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“Super - cant wait to go back” 5 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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Up to $355 Air Credit!!
Ranked #6 of 17 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Worcestershire uk
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Super - cant wait to go back”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2006

I must admit having read previous reviews about Halcyon was more than a little worried but I do wonder what some people's expectations are!! We travelled Virgin Atlantic (v. comfortable) and had a good flight. Yes the trip out to the Halcyon is a bit bumpy but you must remember you are in a foreign country - not on the M5. It was interesting to see a bit of the countryside before we arrived at our destination. The Halcyon is very slightly "dated" in some respects but boy do they make up for it with their wonderful staff and attitude! We stayed in the 700 block. It was fine - ok not a 5* room but how long do you intend staying in there when you go on holiday? It was perfectly adequate and for once we had a wonderfully comfortable big (and I mean big) bed! My husband is 6ft 4in and normally beds are a pain in the a**** with us on holiday but this was great. Yes the air con does make a bit of a noise - so what!! The paradise pool was great - get up early to get a sunbed though - everyone else has the same idea! Food we found excellent - loved the Italian restaurant in particular. I must admit I found the Pier restaurant a little over-rated but it was still ok. As far as entertainment is concerned - yes it is a bit tacky to some - karoake etc but you don't have to join in - nobody makes you feel you have to do anything. This was the great thing about the Halcyon - if you want to join in do, if you don't nobody bothers you!

All in all it was our first Caribbean trip and we thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait to go again!!

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,541 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (625)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Glasgow,Scotland
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2006

I will keep this brief.....DON'T read any negative reviews about this place.My wife and i returned yesterday after 2 weeks in which we got married.Everything went to plan and ALL the staff were so nice..the food was excellent and so were the drinks and the rooms too!You can be busy at the resort or do nothing at all...it is your choice!Talk to the beach vendors..they are nice and interesting people!
All in all....it was brilliant!!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2006

We came to the Halcyon after starting our honeymoon at another resort that wasn't for us. It was crawling with children so we called Sandals to see if we could switch. The Halcyon was the only Sandals out of all three that had any rooms left so we figured we would try it. When we planned our honeymoon we didn't want to go to Sandals because we thought it was too commerical and didn't want to go to a big party place. We thought people might be too loud and obnoxious for us. This was not the case at the Halcyon. Because it is the smallest Sandals, it is also the quietest. We never saw another person near our room, except for housekeeping (who by the way came awfully late) The paradise pool was perfect for quiet relaxation - except the doves got a little annoying. The restaurants were very good..the portions are a little small, but they were perfect for me! The mahi mahi was outstanding! The Pier for dinner followed by a walk on the beach was so romantic! The staff were so friendly and accommadating. The people at the front desk and tour desk were the best! We went to all three Sandals via the shuttle (don't miss it, the taxi drivers over charge!) We like the beach at the Grande the best, the entertainment at the Regency the best and the atmosphere at the Halcyon the best. If we return, we will definitely stay at the Halcyon again. It is in the middle of the other two and the shuttles always stop there first. So it is 15 minutes to either Sandals. It is also the closest to the airport so we were the first one's there leaving. It saved us from waiting on a very long line! And because it is so small, the staff remember you and make you feel special. If you want to go out for a romantic dinner off the resort, take a taxi to the coal pot. It is very close, has amazing food and friendly staff. My husband and I were so much happier here, it really saved our honeymoon!

  • Stayed April 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire England
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2006

We arrived in St Lucia on March 10th. The journey across the island to choc bay was interesting to say the least. Yes the roads are very steep and winding. However it is a great way to see the island and get a feel for it.
I could write pages and pages about everything we did but I will keep it short and I hope to the point. So I hopefully don't loose your interest
Check in was very efficient and in no time at all we were in our room and ready to start our holiday. The first time we were greeted by a member of Sandals staff. We were surprised with the warmth of their greeting and willingness to stand and chat. It took us a while to get used to the fact that this is how all Sandals staff treat you. I think this then 'rubs off' on guests and most people are friendly and polite. The halcyon is smaller that the other two resorts. However it has a charm all of its own. The rooms are at most two storey set in the most beautiful gardens. The three restuarants are all very good. Although we prefered the Italian restuarant Marios. The food was spectacular. My husband had beef with an olive crust there one evening and said that it was the best main course he has ever had in his life !! The service was extremly good.

At the bar you really must say hello to Agnes. Who is a lovely person and once she knows you name she never forgets you.

There are beach vendors but they are very friendly and once you tell them you don't want anything they leave you alone. But do look out for Daniel he tends to 'set up shop' on the right hand side of the bridge to the pier resturant. A really nice guy who will make you a necklace to your own design at very good prices.

