Best Spas and Relaxing Activities in the Leeward Islands
by Gillian Birch on May 07, 2019
There’s nothing more relaxing and peaceful than sailing in the beautiful blue Caribbean aboard a luxury yacht. However, days ashore can be equally enjoyable if you know where to head for. Whether you’re looking for pampering massages, cool spas, romantic activities, or cultural experiences, we have plenty of suggestions for doing a whole lot of nothing.
Sailing and Relaxing in Anguilla
The tranquil island of Anguilla has a head start with its laid-back vibe and white sandy beaches. For a truly uplifting experience, go swimming with dolphins. The Royal Swim Program at Dolphin Discovery allows you to hug, swim, play, kiss and have a dorsal tow by playful dolphins. Opt for the Adventure Memories package which includes photos of your amazing dolphin experience. Art is a major part of life in Anguilla and you’ll find many art studios and galleries in The Valley. Browse for souvenirs of your Caribbean sailing holiday at the Loblolly Art Gallery near Crocus Bay or head to West End Village. The luxury Four Seasons Resort has an exceptional spa with signature treatments including salt scrubs and healing massages to have you looking (and feeling) your best.
For a leisurely excursion into Anguilla’s past, pre-book a private guided tour of Wallblake House, a heritage home on a former sugar plantation. Built-in 1787, it has been beautifully restored and includes a kitchen, stables, slave quarters, and an open-sided church in the form of a ship.
Chill out in St Barts
Moor in the sheltered waters of the Baie de Grand Cul de Sac and enjoy five-star pampering at Le Barthelemy Hotel and Spa right on the waterfront. Named the Best Resort in the Caribbean by Conde Naste readers, this idyllic paradise includes Le Spa, a holistic healing retreat that delivers head-to-toe rejuvenation in a serene environment. Book a yoga session for mindful meditation or enjoy a blissful massage. Stay for a romantic candlelit dinner in the restaurant prepared by Michelin star chef Guy Martin and his team.
You’ll definitely want some beach time while sailing to St Barts. Part of the St Barthelemy Nature Reserve, Le Barthelemy Hotel has excellent beach club amenities. Relax on cushioned loungers, swim in the natural pools, and look for sea turtles, starfish, and colorful corals. If you’ve time, visit the Shell Museum which has over 9,000 shells, and indulge in a little high-end shopping in the duty-free port of Gustavia.
Unwind in Saint Maarten
Sail into Simpson Bay Lagoon in Saint Maarten and you’re just 10 minutes from Philipsburg for boutique shopping on Front Street and 20 minutes from the French capital, Marigot. Known as the “Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean”, Marigot is an upscale Parisian enclave in the heart of the Caribbean. Book a session at the Clarins Skin Spa on Rue de la Republique to hydrate skin and hair after days of salty sea air and intense sunshine. Facials, massages, and anti-wrinkle body lifts provide a wonderful way to de-stress as part of your relaxed Caribbean sailing vacation.
Sint Maarten’s beautiful beaches include clothing-optional Orient Bay. Visit the Butterfly Farm or ride the leisurely chairlift to the Crow’s Nest on Sentry Hill for panoramic views of Sint Maarten, St Barts, and Anguilla. It doesn’t get more relaxed than this!