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“Maybe a stretch for 3 stars” 3 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
Sarnia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“Maybe a stretch for 3 stars”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

This resort left me baffled with my thoughts.My wife and I went for a week of relaxation and that was accomplished in spades.We read the reviews before we went,so we knew to bring our own mugs and extras for ice water.We expected the bathroom to be sub par and it was worse than we thought.I've been in cheap motels with better bathrooms.If you dropped a cloth on the floor it was covered in ants in no time,but at least they stayed in the bathroom.
The room itself was nice and clean and the bed was large and comfortable.We did have a fridge so we always had cold water.The TV was good and even had canadian channels.However the first morning I woke up with moquito bites so the rest of the week I wore a coating off bug spray to bed.
We ate mainly at the buffet and found it to be very good,but there wasn't as much of a selection as other resorts we have been to.We noticed that the staff rarely smiled and did not seem happy.We left sizable tips the first couple of days to let them know we appreciated their efforts and they never smiled or said thanks.We got the exact same response when we left nothing.So thats what they got the rest if the week.
The bars were short staffed most of the time,so I was glad that we brought our own 50 oz mugs.We found the bartenders to be not any more sociable than the waitresses Wether tipping or not,we were treated the same.The only person who acknowledged a tip was our maid,so she kept getting one.
The resort has beautiful views from the beach and pools and the grounds are well maintained.
The wi fi worked well and the entertainment was ok.
All things considered,the good was very good and the bad was bad ,but we left the island feeling very good and refreshed and thats the main reason we give it three stars.It did help that we paid only $940 each from toronto taxes included.If I had paid full price,I probably would not be in a mood to give this place 3 stars.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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
  • Any
English first
Toronto
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Our honeymoon trip to this resort was actually traveled on Feb 14, 2010. (sorry this is like 3 years ago). This was our first trip ever outside of Canada together as a couple. We picked St. Lucia because it looked like a charming little island for a romantic getaway.

We stayed for only 3 days at Smugglers. The price we paid was great. Naturally I don't expect 5 star service and quality. Overall I was satisfied. Staffs don't seem too friendly, but maybe because I didn't initiate any conversations.

Golf cart carrying us and our luggage to our room was a nice touch.

The room is very basic with noisy air conditioner. I remembered there was some water leaking. Since we only stayed for 3 days, i didn't bother to call for repair.

The food is good as we can always find things we like. I tried the Pig Snout Soup but didn't like the hair on the Pig Snout. Maybe it's just me :)

We tried the Asian restaurant and it was okay. The restaurant on the beach has stunning sunset view. I like how imported beer like Heineken is included.

The beach was good because no outside vendor on the beach. Only a guy riding on a hose riding back and forth trying to entice tourists' business. We tried water-ski but failed miserably. Kayaking was good.

The night shows are good enough to keep us entertained. However there are quite a few bugs out at night.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013 via mobile

The resort is on a beautiful sprawling oceanfront property...
All the rooms are on one level with high peak ceilings. They do have flat panel TV's - we watched Breakfast Television (Cdn. Show -felt at home). The rooms were very dated and in need of some repair. We had 3 complaints and all were addressed swiftly.
The restaurants consisted of buffet, Italian, Asian, Waterside Grill, & BBQ. Being a foodie, I found the food in all the restaurants a major disappointment! The buffet was a fraction of the size of other Caribbean resorts - and offered food influenced by English tastes- ie. baked beans, Shepherds pie, cornmeal for breakfast. Where was the islands influence??? St. Lucia has 500 species of mangoes and not one made it to any of the restaurants, including papaya and fresh coconut!!!!
I am not sure if this is normal practice everywhere but you have to get up mighty early - 5:30, no exaggeration- to put your towel on a prime location around the pool. (Lucky for us one of our group gets up early.) If you had the misfortune of getting chairs on the beach you were done for. The beach vendors were all over you and there were a number of them working the beach selling their wares or trips by land or sea. As the vendors (or bums as security likes to call them) are not allowed off the beach area, you could avoid them. There were many pools in this resort. however, I observed mould and a lot of sand - from people coming from the beach and cleaning off their feet in the pools.
Highlights of our stay: The entertainment was excellent, especially the dancers. We were treated to a fire-eater, one night, he was incredible!!!! The hospitality of the hotel was very good. And the service, from wait staff to housekeeping was also very good!
One final note, the travel reps need to get better organized to move travellers back on busses on their exit from the resort. this left many of us frustrated waiting in the heat for 45 minutes (in our travel clothes and luggage in tow) going from one line to another to sort out buses.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Camberley, Surrey.
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

We travelled to St Lucia with the three of us...my girlfriend and her son. The three of us shared a room in a room which was clean and fairly basic. Our toilet had a little problem as it was slightly faulty however being a builder was easy for me to fix without calling maintenance however am sure this would have been catastrophic for some. The shower wasn't brilliant but it worked and the water was hot although cold showers were the order of the day as it was scorching..the weather that is!

