We stayed for five nights from April 3 to April 8. We booked this resort through a AAA travel agent. I was very worried about this resort after reading some of the reviews here, but we went in with lower expectations for and ended up having a great time.
PROPERTY: The property is a little bit older and showing some signs of wear, but everything is kept very clean. The grounds are very lush and beautiful. As some other reviewers noted, some rooms are quite far away from the pools and restaurants. We stayed in the 100s (Canaries) which was quiet, but a short walk from the main area. If you find yourself in a room that is farther than you'd like, and can't move closer, consider calling reception and asking for a golf cart to pick you up.
ROOMS: We stayed in 128, and end unit 1BR suite. The bed was spacious, but a little firm for my liking. The air conditioning worked so well, that we didn't really have to keep it on that much.The his and hers sinks were a nice touch in the bathroom. The tiling looked brand new. Three criticisms for the bathroom. First, nothing was siliconed properly (the toilet, and fixtures) so everything felt wobbly. Secondly, the hair dryer didn't work. Thirdly, there was some water damage near the window in the bathroom. Nothing major, but some easy fixes that would make the room feel newer.
POOLS: There are 6-7 pools (depending on if you count the hot tub or not). They are well laid out with the kids pools and adults only pools at opposite ends of the resort. All the pools were well maintained and clean.We stayed in the adults only pools. One of the pools is quieter and the other becomes the party pool later in the afternoon. Hint: One of the pools had a swim up bar. During the first few days, we found it very difficult to get lounge chairs under umbrellas. As it turned out, a rather large group was getting up at about 6 a.m. and reserving them for their whole group. After they left, we had no problem getting finding shady spots after breakfast. The resort should probably consider having more umbrellas available. Nevertheless, we spend most of out time, in or by the pool with the swim up bar and enjoyed it immensely.
BEACH: The beach is small and a little rocky in places, but there's a nice view of the ocean. I'd pick a different resort if you are looking from long, sandy white beaches, but we found the beach and cove attractive.
FOOD: My husband and I are definitely food snobs, and based on the price of the resort, we went in with very low expectations. Bearing that in mind, this was our take on each restaurant. Other than the cove, all restaurants have a dress code (although this only seemed to be applied to the men!)
The Cove: Basic buffet food, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The quality was uneven. The meat and fish were mostly poor, but the salad and vegetables were fresh.
Waterside Creole Grill: Great views, but the food was disappointing. I actually thought that I might just be getting the Cove food in tiny portions. I ordered the Tuna and it was very overdone.
Trattoria: My favorite. Not great cuisine, but good. I got the catch of the day for two lunches and was pleased. The pizzas are pretty good. You can get them to go and keep them for afternoon/late night snacking.
Cafe Asia: We went here on our last night and were very pleased. I got the poached fish and my husband got the ribs. Both were pretty good. The restaurant is only open to those over 16 and its a slightly farther walk than the other restaurants.
Alcohol: There was a good selection of mixed drinks. While some bartenders mixed stronger drinks than others, I did not find the drinks watered down. I would not describe the liquors as "top shelf", and we sometimes doubted that the contents of the bottle matched the label, but the drinks were definitely still good. We tried both the red and white house wines and were not impressed. There are only two beers at the resort, Heineken and Piton. Both are good bu similar; it would have been nice to have another, different, beer on hand too.
SERVICE: Excellent. No one is going to gush over you here and check up on you every five minutes, but if you need something and ask nicely, everyone seems happy to help.
ACTIVITIES/ENTERTAINMENT: We didn't really utilize this as much as we could have. We did take a Hobie-Cat lesson, which was great. People seemed to enjoy the entertainment, but we didn't really experience it first hand.
BOTTOM LINE: This is an average resort with average food, but the staff and location are amazing. You will encounter all ages, classes, and nationalities. If you're looking for a low key place to stay on St. Lucia, and don't want to pay through the roof, definitely consider staying here. I would not recommend Smugglers Cove if you are picky, easily frustrated by children and noise, or are looking for luxury.
A few other things.....
Insects: A few people complained about insects in the room and around the resort. As a general rule, if there is a biting insect within ten miles of me, I'll get bitten. The only insect bites I got were off resort. Bring some repellent for off-resort excursions.
Outlets: The outlets are mostly the UK type. There was one two pin US plug, but it was on an odd location (halfway up the wall outside the bathroom) so we just used adapters.
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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