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“Tired resort and service needs attention” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort

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Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Labrelotte Bay | Saint Lucia, Castries, St. Lucia   |  
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Beyond Extraordinary Sale
Ranked #4 of 17 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence 2014
London
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Tired resort and service needs attention”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

Windjammer is a pretty resort with spacious villas and good facilities, but during our stay it did not meet the premium standards it advertises. We stayed in a 3 bedroom villa, which was very nice but was let down by some basic problems, like no hot water, tv not working and it took the staff over 24 hours to fit baby safety gates, which should have been ready on arrival. It was frustrating to have to chase staff on numerous occasions to resolve these problems, and only after requesting a meeting with the manager, did the ambassador team make things happen. The service in restaurants and bars was very slow, and at times rude, a large proportion of the waiting and bar staff do not appear trained or motivated enough to provide good service.... a question for management? Throughout six days, we were never offered drinks on the beach during the day, and the nicer restaurants had little availability in the evenings. On the positive side, the facilities were good, and the team at the childrens center were good, also the shuttle drivers around the resort were very efficient, and the ambassador team were welcoming and helpful. It is a shame the service was so inconsistent.

Room Tip: Request a villa close to the main facilities
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (472)
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Kent
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Amazing food, really friendly people, lovely accomodation. We had a room with a sun terrace on the top; it was so peaceful.

We went all inclusive which is definately the best option, if you aren't all inclusive the food is very expensive! The cocktails are fab!

We had no problems with mosquitos, didn't see any while we were there.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Southampton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

We stayed in april 2013, and found a lot of problems with this hotel. First, the other reviews are generally correct.. long walk uphill as not enough shuttles, tired decor, average food, unhelpful staff. We would not stay here again because of some dangerous problems. The water sports staff don't give you any information on the local reefs, and they are close to the beach, unmarked and dangerous. Oh, and covered in sea urchins. The week we stayed, they cut off our room phone as the cable company were working in the resort, creating noise and mess, and leaving us unable to contact our surly 'ambassador', who was only interested in selling us a timeshare. Our room was frequently left unserviced until we made multiple calls. Two of our party contracted serious food poisoning from the buffet that had been kept warm all day. The staff are very lax .. a broken piece of glass left by a waiter went through my 3yr old's shoe and pierced her foot.
This hotel is a health hazard. There are much better options. I will not return!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
203 reviews 203 reviews
80 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
192 helpful votes 192 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

We travel extensively as a family, but this was our first trip to the Caribbean so we really didn't know what to expect. On balance, we were pleasantly surprised. One thing there is no question about - without exception, every St Lucian we met was friendly, courteous and helpful -- even the (occasional) guy selling stuff on the beach would be very polite and low-key about it.

The island of St Lucia is about 25 miles long and 14 miles across at its widest point. It's pretty hilly. The airport is close to the southern tip; Windjammer Landing is in the northwest - about as far from the airport as it's possible to get. By car, the journey is 75-90 minutes depending on traffic; several people had told us that, after a long flight, this drive was tiresome and so we booked a helicopter transfer. This costs about US$165 per person, compared with US$85 per car. Was it worth it? Well, in time terms it didn't save us much - there was the usual amount of hanging around in the arrivals hall while the agent organised a full helicopter (6 pax) then a short drive to the helipad; a further wait for the helicopter to arrive; about a 15-20min flight and then a 15min taxi transfer (for US$25) at the other end. But it did give us a nice view of the island and the pilot acted as a bit of a tour guide, pointing out the sights and talking about St Lucia all the way. Hold luggage is tranported by road, so if you take the helicopter be prepared for your luggage to arrive some hours later - which is actually a bit of a pain if you're planning to go to dinner, or swim. On balance I'd probably recommend you save your money and take the taxi. The roads are pretty decent.

Windjammer Landing itself is set on a hillside near the northern tip of St Lucia. It is a very pretty resort, comprising individual 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom villas plus some apartment-style buildings, all in white stucco nestled amongst coconut palms and other vegetation on a steep hillside facing a bay. Although it's technically possible to walk from the central resort buildings (with the restaurants, pools etc) to any of the villas, some of them are pretty high above the beach and so there's a 24-hour shuttle service which most guests make use of. The lanes up to the accommodation can be pretty hair-raising the first time you are driven on them: some were steep enough to feel like ski runs! But the drivers all seemed very capable and we never felt in the least nervous of their driving. There are a number of 'tiers' of accommodation - the highest-quality villas are tagged 'Estate' and these are at the top of the hill, with lovely views and tend to have larger bathrooms and more up-to-date furnishings and equipment. Many are time-shares (I think about a quarter of the accommodation is in some form of fractional ownership) and the drivers seemed on familiar terms with quite a few of the guests - some of whom appear to return year after year, which is always a good sign. We were in a 2-bedroom Ocean View villa (no.54) which had a slightly more 'rustic' feel to it: split over three levels (main level: sitting room, dining area and kitchen with breakfast bar; upstairs: master bedroom with ensuite shower; downstairs: twin room with ensuite). All floors had balconies, with a plunge pool on the middle level. The bedrooms were air conditioned, but not the middle floor - which was fine in the morning and evening but a little stuffy sometimes in the middle of the day. The furniture was all in decent condition and the beds were comfortable, with mosquito nets.

