A smiling gentleman looking at the camera. TEXT : The World Vegan Travel Episode 116 Jason Bull. 5 Reasons to Visit Anse Chastanet Resort in St. Lucia for your Next Caribbean Vacation

5 Reasons to Visit Anse Chastanet Resort in St. Lucia for your Next Caribbean Vacation | Jason Bull | Ep 116

Introducing Jason

Today, we have a special guest on the show – Jason Bull, a talented culinary artist and self-taught vegan cook from Guelph, Ontario. Jason has been a vegan for the last three years and a vegetarian for 13 years before that. He’s passionate about cooking, exploring new flavors and ingredients, and sharing his favorite vegan recipes and veg-friendly destinations on his Instagram account, @this.plant.kitchen.

In addition to his culinary pursuits, Jason is also an avid photographer, capturing unique moments during his travels to countries like Cambodia, Peru, and South Africa. When he’s not exploring or cooking up a storm, Jason is a paramedic in The Region of Waterloo, where he enjoys hiking, practicing yoga, and trying new vegan food at local restaurants with his wife, Heather, and their cuddly cat, Patch Adams.

Today, Jason will be sharing his experience staying at a luxurious resort in St. Lucia, renowned for its vegan-friendly offerings. We’re thrilled to have Jason on the show, and we can’t wait to hear about the delicious vegan meals he enjoyed during his stay.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Vegan options at Anse Chastanet Resort: Locally sourced ingredients, cooking classes, and farm tours.
  • Snorkeling and SCUBA Diving at Anse Chastanet Resort: Coral reefs, marine life, and types of dives.
  • Activities at Anse Chastanet Resort: Sports, outdoor activities, art, yoga, and nature walks.
  • Excursions at Anse Chastanet Resort: Boat tours, hiking, birdwatching, and chocolate making.
  • Anse Chastanet Resort’s Scenic Property: Stunning views of the pitons, unique room design, and rainforest dining.
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Brighde: Hi, Jason. Thank you so much for joining me on The World Vegan Travel Podcast.
Jason: Hi there, Brighde. It’s great to be here.
Brighde: So we are going to be talking today about a destination in the Caribbean that we have not yet done a podcast about, and that is St. Lucia. And Jason, you are gonna talk about a recent trip that you made to St. Lucia, and a particular place in St.Lucia that you thought was interesting to share. But before we talk about that, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what it is that you do in the vegan space?
Jason: Yeah. Thanks, Brighde. So, I’ve been a vegan now for the last three years, vegetarian beforehand, and I really enjoy making different recipes, trying different recipes, veganizing different recipes, and sharing them with my friends, my family, and people online. I also really enjoy traveling and going to these like, kind of unique places throughout the world, and recently just being able to find really fun, veg-friendly places, and then ideally being able to share them with other people.
Brighde: Fantastic. Well, why was it that you decided to go to St. Lucia as a destination?
Jason: So, St. Lucia, we were kind of trying to find somewhere that was a little quieter, and something that was kind of like off the beaten track a little bit. And I was having a big birthday as well, so we wanted to celebrate that. And to be honest, I’ve never been to a Caribbean island before, so I thought, hey, this is a great time to be able to do that. So, a good friend of mine, he’s from St. Lucia. He recommended it, and did a little bit of research, and then I found this resort in Chastanet, and we liked it and we thought, hey, we gotta go to this spot. So, yeah, and then we ended up being there earlier this year.
Brighde: And what was it about this particular resort in St. Lucia that made you think, yeah, that this is the place?
Jason: The big thing for me was, it had a vegan restaurant, and they had a lot of vegan options on their menu. One of the owners, she turned the main restaurant into a vegetarian restaurant about six years ago. And then about two or three years ago, she made it fully vegan, which I respect. And I thought, this is something I wanna support and this is a place that I want to go to. All the food looked delicious online, so, that was the big push for that. It was also a smaller resort too, so we thought, we didn’t want to get lost in the crowds. We want to be able to have some space and be able to enjoy ourselves. So we thought a small, independently owned resort would be nice. We also learned about snorkeling and scuba diving, which is like right on the beach, in Chastenet. I love snorkeling. So that really sealed the deal. Those three things sealed the deal. Why we wanted to go.
Brighde: Fantastic. So you hopped on a plane and you went to St. Lucia, and you are going to be talking about five reasons why people should consider this island and this resort in particular. So I’ll hand it over to you. Why don’t you tell us your first reason?
