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“Nice place! Don't listen to the negative reviews!” 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 amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Cap Estate
Tavistock, Canada
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Nice place! Don't listen to the negative reviews!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

My family of 5 - including 3 teens - plus my inlaws had a great time at Smuggler's Cove from December 22-29/13. I do not understand why people complain when they are visiting a developing country. No one got sick, we gained weight, the drinks were plentiful, we did not have to cook, so... something must be right - correct? And we had FUN there!

Also, the tropical depression that pounced on the country when we were there on Christmas Eve was devastating to its residents. There was a water shortage on the island and some things had to change - like no blender drinks, eating off of plastic, plastic cutlery - but oh well! We hardly felt the effects of the flooding.

Bottom line - we recommend it.

Rooms: Very basic and clean. Why do you need a fridge? Why are you in your room that much anyway? The A/C in our kids room was not working and they worked diligently to fix it.

Restaurants: The pizza at the Italian could be take out which is a neat feature. The buffet was fine - you always found something you liked. Why do you need a/c in the restaurants?

Staff: They were nice. They did a great job. If you were nice to them, they smiled. They spoke english and they got you whatever you asked for quickly.

Pools: They have a cool waterfall pool where the water flows over steps you can walk on. They have a swim up bar that does not have seats. The pools were warm enough for me to actually walk in and that's all I want.

Beach: Although it would have been nice to take longer walks on their beach, this was geographically not possible. And the water sports centre includes banana boat rides and water skiing and the kids liked that. You need to line up about 8:20 to make your reservation. Their volleyball court was slightly shaded so we reduced our sun burns and we spent hours there. That's the place we made alot of friends and that's how you make your vacation better by meeting new people.

Drinks: Definitely were NOT watered down AT ALL. Whoa! Most of the time they were too strong. Try their long island ice teas and you'll be drunk by 11 am.

Entertainment: Typical resort entertainment. Bring cards and games and sit by the pool to play games with a group. Make your own fun! I signed my kids up for the fashion show and they had a blast.

Overall: The hotel is fine. They will even come and pick you up from your room with their shuttle if you call. Could I find things to complain about - probably - but we have great happy memories and to me, that's the whole point of a vacation.

One thing you will not get used to is the constant chirping of the tree frogs at night - and I mean ALL NIGHT. Bring ear plugs!

  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 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.
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1,917 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 (696)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

The Food at this All inclusive was superb, Fresh, tasty and the best I have ever eaten in I find All-inclusive venues tend to be very repetitive but this was not the case 5 star food.


The complex itself was very good, with seven pools and three restaurants, The Cove with the buffet the waitress were wonderful Lorena, Selma, Vicky, They lugged two high chairs to our table every mealtime with a smile, topped up our wine and were generally wonderful, nothing was too much trouble. The cove had fans but because of the heat I wished it had air-con however that would enclose your view of the sea and the experience of dining al fresco. We used the spa facilities for massages they were the same as in the UK and had UK prices.

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 Caribbean. What let this complex down more than anything was the fact that it is for families.. With it being all inclusive, the British problem of heavy drinking, noisy and inconsiderate people were 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. Something to bear in mind is the humidity.. St. Lucia is often described as "paradise” and I would tend to agree, Fantastic Holiday great way to celebrate my 40th.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

This resort has been pretty much reviewed correctly bearing in mind the feedback should be based on the Caribbean standard, with this in mind and you may not be dissapointed.
We met some really great people (Bill and Jayne, Brent and Anne - if you are reading this, it was a pleasure and all too quick).
Having returned to old blighty where daylight never seems to appear for long on reflection the important points to make are that the whole resort needs a make over. The pools really need serious attention. Staff were non exsistent at some of the bars and really not as attentive as you would expect, management of the resort need to take action as they have good people who need direction.
Plastic glasses, cutlery and plates were provided due to a water shortage due to the terrible weather over Christmas Eve but fair play to the St Lucian people, we could learn a lot from their tenacity and way of life!
Overall 2 weeks is too long at this resort, one week is sufficient
Please be aware as I had my credit card cloned.
Highlight - weather (following the storms) amosphere - completley chilled.
No negatives, just to repeat the management need to get a grip with this resort - and quick.

