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“A little Diamond of a Place”

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Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Just back wishing I was still there. My review is slightly different than most as I went here as a single female, with a friend and not as a romantic couple. Did that make any difference - not one bit. Only thing was they do not have twin bed facilities at all, which we were led to beleive at the time of booking. It was the best holiday Ive ever had. Every member of staff was exceptional with their care and attentivness making my stay the so special. Having 3 hotels on the island, this was my favourite as it was small and compact. The Grande and La Toc seemed vast and buzzing where as the Halcyon is more personal and individal. It is quieter and that includes the evenings, so if you are looking to dance the night away, this isnt the place for you. However Rodney Bay is only a taxi ride away for that.
We attended the street party on the friday night in Gros Islet, which was an education and not on the sandals schedule. Worth a visit to taste local food, mostly chicken ( Anse Le Raye street party is better for local caught fish). If you want to bump and grind until 3 in the morning, this is where to go. We also attended the Oktoberfest and strutted our stuff where eveyone was so friendly, which we found everywhere generally.
Back to the Hotel - we had a bit of the liquid sunshine while we were there so I didnt sit in the cabanas and hammocks dotted around the resort, but in the right weather im sure they would be lovely. Both the swimming pools were well maintained and cleaned constantly. The gardens are beautifully and lovingly kept.
The Food was amazing and 1st class. We chose to eat on the Pier most evenings and the menu did change once a week. We did eat at the other hotels too, however, again based on the peronal touch, we prefered to returned to our own hotel to eat. Kurtis tickled the ivories as we ate and later we would retire to the piano lounge to absorb more of his wonderful melodies. The Pier and bars had lovely staff too numerous to mention, but we were always spoilt by Shara, Davis, Mickey, Aaron, Ade and Dwight. Shara was amazing and bought all the bars she worked in to life. That woman needs to be on the entertainment team - she is so funny. A special thanks to Deloris is needed, who helped my dancing develop, St Lucian style, while I was there.

I went to St Lucia to dive and thats what I did. I got 11 dives and a night dive in, during my stay. All the dives from the Halcyon involve a bus ride. If you stay at the Grande they have their own jetty and boat, which I preffered. The shuttle service between sites could be improved as the 1st boat at the Grande leaves at 8.20 yet the 1st bus from the halcyon doesnt leave until 10.15. So if you want a local dive early from the Grande, you have to get a taxi there. I did point this out to manangement, who were very helpful, so hopefully that will be reviewed.
The 1st time we went to the Grande we took out evening clothes with us and after a long day, diving and swimming we used the facilities in the spa to shower and freshen up. All shampoo, shower gel, towels, hairdryer and body lotions are there for your free use. We then looked wonderful for out visit to Toscolininis, which was also very special. Again though we rushed our food, booked at 6pm, so we could catch the shuttle back at 7pm as the next bus wasnt until 9.30. (again shuttles seemed to be an issue for most guests, we heard)

Dean and his team of absolute nutty crazy people entertained all the guests. But Shara always stole the show, for me although she was banned from attending and was confined to the bar, she would sneak in and whisk Dean off his feet - literally.

Back to the diving. Very professional. 1st class and excellent safety, 1st and foremost. Barney was a great divemaster from the Halcyon, although they were all brilliant. Tim was fantastic at the Grande. I just had a great time and want to stay diving in St Lucia for ever. Visibility varied. The Pitons was the clearest, the best dive was from the Grande to the small island. Strong currents but more to see.
I loved the watersport facilities and soon felt confident on a Hobycat. Windel was a brilliant manager there and had a great team who worked their soxs off, around the pool and on the beach.
We took a taxi from the hotel to tour the island at out own pace, which we negociated a good price. We also went on the Segways from the hotel. That was brilliant and I will write a separate review for those guys. We left that until the 2nd week, my advice would be go very early in your holiday as you get to see Rodney Bay and what it has to offer, early on.
We met some wonderful new friends, who I hope will read this and stay in touch.
So would I recommend the Sandals Halcyon..... most definately, would I go again, yes tomorrow!
Can I just say a big thank you to all the staff I havent mentioned, whose names I couldnt spell, that made our stay so very special. See you soon. x

