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“Great Time!”

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Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence
Sacramento, California, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great Time!”
Reviewed January 18, 2013

We had a great time on out trip. We stayed the week of January 6. When we arrived at the airport, we were brought into a Sandals room where they were offering beverages and there was a restroom and couches while you waited for your shuttle. The shuttle ride was not bad at all, and this is coming from someone who freaks out about being stuck in a bus for too long on windy roads! First off- it's a van with seatbelts that sits about 3-4 couples, and has air. They have 1 stop along the way where you can go to the bathroom (for $1!) and take pictures of a beautiful ocean view. The roads really aren't that bad, and it's a fabulous way to get an island tour in, because you see some true island towns!

Once you arrive at Sandals, you are greeted with champagne, fill out some paperwork and are taken to your room. Our room was fabulous- room 417. Somehow we got upgraded and our room was right next to the ocean with a beautiful view! The resort is older, no doubt. It was definitely a bit run down in places and that was noticeable. But if your read reviews, you know what you are getting yourself into. The housekeepers were great- always cleaned up our messes, and the bed was nice and big. The tv kind of sucked though- not the best reception, but you really aren't there to watch tv.

Little things- they take care of you if you get sick. I got an infection and they arranged to have a doctor come to my room with medication in hand, so that was a relief, because who likes to get sick in another country! Another thing- if you can, shop at the markets in town. The Sandals store is very expensive- especially for things like sunscreen or medicine or clothes.

Restaurants- Service is a little slow in every restaurant, but we figured out that we had to deal with "island time." But it's not that slow compared to most restaurants in the US, they get you in and out pretty quickly- and we never had a wait at any of the restaurants once. We stayed on our resort the whole time, because we were content with it, so this is for those eateries. The Pier was delicious and just a romantic ambiance. Mario's was good, but a bit stuffy. And Bayside was good too and fun because it's outside so you hear the waves crashing, and you can feed the cats- which my fiance and I did multiple times! And the other bar/outdoor snack area was good too for lunches. The drinks were really good, but if you are trying to get a buzz or drunk, you will have to order a lot, because they don't put a ton of alcohol in them.

The pools were really nice, it was hard to find beach towels sometimes- but if you asked a worker, you got one. And you do have to figure out the best times to grab a chair. The beach wasn't that crowded when we went- but you have to go early or wait till afternoon to get a chair. It is a smaller beach, but still very nice and pretty, and the water was like bath water! Take advantage of the water sports too- water skiing, kayaking.. it was fun! And the spas were great too.

It's definitely a smaller resort, with a more romantic Caribbean feel. Not perfect, but very nice and we left home content, and missing some of the cats :)

