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Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 11 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 6, 2014

We had a great vacation even though we had a few issues. If communication was better it all would have been resolved quickly. It is a beautiful small resort. Yes the rooms aren't new and modern as some of the other resorts that we have stayed but the grounds are beautiful and you will meet a few employees that you will feel like they are part of your family. Eating at the Dockside 9 out of 14 nights because the food was wonderful and thank you Lenny for having my Chocolate Martini ready when we walked through the door. We will always remember your wonderful personality and smile. I have not had as good a drink since then. We enjoyed the activities around the pool. We visited the other two resorts but the Halcyon was our favorite. The Grand has the best beach. Anoninger at the pool bar. We miss your smile and warmth. You were awesome. Agnes at the quiet pool is sweet and you need to get to know her. My main complaint was the attitude of the concierge who checked us in. While on our way to our room my husband and I were told that as returning guest there was a special dinner for us to attend. I asked if the couple that we brought with us could come with us I got a quick no. Just a explanation was all that was needed. Everyone else in the concierge lounge was very friendly. We were told that calling cards would not work there only to find out after my husband called his doctor on his cell phone that you could purchase them in the gift shop. We also learned part way through our 2 weeks that we were suppose to have one free week of internet. As we were going to pay for it they told us. Just little miss communications took some of the joy out of our stay. We will be trying another Sandals this October. The food is so good you can't beat it.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank garmorr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 10, 2014

Hello Debbie,

Thank you for your review of Sandals Halcyon Beach! It's wonderful that you had a great time relaxing at our resort and making lasting connections with our staff. We do apologize for the communication issues and we will be sure to address this matter so that we do not receive similar feedback in the future.
We look forward to welcoming you back for a stay that exceeds all your expectation in the future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,776 - 1,782 of 3,929 reviews

Reviewed May 1, 2014

This resort was just perfect for our honeymoon. We visited both of the other Sandals resorts in St Lucia and were very glad we chose this one. It is by far the most tropical feeling and the most quiet, which was perfect after the craziness of a wedding. My husband and I are in our mid-40s so the laid back atmosphere was better than the party atmosphere at the Grande Resort. In particular, Melissa and Crystal in the front office, were WONDERFUL! My husband had them cracking up every time we went in there because he was dancing all the time (to no music, usually--you know who we are!!). Thanks to both of you ladies for being so wonderful and accommodating for us. We really appreciated you and enjoyed getting to know you a little. There are places all over the world we will be traveling to, but this resort is definitely in the plans for an anniversary trip!

Room Tip: Don't stay in room 810 or the one below it--these are right next door to their maintenance and c...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank kelleet2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2014

Granted, my now wife and I went here to get married, so our thoughts were on loving bliss. But without any other expectations we were very pleased with what we got. Everyone was very pleasant and greeted you with a smile and a hello. A very relaxed atmosphere but at the same time, you can do anything you would want to at the resort with a quick phone call or stop at the front desk, they aim to please.
As I said, we got married here and everyone involved put forth a great effort to make it feel special to us, even though they do the same thing day after day. If you plan on doing pictures here, use Aniko Grant at the photo shop. He was amazing. A very artistically eyed young man who loves his job and has fun doing it. We met him our second day at the resort and asked to have him take our wedding pics. It was the best choice. Our pictures came out great and will be with us forever to remember that time.
Next, make sure you eat at Marrio's as much as you can. Angelo the manager was a wonderful person. We met him the second day at the resort and he was very personable and excited for us getting married. He actually ended up attending our wedding.
Overall, Sandals was great, but the staff and people we met made the trip.
Can't wait to go back!!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ryan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2014

Free food, free premium drinks, gorgeous ocean.. what more could you ask for?

