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“What a wonderful place!”

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Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence
Ocean City, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“What a wonderful place!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2005

My wife and I chose Halcyon for our honeymoon after hearing of its quieter, more intimate nature shen compared to the other larger resorts on the island. We could not have been happier. It more than lived up to our expectations. From the moment we left the airport, we were amazed at how kind and courteous all the employees were, and how much they spoiled us! The resort is very well manicured, clean, and packed with lush tropical greenery. Hidden throughout are hot tubs, gazebos, hammocks, etc. that add to the fun. The beach is beautiful, but far smaller than the other two Sandals on the island. Not to worry though, because shuttles take you to and from the other resorts on a regular basis throughout the day. We found oursevles visiting the other resorts a couple of times during the week (and they are beautiful as well!) but always looked forward to returning "home" in the evening. You can't go wrong with any of the three, but we enjoyed the smaller more subtle nature of the Halycon resort. Instead of being numbers, we were able to form relationships and friendshiops with many of the employees and other vacationers. If you do go, be sure to find Roland working at the main poolside bar. You can't miss him as he is an absolute riot, and a truely nice guy. Tell him Brian & Dominique say hi.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank bjkimb74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,614 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 (980)
Date | Rating
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English first
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2005

I went to the Sandals Haycyon in 2003 for my honeymoon. It was wonderful. Staff, food, room, drinks, all great. My only big complaint: The water there was rough. It was not much better than the Atlantic Ocean. I did not spend much time on the beach at all.

At Sandals you can visit any of their other resorts. They make it very easy by having a shuttle service which runs quite late. We went to the Sandals Golf Resort, which again had the same problem with the ocean. The pool was nicer, and the place was huge. We went to the spa which was great.

On the last day we finally made it to the Grande. The Grande is... grande! The beach was amazing, wonferful breeze and lots of palm trees. The water was very clear and still. The pool is very nice, there is a graduated entry so you can put your chair in the water.

As for food, The Peir at the Halcyon is the best, but all the resuarants are great. I never had a long wait, though some require reseverations.

As for nightlife, again, the Halcyon was more fun. I think the people who stayed there were a little more laid back. Don't forget to check out the paino bar, it's a hoot!

My tip would be to stay at the Halcyon, as it is much cheaper. Spend most of your days at the Grande, and most of your nights at the Halcyon. The Golf Resort is good for the spa and eating (or golf!)

Helpful?
16 Thank bunny1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WI
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2005

I haven't written a lot of reviews but figure the ones we read here helped us with our stay. Perhaps we can do the same for others.

Be sure to see Agnus at one of the outdoor bars or the grill near beach. She is a gem. Say hi for us.

It is a wonderful resort, the staff is the most plesant of the 3 on St Lucia. It IS the smallest most quiet of them, which is fin for us. Beautiful grounds, our room was beautiful (upgrade,larger room). We are not an All Inclusive couple, but friends wanted to stay here and we enjoyed the stay. There is plenty to choose from with food. The Italian at Halcyon was very good, the Pier was good too. You must do the Japan Steak house & the French reataurant. Get in a few times if you plan early. If you have any trouble with anything let mgt. know asap and they try to help. Beach is better at other resorts if you enjoy them. They had Red flags up most of our stay only at Halcyon. This means no boating/swimming. Other resorts didn't have as much trouble with waves/wind.currents being more sheltered.

We prefer diving resort vacations, but friends we were with wanted to do this location. We will add comments about the dive center below. Don't let anything we say there stopping you from staying at the Halycon (unless you are there for diving mostly- If you are bring your own gear, we didn't bring reg or BCD and regret it)

