While the Caribbean is certainly a popular destination for those looking for a quick tropical escape, St. Vincent is one island that has gone under the radar of most Americans. That began to change recently with the debut of Buccament Bay Resort (St. Vincent & The Grenadines, West Indies), a new property from Harlequin Hotels & Resorts. The 95-villa hotel is the first major luxury development on the island. “St. Vincent is the gateway to the undiscovered Caribbean, and it is an idyllic destination for those looking to go beyond the expected,” says Dave Ames, chairman and founder of Harlequin Hotels & Resorts. “We are dedicated to elevating the luxury hotel experience in the Caribbean, and we have recognized the luxury hotel need on this beautiful island.”
Located on this undiscovered gem, the resort offers up a wealth of activities, thanks to a focus on experiential learning. The Harlequin Performing Arts Academy and the Harlequin Sports Academy, which includes the Pat Cash Tennis Academy, the Liverpool Football Club Soccer School, and the Buccament Bay Resort Cricket Academy, are just a few of the spa’s many offerings. For guests looking to relax or recover from their many pursuits, there is The Spa at Buccament Bay Resort. “Spa is a key offering at Buccament Bay Resort, as it contributes to the ultimate vacation experience we are looking to provide each and every guest,” says Ames. “We picked ESPA because of its world-renowned reputation, which is recognized by many luxury hotels around the world, as well as the brand’s variety of products that are customized for different needs.”
In addition to a host of popular ESPA treatments, the spa also offers several signature services that have been designed specifically for the Caribbean climate and are inspired by the island and its rainforests. For instance, the Tropical Soother ($280, 2 hours) is ideal for repairing sun-exposed skin. Complete with an herbal foot cleanse, the treatment involves an invigorating mint exfoliation, an aloe-based wrap, and a full-body massage. Other signature treatments, such as the Deeper Relaxation with Volcanic Stones ($280, 2 hours) and the Advanced Back, Face & Scalp with Volcanic Stones ($280, 2 hours), rely on lava stones from the beaches.
Men will feel right at home in the four-treatment-room spa thanks to a number of male-oriented services. Mankind ($190, 90 minutes), for example, is a deep and therapeutic massage focused on the back and the feet. Muscle Reviver ($140, 60 minutes) is an abbreviated massage for those who suffer from tension-related headaches and neck strain. It’s sometimes recommended in preparation for a peaceful night’s sleep.
In line with the resort’s emphasis on experiential learning, the spa recently introduced a complimentary 30-minute massage workshop, which encourages couples to learn the basics. Three times a week, therapists share their tricks of the trade in workshops designed for small groups of up to three couples at a time. “As Buccament Bay Resort is an experiential travel destination in its own right, the spa staff wants to complement our guests’ empowering experience at the property,” says general manager Gianluca Cugnetto. “We developed this program based on our guests’ feedback. They often share with us that they don’t always have the time to make a spa appointment and would love for their significant other to know the basics for that much-needed relaxation after a long work day.”
With two full-time and four part-time staff members, the spa is able to accommodate approximately 20 guests each day. One of the spa’s greatest challenges is making due with the space allotted. Fortunately, guests can also enjoy an alfresco massage in the spa’s Thai pavilion or under the gazebo on the beach. Yoga and relaxation classes are also available on a large covered deck overlooking a nearby pond. Although the spa has only been in operation for about a year, there is already talk of building a spa village in the future. The proposed Alaia Spa and Villas is expected to have approximately 22 treatment rooms and encompass about 40,000 square feet. In the meantime, guests will find the current incarnation a peaceful and intimate retreat.
Owner: Harlequin Hotels & Resorts
Opened: September 2011
MOST REPRESENTED COUNTRIES:
St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands
4,028 square feet;
4 treatment rooms
aromatherapy, body treatments, couples’ treatments, facials, fitness, hair and scalp treatments, hand and foot treatments, makeup application, massage, nailcare, outdoor treatments, reflexology, salon services, yoga
Tropical Soother ($280, 2 hours), Deeper Relaxation with Volcanic Stones ($280, 2 hours), Advanced Back, Face & Scalp with Volcanic Stones ($280, 2 hours), and Jet Lag Eliminator ($280, 2 hours)
MOST EXPENSIVE OFFERING
Side by Side Thai or Fitness Massage Ritual ($390, 90 minutes)
ESPA, SpaRitual, Uspa
Silhouet-Tone, SpaSoft, Spectroline, Venus, Zendals
Laura Boss, director design & projects, ESPA International (San Francisco)