The Art of Stealing Time: Rendezvous, The Romantic Holiday, St Lucia Review
Finding that life is passing you by? Want to get better at seeing and living the moments? There’s a solution for that. Mark Southern visited Rendevous in St Lucia to find out more.
As originally published in Tempus Magazine, 2017
Advertising slogans don’t often offer wisdom over cliche. You see it all the time in luxury travel, where generic promises of romance, love, and relaxation rarely live up to billing. However, right off the bat at Rendezvous St Lucia it becomes clear that here is a place that really does mean what it says, and says what it means.
“Time is so precious”, its marketing literature states, “smart couples steal it”.
This simple turn of phrase offers not just a completely accurate way of summing up an entire travel experience, but also a simple notion that could shift the way you look at life.
The hotel is billed as The Romantic Holiday, and is, as you’d expect, a couple’s only retreat on the lush green tropical island of St Lucia. However, dispel any images of cheesy ‘romance’ resorts, where the only thing more fabricated than the ambience is the 24/7 soundtrack that Magic FM would think is a bit much. Instead Rendezvous is the real thing, and it’s invigorating on pretty much every level.
From the minute the plane touches down it feels like the real world is a very long way away indeed, and those moments of memorable bliss that we too often don’t even see, let alone action, glow in the Caribbean sunshine.
The first of these is the helicopter just waiting to hover and glide across forested mountains, and save us the hour long drive to the hotel. Whilst helicopter rides will always be a cool touch, there is something different about this, and the gentle (and occasionally not so gentle) undulation feels free and loose. There are some moments when you realise you’re at the start of something different, and this foreshadows exactly that.
We are greeted at the hotel, and the first thing you notice is the pockets of inviting space opening up into more pockets, into more again. Sort of like a sun-kissed Inception of secluded spaces. Whether it’s your own private beach, hammock hidden from the world, or even a Playboy mansion style grotto, it’s all there if you seek it.
Over welcome drinks this is where the central concept is explained to us. In the slow and deliberate West Indian drawl that rumbles like your favourite whiskey in your most comfortable chair, the “stolen time” idea is laid out; Life is about moments, and what you do with them, and no-one always makes the most of every gap of time. However, smart couples don’t rely on luck or fate and instead choose to steal time together.
It all makes sense, but nothing is ever over played here, and the thought is left there to grow in its own time.
Settling into rooms is easy, with large modern suites offering exceptional relaxing spaces, big bathtubs and showers for two, and a hard-working air con that keeps the tropical heat out.
Then, it’s the fun. The resort is nicely sized – never so big that getting anywhere feels like an effort, but still spacious enough to feel like they’ve designed the place just for the two of you. There’s all the things here that you’d expect, from an excellent spa to nicely equipped gym, and a full range of water-sports. There are sail boats, waterskis, diving and many more, alongside friendly (and frequently hilarious) instructors who are very adept at giving you the basics and then leaving you to it to enjoy together.
Moreover, there are both couples only and more sociable activities throughout the day for those wanting to leave their rooms or the calm chill of the beach. Evening entertainments are chilled out, and again suited for those wanting to seclude themselves from the world, as well as those seeking a more cordial experience.
One area many all-inclusive Caribbean resorts don’t always live up to is food, and here Rendezvous excels, partly because they understand the importance of stolen moments around dinner tables. Food is fresh, zingy, and nourishing, and the range of wines, champagnes and cocktails is better than most London members clubs.
What’s interesting is that throughout our trip there is a growing sense of awareness of the spaces in between the lines of time, and minds are suitably in sync with the local vibe to be creative enough to use them. As the trip concludes we come to realise that stolen time started off feeling almost illicit, but has become second nature. In fact, it’s sort of like you’re Robin Hooding the time away from your rich reserves of stress to feed the poor pool of your inner calm.
Rendezvous really does live up to its own billing, and you’ll find this a trip to bring back both a suitcase of new memories, and a future lifetime of moments to steal for yourselves.
As originally published in Tempus Magazine, 2017. For the full article click image below.