My boyfriend and I stayed in a walk-out club level garden view room for 5 nights. The view was breath-taking! The landscape was so lush and colorful and the ocean was just beyond it. The room itself was clean and looked exactly like the pictures.
The Halcyon is the smallest resort of the 3 on the island, so if you're looking for romantic and private this is the place to stay. Sandals St. Lucia resorts have the stay at 1, play at 3 inclusion. Take advantage of this! They have free shuttles from one resort to the other and back. The Grande St. Lucian has the nicest beach of the 3 and is definitely the party resort. We visited this beach twice. We did not visit the La Toc resort because other guests had told us it was so big they had to take a shuttle to get around.
We did the Sandals snorkeling and it was amazing! A short shuttle to the docks and a short boat ride to a spot in the middle of the ocean. You could see down at least 40 feet to beautiful reefs with lots of fish!
We ate at all the restaurants at the Halcyon. The food was so good it made us feel out of our league! The service was outstanding, the staff was always willing to take pictures for us.

My boyfriend and I spent most of our time having drinks on the beach, which did come with its cons. The beaches at the resort were not exactly private. Though locals were not allowed, "vendors" were. So be prepared for pushy local salesmen trying to sell you things like jewelry and sea shells. On our first full day a woman vendor insulted me to the point of tears. On the second day a salesman on the beach sold us 3 bracelets I did NOT want for $20 but it seemed like the only way to get rid of him. And on the 4th day at the Grande beach a vendor harassed my boyfriend until he got him food from the beach bar. This is the ONLY reason I did not rate this resort 5 stars, for the staff, food, drinks, and property were beyond expectations!

Room Tip: Walk out rooms have an open patio that you can walk straight out on the grounds. However, the "...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Aliciakb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2014

There are thousands of reviews on this hotel so I thought I would give you a break down with information you could use in deciding whether to go here or not.

Age Range
My husband and I are in our late 30's early 40's. While their were some younger and some our age I felt the overall age at this resort was in their 50's.

Rooms
We stayed in the Micoud Building #10, Room numbers in the 600's. These are the Paradise Pool Walkout Club Room. We stayed in Room 605 which is a ground floor room with 2 fire pits right outside the door and a hop skip and a jump to the Paradise (Quiet Pool).

The resort is fairly small so no room location is really bad. You may have read some reviews about the road noise, I found you could hear the road from anywhere on the resort, but when you were in your room you could not hear this unless it was an ambluance.

The room we were in had a nice bath room with a soaking tub. Because it's a club room it had a fully stocked bar with white, red and sparkling wine, beer, vodka, rum, gin.
The furnishings and rugs had some stains but nothing outrageous.

The beds and pillows however were the worst I have ever had (and I have stayed in many a jungle hotels in central america) My husband and I can sleep on anything, but not these beds, they were so hard and uncomfortable.

There was only 1 american outlet, I strongly advise you bring adapters. If you are anything like us we had cell phones, ipads, camera batteries to charge and one outlet did not cut it.

Pools
We never had an issue finding a chair in the sun or the shade at the Paradise pool. Floats were usually available and towels were never a problem. The Main Pool also always had chairs and towels available and the hotel was sold out the week we went.

Concierge
I am not sure whether this was worth it or not. It was fairly quiet when we checked in so the front desk would not have been an issue. I am not sure if it gained us any advantage on reservations but I was able to make them for all the restaurants I wanted. I do advise you make your reservations as soon as you get there because we did want to change one mid week and by then there was nothing available where we wanted to go.

Shuttle
The shuttle schedule is every two hours, I really wish it was every hour. You have to plan your rerservations around the shuttle to ensure you are not sitting around for hours before or after dinner. Take advantage though, we spent a day at the Grande and loved it.

