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“Good fun and good food” 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
Aberdeen
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Good fun and good food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

We stayed here March 2014. I think Smugglers cove is a great choice for anybody who wants a nice friendly resort, with great food and service, and lots of free activities. It has a nice mix of guests - old and young, families and couples, of many nationalities. The staff are very friendly and genuine - it is a cheerful place, not pretentious.
We liked all the restaurants but the choice and quality in the main buffet was amazing. We also enjoyed the self-service icecream machine and the self-service tea and coffee nearby to the main bar.
We particularly appreciated that all the watersports are free, as well as access to waterskiing eqipment. We tried hobbie cataramans, and received a lesson before taking it out ourselves. My husband did watersking and we took out a kayak. We also did snorkelling using their equipment. St Lucia has good reefs - you can see a small reef by snorkelling from the hotel beach, but if you want to go scuba diving you will need to contact an operator in the nearby town on Rodney Bay, who will collect you (we used Scuba Steve). If you want to spend all day reading quietly on the beach, that is also possible. There are larger beaches, but we were always able to find a lounger on the beach, it didn't feel too crowded or noisy,
The resort has regular yoga and pilates lesson, amongst other things - we tried both and enjoyed them - there is a very good teacher - we just wished the lessons were longer than half an hour. The gym has new and varied equipment but the gym itself could use a tidy and revamp.
The large grounds are extremely well maintained with many flowers. We could see that the pools and public areas were being regularly cleaned. I had a nice foot massage in the spa: if you stay within the resort, spa treatments are the only thing you would pay for.
The hotel is located is in the far northeast of the island, and the only thing near the hotel is a couple of other hotels a golf course, and large fancy villas (interesting to oogle at). It is possible to walk to Pigeon Island from this resort, but in the heat it would be a bit much to make it all the way into Rodney bay. Therefore to wander around town you will need to take a taxi into Rodney bay. I heard that cost US$15 although we did not do so. The drive from the airport to the hotel takes about 1.5 hours, but we found it quite interesting so didn't mind.
I struggle to understand the very negative reviews left on here: I agree that that in a few places parts of the property are a wee bit dated but everything we used /stayed in worked well and was well maintained. The maintenance crew were quick to come out to our room when we had a problem (of our own making!). Over the years we have stayed in a variety of hotels and resorts of varying styles and with varying degrees of 'fanciness', but this was one of the best holidays that we have had. Those looking for quiet exclusivity and perfect serenity should probably go somewhere else, but otherwise there is something for everyone at Smugglers.

Room Tip: Rooms are spread out across the property - when making a reservation you may want to request that th...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
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2,009 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 (727)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cape Charles, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

We spent just 2 days at this resort in March. Check in was quite nice as they had wet hand towels and punch at the ready while we checked in sitting in lounge chairs. The grounds are nicely manicured with mature flowers etc. The property is set up with bungalows throughout a large property. Don't be fooled by the pictures though, you will not have a view of the water. We walked into the room and were immediately disappointed. It was just too run down for our tastes (and we don't expect much). The front room had a pool out sofa (which our kids used) and the main room had a comfortable king bed. On the plus side, there was a really large counter outside of the shower area in which to put our toiletries etc. Our air conditioner did not work all that well the 2nd night. We would have complained has we stayed longer. Strongly advise to make your dinner reservations at the restaurants as soon as you arrive. The first night you are required to eat at the buffet and then you can eat at restaurants. I tried making reservations the next morning and everything was already booked. As far as the buffet restaurant, some things were really good and others very average. They need to do better on their desserts. Nothing special at all and same thing at every meal. Pools were nice but they ran out of beach towels so one day we did not even have one to use (get them early). Some of the employees were really pleasant but all the bar employees acted like they would rather be somewhere else. For me, how the employees attitude makes a difference to me. The man who does the walks and the volleyball (Junior?) had endless energy and, while I did not play volleyball, I watched them playing and he had everyone laughing and having a good time. Good watersports selection. After we left Smugglers Cove, we went to another resort that was not all inclusive and we found that eating out is very expensive so Smugglers Cove might be a good option for some. Big recommendation: find out how to walk to resort next door (Cap Maison) and go to the bar for a drink. It is absolutely gorgeous! Sits on a cliff and nicely furnished. You can also walk down to their beach (all beaches are public) which the trail is just past their entrance and do some nice snorkeling. All in all, our kids (ages 13 and 16) loved Smugglers but they are not as discerning as their parents.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 3 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.
Salisbury, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

We wondered whether some people have been to the same place as us reading the reviews,
our holiday was just fantastic yes the resort may look a bit tired but we couldn't find fault with anything. All of the staff were lovely, polite and friendly, the maids kept our room spotlessly clean and all round nothing was too much trouble. the ground staff unsung heroes keeping the resort looking beautiful. The pool boys were constantly busy keeping them free from the blowing leaves.
All of the restaurants were excellent the Trattoria was our favourite put on far too much weight due to the lovely varieties of food on offer.
We did the helicopter transfer on arrival and road transfer at the end of our stay, as we were well aware of how far away the resort was from the airport this didn't detract anything from our stay people should take the time to look into these things before travelling.
We look forward to going back again in the near future. Many thanks to management and staff for making our holiday so enjoyable.