Also- definitely book a Joe Knows trip- it was hilarious and SO much fun, a great way to see the island!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Hilary4613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,610 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (978)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Slovak first
  • Any
English first
Bristol
Level Contributor
241 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Smallest of the 3 Sandals resorts on St Lucia but centrally situated for free transfers (about every two hours) to dine around or visit at La Toc or the Grand. At Halcyon cuisine is fine at The Pier (see Celina) and Mario's (see Stefano). Bayside very acceptable but on a buffet basis, nevertheless good quality. Butler service comes quite pricey but provides everything you can ask for, although it was a little involved organising a late checkout involving a change of room at 12.30pm. Our only two outside dining experiences were the fine dining on Gordons on the Pier at the Grand (they really should have restroom facilities there! - it's quite a walk past Barefoot on the Beach) - and dinner and excellent french style cuisine at La Toc. We did the Joe Knows tour on the speedboat and bus - it was a good day out with a chance to see and experience a bit more of the island. With butler service (Willard, Silvie and Claudia were ours, most ably overseen by Roland the head butler) dinner reservations can be whenever wherever without any problems, drinks stocked to your order in cooler on beach, reserved beach or pool position to suit your wishes, anything and everything you can drink in your room with mini bar restocked daily and a cell phone to call up any need wherever between 8am and 10pm. Butler beachside room about the same quality as some other available concierge rooms, but ours 134 was about ten paces from the sandy beach - and that was just what we wanted. There is also plenty of room around the pools, one of which is designated a quieter area - the sunset pool. Choose carefully what you like from the brochure or website - always seems there are special offers so it is difficult to see what the real price is - I guess there isn't one! Staff are friendly and help create a family atmosphere at this relatively small Sandals and some relationships especially flourish where personalities dovetail well. Some guests complain that the dress code is not enforced - Sandals are reluctant it seems, to discipline anyone to retain the bed nights. Those hardened drinkers who start at or before 10am are here in small numbers. As the alcohol flows so the noise gets louder - whoever they are on site they are probably best avoided if you are going for a quiet holiday. There were one or two holidaymakers who could double for foghorns should the need arise! Steer a wide berth. Vendors on the beach are not a problem but some days they are numerous. Be friendly, and firm if you must, but they are more about trying to make a living than giving you a hard time. At the time of our visit Jan 2013 the beach was quite narrow on the left of the pier with sand having been dragged out by the tides but there is always room to sit on the sandy beach with lots of space to the right of the pier. Tropical weather here is a mixture of sunshine and (sometimes heavy) showers. The state of the tide varies of course but most days there were waves, sometimes crashing, but the odd day also when the calmness and serenity of the sea matched our own peace through spending time in the warm and friendly Caribbean at Sandals.

Room Tip: 134 as Butler Beachfront is as close as you can get to the beach
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank DavidFBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

From the moment our flight landed the hotel took over our every need. Champage on arrival in a Sandalls airport lounge and then a 90 minute transfer, with the driver acting as a tour guide!
The hotel is the smallest of the 3 Sandalls in St Lucia, but has everything that the others provide - just on a smaller scale. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and the bedrooms exceptionally well appointed with a drinks cabinet replenished daily! The Dining staff, although lovely, do need more organising as they tend to forget your request and get caught up in the next ommission before resolving yours. However, if you adopt a laid back attitude it happens eventually - West Indies style!

Yes the sea is cloudy, but its only sand and there are no Rocks! We swam in it every day and loved it. The Paradise pool was near our room (512) and was exactly that - Paradise.The other pool had loud music continually playing which was a shame for those who had rooms near to it and didnt want music. The Pier restaurant was wonderful, great food, and a painist played all night. The building may be a little tired on the outside, but beautiful on the inside.
If you want BIG and IMPOSING and YOUNG then go to the other resorts, but if you want homely, comfy cosey with friendly staff and a slightly older set of guests - then Halycon is the perfect retreat. The free shuttle between the 3 means that you can have the best of both worlds anyway.

Room Tip: 512 is on the first floor and looked on to Paradise Pool, which is the quieter of the 2 pools .
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank BNL55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Our first 'fully inclusive' trip to the eastern Caribbean and we found the experience most relaxing. 12 night stay over Christmas/New Year with plenty of entertainment and an excellent New Year Gala buffet/dinner. New Year brought in by a very impressive firework display. Shame some of the guests couldn't be bothered to observe the easy dress code for such an event!! It's a couples only resort, which we recommend! All the Staff were extremely helpful, polite and efficient, making our stay most enjoyable. Downsides to the resort are the extremely high charges, 43 U.S. dollars for seven days use of Wi-Fi, or almost 15 U.S. dollars if you pay per day, bitten to bits by mosquitoes, requiring medical advice, and a very limited choice of wines on the inclusive side of meals rather than purchasing from a wine list proffered by the Sommeliers. Inclusive wines were the same all stay, namely Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for reds and Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, served by the glass. Not much variety! We recommend the day trip on a speedboat to The Pitons operated by 'Joe Knows', bookable at the desk in the foyer. A great 'fun' day out with much effort and entertainment provided by the crew. All in all a very worthwhile, relaxing, trip to St Lucia.

