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Reviewed May 18, 2006

Our trip to St. Lucia was the 1st week of May. My wife and I traveled with our infant son, her sister and my friend. Air Canada Vacations had us booked in the wrong rooms but once we arrived and mentioned it, we were then moved in a matter of minutes to the ocean view beachfront rooms.

We have traveled quite a bit to different places and the last two holidays before our little guy was born, we stayed at the Royal Hideaway in Playa. The Royal Hideaway is a 6+. The service here is not at the level of Hideaway, but we found it much more personal than in the previous 5-6 times we have traveled south. The service is slow sometimes which they can forget your order of drink or dinner. You will have to remind them occasionally.

The staff knew our little guys name within a day and it made things enjoyable knowing that they were family focused and very friendly. Twice during the week, our son soaked the bedding by pouring water on it (new game) and both times clean sheets and padding were put on the bed within 15 minutes. The housekeeping was excellent, when we asked for extra towels we had 11 bath towels at one point. The staff has been told not to take tips and you basically have to put it in their pockets to take it.

The resort is newly renovated so some of the rooms are still being updated. The brochure stated king size bed or twin beds only. The original room that we were given actually had two double beds but there aren’t that many. Our rooms were clean and nice, water pressure varied on each room. One shower was excellent one a little weak. Big bathtub for the little guy so that was great. Cable TV in each room with HBO, Cinemax and Espn 2 among around another 30 channels. Since the rooms are still being outfitted with new televisions also, one room had a 24 inch and the other had a 28 inch. Air conditioning was good but sometimes it may turn off when you leave the room. You will receive two room cards and they are necessary for the air conditioning and lighting of the rooms and mini fridge. 1 card goes into the slot at the front of the room which operates the lights and air con. You can bring any card from home that’s the size of a credit card or plastic coupon card for that matter and put in the unit by the entry door and you will have constant power. This will free up your room key cards when you are out of the room but would still like the air con lights or mini fridge to operate. The mini fridge is not stocked. We bought some different beers from the grocery store for a change.

The beach is small but nice. The water was rough one day as we had a few showers during the day otherwise semi-clear you can see to your waist and there is lots of little fish. The bottom is a little mucky hence the choc bay name. It reminds me of Wasaga beach bottom for the Canadians that know.

The food is good which I enjoyed most of meals. We went to the grill by the kids clubs for lunch occasionally as the staff was wonderful and the food is simple (hot dogs and hamburgers with french fries spaghetti, rice vegatables and usually one meat dish such as lamb chops chicken wings etc..). You cannot eat three course meals everyday for lunch or you would be bloated. There are 4 restaurants and the grill. Two are open for breakfast and lunch (Bamboo and Palm) and both have ala carte menus for lunch. Plus the Bamboo restaurant had a beach bbq daily. We liked the Palms restaurant the best. No reservations needed and that is the main kitchen in the resort so the food was usually the best. Bamboo was good and we ate there two times in four days. The menus changed frequently every two to three days so you don’t get bored of the food. The Pier is the seafood and food was very good however when we went the mosquitos were rabid. I think it was the humidity the night we went as it wasnt bad the rest of the week. The adult only restaurant was good. great service and food was nice. Air conditioned and they had a piano playing. Overall good food only thing they should do is simplify the food as they try to make these elaborate sauces and they didn't always work. But you know you cannot complain about eating the same thing all week which is a problem at most resorts. Also of note the women ran the restuarants and kept the guys in line. They really made the children feel at home.

Bars - during the day you had three. One at the adult pool, one at the family pools and one at the grill. All had the same selection except at the grill they had cans of pop which was nice instead of fountain pop. Ask the staff to make you a drink and they accomodated. Beer is Heinekin and Piton. Both taste the same.. Heinekin is 5.5% alcholhol and Piton is 5%. That is the difference. I had a few rum drinks and they hit me like a hammer. They put lots of booze in them. Also they had top shelf liquors. Had a Pimms and lemonade a couple of days. Plus they had good cognacs (not cru versions but decent) and other apertifs. Staff were great at filling the milk bottles for our son at the bar and again they did not expect tips and were sort of taken aback when you gave them. I think this is due to the UK influence as tipping is the not the norm in the UK.

