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“Nice and relaxing vacation” 4 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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$305 Spa or Tour Credit!
Ranked #3 of 17 Hotels in Gros Islet
Sharon
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Nice and relaxing vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We vacationed for one week starting January 20th. The airport was busy on arrival and it was nice to be able to relax in the Sandals Lounge while waiting for our transfer. Limited beverages were available but the stay is short. We opted to pay for the helicopter transfer to Castries airport as like to get the vacation started as soon as possible. On a positive side, as Diamond Members, we had a private car service return us to the airport but it was still a long drive.
There’s a Culinary Desk in the lobby where you can book your dinner reservations and we were able to book Toscanni’s five nights in advance. The remaining restaurants, other than Gordon’s, did not require reservations. Restaurants were good overall. We choose the Bayside buffet breakfast because it was quicker and allowed us optimum beach/pool time. We dined at Mariners; Barefoot and pizza for lunch. Toscanni’s was nice for dinner while the pub fare was a bit disappointing. We dined at Gordon’s and the food/ service was exceptional (Kudos to Mgr Michael and server Kyle). Paying the extra money would have to be a personal choice. The St Lucian served finger food in the lobby at around 5pm resulting in us not in the mood for a full dinner. Hence, we didn’t sample Barefoot or Bayside for dinner.
The rooms were comfortable and clean but not the fancy marble bathrooms we’ve become accustomed to in Antigua; Emerald Bay or Whitehouse to name a few.
We are early risers and enjoy the sunrise time and gym before breakfast. The gym was reasonably well equipped for a resort and not overly busy at 7am.
The beach was nice and gentle and offered short beach-walks. The beach vendors were plentiful but polite and non-aggressive. Sandals Island Routes employees were also plentiful and competing for same business. Both prey on the non-tanned tourists. Lounge chairs were plentiful but got busier by 7:30am. We initially lounged at the beach and later changed to the poolside. Bar servers were available for both areas. Upper shelf alcohol was available along with Heineken & local Piton on tap.
We didn’t do any excursions and only left the resort to check out the other Sandals Resorts and climb Fort Rodney. Fort Rodney is a state park and well worth the $6 admission fee for those who are adventurous. The view from Signal Point was spectacular. The climb is challenging and proper footwear a must. The Sandals resorts shuttle afforded us a return visit to La Toc (enjoyed a stay there in 2008) and a viewing of Halcyon. The Grande St Lucian is probably the nicest resort overall in my view, while my wife preferred La Toc. The sound of the surf was more romantic at La Toc.
To summarize, we had a nice relaxing week at the Grande St Lucian. It didn’t quite live up to our expectations but we have been spoiled at other Sandals Resorts (Antigua Grande & Emerald Bay top the list) and, therefore, have developed personal favourites. That’s not to say we wouldn’t recommend either the St Lucian or even La Toc. The island itself is lush and mountainous and well worth the trip.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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4,307 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (1,075)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Burlington, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We stayed at this resort the first week of December 2012. Another couple stayed there with us.
It was truly a wonderful experience. We had a lovely view and the room was generous in size and very clean and well maintained. The food was top quality, wine was excellent, terrific selection of liquor. Staff everywhere were friendly and accomodating. The island is beautiful!!
The beach at this resort is awesome and the pools were great as well - we enjoy experiencing both. We tried restaurants at all 3 resorts and they were all great. I'm glad though we chose this reort over the other 2 just in etrms of the beach itself. We wouldn't hesitate to go back again - worth the money!

Room Tip: Beach facing rooms had an incredible view.
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  • Stayed December 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
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013 via mobile

We stayed as concierge guests, the concierge team were very helpful particularly Hygina, she went out of her way to make us feel welcome and looked after us very well :)
We had a wedding photo shoot with Kervin Daniel, the pictures are out of this world, he is very professional and creative, we will treasure the photo album when we recieve it, our family are delighted and proud of our wedding pictures (we showed them cd) especially since they were unable to share our special day. Thank you so much Kervin.
We stayed in swim up lagoon room, it was brilliant, absolutely amazing, we cannot think of anywhere better to get married. Fantastic!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plympton, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

The sandals Grande St. Lucian is a lovely resort. They have wonderful lush gardens and landscaping. Their beach area is beautiful and the included water sports are great. The dining options are as expected for a resort of this type and the beverages are descent for all inclusive. The rooms are clean, well appointed and large. I'll go into detail abut the different areas below.

