When Mike from New Jersey came across my post on Sugar Beach in St. Lucia, he filled out the Request a Trip form for assistance with planning his 25th anniversary trip. During our phone consultation, Mike told me about how he and his wife had spent their (10 year belated) honeymoon at Jalousie Plantation and how they’d been dreaming of returning with their children to rediscover the beauty of the resort and the island. I’m always excited to plan trips to Sugar Beach, one of my personal favorite resorts on the island of St. Lucia and a fantastic partner property of mine, so I got to work on putting together a package for Mike and his family of four.
The family spent a week at the resort this past July, enjoying a Grand Luxury Villa Room, which I was able to offer with the highly regarded all inclusive package for within their budget. Upon his return home, Mike let me know that everything was better than he remembered – right down to the bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne placed in his room, based on their request. He promised to follow up with more details, but I didn’t hear back from him for a few months – as to be expected, most people come home from their trips facing piles of work to catchup on and needing a vacation after their vacation.
However, I heard from Mike again last week – as promised – with a surprising continuation to his story. As fate would have it, his son, Kyle, who worked at the time as the head chef in a local pub, happened to run into the resort’s Sous Chef outside of the gift shop. He stopped the man and asked if it might be possible to take a tour of the kitchen, per the chef’s permission. The chefs invited him back for a tour later that evening.
Unbeknownst to everyone, Mike and his wife included, Kyle had packed his own chef whites – he showed up for the kitchen tour in full uniform. After showing enthusiasm and expressing such a great interest in their culinary techniques, the executive chef, Jacques Chretien, invited Kyle to observe that night’s dinner service.
From that night on, Chef Chretien allowed Kyle to remain in the kitchen, cooking and learning during the dinner shift each night – even allowing him to prepare a gourmet meal for the entire family one night. On their final night at the resort, Chef Chretien signed Kyle’s chef whites – which the family has since framed as a memory to their unbelievable experience.
To top off the experience, Chef Chretien and Kyle became so close that, upon their return back to the States, the Chef worked on behalf of Kyle, making formal introductions that have since allowed him to apprentice under other incredible chefs, include Eric Ripert and other members of the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France.
Mike himself said it best, of the family’s friendship with Chef Chretien and their overall experience at Sugar Beach:
“Chef Jacques Chretien not only gave us the experience of a lifetime; he gave my son the opportunity of a lifetime to advance his career and elevate himself to a level he did not know he could dream of. Now my son is ablaze with ambition and fueled by the experiences gained under Chef Jacques Chretien. We are eternally grateful to Chef Jacques Chretien.
Lindsey, that was just the kitchen… I could share similar spectacular experiences we had with our butlers, the shuttle drivers, the airport transfer driver, the wait staff, the maids, etc!
It is really hard to convey how wonderful the St. Lucian people are, and just how much everyone at Sugar Beach made us feel like family.”
This, as a luxury travel advisor, is what I live for. While I can by no means take credit for this fantastic story (or Kyle’s bravery!) or the hospitality that the entire Sugar Beach team showed my clients, I am so happy to have fantastic partners that I can trust with turning an ordinary experience into a once-in-a-lifetime memory.
I use this story as encouragement to other clients – no dream is too big for your vacation. Advisors who are passionate about their jobs do not just hand-craft itineraries – we love to make dreams come true, so never hesitate to share your wildest travel dreams and passions, it allows us and the resorts to give you the personalized attention and treatment that you deserve!
Huge thanks to Mike & his family for allowing me to share his wonderful story and experience (and all of the photos in this post), and for letting me plan their dream vacation!
To begin planning your next luxury getaway, fill out our Request a Trip form today!