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.
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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