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“Simply wonderful” 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   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Cap Estate
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Simply wonderful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

I recently returned from Smugglers Cove in St. Lucia. After a long day of travel, it was a breath of fresh air when our bus entered the resort grounds...the flower lined driveway was beautiful. The grounds were well groomed and the flowers were all in full bloom. Once checked in we made our way to the main dining area. The buffet had a bit of everything to allow you to try different tastes. Breakfast was always my favorite meal. Traveling alone gave me the rest and relaxation needed to charge my batteries. The nightly entertainment was exceptional. The artist performing was a gentleman named Wayne Jackman. I was told he was from Barbados. He made himself available to the guests and he joined our tables one evening, as the guests I was with were also musicians. Mr. Jackman is probably one of the most talented musicians I've met in my travels. He has a extraordinary repertoire, which covered all the music from 60's, 70's & 80's. He was always professional. I did notice that the smugglers cove band did not have the knowledge to perform at his level. Mr Jackman was at his best when he was able to sing from tracks. A real show man!!!!The female singers were not always at their best. When Wayne was not singing, we saw the Piton Lounge empty quickly, leaving the night quite boring. I found that the general manager Edgar, was always available to help anyway that he could. The housekeeping staff were always trying to accommodate and the rest of the staff were always willing to help any way they could. I would recommend Smugglers for a reasonable and enjoyable holiday.

Room Tip: Stay in the rooms away from the entertainment area if you want quiet all the time
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 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, March 7, 2013
Dear Reviewer,
We thank you for choosing to stay with us and for taking the time to write a review. We appreciate you kind remarks about the food and entertainment and we will be sure to pass them on to Mr.Jackman and the restaurant staff as a thank you for their hard work. We try to keep the entertainment fresh and as such you can find many local and regional artists performing here. We hope you will come back to visit us again someday soon that we might share more of beautiful Saint Lucia with you.

Warm Regards,
Staff & Management
Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,019 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 (731)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

Please do not listen to the bad reviews. This resort is spot on. We arrived on tues 26th feb and were due to stay in a garden suite room, we asked if there were upgrades available purely as we heard it was cheaper to do it on arrival and we got a beach front room for 1/4 of the cost from UK. Both garden and beach suites were plainly beautiful. The place was clean and fresh and were very well maintained. I am sure that there are tired rooms here and there but you can always change, let's be honest they are for sleeping and showing in....that's it! The resort itself was great, plenty to do for all ages, myself and wife are 30 & 26 and found a real mix of people here. We made some good friends as well.

The staff in all areas were always smiling and helpful, those who accused them of being rude and unhelpful was it due to you not managing to say your Please and Thanks You's. Too often I saw adults demanding drinks and being rude so got it back! If you are happy and polite the whole staff are too! The pools, gardens, beach and restaurants are clean, tidy and well maintained and the new gym is great. The food is super, Cafe Asia a bit smarter than Italian and Waterside, and gents you need a tshirt as a minimum for all meals.

Regarding trips, we used Capt Edmund from the beach, he did us $150 a couple to the volcano, snorkelling, mud baths and waterfall. They are all worthy of a visit and the mud baths are hot but "take years off you"! The best trip though was via the resort on the jeap safari, a 1 hr drive south west through the country to find the quietest and most beautiful waterfall ever. This made our trip truly amazing and all natural!!!!!

The spa is spot on and they do great massages and the drinks flow all day, they don't even measure their shots which is a bonus!!

Overall, to all those who complained, moaned or slated this resort, you need your heads testing and picked up on some stupidly minor things....deal with it! For those who want sun, sand, sea, friendly people, good food and a great experience, then this is the place to be for a really good price! The only tips I would give are to upgrade on arrival if you fancy and apply plenty of sun tan cream. Beware of the crabs coming out of the holes in the garden, they a big suckers! The humming birds are beautiful and the 3-4 cats are friendly without pestering you. The sea is clean and whilst a bit rocky, nothing dangerous......enough chat from me....go enjoy this great place and well done to all the staff for putting on great shows and putting up with the miserable fools who turn up!

Great holiday!