I really loved The Grande as well. Toscannis is excellent (as you can see I love Italian food) I had maui maui there. Never eaten it before but that was the best main that I had. However that doesn't mean that any of the meals I had were not very good.

I've read a lot of bad reports on Sandals which did worry me when we were paying so much for this holiday. To be honest I think that a lot of people just like to complain. Okay so at 7am there was some painting been done near the pool. As soon as people started to arrive the work men disappeared. Get real people! this kind of work has to be done to keep the resort looking its best. If you are saying it spoilt your holiday I don't believe you.

I would like to say a huge thank you to the management team and every employee at the Halcyon for the perfect holiday that we had. We will be back hopefully before Christmas and if not certainly next April. I'm sure it will feel as if we are coming home

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2006

After 6 months of reading Trip Advisor and all the conflicting reviews we were pleasently surpised with the Halycon. Flying into the smaller airport was the right choice as we were at the hotel ten minutes after landing! We were thrilled when we saw our room, located in the 100 block. It was a like a private little cottage at the end of a row of three. There was little foot traffic yet close to everything. The beach was so much better than we were led to believe! Spotless and quiet. Never was bothered by the vendors at the hotel. After the morning at the beach our afternoons included a visit to Agnes for a cocktail at the Paradise pool.
Bayside was fine for breakfast (thanks Sylvia) with plenty of choices. We had lunch most days at the beach grill (Pamela & Lisa!) which was great. For dinner we went to the Regency once (Arizona's was okay) and the Grande twice. The beach BBQ there was great. We ate at the three restaurants at Halycon the other nights and everything was lovely, especially the Pier.
We did go on the Land & Sea tour, which was a nice way to see more of the Island, though my husband could have done without so much "land". The bus ride was long and hairy. The sea part was fun. St Lucia is very beautiful, though the vendors everywhere got to be a bit of a pain.
As others have said, the other hotels are more glamorous but Halycon had the warmth that they lack (never mind that the beach chairs were three deep at the Grande). I was skeptical that the employees could ever live up to the stellar reviews they were given. I was wrong. I have never met such wonderful people in my life. From the caretakers to management, every detail was tended to. We did meet a couple who had complaints about ants in their room and a tv that never worked. Those around as they complained all wondered if they were even staying at the same place! Those who expect The Four Seasons will be disappointed but you get so much more at the Halycon. It was a relaxing, comfortable and enjoyable Caribbean vacation.

Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2006

We stayed at the Halcyon from the 12 - 26 March 2006.

We had booked through Thomson in the UK. Getting to St Lucia was with BWIA (British West Indies Airlines) and we wished we had the option to fly with another carrier, 3 hour delay at Heathrow until another smaller plane flown in from Edinburgh, the plane was tatty and we had no entertainment for the whole flight, food was nice but extremely small portions and you have to pay for any alchoholic drinks, we will not fly BWIA again!

We arrived about 10-00pm so did not have the hassle of baggage handlers and as other people have written in their reveiws, the Sandals desk is a few metres outside the airport so no real need to pay someone to carry your bags, bring some bottled water in your hand luggage for the transfer.

Transfer from the airport on the South of the Island is by minibus/taxi and should have aircon, the local driving method involves overtaking slower traffic and may be a little more hairy than you are used to, remember though that these guys do this every day so trust them and relax and take in the scenery for about an hour and a half.

When you arrive at the Halcyon you will be greeted with a glass of chilled sparkling wine and cold face towels, very nice. You will need your booking documents with you as this is needed as part of the check-in process.

We were in the 500 block which was nice and quiet, you can hear the road a little and actually this is the same across most of the resort, but for us it was very much in the background (only heavy lorries, the odd motorbike and sirens)and did not spoil our enjoyment at all. You will also get the local planes from Castries airport flying over the resort during the day, these are 2 prop planes and more of a drone than earsplitting, we got used to it very quickly.

The rooms are clean, a little tired in places and the bathroom could use a revamp but perfectly serviceable nonetheless, however we felt that the rooms do not deserve the 4 star plus rating, a fair rating would be 3 star.

The grounds are kept in impeccable condition and really are beautiful and you start to relax straight away.

We would recommend taking Jungle Formula insect repellent in spray form and a plug in unit for the bathroom, you will need the spray during the evenings and use on any exposed skin, you don't really see or hear the mosquitoes but the little buggers will find you, expect to get one or two bites but again this should not spoil your fun.

The really nice thing about St Lucia is the lack of flying nasties, no wasps for example - heaven.