Restaurants
General advise for all restauarants is the appetizers are very small you definitly need your own if not 2 of your own. Overall the restaurants we ate at at La Toc and The Grande were much better than Halcyon. I do have to agree with others that the drinks are a bit watered down. I had 4 special cocktails at the dockside and didn't feel a thing ( I usually drink 1 and that's enough for me)
Kelly's Dockside - all the reviews rave about the Filet, it was replaced on the menu by a NY Sirloin. The steak was awful, very tough. My husband got the Mahi Mahi and liked it.
Mario's - Antipasto Bar was great, my ravioli appetizer was delicious but I was not impressed with the eggplant parmasean and my husband did not like is Osso Bucco, it was more bone than meat. Stick with the Pasta.
Soy - Awesome Sushi, even for me who does not eat Sushi. The Chef made me two that I loved Vegetarian and Dynamite. You must try this place. Go their before dinner for an appetizer.
Kimmono's - It wasn't great but wasn't bad. I did like getting to try 4 different foods rather than having to pick just one. Our cook was pretty laid back, no typical tricks these chefs usually do.
Bayside for Breakfast and Lunch - Breakfast is buffet plus you can get omletes and eggs cooked to order. They have everything you could ever order on a sit down menu so this worked for us. Lunch was hit or miss depending on the theme for the day and if you liked that type of food.
La Toc at La Toc- You must go here, the food was amazing!!! The Scallop and Crab cake appetizer was very small but unbelievable. The beef medalions was a great entree.
Toscanni's at The Grande - I got Gnocchi as an appetizer and Shrimp Fettucini as an entree both were delicious, wish we could have eaten hear 2x.
Barefoot by the Sea at the Grande- My lunch here was not very good but dinner was great. My husband got some sort of fish and loved it, I got a kebab with Shrimp, Chicken and beef and it was great.

Tours
Joe Know's is a must, so much fun and a great way to see the island. Snorkeling was great. My only complaint is it's a bit rushed at the Mud Baths and Waterfall. I also was told it included the volcano which I thought meant the walking tour of the volcano, but it just meant being there at the mud baths.
We also did Parrots Bath HIke - this was nice but would be better if done earlier in the AM so you could see some birds
Tropical Jeep Safari was a nice way to see the island sites on land and swim in a waterfall
Horseback riding - this was a great experience getting to ride a horse in the ocean

Grounds and the People
The grounds were well kept and all the employees were very friendly.
There are some cats, maybe 5, they don't bother you and keep to themselves.
The night life is pretty non existant, there is a small bar by the pool with a stage at the pool where they have performers.
The gym is very well appointed for a hotel gym.

All in all I enjoyed my vacation, I do think next time I would stay at the Grande it seemed a little more our style and a little more active based on the day we spent there. Although findind a chair, let alone one in the shade was hard to find there.

Room Tip: Building 10 and 11 are nice to have something a bit refurbished and convientient to the pool.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank Lcameron75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2014

Second time to this Sandels. Have been to 3 sandels, by far this is the best. The food is the unreal. The treatment from all the staff is Great.
The Water sports guys were great. I went sking every day. (bring your own ski line and ski).
There will be a third time just not soon enough.

Room Tip: We had the Bulter rooms Great Value they even book your dinners.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank BobV983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2014

Beautiful, tranquil, lush, fragrant, colorful grounds throughout this quaint Sandals resort. Best suited for those who are seeking a quiet vacation with many options, great food, and friendly staff on a Caribbean beach. I wouldn't say the Sandal’s Halcyon staff is striving for excellence (except the grounds keepers and the culinary staff), but they are more than accommodating. We would like to see the company open a Beaches property on St Lucia in the foreseeable future so we, and many others, could return with our families.

Arrival: we arrived in St Lucia via Hewanorra International Airport and were greeted by friendly immigration and then customs personnel. Immediately after passing through Customs, airport baggage personnel greeted us with smiles asking and us if we were with Sandals. We said yes and they wheeled our luggage through a door with “Sandals” above it and around the corner to the real Sandals greeter and expected a tip. I obliged. Tip: If you want to save a few dollars (and not feel like you've been deceived so quickly after arrival, hold on to your luggage and walk through the doors just past the Customs counters and through the passageway that has Sandals above the doors, take a left and you will find the Sandals greeter. Take your luggage into the lounge and Sandals personnel take it from there to your room. This walk from Immigration to the Sandals desk is less than 40 feet.

