JJ's Paradise Resort - Marigot Bay, St. Lucia
All Photos © Jeff Burgess/Travel Invasion
Heading off to St. Lucia on a solo journey I began to wonder what the purpose of this visit was going to prove. Actually I knew it would be the farthest south I had ever ventured.
It would also unlock the mystery of the island of St. Lucia. While developing this website, I have seen so many photos of shockingly beautiful scenery from the island that I knew my time for a visit was due. Securing a $500 round trip fare from California, I was satisfied with the price while racking a few more AA miles.
As I neared the island I remember thinking that one of the reasons I had selected St. Lucia was for a few nights of reasonably priced accomodations at JJ's Paradise Resort, a small intimate lodging located on the beautiful Marigot Bay.
Heading down the hill on my way into Marigot Bay, I was starting to like what I was seeing. The bay was once a vital war time base as well as where the original Dr. Doolittle movie was filmed. Obviously the spot was chosen for good reason. Within minutes we had arrived at JJ's Paradise Resort which was my final destination.
JJ's Resort is situated on a hillside rising up from the center of Marigot Bay. The resort features ten wood cottages and five
apartment style accomodations which were recently constructed.
The resort has a very laid back feel which I sensed almost immediately. JJ actually greeted me when I first arrived and wanted to make sure that everything was alright? Actually the only disappointment was that the resort was almost full and all of the cabins had been rented. I would be staying in one of the recently constructed apartment style rooms which actually had the best views on the property. The surrounding landscape could best be described as a serene manicured jungle.
My room upon first glance was shining bright. The entire room smelled new, something which is somewhat rare in tropical humid climates. AC, a television, refrigerator and telephone were nice features as well. The rear balcony had an amazing panoramic view down to the Marigot Bay area. These rooms are perfect for the person who is looking for a more secure environment. I was supposed to have a look through one of the cabin rooms on my final morning, although I awoke late and missed my opportunity.
They dropped my off at Doolittle's and offered to return in 45 minutes for a small ride around the bay so I could snap some photos. Everything seemed cool as I dined on a hamburger while staring off into the horizon. 45 minutes later here came Johnny. I got back into their boat and immediately they zipped far out into the water. I asked what they were doing and they said they were going to take me for a 2 hour tour for $125. I knew I was being shook down. Scared shitless, I made up some lame excuse about having a girlfriend at the room who would want to go on the cruise as well. They motored me back and told me they would wait for me to retuen with my girl . I headed back to the room the long way through the jungle and waited for about an hour. Eventually I made my way back to the bar and there sat Johnny B. Goode and Tiger. I told them it was bad news since my girl had a bad stomache and she wouldn't be going on any cruises. They looked furious, but I stuck to my story and bought them each a beer and told them thanks.
The first night was spent at J.J.s restaurant dining on a pork chop dinner. After dinner the restaurant guests were treated to a limbo fire dance from someone much more daring than I. A few tourists even joined in.
I was beat though from traveling all night, so I headed back to my room for some sleep. The next morning I awoke much later than I had hoped to and missed out on breakfast. I deceided to head across the bay to Doolittle's for lunch although disaster struck. I took an unofficial water taxi over to Doolittle's with Johnny B. Goode and his first mate Tiger.
JJ gives the thumbs up to Travel Invasion
Marigot Bay, St. Lucia
Things began to improve dramatically from that point on. I left the bar and headed up to the swimming pool for the main reason I was here, to chill out and basically do nothing. The swimming pool experience was great with the entire pool to myself for the first hour. The second hour was joined by four French couples who tried their best to get me to join the men in some swimming races. Since two of the guys looked like Aquaman, I politely declined the invitation. JJ's Paradise Resort has a very relaxing pool area. Eventually I knew it was time to head to the room to prepare for a buffet dinner at Doolittle's. Dinner was impressive with a brilliant sunset off in the distance. Somewhat drunk, I made my way back to JJ's for the night. When I passed by JJ's Restaurant and Bar I noticed it was packed, but I was shot and needed to crash.
CNN was on the TV when I returned to my room. Things were not looking good. Hurricane Ivan was about 48 to 60 hours away. I would be leaving in about 36.
My last day was fulfilling. Awaking early I set out on foot to explore the bay. The only problem was that eventually I met up with a sleeping Rottweiler on the road. At first I thought it was dead but then I saw it's body breathing. I turned and started a quick walk. Within a few seconds the dog was up and barking and I was now running full speed in sandals. A pathetic site which probably woke the entire bay up. Back at JJ's it was time for a complimentary breakfast of eggs, bread and fruit. More pool time followed with drinks delivered poolside (very nice touch). As the afternoon wore on it was time for the Sunday brunch at JJ's. Some fish, ribs and rice hit the spot while a local guitarist treated the crowd to a relaxing set of cover songs. After brunch I headed to the pool to finish off a great travel themed book called The Sex Lives of Cannibals. Now this was living!
The final evening I made it down to the bar and met up with JJ. He told me portions of the story about how the resort was developed, while I introduced him to the power of Red Bull and Vodka. Some of the staff came around to say their goodbyes, and I even had a chance to meet with the owner of the Rottweiler who explained that the dog was just a big baby. Everything seemed so casual that it was at this point that I realized that this was the magic of JJ's Paradise Resort.
Awaking Monday morning I remembered that it was Labor Day in America and I needed to get home. Hurricane Ivan was starting to show some ugly signs as I arrived at a packed airport full of desperate people trying to get out early. I considered myself lucky to have seen the area during the calm before the storm. St. Lucia was a great island which I barely managed to explore. Travel Invasion will return!
Thanks to JJ and the all the staff for a very pleasing stay.
Jeff Burgess / Travel Invasion
Doolittle's Restaurant & Bar