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“Lovely resort. It ticked all the boxes for myself and 8 friends. Would definitely go back again.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa

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Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Cap Estates, Cap Estate, St. Lucia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Cap Estate
London, United Kingdom
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Lovely resort. It ticked all the boxes for myself and 8 friends. Would definitely go back again.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2011

The resort is situated in a remote and quite picturesque part of St Lucia, surrounded by lush gardens and wooded areas. The apartments were pretty basic, but meet all the basic requirements. The staff, especially those in the Cove restaurant, were exceptional. A big thank you to Nadine, Jauntha, Gerard, Lucas, Micheal, Vicky, Omany and last but not at all least Anton , who were all first class in the way the went about their own individual roles and collectively within the restaurant. You all made Sharon's birthday celebrations a day/night to remember. Thank you all and hope to see you again next year.

Room Tip: Just ask, if it's possible you will get it.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (662)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Preston, United Kingdom
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2011

The staff made this beautifuly presented hotel perfect, nothing was to much trouble, every request was met with a helpful smiling response.

Special thanks go to Lorna who ensured our special day went off without a hitch, she answered all our many emails before hand very quickly and helpfully. We got married in the cliff top gazebo which was all decked out in flowers ,it was beautiful.We had a private beach BBQ for our wedding breakfast catering for all 13 of our guests,which was lit up with fariy lights and the staff could not of been more attentive . The wedding package and location was and is in our opinion, understated.

The entertianment was excellent especially the childrens club, all the staff were full of energy and enthusiasm especially Chaco who never seemed to leave or tire.

The restaurants were very good we especially liked the atmosphere of the water front, but all the restaurants were very good.

Many Thanks for a perfect wedding,holiday and honeymoon.

Alasdair, Trudi and Family

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2011

I just wanted to let everyone know if you ever stay here I hope you get NADINE as your server. She was so wonderful...we didn't have to want or wait for anything. NADINE works in "The Cove" on Smugglers Cove Resort.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2011

My husband and I went to Smugglers Cove for 12 days at Easter with 3 grandchildren and their parents. I have read the more recent reviews and am amazed at some of the comments. This hotel is advertised as a 3/4 star resort and so why do people expect it to be 5 star. Yes there were small ants in the bathroom and one day some lizards in the bedroom, but this is the tropics. The gardens are beautiful and constantly tended so there is bound to be some wildlife around.
The food was good but not fabulous but with so much choice ideal for families with children. (The chocolate muffins at breakfast and the ice cream available all afternoon were particularly appreciated.)
The beach, sea and watersports were all great although more beach umbrellas would be good. I'm afraid we used to get up early and sit, with a coffee, reading on the beach before breakfast just to get some umbrellas - but it was a lovely time of day.
Our rooms were okay, we always had hot water when required but have to agree that the bathrooms are rather tired. However, when anything was reported to Reception as not working properly it was instantly remedied.
We particularly enjoyed our day on the Gemini speedboat taken from the beach. Captain Troy and Junior took just us 7 to see the Pitons, visiting Castries and the bays along the coast. We stopped for a swim and picnic on the way and then went snokelling at the end where the variety of fish and coral were spectacular.
My only complaint about the holiday is not with Smugglers Cove but with Thomas Cook Signature Holidays who we went with. As Kuoni and Virgin both go there I would suggest you use these.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2011

