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“Exceeded Expectations”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Bel Jou Hotel

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Bel Jou Hotel
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence
Benfleet,Essex.
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
“Exceeded Expectations”
Reviewed September 6, 2011

After an 8 hour flight, an hour getting through St. Lucia’s immigration and then a 90 minute mini bus transfer we were feeling a bit tired. On arrival at the Bel Jou we were greeted by the SAGA Rep IAN and told just to go straight through to the Cabana area by the pool and relax with a cooling drink. No queing at reception, passports, signing in or anything like that. A few words of welcome from Ian and our information pack and our room keys were handed out. Having finished our drinks we were escorted to our rooms where our luggage was waiting at our door. We requested a high floor room and were given one on the fourth (hotel has five floors). The room was bright, airy and had a very modern theme with two double beds, ample hanging space, large flat screen TV/DVD, tea & coffee making facilities, telephone, alarm clock, ironing board & iron, hair dryer, umbrella, emergency torch, safe, binoculars, air conditioning and a ceiling fan plus a pair of dressing gowns and a mobile with good tariff was offered from reception to keep for the duration of the stay. There was also a can of insect spray provided for every room but did not prove that effective. We used this, our own UK purchased spray + roll on repellent, but were still bitten! So bring the best repellent available and remember to use them. There was a good size bathroom with a walk in shower, good quality towels and complimentary bath products as well as facial tissues. It had a good size furnished balcony, with views of the sea looking out over the hotels beautiful gardens and the suburbs of Castries. So the room ticked all the boxes for us and it was kept up to this high standard throughout our two weeks stay.
The hotel has a main restaurant and the meals there are served mainly buffet style catering especially for the British taste. Although it was a buffet the food was always hot, looked appetising and the menu varied. The weekly gala dinners were waiter served and both were of superb quality. For lunch there was a choice of the main restaurant or the Cabana at pool side which became a lighter choice eating venue and that was waiter service- Lulu was there to take your order with a smile daily . There were two bars in the hotel, one pool side open 11am till 6pm and the other in the lounge/restaurant open from 11am till 11pm. Although on the all inclusive package drinks were local, we found the quality to be very good. The wines were from Chile, a Cabernet Sauvignon red, a crisp house white and rose. There was an extensive cocktail menu as well as much bottled water as you required all included in the package.
The entertainment in the evenings was great the first week with live bands 6 out of 7 evenings. When the steel band failed to appear on the 7th Ian the rep went to his room and returned with his Yamaha key board and entertained us with some dancing music. On the second week the live entertainment was cut to 4 nights, Ian the rep produced a quiz for one blank evening and was persuaded by the guests to give a repeat performance on his key board. Without a doubt, in our opinion, the country singer, J.L.Stone and his excellent band proved to be the best and on his 2nd performance had ever body dancing.
A weekly feature that we enjoyed was a talk on the local rums by one of the waiters, which included tastings – all of the rums were available at the hotel bars as part of the A/I package.

Being on a SAGA AI holiday for 2 weeks, 3 half day trips were included and these were all good. We paid for a full day excursion to the Pitons, volcano and catamaran cruise, which would have been better if it had not rained on the day. The 2nd was the whale & dolphin trip which was on a deep sea launch and took us down to an area a couple of miles out from the Pitons, where we encountered some 50 or more spotted dolphins who stayed around the for 45mins. We did not see any whales but we declared it the best of the 5 trips we did. Ian the rep puts on a couple of walks, one on the beach and the other up to the lighthouse, both taken to the start points by mini bus. Due to the location of the hotel it is not really possible to walk around the area as the roads are very steep, narrow, dangerous and no pavements.
The hotel provides a complimentary shuttle bus service into town and beyond to the various beaches at regular intervals. The pool is not large but never seemed to be crowded there are plenty of sun loungers but shade could be a problem if the hotel was full and all the guests were on site. This hotel has really hands on Manager Patrick and his staff are all first class with nothing being too much trouble and always cheerful. Although we have mentioned Ian the SAGA rep previously we make no apology for mentioning him again. These were his first days as a representative (for any company) and he proved to be an instant hit with the vast majority of the SAGA guests, who we must be honest about are not always the easiest to please. He gave that bit extra to try to ensure that all his guests had everything they needed and deserves the highest praise.
Finally we did not have to vacate our room until midday our luggage was taken from the rooms at 11.45 and was waiting from us yards from the airport check in desks, which made the transfer easy and hotel reception did on line check in for us and printed our boarding passes.
This holiday was our first SAGA long haul and greatly exceeded our expectations.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
29 Thank pjbcab
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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266 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (130)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
UK
Level Contributor
49 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2011

The Bel Jou is a Saga owned hotel for over 50s in St Lucia up in the hills overlooking Castries. At night especially this was a fantastic view with the lights of the town outlined around the coast below. Excursions could be booked to various beautiful locations around the island.