Sandals contracts out for the dive operations. The boats have the Sandals name on them as do the workers clothing on the boats. I found the dive operation the only weak point in my stay during 10 days in Mid Jan 2005. I commented on this to the TLC person who takes a survey as to how the guests like the Sandals resort. In my 8 dives the following problems made me not dive any further with Sandals:
The regulator mouthpiece cracked on first pre dive check. Replaced. Worn hose on friends reg.
The regulator leaked water into the 2nd stage on second dive. Replaced for 3ed dive.
BCD in pre dive check dive #5 not inflating. Replaced BCD prior to dive. Seemed to be working OK. Inflator failed during dive 5. Had to manually inflate to surface. Replaced regulator and inflator hose for dive 6 and worked OK. Wifes depth gauge didn't work stuck at 40 feet.
Dive 7 pre inspection tank #1 2700 lbs. Divemaster said would replace with a "full" tank. She didn't.....
tank # 2 for dive 8 3500 lbs. Divemates # 2 tank had only 1200 # of air.
I didn't go on any further dives by choice. Sandals is a great resort, but not a dive resort. I have only dived with dive resorts in the past. When I want to dive in the future I will go to a dive resort again. I have usually rented almost new and top quality equiptment from my local dive shop and will do so again, and never rely on BCD's, reg, gauges etc from a Sandals resort.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank JoeyJet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2005

We stayed at the Halcyon from Jan.29 until Feb 5. It was everything the reviews said it would be and then some.
Our arrival at the Hewenorra airport was a bit confusing. Don't fall for the Sky Cap scam. On the Customs side of the outside door are signs $1.00 ber bag. the man sees that you have Sandals tags, asks to take your bag to sandals, loads them on his cart pushes them through the door and drops them on the other side.... 30 feet for $1.00US per bag. The people on the other side of the door are trying to get their tips also trying to get you to go on their cab. Wait for the person organizing transportation to tell you which Taxi to take to Sandals.
Upon arriving after the one and one half hour trip through some of the most beautiful sites in the world, Che greets you with a glass of Champagne and a cool cloth. A few formalities and you are wisked off to your room. We did not upgrade as this was our first Sandals visit, so we found our room in the 800 building as far from everything as could be. we did not mind because the grounds are simply beautiful to walk through.
The food and service in the Bayside was very good. Here you eat breakfast and lunch. Try the Jerk chicken and jerk Pork chops... Great. Coffee service at breakfast was a bit slow.... not complaining. We ate at many of the restaurants not only at the Halcyon but at the Grande and Regency. Food and service was very good. We had a group of 14 and on most nights we had to split up as groups of 8 and 6 as they could not accomodate us all. A must is lunch with Estelle at the Beach Grill. It is true what the reviews say about her. She will remember your name all week. Tell her Joanie & Chachie say yo !
The Playmakers are in charge of fun and activities. As everybody else that we had contact with at Sandals, they all love their jobs and it shows. Tamian and Wendell can make a game of shuffle board seem mighty important !
All the bars serve great drinks and Roland is probably the best bartender Mud slides and Lead pencils were great. Piton and Heiniken are the only beers.
The people you meet on vacation are a big part of a vacation. We had fun with Wisconson and Pittsburg..... great people
All in all we had a wonderful vacation at Sandals Halcyon. We would all go back without any hesitation

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank WDF1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2005

We stayed at the Halcyon during the first week of Dec, 2004, for our honeymoon. We booked the "honeymoon beachfront concierge room" and had a beautful view of the beach and wedding gazebo. We think we got this particular room because we booked a wedding at the same time, which we later cancelled when we decided to get married at home (which may be a good trick to try; if you don't send in your paperwork for marriage, they automatically cancel the wedding reservations in 30 days).

At Halcyon, we realized that the concierge service was not necessary - as well as the bar in our room. We had access to food and drink at all times of night or day 20 feet in either direction of our cottage. They offer to stock your bar in concierge rooms daily, and we drank it just because it was there, basically. But concierge doesn't mean room service - they don't bring you your meals.

This was also the end of the low season, and the resort wasn't crowded at full capacity, so service was great and there was always room at the pool or beach.

If you aren't looking for a 'spring break' type of atmosphere, the Halcyon is the one to choose. The Grande was full of younger people, very much partying like spring break. It was louder and there were more watersports available. It was more crowded (there are more rooms) and so getting drinks & food took a little longer than at Halcyon.

The Golf resort is only good for that - Golf. And the Italian restaurant there is nice.

It was nice, though, to have the freedom to visit the other resorts for a change of scenery.

