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Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
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Reviewed June 13, 2013

My wife and I just spent our honeymoon here and we absolutely loved it. The staff and the people we met at the resort made our trip. A big pet peeve of mine is when people just treat you like some schlub they have to deal with. That will not be your experience here. The staff actively tried to get to know us and our likes and dislikes to improve our stay.

Let me start this review by saying that of the 3 Sandals hotels on the Island, Halcyon has the best location relative to the other two. It is located essentially the same distance from the other two (in the middle, if you will). Since they have the "stay at 1, play at 3" motto this is an important note. All of the hotels have different activities going on every night/day, so it's definitely good to be able to hop from each resort to the other (don't worry they have a free shuttle that runs from like 6-11). In a few words, the Grande is the huge resort with the awesome beach (clearest water), La Toc is the one that seemed to be the party resort, and Halcyon was an intimate experience (read smallest).

Now, the intimate experience thing can be your forté or not. Since the staff sees less people, they get to know you throughout the week and you create small friendships. They take time to talk to you and joke with you rather than move on to the next guest as quick as possible. Seriously, I added several of the staff on facebook to keep up with them. That intimate.

Let me just finish this up with pros and cons I noticed:

Pros:
1. Price, I believe it's the most affordable of the Sandals resorts.
2. Kelly's Dockside. So good, we ate there twice in a week (it only does dinner). Get the Mahi Mahi and you will thank me.
3. Order plenty of Dirty Bananas (it's a drink).
4. The room concierge will recognize what drinks you are or are not drinking and adjust your minibar accordingly.
5. Kimonos. Make sure you schedule a reservation early. Also, visit the sushi side of the restaurant. I heard you do not need a reservation for, but it is amazing.
6. Late night nachos and drunk interactions at the Beach Bistro (also their wings during lunch are delish).
7. Watersports. They are hidden in the corner, but make sure you check them out. Free kayaking, paddle boarding, sail boats, etc.
8. Find Shara as a bartender for late night entertainment. She is a riot. If she is paired with Micky...even better.
9. Ask for more liquor in your drinks if you are trying to get your whistle wet.

Cons:
1. The ocean is NOT blue and clear like the pictures on their website. These are clear photoshops and was a big disappointment to me. The Grande has much clearer water. On that note, the waves are non-existant.
2. The room was a bit run down and unexciting, but this might be my unrealistic American standards. I just expected more of a "wow" factor that wasn't there.
3. The local beach hagglers are annoyingly persistent. They were so bad we didn't spend much time at the beach. The beaches in St Lucia are free to all (no one owns them), so you can't get away from it anywhere.
4. Sirens can be heard from the highway clearly in the rooms. These occur frequently throughout the day and night.

Also, if management reads these reviews I have to give a hat tip to Viana, Eslyn, Chevonic, Everton, Micky, Shara, Big and small Jimmy (bartender and barback respectively), Garfield, Greg, and Danny. These people were tremendous and really deserve to be recognized for great work.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank jstephens8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2013

My husband and I decided to go to the Halcyon for our honeymoon June 2, 2013 - June 8, 2013. The gardens that surround the buildings are amazing and the room that we chose was Very spacious. We decided on the Gros Islet for a room instead of ocean view because you really are in your room to sleep and change. We later found out that our room was far better and bigger than some facing the ocean. We only had one issue with the room and that was the cabinet door fell off when opened. That was easily fixed. The maid service was immaculate!!! I have never had someone fold my clothes when they cleaned my room. The restaurants were good but I think we were expecting that the dinners were going to be spectacular. I know that I have been to better restaurants back home. The breakfast buffet is the best!!! Everyday they change something about it to give you other food to exprience. It was nice that with this resort being smaller you didn't have to fight to get a pool chair or towels. The resort activities are pretty much the same everyday so it would be nice if they could change it up a bit like the other Sandals. Most of the staff were very attentive and helpful. We only had and issue with a couple of them that gave attitude or just wouldn't come back with what you ordered. Needless to say we found the manager and complained. The venders that were on the beach were alright. If you said that you weren't interested they wouldn't bother you for the rest of your stay. My husband and I had a sunset dinner on the beach and they did not even look in our direction. So I assume the resort has told them not to harrass the guests that are having dinner there. The excursions that are offered through the resort are WONDERFUL. I would have to say hands down to do the Southern Safari buggy tour. That is an amazing way to see the island, go in the volcano sulpher and mud bath, and then in the waterfall. The tour guide was very informative about the different things on the island and medicinal properties of many things as well. The zip line tour was a rush! Going 30mph across a river would give anyone a rush. I would definately suggest Halcyon to anyone who wants the atmosphere to be "quieter". If you want to party go to the Grande. It was nice to be able to hop the bus and party up there but come back to the quiet. If you do go to another resort for the day and plan on staying for dinner, ask about the courtesy room. We got a room to shower and change in before dinner so that we wouldn't have to clean up in the bathroom.