Before we visited Smugglers Cove i had read some very negative and very positive reviews on here so i went with an open mind. We very much enjoyed our stay at Smugglers Cove and I feel that some of the negative comments on here are unfair. Smugglers Cove is not a 5 star luxurious resort and they don't claim to be. It is a 4 star resort and any seasoned traveller knows that a 4 star in the Carribean is not the same as a 4 star in North America/Europe. If you are someone who expects luxury then you need to go to one of the Sandals resorts, but if you are someone who wants an affordable, enjoyable vacation in beautiful St. Lucia then you will enjoy your stay at Smugglers Cove.
Arrival: The trip from the airport to the resort is about 1 1/2 hours but we knew this and it was very scenic. We received a cold towel as soon as we arrived and a rum punch only a few minutes later. They had all of the keys and room packages ready on a table and started calling names only a few minutes after arrival. I am surprised that other reviewers thought that arrival was disorganized, I felt it was very organized. They escorted us to the buffet which stayed open later than usual (we arrived late because we took the afternoon/evening flight and we were delayed by half an hour at take off). We were very pleased that they stayed open late to accomodate all the arriving guests as we were quite hungry from the long travel.
Rooms: We had the standard room and it was basic but no major issues. The sink vanity, mirror, and furniture where newish. The tub probably needed to be replace or resealed but it was still clean. There was a small lizard in our room when we arrived and we saw 1 spider in the room throughout the week but the rooms are all on the main floor and the door opens right to the outside so this was not surprising. We didnt see any ants in our room that other reviewers have described. We didnt spend a lot of time in our room so the room was just fine for us.
Beach: The beach is not huge but still big enough to enjoy. The sand was not white sand that other carribean islands have because St.Lucia is a volcanic island. The sand was more brownish and some parts were black but still clean. The view from the beach is breathtaking! We saw a horse on the beach only once while we were there (didn't see it defacating in the water as others have described) and there were a few vendors on the beach but they only spoke to us twice throughout the whole week. Just say no thanks and they leave you alone. Like many other carribean islands the beaches are public so the resort cannot make these people leave.
Pools:The pools are right next to the beach so it was nice that you could lay on the beach and you are right next to the pools and the ocean. The swim up bar was our favourite, perfect view of the beach, ocean, and hillside while you are sipping your drink in the pool.
Food: We really enjoyed the food. There were several options. The menus changed every night at the buffet and at the 3 a la carts so there was lots to choose from. Breakfast was mostly the same every day in the buffet but lots to choose from. The scrambled eggs were a little runny but you could get very good omlettes at the omlette station and the ladies also would make fried eggs and they made panakes too. The beach bbq and the pizza at La Tratorria were our favourites for lunch. They had a fabulous creole dinner at the buffet one night and the dinners at cafe asia and La tratorria were excellent. The waterside grill was average but the setting of the restaurant right over the water is so beautiful.
Dress code: For breakfast and lunch bathing suits must be covered and men can't have sleeveless shirts. For dinner (including at the buffet) men must wear long pants and women should wear dresses or nice pants/capris. This is clearly indicated on smugglers cove's website so we were aware of it before we left. Dressing up for dinner is a custom on many carribean islands and it was kind of nice.
The property: the property is somewhat spread out but very beautiful, our room was perhaps a 3 minute walk to the restaurants and beach/pool/ocean area but we just packed a little beach bag and didn't come back to our room until it was time to get ready for dinner.
Activities and entertainment: Lots of waters sports to choose from, we took a double kayak out which was really nice because it was so beautful out at the edge of the cove. There were a few activities through out the day. We did the saturday morning walk which was nice to see the area outside the resort, we just met in the lounge and they were there on time ready to go. The night entertainment was ok, some nights better than others. The fire breathing and limbo night was the best.
Staff: Most staff were very friendly but like anywhere, you get the odd staff member that isn't too pleasant.
Excursions: we went on a day trip we booked with our transat holidays representative and loved it. The island is so beautiful you must get out and see it!

I suspect part of the reason for the vast differences in opinion in this review forum is based on the price paid. We got a very reasonable package from transat holidays, which was the cheapest all inclusive package to St Lucia we could find booking 3 weeks ahead (but remember St.Lucia is more expensive in general than some of the other carribean islands) but we did meet some people that paid almost twice the amount we paid. If your package costs not much less than it would to go to sandals then maybe its not worth it but if you find a reasonable package than its worth it.
Bottom line is if you go with reasonable expectations for a 4 star (carribean 4 star) resort then you will very much enjoy your stay.

  • Stayed April 2011, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2011

Resort sold last Oct and no money spent since - very tatty and cheap looking.
Half bars & restaurants shut (not told in advance).
Building work done during day on site.
Cheap furniture & no chair cushions (metal chairs), no sofa's in lounge.
Bathtub so small a child would be squashed and bath permanently stained.
Activities only took place if guests pushed for it.
Management wander around in their swinwear.
Hotel entertainment same every week, no nearby bars and nearby restaurants very expensive so they have captive audience.
Wet weather - 5 days of rain - no activities done by hotel for kids or adults except table tennis and musical chairs.


Postitive/s:
1]Watersports team - worked hard everyday.
2]Captain Typhoon's island boat trip - cheaper than rep's trip by 35 us a head and great fun. He collects from hotel in boat, no coaches and mass transit like reps tour.
3]Spa good but expensive.
4]Fitness centre and tennis courts.

