Overall my husband and I had a wonderful time during our stay at Sandals with a few issues that could have made the trip a little more enjoyable but weren't such major issues to really affect the fun we had. We visited from 2/9-2/16 for vacation.
Definitely a hit or miss in the service department with more people seemingly unhappy and unfriendly. When we first arrived and ordered food at the Beach Bistro, our waitress, Sherry Ann was very rude and had an attitude, which was very discouraging as that was our first encounter with the staff. Other waitresses weren't usually overly friendly but Tammy and Celine at Bayside were two of our favorites, both were extremely friendly and actually had a smile on their faces (which unfortunately was rather rare). The cook (I believe Eugene) at the Beach Bistro on the night shift was also wonderful. He was always very friendly and remembered our names after meeting us only once. Most of the bartenders were friendly and upbeat but make sure you order extra alcohol if you like a stronger drink. We'd highly recommend Paradise Kisses and Dirty Bananas, very good smoothie-like drinks.
Not overly impressed with the food but we were still satisfied. The raves about Kelly's Dockside (formerly The Pier) definitely gave us high hopes but what we received was not the five star dining we were expecting, especially if you don't order a bottle of wine from the wine list instead of just sticking with the house wines. We compared Kelly's to a nice Red Lobster. None of the food was bad it just was average and when thinking of how well known Sandals is we were expecting more. We chose not to visit other resorts during our stay so we can't speak for the food there. We were slightly disappointed that Kimonos wasn't open yet as we've heard good things about it at other resorts.
Unfortunately the other reviews about people "claiming" chairs on the beach and at the pool are true. We chose to just get up early and be on the beach around 9am and didn't have a problem getting chairs. Fortunately the cabanas in the gardens are strictly first come first serve so there wasn't ever a problem using those. The beach isn't big but there's plenty of room between chairs so you don't feel like you're right next to the other guests. The vendors on the beach weren't as bad as we expected, they come up and talk to you but most didn't pressure us too much and by the last few days they weren't really around. The towel situation wasn't nearly as bad as expected either, while sometimes there weren't clean towels they were always refreshed in a reasonable amount of time.
Not really a nightlife to speak of. Bars were open late but only about 10 guests stayed out past 10:30pm. The playmakers had a few activities set up but unfortunately attendance was low.
Joe Knows Tour
A must!! Very good time and it's wonderful seeing so much of the island. Big Al, RJ, and Captain Junior were fantastic. It's definitely worth the money and helps to break up the week. The snorkeling location wasn't the greatest, not too many fish or coral but still a great time. Be prepared for a lot of kids and vendors at every stop though.
We had a Deluxe Oceanview room in the Gros Islet building (room numbers in the 400s), we were on the second floor and loved it. When we booked our room we knew we wanted second level and weren't disappointed. Great view of the gardens and ocean. We aren't sure why other guests preferred a first floor room as people were constantly walking around the resort and a first floor room would offer little privacy. Our room was very nice, plenty of drawer and closet space, a big bed, and decent sized bathroom. They also had a table with mirror that we used as a sort of vanity so only having one sink wasn't an issue. The shower was also a very nice size. The entire room was well kept and the bathroom was clean. We also very much enjoyed the patio.
Items we wouldn't recommend bringing that we did and didn't need:
1. Clothes to change into for lunch. Bathing suits with cover ups and flip flops are ok attire at the Beach Bistro and Bayside.
2. Shampoo, conditioner, aloe, body lotion - the Red Lane products they give you are fantastic, we did have to leave a note for housekeeping to leave more when we ran out though.
3. Gym shoes if you do the Joe Knows tour. Flip flops are fine for each part of the trip.
Items we'd recommend bringing:
1. Body wash - only bar soap is provided in the room
2. We left 2 small travel size Bath & Body Works lotions or hand sanitizers in our room everyday to thank housekeeping. When we'd run into them during the day they were very appreciative.
3. iPod - the clocks in the room have docks built in so it makes it nice having music in the room.
4. LOTS of sunscreen - if you need to replenish down there it's literally $25 a bottle, we unfortunately made this mistake and had to pay the price.
- 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