Arrival-
The main airport is at the southern tip of the island and the resort is at the northern tip, the ride there is about 1:45 to 2:15 depending on traffic and stops. Once you clear customs Sandals has a nice waiting area with drinks, private restrooms and plenty of comfortable seating. The attendants take care of the guests with private car transfers first, these were mostly BMWs and Audis from what we saw. They wait until they have a full van load (about 10) before they send the group that has the standard transfer included with the resort package. We took the van, our driver stopped at an overlook where we could see all of the Dennery fishing village. He took some pictures for guests and encouraged them to buy drinks and snacks. We got back in the van after about 10 minutes and got back on the windy roads, make sure there is something to hang onto in your vehicle. The Grande St. Lucian is the last stop after either Le Toc or Halcyon Beach. Once you arrive the front desk staff will check you in, a process that seemed a little loose but they offer you champagne or rum punch on arrival. They take you to the room and your luggage is about 15 minutes behind them. Chances are your key cards will have to be reprogrammed at some point during your stay, they seem to be very sensitive. Do take the orientation, it only lasts 20 minutes and has good information.

Beach & pool-
There are 4 pool areas on the beach side of the resort and each one of them has verging degrees of activity. We did not feel the need to venture to the other pools on the other side of the resort. The main pool area with the swim up bar is the most active with music and lots of people. The lower pool is where the in-pool activities take place, aqua size, volleyball etc. The upper pool is a little quieter with less people and it's own hot tub. The lovers pool is set away from the other pools closer to the beach. All of these areas have the best chairs taken by 8am. The towel hut is centrally located and they give you as many towels as you want, two at a time. Pool water was warm and clean, the hot tubs are about 102 degrees.
The beach front is also taken up by 8am, with the shady spots going first. There are cabanas available but they need to be reserved and cost $90/day. The water is warm and clear, there is a buoy line to protect the swim area from boats. There are some tour operators trolling at the beach, they aren't too pushy. The beach and swim up bars are not too crowded and the wait is not more than a couple minutes.

Water sports-
The water sports crew is friendly and very helpful, they book quickly for snorkel and dive trips so be sure to book them a day or two early. The hobie-cats are fun to sail in the bay and there are plenty of kayaks. The dive staff is great, if you can get on a tour with Fletcher as your guide definitely take it. Ask where the snorkel trips go, the best spot is over by the Body LeSport resort. We didn’t try any of the wake boarding or water skiing but it is included in your stay.

Restaurants-
They have the dress code on the website and in the information books in the rooms, check this out before you pack!

Old London Pub is fine for dinner on the evening you arrive if you don’t feel like changing into something nicer. The food is ok, nothing special. If you don’t dine here during your stay you are not missing anything.

Barefoot By the Sea is their seafood restaurant located right on the beach. We ate here twice and we were pleased each night. The menu has a nice variety of seafood and was prepared well. The atmosphere is great, try to get a table along the water (10 ft away) and be captivated by the lapping waves.

Toscaninis is their fancy Italian restaurant and the dress code reflects that. The servers are more attentive than the other restaurants and the food is just slightly better. Do come here for breakfast in the morning, we didn’t until the last day and wish we found it earlier.

Josephine’s is a casual pizza place and creperie. They have great milk shakes, have one or five! The pizzas are pub size and pretty good, the crepes are fantastic. Stop in after dinner and take a couple crepes up to your balcony for a great desert.

Bayside is the main restaurant for all meals, it is buffet style for breakfast and lunch. The food is good not great, they have a wide selection so you should find something you like.

Gordons is their restaurant for the butler level guests, other resort guests can eat there for $120 per couple. The restaurant is at the end of the watersports dock. We didn’t eat there so I cant speak to the food but the location is nice. I don’t think it would be worth it if its not included in your package.

On Monday nights most of the restaurants are closed for a beach BBQ, they have something for everyone and the food is really good. The deserts are not that great so head over to the creperie for desert.


Spa –
They push the spa services, we didn’t take advantage but the facility looked very nice.

Rooms-
No complaints with the rooms, the ac and fan were fine. We had a garden view room that faced away from the beach over the rear gardens and we were quite pleased with the view. Bathrooms are large and there is plenty of hot water. They have flat screen TVs with the basic US cable and broadcast networks but why watch in your room when there are so many other things to do.

Tours-
See the island. We did a day tour with Fabians Tours, a private tour company – just us and the driver. He was very knowledgeable and answered all the questions we had. We did the island tour with ziplining, it is a lot of driving but you get to see the whole island and take some amazing zip lines. We stopped at a great local restaurant, more of a hole in the wall but it had amazing fresh food. They stop for fresh coconut water on the side of the road, it tastes so much better than the store bought.

Shops-
The gift store and convenience store have basically everything you could need, at a price. The Columbian Emerald store is duty free but most of the prices are the same or higher than in the US. The photo shop will print out or put the pictures on a CD, be aware that the photos will cost a lot ($15 each)

All in all this is a good value for the money and we recommend it.

Room Tip: If you get a garden view room ask for one on the second floor, the balcony instead of the patio is n...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merrimack, NH
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

We recently visited the Sandals Grande St. Lucian and although we enjoyed our vacation and the resort was beautiful, we were very disappointed with the service and with the attitude of much of the staff. Here are a couple of examples:

Two trips at midnight to the front desk and manager to get towels and pillow menus.

I had to wait out in the hall to grab the mini bar employee tin order to get fresh glasses. Notes and dirty glasses weren't big enough clues.

