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“We will be back to St Lucia” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort

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Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“We will be back to St Lucia”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2005

My girlfriend and I travelled to St Lucia on the 4th September 2005 for 10 nights. Having read the reviews about this hotel beforehand, I was quite worried, and I must say that initially when we arrived (bearing in mind we were very tired) we were not impressed, however as the holiday progressed we really fell in love with the resort, the people and the island.With the 'stay at one play at three' motto, people seem to spend all their time at the other resorts (making the halcyon that much quieter!!), we ate once at the regency (la toc restaurant) but found the atmosphere somewhat snobby and jumped up. Not at the Halcyon however, all the restaurants were fab, particularly Marios. The staff were truly wonderful, every single one of them. the room (139) was comfortable with a true caribbean feel to it. I would like to though make a particular mention to a couple of people who we really miss from our holiday, and they are 2 beach vendors...Chris and Ayman. You will find them meandering along the beach Monday to friday and they will sell you everything from Beads to Scultptures. They were NOT a menace, contrary to some previous reports, but totally charming and just trying to earn a living.

I can definately recommend the day trip to Martinique.

We have also stayed at sandals royal bahamian (nassau) which is much grander and bigger, but the halcyon is perfect if you want a quiet relaxing sanctuary in which to spend your holiday time. After all the motto there is 'no pressure no problem'

We will definately be back, as and when my finances allow it.

If you are already booked for the Halcyon, I hope you have as memorable a time as we did. If you are thinking about booking it, do it!!!! You will love it.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
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13 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2005

My husband and I honeymooned at the Sandals Halcyon in August of this year and had an incredible vacation from beginning to end.

WEATHER - We were concerned about weather when booking as hurricane season had been particularly bad and rain had been forecasted each day - we decided to take a chance & I'm so glad we did...it rained each morning for about 10 minutes and then we had bright blue skies and beautiful sunny weather all day every day! Also, we found out from staff that there haven't been any hurricanes or major storms to hit St Lucia in a few decades.

TRAVEL - We booked through a free honeymoon travel agent we found online so all of our flights, room & hotel package info, and travel itinerary were taken care of for us. We flew through San Juan & Castries and had no problems with getting there or with bags. Sandals rep met us at the airport and got us on a shuttle. We arrived with a few other couples and were given champagne and cool towels to freshen up while we checked in. We went to an orientation session the next morning to hear about the grounds, amenities, etc. The shuttle took us back to the airport and we met our flights without incident. We went through customs in San Juan with no problems as well.

ROOM - Our room was wonderful - it was a garden view so we had beautiful flowers hanging from the roof of our balcony and little hummingbirds came to visit daily. Room was plenty large and bathroom was completely adequate - shower temp was a bit difficult to regulate but not a major issue. Bed was great & TV had excellent reception & cable access. Our room was cleaned each afternoon & the hotel staff was very accomodating and kind.

POOLS/ACTIVITIES - We spent most of the time during the day at the Paradise pool sipping tropical drinks and getting sun - swim-up bars were a lot of fun. Visited the other pool a few times in the evenings, but found it kind of loud most other times. I visited the salon for a manicure & loved the ladies in there. We didn't participate in any of the organized activities during the day as we preferred a more mellow honeymoon, but heard from others that they were fun. All the other couples we met were fun to chat with & gave good advice on excursions, etc. We loved the lawn chess, also...

WATER SPORTS - We took out the Hobie cats a few times and sailed around the mini island - that was a lot of fun, but you have to watch the wind at different times of day or you'll get stuck out on the water & have a hard time getting back into the beach. The morning was better than the afternoon I think...when we got stuck they pulled is in with the motorboat, so it really wasn't a big deal. We also took the kayak out, but it was pretty hard for the two of us to row against the current on the way back...it was pretty tiring...but fun, all in all!

EXCURSIONS - We went on the Shopping excursion into Castries and I found it enjoyable...my husband was a little bored, though. The open air market had local crafts and souvenirs & the duty-free mall was large and had jewelry, electronics, clothing, pottery, souvenirs, etc. The only problem was that the excursion was advertised as a 2 hour shopping trip that would stop at each location for an hour, but our driver dropped us off at the open air market and said he'd pick us up there in 2 hours, so we ended up walking about 1/2 a mile to the duty free mall by ourselves and had to walk through some shady areas of town. Then when we got back to the open air market the driver asked us if we wanted him to drive us to the mall....it was a little infuriating.

