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“perfect place to chill out!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort

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Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Choc Bay, Castries GM910, St. Lucia   |  
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Ranked #6 of 17 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Vancouver, Washington
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“perfect place to chill out!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

We stayed here for two nights after having spent 4 nights at Sandals La Toc. This resort is very quiet, calm and peaceful. You could also call it quaint. It's not very big. In some places you can hear the traffic on the main road. There are two pools. The main pool is relatively quiet. The music played wasn't overly loud and was pleasant to hear.
Upon arrival we were welcomed and a staff member not only showed us to our room, she gave us a "tour" of it, explaining where things were and so on. We found this very helpful.
Our room was in a quiet location a short ways from covered chaise lounges outside on the lawn. It is an older building, with a faint musty smell when the fan or air conditioning isn't on. This didn't bother us, but we did notice it. It was very clean and quite spacious. The bathroom was also roomy. It didn't offer many places for hanging wet bathing suits and towels. Fortunatley there was a bar outside that could be used for this purpose too. We liked having a table and chairs outside the room, like a front porch.
The beach is fine for swimming, but perhaps due to its location, is full of silt, so not as appealing as the clear water the Caribbean is known for. There is seaweed, etc in the water that you feel when walking out to swim. Once in the water, the swimming is fine.
Due to the mountains nearby, the weather can be changeable, affecting the winds if you go sailing. Some may enjoy this challenge. There's an island you can kayak to.
The fitness centre was okay. It's quite dark inside, and one of the two bikes was "out of order". There are weights, machines, fitness balls and so on. There's plenty of room to stretch, with mats. In the morning there was a tray of apples; a nice touch.
With the Bayside the only option for breakfast and lunch, it was nice to have three other restaurants for dinner. We really loved the food at Mario's, the Italian restaurant.

  • Stayed December 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,441 reviews from our community

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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 (590)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

This was our first time staying at a Sandals and had no preconceived ideas of what to expect even though I had done my research on the hotel and Sandals.
We have stayed at several 5 star hotels and felt what you pay for at Sandals is over priced for what you get. Being a club member wasn't much of an upgrade as you would expect compared to other hotels offering this same kind of service.

The club room itself was not staffed with a bartender or had any special food that we have found at other resorts for their club member status. If you want to make someone feel like a VIP then you need to make the service so that you feel you are getting something more than a regular guest. This was not the case.

We were told that if we wanted to Skype on Christmas morning we would have to pay to get that service at an additional $14.99 a day. If I have paid in my package as part of being a club member to get free Wi-Fi, why would I be charged to use the internet for a web based program? This made no sense. This information we received was incorrect because we were able to Skype without having to pay extra but I found this out only by trying to Skype and was able to do so without paying the fee. Some people might have paid it before trying and would have spent the extra money for no reason.

We found out after getting to the hotel that there is no room service at the Halcyon which is advertised in the brochure. They did give us a complimentary breakfast to help make up for the misrepresentation about this, which we took advantage of on Christmas morning.

The front desk service as others have mentioned or the lack of it was most disturbing. These are your first line people who are giving first impressions of the resort. How can you have people who are rude, disinterested, not helpful and unpleasant as the people representing your resort? I have worked in customer service for over 30 years and setting the right tone from the moment you arrive at the resort is so important. I have read that they get training but who is reviewing their performances after the training? This also filtered down to some of the servers/wait staff. People who seemed so unhappy to be doing the job and that it was an inconvenience to asked to be waited on when seated to eat. This happened mostly at the Beach Bistro and not by everyone or at every restaurant.

When people go on vacation, some have saved years to make trips like these and to encounter such poor customer service to me seems like such a disservice to the people who pay for it.
With so many choices of where you can go on vacation, being treated like an inconvenience is hardly a good recommendation for a return visit or a good review.

