There's plenty more room at the inn for the Barmy Army

Cricket fans will find a bigger choice of hotels on St Lucia next spring, says Andrew Tong

St Lucia may be accustomed to big storms, but the tiny Caribbean island probably didn't know what hit it when it found itself sprawled across the British tabloid press 18 months ago. England's cricketers were based on the island for the 2007 World Cup and Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff had to be rescued from a pedalo that he had managed to steer into Rodney Bay in a drunken stupor.

Before then, St Lucia's claim to fame was that it had more Nobel Prize winners per capita than any other country in the world. The number is two, by the way: economist Sir Arthur Lewis and writer Derek Walcott. But the influx of some 10,000 fans from the UK on to St Lucia's 240 square miles for the showpiece sporting event has changed life on the island for ever. There are far more lucrative prizes up for grabs.

The island had been warned of the impending English invasion back in 2004, and several hotels went up, including the eco-resort Discovery at Marigot Bay and the boutique Jade Mountain at Anse Chastanet. But the shortfall in accommodation was still enormous, and a Home Hospitality Programme was set up to allow residents to let their homes to fans.

The "Barmy Army" will be back in April for the final match of England's tour of the Caribbean, a one-day international at the Beausejour stadium in Gros Islet, and they will find considerably more choice in terms of where to stay. But even though the cricket fans tend to spend thousands following the team around the world, they may blanch at the luxurious end of the market.

The Landings Rock Resort was in the vanguard of this cultural revolution. It went into construction in Rodney Bay, just down the beach from Gros Islet, two months after the World Cup. It was followed by Ritz-Carlton and Westin Le Paradis. Property is 40 per cent cheaper than in Barbados, and St Lucia is still building.

The Landings completed its second phase of development in September, and will ultimately offer 231 one- to three-bedroom suites, with the largest rooms on the island. Many look out on the clear bay beneath the old British fort at Pigeon Island, while the rest overlook an artificial lagoon which snakes through the hotel complex with the mountains of the rainforest clustering behind. The three-bedroom suites, all 2,300sq ft of them, have balconies 60ft wide and some have Jacuzzis on them just in case you can't make it the whole 20 yards to the warm waters of the Caribbean sea.

There is a deeply romantic Beach Club restaurant whose decks stretch out above the lapping waves, providing an unbeatable setting to sip cocktails as the sun sets over the Pigeon Island peninsula. A second, gourmet restaurant opened in September in the elegant four-storey pavilion that greets guests when they arrive. This is the architectural showpiece of the resort and home to some of the multimillion-pound suites that will crown the development.

The injection of capital has not pleased all its residents. Hendricks, who helps to run a catamaran service, is worried that the boom in tourism could be to the detriment of more traditional sources of income such as farming. Then there's Stella, who runs a Rastafarian roadside bar in Gros Islet. She worries about the threat to local traditions after she was forced to close down her nightclub because authorities deemed that it wasn't the right sort of place for the new St Lucia.

The Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed along the coast of St Lucia, and the ship used in the film now ferries tourists around Rodney Bay. As dusk settles over the Black Pearl, it's easy to think that there will be plenty more plundering of the island's resources during the next few years. For now, the richest treasures are on display.

Compact facts

How to get there

Return flights to St Lucia with Virgin Atlantic (08705 747 747; ) cost from £663 per person until 5 December and from 1 January to 31 March 2009.

Further information

The Landings St Lucia (0800 731 8137; ) offers seven nights in a two-bedroom deluxe harbourfront villa from £1,009 for two people until 1 April 2009, including transfers, taxes and a resort fee which includes certain watersports and local transport.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value

Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas