This was our first stay at an all-inclusive or a Sandals Resort. Overall, we had a very relaxing 8 night stay.I am not sure I would return to the Halcyon as I did not feel it was worth the amount we paid to stay there for 8 nights. I will review all aspects of our trip.
Airport- We arrived on a Sunday afternoon and waited about 2 hours to get through customs because there were two other flights that arrive right before ours. We were told weekends are typically like this. After we made it through customs the Sandals people were waiting and took us straight the Sandals Lounge to get our car.On the way home the airport took about 10 minutes to get through security. The hotel recommened we leave 5 hours before our flight and I chose to leave 4 hours before. We still waited in the gate about 2 hours. There are some options for snacks/ food in the airport departure terminal.
Transfer to hotel-We arranged for a private car transfer when we booked our extras through Sandals. If you are someone who tends to get car sick on curvey roads, I would highly recommend a private car. The driver had bottled water and stopped for photos whereever we liked. It was about 1.5 hour drive to the resort from the airport. The car that picked us up was not as nice as we would expect for a private car transfer, some type of older model Lexus. Again, I suspect this was due to the high volume of arrivals when we came in. On the drive from the hotel to the airport we had a beautiful Audi that seemed more approrpriate given the cost of the private transfer.
Room- We arrived and were given champaign while we checked in. Our room was ready. We reserved a honeymood beach from walk out with concierge service. I must say, I do not think we had any extra benefits from the concierge service. The room location on the map was 13, which shows a number of buildings. We did not have the best ocean view, but it was okay. There were two other buildings a little further back that were considered 13 on the map, however I would not consider them to be a beach front walk out and would have been disapointed if we were in one of those rooms. Our room number was 112. The room was nice and included a mini fridge with soda and mixers. We also had a bottle of beringer white and red, along with a bottle of chilled champaign. There were full size bottles of gin, vodka and rum (Carribean brands). We had a nice patio as well. The biggest complaint about this room is the staff walkway was behind our bathroom so we could hear staff coming and going on thier cell phones, etc was kind of bizarre. There are also cats all over the property so if you do not like cats you would not enjoy staying here. People feed them so they are pretty friendly, one jumped into our window and came into our room at one point.
Restaurants- There are four resturants at the Halcyon. The Bayside is like a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The breakfast was good. Dinner was hit & miss. They had Indian food 3 of the 8 nights we were there which was also bizarre. Marios is Italian and in our opinion very snotty environment for the atmosphere in the resort. The Pier (the website calls this Kellys) was pretty good. This restaurant offered steak and seafood every night. It is more formal. The service was hit & miss. They do have a decent wine menu that you can add on to your dinner for an additional cost). It seems like the restaurant was trying to be "fine dining" but the interior was not really matching that. The food was great though and we ate here 5 of our 8 nights. The beach grill is only open from 10:30am-6:30pm then reopens after 10:30pm for late night dining. It is very typical grilled food-burgers, chicken, etc. They also had a fruit tray and make it yourself nachos and ice cream. The view is great as it is right on the beach and we ate lunch here daily.
Bars/Liquor- The bars have a good selection of liquor. They offer Carribean liquor but also had Absolut, Finalandi, Bicardi, Grand Marnier etc. They had a drink menu that would be considered local but could really use a full bar menu so you can see all the options. You can also order wine from the resturant wine list and have it sent to your room chilled. The glasses used for mixed drinks were plastic water glasses which seemed strange also but we just went with it.
Pools- Really there are two pools here. The third pool is used for scuba instruction. The main pool is where they attempt to do activies. The other pool seemed larger and more quiet. Both have swim up bars, which is really the only way to get a drink as the servers came around about once every 4 hours if we were lucky (same situation the beach). There also seemed to be a towel shortage. Unlike other resorts I have stayed at people were not overly crazy about getting up at 6am to put towels on chairs to save them. The other thing that is unavoidable is the hotel is right off of a main highway so while we were at the second pool we could hear traffice, motorcycles, car horns, and barking dogs.
Service- Overall the service is average. The staff are all very, very kind. But, it is amazing to see how much tips motivate people. We received average, or less at times, service from the wait staff at the restraurants and while laying at the pool or beach. One day the maid came at 4:45 to clean our room after we had been gone literally all day, then came back at 6 for turn down service. When she did clean the room it was very clean and well done.
Water Sports- This resort offers kayaking, stand up paddle boards, wind surfing, hobie cats, and water skiing. We took advantage of the water sports every day and had a lot of fun. I would highly recommend trying things.
Photos- While we were there the photographers took our photo a lot, during dinner, coming in from the water, etc. While it was slightly embarrassing and at times annoying, the last day of our trip we reviewed the photos. It was great to have some action photos of us as well as photos of us at night when we were more dressed up. The cost of the photos was not that expensive and they will give you a CD with the images as well as print and frame (whatever you choose). I would recommend signing up for a photo shoot at sunset. We saw some couples doing that and the photos looked amazing.
Excursions- We took one excursion to Martinique on a catamiran. It was not something I would do again, but it was cool to see it. The boat trip there is 90 minutes each way and I would estimate 50% of the people on the boat were sea sick. It is a pretty rough trip. Once we got there we were dumped in one port for an hour then taken to anouther for 90 minutes. The boat did currency exchanges (Martinique only take Euros) but the exchange rate was poor and they took another percentage if you exchanged it back to the original currency after the trip. Something we wish we would have known before we left the resort. The other issue was we tried to get Euros for the 2nd stop to get some ice cream and they only had large bills left, which would have forced us to change it back after we bought ice cream and pay the additional charges. The boat tour says it includes the options of purchasing a lunch. The lunch included hamburgers or hot dogs or chicken wings.That was it. There was a bar on the boat but after the bumpy ride that did not seem like a good idea for the trip back. The highlight was thefinal stop for snorkeling/ swiming which last about 30 minutes. Overall, I am not sure I would recommend this excursion.
If you want a relaxing low key getaway this is the place to go. Nothing every felt over crowded and we never had to wait to eat at the resturants. Make sure you know which type of room you are book and its location on the map. Next time we may try Grande in St.Lucia as it looked more secluded.
Beach front rooms are probably better for those who are annoyed by the sound of traffic. Also, the p...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.