Room Tip: Don't choose a room for its view... You are not there except to sleep and shower. We met a couple who chose an ocean view room and they paid almost DOUBLE what we paid for a garden view room. And we had a pool and 2 gas fireplaces within 30' of our room.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2013

My wife and I honeymooned here for ten days in early June 2013. I was concerned with a ten day stay in such a small resort that dining and entertainment options would get a little repetitive but figured having the use of the other two resorts would alleviate this. We ended up not even wanting or needing to visit the other resorts. There was always something to do, a new signature dish, or drink to try. The staff members were truly amazing and always seemed to go the extra mile to make your experience memorable. We signed up for a discovery dive and I liked it so much I ended up completing the entire open water course thanks to Ali from the dive team. The courses seemed to be average price but if you are already certified you have unlimited access to diving. Also Jonas from the water sports center was amazingly patient while attempting to teach me how to windsurf. The Super Snorkel tour from the hotel is probably the best $50/pp to get a tour of and history behind the entire island. Eli was one of the tour guides that really helped to take an already awesome excursion to the next level. The staff at the restaurants were also amazing including Davis the superstar wine steward from Kelly's. Spencer from the Bayside, equally amazing. Everyone was always smiling and seemed to really enjoy their jobs. "No pressure, No problems" is a phrase you will hear a lot. It is not a big resort or a super lux resort but if you are looking for a intimate romantic getaway with a true island feel this is the place.
Some items that are not really negative but things to be aware of. The beach is not a private beach but I don't believe there are any on the island so there are guys on the beach trying to sell bracelets, hats, and other gifts but they don't really seem to bother anyone. The WIFI service is horrible, for $42.99/week for up to 3 devices and we had to call the tech support each time we needed to log on. They explained the system can only support so many users, so each time they just reset it and kicked everyone off and we were able to log in. We stayed in a concierge level room which I am not really sure that was worth the upgrade as the one time I called her to make a reservation at Japanese restaurant she just transferred me to the restaurant. Overall the entire experience was amazing!!

Room Tip: The Beachfront walkout rooms are worth the upgrade. You will be only feet from the beach.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Doug S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

My daughter got married in the Piton Mountains in St. Lucia June 1, 2013, and had her reception at La Toc where she stayed, as did the in-laws, man-of-honor and another couple. My husband and I chose Halcyon, since we liked the garden atmosphere and wanted a more relaxed setting. Since all of us were able to travel between the resorts, I spent a lot of time at both resorts. Let me just say my husband and I were the ONLY ones who were happy with our choice. Halcyon is by far a friendlier, more relaxed resort. The grounds were lovely and the staff went above and beyond. I don't think I passed a single employee at Halcyon that did not smile and say hello. They remembered what you drank after 1 day and would offer to refill it whenever the noticed it was empty. Agnes at one of the pool bars in a gem. Just tell her you need a "little extra love" and she'll take care of you. The entire staff did everything possible to make your visit the best possible. The only complaint I had was a few of the guests behaved like it was spring break. There were a few vendors on the beach, but for the most part if you ignored them, they gave up. Since all beaches in St. Lucia are public beaches, Sandals did a good job making sure the guests weren't harassed. The pier restaurant and the Japanese restaurant had great food. Mario's was good, but we preferred the others.
On the other side, La Toc is over rated. We dined at three of the restaurants, attended the wedding reception and used the spa there. I was not impressed with the majority of the staff or the resort. On three consecutive nights the main bar could not make any blender drinks as the blender was broke. On the third night a LARGE RAT ran thru the bar, ran across my foot and caused the MC to jump off the stage. The only positive was my daughter's butler "Ronald". He went out of his way to not only attend to my daughter and her husband, but also to us mothers. He is by far the best employee La Toc has. Not only did he take care of any need that came up while he was on duty, but also tried to fix other's mistakes. They entire staff seems cold and apathetic. Hopefully, Sandals realizes there is a definite problem at La Toc and reorganizes the management and staff as the resort has the potential to be a great resort.
If you are unsure which resort to book, I highly recommend the Halcyon if you are looking for a relaxing garden setting. If you want a more active beach setting I recommend the Grande. As for La Toc, I wouldn't stay there unless the paid me.
As for St. Lucia - Great Island, Great People.

Room Tip: Talk to a Sandals representative and tell them what your looking for, they'll make sure to help you make the best choice. We wanted quiet and privacy so we got a room in the 700 building.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Julie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2013

I stayed at Halcyon the week of May 26th, 3012 to June 2nd, 2013. I am a returning Sandals guest but this was my first time in St. Lucia. The island is amazing. The resort is very small and quiet compared to other resorts. Most of the staff were good. I stayed in a Butler level room and the Butlers (Willard, Silveria, and Roland) were awesome. They took care of everything I needed or asked for. The food at the restaurants was here was some of the best that I have had. The resort is very clean and the gardens are well kept. I only have two minor complaints about this resort. 1. The locals come onto the beach and harass you about buying items and tours from them. 2. The Beach Bistro grill. The staff here were the worst ever. They would stand at the bar and talk for several minutes before greeting you. They never once refilled my drink even though they would walk by my table and see that it was empty. I would have to walk to the bar and get another drink myself. Overall a great resort and I will be back. I would go back later this year but I already booked a trip to Sandals Grand Riveria in Jamaica.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank james s
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 June 11, 2013

We're happy to read that your stay, overall, was very enjoyable. 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 one of our restaurants. 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.

Thank you for your review. We look forward to welcoming you to Sandals Grande Riviera for your next trip!


Sincerely,
Cassie C.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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