Room Tip: choose an upstairs balcony, maybe in the 500's for the quiet pool and sun. The upstairs rooms fa...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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4  Thank Denise-Adventuress
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,347 - 2,353 of 3,886 reviews

Reviewed October 15, 2012

1st of all ignore all the negative reviews, this place is amazing yes it is the smallest of the three resorts but has the most personality and is by far the friendliest, we stayed for 2weeks from 17/09/12
It was worth every penny every member of staff was helpfull they couldnt do enough for you and we was in a standard room so when people say you need to be concirge to be noticed its nonsence,
Yes the beach is small and the sand isnt as white as the pictures but who cares all hotels enhance there pictures in brochures, we stayed facing the red lane massage spa which might i add was worth every penny the best massage ive ever had,
We spent alot of time at the sunset pool (lively one) earning mega whooping points got players of the fortnight and got every prize going :) its not overly load just a nice atmosphere getting to meet people, the paradise pool was ok if you like quiet,
The playmakers where even more awsome big shout outs to viana (lady v) eslyn, neilan, everton, garfield (fitness instructer) julien they really do make you feel at home and get you involved in things shuffle board, horse shoeing, pool and beach vollyball fish a prize aqua arobics and in the evening talent show, casino, karoke, the gallop :) also the bar staff where lovely to the best bar women shara she was hillarious and loved winding up people, kirby and gavy where brill too.
The resteraunts where brill the pier was my fav at the resort but kimonos at la toc was out of this world def worth a visit you will need to book this tho limited places per night, the candlelight dinner was the best meal we had whilst we was the worth the extra,
Joe Knows is fab big al, big willy and cupid made it the best trip ever definatly a must do, also a helicopter ride to the airport is a must see the island from above spectacular views.
You can have as much or as little fun as you like (we had lots) and had pool and hot tub partys a few nites whilst we were there to the complaints of some boring guests i mean live a little your on hol or at least tell us to be quiet instead of waiting till the next day.
cleaners twice a day, gardeners out every day, fridges replenished everyday cant complain really, this hotel is more like little cottages dotted around relaxing and romantic, where as the grande and la toc are huge multistorey buildings not intimate in the slightest,
Overall great for all age ranges we are 24 but met couples as old as 60 who were up for the fun makes your holiday more enjoyable.
Thanks Sandals Halcyon for the best holiday hope we can return one day and maybe even the rest of the gang we met may return too ;)

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank lisaswimby50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2012

We're so delighted to read that you had such a wonderful stay at Sandals Halcyon. We always want our guests to enjoy the feel of a relaxing and intimate experience while having the option to visit our other resorts for a more lively and entertaining experience. Also, we're happy that you appreciated the genuine hospitality of our staff. They will all be encouraged to hear of your kind words. Thank you for your review.

We can't wait to welcome you back soon!


Sincerely,
Cassie C.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2012

What I liked:
-Sandals has a lounge right off of the luggage pick up area which is air conditioned and has cold drinks. From there we had a private cab ride to the hotel (although not all guests has this)
-you can check in on line before you leave which makes the check in process very quick
-we had a 1-on-1 tour of the property when we arrived which was useful and short (15 min)
-you can use all the amenities of the other 2 sandals properties that are less than 15 min away. This offers lots of different restaurants and pools although the beaches at all 3 are very small. We ate at the pizza place at The Grande, the food was ok but the service was very slow.
-includes snorkeling although the spot we went to wasn’t great
-the staff is attentive offering a high level of service (which we did not experience at the other 2 sandals locations)
-St Lucia is beautiful and easy to get around as its English speaking.
-we did a tour called “Joe Knows” which is sold by Sandles but run by a separate company. This was the highlight of our trip. They tour you around in a speed boat and a mini bus. We did snorkeling, went to the mud baths then rinsed off in the volcanic hot waters. Saw a pretty waterfall and had lunch. The tour guides were a lot of fun and you get to see a lot of the island. I would highly recommend this tour ($120 USD but worth it).