One of the reasons we chose Windjammer was the activities: our two sons (13 & 15), whilst happy to hang out intermittently need to burn off some energy and there appeared to be a wide range of watersports offered, pretty much all included in the package: as well as kayaks and pedalos there was water-skiing (and lessons for those who haven't done it before), snorkelling, scuba (again lessons were on offer) and sailing on Hobie cats. Each afternoon there were also a number of 'fun' activities like banana boats or tubing, plus there were diving platforms and some inflatable gizmos a little way offshore for the kids to swim out to. There are pools scattered throughout the resort: the architect appears to have had a 'thing' for two-tier pools because in at least three locations there are little kiddies pools with waterfalls into a larger, lower pool. None of the pools is particularly large -- max 25m we'd guess -- but the only time the main pool was ever crowded was 1030 each morning for aqua-aerobics. There were activities for adults too: pilates, yoga, aqua-aerobics, walking tours to name a few (mainly in the mornings). There were also activities for smaller kids. Some of the activities were a bit haphazard: we would have participated in the beach football had we been about to find it, for example, and the yoga guy was floating about for 15mins trying to collect his adherents before the session got going (though this was partly due to a rain-shower threatening the outdoor venue).

The resort was built in about 1989, I think and in some sense is showing its age: the developer continues to spend money upgrading the facilities but right now the spa is a little rudimentary (though the massage was nice) and the gym feels like an afterthought.

There are several restaurants serving a reasonable variety of cuisines: the default choice is Dragonfly, where breakfast is served (both buffet and menu options available). Breakfast was very nice and if you're not on all-inclusive would cost EC$330 for four (about US$30 per person). Dragonfly cycles through a number of 'theme' nights (Caribbean on Tuesdays includes cocktails on the terrace with the staff, for example). Around the bar there is Jammers for casual dining (lunch buffet was a pretty good option but the menu had some nice things on too) - budget maybe EC$220 (US$20pp) for four for a light lunch with soft drinks. Next to Jammers was the Upper Deck which was pitched as a fish place but also served steak amongst other things. This is a nice option in the evening as the decks all face the water - with some wine, dinner might set you back EC$300-EC$400 for four I guess (roughly US$50pp). A little above the resort centre is Papa Don's (presumably named for the resort's founder, Don Ellis) - serving various Mediterranean dishes (pizza, moussaka, pasta & some Moroccan fish for example). We liked this restaurant for its food and atmosphere. Expect dinner to set you back the same or a little more than Upper Deck.

The bar serves an impressive array of cocktails costing up to EC$22 (US$8) - however here we hit on one of the problems of the resort: service. Although everyone was unfailingly polite and friendly, getting served was sometimes a chore, especially at the bar or at a table near the pool. My suspicion is that with many guests on all-inclusive packages, the temptation for the hotel is to make it hard for you to make extensive use of your 'free' drinks: certainly, I gave up trying to order drinks on one occasion after being ignored for ten minutes by the bar staff.

Continuing on the service, we had some issues with the room which took a long time to resolve (and in one case didn't get resolved): this is a drag when you're on holiday. The first issue was that one of the internal doors in our villa was closed by housekeeping one day, but we couldn't get it open again; it took three hours for maintenance to show up - and they didn't have the right equipment to hack the lock so further waiting was required before our kids could access their room. Also, the ethernet cable provided was faulty but it took three calls to get it replaced. Another issue was that one of the mosquito nets had a large hole in - we asked for a new net but this hadn't arrived by the time we left. Likewise, one day housekeeping came and took away all the dirty towels -- but didn't give us any clean ones! The concierge was sometimes a bit haphazard: we asked for some restaurant bookings to be made off-site, for a bit of variety; normally the concierge would confirm what they'd done by leaving a message on the room phone but at Windjammer you have to go back to reception and ask them, which is just another distraction from being on holiday.

Bear in mind also that although the hotel configuration (spread across a hillside) is picturesque and very in-keeping with the local environment, because it's hot you won't want to walk up/down between your villa and the resort centre so you're at the mercy of the shuttles: sometimes these would arrive seconds after we called for one, but on other occasions we waited ten minutes which was kind of wearing a bit thin by the final day of our stay.

Although none of our stuff was stolen, we also wonder if the resort has a security problem: all St Lucia beaches are public-accessible, so I don't think there's any way for the hotel to stop people who are not guests wandering around. We left some laptops on display in our villa on the first day and when we got back to shower for dinner, they had been removed by security and we were told not to leave anything on show. Having travelled all over the world and left my laptop on the desk in numerous hotel rooms, I found this a bit of a drag, particularly as the little hotel safes were not large enough for the 17" laptops popular with teenagers. When I spoke to the head of security about it, he denied there was a security problem but said it was 'precautionary' which is fair enough but like I said, it's a pain to have to worry about what you leave out when you stay at a nice hotel.