What we would do next time: get the resort to fax you a copy of the property map before you make your reservations so you can try to request the room, or at least the building, you want to stay in. Don't pay for the concierge unless money is no object. We still aren't sure how we were treated any differently than other guests (except for the mini bar). Take advantage of the INCLUDED watersports - like snorkeling. Also try to get menus faxed to you. There are three restaurants that require reservations, and if you want to get in you should make the reservations when you book the room. Even if you are getting concierge - that doesn't help you get a reservation. The food is not actually that great, and we were particularly disappointed with the Japanese steakhouse. These are not gourmet restaurants, but you will eat more than you ever thought possible.

Another trick -
Arrive the day before your reservations start, because you won't get from the international airport to the resort before mid afternoon. One way that the concierge service DID appear to benefit us is that the Sandals rep at the airport took care of getting us a room for the night near the airport (we flew standby and didn't have a choice but to get there early) as well as setting up transportation. But you could do it yourself. Just let Sandals know where you need to be picked up from. You can stay near the airport at Juliette's lodge (or if you keep going down the main rd past Juliette's you'll find a small beachfront hotel to the left, with a bar & restaurant - we ate there and the owner herself gave us a ride back to Juliette's but we can't remember the name!) We paid $68 US at Juliette's, and then got a ride to Sandals at 8am the next day. Our room wasn't ready, but we had breakfast and then it was ready. This gave us a whole day at the resort they don't count on you actually getting. With a good night's sleep in a much cheaper room!

Also, don't come thinking your trips outside the resort will include amazing museums or the like - the towns are full of souvenir shops and markets. It seems that the resorts are what drives their economy. This was fine for us, because we just wanted to relax.

We paid about $3,000 for 5 nights.

I don't think we'll return to St. Lucia, simply because we like to always go somewhere new, we will definitely go to another Sandals - or Beaches, now that our little St. Lucia "souvenir" will be here in about 7 months! No kidding!

Helpful?
17 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2005

Just returned from a week at the Halcyon Jan. 16th, never seen a bug, mesquito, very clean, nice staff, very friendly and treated well. It was our honeymoon and was glad we chose this over the Grande or Regency Sandals. They were too big and not as good a service, but it was nice to visit there to get variety of restaurants and the beach at Grande was the best, white sand there and lots of sun. Halcyon was rainy most every day and often downpoors, but it was the place for a more down to Earth, relaxed atmosphere. Went to the Land and Sea exersion for $204 well worth it, all day trip in their taxi vans, which were nice and drove through the volcano and close up to Pitons, and then included lunch and a catamaran boat ride back up to Castries with swimming or snorkeling. Views were incredible. Water was so crystal blue down there and over at the Grande Hotel, beach was small and not so clean due to rougher waves at the Halcyon, but adequate. Pools were spread apart at Halcyon and each was different, one quiet and one more party like, both had swim up bars. I would recommend the Premium room at Halcyon, lower, they were closer to pool and had nice tile roofed patios. Very tropical there on the grounds with lots of trees and vegetation. We had the best time ever on this trip and highly recommend staying at the Halcyon over the other 2 Sandals, but nice having the option to visit them. Best restaurant for food and atmosphere is the Caribean Restaurant at the Regency we thought.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, UK
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2005

Before I go any further I am level headed individual who just expects to get what I pay and nothing else. I enjoy the experiences offered by less commercialised countries, but I have to say that I will not be returning to this hotel.

Our room was in terrible order with cracked and dirty tiles etc. The pool area was unclean with paint flaking off the furniture and as for the beach, there were piles of rubbish all over it. I was scratched by one of the many cats that the staff seem to enjoy feeding. The food was average and the Pier Restaurant is very over rated.

We complained and were eventually moved to the Sandals Golf resort but spent most of our time at The Grande.

On piece of advice. Go to The Grande instead, its the same price and in a different league. The Halcyon is run down and needs some serious attention.

The title of this review originates from an incident on our second night. We had no water in the room and no mini bar come to that !! ??3500 and no mini bar, doesn't that tell you something !! When we tried to get some water, that we were willing to pay for from the reception manager, who told us that they did not have bottled water available and that we should drink from the bathroom tap !! I kid you not ! That was the straw.

St Lucia is a lovely island with some great people. Its just let down by this resort.One plus is that Sandals do an awlful lot of their local communities which was very encouraging to see.

Please feel free to E mail me if I can help you further.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank rugbyboot
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

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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