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Shopping Spree in St. Lucia

When looking for a souvenir on your next luxury vacation to St. Lucia, there is a bevy of stores to choose from. But the experience here is nothing like the malls & shopping centers you're used to at home. With so many interesting finds at local craft markets & independent boutiques, you might end up browsing for hours, or even staying to watch artisans make some of their pieces. Here are some of the highlights you won't want to miss when picking up something for a loved one at home or a treasure for yourself.

The Batik Studio The creation of fine batik is a detailed & fascinating process to watch. First, a design is sketched onto white cotton or silk fabric, then molten wax is applied with a "tjanting" tool, which acts as a resistant to the dye. Then, color is applied by either painting or dipping into the dye, with wax covering the areas that will remain blank. At this studio in Soufriere, you can observe batik artists' intricate techniques as they create stunning pieces. After watching the demonstrations, take home a scarf, wall hanging or sarong to wear to the beach.

The Bagshaws of St. Lucia This shop was started in 1960 by Sydney Bagshaw, a former art editor with Reader's Digest Magazine. Although he took up silk screening as a hobby after his retirement to St. Lucia, his passion turned into a thriving business as he became inspired by the beauty of the island. All of the clothing & linens sold here are silk-screened by hand on-site & use Sydney's original designs. Take a tour of the workshop to learn how the designs are turned into vibrant silk-screened fabrics that are fashioned into clothing & household articles. You won't be surprised that Bagshaw prints were ordered by Queen Elizabeth II & for the sons of Prince Charles when you see these impressive works of art.

Caribbean Perfumes Looking to try a new scent that captures your vacation? Using exotic wild flowers, fruits, spices & woods, Caribbean Perfumes in the capital of Castries blends a wide selection of fragrances for women as well as several colognes & aftershaves for men, all of which are concocted right in St. Lucia.

Castries Craft Market Beneath a vibrant orange roof, the bustling Castries Craft Market is a lively place to buy homemade souvenirs, like rustic brooms, woodcarvings, leatherwork, pottery & paintings. At the adjacent Castries Market, you can pick up a snack to munch on while you shop or purchase spices from local farmers to bring home.

Luxury travel isn't complete without a little retail therapy. A memento from any of these shops can provide a lasting reminder of your tropical trip.

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