Ride from the airport to Sandals Halcyon: We traveled in air conditioned 8 or so passenger van on curvy roads taking between 1-2 hours depending on traffic. We all felt nauseous and a lady almost became sick. Tip: Arrive on Saturday or Sunday because there is less island traffic so travel time will be less. If you cannot handle this van ride, consider using the helicopter or water taxi service at additional expense.

Arrival at Sandals Halcyon: Friendly Sandals staff greet you with cool towels and beverages and efficiently check you in and escort you to your room. Tip: Call your credit card company and let them know you will be traveling along with the dates and locations. This will help ensure your credit card is accepted upon arrival in St Lucia. Tip: Even though the Bank of America Sandals Visa provides the worst service of all my cards, it does provide a modest discount by accumulating points. It did not work upon my arrival despite letting them know that I was going on vacation.

Accommodations: There are 3 levels of service associated with the guest rooms. Make sure you know which one you book, as one category does not have a stocked bar, etc. Our room was walkout poolside club level room in the 600 block and was situated near the Paradise Pool. This area is farther away from the main pool, beach, and restaurants providing for quiet relaxation only interrupted by the pool bar blender making your favorite frozen drinks. The room was 3.5 stars showing customary wear and tear of a hotel room. Tip: Our hotel room only had one American Standard electrical outlet. If you need to plug in more than one device, contact the hotel and see if they allow you to bring a power strip. Mosquitoes: My wife was unaffected, but I was accosted by mosquitoes in the room. Other guests did not have this problem with mosquitoes. Bug spray IS recommended.

Grounds: The resort’s grounds are meticulously maintained offering a natural beauty that would be difficult to match anywhere. The landscaping and manicured vegetation offers stunning beauty. If I was the CEO of Sandals, I would decorate this department staff with highest of company commendations. Tip: If you are a nature lover, ask the groundskeeper about the different types of trees and birds. Matthew showed me a cashew tree and brought me a cashew fruit and explained how locals prepare both the fruit and the nut for meals. If you are a nature lover, research the birds of St Lucia so you can identify them on the property. Consider bringing binoculars for this as well as the scenery and historic sites such as Pigeon Island, near the Grande.

Future booking: Sandals refers to their future booking desk as the Soon Come Back desk claiming discounts if you book a future vacation with them while on the current one. We found the discounts and incentives unremarkable and did not make a future reservation during our stay.

Beach: The beach is not private so you will be approached by roaming merchants selling their wares, tours and other things. You may not appreciate this as we did not, but many of our fellow guests shopped with them rewarding the practice of persistent solicitation. These beach vendors also hung over the Sandals resort wall and would solicit guests while they were walking to the pool or lunch. Sandals staff tolerated this, but most of us found this a violation of the resort Halcyon attributes (nothing peaceful about a beach vendor shouting solicitations at you from 20-30 feet away). I witnessed guests giving bottles of alcohol and food to the beach vendors. I suspect they were bartering, but I informed the Sandals security chief and Sandals management responded with little concern regarding this practice. One beach vendor asked me for alcohol from my room, but I did not oblige (as I consider this stealing).

Food: We enjoyed all of the restaurants that we visited. If you are not satisfied with your meal, simply ask for something more to your liking and you will be accommodated. All of the restaurants offer delicious food. Tip: Visit a sister Sandals property and enjoy their restaurants as well. For restaurants requiring reservations, book as soon as possible after you arrive so you are not disappointed.

Sister properties: A major benefit of booking with Sandals St Lucia is the ability to take a 10-15 minute bus ride with A/C to one of their sister properties (Grande or La Toc). Each resort has their own unique personality and our favorite aspect was enjoying the restaurants at the other resorts. Our impression of the Grande was to compare their daytime pool to a large Las Vegas hotel. La Toc offers a terraced view with nicely situated restaurants with elevated views of the sea. In contrast, Halcyon is almost a quiet boutique resort in comparison. Halcyon is aptly named meaning it is untroubled, calm, peaceful, and quiet…except when the beach vendors begin their chatter. We enjoyed all of them, but hope Sandals management retains the small quaint and quiet appeal of Halcyon as this has become one of our favorite resorts on the planet.