Room Tip: Garden room in the Canaries - great bed, shower and bath. Good set up.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lorette, Manitoba
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

We stayed for 2 weeks at this resort and would definitely return. I don't understand the negative reviews and am wondering what their expectations are OR whether some are "fake" reviews.

The resort is a little dated, however, it is well maintained and CLEAN. Our room was a good size and the bed comfy. On the first night we noted the a/c wasn't working too well and it was promptly fixed the next day. The TV was a 42" with cable - quite nice for the evenings that we wanted to stay in.

There are 4 swimming pools, one has a water slide and designed for family use. All of the pools were cleaned daily and not over chlorinated. The slide was excellent. Even though we didn't have children we made a stop for a few slides every day.

The resort is situated on a small cove. Beach is a wee bit rocky in places, however, no complaints as it was beautiful, a pleasure to swim in and also cleaned of debris every day as well as throughout the day. All water sports are free and that includes the water skiing. There is a separate area away from the beach, designated for snorkelling. I found it unsuitable for either swim or snorkelling as there was a lot of sea grass and sea urchins and not much else to see.

The staff was welcoming and very friendly. Based upon my travel experience over the years I consider the staff at this resort both attentive and genuine. There are many excellent and hard working people at Smugglers from the wait staff to the beach people. I can’t say enough nor mention everyone. As with every vacation it’s the people that really make the difference and the experience. Thank you Selma, Keitha, Thomas, Nicole, Delbert, Ginny, Vince (aka my brother from another mother), Cynthia - just too many others to say. On our last day many of the staff came by to hug us and say goodbye.

The food was good. Breakfast was a bit repetitive; however, with a little imagination it was easy to change things up. Fresh homemade pastries EVERY day, yogurt, fruit and the basics; eggs, bacon and the like. Its breakfast - what can I say.

The lunch and dinners in the buffet made up for breakfast. Wow, can't say enough....always 4 or 5 salads, fresh fish cooked up different ways (best fried fish I've ever eaten) as well as chicken, beef and lamb - think curried, roasted and every other way you can imagine - one day there was even a suckling pig. Amazing. Always cooked veggies along with some gorgeous local side dishes like Christophine with coconut milk, ground provisions, and okra - just to name a few. For the picky eaters there was always a pasta dish. Also a barbeque of burgers on the beach every day with all the fixings. Again, I don't know what people are complaining about. The restaurants were good and we didn't have a bad meal there either. There was something for everyone no matter your taste or lack thereof.

Got stinking drunk a few times so don't believe the drinks were watered down. Best way to tell is to drink straight shots and they were pretty good!

Lastly, I highly recommend booking your water tour with Gemini Boat Tours - talk to Captain Edmund who can be found on the beach just about EVERY day between 9:00 am and 12:00 noon. Capt. Edmund is a licensed International Captain. You can call him at 758-719-5922 for more info. We had a BLAST with Troy and David who take you out on the boat for the entire day. You can pretty much tailor your tour with them and see different things as there are only 6 persons on the boat.

Loved St. Lucia and its people.....this was a GREAT vacation. I encourage you to ignore the bad reviews and go!

Room Tip: Stayed in the 300 block Room 324 and it was quiet for early nights.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saffron Walden, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

We just returned from my parents' Golden Wedding trip to St Lucia, where 15 of us stayed at Smugglers Cove, ages from 3 to 73. In short, if you are a couple, I doubt this is the resort for you, but as a large, mixed age group, it was perfect. Its sells itself as a family friendly resort and this is exactly what it is. I have 3 'spirited' boys aged 6,6 and 3 and it is rare for me to feel so relaxed and happy about not bothering anyone else!

We were due to arrive Boxing Day but had to divert via Grenada for 2 days (also a lovely island)due to St Lucia international airport being under 6 ft water! I can honestly say that we have never had a better family holiday. Considering that the recent flooding had left water shortages across the Island, the resort did incredibly well under the circumstances. We had restricted water in our rooms, had eat off plastic plates and there were no blended drinks but that honestly did not bother us and under the circumstances, was totally understandable. We ere given copious bottled water everyday and the bars never ran out of cold beer, rum or ice ;-)

We stayed in a Garden Suite, room 135, which was tucked away amongst plants, with a little patio and French doors and more than enough space and beds for the 5 of us. Our boys loved the parrot outside our door too! The staff were warm, and friendly, our room was kept spotless, the food was plentiful and tasty. The gardens and pool were large and well maintained. We spent most of us time at the resort camped out by the kids pool, which was quiet, with plenty of sunloungers free, and a poolside bar.