GRANDE - We took the shuttle to the Grande one day and a few times for meals to see what they had to offer. The Grande has some nice pools but it was very busy and there wasn't much shade to give you a break from the sun. The water trampoline was a lot of fun, and we paid to take out a jet ski & rode around the north edge of the island - it was beautiful & a blast! The hotel itself was very nice from what we could tell, but the grounds were not nearly as pretty as the gardens at the Halcyon. You can't see the sunset from the Grande.

REGENCY - We only visited for the restaurants and in the evenings, but the grounds looked very nice. The trip up to the Regency is pretty hilly and the driving is a bit jerky, but the view of Castries on the way up is beautiful. We didn't see or hear anything else that made us wish we had stayed at the Regency instead of the Halcyon.

FOOD - The food ranged from good to excellent. We checked reviews of the restaurants from this website and made reservations for the ones we liked the day we got to the resort. We ate at the Bayside for breakfast most days and found it very good - tasty buffet and lots of choices. We had lunch at the Grill most often and loved the food there. The lady (I think it was Estelle) who runs the grill was incredibly nice and remembered our names each time we came back. We also got snacks there in the evenings. MARIO'S - very good dinner, meat a little overcooked, dessert was delicious. PIER - excellent food, great atmosphere, if a little hot...got a great picture on the balcony in the moonlight. LONDON PUB (Grande) - good food, no beers except heineken, tho. LA TOC (Regency) - excellent dinner & great atmosphere. PAVILION (Regency) - buffet was wonderful & pavilion was gorgeous, steel drum band was great, too.

DRINKS - We spent most days and evenings sipping drinks & really enjoyed all of the bars & bartenders we visited. Swim-up bars were great during the day & the main hotel bars were great in the evenings. We occasionally had to wait a little bit to give our drink orders, but it was never long at all. The drinks were sometimes a bit weak, but you can get as many as you want so it wasn't a problem. The piano bar was a lot of fun.

ENTERTAINMENT - The shows in the evening were mediocre at best...we preferred to sit & chat at the bars, play lawn chess, play billiards, or simply provide our own entertainment...it was a honeymoon, after all...

OVERALL - The Halcyon was a wonderful destination for our honeymoon - it was paradise all around and absolutely a perfect experience.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
19 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2005

We were supposed to stay at the sandals halcyon but after 5 minutes we left. We paid an extra £400 for an ocean view but you couldnt even see the ocean from our room. The room was grubby and smelled of sour water - not what i was expecting from sandals. After a heated debate we were eventually moved to the regenecy as they had no other rooms available for us.(We were forced to pay our own taxi to the regency as the shuttle bus doesn't take luggage - this was after around 20 hours travelling). I was not impressed. I spoke to a few other couples who had also been transfered due to the poor standard of the room and lack of any view in their room. Apparently ocean view only means a certain standard of room, which to be honest is about a 3 star room. Not worth the money your paying to stay at sandals. I was expecting for the room to at least be fresh but it was in good need of renovation. Had a great time at the regency though - would only recomend the halcyon if you get it VERY cheap. The grande is also very nice but the halcyon is the budget resort of the 3.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2005

We travelled to St Lucia with Virgin Holidays on 26.06.05. We should have been going to St James Club, Morgan Bay but were advised almost at the last minute that this hotel would be closing for refurbishment, they kindly informed us that they had moved us to the Coconut Bay Hotel in the south of the Island, this was a new hotel and not at all like the one we had originally booked, however Virgin were not prepared to move us elsewhere unless we paid the difference or if we chose something less expensive they would refund the difference. After reading the reviews about the Coconut Bay on Trip Advisor we decided that no matter what we were NOT going there!! We looked through the brochure and chose the Sandals Halcyon and paid the difference. When we arrived we were so glad that we had chosen Sandals - it was FAB!!! The location was fantatsic we had three Sandals resorts to choose from (14 restaurants)and we were fully inclusive at them all, the food was excellent, the accommodation was really nice and the staff were so friendly. It really was excellent and we would thoroughly recommend this hotel - give it a try the whole Sandals experience is great! - they have thought of absolutely everything. Our only problem now is trying to decide which Sandals hotel to visit next year!!