Jason: The first reason was all the food. So I come from a food background. I love cooking. I love eating, and I love trying different foods. So the fact there was a vegan restaurant there was fantastic. They have their own vegan chef, who if you take their vegan cooking class, you get to meet Chef Frank, a really great guy. They have four or five different restaurants throughout the resort. All of them had vegan or vegetarian options, which is cool. And if you like, you can also get, sorry, my cat’s here.
Brighde: Oh, cute. cute.
Jason: One cool thing was that, after our vegan cooking class, the Chef said, “If there’s anything on the menu you want to try or anything you want us to make, or do for you, just let your server know, and we can try to whip that up.” So he made a really good vegan ceviche, which is typically seafood. But he had like coconut flesh, and then all the different fruits as well, which was fantastic. So, being able to have that was great. So that would be my first reason as to why I go. And it’d be great for anybody who’s also a bit of a foodie too, because all the food is really good, whether you’re on the beach or in the restaurant.
Jason: It’s all really good.
Brighde: Was this an all-inclusive resort?
Jason: Primarily it was. They had different options, so I think they had options where it can be `a la carte, or you could have your breakfast and your dinner included, or you could have it all-inclusive. Yeah. So they have at least three different options. Yeah.
Brighde: And was the full, the all-inclusive, what you went for?
Jason: It was, yes, it was. Yeah.
Brighde: It’s so interesting because all-inclusive resorts have a reputation as not being very vegan-friendly. Generally speaking, there’s often a lot of buffets, and in the spirit of being hospitable, there’s often, you know, a little bit of meat in every single salad you could possibly imagine. So this is a bit of a game changer, and I’m, like I was saying, I’m really surprised that I had not heard of this place. I mean, it’s just so cool. So you really enjoyed the ceviche. What, what was the vibe of the food? Was it like gourmet, sort of fine dining, or is it more casual?
Jason: It was a little bit of both, like whether you’re down at the beach, you know, just getting food to your cabana, that was delicious easygoing kind of food down by the beach, or you can be up at one of the restaurants, and it’s all like, kind of fine dining and very nice. They also have afternoon tea, which was really delicious and kind of fancy. There’s a little bit of, yeah, a little bit of everything. My wife treated me to dinner on the beach, the two of us. So that was quite fancy, which was wonderful for my birthday. yeah, so a little bit of, a little bit of everything.
Brighde: So a question I maybe should have asked you at the beginning was, would you mind sharing the cost per night of this accommodation? Just as so our listeners can get a sense of, you know, is it like a, really, really fancy, like $5,000 a night kind of place? Or is it like a, you know, I’m guessing, $400 is kind of like an okay price for a fully inclusive, that’s quite nice.
Brighde: I have no idea because I don’t usually stay in them. But if you wouldn’t mind sharing.
Jason: Yeah, no problem. So the great thing is that they have different deals that go on throughout the year. So depending on what time of year you go, you might have like 20% off, I think, up to like 35% off. So my wife and I were able to get a pretty good deal. I wanna say about, $800 a day there per person, 700, $800 per day. And that’s for the all-inclusive. So the other options are going to be probably a little cheaper too. Yeah,
Brighde: Fantastic. Fantastic. Alright. So amazing vegan food. That is awesome when you’re going to a resort where there are often not a lot of good options around. What is the second reason why you think vegans should head to this place in particular?
Jason: So, it is the sea life, and the different fish, and I saw a turtle, octopuses. you can see manta rays.
Brighde: Wow.
Jason: And just for someone who appreciates animals and being around animals, especially when they’re in their natural habitat, it was really special to be able to go down to the beach and you can just walk out to the water. You can just go out to the dock there, pop in the water, and just start snorkeling around and start seeing a lot of these sea lives, which was really cool to see, especially for someone who’s from Canada. And we don’t have a lot of sea life here in Ontario. So, it’s really wonderful to see, especially when they’re in the coral reefs too. There’s one significantly large coral reef that’s by Anse Chastenet. So it was really interesting to be able to see the fish and all the other animals within the coral reef too, which is cool.
Brighde: Yeah, I will say that I am a diver. When I say that I have my diving qualification. I haven’t done that much diving if I’m honest. And I initially learned like 20 years ago when I was living and working in Thailand, and I wasn’t vegan at that point, and then I didn’t go back to diving. For quite a few years after going vegan, we went to Bali, Seb and I went to Bali. The experience was just so much richer as a vegan. I think that I didn’t really know that much about fish before, and I’m certainly no fish expert, but just, you know, seeing these animals just swimming right by me, it’s kind of like going on safari. You know, just seeing these incredible animals in this amazing environment is really special.
