The St Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association SLHTA has announced a tourist tax to be applied from 1st April 2020.
Everyone over 15 will be charged at check-in. The rate for luxury hotels with average rate over $120 a night is $3 per person per night (for hotels with rates under $120, the new tax is $3 a night). At the same time the rate of VAT goes down from 10% to 7%.
The Prime Minister of St Lucia, Martinique-born Allen Chastenet, is a one-time GM of The Coco Palm Hotel in Rodney Bay and a seasoned tourism professional – he was Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation 2006-2011. (Sadly he either did not receive, or did not take any notice, of an email requesting an interview.)
LTE last visited St Lucia for Sunday lunch, on 23 December 2018. Ceviche and organic salad at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort (formerly The Tides St Lucia) at Anse des Pitons Bay, was a truly memorable experience. Hanseatic GM Mark Sterner did a grand tour of the 192-acre property, nestled between the ocean and the Pitons, which are UNESCO-recognised heritage mountains. As well as hearty climbs up the slopes, enjoy lush undergrowth that is spotted with banana, mango and papaya. There was no time to try the resort’s own Chairman’s Rum, in bottles painted by local artist Llewellyn Xavier, whose works are in The Smithsonian in Washington DC. We were, however, fortunate to coincide with the 96-room resort’s owner, former Beatles’ accountant Roger Myers, who spends six months of every year in this idyllic spot.
Favourite rooms are the two Beachfront Collection duplexes, which have four bedrooms. The Rainforest Spa’s eight treatment rooms are all high-up treehouses.