SPLASHING out on an extra-special holiday feels like the ultimate way to make up for years of travel restrictions.

Known for being more chilled and less commercial than its neighbouring Caribbean islands, St Lucia was our top choice for a blow-out trip, where the kids would have endless things to do and us grown-ups might have the chance to actually switch off.

Travelling long-haul with two small kids in tow might be the opposite of relaxation, but it’s instantly forgotten after arriving on this beautiful island.

There’s not a high-rise building in sight – just bright-blue, cloudless skies, shell-strewn volcanic beaches and a backdrop of lush jungle and colossal mountain peaks. 

Head for the hills

After a nine-hour flight and a one-hour transfer through luscious banana plantations to the north of the island, we are welcomed with cold rum punch and staff who seem to adore our slightly-feral-post-journey kids at the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort AKA heaven!

Beyond the huge pool, which also has a kids’ pool, there’s a palm-lined beach and calm, turquoise waters.

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My five-year-old’s eyes almost pop out of his head when he clocks a huge inflatable slide with kids splashing into the sea.  

There are shuttle buses to take you around the 60-acre resort, and our pad perched on a hill is breathtaking and perfect for families. 

It has two huge white-washed bedrooms and downstairs a fully equipped kitchen, sitting room and private infinity pool twinkling in front of a panoramic view of Labrellotte Bay. 

Life’s a beach 

It’s for good reason that you’ll come across Windjammer when searching for: “The best Caribbean family holidays.”

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On-site, you can eat your way around five restaurants, ranging from Jammers – a beach bar that does a delicious club sandwich, £14 – and Papa Don’s for perfect pizzas, from £11, to five-star dining at the Upper Deck, where the £30 jerk catch of the day is divine.

There are five huge pools and heaps of activities, too – think every water sport you’ve ever heard of – plus, you can even book a guided two-hour zipline tour over the lush rainforest canopy, £80 per person, over-14s only.

But it’s the beach that gives Windjammer a gold star.

The bay is pretty sheltered, with shallow, calm waters ideal for young swimmers, and there’s plenty of shade for them to sit and dig holes without you having to face the endless suncream battle.

Double rooms at The Windjammer Landing cost from £218 per night, including a whopping breakfast. 

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If you like piÑa coladas… 

Sunbathing while sipping piña coladas is enough activity for anyone, but we decide sailing to see the famous Pitons mountains is a must.

Creeping up to the UNESCO World Heritage Site is a view that will stay with us forever, as the two colossal peaks – measuring 771 and 743 metres high – make everything else look like Polly Pocket furniture.

We also check out the world’s only drive-in, active volcano – luckily it’s bubbling mud rather than lava – Sulphur Springs.

The full-day tour costs £98 for adults, £52 for kids, including a delish lunch on board.

You can channel Peter Andre and splash about at an idyllic rainforest waterfall before heading back to the resort, and we even spot a pod of playful dolphins. 

Chasing rainbows 

We take a day trip to the bustling capital of Castries, a port city with an incredible daily open-air market piled high with technicolour fruit, vegetables and handicrafts.

Climb Morne Fortune – Hill of Good Luck – where the French and English battled over control of the island, for must-see panoramic vistas.

To get a taste of a different part of St Lucia, we drive 30 minutes north to The Landings Resort and Spa, situated in stunning Rodney Bay.

The vibe here is super-luxe, with the focus on the grown-ups getting time to relax.

The spacious suites are beautifully furnished, along with four-posters, a full kitchen, living and dining room – and some have plunge pools.

Double rooms at The Landings cost from £241, with breakfast included.

After a stroll around the hotel’s private marina, we enjoy sundowner margaritas, £12, at the The Beach Club before tucking into an indulgent Asian buffet, £47 per person.

The next day, rain is forecast and just the excuse I need to visit the spa for an Oriental neck, back, shoulder and head massage, £40 for 30 minutes of bliss.

Speaking of rain – or liquid sunshine, as locals call it – you’ll be lucky to come to St Lucia and not have a spot.

But it lasts a matter of minutes and then is baking hot again, with an Insta-worthy rainbow, so we can’t really complain. 

Kidding around 

Billy is keen to check out The Landings’ on-site kids’ club for the morning.

It runs every day for children aged four to 12 years, giving us a break from the relentless “who-can-do-the-biggest-pool-bomb” challenge. While he dances on the beach with Mickey Mouse and enjoys a crab and lizard hunt around the resort’s gardens, we sneak in a poolside nap.

But there’s plenty to do if you fancy getting active – you can try scuba-diving, horse riding or take a sunset boat cruise. I give paddle boarding a go, £50 for an hour’s lesson, while the hubby and Billy go kayaking and enjoy watching pelicans diving for their dinner across the bay, which overlooks hikers’ hot spot Pigeon Point.

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On our final night, tucking into jerk chicken, salad and chips, £16, delivered to our room, we reflect on a holiday that was the perfect mix of keeping two young kids happy while letting adults de-stress in paradise.

One thing’s for sure, this is one bucket-list destination that exceeds expectations. 

Flights from the UK to St Lucia cost from £509 return with Britishairways.com.



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