Brighde: And you found that just even the snorkeling was really good there, yes?
Jason: I did. Yeah. Yeah. I found the snorkeling was really good, and it’s a fairly long coral reef along the wall there. So even if you have other people there too, I got a fair bit of room to be able to snorkel around. I’ve heard from a few people that were also at the resort too, that the scuba diving’s really good. They’ve had a couple of really cool wrecks nearby too. My wife and I, don’t scuba dive, but it strikes some interest though, for the future. I enjoyed the snorkeling though. It was really cool to see.
Brighde: I think this is a really, awesome draw to be able to see wildlife when you are just relaxing on the beach as well. It’s really cool. Thank you. Okay.
Brighde: And tell us, what are the other reasons?
Jason: The next reason would be that they’ve got a little bit of everything for everybody. So whether you’re going down the Caribbean, just be able to relax, have a pina colada and kick your feet up. That’s an option. If you want to be active throughout your trip, they’ve got options there. Or you can do a little bit of both as well. My wife and I are more active kind of people. So whether it’s snorkeling or scuba diving, they had like standup paddle boards, which was a lot of fun. And the bay is pretty calm too. So it’s very easy to be able to paddle around in the bay. They’ve got small sailboats too, like Hobie Cats, that you can take out, which was a little adventurous at times. There was one time, we had difficulty turning the boat around, so we did a couple of turns in the boat to be able to try to get ourselves back onto shore. But luckily we made it back. There was a little bit of like, anxiety, a little bit of like, a little bit of panic there. I’d be like, I don’t want to get lost at sea. But luckily we made it back. And then, so they’ve got, like, if you’re into tennis, they’ve got tennis courts. They’ve got a nice yoga studio right by the beach. So they have yoga daily. And I’m someone who enjoys yoga. So, being able to do yoga by the water as the water, waved in and back, was very calming and very nice. So they’ve got that. Oh, and also, they have nature walks too with their naturalists. His name’s Meno. He’s a very smart guy, very approachable, very nice guy. And he grew up in St. Lucia on the island, and he’s a very knowledgeable person. So I’d recommend if you get a chance to also do a nature walk with Meno.
Brighde: I love this. I will tell you that Seb is not a big beach person, so he needs some activities. Personally, he would be, I think he would really enjoy this as a potential option. What else does this wonderful place have to offer?
Jason: Yeah. So, if you want to relax a little bit more, they’ve got the different cabanas that are on the Anse Chastenet beach. I would say probably about maybe 30, 30, 35 cabanas or so. They’ve got like beach service. You can get drinks and you can get food right there. It did get kind of hot, so we were able to hop in the water if it got too hot. So that was nice. They’ve got a spa there. We received massages while we were there, which is nice. That was just a little complimentary thing that they gave us, which was great. And they’ve got like a nail salon too, which is really interesting, which my wife did, and they’ve got a lot of like, on the relaxing side of things. Then obviously you can do a little bit of both too if you like. Yeah. You can really just spend all day down by the beach, you know, finding your favorite drink, and having a veggie burger and fries or whatever your fancy is.
Brighde: I love it. I love it. Gosh, I can imagine. As I live on the West Coast, so it’s not nearly as cold in the wintertime as for you out East. So I could imagine this week were you away for a week or two
Jason: Yeah. We were away for a week. Yep.
Brighde: Yeah, it was just such a welcome respite from the winter. I cannot imagine.
Jason: It was, and it was something where I was just like, I need to do this again and again.
Brighde: Yeah, yeah, I’m sure. I’m sure. So what about excursions? Does the resort offer some excursions around St. Lucia so that you are not just stuck in the resort the entire time?