Mike and Lisa

Room Tip: Go closer to the beach if you can to avoid a walk, unless you need to walk off the food! Beach f...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We have just returned from a very special holiday at Smugglers cove resort.It definately came up to our expectations and more.The garden set accomodation was lovely,really peaceful.All the restaurants provided a really good variety of local and western food very easy to eat too much ! We thoroughly enjoyed the water sports.Special mention should go to all the staff who work so hard to please so many of us !! Thankyou,we will definately be recommending you to all our family and friends.
For info to future travellers,waterproof shoes useful for the beach and activities.Definately experience at least 1 day out during your stay.We did the "Conveniently late" day which included,boat cruise,Pitons,marigot bay,soufriere,botanical gardens,volcano and the sunset !! well worth the money.We travelled with Thomson worldwide and would definately go with them again,all arrangements and reps excellant.

Room Tip: Garden view
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pickering, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

The restaurant food was excellent, the buffet, so-so. The staff were fantastic, Jacyntha, Jennifer and Chrissy to name a few. Always greeted us with smiles, please and thank you's and best wishes when we left the restaurants. The water sports were excellent. We utilized the kayak, water skis and wake board. Sherman, Augustin and Lawrence went out of their way to ensure were accommodated and that we enjoyed out experiences with them. The bar staff were very good too. Chever, Sky, Tiny and colleagues worked extremely hard but were hampered by the fact they often had to leave patrons waiting while they walked pool side retrieving empty glasses so that they could wash them, before they could serve you. Isadora cleaned our room for two weeks and like all the other employees we engaged at the resort, was courteous, polite and very good at what she does Our room sparkled after she cleaned and tidied up after us.

The room on the other hand, was awful. We arrived Sunday to a room that had no shower curtain, window sheers, garbage can or drawers. The bathroom light was broken and the broken glass sitting on the bathroom counter. The television did not work except on full volume and on one channel. The iron did not work and the most disturbing issue of all, was the fact that our adjoining room door was open, unlocked. By Wednesday, we had showers curtains, garbage can and drawers. The TV was addressed to no avail and 2 days before we left we swapped our iron with that of a departing couple. I did not feel comfortable with the open adjoining room door but we hoped the couple next door had no way of opening their door just as we had no way of locking ours. Plus it meant we were wakened when the couples next door were coming home or moving around. The pools were very well maintained as were the yards. Many thanks to Fred for all his efforts (and coconuts) and letting us meet Marco

We did not come to St. Lucia to complain and after the third day we gave up. What wasn't resolved by Wednesday, didn't get resolved. The resort was too pretty too let the room ruin anything.

The people made the difference. Hands down the friendliest resort we have ever been to. There is one thing I would like to add however. Mr. King whom my wife and I would see eating in the restaurants now and again who I understand is the General Manager of the resort. As I exited the Asia restaurant I believe on the 22nd, I saw Mr. King approaching, so as I would for anyone, I held the door open for him. He walked right up to me, passed me and entered the restaurant. He never said hello or thanked me. He just walked right into the restaurant as if he was a member of the royal family. It didn't stop me from giving him a sarcastic, 'your welcome',
but still no acknowledgement. He was wearing his name tag too.
Dave...

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 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.
Cornwall, Canada
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
252 helpful votes 252 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

