Fodor's Expert Review Rendezvous

Malabar Beach, Vigie, Castries, St. Lucia See on Map

Jane Zarem

Romance is alive and well at this all-inclusive boutique resort (for couples only) that stretches along the dreamy white sands of Malabar Beach. A host of activities and sports, including scuba diving for certified divers, are all included. The resort is located right at the end of the George F.L. Charles Airport runway. The occasional distraction of small aircraft taking off and landing is quickly overshadowed by the beautiful gardens, great beach, and multitude of activities.


Beachfront accommodations range from rooms in a three-story building, with balconies overlooking the sea, to suites with a private deck overlooking the seaside pool and cheerful gingerbread bungalows with cathedral ceilings, sitting areas, and private patios. Some beachfront suites have a split-level bedroom/sitting area, a large sectional sofa, and wet bar. Beautifully decorated garden-view rooms and suites are in the two- or three-story buildings toward the back of the property.

YOU SHOULD KNOW No room TVs, if that matters.


Most bathrooms here have a frameless glass-door shower and stand-alone soaking tub—some "moderne" and others claw-foot. Some bathrooms also have chandelier lighting for an added touch of elegance.


Guests pass through a small covered entry and along a garden walkway (past a small shop selling beachwear and sundries) before arriving at reception, a small air-conditioned office off a large open space with a lounge, an entertainment area, and the Terrace Restaurant.


There are two pools: the seaside pool with a swim-up bar and a smaller, quieter pool in front of the spa. In addition, a long “river” pool meanders through the property, creating small isolated pools and tiny secluded islands.


The Spa in the Water Garden offers a full menu of restorative therapies for individuals and couples: massages, facials, body wraps, scrubs, and beauty treatments. Massage styles range from Swedish, Thai, Balinese, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, and Ayurvedic to warm stone, aromatherapy, deep tissue, hands and feet, bamboo, coconut and spice, and “St. Lucian Sizzler” (an invigorating experience meant to kick start your vacation or recharge your batteries!). Elemis and Essie products are used in the spa.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Spa treatments cost extra.


The resort has an air-conditioned fitness center equipped with state-of-the-art machines and weight-training equipment. Fitness classes (yoga, Pilates, aqua aerobics) are held regularly. For outdoor exercise, there are two floodlit tennis courts on-site and unlimited complimentary help from a tennis pro to improve your game. You can also join the weekly golf clinic to improve that game. Or, how ‘bout an archery lesson or two!

Tennis racquets and balls are available for guest use; golf clubs are available for use at the weekly golf clinic. Golf, tennis, archery, and beach volleyball lessons are all complimentary.


The resort has three restaurants. The beachfront Terrace Restaurant serves buffet-style meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner by candlelight. The Trysting Place—a small, rather elegant, air-conditioned restaurant— serves French/Caribbean fusion cuisine at dinner. Malabar Beach Club, right at the water’s edge, offers light fare at lunch and dinner.

Reservations are required at The Trysting Place and recommended at Malabar Beach Club, as both have limited seating.


Sunbathers and beachgoers sidle up (or swim up) to the Pool Bar for cool refreshments during the day. At the Terrace Bar, adjacent to the main restaurant, early-morning coffee blends easily into cool drinks and frosty beers all afternoon, before dinner, and into the evening when nightly entertainment becomes the focus. Meanwhile, the air-conditioned Champagne Bar remains open each evening until the last guest leaves.

Premium-brand alcohol and wine by the bottle are available at dinner and at the bars.


Beautiful Malabar Beach, a long strip of pure white sand, stretches in front of the entire resort. The sea here is calm and perfect for swimming, and beach cabanas provide romantic shade. Both motorized and non-motorized water sports are complimentary, including scuba-diving trips for certified divers. Guests can also try waterskiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, sailing (Hobie Cat or Aqua Fin), tubing, and snorkeling with the fishes. For more serene waterfront adventures, there are kayaks and pedalos.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Water-sports instruction (waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing) costs $50. A 45-minute scuba-diving resort course, followed by a 20-foot dive just off shore, is complimentary; PADI certification courses are available at competitive rates


Getting Around

Unless you rent a car, taxis are the best means of transportation. You can take a local bus (privately operated van) to go into downtown Castries or north to Rodney Bay. The fare is about 60 cents per trip (EC$1.50) and, while safe, it’s always an adventure! If you take the bus, though, you should have local currency; U.S. bills are universally accepted, but coins are not.


Since Rendezvous is all-inclusive, guests generally take all their meals at the resort. Those who want to try something new, however, can venture over to Coal Pot (5-minute drive), a waterfront restaurant on nearby Vigie Cove that serves light lunches and gourmet dinners. It’s tiny, so you’ll need reservations. For an authentic Creole buffet lunch when out exploring, head south from Castries to The Pink Plantation House (20-minute drive), a French Colonial plantation house filled with antiques. Adjacent to the dining room is a gift shop with artwork and ceramics by Michelle Elliott, a local artist who happens to own the house and restaurant.


For nightlife, you’d have to go to Rodney Bay (25-minute drive north), where Verve dance club attracts a fairly young crowd. Also at Rodney Bay, try your luck at Treasure Bay Casino—St. Lucia’s one and only casino.


Rendezvous certainly evokes romance—and it’s a very popular wedding venue—but the environment is not saccharine or sentimental. Rather, it’s quiet, adult, and as private as you want it to be.


100 rooms
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar yes
Cafe yes
Room Service yes
Gym, Pool
Free Parking


Phones: 758-457–7900; 800-544–2883-in U.S.

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