If you're on the hunt for a spot of pre-wedding pampering, soul soothing or body fixing, we have just the place: The Body Holiday in St. Lucia ticks every box, plus its palm-fringed beach location makes it just the retreat to recharge and relax.
Getting into shape and dealing with the inevitable wedding prep stresses before the big day can be a real chore, so we recommend grabbing you best gal pals and jetting off to the Carribean to put your wedding day body blitz into action, get spa-ed into submission and zap you back to life.
The Body Holiday has really got this spot on. From the moment you arrive, you are greeted with a delicious fruit punch and the friendliest staff on the island are there to cater to your every wish, whim and need throughout your stay. The hotel itself, although relatively large, is cleverly spaced out and with the help of a recent US$20million cash injection; there's a nod to Nikki Beach-chic in parts. The buzziest bar is open day and well into the night offering the tastiest rum cocktails on tap - this is after all, an all-inclusive resort. But don't let this put you off; it's executed with class.
The Wellness Centre is honestly enough to blow your socks off - this too was subject to a recent overhaul and boy does it show. A short walk up the stone steps through the immaculate gardens, you enter a veritable oasis of palm-lined loveliness: pristine pools with awe-inspiring views of the coastline. In 2009 Condé Nast Traveller voted The Body Holiday the second Best Spa Retreat Worldwide and we aren't surprised why. Included within your stay is a choice of one 50-minute treatment per day (there are seven to choose from). My favourites? The Aloe Vera Body Wrap - perfect to soothe sun drenched skin and the blissfully coma-inducing full body massage.
However, it's well worth splurging a little extra on the non-inclusive spa treatments - they are up there with some of the best i've tried. Every scrub, massage and facial are on offer but you have to try the Synchronised Abhyanga; a four handed rhythmic massage that leaves you infinitely more relaxed. The Lymphatic Drainage with Billy is an unusually light massage that detoxifies the body and leaves you feeling supremely restored.
In between the myriad of spa treatments, there is every type of fitness on offer - guests are given a daily timetable, which includes everything from beach volleyball, spinning in the tree top studio (a must), beach aerobics to all types of yoga imaginable. Even the most fanatical fitness freaks will not be disappointed.
The beauty with The Body Holiday is that although you are invited to experience the fitness offerings and take advantage of the spa, it's not rammed down your throat. In fact you feel just as comfortable lolling on the beach, whiling away the days cocktail in hand. The food is another plus here - four restaurants offer a combination of à la Carte and bounteous buffet treats, catering for both the healthily inclined and those in search of a juicy mouth-watering burger. The highlight is the blackened salmon with Asian mushroom salad and fragrant roasted garlic rice on the menu at Tao - but make sure you book; it's long been regarded as one of the best restaurants on the island!
The Carribean is a fabulous destination in it's own right - the beaches are second to none and there is so much to see and do on the island. I cannot recommend this hotel enough, not only for the sheer amount of action it offers for those wanting to beat the bulge, but if it's rejuvenating pampering you're after, the heavenly wellness retreat will ensure you leave re-energised and revitalised. This place lives up to the hype, ticks all the boxes - with a splash of luxe and has undoubtedly reset the 'all inclusive concept'.
Kuoni offers 7 nights on all inclusive basis at the 5-star Body Holiday, St Lucia in a deluxe oceanfront room, including flights with British Airways from Gatwick with group transfers in resort. Prices for 26 September 2013 arefrom £1,970 per person, based on two sharing. To book please quote: CL0049. For more information call 01306 747008; www.kuoni.co.uk