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“Will not go back” 2 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 website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Cap Estate
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Will not go back”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

We traveled to St. Lucia in November 2012 for our honeymoon and stayed at Smuggler's Cove for a week. It was our first time in St. Lucia but I've stayed in several all-inclusive resorts in other countries before. This resort was the worst of them all. We had bad experience right from our arrival.
We arrived around noon and were directed to go have lunch as our rooms were not ready. Fine. An hour or two later we returned to the lobby to check in. The rooms were not ready. Also, upon arrival we informed them that it was our honeymoon (their website promised a bottle of champaign in the room and a room upgrade if available). They said that of course there were no availability for an upgrade. Buses of people arrived after us. Finally they started assigning rooms to people, one by one (I assume as the rooms got cleaned). People who arrived after us got rooms before us. We waited till 4 PM before we finally got the key. We got to the room only to discover that it was not clean. I mean, not clean, as in people checked out and they haven't even started cleaning it. We returned to the lobby. Staff who was helping us with our luggage advised us to leave it with him and promised to bring it to our new room. Back in the lobby I asked them to call the manager. 15 minutes of arguing finally got us a clean room and they even upgraded it to a suite.
We got to the room around 5 PM. By this time the sun was setting. We wasted the whole day of our vacation trying to get our room. Great. We had to wait another half an hour or so, and call the lobby, to get our luggage delivered.
The toilet in the room made this loud whiny noise every time you flushed it but we just couldn't even bother complaining anymore. Spent the week listening to the toiled whine.
The awful experience with this resort doesn't end there, however. Food was a great disappointment. I could not believe how small the buffet was. No variety. For fresh fruit you get bananas and melon. To get reservations for a la carte restaurants we spent 2 hours in line the next morning. Shouldn't have even bothered.
Loungers by the pool were always taken. I mean, not a single one available. People get up at 6 AM and put their towels down. Not enough shade on the beach. Our first morning we got to the beach around 10 and could only find one lounger and another one that was broken. That was at the very end of the beach and of course in the sun.
We booked a sunset catamaran cruise through the hotel. They had a choice of a party cruise, romantic cruise, and some other ones. We picked the party one. Only as we sailed off two days later we realized they put us on the romantic cruise. When I later saw the girl that booked it for us, I told her that she put us on the wrong cruise. She just smiled and said "Well, did you like it?". Not even an apology.
Which brings me to resort's staff. Don't expect to see people smile. Rarely did we see a friendly smile. Everyone looks like they hate their job and you.
One morning we woke up to discover this huge spider on the wall right above our heads. I have a phobia of insects plus it was the biggest spider I've ever seen in real life. We called the lobby and asked someone to take it out for us. Took them at least half an hour to get there. How did the spider that big even get into the room??
The only positive experience we had in St. Lucia was Gros Islet street party (it's about 10 min away from the hotel by cab) and the private tour with took with Frank's Taxi and Tours. Frank was amazing and we highly recommend him! He drove us all around the place, and even requested a song for us on their local radio for our honeymoon. Oh, and he has beer in his van for the road :)
Bottom line - do not stay at this resort. It's not 4 stars like they claim it to be. It's too small for the number of people they pack in it, and service is sub-par.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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2,258 reviews from our community

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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 (822)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Manchester, United Kingdom
20 reviews 20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013 via mobile

After reading the reviews I was dreading this resort, I had booked a impulse deal to stay in the super saver room. I felt sick as I turned the key in the door, we walked in to a huge clean room, a gorgeous garden view and friendly staff to greet us. The rooms are all cute little huts but very spacious inside. They are missing bug nets, we did have a few ants in the bathroom but nothing really to complain about.

The food is fantastic for vegetarians with a wide choice. The staff can't do enough for you always singing and happy to help. This resort doesn't deserve the reviews. It is clean and has brilliant facility's, everyone is friendly and laid back. We had a fantastic time, truly paradise! I highly recommend this resort as it is great value for money and would say it's a 4.5* resort.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

I cannot understand why there are some negative reviews on this Hotel it is a lovely Caribbean Hotel that you can either stay in or venture out feeling very safe whichever option and I do believe it is nearly at 4* with just a couple of bits to sort out.

We were supposed to be staying at the Rex Resort but due to them closing the main swimming pool and rooms we were moved by our choice to this Hotel and we were certainly happy with the choice. We went to see he Rex Resort whilst there and it did not feel safe or have that friendly warm atmosphere that Smugglers Cove did. Yes it was right on Rodney Bay strip but after going there we were glad that we were further away (5 minutes by taxi) as we would not have wanted to stay in Rodney Bay did not have a nice feeling and apart from Restaurants and Duty Free shops not much else.