Spa credit was not honored. They told me (after I had gone to the spa) that they would not honor the spa credit. Apparently there are black out dates. I call that FRAUD especially since the spa credit is incoproated as part of the rate.

In the past we've had Butler Service but this time we decided to do the Concierge room. There was such a huge difference in service! The concierge was pretty useless. The only thing they were good for was pointing you in the direction to get what you wanted and tell you that they couldn't make the reservation. We've had the concierge room before at Montego Bay and never experienced the difference in service like we did in St. Lucia.

The staff at times just weren't nice. I walked into the gift shop on a couple of occassions and I felt like I was intruding in their space. I spoke to other guests and they felt the same way. I don't know if this is cultural or not, but it was enough to make me not go back to the gift shop. Also, there was a woman at the front desk whose name is Mariah. She couldn't wait to get rid of my husband and I and she refused to make eye contact and was very unpleasant. The whole time she behaved as if we were bothering her! She was not helpful at all!

Every afternoon around 1:30 - 2:00 there was a maid in the ladies bathroom next to the bayside restaurant. While in there she was gabbing on her phone. I don't really care about that but one day I walked in and she was with a man in the closet! That freaked me out a bit!

Gordon's -- We had valentine's day dinner there and the waiter was rude and pompas and the food was very very salty. I've been told that Gordon's is Mr. Sandal's premier restuarant... I would find another one maybe Le Toc (spelling?)

What I did like at the resort was:
Room Service -- Very fast service
Restaurants were for the most part good but nothing too special and service was at times very very slow
Midnight Manager -- Listened to my issues and did something about them.. Thanks!
The beach is beautiful and the vendors respectful. The pool bar and beach service folks were great! They were always very prompt and very friendly. They were the nicest on the resort.

All in all I was very disappointed in Sandals St. Lucia. I believe that if you go to Sandals and you get the Butler room chances are that you will be very happy with your experience. I believe that if you go to Sandals and get a lesser room you might as well save your money and go to another resort. We paid close to 8,000 for this trip and were treated like we were at a Holiday Inn (which actually has better front desk service).

I will say that I don't believe all Sandals are like this. We've stayed at Sandals Montego Bay in both a Concierge Room and Butler Rooms and all three experiences were great! The staff there was always very very nice and friendly and the rooms were always well stocked. I wouldn't go back to Sandals St. Lucia but I will go back to Sandals Montego Bay.

Room Tip: Stay in a room with a beach view. Avoid the Atlantic side
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

We recently spent 10 days at the Sandals Grande in St Lucia and were greeted in the Lobby by Lance who took care of getting our room keys and addressing any questions we had. This was our first Sandals experience and needless to say we had no idea what to expect. Lance was very approachable and quickly made sure that we were put at ease on understanding how the resort was set up. He was also sweet and arranged for a champagne and desert surprise in our room at turn down that night when he realized we were there to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.

My first stop the next day was to the spa to book a massage with Jannelle. All the ladies at the Spa were awesome!

All our dining expereieces were good.

My husband arranged a surprise candlelight dinner on the beach for our anniversary night and the hotel arranged for another bottle of champagne and desert to be delivered to our room. It was very sweet.

Our room was also nice, but through no fault of the resort, I could not sleep well due to my inability to adjust to the birds/crickets who chirped all night. Next time, bring ear plugs I guess.. LOL

My husband scheduled his diving orientation and myself for a snorkelling trip and Fletcher was a great snorkel buddy as I have never snorkelled before without my husband. It was much appreciated.

Our only frustration while we were there was the way the butlers reserved all the poolside chairs by the main pool. I understand that having a butler means that you have paid extra to have someone to take care of these sort of incidentals, but the amount we paid for our stay was not so much less that we felt we should not have the most basic of ammenities such as a chair/unbrella at the pool. I think this maybe could be managed with a bit of moderation and have some chairs that are available for us more "common" folk.

Otherwise, we had a wonderful time and the staff treated us with nothing but kindness and respect.

We would visit again, but now hooked to the Sandals experience we would like to visit their other properties as well.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013 via mobile

The property is beautiful and there is a lot to do. It is a bit dated...the furniture in the lobby is gross and worn out. We stayed in a butler category and that was nicely done and a saving grace as far as service. Our room and butlers werd amazing. The service in the sit down restaurants, other than Gordons, was awful and food only decent. The set up for pool food also was forced to be a sitdown and quite an inefficient production to simply get a snack...staff was lost and rude. Spa was excellent. Gift shop staff was rude and uncomfortably unwelcoming. Overall there are better choices in the Sandals resorts for the money although it is a nice one time experience. The Simon Says tour is a must for do.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 Luxury Hotel in Gros Islet
#2 Spa Hotel in Gros Islet
#3 Business Hotel in Gros Islet
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Gros Islet
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Gros Islet
#3 Romantic Hotel in Gros Islet
#7 Family Hotel in Gros Islet
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 301
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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