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“"Tropical Paradise"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort

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Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Rodney Bay, Gros Islet, St. Lucia   |  
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Ranked #3 of 16 hotels in Gros Islet
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“"Tropical Paradise"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

As this was a celebration of my husband's retirement, our Anniversary and our combined birthdays, my husband had planned our surprise 2-week vacation to Sandals many months ago! By the time we arrived at the Resort (late September), the rainy season had pretty well passed! He had already pre-paid for the Lagoon Swim-Up Room and so you can imagine our surprise when we were told by the Resort staff that "they had overbooked and this room was unavailable"! We were pretty upset, as, we had been looking forward to this for several weeks. We were told that we would be allowed into this room for the last five days of our holiday!!! After this happened, everything seemed to just go downhill for us. Our room was not made up the next day until nearly 5 pm, our water/juice supply was practically gone, Internet was non-existent (even though we had paid for 24 hours), there was no pen or stationary in our room, we were not allowed Consierge (even though we thought that this was part of our pre-paid package), one of the sinks kept backing up and the plug in the tub was missing. After complaining to four different Managers the next evening, everything changed around for us. We were given Consierge and were told to order Room Service any time. We were given two free dinners at Gordon's Restaurant (and won a dinner too!), we were given a full day in one of the Cabanas. Fresh fruit, champagne & flowers were brought to our room every few days. The highlight of our trip was a (paid) tour of the scenic coastal area with a private driver, named Didymus. He was FANTASTIC, he showed us everything, stopped at specific points of interests, took us to one of his favourite restaurants, let us shop in Castries, provided beer & water for us in his cooler and kept us laughing & smiling the whole journey!
Finally, the last five days, we had to pack everything up and move into the Lagoon Swim-Up Room, which was ready for us around 2:30 pm. It was absolutely beautiful! Over all, we had a beautiful vacation - food was amazing, all restaurants were awesome, the beach was outstanding and we were happy to have our dream vacation! We were finally treated like valued guests and royalty!
One thing to be aware of: the locals are allowed on the beach each day. They scan the new arrivals and hound them to take tours with them. Do not book anything with them, as they demand a deposit before the trip and then they disappear! Only book through the Staff at the Resort.

Room Tip: Just pray that the Resort has not overbooked and that you manage to get the room that you had alread...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 22, 2012
Thank you so much for your review of Sandals Grande St. Lucian. We are so honored to have been able to celebrate such special occasions (birthday, retirement, anniversary) with you and your husband. It's great to read that you both enjoyed our well-appointed rooms, exquisite dining and beautiful beach. We can't wait to welcome you back soon for another amazing stay!

Happy Travels!


Sincerely,
Cassie C.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (932)
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English first
Springfield, Illinois
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

Upon arrival to our room we were greeted with the sound on a "running" toilet. Maintenance was called to fix the problem and the young man proceeded to install a different handle which did not fix the problem. The running toilet then continued for the next two days when my husband finally decided to fix it himself by adjusting the chain on the inside of the tank. Also of note in the bathroom - no stopper to hold water in the bathtub and there were no outlets (other than for shavers) to use hair appliances etc. in the bathroom!

The mini fridge in our room was not cooling our drinks at all and was leaking water. We notified the staff that it was leaking and not cooling properly and they simply mopped up the water. After two days we decided that we did not want to have to tolerate warm sodas and water for the rest of the week and talked to the manager who had them replace the fridge with one that worked perfectly.

Out of the 7 nights that we stayed only one night were we given the appropriate number of hand towels (2) and washcloths (2). Once after we had requested extra washcloths be sent up and then decided to hang on to them, we returned to our room after the maid had been there and she had taken our extra washcloths! Usually we were left with no washcloths or sometimes one washcloth and only one hand towel. When we would see the maids cart in the hall she would never have any more on her cart. Apparently she doesn't receive enough for each of the rooms on her floor and then if she runs out she doesn't bother to go get more to finish up with the proper number of linens per room. If she runs out then the rest of the rooms are out of luck forcing them to have to call for the items that should have been received in the first place! Also, the bed pillows were tiny and not good. We had a king size bed with tiny little pillows. We noticed on our second to last day they were switching the pillows out with new larger ones, but we didn't receive them.