Some people have complained that you don't get bottled water as part of the all inclusive, to be honest you don't actually need it, the tap water is completely safe, we filled our plastic bottle and then left it in the ice bucket and did this all week, therefore it is safe to clean your teeth and eat fruit and salads etc so do not worry about the water. The water has a slight chlorine taste so you may prefer to purchase bottled water from the gift shop from a taste perspective.

The gift shop prices are $2 US for water, $5 US for 20 Marlboro Lights, $4-50 US for 20 Benson and Hedges. If you go out of the resort,turn right and walk for a minute you will come to a little shopping complex with a supermarket and you can buy these things much cheaper including rum etc, we felt at ease and safe and have no problems recommending you to do the same, you do not need a taxi and some of the staff will try to convince you otherwise.

Sandals is no different to other major operators, they want you to spend any surplus cash within the resort and it is a shame that some of their pricing structure is borderline rip off. There is a photo dept where you can purchase photos taken by Sandals staff but the cost of these are in the region of $6 US per photo, the staff have to take x amount of photos a day (we were told 150 by 2 members of staff), they are not pushy for you to buy but we feel the costing model is wrong.

For those of you who are getting married and are thinking of using the Photo Service for your wedding pictures, a word of caution. The quality of shot is very much a gamble on who takes your pictures, we saw some nice albums and some very poor albums while we were there, these are probably the most precious photos of your life and we would suggest taking a digital camera and getting a friend or a guest you have got to know to take photos at the same time so you maximise the chances of getting a good set overall. Some of the staff are not qualified or even trained in photography!!!

The variety and quality of food is excellent and the service is good, you will sometimes have to wait to get a drink but this is the Carribean after all, please do not be like an English bloke who moaned at the bar when half a dozen people had been served before him - your on your hols, relax and chill, they will get to you!

The presentation of food at the Bayside in terms of hygeine was sadly not in keeping with the star rating, 3 sides of the Bayside is open air and only one side has "fishing line" to stop birds flying in, I saw on a number of occasions birds perched above food and poop into it, this was into the food on open display and a real shame so come on Sandals, sort this one out.

I was laid low for 2 days with food poisoning (not from the Bayside, possibly from another restaurant on resort), the on site nurse was extremely helpful and we ended up getting the Doctor out, you have to pay the Doctor direct and this was $75 US for coming out and another $25 US for the antibiotics, make sure you have travel insurance as we can claim the costs back.

We decided to book a taxi for a day and tour the sights this way, this will cost somewhere around $130 - $160 US, for us we got a one to one commentary with the taxi driver and got to see everything we wanted, works out cheaper than doing the Sandals excursions and you don't have a dozen people on the same vehicle, you can book this from the tour desk or go behind the gift shop to where the taxi drivers sit during the day and book direct, highly recommended.

We learnt from various staff we talked to that Sandals flies in most of the food used on resort from the US and therefore very little of what you pay actually goes into the local economy, the staff work very long hours and paid modestly, they are paid to smile and be nice and if not can lose their job, however you find that the St Lucian people are genuinely happy and helpful. This is shown by how nothing is too much trouble and a real wish to make your visit memorable, if you get off resort and meet some locals you will see this is so, do try and see other parts of this amazing island.

At each tourist spot you will find vendors trying to sell necklaces,bracelets etc, very cheap and tacky but these people are trying to earn a living, haggling is easy and you should be able to get two thirds off the price. If you are not interested, don't be rude but a firm no thank you possibly repeated should be enough to stop being hassled. The vendors are far more laid back than other Carribean countries and not "in your face".

To summarise, St Lucia is an amazing destination and really worth a visit, you will relax and be treated very well at Sandals Halcyon, take a relaxed attitude and you will enjoy yourself, we ended up going for less than the brochure price and felt we had a value for money vacation, had we paid full price we would have been very dissapointed and on reflection would return to St Lucia but to another resort.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2006

We apologize for the lengthy posting, but we wanted to ensure that the information below is complete and accurate.

We stayed at Sandals St. Lucia Halcyon for two weeks from March 12 to March 26, 2006. We chose the Halcyon resort because of its smaller size, an excellent reference from a friend/colleague and several hours of research using brochures and the internet. Beware that the brochure and web site pictures have been touched-up. I expect many hotels and resorts do this as a standard practice. We still managed to enjoy ourselves, even though the beach is not quite so pristine and the ocean is not completely turquoise as the pictures would indicate.

We took the 10 to 15 minute helicopter transfer from the Hewanorra airport to the Castries airport and avoided the 1.5 to 2 hour bus transfer. The chopper ride was a great way to see the island from a different view point and you get to your destination much faster. Many guests that we spoke to also utilized this service.