The rooms were very comfortable and clean, the food was excellent and the staff friendly and attentive. The hotel has an excellent pool, but some of the more adventurous guests took advantage of the hotel's shuttle bus (which negotiated some very steep inclines) to venture regularly down to the beach. This shuttle goes down a couple of times a day. It can also be used to go shopping in Castries.

Overall I recommend the Bel Jou as a fantasic hotel for both couples and singles.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Glenn_C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wimborne Minster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2011

This was my first singles trip and the hotel, its glorious position; the friendly guests; happy and smiling as well as helpful staff made this the most relaxing holiday I've had. Eating the wonderful food on the verandah was idyllic and the entertainment and organised trips were a great addition to the holiday. I loved Magirot Bay, the catamaran trip and the lazy walks along the beach. I will return

Room Tip: Choose the main block
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank bradders242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haywards Heath
Level Contributor
145 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 237 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2011

We decided to stay at the Bel Jou in early June because it was significantly cheaper than February. This is because June is the start of the rainy season but we had plenty of sunshine for most of the week and when we did get rain it was usually over quickly. And with temperatures at about 30degrees c. showers are quite pleasant. What you do have to get used to is the high humidity especially in the evenings.

The hotel is in the suburbs of Castries and there are good views of the sea from the bedrooms (but not the bungalows). We were fortunate in being on the top floor so the views were excellent and the bedroom was furnished to a good standard with a balcony.

The food as others have reported is of high standard and varied and the Cabana is an excellent alternative for lunch as the food is freshly prepared for you.

The pool is small but perfectly fine for cooling off.

The hotel is a Saga one but we found a good mix of ages which was good plus a few b&b guests. Saga put on a couple of include excursions in the week and the courtesy bus travels several times a day to Castries and Pigeon Island. Although slightly isolated we found there would be enough things to do for a fortnight's stay and probably longer if you want to relax.

The hotel staff were friendly and cheerful and Andy was a very attentive rep.

Finally check out the wildlife around the hotel - tree frogs and cane toads in the evening and the bananaquit, bullfinches and humming birds during he day.

Hope you enjoy your time here as much as we did...

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank FelixStowe10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Horstead, norwich
Level Contributor
41 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2011

Have just spent two weeks at the Bel Jou and had a very good time. The arranged trips were excellent and the food also was very good. As a picky eater there was always something which suited me, this was a first! The trips were very well arranged and informative, Rita being an excellent guide. All the drivers made you feel quite safe despite at times the hazardous roads. Gala dinners were well arranged and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The staff in particular were all very happy and pleasant and could not do enough for you. Unfortunately we, being two single travellers were accommodated in the bungalows which are behind the main hotel and had no view of the sea and are in much need of refurbishment. I guess we were unlucky as many of the single travellers were in the main hotel. This apart, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay the highlight being the helicopter ride back to the airport on the journey home. This is a must!.

Room Tip: Try not to accept the bungalows
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Horstead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2011

Being owned by Saga this is a fantastic hotel where the client certainly comes first. The rooms are spacious, brilliant views, clean and come with extra luxuries such as DVD player and binoculars. The rep. Andy is incredibly hard working and fun to be with. Patrick, the manager, is attentive and very visible. Food is plentiful, varied and well presented. The free bar is difficult to abstain from! Our only expense [and well worth it] was visiting Pigeon Island, which costs $5 each and $2 for sun bed as it is a national park. [take free shuttle bus] You are a bit stuck in the hotel because of its position and there is not a lot to do on the island, but with lovely gardens, good pool, varied bird life it is a good place to stay in.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank keentravellerNotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2011

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The staff, food and excursions were excellent  and we would certainly come here again.

Room Tip: All rooms were fine.
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank swaggersmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bel Jou Hotel

Property: Bel Jou Hotel
Address: La Pensee Road, Castries 89131, St. Lucia
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Castries Quarter > Castries
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Castries
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Bel Jou Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
St. Lucia's wonderful, adults only hotel. Boasting stunning views over Castries and out across the gorgeous ocean from its setting atop a lush, tropical hillside, the 4-star Bel Jou provides a tranquil, tropical retreat for today's adult and senior travelers, free from the distractions of the more overrun resorts. With many opportunities for sightseeing and sampling island life, the hotel's relaxed atmosphere is perfect for a leisurely holiday or a lively Caribbean experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bel Jou Castries
Bel Jou Hotel St. Lucia/Castries

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