The drinks from the bars were well made and not watered down at all. The food in most of the restaurants was average to good (our wedding dinner was excellent!), however, the staff at Barefoot in particularly were just plain awful. They were indifferent, lethargic, (others who we talked to described them as appearing bitter) and non caring in general. One example - at Barefoot we had to ask three times for a diet coke at one meal alone! More often than not we could see them just standing around to avoid coming to our table when we were ready to order. This was without a doubt the worst service we have ever experienced ANYWHERE! The food there was not good either. (The ribs in particular were so dried and tough it was like jerky.) As far as the food in the other restaurants it was average to good, however it was consistently served to us "cold" after it had sat too long before being brought to our table (we guessed that they don't use heat lamps to keep the meals hot while waiting to be brought out by the servers.) The staff at the Pub and Toscanini's were more friendly than at the Bayside (especially the breakfast shift staff at Bayside - again not friendly at all) and thankfully so after the attitudes that we had to deal with at Barefoot, however the food was not delivered to our table hot at those places either. The breakfast buffet at Bayside was lacking a good fresh fruit selection for the first 3 or 4 days of our visit and it would have been nice to have a buffet option for lunch and dinner as well. Also....it would be nice to have COLD milk. They didn't even try to keep it cold (maybe if they set the pitcher down in some ice water perhaps?). We did enjoy the appetizers that were put out in the lobby every evening. On one occasion though the staff put out obvious moldy strawberries - gross!

Also of note - the water in the spa shower was not hot and therefore not relaxing! A hot tub of some sort would have been nice to sit and soak in before getting a massage in order to help loosen up the muscles and help with the relaxation.

Regarding property layout - we were sitting and dancing poolside enjoying some of the nightly entertainment (which was a real plus!) however, we would have to deal with the staff wheeling everything from carts of supplies, tables and chairs and trash by us intruding with our view of the stage and causing general interruption of the moment. There was also a "plywood ramp" that the staff would put up covering one half of the stairs leading up to the Bayside that they would push their carts etc. up. I have never been to a resort where the staff wheeled around carts and supplies, etc. right in front of you through the main entertaining area/traffic area of a resort! Are there no service paths for the staff to use? I realize that some of you may think that this comes off as being snobby, but I don't think that we are any better than the folks that work there or do these jobs, but come on, your dancing a nice slow romantic dance and they are wheeling this stuff through your path?

The spa solicitations that we encountered every time we went up or down the stairs to the main lobby got a little old as well. Also, the roaming photographer that took pictures at every dinner etc. fell in to that category too.

Finally, the first three days we received no notifications as to what the activities were for that day/evening. Later in the week we received a newsletter in the evening after that days activities were done. By the last two days we received the notifications the evening before as it should be. In addition the activities were only posted one or two days out of the seven on the outdoor bulletin board.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

First I want to say that as an older couple celebrating almost 30 years of marriage, we were a little nervous about going to what we thought would be a place only for honeymooners. However, the reviews and pictures looked fabulous. The ride to the resort is long, but the bus driver kept us all laughing and was a great tour guide. It really goes by pretty fast! The check-in was very nice as you don't have to go to the desk, you are seated and they come to you. We made on suggestion, we had already filled out our on-line registration but they made us complete a registration paper again. Not a big deal, just seemed inefficient. We were undecided at first on what type of room we should select on-line and just selected the basic garden level room based on the reviews. What we found were the rooms in the actual hotel were basically all the same with the exception of the views and pool access. The rooms as great! The bedding and the pillows were very comfortable and you needed that after a hard play day. Bathroom was big with lots of counter space.