Since there are so many reviews of Smugglers I will try not to repeat the same old, same old... Yes, the resort is far from the airport, about 1 1/2 hours drive on surprisingly well maintained roads, albeit they are windy as this island is one mountain after another. Can't just drive over and through them! The van drivers do drive fast, they know after a long flight the guests are anxious to get to the resorts... our driver was careful and sort of informative however there were a few times when a couple of us gasped... but we made it all in one piece...
Most of the rooms were not ready upon arrival (around 3pm) and they escorted many down to have a lunch while waiting. By 4pm all were given rooms, except us! We waited patiently, as any good Canadian would, and right before we wondered if they had forgotten about us (even tho many of the staff came over and introduced themselves to us, made sure we were comfortable, thanked us for being so patient) we were given our room. Well, Catherine, our housekeeper had laid flowers all over our bed, our bathroom, etc.... we had a lovely note from management and a bottle of red wine. Hard to complain when you realize the reason why it took so long for the room to ready! What a great start!
Rooms:
Yes the rooms are tired, staff know this, no surprise... it will be up to owners of the resort to put a few $$ to keep things looking fresh. This resort has two type of plugs in the rooms, North American and British. Trick is to bring an extension cord or power bar to enable you to plug in a few at a time, like battery chargers, Ipad, etc. The plugs in our room (446) for North American are beside the TV and beside the bed. I brought duel voltage hair implements and so had no trouble doing my hair beside the large mirror in the room, freeing up the bathroom for showers. We had oodles of hot water, there are solar water heaters on the roof of each unit, so it you are in the shade, you might have less hot water. Our air conditioner worked best at night, but I think the housekeeper turned it off during the day, or it could not keep up with the heat of the day beating down. We were fine with it and slept well. I brought my squishy pillow from home and my Hubby wishes he had done the same (he laughed at me for bringing it, until he went to bed that night). We heard absolutely no noise from any of the other units... so sound proofing in this room is no problem.
Room tip: you can access the internet from room 446 so more than likely any room on this block and those between this building and the Piton Lounge. Building 61 (room 446) is close to everything yet you do not hear the Lounge at night.

Pools:
Yes the sand gets in the pools. Mostly due to not really having adequate ways to wash it off. There are showers, not easy to find, however this sand is sticky and more often than not folks are going into the pool to wash their feet off. It is not dirt, it is sand.... no reason to get bent out of shape. The pool temperatures are WARM... no shock value here... wonderful!

Beach:
Ok, so the beach is not the beaches of Cuba... if you want Cuba beaches, go to Cuba! It is a small beach, tends to be a bit rocky when you first get in for a few feet and there is a bit of a drop off, but not over your head instant one like in Huatulco! We brought a spring floaty from home and it was lovely to lay on it and float above the waves. Snorkelling off the beach is blah, however we heard from one guest that snorkelling closer to the restaurant on the beach was terrific. Better than their snorkelling trip they took the day before! Would be nice if the guests did NOT put their cigarette butts out in the sand... was pretty disgusting for the children to be playing in the sand and come across one. The resort either needs to be a smoke free zone or provide more ashtrays... and the guests might be a little considerate of the environment.

Staff:
Yes there are cranky staff here, there are also lovely friendly staff. I believe that the staff lack in training, especially in the restaurants. There were many times when the wait staff would pass by our table and not pick up the dishes, or refill our wine glass, or give us "the look" when we asked for coffee at lunch time. I think that the management needs to give their staff a refresher course in how to serve in a restaurant... the staff might find that their tips would increase. All it takes is a smile and a greeting... a bit of attention to detail, prompt cleaning of a table and common courtesy. Rolling of the eyes, sighing is not a way to win friends and increase salaries. My husband and I are not picky however a smile goes a long way.

Restaurants:
Food was fine... not gourmet however there were some dishes that were the best we had tasted in a resort restaurant... (Flank Steak stands out, and they do lovely potatoes, great Broccoli au Gratin to name a few). Selection, as stated in many other reviews, is small however we always walked away satisfied and even our friends, who were vegetarians stated that this was the best selection for vegetarians they had found in a resort.

Off Resort Activities:

Do not be afraid to book an excursion off the vendors at the beach. We went on a full day tour with Michael, who took the two of us from 9am - 5:30pm all down the west coast of the island to the Pitons... stopping anywhere and everywhere we asked. All for $75 each! MUCH better than sitting in a crowded bus filled with others going places you did not want to go! We had also booked with Captain Edmund for a boat tour down to Pitons however the day we were to go the sea was too rough, but we heard his tour is good.
We took a taxi to Pigeon Island and went in for a hike to the top. Made the mistake of going to the beach just past the gate. Paid $3 for loungers and it was great until 1/2 hour later the cruise buses showed up and the beach was packed like sardines! We walked along the path and came across a nice place for a drink which also had wifi... Bonus! I recommend exploring Pigeon Island, then going outside the gates to the public beach instead. Can rent two loungers and an umbrella for $15 (or you could try bargain them down) and the beach is a lot nicer!! Taxi there was $12... taxi back was $8 so keep that in mind.