I will say, we met some wonderful people, Armando, Danny, Kensley, Agnes, Casey, Spencer, These people made our trip fun and we felt very welcomed and loved seeing their smiling faces each day.
We are active people and showed up to do some of the scheduled workout activities only to find that since we were the only people doing the activity, the person in charge was not interested in doing the activity and said we should just workout in the gym instead. I find if you are paying someone to do this sort of service, that maybe they should fulfill their duties even if it is for one couple since we got up at 7:30 am to do the activity. If we made the effort, so should the staff make an effort to accommodate even if it is just one person doing the activity. This happened numerous times surrounding the scheduled activities of the day in the fitness center. Since there isn't a lot to do at the resort, having something to do during the day was something you could look forward to but after the first couple of days, we stopped showing up and just did our own workouts.

We did do the Joe Knows tour and had a great time. It was Christmas eve and a huge rain storm was coming through. Lots of people opted out of going but we wanted to go since this was the one thing we had planned on doing off the resort. Even though it did rain on us, we still had a great time and would recommend it.
We did eat at the La Toc french restaurant and thought it was good.
We went to Grande and liked this resort as well. We ate a Mariner's during the day and the food was great. We wanted to get back to eat there in the evening when the restaurant became Barefoot but it didn't work out for us to get back there since the roads were affected and you had to take detours. The trip back and forth too longer and sometimes you had to wait due to lots of people travelling back and forth from different resorts.

I don't want to give the impression that it was all bad because it wasn't. I believe that life is what you make of it and we made the best of a situation that could have caused some of the bad service due to the rain storm that passed through while we were there. We were very understating about what the local people were going through and the hotel did it's best to make everyone comfortable when the power went out and some rooms got flooded. This was an unusual circumstance created by Mother nature and was out of the control of everyone. It was very disheartening to see the damage that was done to the island due to this storm.
There were guest that were unable to leave due to the airport being flooded and shut down and roads were washed out so that you couldn't move around the island. The hotel gave them one night free to help with this unusual situation, though some were there for several days beyond their original stay and paid full price for the extra days beyond the one.
I want to say our experience could have been tainted by these events but I also would like to think that in times like this the hotel staff would have also seen it from the customer's view which was that it was still our vacation and we were trying to make the best of an unfortunate situation. I hope that the hotel addresses some of the issues we experienced and tries to create a more friendly, professional and welcoming environment for their guest and honors those who are doing a great job and giving outstanding service.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

I am currently sitting on the balcony of our room at the Halcyon, and I can't even see out of it because there is a huge vine arbor taking up any of the view. My husband and I came here on a delayed honeymoon and were expecting it to be spectacular. It took forever to get from the airport to the resort and the entire time (1 hour and 30 min), I had to sit leaning forward because we ended up in the back row of the shuttle and the driver had stuffed so many bags in the back that one was hanging over the back of my seat. After we got here, check-in (which I tried to do online before we arrived but was told I was too late even though we weren't leaving for 3 days) took forever and you had to do it as a group with all the other couples...I felt like I was at camp, all we wanted to do after traveling was be alone and relax.

The beach is filthy and tiny and the lounge chairs out there are so uncomfortable. They don't lay down flat and when you want go to sit down, the back flips up on you. I don't so much mind the locals selling stuff on the beach, they seem to get the hint and back off, and they have decent souvenirs.

As far as the food goes, I haven't had a meal to write home about. There aren't many options and the dress code is ridiculous. We tried to eat at Mario's, my husband wearing a nice polo and khaki shorts, and we were told we could not be seated unless he changes his pants. We went straight to the front desk to ask exactly what "resort evening attire" was and found out that my husband has to wear pants (it's extremely humid here) and closed toed shoes (the name of the resort is SANDALS). I asked what might happen if we had not packed these things and the manager said, "well we have the Bayside restaurant". Are we really expected to eat at the same place every night or have to leave our own resort?

The rooms really aren't very nice, and the bathroom has no fan and stays musty, there is no water pressure, and there is a trick to even getting hot water out of the shower.

We thought about trying to switch to another resort, but we already lost a whole day just trying to get to this one and don't want to lose anymore.

