We were married at the Grande on September 18th in the middle of our 7 night stay. Let me start by saying that the island, resort and our wedding were all that we had hoped for and more. The beginning of our trip did not go as smoothly as we hoped since we missed our connecting flight to the island and spent the night in Puerto Rico with a whole group of other stranded travelers. The airline paid for our hotel room, cab fare, and meals in Puerto Rico but we were concerned about missing a night of our stay at Sandals. Sandals was surprisingly accommodating and just moved our room block (and all of the other stranded travelers' room blocks as well) back one day at no extra charge! We flew into the smaller airport in Castries close to the resort and were glad we did.
Other guests who flew into the larger airport said it took 3 - 4 hours because accidents delayed the 2 hour white-knuckled bus trip. Roads are horrible and drivers crazy so the least amount of time spent on the roads the better. Once we arrived at Sandals, we were greeted with cold towels and champagne and whisked away to the Concierge lounge for check-in. We had an Oceanfront Penthouse room and were pleased with it.
The view was amazing (could see Martinique) and it was quieter than the beach side of the resort. I didn't notice a musty odor as other reviewers complained. The room was definitely comfortable and large enough for us. Everything was in working order and we never ran out of toilet paper or towels as I have read some did. We enjoyed having the 24-hour room service and had breakfast delivered to the room almost everyday. The food was fair to great. We never had a problem finding something we were willing to eat. Barefoot by the Sea (surf and turf, garlic shrimp) and Toscanini's (lamb, red snapper, and desserts) were our favorites for dinner. Kimono's at the Regency Golf resort was also very good and a lot of fun - just be sure to make reservations early in your stay. The chocolate crepes at Josephine's were yummy! The buffets were probably our least favorite but they offered many choices.
Portions were fine for us but bigger eaters might want to order appetizers or two main plates (which is no problem since I saw many people do just that). They are also willing to modify menu choices if you request it (i.e. I got the shrimp instead of crab legs with my surf and turf). The grounds, beach, bay, and pool areas were beautiful. I definitely recommend paying $5 US each and hiking Pigeon Island right next to the resort. We did 2 tours - the Rainforest Hike and Day Sail to Soufriere. We enjoyed both although the vendors at Soufriere were annoying and the town was really run down. Glad we went anyway because the Pitons are worth seeing and the boat ride was a lot of fun. Our wedding was stress-free. The decorated gazebo, bouquet, cake, photos, and wedding video were all great. It was so nice to have someone else take care of all of the arrangements. Snorkeling was fun too. We didn't take the course on scuba diving because the dive location we went to wasn't that deep so snorkeling permitted you to see nearly as much.
There were some minor problems while we stayed at the resort (long waits for meals, no beach towels available mid-day, etc.) but nothing can be absolutely perfect and overall our experience was positive. Just keep in mind that things go at a slower pace on the island and leave your watch in your room. If you want to be seated right away for dinner, go early in the evening. Out of the 3 resorts on the island I think the Grande is the best based on what I saw and what other guests said. It has the best beach and grounds. We were sad to leave and are looking forward to a return trip!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- •301 room, 17 acre resort combines historic British & French flavor•Pigeon Island, home to our annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival, combines historic British & French flavor that unfolds at Sandals•Offers exotic island & international culinary temptations at seven dining options •Ocean & beach view accommodations •Caribbean Sea•A lagoon swim-up pool where guests can swim right up to their patio ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Hotel Gros Islet
- Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa And Beach Resort
- Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort St. Lucia/Gros Islet