I do not understand the negative remarks about the staff we did not encounter any rude or abrupt staff everyone was very happy and helpful always remembering your room number and the children. I found rude and abrupt tourists at the Hotel and I am sure if they were like they were with us to the staff then they probably did not get a good service but everyone was fantastic from any of the Restaurants including the Cove, the bars, night time entertainment, maids, gardeners, porters, entertainment, everyone – if you are polite which is just manners then everyone will do everything and more for you.

We stayed in a one bedroom suite and prior to arriving I asked if we could have a room close to the amenities and an extra bed in the room due to the children (falling asleep and carrying them back at night) and we were situated perfectly in Room 148 which is close enough to Reception and to the Restaurants and pools and beach. We had an extra bed put in the room; it was all clean and cleaned perfectly always giving more than enough towels and tea and coffee facilities. We had an iron, ironing board, tea, coffee, fridge, soap, shampoo and conditioner and even an umbrella for the rain what more could you ask for and table and chairs outside. The air conditioning worked perfectly in both rooms and kept the room freezing.

We took the transfer by minibus when arriving and it is nearly 2 hours when travelling on a Sunday long but I am sure it seems so long after the long flight so we opted for the Helicopter transfer back which was perfect. We ended up having over 1 ½ hours longer at the resort and it only takes 10 minutes in the Helicopter. The whole service and transition was excellent and we paid $165.00 per person. Talking of transfers pay the $10 per person for the Virgin chill and check in its brilliant and well worth it the cases go at 8.00am the day you fly and then you just go through customs and no queuing! Also talking of leaving you have to check out by 12.00 noon but they do lend you a room to shower and change for half an hour whenever you want it.

All the restaurants for breakfast lunch and dinner were all fantastic if you complain about the food then you are just a moaner as there was nothing to complain about and always more than enough choice and the children’s food too to select from, plus always burgers and hotdogs being BBQ on the beach too and if you are still hungry at 3.00pm they serve tea, coffee, scones and jam and sandwiches all lovely we just had to try them!!

There are ample drinks available and water constantly and the water is very safe to drink and so is the ice. They also have branded spirits and the staff soon got to know your drinks order.

We hired a boat just for our family with Captain Edmond on the beach and Troy was our Captain on the day we had a fantastic day visited whatever or for how long we wanted including taxis and drinks and the day was perfect. Got picked up at 9.00am on the beach in the boat and dropped off again gone 5.30pm. The Pitons, waterfalls, mud baths, Soufrierre, Marigot Bay, Anse le Raye, Rodney Bay were all beautiful to name a few and of course the love tunnel!!!!

We used the water taxis to and from Rodney Bay and Rodney Bay Marina (which is also worth a visit for some pictures and drinks) and we never had any problems and the kids loved them.

We also took the day trip to Martinique which was brilliant and Wave Riders are just brilliant. I booked it online prior to leaving and it was very easy and smooth to do. It is choppy about an hour into the journey and made my daughter sick but it was worth the trip we saw dolphins too so don’t be put off. You can see the town, visit the markets, lots of Duty Free Shops there and talk to the locals who are a bit abrupt but if you make the effort and try your French they enjoy it, they only do take Euros though so bear that in mind which we already knew.

We took taxis to Rodney Bay and Castries and had no problems everyone helping us and telling us where to go for proper Caribbean food.

The grounds of the Hotel are superb you do not have to leave if you did not want to and would be ideal for a single person or a lady and children travelling alone. There are vendors on the beach but they are fine and actually become friends as long as you are friendly towards them just tell them you’re not interested and they will leave you alone.

The Beach – well if I had known that the sand was as dark as it was (as I do love my Caribbean white powder sand) then I would not have booked it but that would have been my loss as the Holiday, Island and Hotel are all fabulous. So if you do want a powder white beach and this is more important that seeing a beautiful Island then this is not for you but think again as you would be missing a lovely island with lots of history.

There are water sports and motorised water sports available daily, all you need to do is go first thing in the morning and book your slots or lessons, kayaking, sailing, water skiing, snorkelling etc.,

There are lots of pools and a hot tub which the kids loved, I think the only downside is that the children are not allowed in the swim up pool, there are also other Adult only pools which are fair enough but I think this one should be for children too.

The activity team and entertainment are fabulous and work so hard and actually the entertainment is pretty amazing and the kids loved it. Wayne Jackman and his team are great and very friendly and were lovely to our children too as were all staff at Smugglers Cove.

Out of all the places we have travelled including lots in the Caribbean Islands I have to say the staff here were one of best we have encountered nothing was too much trouble. The Waterside Grill cooked us all a fabulous meal not on the menu and decorated our table and made us feel very special, just by chatting and taking time to speak to the chef.