The Hotel check-in was pleasant, reasonably quick and our room was ready to receive us on time.

The rooms are basic, very clean and in reasonably good shape. The furniture is in good condition and the bed was extremely comfortable. The rooms are in need of an up-lift/update and I understand from the Hotel Manager that plans are underway to make that happen. We were very content and comfortable with our accommodations as we were not looking for or expecting a fancy hotel suite. The rooms are situated in single and two story buildings that add to the charm of the resort site.

The resort property is wonderful with its tropical plants, trees and flowers. The buildings are small, well placed and usually covered with plants and flowers. The gardeners do an amazing job keeping the property looking tropically beautiful and picturesque.

The buildings (main building, restaurants, inside bars, restrooms, etc.) are well maintained and very clean. The housekeeping staff regularly patrol these areas and quickly address issues as they arise.

The beach, pools, and water sports equipment are also very well maintained and very clean. The water sports staff are also on regular patrols to ensure everything is kept ship-shape.

Not enough can be said about the Halcyon staff. The resort staff are exceptional in every way and must be commended for their hard work, friendly work ethic and great attitude. This is true for all their staff, from the gardeners and water sports staff up to their supervisors and the resort’s senior leaders who make a very conscious effort to be available, visible and approachable. It was a pleasure to be around them on a daily basis. Every guest that we spoke to echoed the same sentiment regarding the Halcyon staff. The staff must be congratulated for their success in this area.

Some previous postings about this resort have mentioned that the service was less than adequate. We found the service to be very good and extremely friendly. Sure there were times when a bar tender could not serve me at that very moment, but its easy to relax, wait a few minutes and spend some time meeting and talking to others. The staff work extremely hard and they are very attentive, but keep in mind that this is the Caribbean and as such a little more laid back than some places. If you want fast food, try McDs.

We enjoyed all three restaurants on site. The buffet breakfast and buffet lunch at the Bayside was more than adequate and I was always able to find something different and something of interest. There are two buffet dinner nights each week and even though buffets are not my favourite, we enjoyed each of them. The Pier is a great venue for dinner and its menu changes regularly. We enjoyed our meals there. Mario’s is an up-scale Italian themed restaurant and we had our best meals there. Many other guests also enjoyed this restaurant very much.

We had dinner at La Toc and Kimono’s at the Regency. La Toc was okay and I am glad we went. Kimono’s (table side cooking for a table of 10) was a blast. The Chief and Servers were a hoot and the food was very enjoyable as well. Make sure you go out to the balcony after dinner as you may site some very large barracudas swimming around in the lighted sea.

There is lots to do at the resort, if you are so inclined. There are a variety of activities (volleyball, shuffle board, basket ball, etc.) and a variety of water sports (sailing, water skiing, tubing, etc.). The Playmakers and the Water Sports staff will see that you have what you need to enjoy an active day.

If you are looking for something quiet and tranquil, the Paradise pool offers a soothing atmosphere. The only major thing that happens at this area is the turning of book pages and snoozing.

We took three tours and enjoyed all of them. The catamaran tour, also includes some land sightseeing (volcano and botanical gardens), lunch and snorkeling. The tropical jeep safari was a wonderful trip. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and took all of our questions and our driver was excellent. The jungle canopy tour was a blast. You wear a harness and zip from tree top to tree top on wire cables. It was very enjoyable and very safe.

We went snorkeling three times. The dive staff and dive boats are top notch. Every scuba diver and snorkeler that I spoke to enjoyed themselves and wanted to go back again. I could have gone a forth and fifth time.

The evening entertainment varies from steel pan bands to Caribbean bands to talent nights. All-in-all there is a good mix of entertainment which we enjoyed very much. Some previous postings about this resort have been critical about the evening entertainment. Keep in mind that this is a small tropical resort and not the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

This resort has people from all ages and from various places around the world. Most guests come from the U.K. and the U.S. and then there are others from Canada and other parts of Europe. I would guess that most guests are in the 30 years of age to 50 years of age. We still met some wonderful people that were younger than this and we met some wonderful people that were likely older than this. Most guests welcomed engaging in meaningful conversation.

There are a number of things that have not been mentioned above as we did not experience everything. We did not golf, visit the spa, etc. and as such we will leave those comments to others that have first hand experience.

As you can probably tell we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and when the opportunity presents itself, we will definitely return to the Halcyon.

On closing, I must reiterate how wonderful the staff are. They are friendly, helpful, engaging, funny, and hold themselves to a very high standard. They want you to know and feel that this resort has the best staff on the island and perhaps the Caribbean. After spending two weeks with them I must congratulate the staff and thank them all.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
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
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:
#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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