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Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

Oconomowoc...
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Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

My husband and I are traveling w/another couple & staying at the Sandals Grande St. Lucia (concierge level) in April. We've been to several Sandals, but this will be our 1st time to St. Lucia & 1st time going where we can really take advantage of the "stay at one and play and eat at all three". Hoping for some info on on a couple of things since many of the forum discussions are several years old & the reviews provide only some information...

1st - What restaurants would you recommend at any of the three resorts? Are they difficult to get into and do you need to set up reservations in advance to get in? How far ahead if so?

2nd - What tours would you recommend and is it better here to go through Island Routes or the vendors on the beach that people mention in their reviews? Always nice to save money, but we are more interested in making sure it is a quality tour and operation and more interested in what you get to see on what they offer.

3rd - Does anyone know what the schedule of events is for the week at SGSL? Like what events (i.e.. beach party, white night, chocolate buffet, returning guest/select dinner, etc.) and what nights they are on?

Thanks so much!

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1. Re: Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

The last time we were there was March 2012.

We loved Toscanini at SGSL (never went to the other resorts) as well as Bayside for the buffet and Josephine s for the sweets.

As for tours, find Charlie (local on the beach) and do his tour. Amazing and a lot better than the one though Island routes (we did that one in 2008) as it goes to more places.

Excerpt from my travel review: Charlies Tour (beach vendor found at the Grande)

I highly recommend doing a tour of the island whether by land or by speed boat (we did speed boat) with a local vs Sandals. I guarantee you will have a much better experience. That being said, here are the tour details:

We left our resort (he picks up right on the beach at the Grande) and started heading down the west coast of the island. We saw lots of resorts and fishing villages along the way. We went through a cave that is refereed to as lovers canal , made a stop in Marigot Bay and stopped at the Pitons where our 2nd mate took our photo. After our photo op we headed to Soufriere to dock. We pulled in to Soufriere where we hopped in a cab (mini van) to head to the mineral bath and mud bath.

Once we arrived at the mineral baths we went into the one that is a waterfall. Our guide took each couples pic as they where standing under the falls. After our pic we hopped into the second mineral bath which is pretty much a natural hot tub and was very warm, relaxing and smooth.

After the mineral baths we hopped back in the mini van and headed up to the mud baths. The mud baths were really hot and stinky but kind of a neat experience. After dousing myself in mud (hubby was a party pooper and didn't do it) Garth ( our guide) took my pic and then I washed off in the showers (the actual mud pool was way too hot, about 100 degrees)

.

With our mud baths done we headed to Charlies aunts house for an authentic St. Lucian lunch. The house was adorable and she had tables set up on her porch. Lunch was served buffet style. She had made about 6 different dishes and it was all very delicious.

Once lunch was done we went snorkeling at Jalousie Plantation beach ( right between the Pitons ). The fish that you could see at the base of the Pitons were really beautiful.

After snorkeling it was time to head back to the resort. Once we started back to the resort our guides offered us drinks (beer, soda or juice). The ride back was a lot of fun as the winds were really kicking so the boat was bouncing around a lot.

This was a half day tour and we got back around 2pm, but we sure were tired as a lot was packed into 6 short hours.

Also, go over to Pigeon Island and explore ( cost is $5 pp) no need to take a tour just go on your own.

As for what is on what night. Mon. is the beach party, Tue is the chocolate buffet (do not miss this it was amazing) , Wen. is the street party, other than that, I have no idea.

If you'd like to read both of my reviews and see all the pics message me and I'll send you the link to my website.

Ontario Canada
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2. Re: Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

We were last there in January 2012 for our free Sandals week and are heading there again next month for our second free Sandals week.

The restaurants we love to dine at are Toscanini's at SGSL, Kelly's Dockside (formerly The Pier) at the Halcyon, and La Toc at La Toc. But we also have had terrific meals at the pub and at Bayside at SGSL, as well as Gordon's. Restaurant reservations (if required) can be made at the Culinary Relations desk in the lobby of the Grande.

We booked the Simon Says Tour through Sandals...this was not an Island Routes excursion but rather the resort had allowed their guests to book through them for Simon's excursions and I don't know if they are still doing that. The excursion was almost exactly as monkygirl did with Charlie. I also much preferred going on the speed boat tour vs the catamaran tour as I suffer motion sickness but am fine on a speed boat! We went to Marigot Bay, Anse Chastanet for snorkeling, the Pitons, Sulphur Springs Park and mud baths, to Simon's house for a lunch of creole chicken, noodles, salad, macaroni & cheese, rice and peas. Then to Toraille Waterfall and back to Marigot Bay for shopping.

Right beside SGSL is also Fort Rodney which is well worth climbing...the views are magnificent! We also did the Reading Road Trip with Sandals which we've also done at Sandals Whitehouse in Jamaica and it is a highlight of our trips.

North Dakota
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3. Re: Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

We were there in February of 2013. Wednesday is returning guest night. We like Toscanini's at SGSL, Gordon's (butler included), Kelly's dockside (formerly the Pier) at Halcyon, & La Toc at La Toc. Book at the Culinary desk at SGSL as soon as you get there.

Oconomowoc...
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4. Re: Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

Thank you everyone for the great information! Very helpful and very much appreciated! Travelpair55... have a great trip next week.

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5. Re: Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

@TP55 We got about a month after you! I'd love to hear about your trip when you get back. Do you plan to post while you're there?

Milford...
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6. Re: Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

We also liked Toscanini's (SGSL), Kelly's Dockside (Halcyon), and La Toc (La Toc )as well!!! I would suggest booking the reservations as soon as you get your room #. I would definitely make sure that you are waiting for the shuttle 10-15minutes before departure. Some people got there right at departure time and they needed to wait until another shuttle was available. The shuttles can fill up very quickly. I have the activities sheets from August 2013, so if you want, just PM me your email address. Have a wonderful time!

Pigeon Island National Park (Fort Rodney) is definitely worth doing...I would do it either early or late in the day as it can get very warm. For $6/person, it really is a bargain.

@TP55, have a fabulous time!!!

United States
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7. Re: Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

Thanks for that link @Nikko. I spelled Pigeon with a D (Pidgeon) and couldn't find it, lol! I should have paid more attention in first grade, lol.

Anyway, I had been looking for more info on the park, and those reviews were great! I'm really excited to go there. 62 more days!!! :)

Ontario Canada
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8. Re: Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

BSBgirl...I normally post live from SWH, so also might from SGSL....it depends on the wifi connection and whether sand gravity takes hold lol.

Nikko...good advice about the shuttles...they don't run as frequently as they did on our first stay in 2005. I really would like to do a more thorough tour of La Toc and will probably take one of the day time shuttles over there to spend some quality time just exploring the resort. We know from past visits La Toc isn't for us (too hilly) but I really want to see more of it.

BSBgirl (and others visiting SGSL)...definitely visit Ft. Rodney...very historic, very good exercise and very windy at the top....make sure if you wear a hat you hold on to it!

Milford...
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9. Re: Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

@BSBgirl, no problem!!!! LOL!

@TP55, I took the shuttles in the AM (over for golf on the first shuttle) and it wasn't bad but the few times we took evening shuttles, the SGSL lobby was packed!!!

Hope you both enjoy your stays!!!!

North Dakota
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10. Re: Sandals St. Lucia tips and advice needed

I agree with getting to the shuttle early. The earlier buses fill up quickly.

Travelpair55 - we'll be at SGSL the same time! We'll probably see you there since we seem to like many of the same restaurants!