Jason: Yeah, they do. They have some shopping excursions in the neighboring, Soufriere town, and they also do hiking up the two Pitons. They’ve got the Petit Piton and the Gros Piton. That’s relatively close. You can hike up to the top of the Piton and then it’s kind of cool, you can see the shore, and all the beach, and the island, because the island’s primarily made up of dormant volcanoes. They’ve got some really interesting peaks and really interesting climbs to the top of that, which is cool. If you’re feeling adventurous, they also have a helicopter tour you can do too, which is pretty interesting.  We decided since we were close to the water that we wanted to do a couple of boat tours. They’ve got both a relaxing boat tour and also more of an adventurous boat tour. Since we had the opportunity, we did a little bit of both. The first one was really interesting. It was very picturesque and very romantic. It was a jazzy champagne boat tour. So you do a three-hour tour and they have their saxophone player who’s on the boat with you. They give out champagne and they had a nice little vegan plate for us with some like vegan sushi and some samosas and some fruit and stuff like that. So, gave us a chance to be able to enjoy the music, enjoy the sunset, have some, quite a bit of champagne, and also the delicious food. That was fun to be able to do that, and that was a great way to be able to just settle into the start of the week. A couple of years later, we did the Dolphin and Whale tour, and this was interesting. And you mentioned being on safari earlier on. I kind of felt like I was on safari when I was on the boat because we would get out into the open water, and there’d be like a couple of dolphins that you’d see kind of coming beside us. And then a couple more. And then the boat would pick up speed a little bit more, and then a couple more, a couple more. And then we turned around to the harbor, and I felt really lucky because we had multiple pods coming towards the boat. We saw bluenose dolphins, our spinner dolphins, and all these dolphins were just kind of merging in on this one general location, and they were following the boat. So it was cool to be able to see these very like majestic, and coordinated, and incredibly, strong animals swimming alongside our boat. Yeah. So that was interesting.
Brighde: Wow. So is this a common occurrence that, they don’t feed the the dolphins, I would hope?
Jason: No, they don’t. No, they don’t. That is a good question. our captain was saying that they always see dolphins on the tour, but it’s not typically this many dolphins. They might see 20 or 30 dolphins perhaps, but I would say at least 75 to a hundred dolphins, like, it feels like it’s just multiple pods coming together. But he was saying that you do always see dolphins though. And then sometimes you can see whales too there.
Brighde: Oh my goodness. This just sounds like paradise. As you were talking about that boat ride as well, I couldn’t help but think that this is an incredible honeymoon destination also. It just sounds incredible and seeing dolphins and whales like that is incredible. I had a very interesting experience. I wasn’t anywhere warm. I was actually in the UK, and we did a boat ride, and I was absolutely floored when we were on a boat ride and a group of porpoises came and followed the boat for a few kilometers, and it really is quite magical when that happens. I never would’ve expected that to happen in the UK, but there we go. Alright. What other kinds of excursions are offered or are available there or in the vicinity?
Jason: Yeah, so they have, local sulfur springs. they have their mud tours. So you can go and you can get a mud bath in a way. You can see they have the Diamond Back Waterfall, so you can hike up there. I think they’re relatively close together so you can kind of like do a bit of an afternoon trip doing both those trips together. Yeah, the big thing really is like the hiking to the Pitons. Oh, and then also, it’s not so much of an excursion, but I’ve enjoyed the vegan cooking class that we had. That was really fun. And we were lucky. Just my wife and I were signed up for that, which was fantastic. It felt like a private cooking class. So we had a three-course meal, and we got to help out with the cooking, which is a lot of fun. And Chef Frank, he’s the vegan executive chef there, and he was just fantastic when it comes to just helping us learn more about the area. And he was also mentioning that they have their own local farm where they get most of their produce from, and they also grow cocoa beans there too. So they make their own chocolate as well, which is also very interesting.
Brighde: Wow. That is fun. Is St. Lucian food available at the resort? I have no idea what St. Lucian food is. I’m guessing St. Lucian is the right adjective. Is that correct?
Jason: I think so. Yes,
Brighde: Yeah. So, I’m wondering did they use any particular ingredients? You might not know the answer to that. Sorry.
Jason: No, it’s okay. There’s a lot of like cinnamon. There was a lot of seafood as one could imagine being in a Caribbean location. So there were a lot of really interesting twists on seafood-based foods. A lot of local produce, like available fruits. The juices were really good. I feel like cinnamon spices were a lot of the prominent spices that were there.
Brighde: Amazing. Fantastic. And you mentioned that you have bird-watching tours. There were bird-watching tours there too?
Jason: There was, yeah. So you would go out with Meno, who was the naturalist, and you can walk around the resort area there, which is quite a large area. And it’s great because they’ll be able to point out different kinds of birds. Different migrating birds, birds that might not be there, but be migrating at a particular point within the year, and yeah, so for anybody who enjoys going on bird-watching tours, it’s a very picturesque and very insightful tour with Meno.
Brighde: Fantastic. Wow. It’s so nice that at a resort you’re getting to see so much wildlife. It’s incredible. Yeah. Alright. And what about the fifth reason to check out this resort?