I will share that while some of the staff aren't very friendly (smiles are rare), some are. Our maid is very sweet and helpful, and Micky has been a great bartender.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Dear Mary,
I was disappointed to hear that you aren't enjoying your stay with us thus far. I will be contacting you via private message to see how we can resolve this matter while you are still on property. I encourage you to reach out to our Director of Guest Services. He has been alerted and is expecting to hear from you. Please give us a chance to make this up to you. We always want to ensure that all of our guests are having a wonderful vacation and it would be nice if we were able to turn things around for you.

Thank you for your review. We look forward to making contact with you soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port of Spain, Trinidad
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I and her parents stayed at the Halcyon Beach over Christmas 2013. It was the first stay at a Sandals Resort for all of us. For us Sandals excellent reputation and the excellent reviews on Trip Advisor set our expectations fairly high.
Overall we have had a good restful holiday but felt that the Halcyon did not live up to our expectations.
Welcome was functional but not exceptional. Our host appeared to be working her way through a checklist as quickly as she could. Front desk in general needs some work.
Breakfast is fairly standard fair fruit, bread, eggs, cooked, healthy option and some local options too. The coffee is fair. Cappuccinos and lattes are available but you have to ask.
Angelo who manages Mario's Italian Restaurant is a true professional. He is passionate about his job, cares a lot about customers and works hard to coach his staff. The food is very good and the antipasti buffet is excellent. Angelo has recently joined the Halcyon team and is an asset for the whole resort. He will continue deliver improved service in his operating area.
Dining at Kelly's is a good experience. The restaurant housed on a short pier over the sea is striking when lit up in the evenings. Celina is an excellent front of house manager and the food is very good. The atmosphere is relaxed and quite classy. A very talented pianist helps the atmosphere. We noticed that some guest were coming to dinner in casual attire which I felt lowered the tone.
The house wine included with the package is Beringer. We found the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Chardonnay to be drinkable. No rose wine is included. Wine waiters throughout don't serve and handle wine well. We asked several times to buy non included wine but the wine waiters have limited knowledge and the wines we asked for always seemed to be out of stock.
Kimono is definitely worth a visit. The food is good and the atmosphere is upbeat.
We used the paradise pool as the main pool is noisy. There is little service at the poolside and in general the area is a bit tired.
If you intend staying at the Halcyon it is well worth making a trip to the other hotels for the day or for dinner. The shuttle service is good and the Grand and the Le Toc are overall more luxurious.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort, responded to this review, December 31, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of Sandals Halcyon Beach, Mark.
We are pleased that you and your family had a good time during your stay with us. However, we were saddened to hear that we fell short of meeting all of your expectations.
We want to make sure future guests do not have similar feedback and will take action by notifying the appropriate departments of your remarks. We do request that while on resort you notify us of anything that does not meet your standards. We are always willing to work with you to make sure you walk away feeling like your stay was money well spent.

Thank you once again for your review.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

This resort is small,quaint and cozy. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. This resort is ideal for a quiet vacation. The playmakers work hard to keep the group entertained but since most customers are older participation is minimal and no activity exists.

Food: There are six restaurants which were all good. Bayside is good for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Kelly Dockside is great for an intimate and romantic dinner. Beachside Grill is good for a late snack or quick lunch, Mario's was also very good.

Beach: the water is not clear and the beach is not maintained very well. There is trash on the beach and the water is rough at times, if you want Beach time and water sports take the shuttle to The Grande,

Activities: go to Sandals LaToc or Grande and hang out and dine at their restaurants. The Pavilion at LaToc was excellent and the meat lovers crepe and raisin rum ice cream at Josephine's at The Grande was a delight.

A special shout out to the Executive Chef, Rodroy Thomas,for providing me with his excellent recipe for stewed oxtails and beans and curry goat.

Overall, a relaxing stay.

Room Tip: Bring Off or insect repellant for mosquitoes.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guernsey, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

This was our third visit to a Sandals resort,Gande st lucia and Grande Antigua being our other visits. I won't go on about the resort layout and grounds as you can get a fair idea from the other reviews. We had a top floor room in block 600 ( Eve's rooms) It did have a revamp and not just a lick of paint with maybe new curtains,we were very happy with the room. Yes I did hear a dog bark twice and I heard a odd noise from the road but to be honest for the first few nights I has to put in earplugs at night to block out the noise from the frogs,this I found funny rather than annoying.

