My wife and I had read the reviews and had high expectations which were met. However the hotel is in a niche market and some may prefer a more glitzy and in your face place to stay especially if you want to wear your bling. Nevertheless the Inn exudes quality and sophistication. We booked directly with Gareth, the manager, by email and this was efficient and completed very quickly. We had already organised flights for a week's stay starting on 1st January. The taxi picked us up at the airport as arranged by the hotel. The 90 minute journey was accompanied by stops and commentary by our driver which added interest. The countryside is green and beautiful - more so than Barbados - but the journey could become tedious for frequent visits. However I understand that the helicopter transfer still involved taxis as either end and your luggage has to be taken by car. For first trips it would be essential to see the island by car. The hotel is down a quiet road and set in tropical gardens. It is very low key but not low quality. We had bungalow 23 which is near the top of the estate. It was still easy enough to return from the beach if you had forgotten something but there are others just as secluded (11 - 20) and closer to the restaurant and swimming pool. The rooms (superior) were large and the beds very comfortable for a good nights sleep. We did not need the air conditioning as the ceiling fans are good and quiet. The showers were more like a wet room and very effective Although comments have been made that it is possible to see the shower from outside, you would need to be a very determined peeping Tom. The wifi seemed to work well in the rooms and outside although you will not get city speeds.
The estate is peaceful and we saw humming birds and hawks as well having a guided tour by the gardener, Sylanus. This takes about 90 minutes and is organised on an ad hoc basis and well worth doing.
The quality of the meals and ambiance in the restaurant was tremendous. It was the best hotel food we have eaten accepting that it would be impossible to have Michelin starred food every day. There was nothing that was not a pleasure to eat although the spinach smoothie served at breakfast one morning may not be to everyones liking. There was a good variety of wine at every meal with quality similar to a selection, for instance, from the Wine Society. The entertainment at dinner (piano and small groups) suited us but you will be disappointed if you want to dance. Most of the other guests were English and many had made multiple visits with their families. It was easy to engage in conversation especially in the bar before dinner. All the staff equally joined in whilst preparing your drinks and the dinner service was cheerful and entertaining. The manager, Gareth, was around a lot of the time and also at the Monday evening drinks party. We did not see the owners, Marilyn and George Reti, and I suspect they were away. Our room was telephoned on the day after arrival to check that everything was alright but it would have been nicer to have someone from the reception to visit. However we had no complaints at all. The beach is quiet and certainly plenty of sunbeds and shade for everyone. There are no motorised sports at the hotel There is snorkling off shore and plenty of fish to see but it is not up to the standard of well recognised reefs. There is sailing on Hobbiecats and we were taught to sail by the watersports staff. Diving and waterskiing is available at the next hotel (Windjammer Landing) along the coast but obviously you have to pay. It is only a 200yd walk along the beach/rocks. We did visit one evening to look around and although it seemed quite crowded there was a good live reggae band there if you want more action.
Our trip was made just after British school term starts. Over the New Year there had been families with teenagers. Whilst the age range of guests during our stay was from a few months to many years, most seemed to be 45 - 65 years old. Youngsters may find they need the activities at Windjammer Landing which is easily accessible.
We made one trip to Castries by taxi during our stay and this is a genuine caribbean town although there is not much there it is worth visiting. We understand that it takes 10 minutes to walk to the main road where buses are available as taxis are expensive. More information about potential trips held at reception would be useful.
In all one of the best holidays we have had and we will look forward to returning.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- East Winds Inn is a truly authentic Caribbean resort, situated on one of St. Lucia's most picturesque sandy bays. Located between the capitol of Castries and the action of Rodney Bay Marina, the resort offers unparalleled ambiance within its 13 acre botanical gardens and 30 cottage style rooms sprinkled throughout the property. Known for its excellent service, fine cuisine and genuine atmosphere, the resort appeals to those who value understated elegance and simple relaxation. Come experience the way the Caribbean once was - before large hotels and crowded beaches. East Winds Inn is a repeat award winner in many categories - over half our guests become repeat visitors to the small resort with a big heart. We are here for your enjoyment. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- East Winds Hotel Gros Islet
- East Winds Resort All Inclusive
- East Winds Inn St. Lucia/Gros Islet