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.
- 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