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.
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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