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“Greatly Disappointed!!! Avoid at all costs!” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia

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Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Choc Bay, Castries GM910, St. Lucia   |  
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Ranked #5 of 17 hotels in Castries
New Orleans, Louisiana
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Greatly Disappointed!!! Avoid at all costs!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

We stayed at the Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort over the Thanksgiving break and were greatly disappointed! I will try to explain in as much detail why my new bride and I had such a terrible time while staying at this resort. We ended up leaving this resort after 2 days and were transferred to the Sandals La Toc location. The staff at Sandals La Toc saved our honeymoon from disaster!!!!

Short List: Negatives
-Rooms are outdated and underwhelming
-Drinks are watered down
-Food is cold and tastes horrible
-Employees are angry that they work there
-Room fridge did not get restocked in concierge room
-Entertainment was lacking (2 teens with a keyboard)
-Pressure washing at 9am
-Beach water was not clear or clean
-Management staff was not accommodating
-Towel stations were always empty

After two flights from New Orleans and then Miami and a very long drive(2hours) from the airport to the resort, you will be hassled by the staff to sign your life away. They make you sign waivers for everything you do and anything that could possibly happen to you while you are in St Lucia. If something does happen to you, I hope you are prepared to sue them in St Lucia court and abide by St Lucian Law.

After the ordeal of filling out paperwork, we were told of the Honeymooners Dinner that was happening that night. I was tired from the flight but thought that I would be missing out on something special if we didn't go so I mustered up the energy to attend. Boy was I in for a surprise!!! The food was buffet style and was overall terrible. Every single item was ice cold!!! We are not picky eaters, but I felt like we were going to go hungry that night. The entertainment was two teenage boys (1 singing while 1 played a Casio Keyboard) singing cheesy American love songs.

The next morning I was awakened at 8am by the sound of pressure washing outside of our room. I had to call the front desk to ask them to cease. This also happened the next morning around 9am. I guess they didn't get the picture the first time that people on vacation may like to sleep in a bit! There is also a highway running parallel with the resort so be prepared to be awakened by trucks revving their engines trying to make it up the steep hills. (We were in the top room offered and were literally 20 feet from the road.)

The food at Bayside, which is the Buffet for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, is also inedible. The food selection will leave you feeling cheated and hungry! We ate here for breakfast and lunch on one occasion. We learned our lesson after that.

The staff at this Sandals Location is hit or miss. You will find some people who are happy to work here, but the majority seem jaded that they work at the least desirable location. We encountered rude people while trying to be seated at Bayside, a rude waitress at the Honeymooners Dinner, and the Manager at the Sandals Halcyon (Wayne) is just as rude as he is clueless.

The beach is very underwhelming. Don't expect to find crystal clear blue water at this location. You can;t even see your feet when you are up to your knees! The water on this side of the island is not clear or clean. You feel debris under your feet as you walk into the water.

The drinks at this Sandals location are very watered down. On the second day, I had 3 daiquiris while at the pool bar and I didn't even get a slight buzz and I'm not a big drinker! The bartenders do a very quick and short pour when they make the drinks.

I truly feel sorry for anyone that has saved their hard earned money to go on a once in a lifetime vacation and ends up spending it at Sandals Halcyon Beach. If anything, please stay at either the Grand or La Toc. At least you will feel like you are at a resort and not a cheap motel. I am not discrediting St Lucia, which is a very beautiful country, by all means go visit, just don't stay at Halcyon.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia, responded to this review, December 6, 2012
We regret to hear that we did not meet your expectations for service and quality. We have many guests who feel the direct opposite and have boasted of our luxurious accommodations. However, as hoteliers, we realize that there is always room for improvement and feedback is crucial in this process so we thank you for your review.

On a brighter note, we're glad that we were able to save your honeymoon at Sandals La Toc and offer an exceptional stay. We strive to provide the highest levels of service and accommodations at all of our resorts and I'm happy that we were able to accomplish that goal during your stay Sandals La Toc.

We hope that you will afford us the opportunity to welcome you back and exceed your expectations next time.


Sincerely,
Cassie C.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (448)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Norwich, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
73 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

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.

Room Tip: If you go for the sea-view, check out the photographs on the web very carefully - to make sure that...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newent, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

Stayed at Halcyon Beach from 6th November for 10 days, absolutely wonderful!
Icing on the cake was the cake which we received on our anniversary, thanks to the staff!!!!!
The most relaxing holiday we have had, resort smaller than the other two on the island but easily the best. We became familiar with the staff and were always made to feel very welcome.
This again due to the small scale site. Highly recommend The Pier Restaurant and Mario's (Italian), Bayside for wonderful breakfast and a la carte. EXCELLENT !!!!!!!!!!!
We do not normally visit twice but will certainly go back again.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