  • Stayed March 2014, 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.
Bristol
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

My husband and I had a lovely relaxing time. We did read reviews but took them with a pinch of salt! We are well travelled and this resort is not as bad as people make out! Perhaps these people should of gone to Sandals!

We were happy to have been upgraded to a bigger and better room. Thank you! We loved the food and put weight on due to our over eating with the delicious delights offered!

The water sports that were offered were great and a nice touch to have water skiing, wake boarding, banana boats, wind surfing, kayaks & hobie cats. The water sport's team are dedicated and very patient. Special thanks to Orlando & Augustine who didn't give up on my husband and taught him to water ski! Thank you! We loved the beach and spent every day on it. The pools looked great and plenty of them.

The bar can be a bit slow to be served but we were so chilled out, it didn't really bother us. The evening entertainment was ok, it was a band that played a few times over the week and a lady singer.

More beach towels required! A few times we had to keeps ours and they closed 5pm.

The transfer is long 1hr 30mins and it's a windy road up north! Next time we will get the helicopter! The resort is in the middle of no where, so think again if you're wanting nightlife or shops nearby.

We would definitely return to this hotel , we had a great time. If you're in doubt, book Sandals or another 5star hotel!

Room Tip: Ocean view or deluxe if the budget permits
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014 via mobile

WOW!!!! I can honestly say that all these negative bad reviews are 100% rubbish!! I booked this resort for my honeymoon and some of the comments made on trip advisor left me regretting my choice.

I can now laugh at these comments because they are simply not true!!

Travelling to the resort - I took a helicopter when we arrived as it was our honeymoon which I booked through our travel agent (£250) this took 12-15 minutes followed by a 10 min cab. Well worth the spend. When we left we got a cab, which takes 90 minutes, definitely worth doing as you see some amazing sites. I am one of the worst persons for travel sickness - but this journey did not leave me feeling sick. St Lucia is a developing country so yes the roads are not the best but the landscape certainly makes up for it.

Resort - Beautiful, natural surroundings. By no means 5 star ritz appeal however superb value for money and a solid 4 star. Rooms very very clean and well air conditioned. Gardens and surroundings well maintained. Beach and pool etc constantly cleaned and well kept.

Food - three restaurants to choose from. A themed buffet every night ranging from mexican, Indian to local cuisine. I can honestly say the food is up there with the best. An Italian which is delicious and then the waterside grill, which sits on top of the sea, simply amazing.

Service - 10/10 very friendly polite and well mannered staff. Regardless of whether you tip or not they are incredibly attentive. Your glass is never empty and the bar staff are a good laugh.

I cannot recommend this resort enough. It deserves more credit than all these negative comments.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

The resort is 1hr 30mins away from the airport. We were unlucky to have a horrible driver. The road was very windy and he was driving erratically. I have never ever been car sick in my life, but this time I got really sick. I can easily say it was the worst drive ever. It made me to not ever book a resort that far from the airport. The resort is ok, but very run down. It is in desperate need of renovation. Rooms are somewhat clean (in surface). The maid cleaned the most obvious things. Our bathroom counter was never cleaned; you could see the soap and water spots we made the first day. They stayed there during our whole week. She never moved the soap, or things in the counter to clean..and I tipped her very single day.