Watersports- activities were included as mentioned. Banana boat and water skiing was included plus sailing lessons daily. Good group of guys working there. You could sign out the snorkeling equipment for the week if you wanted. You did not have to sign in and out your towels which was great. No limits to that.

I have to say excellent place to visit.. Felt like home. Staff are very friendly.

This is a very friendly resort, there were many families visiting so that your children could play with one another. When our son is bit older, we would love to come back to this resort.

As others mentioned do not be alarmed about negative reviews. If there is a problem they fixed it quickly. It will never be perfect but we enjoyed ourselves and would go back

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
20  Thank finsterbaby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2006

Paradise found--My wife,22 yrs old daughter and myself have just returned from 9 nights at Almond Morgan Bay from 5th May to 14th May.First of all don't rely on the weather reports on the websights,we checked prior to leaving and rain was predicted,all we saw was brilliant sunshine with just a short sharp occassional shower.
When we arrived we were greeted with hot flannels and cold rum punch,both of which were very acceptable ! ! ! We were booked in whilst we enjoyed our rum punches.We were then taken to our room together with the suitcases on a golf type electric buggy.(Spoilt right ftom the word go).
We were in room 447 with a sea view at the front and back balcony,the room was large enough for 3 adults with 3 double size beds,it was spotlessly clean and was kept so daily,the air conditioning (on all day),kept the room like a refridgerator !
The food was outstanding with plenty of choices from four restaurants,with 3 courses and large portions,HUNGRY ! ! as time went by we were feeling so full we skipped midday lunch to make room for the evening meal.
It's true JOYS TOURS are first class,we went on the full day's tour along the coast,in to all the bays,then to the Pitons,then by cab to the Botanic gardens and a cool dip under the waterfall,(so refreshing),then on to an active volcano,with the smell of sulphur so strong it burns your nostrils,snorkelling on the beach and then a stop on the beach for momas cooking on the barbecue and plenty of ice cold drinks $EC200 each well worth the price.
We went on the Sunset cruise,it was brilliant,plenty of drink and nibbles.It was on a massive catamaran and the reggie was blasting out,after the sun went down we cruised back to Castries with disco lights flashing and the moon reflecting across the sea.
As for Almond itself we could not fault it,the evening entertainment was very good,with a first class band,(if they don't get your foot tapping then you need your ears tested ! ! )
The staff were so well mannered and could'nt do enough for you,and it was'nt put on,it was genuine.
The bars were well stocked with premium brand drinks and the staff really know how to make a 1st class cocktail,(try the "B B C with Bayleys Banana Coconut and ice,MMMMM ! )
The swim up bar is the best spot with always spare seats and plenty of ice cold cocktails.
We found the other holidaymakers to be so friendly,probably because the place made you feel so relaxed. Would we go back? YES TOMORROW IF POS. We did'nt want to leave.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22  Thank Trail3852
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2006

Having visited Hawaii as well as other Caribbean destinations, my wife, 12 year-old son, and I felt this was our best, most relaxing vacation ever. We stayed here from April 22 to April 29, 2006. On top of the perfect weather (mid- to upper 80s during the day, sunshine with just enough clouds, pleasantly cool at night), the buildings, grounds, staff, rooms, and food were outstanding.

Pastel colored buildings, landscaped with palms and flowering plants, surround a central pool, bar, and entertainment area, which leads across a lawn to a decent stretch of beach with plenty of lounge chairs and adequate shade. Beach towels are in the rooms and may be exchanged at the water sports cabin at one end of the beach. Because of a mild surf, the water is a little cloudy at the water's edge, but you can still see turquoise all around a little farther out.