My Husband and I stayed at Sandals the week of November 18-25th,2012. This was our first visit to a Sandals Resort and we were not dissapointed one bit. We researched this resort on trip advisor and were a little skeptical about some of the negative reviews we read and we advise to disregard them, this resort is PERFECT! If you like a quiet resort this is the resort. We found the staff and entertainment crew amazing and very friendly. There are daily activities that they offer throughout the day that a very fun and allows you to meet new people while having fun. The staff never bother you and you rarley hear the entertainment crew come on a microphone to bother you while you are relaxing. They announce the game during that time and then you are left alone. We visited Sandals La Toc and in 2 hours of being there we had to leave because every 10 minutes someone was coming on the microphone to announce something. We enjoyed La Toc's beach but it is just way to big and nothing to special. We also visited the Grand which is beautiful seeing as it is the newest of all 3. We only went during 1 night to eat at the English Pub (which is a must if you love pub food). We found that we always wanted to go back to our resort which we called "home" for a week. The food at every restaraunt and Buffet was to die for. I am not a very big pork and sea food person and I that is all I ate and was full after every meal.
We did 2 excursions...The Sunset Cruise and Joe Knows. The Sunset Cruise was one of the most romantic experiences we had. It starts at 2pm and goes till7pm you start off by cruising on the west coast to the Piton mountains and snorkel for an hour in a beautiful coral reef. Once the sun starts setting you are on the boat cruising back and each couple is given a bottle of champange to share and you sit and watch the sun set with your loved one. Such a lovely evening.
Joe Knows is an amazing day trip as well, but a little rushed if you ask me. I would totally recommend it but would give you a little tip, once youve done your mud bath your on the go, then the waterfall for 5 mins and your on to your next stop. Its a very fun and amazing experience we just would have perfered it to be a little bit more relaxed and not just go,go,go.
We also did a romantic candle light dinner on the beach on our last night which was absolutley incredible and an amazing way to cap off our honeymoon, You do not leave starving for that meal. Our waitress Andrea was attentive and didn't bother us one bit while we ate.
The resort offeres you a free photoshoot where a photographer takes you around the resort and takes some amazing pictures that you can view and purchase. A little pricey but the pictures turn out beautiful.
As for the beach, which everyone complains about is really not that bad. A bit smaller than the other two but it is just as nice. A word of warning it is not a private beach, there are multiple people that come and bother you to buy things. Even if you are just walking by they whistle and ask you to come over even if its just to say hi. We didn`t enjoy that part at all but if you do buy something it sort of vetos you from everyone else. We suggest buy something from someone and anyone that comes up to you, you can say sorry I bough something already. But please do not let that deter you away from this resort because that is the only and minil problem we had with the resort.
Also be careful with swimming in the sea close to the sunset, there are jellyfish and they come close to the shore to cultivate, my husband did get stung. There is a warning sign that says be aware of jelly fish so it was our own neglagence swimming close to dusk.
There is a loud pool and a quiet pool both with swim up bars and we hung out a both everyday. During the morning we were by the loud pool for some pool volleyball and some music. After lunch we would go by the quiet pool which is just lovely. You can relax meet some amazing people and not have to hear Shaggy for the 5th time that day :) Also we strongly advise you eat at the beach bar, the chicken wings and hanburgers are delicious. We went there almost everyday they are that good.
Overall we had an amazing time and are planning on returning on our 5 year anniversary. xo

Room Tip: We stayed in 407 close to the beach and everything else. Beautiful room!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockton Heath, Warrington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

This holiday was a gift from my parents for my 21st birthday and it was fabulous!
Food was really nice, good variety, but if your looking for a la carte then you may not enjoy it as much as the choice for a la carte is limited (At Halcyon anyway). We did have problems with cold food on the first night, but you seem to find such things trivial in such a fantastic place. Staff are really friendly and attentive, the pools were lovely, the selection of drinks and cocktails were fantastic (not really a drinker but the non alcoholic cocktails were fab)
We did go on a few day trips to La grande one of the sister hotels, the food was fantastic at the Marina and we spent quite alot of time on the beach which was beautiful, their is abit more of a lively atmosphere compared to Halcyon BUT it was nice to go back to the Halcyons peaceful enviroment.
The bus service is a great idea and really regular. I only saw La Toc at night as we went for an Itailian there, food was fab and it also looked like a lovely resort.

There was one tiny thing that aggravated me and that was people trying to sell you things, not the hotel but people on the Halcyon beach, you don't usually mind it if it happens once or twice on holiday but there were round about 10 of them their all day and the main restaurant is right near the beach so you were continously being forced upon to buy things 15 times a day whenever you walked past!

Other then the beach sellers it was amazing, so peaceful and such a treat, would/will I go back? 100% I adored it!

Room Tip: I think our room may have been room number 613 which was near the tennis courts and we were quite cl...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scotland
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

We are so glad that we picked Halcyon Beach instead of the sister resorts. It is perfect for us because it is smaller and so laid back. We have found it like a big house party because you soon get chatting to other guests and to the staff. They are fantastic, always smiling and greeting and looking after our every need and more.
For those who are disabled, this place is on the level , there are ground level rooms and everything is easily within reach. The pools are good and easily accessible with good steps and handrails. The showers are above the bath, but the bath side is low and I had no problem stepping over. If you cannot walk far and bring your pedestrian mobility scooter as I did, you will find no problems using it. Apparently there are some popular trips, but not really suitable unless you are able bodied enough. Instead we took a chauffeur driven car to take us to see other areas: worth every dollar to us and the driver was really knowledgeable.
We have enjoyed everything here, and hope to come back.
Thank you to every member of staff here, and a special mention to Jonas and Yves who made it possible for us to have a ride in the speed boat as we can no longer take part in the various water sports available so this was very special. By the way- don't miss Charlie, the 'beach bum'. He is full of fun and laughter.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saltash, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2012 via mobile

Just come back after spending 12 nights.we had a lovely time, the hotel is small which is perfect for us. The food was lovely and the staff very friendly a credit to sandals. Our room was clean and quiet. Not a bad thing to say about the place we would go back. Thank you for a lovely holiday

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia

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
Address: Choc Bay, Castries GM910, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Castries Quarter > Castries
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Castries
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Castries
#4 Luxury Hotel in Castries
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Castries
#7 Family Hotel in Castries
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia 4.5*
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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