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“Exceeded expectations” 4 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   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Cap Estate
Chamonix, France
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Exceeded expectations”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Just back from a great 10 days, with our 17 month twins. 1 bedroom suite was fantastic, cleaned well daily and no problem with insects.

Food and service great throughout the resort. Ate mainly buffet breakfast and lunch at the Cove.Huge variety and always found something for the kids. Special thanks to Rose, Vicky, Alarna, Omany,Felicia, Nancy,Crystal, Ashla and Evcille, who couldn't have been more helpful and warm. Loved all the other restaurants too, especially Cafe Asia ( just a shame it's adults only and we had to get a baby sitter to go the once. Thank you Dona for making us laugh.

The staff really do love children, which brings me to the nursery, one of the main reasons for choosing this resort. Left the girls for 2 hours most afternoons, and felt totally at ease leaving them. Can't remember if it was Denise or Marcia, but 1 daughter cried leaving the nursery one afternoon and didn't want mum and dad back. Only slight niggle, AC was broken in nursery whilst we were there, waiting to be fixed.

The weather was sunny and Hot everyday ( mid to late November) very little rain. Ignore the google weather reports. It seems to be a micro climate in the north.

Only Complaint, Reserving of sun loungers. It's selfish and unnecessary. There would be plenty if no one did it. Resort really needs a towel collector ( except maybe lunch hour 12-2). 1 day we got so annoyed, we actually removed a few, and no one came back all afternoon.( this seemed to be the norm) Frequently saw towels on beds previous night for the following day!!! Also a few more Parasols as shade is limited.

All in all, a great trip. Would love to come back and explore the island a little more. Really beautiful place.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,020 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (732)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Bucks
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

Just returned from Smugglers Cove on 22nd November. It really is a very relaxed laid-back resort, the de-luxe rooms are spacious and comfortable, the standard rooms are located further back up the hill slightly away from hotel amenities. The hotel porters are happy to pick up and collect guests with just a quick phone call if they don't want to walk. The grounds are very pretty and well kept with interesting birds to watch out for.
Food is good, bars are sometimes slow and although they do have premium brand drinks they do often run out of the well known ones. Cocktails are quite good if you are happy to try what they have available. The staff are very friendly, and most of them carry out their duties in a pleasant manner. It is a long transfer to and from the airport, but it gives you a chance to have a look at the island! We were fortunate to have a helicopter transfer back to the airport which was really amazing and the views over the Pitons were great.
The pools are lovely, although I do agree with some other comments that some of the sun beds need updating. The sad habit of reserving the beds with towels is common place and it would be good if staff removed towels if the bed clearly wasn't being used for a few hours. Saying that, we went to lunch and left our books, towels and suncream on our beds only to find that some French people had moved in when we returned from eating our lunch! The childrens pool is nice and the waterslide is great fun (take care - children and adults can travel down very fast and some people nearly came out of the water shute near the bottom even though the side has a higher edge).
Checking-in was efficient, and although some guests have said they encountered problems with their safe, we fortunately didn't have any problems.
The beach is slightly stoney and the sand is dark volcanic, athough there is a small amount of white sand which has been imported, some of the waves are a little too strong for small children and there is a sharp step down resulting in the water becoming deep very quickly.
The hotel manager constantly patrols the resort, offering ample opportunity to speak to him if you are not happy, and he also eats in the restaurant along with the guests (always a good sign if management are happy to eat in the same place!).
We didn't have the opportunity to speak to him at the Monday cocktail evening, 12th November as it rained very hard and was held inside the Rum Bar - most of the so called cocktails were not cocktails at all but different varieties of rum so I don't know why they refer to it as a cocktail evening.
We would return to this resort as it is a very relaxing, spacious resort, and we enjoyed trying the four restaurants, The Cove (buffet), The Waterside Grill, The Asian and The Italian. One suggestion to Smugglers Cove would be, a second bar would be useful as the only bar is located with the evening entertainment and most caribbean hotels fail to understand that some guests would like to sit and socialise with a drink without being deafened!
Thank you Smugglers Cove for a lovely holiday.

