If you are american, then this place will probably be perfect for you. If you are not, then I would say you might be just a little bit disappointed.
There is no doubt that the Sandals staff are remarkably well trained, cheerful and welcoming. The rooms are well appointed; there are many activities on offer to suit all tastes and the restaurants provide, for the most part, a reasonable choice of good food.
I did, however, find myself becoming increasingly exasperated at each meal time when guests were expected to wait in a queue at the restaurant entrance for a long time before being seated. Although there were tables prepared and available, we were always kept waiting - quite unnecessarily - until it was convenient for the staff to show us to our table. Whilst this may be acceptable restaurant practice in the USA, it is not so elsewhere.
Other disappointing impressions, which are recorded here for the benefit of Sandals senior management as much as for future travellers, include the concentration of effort given to american food, american-style language, american customs and the totally american culture - all this to the exclusion and chagrin of the rest of the world's tourist population. Slightly short-sighted for an international organisation, don't you think?
For the activities, my wife and I were compelled to sign so many Sandals responsibilty waiver forms that we lost count - examples being for diving, horse-riding, snorkelling, hiking, etc. Now I wonder which famously litigious culture was in mind when they created all this? In addition, walking around the holiday complex, what struck me was the unbelievable number of notices, boards, signs and orders by "the management" - everything from banning walking on the grass to mandatory dress codes for certain restaurants and even for the gymnasium. A compliance culture, perhaps? Now where does that come from? Certainly not St. Lucia. The promotion of this type of culture adversely affects the behaviour of the staff and ultimately the guests, many of whom find it unnecessary, disturbing and possibly arrogant.
We have had 3 Sandals holidays in the Caribbean, each one enjoyed for the undeniable quality that is the Sandals hallmark (acknowedged by the 4-star rating given above). However, unless they can ease back on their self-americanisation and become more cosmopolitan in their approach to tourism and the world's tourists, then they stand to lose so much.
- Also Known As:
- Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia Hotel
- Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia Hotel Castries
- Sandals Halcyon Beach Castries
- Sandals St Lucia
- Sandals Halcyon Beach Hotel
- Sandals Halcyon
- Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia Castries
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- •Friendly to the physically challenged with low rise architecture •Fully air-conditioned Caribbean cuisine restaurant on its own 150 ft pier over the •Caribbean Sea •Houses 169 Rooms with true personal service and intimate experience •English-style afternoon tea served at the Paradise pool •Tableside service at the Beach Bistro •“Stay at one, play at three” free shuttles to Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa and Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort•Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row •Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand”, 18 years in a row ... more less
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