Sum it up go and you will have a lovely time the negative reviews are people just moaning this is a typical Caribbean Hotel with lots of friendly staff if you are friendly and not rude to them like some people were who I remember and they have left negative reviews what do people expect.

Room Tip: Ask for a room near to Reception/Piton Lounge we had room 148 one bedroom suite it was perfectly sit...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wigan lancashire
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2013

This was our second hotel of a twin center holiday,starting on Barbados and ending on St.Lucia.
The complex itself was very good,with seven pools and a choice of restaurants,which was just as well as it turned out.
The main dining area was more like a workers canteen.It was named The Cove,and it was a shambles.There was never the correct cutlery on the tables and you had to complain about it at every meal time.The Italian trattoria on the complex was a delight to eat in,great food and perfect service.The Waterside grill was also an excellent place to eat,and a perfect location,jutting out over the Carribean.What let this complex doen more than anything was the fact that it is for families,British families that is. With it being all inclusive,the British problem of heavy drinking,noisy and inconsiderate people was very evident.The evening entertainment was pretty poor and repetitive.We did a trip on a boat down the western side of the island to Soufriere,round the Pitons.It was a great trip and included a visit to the volcano,tropical gardens and rain forest,as well as the natural springs. A truly good day out. Somethin to bear in mind is the humidity,it was very oppressive indeed.St.Lucia is often described as "paradise" whilst it is very nice,paradise it is not.

Room Tip: Avoid the Cove restaurant at all costs. Room nos 300s or 400s are excellent and near all the ameniti...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

We travelled with our 11 year old son and stayed at the resort for a week. the room was charming with the view of the exotic gardens. In the mornings we were woken by birdsong.The accomodations are built in small rows in various pastel colour themes giving you the sense of going home through lush gardens. The all-in means drinks and ice creams and delicious bar-b-ques as well as all the restaurants on the estate keep you happy all day. The Italian restaurant was divine-any topping in stone oven in the open air. The entertainment and sports are available and the water sports are free. too. The staff are just so good at hospitality. They care and take care making one feel special and on holiday. The bars at various parts means you never have to que .There are great full size hard tennis courts again no charge for borrowing rackets and balls as long as you bring them back.There are beautiful colourful huts converted into boutiques where you can buy quality goods mostly local traditional prints etc all useful if you forgot to pack that hat...
The staff work really hard to make sure you enjoy every moment of your stay..nothing is too much trouble
The private beach is spacious enough to make one feel its all yours and is sandy with pebbles on the shore.Families couples all mingle well.
The hotel was popular with some weddings taking place.
We enjoyed meeting some of the other guests there from France

Room Tip: They have a row of lovely beach front bungalows for lucky honeymooners.there are larger accommodatio...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
surrey uk
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

My husband and I have just returned (29th May 13) from 2 weeks at this resort and its paradise.The staff are so lovely,friendly and helpful.
On arrival we found we had been upgraded to room 464, a deluxe garden room,it was lovely very clean, lots of towels, great AC,swan towels and flowers on our hugh bed,nice bathroom,tea coffee in the room,flat screen TV,hair dryer.
The food in all the restaurants was excellent and the presentation in the Al a carte was 1st class.A lot of the drinks were branded,they had Jim Beam,Baileys,Jonny walker lots of branded vodka.I liked the mango or strawberry smoothies and the BBC which is Baileys Banana and coconut there is so much choice you won't be disappointed.
The waters sports and entertainment team worked so hard,Zumba,water aerobics,7am walks,sunset walks,The staff kept the standard up, no children in the adult only pools,no vests in any restaurants,long trousers in the A l cart for men.
Loads of sun bed and you can change the beach towels any time from 8.30--4.00
We hired a car and went out and about, the Island is lovely and people so friendly.
This is just what I love to find in the Caribbean,we are well traveled and been to may Islands, Antigua ,Barbados etc and we think this was 1st class.
We loved this resort and holiday and we would definitely return.
To all the staff at Smugglers Cove, keep up the good work and a big thank you to all.

  • Stayed May 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charnocks, Christ Church, Barbados
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

After being delayed due to a tropical storm we were upgraded to the honeymoon suite. Friendly staff. Great dining options. So many pools to choose from:) watersports were simply Fanastic said the hubby who canoed and kayaked to his heart's delight. The staff was always energetic even in the face of working long shifts never once did we feel like an imposition. Enjoyed orientation and the energy from that day lasted until we left. Great customer service! Loved that management empathised with our arrival woes after being delayed from a 1pm flight to leaving at 10pm due to weather :)

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
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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
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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