Helpful?
16 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 October 17, 2005

This was my first trip to the Caribbean and my first all-inclusive holiday package, so I was a little nervous. However, the Sandals Halcyon resort was great - attractive cottage-style rooms set in beautifully landscaped gardens close to the beach. The resort was small and quiet, with super-friendly staff and good facilities. The rooms were comfortable, with a large TV showing US channels. It was by far the most attractive resort of the three Sandals locations on St Lucia and seemed to cater to slightly older couples than the Grande. Brits predominated.

Both Mario's and the Bayside restaurant served lovely food, with far more vegetarian options and salads than I had expected. The Pier was attractive, but the food was not as impressive. We also had dinner at Kimonos at the Regency - again, a lovely location but the food was not as good.

The Land & Sea excursion was good value for money and an easy way to see a lot of the island in just one day. I wish I'd taken more advantage of the watersports available at all three resorts, particularly the snorkelling.

Overall, a hugely relaxing, low-key holiday in a lovely resort.

Helpful?
9 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2005

We had visited Halcyon in 2001 and always had wonderful memories of this tropical lush island and the beautiful resort of Sandals Halcyon. We had met Estelle at Halcyon in 2001 and as soon as we were settled, we went right over to the Beachside grill where she worked and not only did she remember our faces but she remembered our names!!! What a sweet girl she is, she is now training at the Grande Photo shop and will return to the Halcyon after her training is complete and we wish her all the best. Now for a decription of our trip. As soon as we arrived on Friday afternoon we were shown to our room. It was on the first floor, we asked if we could have a second floor room and were quickly accommodated by a helpful and friendly staff. We had dinner at the Bayside which always offers a large variety of dinners to choose from. The deserts are just unbelievable. There is a variety of cakes, pies and fruits to choose from and the ice cream is really a treat. On Saturday morning we went for a quick swim in the 85F water, after that we had breakfast at the Bayside. Omlettes and pancakes to order,the local cocoa tea is really a wonderful breakfast drink.That afternoon we thought we should see more of the island. During our first stay we saw the volcano and botanical garden, this time we wanted to see the rainforest, waterfalls,and learn about local spices. We talked to George at the tour desk, he helped us arrange 3 half day tours. On Monday we did the Safari jeep tour,we loved the little town of Anse la raye,when we returned to our resort we relaxed and reflected on the beautiful day by the pool. That evening we went to the Grande and had dinner at the Pub. We had the Pasta Bake dinner which we loved so much, that later in the week we had it for a second time. On Tuesday we did the rainforest tour, we had the option of climbing the 560 stairs, which we did,what a workout! That evening we had dinner at Marios.Again a wonderful selection of italian dinners, I had the risotto with fresh seafood and my husband had the penne with bolonaise sauce, we loved it. Truly a wonderful warm italian atmosphere. On Wednesday we went to the Errand Plantation where we learned about spices grown on the island, and went swimming under a waterfall, how romantic. On Wednesdays Sandals has a dinner for all returning guests which we attended. There we sat with Executive Assistant Manager Antoine Brown. He explained to us that the reason the food is so fresh, is that Halcyon tries to only use locally grown fruits and vegetables, and that there is an herb garden for the chefs to use right at the resort.No wonder the food is so good! The staff is also treated with great respect and this reflects in how happy everyone is that works there. On Thursday we went to the local market in Castries where we bought fresh cinnamon, cocoa and nutmeg. The market is just bursting with fresh fruits and the vendors are always ready to haggle, great fun! Then back to Halcyon to sip some more of the tropical drinks, every day I discovered a new "favorite" drink! We also met some wonderful couples there, everyone agreed, The Regency and Grande are bigger but in no way better, the charm of the resort, the beautiful gardens, the little hidden hammocks and quiet little whirlpools to sneak away to are trully designed for the romantics. We cannot say enough about this wonderful resort and its gracious staff. After visiting other Sandals resorts, and several carribean islands this will be the resort we return to. Our second home. We are currently planning our next return to the Halcyon in 2006!!!

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
18 Thank sonnydaze55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2005

We just returned from a trip to the Halcyon for our Honeymoon, October 3-9..

Upon arrival to the Airport, our bags were carried away by what we thought were Sandals employees. Wrong. Don't bother to have them carry your bags for you, they expect tips when they are done moving your luggage a few feet...We then had to wait in line to get our orange sandals tags to take to the buses, which was not too much of a wait. Our bags were packed into the correct bus and we were off to the Halcyon. The bus ride to the resort took about 1 1/2 hours. The driving was erratic, and sometimes really scary. The roads are extremely mountainous and curvy, and most of the time no attention paid to signs, or other vehicles on the road.

