we had while in St. Lucia – a must have for guests taking transfers across the island.
Our first night at Capella was hosted in the private area of the Rum Cave restaurant. The idea was heavy appetizers since we had all been traveling and were not up for a long night out. Four hours and seventy-five pounds of food later, we could not eat another bite of the incredible grilled babyback ribs, fried shrimp, or rum balls (okay, I could’ve had a few more rum balls) that had been delivered to us in hordes. The rum cave also had a beautiful rum-tasting set up for guests to enjoy the variety of St. Lucian rums. I’ll just take mine in chocolate or cake form, thanks.
The next morning, we awoke to a fun site inspection with the general manager, Jerone, who told us all of the quirky stories (“You will like this story because it’s true!” he would proclaim before almost every story – I will assume the ones he didn’t say this for were actually not true) and future plans for the property. After taking the property over and renovating it from Discovery Marigot Bay, Capella has already come a long way in providing a new and memorable guest experience from a previously unremarkable hotel (I had seen it several years ago under the previous management and prior to renovation).
Everyone enjoyed the story of the Pink Snail Bar that Jerone informed us of, the previous property’s homage to Doctor Doolittle, which was shot on property, complete with electronic pink snails that circled the bar floor like roombas (“it was really quite creepy”), now completely renovated into a cute little bar across from 14*61 grill, which is situated under the mast of the ship belonging to Walter Boudreau, who originally sailed to and discovered Marigot Bay.
It was in this restaurant that we later enjoyed a private cooking demonstration with Chef Brendan, who shared with us how to make an unbelievable seafood chowder and then served us even more food to go along with the demonstration (like a steak salad which was essentially the most tender pieces of flank steak served under a few pieces of arugula, all covered in mustard seeds – my kind of salad).
The presentation of the meals here was almost as decadent as the quality of the food – Capella prides itself in an exquisite but approachable dining experience, which it achieves with perfection – nothing pretentious about this property!
The location of Capella Marigot Bay is the elephant in the room – wait, it’s on a harbor? Not a beach? In the Caribbean? – but the resort has remedied this by going above and beyond for the guest experience. From service levels that encourage the staff to be one step ahead of the guests needs and to act autonomously to achieve that memorable experience to the overall resort atmosphere, a beautiful property nestled in a breathtaking landscape.
Simply because you’re on the harbor doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all that St. Lucia has to offer: nearly every room has a view of the rolling green mountains with lush, tropical foliage, the pool experience is heightened as the showpiece of the resort (gorgeous landscaping and layout, comfortable cabanas and cocoon seats, and attentive but not overbearing poolside service – finally! a resort with good poolside service!!!), and guests who are dreaming of having some beach time can arrange one of the water-based tours that pick up right from the marina.
Our particular tour of choice was a private catamaran sail down the dramatic coastline that has given St. Lucia it’s nickname as the Hawaii of the Caribbean. This was by far one of the best activities I’ve done with this group of friends – toasting mojitos while basking in the rain (yes, it rained for the first hour of the trip, which did NOT deter us from riding on the bow, bundled up in towels), dancing along with our guide, Lulu (which I’m fearful there are videos of…), and chilling in the water at Ti Kaye beach once the sun finally came out. When the sun did come out, it did so in full force – we were all scorched upon our return.
Three nights was certainly not enough for us to continue enjoying this great new resort or our fabulous company, but it did give us each a taste of what our clients will experience at Capella Marigot Bay, even before the final touches have been made (the property will open 14*61 grill for dinner by March and will be opening additional shops and dining in its marina shortly after).
Interested in your own trip to Capella Marigot Bay? We’re able to provide additional amenities and ensure you have a fantastic time, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org