Our room was spacious, comfortable (two full beds), attractively decorated, and very clean. It was located in the 300 Block, which some reviewers have said requires too much of an uphill walk to get to and is subject to some off-aromas. We did not mind the walk, especially after a big breakfast, lunch or dinner; and we did not detect any odors. Our room had a nice balcony, looking west over another guest building to the sea, where each night the sun sank amid spectacular shades of gold, pink, and blue. The bathroom fixtures appeared to be brand new and water in the room was plentiful, hot, and at good pressure.

There appear to be good programs for children and teens, headquartered in cabins behind the guest room buildings. There is a pool there and a grill featuring all sorts of short order food for kids. Our son preferred to stay at the beach and participate in the water sports, which included (at no extra charge) water skiing, sea kayaking, banana boating, snorkeling, sailboarding, sailing, and pedal boating. That was plenty for all of us. Our son found children his own age at the resort and enjoyed being with them. While the resort is obvously family-friendly, there were many older and younger couples traveling without children.

There is a gift shop, selling souvenirs, snack foods, liquor, and sundries, which are expensive, but not out line for a resort.

The four restaurants on the grounds featured an assortment of cuisines. The French restaurant is for adults only, but all the others can provide some sort of kid-friendly meal. The breakfast buffet each morning at the Palms Restaurant was a real treat with fresh tropical fruits, pancakes, eggs, sausage, etc. Eat enough there and you'll just about last until dinner time. The food at all the restaurants was very good to excellent. We were pleased that our son felt so at home at the resort he could go and get meals at the restaurants by himself if he wanted to. The resort features a beach barbecue one evening and always at lunch. The bars around the resort were nicely stocked and the drinks were generous. Try the excellent local beer, Piton, and rum, Bounty. Except for the Palms, you must reserve a seating one day in advance for dinner at all the other restaurants. All the restaurants, except the French, Le Jardin, were open air, with high ceilings and fans, and lovely views. Morgan's Pier, the seafood restaurant and our favorite, extends into the bay and is a delightful dining experience. (Try the banana strudel!) All service in restaurants and elswhere was very good to excellent.

We disagree with one reviewer's comments about the unavailability of food during the day: breakfast is served from 7:30 to 10:30; lunch is at noon and goes to 2 pm. There is afternoon tea at the Palms Restaurant at 3:30; and dinner begins at 6:30 pm. We had no problem getting enough to eat! . Menus for all of the restaurants are posted in the Guest Services office. We do agree with one comment that the coffee at the restaurants is not the greatest. Have enough of the really good specialty rum drinks, and you won't care!

Getting to the resort from the big airport in the south of the island is rather challenging. A taxi takes about 90 minutes through often scenic, but winding and mountainous roads. We reserved a taxi in advance through Southern Taxi. Ask for Elvis if you do this. He was a very considerate driver. Otherwise, one can take a 10-minute helicopter flight to the smaller airport in Castries, which is not far at all from the resort. You can also fly into San Juan and take a smaller plane to the Castries airport.

We ventured out of the resort only once to take Joy's Cruise. YOU MUST DO THIS! It is an all-day boat excursion down to the south of the island, with visits inland to the botanical gardens, rain forest, and active volcano. Beware: the volcano smells like 10 million rotten eggs, but it is interesting. In addition, Joy's took us to two snorkeling sites and at midday we had a barbecue, with all the food and fixings prepared by Joy's mom and family. The lunch itself was set up in a little pavilion underneath shady palm trees right next to a beautiful beach at the foot of the Pitons, St. Lucia's dramatic, signature mountains. The two snorkeling sites were the best we have been to. There is a representative from Joy's near the water sports cabin every day for you to book the tour, which leaves from the beach at the resort.

We cannot say enough about the staff at Almond Morgan Bay. They were so warm, gracious, and helpful. There were hotel representatives walking around every day asking how we were enjoying our stay and offering to assist us in any way.

For one great week, we truly relaxed and felt refreshed. We hope you have the same experience.

39  Thank wanderfar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2006

Wonderful relaxing week!! Love the convenience of everything. Pools, restaurants, bars, shop, beach, and water sports are in one central area. Staff is friendly and the accommodations are comfortable. Food was appetizing and interesting. Great place for families.

