Let me start off by saying we had a wonderful time staying here. We went the first week of June and the occupancy was very low so at times it felt as if we had the place to ourselves.
The good and the great.......
We rented a 3 bedroom beachfront condo and the view was spectacular! The rooms were very clean and the maid service was spot on. We turned away the turndown service most nights but they did show up each night to offer it.
The food quality at the beach front restaurant was very good. The banana bread that is made onsite is to die for!
The service staff a the beach front restaurant were the friendliest people we met on the entire island. By the second day they knew and remembered the names of my children and were engaging and made us feel extremely welcome. One waitress (Clayma?)even came out to play with my son and challenge him to a few beach races(see the pictures below). He is still talking about her! Major thanks to how awesome she was!
The pool areas(we hit 2 of the pools) were very well kept up. Again most days we were the only ones there but the pools were nice with lots of chairs and a good mixture of what seems like an adult oriented pool by the beach and a more kid friendly "main" pool with 2 wading pool areas that are great for the little ones that cannot yet swim.
The beach was also fantastic. Not the most crystal clear water I have seen in the Caribbean but still pretty nice no complaints here! The sand was great for playing and wading out up to chin deep and there is even a small amount of coral and fish near the sea wall that even the young ones can wade out to and practice a little snorkeling (not dive quality but good for the kiddos). All the watersports activities were no fee and the Hobie Cats were in great shape as were the sea kayaks.
Area's to improve. These were mostly minor and did not ruin out stay by any means but to be excellent they need addressed.
Ice maker never worked in the room. That said the bar did bring us up some ice but the ice maker never worked or worked so little we never noticed any ice. The staff said they checked it and it worked. I disagree. No WIFI in room, but the plug in internet did work just fine. Not so great for searching your ipad for a great place to eat at night.
Replace the shower heads in the rooms! The fine stream scatter pattern is horrible for washing long hair filled with sand and sea salt. The ones by the pool are much better but not ideal for naked showering. :-)
Our last night there the elevator died. Seems like a theme at this property. We called about it and it was not fixed by the time we checked out. Slightly bothersome to carry luggage down the stairs for 8 people.
The restaurant would do better to mix up the menu a bit. The food was great but after staying 8 nights you run out of choices. The process of ordering and eating breakfast was very slow on mornings that only the al la cart menu was offered. It took close to an hour from sitting down to having all or food to eat on these days. I understand on low occupancy days the buffet may not be cost effective but 30+ min to make 5 orders of pancakes is a bit much.
The watersports staff refused to haul out the second Hobie cat for us to use. Putting 4 full grown men on one Hobie cat is not very comfortable. The staff member commented that he was not allowed to let one set of guests take more than none boat out at a time. This did not happen any other day but this one particular staff member seemed to be a bit on the lazy side. We even told him we would haul it down but he refused to let us take it. No one else was using it why not go for guest satisfaction here?
The hotel needs to invest in some children's sized life vests that are not coming apart at the seams. The one we were offered to my son had more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese and the flotation was sticking out of it! Major irritation here.
Certain staff members seem like they do not know anything about the island they live on. For instance when we asked the attendant at the driveway gate for directions to the Cap Mansion(actually only about 5 min from the hotel) he had no idea what it was. This is a pretty popular place to eat dinner(highly recommended) and this guy did not know it existed? A different fellow at the front gate knew everything there was to know about the island but you never knew what you were going to get with each person doing the same job. Several other staff members at the front desk had this same lack of knowledge of things like the best grocery store, the best gift shop, good place to buy beach toys, good restaurants ect.
Things others complain about but the hotel cannot do anything about...
Public beach access. Yes all beaches are public on saint Lucia. It was never a problem for us but on Saturday there was a pretty big party going on the beach next to us. So what. Get a drink and join in. Locals are pretty friendly!
The fruit man in his little boat that drives by in his boat is a cool guy. Good fruit good price. Entertaining! "Frooot man here...get you frooots! honk honk!". The only guy that rubbed us the wrong way was the guy making fish and roses out of palm leaves. Runs up to our kids and gives them the items, says they are free then tried to extort money from me. I am a big guy and do not take anything from anyone, but being in another country I did not exactly want to fight this guy over $1. Hotel security shooed him off quickly. Again what can you do? Public access. With any of the peddlers the best thing to do is say "no thank you I am not interested" do not tell them you do not have any money. You are staying at a $1000/ night resort. They wont believe you! :-)
To recap none of the misses were deal breakers nor did they significantly dampen our days enjoyment(except the life vest issue. someone could die if they thought that raggedy thing would save a kids life). They were just small disappointments from an otherwise great vacation! Thinking back this may be due to the slow part of the season or the fact that the entire time we were there we never saw or talked to a manager. Granted we had no huge complaints but at a place like this renting what must be one of the most expensive rooms albeit in a cheaper season you would think we would have at least ran into the manager once or twice.
Anyway I would recommend the landings in a heartbeat!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Landings is St. Lucia's premiere beach resort featuring one, two and three-bedroom villas. Accomodations include full kitches, state-of-the-art amenities, private terraces and personal plunge pools. The resort offers, beachfront dining, a full array of water activities, 80-slip yacht harbor and Soleil Spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Landings St. Lucia, a Rock Hotel Castries
- The Landings St. Lucia Gros Islet