Staff: The overall attitude was "oh well"; many waitresses didn't give a damn about customers. I was one of the few people that tipped. I literally tipped every day, every meal. Do you think that made a difference? I also had brought packs with 6 perfume samples -expensive brands. I would give to the waitress or bartender in addition to the tip. It made no difference. They would take their time to bring the drink to you at the buffet. The waitresses and the staff who serve drinks at the bar would rotate. The two bar tenders who were decent and did their job well were Chever and Kaisha. They were always smiling and had a great attitude. I wish all the staff learn from them. There was another bartender, Elfrida, who although made good drinks, she should not be at the bar. She did not care that people on vacation wanted the music playing. As soon as she came to work at the swim up bar pool, she would turn the music off. Despite the fact that many people would ask her to turn on the music, she would make excuses after excuses and never turned it on. Thank God, other people were not like that. I went and complained at the Guest services. She talked to someone on the phone and told me that the iphone was being updated at the moment.. I said.. it's been off for almost 2 hrs. How long does it take? She then told me go to the Piton bar to talk to the Bartender's manager (Brian). I said," I came and told you, you should take care of it". Regardless, after waiting another 30 mins, I decided to go to talk to Brian. He said he will take care of it. I didn't see him come by or the music turn on. When Elfrida's shift was over, the one who replaced her turned on the music. This went on every day. Very disappointing. Overall attitude of the staff was not good. Some looked that they didn't want to be there.

Pools and Beach: Pools are old and the bottoms are very stained. They look gross. I thought they had sand in the bottom, but after the pool guy cleaned them, I realized, it wasn't sand, but it was stain. I have never seen pools in conditions like that. The best pool was in the swim up bar. It was in a better shape than the other pools. They do clean them every morning (sometime after 8 o'clock you see them start cleaning and you waiting for them to finish to go to the pool).
The beach is very, very small. Swimming area is the size of a large pool. It is roped off.. People swim outside the rope area, not being aware that it is roped off for a reason. I love the salt water, but I didn't swim much at the beach. I was very disappointed at the size of the beach and the swimming area. Also, the water was not as clear as in other Caribbean islands. We spent most of the time at the swim up bar pool.

Food: I can say it was the best thing in this resort. It was decent, nothing fancy but good. However, the food at Trattoria seemed that it wasn't freshly cooked. The pasta was always soggy, not al dente. The first time I ate the snapper at the Waterside, it was really good, The second time was very dry and overcooked. I couldn't finish it. Not sure if it was freshly cooked either. The buffet at the Cove was good. No complains for buffet food.

Grounds; Very beautiful. There were many areas with beautiful flowers. There were cats around the Cove restaurant, but they were not a nuisance. They would never come near you to beg for food. There were some people who would give them some food. It didn't bother me. There are plenty of mosquitoes there, so bring spray. It rained there every other day- very disappointed :(. One day after the rain, there were many mosquitoes at night. I counted the mosquito bites, I had 31 in one leg and 17 in the other. They didn't itch much though, but my legs looked like I had a reaction.

Last day: We received a letter in the room that said that they had limited courtesy rooms for the day of check out, and if we wanted one, we should contact the front desk on the day of check out. So, on that day, I woke up early and called the front desk at 6:55 am. The person at the front desk picks up the phone and hangs up without saying a word. Then I call again.. no answer..no matter how long it rang. So, I decided to go to the front desk- our room was not close. When I arrived there, they had just changed shifts (that explained why they were not picking up the phone, they didn't want to bother with the last minute things- again it shows their attitude). I was the first one to register my name, so I had the choice to request the best time for me. I requested a room from 3-3:30 pm. We had to leave at 4:00 pm. At 2:45 we go there, and I let them know I am waiting for the key. The guy said we will give it to you at 3:00 because someone else is using the room. Well, after many requests, I got the key at 3:20. We go to the room only to find used towels. We didn't know we had to request clean towels. I don't know their system, but they should give you clean towels with the key. Overall I wasn't happy at all with the service at this resort.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014 via mobile

My sister and I stayed here March 2014. We had a lovely time the resort it is quite beautiful and well maintained. There are great views from the many pool areas. There was a good choice and quality of food in the four restaurants (as long as you have no allergies or restrictions), the only meals I didn’t enjoy were at the Italian restaurant as both my meals there I found the food over salted (although the tiramisu was nice).

The only place the resort is let down is by the quality of the rooms, ours was a standard and afraid the wear and tear showed up, the small bathroom had broken tiles, a really stained bath and sink and unimpressive shower. The bedroom showed it’s age. The resort is rated 3½ star but the room is only 2 (3 at a pinch), an update of the room is desperately needed. I’ve no idea what the non-standard rooms are like, if they’re better it might be worth paying for the better rooms, the standard was a real let down.

The service was friendly but a bit slow in the restaurants and bars. Housing keeping were quick to respond to problems, sadly we had to call them almost on a daily bases to get towels for our room.

It’s was lovely having a choice of so many pools. The resort did have problem with the stock of clean beach towels.

WIFI free but only available in the public areas not in your room.

Top marks for the fish, absolutely tasty.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
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
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 Hotel Cap Estate
Smugglers Cove Resort And Spa
Almond Smugglers Cove Castries
Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa St. Lucia/Cap Estate

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