What was legendary was the service. From the minute we walked in we were treated like royals. We got to know Winston the general manager and he runs a great place. Our day started with breakfast each day (we selected Toscanies) as we like a sit down with Julita taking great care of us. Breakfast is our favorite meal as we began great food, expresso and mimosa's. Next we would move to the pool. Off to the pool bar where Neil and Sean were awesome. The guys kept us well watered with all of the the great drinks and laughing all day (they are truly the entertainment!). Orion (the Prophet - that's what we called him) was also great at the outside pool bar as he took care of everyone and watching him run around the bar servicing guests was a treat. Suggestion, get your towel and put your stuff on a chair early as the chairs fill up by about 9:00 a.m. Actually all of the restaurants were great and Damita (one of the food service managers) made sure everything was perfect. We liked the Bayside cafe for lunch right by the kitchen, quick and great food (salads and gyro and fries were our favorite). Pizza and crepes were a special treat. Even Gordon's (not part of the all inclusive) was amazing and Philip and Michelle took very good care of us. There is entertainment every night, but the night they had the band and the fire show was the best and the dancing and music terrific. They played for about 3 hours. The all inclusive water sports was a nice treat. All of the equipment and boats were in great shape. (they need new wake board boots as we tried but boots were broken). Pub was fun with basic food and beer which there is only two kinds on site (Heineken and Piton). One day, we took the bus to the Hacylon, but were disappointed in the pool area so don't bother. Very quiet and not well kept. We found many guests came from La Toc and Haclyon to the Grande for the pool an amazing beach. The other two resorts beaches did not compare. Final Recommendations: Make reservations to eat when you get there and enjoy yourself. And, if you have any issues "be polite" and "friendly" and they will take care of you. They are truly the friendliest people I have every met. And remember their motto: No Pressure, No Problem.

Room Tip: You pay for the view.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

This is a lovel property and the hike up to Rodney Fort and the view up there makes me want to return for that alone. The lay out of the resort is perfect. If you have been to any of the mega resorts in Mexico you know what I'm talking about. Nothing is a far walk. The negatives-resort definately needs a facelift on the inside. My husband and I thought the hallways needed it the most. The carpet and color of the walls was so drab you felt awful walking toward your room. Ugly, mangy greys. The rooms need redo. The baths are old, things are hap hazardly fixed inside etc but the beds and furniture provided was very accomodating. Staff- some very happy, some very unhappy to be there. If you like to go to an all inclusive for drinks you will HATE this place. Beer is only on tap and you only have the choice of Piton, Heineken or Guiness in the pub. The bars will run out of rum by 2pm and tell you too bad. They will run out of absolute and offer you Smirnoff by 7PM. They will ignore you and it will take 20 minutes to get a drink at times. They are understaffed and in 6 days only Peter was friendly at the pool bar. The beach bar which is open late only has 8 chairs around the whole thing. We wondered why they did not want guests sitting there and congregating. Strange. The food was better than expected except for the buffets. They were lacking.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

We just returned from our honeymoon at a split stay in St. Lucia-Sandals at Halcyon and Sandals Grande. I intend on writing up separate reviews for each hotel but for purposes of this review I wanted to review our positive experience at what was one of our favorite little restaraunts/creperies at the Grande. Josephine's is such a quaint little intimate creperie with a great selection of coffee's (with or without liquor), teas and most importantly their yummy crepes! We made it a point to go there almost nightly as a late night dessert. My favorite crepe was the chocolate almond- served warm with chocolate and ice cream. The staff were so friendly- especially Julie. In fact, during our last night's stay, she offered to open up the shop an hour earlier the following morning just to allow us one more experience! She really made us feel so special and by going out of her way to specially make us one last meal was so nice. Our last meal was a warm chocolate waffle...so tasty.

I think that this little creperie is overlooked at the Grande as it serves pizza during the day too (also yummy) but it's so quiet at night...we loved that as we felt like we had the whole place to ourselves each night but others dont' know what they are missing! Whether it's for a late breakfast or late night snack, you MUST try out Josephines! You won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon at Sandals Grande. Here are some of our highlights, tips and complaints that may help you make an educated decision.