Room Tip: Choose the lower numbers
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Romsey
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

We stayed at this hotel the first two weeks in November and had a fabulous time. Everything about the resort was first class. The seven swimming pools, two exclusively for adults, were cleaned every day, with pleny of sunbeds around, but if you wanted a parasol you had to be up early, otherwise they were already taken. The food was excellent, especially at the Waterside Grill, Cafe Asia and La Tratoria, which were all a la carte, although the food was still to a very good standard at The Cove Restaurant which was buffet, plenty to choose from to suit everyone's needs.

The rooms were spacious and comfortable, with good shower, fridge and flat screen television.

The free wifi we could sometimes get in our room No. 438, but generally you had to go into the Piton Lounge to get a satisfactory signal.

The staff we found to be very friendly and helpful. There were watersports available, although one day they were cancelled due to the heavy swell in the bay. Overall we had an excellent holiday and plan to return there again soon.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmugglersJT, Guest Relations Manager at Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Dear SusiejaneRomsey,

Thank you for your recent stay at Smugglers Resort & Spa and for posting such a lovely review. It makes us proud to read that your stay was perfect and awesome in every detail! Please note that we have communicated your 5 star review with the team as a thank you for their consistent work to provide the highest level of service and standards.

Thank you again for your honest review and for promoting Smugglers Cove, we are looking forward to welcoming you back soon among us.

Warm Regards
Staff & Management
Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

Overall if you compare the price of this resort to others in St. Lucia, you are getting good value. We paid just under $1,000 for the week, and I wouldn't pay anymore.

The pros:
- Good food, you never had to eat buffet if you didn't want to, they offer buffet and a la carte for every meal, even breakfast at the cove, someone serves you.
- excellent service, very attentive and kind
- lots of activities offered (walks, Pilates, yoga, water sports)
- high tea is a nice touch
- the a la carte are diverse and all serve good food
- drinks are not watered down and are very good

The cons
- the rooms are super rundown and in need of a major update. They look nothing like they do on their website. You will have ants in your room, nothing you can do about it, you're in the rainforest.
- the beach isn't very nice, fine for water sports but when we wanted to swim we want to the small beach next door, it was nicer.
- some of the water sports weren't offered when we were there, the sailboat was broken
- no nightlife at this resort, if that is important to you.
- the pools need to be cleaned more often then there are
- this resort is at the opposite end of the island so you have an hour and a half bus ride to get there through bumpy roads, if you get motion sickness take something. Ask to be taken on a larger bus and sit near the front. You can take a helicopter to the resort, it's $150 per person one way.

Other than that my only advice is to bring bug spray and if you like larger drinks, bring your own plastic cups from home.

I would visit this resort again, I just had to lower my expectations from what the website looked like.

Room Tip: The level 500's are the furthest away from the resort, however they are the only rooms with an u...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

We stayed at this resort in January this year, and whilst I am not in the habit of reviewing every place we visit, I felt compelled to write as there were so many negative comments by other reviewers. I really think it unfair to nit-pick the way some holidaymakers seem to feel is necessary; I might be concerned about the odd cracked tile in my own bathroom back home but surely it hardly affects the quality of your holiday??

This resort is beautifully laid out with no high-rise buildings and lovely gardens, and to us the fact you have to walk a bit of a distance to get to some places is a huge plus - with all the fabulous food on offer you surely need at least some exercise? We thought the little bungalows really nicely laid out with a true Caribbean feel. Very comfortable beds, too, and you can have absolute peace and quiet away from the noisier parts of the resort if you do your homework (there is a good map on the hotel website). We stayed in the Canaries section, which comes highly recommended.

One completely unexpected highlight of this place was Cafe Asia, run by chef Ian Sherlock. Now, we are extremely discerning foodies, and being realistic about all-inclusives, we didn't expect for a minute to find food of this quality. The crab on sugar cane is to die for as is virtually everything on the menu. Our other favourite was the waterside grill with its fantastic setting - what an amazing place to have your breakfast every morning!