Room Tip: We were about as far away from the restaurants and facilities as you could get but great to have the...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank michaelweststreet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 15, 2013 via mobile

We are currently staying at the hotel and have another week to go, the staff are friendly, helpful and always smiling.We are situated between the La Toc and The Grande hotels with buses every 2 hours.The beach at The Grande is the best so arrive early as this beach is very desirable !
I have only one major complaint to make and that is about the smoking policy, I understand the bar areas are outside and so are some of the restaurants but whilst smoking is not banned in public areas SANDALS should ask guests to refrain from smoking whilst other guest are eating and not sit at the bar smoking !! This isn't fair for guest, guest with ill health and staff who DO NOT smoke and have to inhale other peoples smoke. Come on SANDALS get with the 21st century !
If Sandals changed there policy's we would return but as it stands we won't return due to the smoking, this is a shame as the staff are so friendly.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vickie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Just back after a week here at what is advertised as a luxury first class holiday destination, both my partner and I expected more, service was poor, the resort is in need of a lick of paint, the pier resturant in particular is very shabby from the outside, the water is not clear and the sand is not white, the brochure shows different, the dress code is far too relaxed, evening dinner is advertised as shirts, closed toe shoes etc this is not adhered to at all except in Mario's Italian. Not worth the money at all. House keeping was also very inconsistant room not cleaned properly on some days, fridge not re-filled with water and fresh juice daily as advised on arrival. Overall very disapointed with this hotel and not worth the money to go again. St Lucia though is lovely and would visit the island again.

Room Tip: Deluxe rooms from number 500+ are better quality and in a quiet area of the complex.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Swissdibble1
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 review, January 16, 2013
We're so sorry to read that your stay with us was one you would consider to be average. We always strive to offer amazing vacation experiences and anything less than perfect calls for improvement on our part. It seems we did not meet your expectations in quite a few areas of our service. We want to ensure that our future guests do not share the same experience. Therefore, your feedback will be sent to our General Manager for immediate evaluation and action as needed.

Thank you for your review. We hope that you will afford us a chance to make things right during a future stay with us.


Sincerely,
Cassie C.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chappaqua, New York
Level Contributor
70 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

What a disappointment this so called "resort" was. Our room was dirty and the housekeeping staff tried to tell me that the floor always looks that way due to the type of tile until I showed them the dirt on the wet tissue that I had just gently wiped the floor with. There was mildew in the shower. We left our terrace door open one evening and 3 BATS flew in. When I reported this to the front desk, they just shrugged and claimed they had never heard of that before. The pool consistently ran out of towels and again the front desk was unconcerned. The staff constantly makes announcements about how the guests should sign up for the next visit at big discounts. First of all, they would have to PAY ME before I would be willing to even think about going there again. Secondly it was not relaxing to be sitting by the pool and be barraged with one big Sandals commercial after another. The beach is very shallow, not particularly clean and locals annoy anyone on the beach or near the beach trying to sell their wares and excursions. The Sandals staff does nothing to dissuade them other than to warn the guests not to buy from them. We also felt the alcohol was watered down. This adventure to Sandals Halcyon was a big rip-off.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Sari L
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 review, January 16, 2013
We regret to hear that we did not meet your expectations for service and quality. We pride ourselves on the positive feedback received from guests who have boasted of our luxurious accommodations. however, as hoteliers we realize that there is always room for improvement and feedback is crucial in this process so we thank you for your review.

We want to make sure future guests do not have similar feedback and will take action by notifying the appropriate departments of your remarks - including our maintenance and guest services teams. We do request that while on resort you notify us of anything that does not meet your standards. We are always willing to work with you to make sure you walk away feeling like your stay was money well spent.

Once again, thank you for your feedback.


Sincerely,
Cassie C.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort

Property: 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
#4 Family Hotel in Castries
#5 Romantic Hotel in Castries
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Castries
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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