The face that launched 1000 ships
In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy was thought to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Homer told her in the Iliad and there are suggestions that Helen was a goddess associated with trees and birds.
When her Father King Tyndareus decided that it was time for her to marry, suitors came from all over Greece, hoping to win her hand in marriage.
Among those seeking to marry Helen was Odysseus, the king of Ithaca and to avoid future conflict he advised Tyndareus to have the suitors take an oath to accept Helen’s choice and furthermore to make a promise to support the chosen suitor with military force if the need should ever arise. The suitors agreed, and Helen chose Menelaus of Mycenae, to be her husband.
Helen and Menelaus now King of Sparta lived happily together and they had a daughter and son. But events destroyed their peace. Paris, a prince of Troy, traveled to Sparta on the advice of the goddess Aphrodite. She had promised him the most beautiful woman in the world after he proclaimed her the “fairest” goddess. When Paris saw Helen, he knew that Aphrodite had told him the truth. In Menelaus’ absence, Paris took Helen back to Troy.
When Menelaus returned home and discovered Helen gone, he called on the leaders of Greece, who had sworn to support him if necessary. The Greeks organized a great expedition and set sail for Troy. Hence the “1000” ships. This marked the beginning of the Trojan War.
This wonderful story marked the association of the name Helen with great beauty. As a result of Saint Lucia’s strategic location the French and British went to war repeatedly for possession of the island between the mid seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries, resulting in the island changing hands 14 times between the two powers. This tug-of-war inspired one British historian to give Saint Lucia the nickname “Helen of the West Indies” comparing her to Helen of Troy as she too mobilized an entire navy.
In time marketing experts coined the headline “Simply Beautiful” as a descriptor for the island and with good cause. With Saint Lucia’s incomparable beauty highlighted by it’s rainforest, mountains and spectacular scenery, it is easy to see why this slogan fits so well.
This beauty still exists of course and despite many attempts to improve on the “Simply Beautiful” tag, no attempt at re branding has ever had the same impact.
In the North of the Island, one resort, stands out as the epitomy of an authentic Saint Lucia experience; East Winds Saint Lucia. Originally designed as an authentic Caribbean resort, EastWinds, has over the years maintained its relationship with the beauty of the island. Stunning gardens, trees and birdlife could all have been inspired by the Greek Goddess and they remain a feature that guests return to year after year.