I felt much better when we finally got to the resort, our bags were taken out of the bus and into the open-air lobby. We were ushered into the Piano Bar for champagne and cold towels. Sandals employees explained about the resort, room keys, safe etc... We were given our welcome gift of lotions etc, and told to go meet with Ruth in the main lobby. When we found Ruth, she told us that there had been a mix-up when we booked our trip almost 9 months ago, and we had to be downgraded from an oceanview luxury suite to a room with a garden view. I was not happy at this point. She said to compensate for our room downgrade, we got a free couples massage and a trip to Soufriere. She said that she looked at all the other resorts, and nothing was available, although as our week progressed, we learned that numerous couples had actually been upgraded!!!

Our room was quite small, and one side overlooked the pool, the other side looked out to a small garden, and then the highway, which can get pretty noisy if you don't have your tv and ac turned on.

I had gone to book our massage, as I saw people getting sunset beach massages, and was excited about that, only to be told that I would have to pay an additional US$60 to have that particular massage. That massage is the only one offered at Halcyon, all the others are at the other resorts, which we weren't crazy about going to..To top it off, when we checked out, we were told we had a promotion when we booked our honeymoon and had a 250.00 credit to use. 15 minutes before checkout!!!! We scrambled to spend that money in the crappy little gift shop, and then scrambled to re-pack our bags that were sitting in the main lobby. During that time, the bus pulled up to get us and were hustled into the bus for the ride to the airport. Halfway through the ride we realized we had left our brand new ditital camera (wedding gift from dad) on the table by the belhop man. When we called from the airport, the Sandals reps at the airport were rude, as were the ones we talked to at the main lobby. Our camera had been stolen.

The food at the Halcyon was pretty good. Breakfast was my favorite, we were early risers, and the Bayside wasn't crowded any time we went there. They had a pretty nice spread, omelet station, fresh fruit, hot entrees, cereals, baked goods...Lunch was buffet style as well, same idea, grill station, hot entrees, sandwich station..
Dinner was just okay. We ate at Mario's twice, and both times the meals were just so-so. We did enjoy dessert though, the chocolate mousse was divine! We ate at the Bayside most of the other nights for dinner. We never went to the Pier because it was somewhat difficult trying to get reservations. You need to call 24 hours in advance. We didn't want to visit any of the other resorts. The beach grille had item like hamburgers and grilled cheese, and was good when you were hungry and the other restaurants weren't open.

The grounds of the Halcyon were beautiful, lots of gardens and flowers, hidden alcoves with jacuzzis. The beach looks nothing like it does in the pictures. It is very small, especially when the tide is high, and chairs are few and far between, especially if you want an umbrella. The water was warm and very calm, but is not what we expected from seeing the pictures on the sandals website. The water looks kind of dirty and isn't that carribbean blue like we expected it to be. The beach vendors are there ALL the time, and can be annoying, all you need to do is tell them firmly you are not interested, and they should leave you alone though.

We spent most of the time at the paradise pool, which is the quiet pool. There is a bar there as well, the pool chairs fills up rather early, so best to go and put your towels on the chairs you want before going to breakfast. The other pool was much more active, and smaller, not what we were looking for, so we never went there.

The excursion to Soufriere was ok. We wouldn't have paid the money to go, it was part of the compensation for the room. The catamaran was nice, the ride to the town was nice, but we met up with another tour (the land and sea I think)and they piled on to our boat, so it was very crowded going back to the resort. They served drinks on the boat, and had loud music and drinking and dancing contests on the way back, not really our thing, we just people-watched. The volcano smelled horrible, and the vendors were annoying. We visited botanical gardens, and had lunch at an awful Indian restaurant at the top of a mountain. I felt like it was a waste of a day by the pool, but I felt we needed to take the cruise or the comp would be wasted.

So all in all, the honeymoon was unforgettable, mostly for the wrong reasons, we tried to make the best of the situation, but by the time we got to the airport to go home, and were upset about our camera, we just wanted to go home. My advice on that is to make sure, triple check, that you have everything before you leave, because once you check out, the feeling we got was that the staff at the resort was "it's not our problem anymore", even though we were at the resort waiting for the bus...
I honestly don't think we will be booking another sandals trip anytime in the near future.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 On the Beach Hotel in Castries
#5 Romantic 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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