What I didn’t like
-the beach is really small, walking from end to end takes about 5 minutes. There are very few loungers and umbrellas on the beach (maybe 10 wooden umbrellas). If you are looking for a place with a great beach this isn’t a good choice
-I expected a beautiful and grand hotel which this is not, sandals doesn’t live up to its marketing. The hotel is nice but not outstanding. You can find much nicer hotels with more included and as high level of service for a lower cost (would recommend couples in Negril or Gran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado in Samana)
-size of the resort is very small, not many places to walk to and started to feel a little trapped on such a small property
-drinks seemed watered down, not what I expect from a resort of this quality
-the meals were ok but not great at all the restaurants at this location
-they also seem to rent out part of the hotel for local weddings that had a lot of guests which made this small resort feel very busy (2 when we were there)
-although more visable at the Grand and La Toc guests with more expensive rooms are given private cabana's on the beach. It made us feel that we were second class guests which I'm sure wasn't the intention. Sandals needs to fix this perception issue.

Overall we had a good time but were disappointed by the resort itself, the meals and the beach. Nothing was bad but I had high expectations from a Sandals property that were not met.

Room Tip: We were in room 210 which was a second story room with a decent garden view.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Lilly_travelling_cat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2012

It is a while since I visited this place but it was advertised recently and it reminded me of our holiday there .Although we visited other sandals hotels at the time and they looked very good I think we drew the short straw . The complex is really only a three star and badly in need of a refurb I think its about 30 years old and these days there are far more luxurious hotels to spend your money on . They also state it is a direct flight - its not , you will be sitting on barbados tarmac for an hour with no drinks and because you are not allowed to exit the plane , this is classed as a direct flight To cut a long story short I tried to complain when we arrived back to uk ( I had originally booked through elegant holidays sandals web site )but they had every answer and excuse under the sun . it was really difficult trying to find whether they were atol or abta even abta had problems finding out . Unfortunately my mum died and I gave up chasing them . Save your money and go elsewhere .It may have been luxury years ago , but it isnt now , why do you think they are giving big discounts .

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank mopetesurridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2012

Thank you for you review of Sandals Halcyon. We're sorry that we did not meet your expectations during your stay in 2011 but the necessity for renovation was noted. We have recently completed a new rejuvenation process of our property. The quaint and intimate atmosphere can still be experienced but we've upgraded and added luxurious features that will surely exceed your expectations.

We encourage you to visit us again soon and experience our upgrades.

Happy Travels!


Sincerely,
Cassie C.

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Reviewed October 9, 2012

This review is much too late (but better late than never right?) My husband and I spent 5 nights here starting June 10, 2012 for our honeymoon. We couldn't have picked a better location!
When we first arrived, after three hours sleep the night before and 6+hours flying, we were instantly greeted in the lobby area with cold, damp towels to cool us down in the 80 degree weather and champagne. We were given a brief tour of the property and recommendations for dinner that would best suit us after spending our day flying and driving to our resort. The staff was very helpful and spoke with a group of us about checking in and out, internet, shuttles to and from other resorts, excursion, etc. They really knew what they were doing and made us feel comfortable and welcome immediately.
There are two different pool areas at Halcyon, and quiet pool great for reading and converations, and one that played music and games all day. As a young couple (both 22) we loved the "fun" pool. The playmakers really make you feel welcome and want you to earn points to get free prizes at the end of your stay. While all the playmakers were wonderful, Neillan was our favorite! He really took the time to remember your names. He knew everyday that my husband wanted to play pool volleyball and eventually convinced me to play too! The day we left he took the time to say goodbye, take a photo with us, and even say goodbye over the loud speaker.
The food was great too! We ate at all the restauarants on site, and got lunch everyday at the small gazebo. We were able to taste some local foods, but other cuisines as well. Sandals Halcyon had a different theme everynight. We were able to meet all the managers, see a local fashion show, have a romatic honeymooners dinner, enjoy local music and dancing, and never had to leave the resort. Although there were two other Sandals resorts, we never felt the need or want to leave ours. We did two of the excursions (the Super Snorkel and horseback riding) and felt comfortable with that. We loved our room, our view, the beach, the pool, the staff, the food, etc.
This was the best honeymoon we could have hope for. We do hope to visit again in a few years!