The GOOD:
- The food was actually pretty good. Josephine's pizza was amazing, even though the service was on the slow side. Toscani's (Italian) was fantastic. It requires reservations, but is included, and the food was amazing.
- The bar was great, and they'll make the drinks stronger if you ask. Order the dirty banana or the pink pu**y or the dirty pink pu**y. Yes, they make you say it - but it's delicious.
- Definitely take advantage of the water sports - but be sure you don't get too far out if it's on the cloudy side. We got caught out pretty far when it started to pour and it was insane trying to get back in.
- Candlelight dinner on the beach was very nice. We got it as a gift and had a great time, but if I were spending the money myself, I'd probably choose to go to Gordon's instead. We heard amazing things and since it's on the dock over water you still get that "on the water" experience.
- The staff were all very nice, helpful and accommodating.
- Rooms were clean and housekeeping was excellent.


The "EH...."
- We were most bummed about the fact that the resort was so secluded from a regular town. We usually like the option to leave the resort to explore, shop, eat local food etc., but it's more difficult here since it's so secluded. You can take a private car to town, about 20 minutes or so, but it was kind of a pain. (Tips on that later)
- HOLD THE HAND RAILS. When it's raining, the marble steps are beyond slick. My husband wiped out two steps from the top of a rather steep staircase and scared the hell out of me. Another gentleman nearly did the same within 15 minutes of my husband's accident. The staff was very quick to respond, followed up frequently and were very professional - but I'm not sure if it's because they cared or were worried about being sued. Regardless, they sure could use some rubber weather strips on the rainy days to protect their guests and themselves.
- Room service was ... eh. They brought it on time, but you could tell it had been pre-cooked (well in advance of delivery) so it was luke warm with condensation on the plates/covers.We really only did this 1-2 times when it was raining or we were feeling especially lazy.

Some Tips:
- Go to the Castries marketplace. Amazing place to shop and eat local food. You'll have to take a car ($12 each way; most couples split the cost and go together). There is a small ally (not as sketch as it sounds) that has great local foods. Don't let them charge you more than $2 per beer, or 2/$5 - at most. It is not open on Sundays, so make sure you don't wait til the last minute.
- The luxury transfer car from the airport was worth it. It (and my medication) helped with motion sickness. The drivers also come prepped with cold beer and stop for photo ops along the way. They're very knowledgeable about the island as well.
- We went ziplining at Tree Top Adventure. Annie Baby was our tour guide and was AWESOME. Ziplining was great, and also has a cute cafe to visit after you're done so you can try local food there if you want as well - especially if it's your only opportunity. Would definitely do this again.
- We went on the waterfall cycle adventure (also at Tree Top Adventure). This one wasn't so great. Not their fault at all - but the bike ride is seriously intense (crazy steep hills) and it was pouring when we went. If you do this, know that it's more difficult than they say online and wear clothes you won't mind tossing - just in case. We were so wet and covered in mud that we tossed some of what we were wearing afterwards.
- Do attend the honeymoon events - they set you up for great photo opportunities and they give away pretty cool gifts, massages etc. They're slightly cheesy, but it's free stuff - so I'll take it!

That's about it. Bottom Line: We had a great time and Sandal's lived up to its reputation, but we'd do more research to find a Sandals closer to a local community - or choose a different all inclusive resort that IS near a community so we can get some more of the cultural experience as well.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Markham, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

Food there was out of the world, never expected to have such amazing food in St. Lucia. Room and service was good.
However, our departing flight was cancelled, and the hotel never notified us. Since the flight never left Toronto, they should have known at least 6 hours before we left our hotel. This flight was booked through the hotel as a hotel flight package, and the driver must have checked for the flight status before picking all of us up to catch that specific flight. We ended up stuck at that small airport for 12 hours, and we were not allowed to go outside. The waiting area was packed with people, stuffy and hot..... terrible experience....just spoiled the whole trip.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort

Address: Rodney Bay, Gros Islet, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Gros Islet Quarter > Gros Islet
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Gros Islet
#2 Luxury Hotel in Gros Islet
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Gros Islet
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Gros Islet
#3 Business Hotel in Gros Islet
#3 Romantic Hotel in Gros Islet
#5 Family Hotel in Gros Islet
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort 5*
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

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