Food the usual. The menus are good and on the whole it was good but quite often the meat would be over cooked etc. We did dine at La Toc restaurant at La Toc resort,this was lovely but they could do without the white gloves this just made it pretentious its a good restaurant but not that good.The Pitons restaurant is also a must,but again cooking for large numbers and the
chefs struggle. The Kimonos at lLa Toc is the best I woulds ay,if you get the Japanese chef you will be very well entertained.

A big shout out to the vast majority of the staff who really do work very hard and long hours,especially the playmakers. Also, the manager of the Mario's restaurant,didn't note his name but he has the best smile ever and always in a suit. Danny only ever served me once but he had and air of experience about him and made the best Magarita ever

My Grumbles.
Food standards dropped,not just in cooking skills but for instance the Pier restaurant you choose your meat than you choose one side being either potatoes or one type of veg. Whats that about,is it really too much to want both potatoes and veg ? we did ask for this and was told no we can only pick one from the list ! not to mention that the veg was one batton of each carrot and swede,not exactly exotic veg!

Prepare to be harassed by the wine waiter ( Davis) You will have to say no Thank You to looking at his wine list about four times till he eventually lets you have the inclusive wines. For choosing the inclusive you will be punished by when you want a top up you will literally be given a egg cup size top up regardless of how much is in your glass. Everyone seemed to be treated the same by him but the other wine waiter seemed fine(I think his name was Larry) In the end it was easier to take your own glass in or have a wine free meal. Maybe this is the training given as the Spa staff(in the other resorts)and photographers are similar.

Went to reception to ask if they knew when the Funway rep was here next as I wanted to book the Virgin Check in,chill out for the flight home. Very unhelpful response,had a conversation back and forth,me being told go back to my room and work out for yourself how to get in touch with them,me highlighting I can't as I have not at any point been given and phone number or visiting times for a Funway rep. But no,reception claimed they can't/won't help me in this simple matter. We to Concierge and spoke to Melissa who was lovely and had phoned the main st Lucian reps office in the town and found out for me that Funway no longer have reps on the island but I could speak to someone called Lisa who was due the next day(she covered various companies) It honestly took about one minute for her to deal with it. Big shout out to Concierge Melissa and a big BOO to reception.

Overall I think Sandals are now cutting corners. The cocktails are getting more and more ice put into them along with cheaper and cheaper alcohol. Choice of branded alcohol limited,I remember there being a wider choice on my first Sandals holiday. Food as mentioned above.

Note to Management. Why on earth don't you see that the Virgin Check in,chill out is actually a selling point to the holiday which you should be highlighting and helping your guests with. Anything that makes the guests travel to and from your resort easier can only be a good thing and it's of no cost to Sandals as this service is provided by Virgin not sandals, all Sandals has to do is be more helpful to the guest who is enquiring when this can be booked( you have to book it 2 days in advance) or better still highlight to guests on arrival of this service as I know of many who didn't know so we gave them the info.

No holiday is ever perfect and yes I am a hard person to please, so for me to say that yes I would return to any Sandals resorts that I have stayed at they must be doing something right. I only hope they don't slip any further with their attention to detail and they really need to have a look at their training of reception,wine waiter,spa and photography staff.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I stayed at this beautiful resort from 11-21 through 11-28. It was one of my favorite vacations. Heslie at the Neptunes bar makes the best drinks, Javan at the Cabanas was one of the best customer service people we met. FYI, bring your own cups to the swim up bar, we witnessed no glasses were washed, other that- the resort was beautiful, clean and all food was delicious. I would definitely go back.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort

Address: Choc Bay, Castries GM910, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Castries Quarter > Castries
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:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Castries
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Castries
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Castries
#6 Romantic Hotel in Castries
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 169
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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Also Known As:
Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia Hotel Castries
Sandals Halcyon Beach Castries
Sandals St Lucia
Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort St. Lucia/Castries

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