Room Tip: The "Beachfront Honeymoon" room was great, although there was about 30 feet from our room...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Larissa T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

We spent 10 nights at Halcyon from September 25th 2012 and it was absolutely fantastic, i find it hard to believe some of the poor reviews on here but i guess some people are never happy!

The trip from the airport is quite long and definitely winding but the road is well maintained, i think it might feel a little strange if you're not used to being on that side of the road but the drivers know it like the back of their hands, We took the helicopter from the airport because i didn't want another long ride after a 9 hour flight and i really think it was money well spent, i booked through virgin and it was £90 each. On the way back we had a private car and our driver stopped to let us take photo's and told us some local facts so it was an added bonus to see more of the island that way.

We had a concierge room in block 10 near to the quiet pool. It was immaculate and very clean, there was plenty of storage space, a stocked mini bar, a kettle and a coffee maker, lots of wall plugs and the biggest most comfortable bed i have ever slept in. The housekeepers kept it very clean and they have a privacy/ make up the room light outside so they come and go more or less at your convenience.

We ate at all the restaurants during our stay, i like to try the local food, my husband is a little more conservative but we both found that there was plenty to choose from and the meals were of a good quality.
The service was fantastic and we were always served quickly and our wine glasses were constantly topped up. My favourite restaurant was Mario's, the food in there was delicious and again the service was excellent, the maitre'd, Stephano, is a real credit to Sandals, friendly and informative. I'd just like to add at this point that the wine waiters will offer you a list of wines which are an extra cost, we were never pressured into buying them though, we just said no and had the house wine which is really nice.

The swimming pools were cleaned frequently and considering how lush the grounds are here the staff have their work cut out keeping the leaves at bay, We never had a problem getting a lounger although a lot of guests get up early to reserve one, the only thing i would say is that the shady ones tend to go first which can be a problem, also the towels could do with being topped up a little faster but if you ask at the bar they get the water sports guys to bring more, or you can use your room towels.

The beach is small but is never crowded, most people seem to prefer the pools, i walked past the beach vendors several times a day and never had any hassle from them, i always said Hi to them and they were nice guys.

We went on a few trips, some booked through the island tours, one through our virgin rep and one from the water sports guys, the virgin one was through the rain forest canopy on a tram carriage, very tranquil and informative. one was a day trip to Martinique, a fun ride over on a catamaran and well worth a visit and one sunset cruise which was ok.
The best value for money was the super snorkel, only 30 US dollars each, a four hour trip that takes in the west coast with a stop at Marigot Bay and a vist to see some bats in their crevasse in the rocks but best of all a snorkel/ swim under the shadow of the Pitons, i had never snorkelled before and the guide was really patient with me and showed me what to do, i loved it, then we watched the most beautiful sunset and got back to the hotel after dark, Fantastic trip.

The only part of the holiday that i felt could be improved a little was the evening entertainment, they need more live shows and i felt that they could have used the Mirage room to much better effect than they did each evening, it seemed to hold a lot of functions that excluded first time visitors and a couple of events we had planned to go to in there were either cancelled, much later than advertised or moved to the piano bar.

We had a free photo shoot on our wedding anniversary and the photo's were beautiful, they do various packages but i just bought four shots on a disc which cost 16 US dollars each and we also received a 7 x 5 print in a Sandals frame free of charge.

Every single member of staff that we interacted with were friendly and polite, they work very long days in very hot weather and we never once had cause to complain, as i work in a service industry myself i know how much staff appreciate it when customers take a little time to say hello and please and thankyou, special mention goes to Denise, Cristal, Agnes, Juan and Neillan but all the staff really were great, nothing was too much trouble.