Room Tip: Ask for Honeymoon cottages
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SCResort_Spa, Manager at Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 8, 2011
Dear kateyj,


It is unfortunate you did not enjoy your visit with us at Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa and we apologise for any issues encountered. Let me assure you we take guest complaints very seriously and will be looking into these matters in the days to come.

Since our recent change of management, we have endeavored to upgrade many of our facilities and improvements are constantly being made to the services we offer.
However, as with any upgrade there are some occasions where physical changes to structures may occur. Smugglers Cove is a very large property with over 70 buildings, and as such we take every precaution to limit any inconvenience to our guest.

The resort is designed to give a more natural setting; some areas are more exposed to the elements than others. In these cases we employ metallic chairs so guests can avoid the unpleasant surprise of sitting on a wet cushion.

As you mentioned, St. Lucia recently experienced a period of unusually heavy rainfall; as a result there were a few operational difficulties dealing with the high volume of water including closing one of our more exposed bars during the showers. As for the restaurants, we do close one restaurant per night on a rotational basis during periods of low occupancy. We do apologize for any inconvenience caused.

The overwhelming majority of our guests enjoy the variety of activities we offer. An activity may be cancelled if the weather is not favourable (i.e. Archery, Tai Chi, Tennis Lessons, etc).

We are shocked to read about incidents of managers who are on duty being attired in swimwear as this is not permitted. We are looking into this matter and ask you to email us directly with any further details you may be able to provide.


Sincerely

Tony Kinnear
Managing Director
tkinnear@smugglersresort.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Cap Estate hotels

Cheshire
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2011

Just got back from 2 weeks over Easter. First week was busier than the second and we had rain, which was a shame in some respects, but we still enjoyed ourselves. It was a beautiful place with lots of wildlife - I came face to face with a humming bird on a walk down to the lobby one morning! We also saw some toads and there were caterpillars in the bushes that the children loved. The staff all worked extremely hard to make us happy. I have nothing but praise for the watersports staff who accommodated my every whim in terms of kayaking, hoby catermeran and the fantastic airhead that my son could not keep away from! Well done Sherman and the other staff.

The catering was great too. Ian Sherlock the chef had transformed the cafe asia from cafe enids and was really unusual. The waterside creole restaurant was great too and again there were some amazing crabs around. I really felt we were somewhere special and authentic, whereas we went to visit Rodney Bay with its pristine sand and many hotels and thought it rather synthetic looking. The buffet food in the Cove restaurant was always amazing and the kids loved the bbq food on the beach. It's true that the Italian restaurant doesn't quite work, but they did make pizza for the kids and we enjoyed the spaghetti. We did pay for the steak and the prawns and they were really nice, but I didnt think the price was justified. If you have a toddler, take your own nappies because the hotel shop wanted to charged $40 US for a small pack!!!!!!

The kids club really pulled out the stops - the staff clearly loved their jobs. We didnt use it all the time, but when we needed to get an early meal kid free then they looked after the children well and kept them entertained. They enjoyed the beach bonfire, the crabs and the easter egg hunt.

The children also really enjoyed the waterslide and must have used it over 100 times over the holiday, it never ceased to entertain them - shame some of the older kids were a bit disrepectful at times and took advantage. They were building a new bar there which looked like a good improvement.

We also really enjoyed a trip we made from Rodney Bay to Soufriere and the "drive in volcano." and the meal we had overlooking Soufriere. Stunning is the only word for it! The island itself outside the resort is very poor and there are half finished ugly buildings everywhere and even half finished hotels. Someone should have words with the St Lucian government about planning permission. Roads are dangerous looking. Castries rather ugly but a very good market for buying tourist mementos.

The room we had was a garden suite and it was a little basic but comfortable and had airconditioning and two bedrooms which was nice. satellite tv so we could watch the royal boredom (I mean wedding).

I think this place is really good value for money and I would not recommend it highly enough. I think it is under-rated and that it has a lot of charm and potential to be a great hotel. I would definitely recommend it, unless you are a fussy american expecting a 5 star hotel.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa

Address: Cap Estates, Cap Estate, St. Lucia
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Gros Islet Quarter > Cap Estate
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 hotels in Cap Estate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa 3.5*
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Also Known As:
Smugglers Cove Resort And Spa
Smugglers Cove Hotel Cap Estate
Almond Smugglers Cove Castries
Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa St. Lucia/Cap Estate

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