Sorry that this is a little late, but while planning our next trip to a Sandals Resort, I realized I had not reviewed our stay at Halcyon. We stayed in June of 2013. This was my first time to go to a Caribbean destination. However, my wife had been to Jamica and the Bahamas berfore. Some of the key observations she made was just how less impoverished the island seemed to be. We felt very safe, even on adventures into the city. Ill explain more later. The people of St. Lucia were some of the kindest and friendly that I have encountered in my travels. It impressed me so much that I could see us someday purchasing housing there for retirement. One really big thing, NO MESQUITOS! Not sure why, but we even went ziplining in the rain forest and not one bit!
On with the Sandals Review:
When we arrived our plane circled the island for an hour due to severe storm. But once we landed, our adventure began. Be prepared for a long bus ride from the airport to the resort. It took nearly two hours, but they did stop half way and let us out to stretch our legs. (Beware of the islands own rum, it packs a punch!) The driver made it fun, making sure we knew all of the cool things about island. We we arrived we were recieved a warm welcome and were in our room within 20 minutes. The resort is older, but you can only tell by the inside of the rooms. Not great, and the bathrooms really needed to be updated. I would rank them with a nice Holiday Inn Express in the states. (I understand that the rooms in the back had undergone renovations, but I can not confirm that.) Each have their own private patio or balcony, which we enjoyed every morning and evening. The outside of the buildings are very well kept, and the landscaping is impeccable. There is no building over two stories tall, so the whole resort feels like a private escape. We loved it so much that we never traveled to any of the other Sandals on the island. Its very small, and perfect for that wedding or honeymoon. COZY!!! The service was wonderful and the people were fantastic!
Story of two pools.
The pool in the back is small, but very quite, with a swim up bar.
The main pool is larger, but always has something going on. It also had a swim up bar, that sometimes was understaffed. But they are so friendly, you dont mind!
Both pools had plenty of lounges so you did not have to "stake your territory" each day.
Again, small resort, smaller crowds, if you want a big time party, its not at Halcyon.
They offer a cabana packages (the ones with the beds in them). Dont do it. There are plenty on the resort, and always one free to nap or enjoy without a reservation. Save your money and spend it at the spa! My wife enjoyed her pampering in the outside spa where she could hear the ocean and smell the gardens. We did get the romance package and they really outdid themselves with way too much food for two and the rose pedals were perfect! Take time to book a romantic dinner on the beach or in one of the beach front gazebo, even though the staff does this several times every night, they make you feel like your dinner is the most important one they have ever done.
The beach was a little disapointing, just because the water wasnt clear as the photos, and I felt like we were back in Texas on the gulf. This however was explained that we were there during the rainy season and all the silt from the mountains tends to "muddy" up the water. So maybe we will try another time of year. Again, we never had to fight for a chair, or even a table top to set our drinks on. There is an area by the pool that they have a waiter assigned to, so you can set on your bottom all day and never move! All the water sports are as advertised and you never spend a penny. The staff is super friendly and helpful.
We took the intro to scuba, for a small fee, and then enjoyed unlimited diving at no charge The dive boats were very clean and up to date. The staff here was also very friendly. I wish they would have had a boat pick us up on the beach instead of having to travel to a dive center though.
The only negative experience we had was with the dinning. (The reason for 4 not 5 rating) My wife is a vegan. Even though I called the corparate headquarters and emailed the chef in advance, we had some issues. It took them 3 days to figure it out and actually start cooking some things for her instead of giving her only fruit. The cool thing was the main chef starting challenging his assistant chefs to get creative. Then the food got good!!! Sometimes I would even order the same thing she was having, and I am not vegan. By the end of our stay things really came together. I just wish they could have figured it out a little more quickly at the main dinning rooms. If it was not for Aaron at the outdoor grill, she would have starved those first few days. He was the master of the veggie burger, and made special fries and other goodies without using oils derived from animal fat. Our room was just across from the grill. Every morning Aaron would have something special for her. He worked split shifts and would sometimes return in the evening. Again, anything we needed, he bent over backwards for us. Aaron made the stay very special, and we will never forget his dedication to his guest.
Our room was always spotless and the cleaning staff very friendly. It was so strange to me that tipping was not allowed, and yet they worked just as hard for you as if you were paying for extra service.
We took a taxi to downtown and went shopping where the cruise ships dock in an outdoor market. It was fun and we felt safe. So safe, that we ventured behind the shops to the local shops and eating establishments. Had a real feel like New Orleans French Quarter, without the drunks. I would not recommend this to just anyone, but we are adventurous, maybe sometimes too much for our own good. What we found was a delightful, friendly culture. O, and the food, I wish they would serve some of that local flair at the resort! English is always spoken, with a unwritten language that people of the island will speak to each other. All the signs are in English and its very easy to navigate your way around. They were so helpful, that we actually took a city bus back to the resort. Cost of cab to downtown $20 US, cost back in city bus, .30 cents US. Again, I would not recommend this anyone, just wanted to say how wonderful the people of this island really are.
So to sum it all up. If you want a very romantic, intimate, and friendly stay, Halcyon is your best bet. The other Sandals on the island are very large in comparison. It is beautiful resort that makes you feel like you are paying way more than you are. No tipping allowed, truly all inclusive.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Expedia and BookIt.com so you can book your Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia Hotel Castries
- Sandals Halcyon Beach Castries
- Sandals St Lucia
- Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort St. Lucia/Castries