Having travelled to the Caribbean before we were quick to switch into holiday mode..sit back and relax into our holiday. The towel/sunbed brigade were up each day to book their beds so that's a bit inconvenient if you're not wide awake first thing...however an early start was fine for me...and watching the resort wake up from my sunbed was one of my fave times of the day.

The beach isn't bleached white...it's not the most attractive beach but it's great for snorkelling from.....there are routes into the water which are boulder-free but it's hardly an inconvenience. Guys were out each day tidying the beach and the gardeners do a great job. I spoke to all of them asking about their mammoth task in controlling such growth.

The restaurants were excellent and we were mightily impressed by the choice and the pancakes in the waterside cafe in the morning....lovely place to take your brekkie!

Pigeon Island is a thirty minute walk away...up the steps at the end of the beach then follow the road right up around the hill....going down the track which heads downhill....not the best snorkelling there but lovely white imported sand!!! If you dont fancy the walk back...there's a cab rank to get you home again.

Drinks......wow.....cocktails before dinner each night and digestifs before bed. Treat the staff with respect and boy do they look after you. The general impression was that they did all they could to allow you to relax.

Water sports...fill your boots...we went out on a hobi, played cricket and footy on the beach, went kayakking....snorkelling....(both sides of the bay).

All in all we had a fab holiday and as a family of a teenager had plenty to do...younger kids are well catered for too...with a play park full of castles/climbing frames/ wendy house and the best part for me....two talking parrots.

We had a lovely time....the dancers....boy o they work hard each night...good fun too!

  • Stayed April 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

I spent about 10 days at the resort with my kids and I couldn't take it anymore!All inclusive gets really boaring although I booked quiet few day trips to visit the island wich is beautiful... the room was basic,noisy and the bathroom was small with maintenance issues, NOT a 4* resort!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You have to know that if you want to sun bed you need to book your place early morning by 7 as well as if you want to eat in one of the restaurant, the food by the way is not good.
Be aware that if you want to snorkel the beach resort is not ideal, for some reasons the sea is often brown!
I will for sure go back to Saint Lucia, for its beauty and its people but never again to the smugglers cove resort

Room Tip: don't go there!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

We were after a traditional all inclusive beach holiday with some sun, and Smugglers Cove more than delivered! We read a lot of the reviews on here and were a bit put off, but we found many of the complaints to be exaggerated. We booked with Virgin Holidays and the service and organisation from them was excellent, including an efficient check in, check out and transfer.

Room.
We were in 468 which was very near the main 'Piton Lounge' and so was only a 1min walk from most of the action, but far enough away to be peaceful at night. The room itself was very big with a massive comfortable bed but the bathroom was a bit tired and had a terrible shower. There was a large TV and plenty of storage, and the AC was a godsend!

Landscaping.
The whole resort is beautiful and very well landscaped. There are plants and flowers everywhere and contrary to others on this site, we found it all to be very well maintained.

Food.
The food in the main buffet restaurant, The Cove, was okay. We found there was enough variety and the service was quick. There is a lovely atmosphere in there as it is all open and you can look out to the pool and the beach. The other restaurants were all excellent, with lovely food that we would be happy to pay high street prices for, especially Cafe Asia. Service in these restaurants was always exemplary.

Beach and Pools.
As others have said, don't expect a 'paradise beach' as is is not, but it is pleasant enough and the selection of free water sports is great. All of the pools were fantastic, clean and very enjoyable. As is the norm for all resorts of this type you need to reserve a sun lounger early doors to guarantee a good spot but this was not a hassle for us.

Activities.
If you like water sports you are well catered for with free kayaks, snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing and water skiing. You can also pay extra for a jet ski. The gym is actually pretty good, and the instructor we had for Pilates was excellent. The other activity leaders for the day and evening entertainment were also very nice and friendly.

St Lucia.
This was our first time to St Lucia and we did enjoy it but don't feel the need to go back. It is a small island and there does not seem to be a great deal to do outside of the resort. We went on the catamaran trip to the Pitons, including the volcano mud bath (great fun!) and the botanical gardens which we would recommend. We did want to go to the Pigeon Island national park but the trip was cancelled due to the rain.

Smugglers Cove overall.
We found it to be very good and exceeded our expectations. Many people on here think it is 'run down' but this was not our impression at all. We paid £850 each (about $1,300 US) which we thought was good value considering it is a 9 hour flight from the UK and the flight alone with Virgin Atlantic normally costs £600. Generally we think that people need to remember they are not going to get a 5* resort and service for 3* price!

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sussex
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

We spent a week at Smugglers Cove on a family holiday. We had a great time. It's not five star but the rooms were clean and it is a good location. The Cove Restaurant wasn't great but the other restaurants were fine. The water sports were excellent. Special thanks to the water sports team especially Sherman who finally got George up on the water skis!The cocktails were great especially at the bar down by the beach. We had a very reasonably priced and excellent holiday. Thanks to all the staff.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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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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