There was a wide range of ages and nationalities staying here which led to a good mix, we had a good laugh with lots of them, in fact we only met one couple during the whole stay who were not very nice and moaned about everything, we all avoided them. A couple of reviewers have commented on the amount of Tattoo's on display! so what!? i think it says more about you than it does Sandals and no i haven't got one myself. lol.

All in all i can recommend this hotel, it's not too big or spread out, the rooms are great, the fascilities excellent and the staff wonderful.

Room Tip: We had room 609 near the quiet pool, large refurbished comfortable room.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Lindsay S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

We stayed at the Halcyon from Sept 29 thru Oct 6 2012. We were greeted immediately after exiting the shuttle after a close to 90 minute ride. We had heard some horror stories about the drive from the airport, and although the road was quite windy, the driver was very good. Our concierge met us with cool towels and champagne. She led us to an air conditioned room to check in. She then walked us to our room pointing out various amenities along the way.

My first impression of the room was small. I have stayed in Holiday Inns with larger rooms (I was told all the rooms are the same size). But figuring we'd be spending little time there we got over the disappointment. The bed was very comfortable, and there was plenty of closet and drawer space. There was a well stocked mini fridge in the room that kept things cool.... not cold. A flat screen TV carried many American stations. The sunsets from our patio were beautiful.

The beach was about 40 feet from our patio. We stayed in room 102, in the Soufriere building. It was very quite there away from the bustle of the Sunset Pool. The waves at night were very pleasant to hear. The Sunset Pool was a fun place to hang out. Swim up bar, music (not annoyingly loud), pool volleyball and other water based activities were going on frequently. We spent one afternoon at the Paradise Pool but it was too quite even for me. But we did meet Agnes, who I have read about in other posts, and she was one of the friendliest people there.

So far everything sounds pretty good. Well here comes the part that knocks it down some. We arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon. By the time we got to our room and grabbed a bite to eat (food was very good by the way) We went to the pool, no towels. A guy was collecting the used ones and we asked for some clean ones "no towels" was the response. Towel shortages were a common occurrence around the pool. Some other shortages cropped up as well. No mangos, almost the entire week. So no Bob Marley's. Went to the Bistro one night, no lettuce for the BLTs. Also we waited one day at the swim up bar for 10 minutes for someone to come wait on us. We actually had to go to the other bar to get a bar tender. One bartender at the swim up bar was, well not rude but didn't seem to want to be there. Or really care too much about the guests. You can't be a 4-5 star resort and have these issues. We also found ourselves flanked by smokers at our room. We'd be out on our patio and suddenly one of our neighbors would light up. Sandals should see if they can bunch the smokers (or non-smokers) together some how.

The grounds were well kept, a splash of paint wouldn't hurt here and there, but nothing major. I gave it a 3 out of 5 rating, but I could have gone 4 with just a few improvements. A smaller resort, with a mostly quiet atmosphere. It was a good vacation overall. I could see myself going back.

Thanks to our Concierge Melissa, and Neillan (hope I spelled that right) the activity director for making our stay better.

Tom and Terri

Room Tip: The Soufriere Building, Map #15 on the website, was a very quiet section. I heard other people compl...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank tntmac1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort

Address: Choc Bay, Castries GM910, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Castries Quarter > Castries
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Castries
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Castries
#5 Romantic Hotel in Castries
Price Range: $481 - $1,373 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 169
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•Friendly to the physically challenged with low rise architecture •Fully air-conditioned Caribbean cuisine restaurant on its own 150 ft pier over the •Caribbean Sea •Houses 169 Rooms with true personal service and intimate experience •English-style afternoon tea served at the Paradise pool •Tableside service at the Beach Bistro •“Stay at one, play at three” free shuttles to Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa and Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort•Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row •Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand”, 18 years in a row ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia Hotel Castries
Sandals Halcyon Beach Castries
Sandals St Lucia
Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort St. Lucia/Castries

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