I am at a loss when I read some of these reviews what people are talking about - it feels like a different resort. Every member of staff that I interacted with was perfectly friendly - perhaps reviewers should try a smile and friendly word - it goes a long way ;-)

I would reiterate that this is not the right resort for a couple or honeymooners (there are plenty of those options on St Lucia), but for us, with 5 children under 10 and 3 teenagers in the mix, it was great. The firework display on NYE on the beach was a particular highlight. we also loved the fresh flowers left in the room every day.

My only gripe would be that the Kids Club was not very dynamic! We tried it for one afternoon with our 4 boys (aged 3 - 8) and they would have done anything not to go back there, as it was just sitting in a dark room making paper bag puppets. The bouncy castle spent the entire 8 days semi deflated which looked a little sad! As we had picked this resort as it had a Kids Club this was a little disappointing. Perhaps some investment there wouldn't go amiss....Also, as this is situated at the top of the island, the beach is not as attractive as those further south on the island - its not the classic Caribbean water, as it is close to the Atlantic. However, it is only a short taxi ride to Rodney Bay where there are beautiful Caribbean waters and plenty of places for lunch!

St Lucia itself was a beautiful as I remembered - lush and green - we hired a catamaran on our last day and went down to Soufiere and the Pitons via Anse Chastenet and Jalousie which was gorgeous. The weather was perfect. Thanks to St Lucia and to Smugglers Cove for such a memorable and beautiful holiday.

Room Tip: Garden Suites were large and perfect for families. Also a little closer to reception - it is a pret...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

After spending 7 nights at Smugglers' cove over the Christmas week I am not sure if my family and I were more dissapointed by the hotel or the island itself (note that we visited everything there is to visit on the island). Bottom line, we do not recommend either.

Below is a simple honest description/view of what matters in a resort:

Rooms: Very basic and clean. Regular rooms don't have a fridge in them and suites have empty fridges.

Restaurants: 3 out 4 don't have air conditionning (the 4th one is for adults only). Food is average at best (we tried all 3 family restaurants). Not enough fresh fruits. 1 type of chesse all week. Not enough cold food at lunch, especially with the heat and no airconditionning.

Staff: Not friendly at all, can't get a smile out of most of them.

Spa: Fantastic, very clean and inviting. had an Indian massage, quite an experience.

Pools: Although there are 4 pools, they are small and need to be redone.

Beach: Very small, water and sea bottom dirty.

Drinks: Definitely watered down.

Entertainment: Due to the torrential rains during the week of Christmas, a lot was cancelled.

Overall: The hotel is in urgent need for a facelift (My son joked that he felt as if he is in a James Bond movie from the 60's).

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.

Travelers are raving about these Cap Estate hotels

Toronto, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Ok, the people on island are warm and welcoming, the island looks great lots to see very green its breath taking, i will come back again at some point. But the hotel on the other hand needs to fix or review the important things
1... At least fix the wooden railings and decor on the property
2... staff look miserable because their tools for work are always faulty from bar staff to entertainment
SPEAKING ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT!!! the in house band is great very good musicians and singers but the sound system sounds like a handheld RADIO!!! most of the time thats the ONLY entertainment there is.....the smart thing would be to at least FIX THE DAM EQUIPMENT!!!
3...the food can be served better it feels like mc donalds with waitresses at times WHERE IS THE CLASS!!!
4... music during the day is awful at least some nice soothing background music around the hotel.
5... more sports!!! where are the people who suppose to do the sports it looks like the same person doing every sport...weird
overall the hotel can be nice if the important things are taken into consideration.....entertainment,food and beverage and decor or surroundings

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Resort And Spa
Smugglers Cove Hotel Cap Estate
Almond Smugglers Cove Castries
Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa St. Lucia/Cap Estate

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