Once again we came to trip advisor after deciding that St.Lucia was the island that we wanted to visit. East Winds was the highest trip advisor rated hotel we had stayed in to date. It had the overview we were looking for; relaxed atmosphere, great food and a raft of satisfied customers.
Although it’s tempting to list the facilities and daily activities, I would like to focus on our personal experience and service we had, after all the hotel’s website can tell you what’s on offer.
From the long flight and exciting helicopter transfer we were greeted by Annie, a genuinely friendly and professional girl who clearly understood how tired we were feeling and treated us accordingly. She poured us a lovely rum punch and showed us to the mini suite, explaining all the features of the room (the walk to the room flew past due to a generous measure of punch…).
Like all great holidays the individual days until we left to come home were a bit ‘woolly’ to say the least as East Winds absolutely delivers on what is advertised – and I am one of life’s more cynical peeps!
Our Experience, Food: Breakfast was a good offering in our opinion with the usual fresh fruits, cereals, pastries and hot food along with the obligatory egg and pancake station. Lunch was a similar affair with the odd BBQ dropped in every few days for good measure. Dinner was very good, a four course extravaganza with good variety, nice themes (international and local) and equally good wines to compliment. As good as the food was we were as impressed with the service delivery, more on that to come.
Our Experience, Mini Suite: We went for the mini suite (the only one at EW) and enjoyed the extras that the room provided. Having seen a ‘standard’ room inside and out, we would have been as happy with it (anything but ‘standard’). The main benefit of the mini suite was the private patio to sunbathe on and the cracking sea view. We experienced a fully booked EW for a few days and even at this ‘peak’ there was always free sun loungers at the beach and around the pool, so in short there was never a need to get up early to bag a lounger (although one guest did, which goes to show the conditioning people have by gone through by staying at many lesser resorts around the world).
Our Experience, Staff: The restaurant team were excellent; especially Debbie, Hanna, August and Emmanuel, all of the team worked hard but these four really delivered the East Winds promise. A quick nod also to Jean-Philippe the new Sous Chef who always took the time to talk and give some detail on the day’s menu, not necessary for him to do so but a nice touch anyway, thanks JP.
In the bar Jarvis was all you expect from a cocktail touting Caribbean barman, always friendly and interesting to be with. The same was true of Titus, Kerwin and Windel. It has to be said that the rum punch at EW is excellent! If you are going why not try a coconut milk shake with a double Malibu? Wow!
The Gardening and house keeping teams are probably always over looked but although they weren’t seen much by us they really did work very hard and the constant high standards seen around the lush gardens and within the room are first class, of that there is no doubt.
EW also offers non-motorised water sports (hobby cats, kayaks etc). Now here is a particular highlight to my experience. I let John and Bordon know I wanted to learn how to sail and in literally half and hour they had me sailing up and down. These two guys really made us feel welcome and provided an outstanding service all the way. In fact John found out that we were heading to the Friday night Jump Up and offered to meet us there to show us around. We were glad of the offer as we had heard it could get a bit feisty at times. John met us with his girlfriend and we had a genuinely great time. John explained everything, the do’s and don’ts and this act of kindness on a rare night out for him and his girlfriend really goes to show the best feature of EW- the people who deliver the holiday.
I can’t ever remember being greeted and waived off by the GM of a hotel. Garth however did just that and he was always around and accessible, what a service from a manager who has been here for some years – clearly no complacency there. It’s no surprise that EW keeps on getting the gongs.
Having spoken to Garth a few times, it became quite clear that the culture which had been nurtured by him and his management team was responsible for the great service we enjoyed. EW has got the mix just right in this respect, we can only commend so far without it sounding a bit fake, so hopefully the point is clear: EW staff = 10 / 10
Our return flight was delayed and although we were supposed to be out of the room by 12:00 and getting a taxi to the helicopter pad the staff just took over. We were told we could stay in the room until the end of the day and continue using the facilities as normal. They re-arranged all of the travel arrangements and let us stay without cost – we call that 'putting your money where your mouth is' on the service front!
We stayed at the very popular Meeru in the Maldives in 2007, a place full of repeat visitors; in fact it’s so popular that there is even a fan site devoted to it! I could see the reason for so many repeaters but did not feel like going back ("too many others experiences to be had" we said). With EW however, we both agreed that this is a place we would certainly be re-visiting. Many hotels spend a fortune on Marketing and a mind blowing website to attract their guests, EW however clearly invests their time and money in the most valuable commodity – the teams that deliver what’s promised. Thanks to the EW teams you made our holiday a special one and raised the expectations we have for the future.
If you do your homework and undertsand what East Winds Inn is offering, prepare for a bit of the old 'timeless seaside elegance...'
- 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