Beauty is more than just skin deep at Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina in St Lucia, Joanna Reeves discovers
“Never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat,” says Freda, our beauty therapist at Auriga Spa, gesturing at the cluster of Mason jars on the wooden table. My mind flicks to the cinnamon doughnuts I’d tucked into the night before.
Freda opens the lid of a pot to release the aroma of hot chocolate; now we’re talking. “Take one tablespoon each of raw cocoa powder, oatmeal, full-fat powdered milk and herbal tea, then add a drop of honey and stir,” she says.
Tucked away amid lush tropical gardens, Auriga Spa is a cool and shady retreat. A curving, pale-stone path leads to four wooden treatment cabanas, a relaxation area, steam room,
al fresco whirlpool bath and outdoor rainshower, plus a herb garden, where everything from tarragon to mint and basil are grown for spa rituals.
Mixing the ingredients together, I try the sweet-scented paste on one half of my face. Glancing in the mirror, I’m surprised at the difference: it’s left my skin smooth and radiant. “See, natural is best,” smiles Freda. The spa practises what it preaches: on the menu are treatments drawing upon St Lucian traditions handed down through generations.
The following morning, just a five-minute drive from Soufrière, a candy-coloured town sitting in the shadow of the jagged Pitons, we set off, hiking along cinnamon tree-lined paths that wind deeper into the dense jungle. The distant hum of rushing water guides us to our destination: Sapphire Falls, a remote sulphur spring and waterfall hidden away from the crowds who make a beeline for the natural mud baths of La Soufrière, a dormant volcano known locally as Sulphur Springs.
I wade into the warm shallows and scoop up some of the slippery clay, slathering the thick grey gloop across my limbs. Rinsing the mud off under the cascading water, I stroll back along the ascending trail, drying naturally in the heat of the day. Pausing as a mango plops onto the root-threaded trail, I pick it up, peel back the skin and take a bite.
“They’re great for skin glow,” our guide Jahrod says, and I think the Caribbean really has cracked it: natural is best.
Capella Marigot Bay, St Lucia: Carrier offers seven nights from £1,685 per person, based on two sharing a resort view room. Includes breakfast, a complimentary rum tasting session for two in The Rum Cave, return flights with British Airways from London Gatwick and return private transfers. carrier.co.uk