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“Excellent food and service and very good accommodation”
Review of Bel Jou Hotel

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Bel Jou Hotel
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 10, 2010

Irene and I stayed at Bel Jou over Christmas and New Year 2009/10 and had a wonderful time. The staff were caring and attentive, Larry, the manager was on-hand and involved at all levels from early until late.

The food wad superb; especially the gala and celebration dinners - amazing fillet steaks! Wine was dispensed liberally during meals and the free bar provided an extensive range of inclusive drinks for 12 hours a day. On several days we took the alternative of having lunch in the Cabana instead of the main restaurant - a limited menu but equally good.

The location provides stunning views over Castries and the Caribbean Sea. Saga's brochure describes the hotel and its facilities accurately (note especially the location and info on steps between levels if your mobility is limited). The Saga rep, Penny, was caring, effective and attentive.

The included excursions were rather rushed but did provide a taste of the dramatic scenery and activities available in the north and west of this beautiful island.

A selection of optional activities added interest and fun to otherwise lazy days.

Fellow guests made use of the courtesy minibus to go shopping in Castries, visit Rodney Bay or Pigeon Island. Although we didn't, they seemed happy with the service.

We had some rain showers but this rarely caused a problem and everything dried quickly afterwards. Of course the rain is essential to maintain the greenness of the vegetation.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank timrandall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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265 - 271 of 282 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2009

After many conflicting reports, we found this hotel to be very hospitable and catered for my husband's dietary needs completely. Although it is high up and would not be able to walk up and down the steep hill, there were mini buses to the town and several other drop off points to the beaches. The manager, Mr. Jackson was very helpful and got involved during the restaurant times. We found the food very good and the chefs were very friendly and catered for our needs. Entertainment was good most evenings and finished within a reasonable time. The steps around the hotel did get slippy when it rained but dried quite quickly. The staff around the hotel were very helpful and cheerful which made this more enjoyable. We will certainly come back to this hotel as many of the guests said the same.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank COCOBEACH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2009

having read earlier reports of doommongers,we had some concerns. howevever from the moment of arrival any fears were allayed.a warm welcome from the saga rep and hotel manager was folled by a tour of or very comfortable room. together with our travel companions ,we enjoyed 2 weeks of good food, great service interesting excursions,which coupled with the heady atmosphere of st lucia made this our favourite west indies holiday to date. if there was a problem at the bel jou,saga have made great strides in getting it sorted. note.as a disabled guest, this was not the easiest location,but staff,.tour guides and drivers, together with fellow guests helped to make life easier

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank suffolksaga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2009

I had been very concerned to read the recent negative reports about this Hotel but it would seem that a recent change of management has had a welcome beneficial effect. Certainly, we were very pleased with our room - one of the Owner's Suites - this was a good sized bedroom with a larger than average balcony and a refreshing plunge pool. True everything seems to be painted in tones of grey, but this is more Farrow & Ball tones than Cell Block H.! The air conditioning and ceiling fan are effective. Rooms are cleaned daily and towels replaced.
The views from the Hotel are panoramic, but this does have it's downside. Bel Jou is situated high up on Pansee Hill but the climb up to it is steep and quite challenging, particularly during a frequent daytime shower. This means that you are unlikely to venture outside the grounds unless you are using the bus service or local Taxi. These showers can make the walkways around the hotel extremely slippery, particularly the tiled areas. There are many more steps both up to the restaurant, reception and all of the rooms than I had anticipated and although these are mentioned in the brochure if you are slightly unsteady on your feet or need a stick then it may be prudent to request a first floor room - although there will be some steps to negotiate.
The restaurant serves a good variety of hot and cold food in a buffet style. There was always a selection of salads, cold meats and cheeses along with a choice of three hot meals; including one vegetarian. The Staff are a joy and delight; always smiling and happy to help. Particular thanks to Penny Askew, the resident Rep, who seemed always to be available whenever you needed.
For a quiet, relaxing holiday this was fine, but I did miss not being able to go for a walk along the beach whenever I felt like it. The Hotel is a bit out of the way. The Hotel Hairdresser and Spa treatments seemed very, very expensive but I was quite surprised how costly many everyday items were. Whether this is a reflection on the island's popularity a Cruise destination I'm not sure.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank florapandora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2009

Having read recent reviews I was worried about going to the Bel Jou. However, there is now a new manager, Larry Jackson, who is very much in evidence and the whole ambience of the hotel has changed. All the staff seem happy in there work and provide an excellent service. The food is good and plentiful. While it is true the bedrooms need further refurbishment, the public areas have been refurbished to a high standard. The hotel is in a isolated position, but this is pointed out in the Saga brochure. It may not be on the beach but it does have very good views.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SPOSouthampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2009

A friend of mine went to Bel Jou last Summer and could not praise the Management and staff enough saying it was the most friendly hotel she had every stayed in. Absolutely raved about it so much so that I thought I have to go.
Well I must have stayed in a different hotel. The previous Manager Caroline and her husband Steven had left and there was a new Manager there, French I think, very miserable and not pro active at all. Entertainment was average at best and some nights there was no entertainment, with nowhere to go because of the location what are we supposed to do? Go to bed at 9pm? It is like an old peoples home as it is, don’t turn our lights off early!
The bedrooms are a disgrace for a refurbished hotel, the chest of drawers was rotten, and the wardrobe doors kept falling off, no hot water for 3 days out of the first week. The bathrooms are dingy and have definitely not been refurbished. The whole room is grey and dingy, really quite depressing. Food was OK, service was OK. Talking to the staff they seem to miss the previous management and are quite unhappy with the new Manager. My friend had told me that Caroline and Steven the previous Management were the life and soul of the hotel; it certainly hasn’t got any soul now! I note that Saga have responded to a previous review and stated they are planning to refurbish the bedrooms. Well it should have been done properly in the first place, for Saga’s first hotel it is a disgrace and I would say to them get some decent Management,

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Zeezy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2009

This hotel was taken over by Saga last year and was supposed to have been refurbished to a very high standard.
The rooms were very sub standard as was the food.
One guest who visited last year said food was originally very good, but since new managers took over the food budget had been drastically cut.
Staff were friendly and tried to please but the overall management was sadly lacking.
One wonders about health & hygiene training for chefs, when you see spoons from bowls of raw chicken being used for serving the cooked chicken!!
Pool area cramped with not enough loungers. Smokers around the pool made it unpleasant as it was such a small area. Added to this was an unpleasant smell of sewage.
Nowhere to walk to and garden far too small. Adjacent houses had very noisy dogs.
Bus service very limited in hours and also destinations.
If you like to get out and about this is not a good place to be.
Overall it was akin to a spanish costas 2/3 star hotel in both food and facilities.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled solo
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7  Thank toscanaWorcs
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

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: $222 - $424 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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