Rooms are in several separate buildings. Some by the pools and beach. Others are up on the hill but still very close. Rooms are comfortable with wonderful large windows and a glass door to the balcony. Air conditioning works great and is quiet. The electricity is a little different. You insert your electronic key card in a slot just inside the door to turn on the electricity for the room. This works OK but does mean you have to keep resetting the clock. The air conditioning stays ON even when the electricity is off for the room. We wish the beds were queen size but they were quite comfortable. Bathroom had great tub, lots of hot water, but not much water pressure. Love the huge bath towels. A plug strip was provided so you could plug in U.S. electric items.

Two main pools are very nice. One for adults and one for families. Lots of lounge chairs, several umbrellas, some tables with chairs. Some trees also for shade. A third children’s pool and wading pool is inconveniently located although adults may appreciate this being removed from the central area.

Great beach! Loads of lounge chairs and several palm trees to provide adequate shade. Convenient to restaurants, bars, and pools. Water sports provided kayaks, hobie cats, banana boat rides, water skiing, wind surfing, paddle boats, snorkeling gear.

Beach towels are large and absorbent. You can get fresh beach towels as frequently as you like during pool hours (9 AM to 6 PM). You can take the beach towels on tours. No need to bring any of your own towels.

Restaurants are comfortable and casual. Large breakfast buffet is offered at 2 restaurants. Lunch at 2 restaurants offers appetizers, sandwiches, salads, main courses, and desert bar. Dinner offered at 4 restaurants has appetizers, soup, main course, and deserts. Food is appetizing and nicely presented. The menu is varied during the week. Constant breezes are refreshing and adequately cool the open air restaurants. Note: At dinner no shorts are allowed and men cannot wear tank tops.

Kids feel welcome here. There were very few honeymooners. Most of the clientele seemed to be in the 30s - 50s range. There were some families with toddlers and a few families with 8-12 year olds. Almost no teens. We were there during a week when most kids are in school though. It may be different during school vacation weeks. The Kids club does not offer much for 8-12 year olds. The video games consist of a TV with a video controller.

The resort does not have an ATM and some tours require cash.

TOURS ETC.
We took the “Joy” cruise one day. This was a great tour that lasted all day. We took a boat to a marina where vans took us to the volcano and waterfall then back to the beach. A barbecue in the shade along beach had a variety of food. We then took the boat to a marine reserve to snorkel. Then back to the hotel by boat. Worth the price.

We also rented a car plus driver for the day to drive us around the island. This cost $140 US (plus tips). We had to pay all entrance fees. The driver took us to places we never would have found on our own and provided lots of info. Worth the money.

We took the local bus to Pidgeon Island (not really an island). This is a historic area and includes ruins from the 1700s. You can hike to a fort at the top of one hill and the signal tower on another hill. Shoes, sneakers, or hiking boots are recommended. It is hot hiking and not much shade so avoid mid day. There is a small beach you can swim at. Restrooms are available.

The local buses (vans) are safe, convenient, and cheap to take on week days.

The weather is hot but there are tropical breezes that make it feel more comfortable and the humidity was better on St. Lucia than Jamaica.

Stayed: April 2006
34  Thank Roving16693
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2006

We went to Morgan Bay for my daughters wedding, 4-18th April 06. The hotel has recently been bought by Almond Resorts and completely renovated so we didn't really know what to expect.

I have to say it's difficult to find fault with either the resort or the staff, we did have our problems though, none of which was the resorts doing, but they responded magnificently. They even managed to locate my missing passport before I even knew I'd lost it!

The wedding was superbly organised, all we had to do was turn up and they looked after us superbly. The food was excellent, the pools cleaned daily, the staff very attentive. It was also great to see the General Manager out and about almost every day meeting the guests and ensuring all was running smoothly.

All in all, I would recommend this resort fully, even though there were children at the resort there was still enough space so that they didn't interfere with us couples looking for a more restful holiday

17  Thank FarAway37080
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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