Water sports: The equipment is in very good condition and managed by a competent and friendly staff. We did not scuba dive on this trip, but had the pleasure to snorkel with the Sandals dive team. They were fun, professional and knowledgeable.

The Marketing Lie: Day one, my wife and I were on the nice wooden lounge chairs that you see in the brochures while on the beach. We had been there about 2 hours when a beach attendant approached us and said, “We are doing a photo shoot – you are in the way – we need you to move. Didn’t you see the towels rolled up?” It was our first day and we saw these nice wooden lounge chairs just like in the Sandals brochures and just assumed this was the standard. No sir/ma’am. This is part of what I call the marketing lie; instead of the wooden chairs advertised, you lounge in relatively cheap plastic ones. My wife explained this was our first day and showed them the picture with similar chairs in the Sandals brochure that happened to be handy (from the Soon Come Back Desk). He gave us a puzzled look, then walked away and returned a couple minutes later and asked us to be in the “shot.” They rearranged our stuff and we went on with our vacation and they went on with their “shoot.”

Concerns and suggestions: We learned that there is a restaurant that requires an up-charge. It appears that the staff has been given “talking points” to explain why this is a “good thing” but I think this is a slippery slope for the brand. We enjoy the all-inclusive worry free experience that Sandals and Beaches offers, but they will lose us quickly if they expand the up-charge operating model as the cruise industry has.

The ground transportation from the airport to the resort is unsettling and stressful to many that we spoke to. Some of the guests took medicine to help them with motion sickness. Other guests paid for their own transfers to include a private driver, helicopter or water taxi.

Bring insect repellent, the resort addresses this but you will be on a lush tropical island with insects.

Review the clothing requirements so you dress appropriately and enjoy all of the restaurants.
Some of the guests are very disappointed with the persistent solicitation on the beach. This is unavoidable if you are on the beach so prepare yourself with an approach to deal with this situation.

Do not grumble; if you have a concern afford the manager to address it right away so that you can get back to what is important, enjoying your vacation. For example, one guest would get up early and tie personal items and towels to a lounge chair under a beach hut in a choice location. They would then leave the resort for most of the day while they were on an excursion and then return to the chairs. Sandals management stated that this was not an acceptable practice so do not allow this to occur to you.

I hope the hotel doesn't respond to this review with more explanations or justifications of an up-charge restaurant in an all-inclusive.

Entertainment: We have spent 20 years traveling the Caribbean and are no longer captured by the common local entertainers. We tend to sit in the back so we can step away before the Congo line forms. One exception was the guest singer and resort piano player. The guest singer sang Patsy Cline to Lorde to Cher…we really enjoyed her!!!

Excursions: We did not book any on this vacation outside of what was offered by the resort, but most of our fellow guests were pleased with their excursions. Joe Knows was the most recommended by our fellow guests.

Check out and transfer to the airport: Check out was uneventful. We declined the optional Tourism Donation and had them easily removed from the bill. One of our guests requested a box lunch for their trip. The transfer was a repeat of what I stated previously. My wife informed me that we were taking the helicopter next time! Tip: The baggage handlers that greet you at the curb at the airport claimed to be with the airline this time, but you will be dropped off directly in front of the check in gates (30 feet away) so the luggage assistance is genuinely optional for most of us.

Departure Hewanorra International Airport: Upstairs provides several choices of local food, drinks and snacks before your departure and they accepted EC or US dollars.

Hits: These are the Sandals staff members that routinely offered a level of service higher than expected: Aaron and Danny (bar staff), Pricilla (La Toc Neptune server – made us feel like visiting family members!), and Matthew (groundskeeper).

Misses: These staff members provided a service level so far below the Sandals and Beaches standard that I would have them immediately reassigned or placed in remedial training: Robert and Celina at Kelly’s Dockside Restaurant. Security team allowing theft of alcohol and food.

Room Tip: Rooms are quieter near the Paradise pool
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank Beachluvinfamily
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: $469 - $1,311 (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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