Yes, the sand on the beach is a bit black in places - it's a volcanic island!! The sea is still lovely, and if you want some seriously nice snorkelling and don't mind a bit of a walk, I would highly recommend walking to Pigeon Island. There is a fabulous cafe there, too - amazing rotis! The only snag is that it is recommended to walk along the road as you can get attacked by dogs cutting across the headland. But it's worth it! We also rented a car, went snorkelling in a few of the bays that have diving shops (if you check whether somewhere offers shore dives that's usually a good indication of nice snorkelling). And we even admired the Jalousie Plantation - as all beaches on St Lucia have to be accessible to the public, they have to keep a bit of their beach open to plebs. So you can actually park your car up at the gate, walk down to the beach and admire the most amazing setting on the island without having to pay $2000 a night!

All in all I would highly recommend this resort as it offers fantastic value for money - yes, it is not 5 star but boy do you have to pay for 5 star in the Caribbean...And a holiday is what you make of it after all.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
New Jersey
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

My husband and I just returned from a wonderful week at Smuggler's Cove. Overall, everything was good, but after reading other reviews, I think most of the complaints I have read are valid. Yes, the walk to the room was long and hilly, I got totally bit up by bugs, the band got a little boring, and the staff could be perceived as being rude. I think in general the people of St Lucia are kind of reserved and not outgoing, but if you engage them they're alright.
We found the food to be very good, always a good variety at the buffet and a lot of choices for vegetables. Desserts were average. All three restaurants were good. Try the Beef Pepperpot at the Waterside Grill.
We went sailing almost everyday, but I made sure I was at the watersports signup area at 8:30 a.m. Bad part is that you can only take the Hobie Waves out for 1/2 hour, so by the time you get out of the cove you almost have to turn around and come back, especially if you have to tack your way in. It was impossible to get a lounger if you were not out there early in the morning, but we were so busy that we spent very little time lounging around.
Took advantage of the Pilates and Yoga classes. Both were excellent, with terrific instructors. Went on the Sunset Stroll with Jackie, the activities director and went on the walk to Pigeon Island with Chacho. They were both great and made sure everyone had a good time.
Did the all-day Catamaran trip to Soufriere (including Botanical Gardens, lunch, mudbath
and snorkeling) and the 1/2 day ziplining trip. I highly recommend both.
The best part of the trip was getting to meet people from all over - St Lucia, the UK, Canada, different parts of the US, etc. I think most people really enjoyed their stay at Smugglers Cove and didn't let the negatives bother them.

Room Tip: Rooms in the 500s are a bit of a walk to the restaurants, lounge and beach area.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

INITIAL THOUGHTS: We have traveled a great deal to locations throughout the world and we had a great time on this trip.

PROS: The St. Lucian people are exceptionally welcoming and friendly. The trip to and from the hotel were operated by very knowledgeable drivers that incorporated tours into the transport with seamless success. The staff at the hotel was very friendly and very fun to be around. They were always willing to talk to us and provide insight or help. The hotel itself was great. I loved the immersion into the natural tropical environment. The beach was very nice and natural views are incredible. The activities available and the quality thereof far exceeded the typical all inclusive. The food was ok for breakfast and lunch which I have come to expect from all inclusive locations. However in my opinion it was better than the other stuff I have had. The dinners were amazing compared to other all-inclusive hotels I have been to. I am not the pickiest of individuals and am more accustomed to self-directed vacations but I was more than pleased with the hotel, service and staff at this all inclusive.

CONS: Liquor available was only mid-range or well. The late night entertainment was limited. The live music was lame at times and felt contrived and cliché which is probably just me being critical on a personal level more than a fair reflection. The artists were very talented and good entertainers but I would have liked to see more original performances and more organic music instead of a bunch of adapted American music. I wish there would have been more areas open to swimming and snorkeling right off the beach. Finally I would have liked to see sit down service meals for breakfast and lunch more readily available.

CONCLUSIONS: I would definitely recommend this trip and this hotel to friends and family. We had a great time and loved this beautiful island and its people. The hotel was an absolute steal for the price in my opinion and I hope to return to it another day.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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 4
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
Phone Number:
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*
Number of rooms: 360
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Also Known As:
Smugglers Cove Hotel Cap Estate
Smugglers Cove Resort And Spa
Almond Smugglers Cove Castries
Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa St. Lucia/Cap Estate

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