Jason: Yeah. So this is an important thing for me too. It’s a very small resort. It’s independently run. It has 49 different rooms throughout the resort. All the rooms are individually made. They’re all unique within each other. And one thing I really enjoyed about it is that I know with our room, and then with other rooms as well, from what we heard from other people is that each room has a nice view, either of the beach or of the Pitons, which is really nice. So we kind of wanted a place where there was quieter, and also not as busy too. So, that was a really big, big draw for us too. It was really nice and just picturesque, and very comfortable.
Brighde: It just sounds amazing. I’m sold. I really would check this place out. Now, you mentioned to me that you did something kind of interesting and unique, which was, you were a flight volunteer when you came back to Canada. Can you tell us a little bit about what that was about, what being a flight volunteer is, and how that all played out?
Brighde: Because I’m sure this is something many vegans would be interested in.
Jason: Yes. Oh yeah. This is one of the best parts of our trip. Okay, so it was the night before. We were going to be checking out in the morning. My wife saw a poster saying, “If you’re gonna be on one of these flights, whether it’s like Air Canada or United, and you’re interested in being a “puppy flight foster parent” for the trip home, give us an email, and we’ll see if we have a puppy who is looking for a flight companion back to Toronto.” So we emailed them. They emailed us back in 20 minutes or so, and they had everything set up when it comes to the paperwork to be able to bring our puppy through customs, and onto the plane. So they met us at the airport the following day, and they had a 12-week-old puppy, his name was Geppetto, and he was great. We got him through customs, and we got him through security, and he just kind of slept on my lap while we were waiting for the plane. I was able to have him in his carrier, either on my lap or on my feet while we were on the plane flying back home. And then we met Geppetto’s new adopted parents at Pearson Airport, at the arrival gate. That was one of the nice things too, is that I was able to see, you know, them meeting for the first time, and them being able to grow their family as well, which is really nice with their new dog. It sounds like this is something that they do for anybody going to Pearson or different locations throughout Canada, as well as the United States too.
Brighde: Ha. Okay. I am really shocked that they managed to organize everything so quickly, so you reached out to them the evening before you were departing. I am shocked that it came together so quickly.
Jason: Yeah, they were professional. They had all the paperwork ready, they were able to answer any of our questions because it was something that we didn’t think about beforehand. We’re just like, oh, we saw this poster and thought, hey, let’s see what happens. Let’s sign up and see what happens. They had everything ready, all the paperwork ready by the following morning, seven o’clock the following morning. Yep.
Brighde: That is incredible. Yeah. And the organization that you contacted about this was called?
Jason: Oh, so it’s called Help Paws. I think it’s helpaws.com. So that’s a locally run volunteer group within St. Lucia.
Brighde: Yeah, it’s really interesting. There are a lot of organizations that are looking for flight volunteers, and there are a lot in Thailand. For example, there are a lot of dogs that need homes in Thailand specifically, and there are a lot of different organizations, but I don’t really know about other places in the world.
Brighde: I think it would be so good if there was like a hub where anyone who wanted to help these dogs could go, and they could plug in like, “Oh, I’m going to St. Lucia. I wonder if there are any organizations there.” I don’t think that exists. If that does exist, someone please let me know, because I would love to talk about and promote that. That is, really, really cool.  You’ve talked about these five reasons to go to this resort. Are there any other bonus tips that you have to share?
Jason: Okay, so, I love coffee, and the coffee there was absolutely delicious. It’s something where, whenever I try to go to different places throughout the world, I always try coffee because it always tastes a little different, and it’s really interesting how different cultures make coffee or serve coffee. So it’s called Green Gold Coffee. And if you like coffee, I would highly recommend, trying it. I had two or three cups at least every day. So yeah, that would be my bonus tip for going to St. Lucia.
Brighde: Amazing. And you very kindly gave us some photos. Did you take these?
Jason: I did. Yes. So my wife and I took them either on a mirrorless camera or on our iPhone. Yeah.
Brighde: Jason, thank you so much for taking the time to share with our listeners this resort, this really interesting destination. Before we go, if people would like to see what it is that you are doing in the kitchen, would you mind telling us what your Instagram handle is and if there are any other social media platforms that people can connect with you?
Jason: Yeah, so you can find me on Instagram @this.plant.kitchen. My name’s Jason Bull, and I’d be happy to answer any questions that you might have about vegan food.
Brighde: Thank you so much for joining us.
Jason: Oh, no problem. It’s been a pleasure. Thanks, Brighde.

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