Another little quirk: we had some laundry done. Now, I've had laundry done in a lot of hotels globally and when I ask for something to be 'laundered' I generally have the expectation it'll be ironed as well without me having to ask..... but here, all our shirts came back clean but crumpled. Bizarre!!

We have heard stories that on some Caribbean islands hawkers selling on the beaches can be a pest; though there were a few guys hanging around offering jet-skis and trinkets, they were invariably very polite and would take 'no' for an answer so we didn't find it at all intrusive.

Here's another thing: not everyone wants to sit in the sun all day long; yet around the pool the only way to get an umbrella was to sit at a regular table - none of the sun loungers offered any shade at all. This made it miserable for my wife, who wanted to sit by the pool but not in full sunlight all day. Likewise on the beach, although there were quite a few fixed wooden 'thatched' umbrellas that could accommodate four loungers and a little table for drinks, there were nowhere near enough of these to satisfy demand so if you had breakfast at say 9am, you'd be lucky to find any shade on the beach after 10am.

So, on balance would we go back to the Caribbean? Probably. Would we choose Windjammer? Not so sure, it just didn't have the overall 'polished' feel we have come to expect from top-tier resorts in places like the Middle East or Asia.

Room Tip: The estate villas are the nicest, though furthest from the resort centre.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Ontario, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

This was a trip of a life time for my husband and I. It was fabulous from beginning to end. Wonderful staff and service. They just couldn't do enough for you. Everyone was so friendly. This is a beautiful resort with lots to do. We had a one bedroom villa with a plunge pool and gorgeous view. We had an all inclusive package, so we didn't need the beautiful full kitchen, but still nice to have. It was an open air villa, but didn't have any problems with bugs. We had a couple of little birds come in to visit, but we didn't mind. We didn't need to leave the resort with all there was to do there. Food was very good. Shuttle buses on the steep hills were a little scary. Loved swimming in the ocean, but the plunge pool was nice to have to cool off. Beautiful tropical breezes blow all the time to help keep you cool. If you don't have a great time at Windjammer, then it's your own fault. There is so much to do and wonderful people to take care of your every wim, it's impossible not to love it!!!

p.s.- Sunset cruise was a blast..... I won the dance contest!!!! Haven't had that much fun in years!!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterloo, Ontario
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

Resort is good. Food is great! We had the all inclusive package which was a good option for us. Going outside the resort requires cab and it can addon quickly.

Staff is friendly. Beach is nice, lots of chairs on the beach. The hut that allows shade all day are limited so we woke up early to get one. We stayed at a villa close to the main building which was close to everything. If noise is an issue for you, you may want to ask for something a bit further since we could hear the entertainement at night until 10:30pm but that was not an issue for us.

only the rooms have air conditioning which I thought would be an issue but we were at the beach all day and at night the breeze made the living room cool enough.

Nice vacation overall.

Room Tip: We stayed in the villa with plunge pool. This was a nice add-on. The foold is great. Wine is limit...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

We have a young child and have been vacationing at various Caribbean resorts for the past 4 years. The Windjammer in St. Lucia had beautiful beaches, the best food and the most professional but friendly staff we've encountered. I want to especially highlight the lovely ladies at the kids club. They are creative and caring. We went all inclusive and everything we ate (except some things at breakfast) was cooked to order. The beaches and water are beautiful and while snorkeling on the beach not far from bathers and swimmers I saw some squid.

They offer a generous discount to returning visitors and we just might break our family rule of never visiting the same place twice; however, 7 days at The Windjammer might not have been enough.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort

Address: Labrelotte Bay | Saint Lucia, Castries, 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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Castries
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Castries
#3 Luxury Hotel in Castries
#4 Romantic Hotel in Castries
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Castries
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 237
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort & Spa in Saint Lucia, offers an unforgettable Caribbean vacation for families, honeymooners and couples. This exotic 60-acre full service resort is a panorama of picturesque, spacious and secluded hillside villas. With breathtaking views of the cobalt waters of the Caribbean Sea, this Mediterranean village resort is alive with the sights and sounds of beautiful Saint Lucia. Absorb the stunning beauty of nature at the Windjammer Landing. From dining on tropical fruits at sunrise to enjoying a refreshing cruise at sunset and only your choice of what to do in between. Richly appointed with the warmth of wood and an exotic blend of tropical furnishings, your spacious villa sets the mood for complete relaxation and truly your greatest escape. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Hotel Castries
Windjammer Landing Hotel Beach
Windjammer St Lucia
Windjammer Landing Resort Beach
Windjammer Landing St Lucia
St Lucia Windjammer
Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort St. Lucia/Castries

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