General Tips:

1- If you would like to bargain for a taxi, go out of reception and head immediately to the left... about 100 meters there is an entrance gate. Beyond that are drivers who are not sanctioned by the resort. They will more than likely be cheaper and I bet you can bargain them down.

2- You can walk to Pigeon Island by going up the stairs at the end of the beach and following the road, just keep right. Check it out on Google Earth to orient before you come down. Just watch the road, there is no sidewalk and the drivers here are, well, you will see.

3- Some of the buildings behind the Piton Lounge can access wifi in the rooms. I would bet that buildings 56 - 62 would have access to wifi. We were in building 61 and had no problem connecting.

4- The music is LOUD in the Piton Lounge at night... we had to sit outside of the building, around the pool as we found it irritating. Also, this week there was a singer, Wayne, who was there most nights. some liked him, some not, however we noticed that the only night that the lounge was VERY busy was Saturday night for the Fire Eater... Smugglers might want to take note that folks would like a different type of entertainment than a Lounge Singer who is so loud you cannot talk.

5- Sunsets are best viewed from the Wedding Gazebo. Incredible photos can be had. Look for the GREEN FLASH right when the sun has almost sunk right down.

6- Resort is HUGE, some rooms are VERY far... 400 in my opinion is the best location... Buildings 60 - 61 - 62 which are far enough away from the noise while still being close to everything. I believe they are not the basic rooms, however you might be lucky and get upgraded as I believe we were. (Huge Thank You to Smugglers for their consideration!!)

7- Even if you come across a cranky staff member, realize they might not be feeling well, their partner might have chewed them out this morning, etc. Try smiling and engaging them in a conversation... ask about their island, ask them about living in St. Lucia, working at the resort, etc... you might find you have made a friend.

Room Tip: If you would like wifi in your room try to get one in Buildings 56 - 62 behind the Piton Lounge.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Potomac, Maryland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

Enjoyed 5 nights in February over Valentine's Day. Very relaxed, nice rooms, beautiful scenery and weather. Food at restaurants was excellent. Of note, because I have a food alergy (peppers), at each restaurant the chef had been advised beforehand, and came to our table to discuss making a special meal, safely, for me. Class act, and well done. Staff was very friendly and attentive, and the rum drinks on the beach delicious!

Room Tip: Our room was at the top of the property, away from the noise and very peaceful.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

We stayed at smugglers cove from February 17th to February 24th to attend a wedding. We stayed in a one bedroom suite that was located directly across form the nursery. The room was always clean, and was updated. Those that are complaining about their rooms are probably in one that hasn't been updated yet. We did have a problem with our air conditioner turning off but the maintenance department arrived to fix it right away.

The registration process was very easy, and everyone was greeted as soon as they arrived. Everyone in our party was offered a drink and a cool cloth as soon as we walked into the lobby.

We took full advantage of the nursery at the resort and let our 4 month old daughter spend a couple hours a day in it during the hottest part of the day. The staff were amazing with her and very patient considering she had a hard time being away from mommy! It allowed her to have something to do during the day and a place to stay cool. We also booked in room babysitting one night so that we could have a nice dinner together.

Yes, in the mornings at the cove buffet you may need to wait awhile for a beverage. But keep in mind that during peak times they are seating around 200 guests at one time. If you need a drink right away, ask a staff member walking by and they will be more than happy to grab you whatever it is you need right away.

We did not have any complaints about the staff, and I'm not sure why anyone would say the staff were rude. We felt at home at the resort with everyone always stopping to talk to us and take the time to say hello to our daughter.

The grounds were always spotless and there was hardly any garbage anywhere on the ground. We did not see the garbage on the beach or in the pools that some people had mentioned. Staff were witnessed constantly picking up glasses and garbage. Gardeners were always working on the grounds and very friendly. We even had a gardener chop down a fresh coconut for us to try - what a wonderful experience!

We will be returning next year to this resort.

Room Tip: Upgraded rooms are well worth the extra money if you are picky
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 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
Reservation Options:
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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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