My wife and I stayed at The Landings for a week in early June 2008 for our honeymoon. We had read some honest reports on this site before going, so we were not too surprised by the state of the building works once we arrived and we had found an excellent deal through Travelzoo.com. The resort complex itself is about an hour’s drive north of the international airport (it costs about $80US by taxi). If you are travelling from another Caribbean island (e.g. Puerto Rico) then you may land in Castries, which is significantly closer. The complex is more timeshare than hotel, and many, perhaps even most, of the units are owned by investors who share rental income with the resort when they are not using their units themselves.
We had a one-bedroom, groundfloor apartment facing the harbour, and across from us we could see the containers holding the building materials for the ongoing construction, but these had been hidden somewhat by a wood fence. The sight of construction materials may be disconcerting to some people paying ‘premium’ rates, and if you’re dropping loads of money to stay here before it’s completed then I would suggest renting a beachfront apartment which only has unobstructed views of the ocean. Thanks to this site and some member photographs we knew what to expect and so weren’t bothered. The apartment itself was top notch, with high quality furnishings and appointments, toiletries, fully-stocked kitchen (they’’ll stock the fridge before you arrive as well, if you are willing to pay for it), bath robes and slippers, flat screen TV and DVD player. In short, all the conveniences you could wish for.
June is the start of the rainy season (hence the deals) but we were very lucky with the weather. Some reviewers have complained about the mosquitoes. Yes, there were mosquitoes, but not so many that they would ruin your day. In fact, every evening an employee would fumigate the shrubs around the whole complex. The beach was superb and was rarely used. All beaches in St Lucia are public (as they should be), so the hotel has employees at the end of the beach towards the town of Gros Islet to dissuade locals from hanging around and to look after the equipment, and we were never harassed by anyone. Residents used to be able to walk along the beach all the way from Gros Islet to the nature reserve on Pigeon Point, but constructing The Landings’ artificial harbour put an end to that (in fact, there were some major negative environmental repercussions resulting from the construction which we only read about in the local media once we were down there) as its mouth bisects the beach.
One of the best aspects of The Landings is its location close to Pigeon Point, a nature reserve that used to be an island (Pigeon Island) but which was connected to the mainland by a causeway in the 70s. We walked there most days (it takes about 15 minutes) along the road that runs past the back of the Sandals resort that is next door. It’s awkward to walk along the beach (because of the building works and the harbour entrance) but it can be done if you skirt around the building site. No one but us seemed to do this, but you’ll be rewarded with a great look at a lagoon with hundreds of nesting birds (mainly egrets and herons). As I’ve mentioned birds, I might add the St. Lucia is a super spot for watching them, and The Landings is perfectly located in that respect with Pigeon Point being a prime spot. And each day we’d see many hummingbirds feeding from the hibiscus bushes around the hotel and next to our plungepool.
If you don’t hire a car then you’ll need to take a taxi or tour to see the rest of the island. The Landings has contracted with a local service that uses only Mercedes and BMWs – expect to be charged accordingly. They don’t seem too keen on your trying to find a cheaper tour yourself.
There was only one restaurant open while we were there, and it was too expensive for us to eat there every night, but they do a great breakfast. Groceries can be bought in a supermarket on the road to Rodney Bay, where you’ll also find banks and lots of restaurants (you must buy some excellent Bounty Rum and try the superb pineapples). A man (the ‘fruit man’) in a flag-bedecked boat putters through the coastal waters between Rodney Bay and Pigeon Point selling fresh fruit – just wave him in if you’re feeling hungry. The hotel apparently has a water taxi service to Rodney Bay, but it never seemed to be there when we needed it. Perhaps it now runs on a schedule.
The hotel staff were excellent and friendly, and they are clearly proud to be working at such a hotel. The spa is good, though unfinished and not always open. The beach is superb with excellent views.
Do go to Gros Islet and the Friday night Jump-up and eat some freshly-grilled conch with lime juice. This gets rowdier at the hours progress. It seems quite safe, but I’d recommend that families go earlier in the evening.
To sum up, I’d highly recommend The Landings, keeping in mind the provisos about the ongoing building work. If you’re paying top dollar, then you might like to pay exorbitant prices at a place that’s already finished. If you get a deal here, then go for it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Landings is St. Lucia's premiere beach resort featuring one, two and three-bedroom all suite 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. Free Internet Beach Largest Suites north of St. Lucia ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Landings St. Lucia, a Rock Hotel Castries
- The Landings St. Lucia Gros Islet