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“OK - but not for a beach holiday”

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Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 11 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 27, 2006

Was at the Halcyon for 10 days in January. It was OK, grounds very nice and well kept, staff very good, food OK for an all-inclusive (never as good as proper a la carte). Rooms nice, ours (in the 500 block ) nice and quiet. It cost less than the other resorts so you can forgive the occasional shortcoming so I was satisfied.

The biggest negative for me was that the beach was unusable for our entire visit due to rough seas, debris on beach etc. They try to keep it clean but the currents just keep depositing more and more driftwood etc. It's kind of strange because the west coasts of Barbados and Antigua are always calm but this west coast location is rough, at least while we were there. I thought Sandals 'delivered ' on the holiday but their brochure shot of this beach is a terrible misrepresentation which lets them down.

Other resorts ? I liked the Regency. Interesting layout on different levels. Again, rough seas at the beach but a nice view of ships entering the harbour. The Grande - my personal view is that it is absolutely horible. Just like a 1960's holiday camp with a bright blue roof that has ruined what was a nice stretch of beach. However, you will like it if you want to be presurised into daft games and listen loud music. The best beach of the three but very narrow and you are unlikely to get a space unless you stay there and get your towels on the lougers early.

My holiday was OK but not memorable. If you get a good deal and take full advantage of things such as scuba diving or snorkelling (which are 2-3 hour trips that you might pay a lot of money for at other resorts) you will be happy enough with the Halcyon but don't pay top dollar and don't go expecting to lounge around on the beach.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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18  Thank ChesterTD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,755 - 3,761 of 3,964 reviews

Reviewed January 26, 2006

We recently got back from St. Lucia. We stayed at Halcyon, Sandals. Trip advisor gave us a LOT of good information. Read all the reviews. Best beach: Grande. Probably best food: Regency. Best quiet/small atmosphere: Halcyon.

Do NOT stay in rooms 700-800. They put us there saying it was an upgrade - NOT. This is right on the road and VERY noisy. We stayed for 2 nights and then were transferred to 5oo block. Great - much better.

We were red-flagged at our resort the entire time for beach activities. We ended up going to the Grande and going to the pool there and doing beach activities - the water there is much more calm and green/yellow flag the entire time. BEAUTIFUL. Lots of honeymooners there - newest resort.

The views from the restaurants at the Regency were also amazing. Played golf there - not bad/don't go if you are expecting lots of great ocean views. We took it easy and had a great caddy and walked the 9.

Best eats: Regency, Piton (spicy! - awesome atmosphere) Regency, Kimonos (Japanese - seated w/ tables of 10, we had a great group of people and had lots of fun) Grande, Barefoot on Beach (awesome!) Halcyon, Beach Grill (fun and yummy - not open during dinner hours, but great for lunch and after hours) Halcyon, Mario's (Italian and VERY GOOD)

All-in-all, nice vacation. We did not do any of the day trips - not enough time. Halcyon seems a bit run-down and older, but then again, we saved money by staying there and it was nice to go to the other places and come back to a nice, quiet atmosphere!

  • Stayed: January 2006
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14  Thank MIThomas29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Norwich, England
Reviewed January 25, 2006

Stayed for 14 days in January 2006, and had mixed experience. The location is lovely with a small but pretty beach, and beautiful gardens. Rooms were pleasant but no more than that.
The hotel tries to appeal to all tastes and this is where it fails. The food and service is very hit or miss. Marios restaurant has excellent food, the bayside is generally good and varied, but the pier (signature restaurant) is dreadful. Some staff are fantastic and try very hard, whereas others are truculent, slow and uninterested.
Other Sandals resorts are available by a shuttle bus which only runs on an hourly basis, and the 2 bookable restaurants that we tried in these resorts are equally disappointing. Both Kimonos (allegedly Japanese)and Le Toc (allegedly French) are poor attempts at foreign cuisine. Le Toc was especially disappointing since it boasts an AAA 5 diamond rating.
There is one quiet pool area in the Halcyon which is pleasant, but the main pool area is noisy, with holiday camp games going on most of the day. The main bar area is located next to the main pool/ bayside restaurant, and the service in the evening is poor.

We had an room with a partial ocean view, but this was
near the beach bar which remained open until 3am, and was noisy on some nights.

Generally the holiday camp type activity detracted from the overall atmosphere, and the variable service attitudes were a big let down.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2006

Came here after 3 nights at the Coconut Bay Resort, Vieux Fort which we thought was O.K but were so looking forward to the whole Sandals experience! We had booked a luxury oceanview room & were given a room next door but one to the main evening bar & opposite the main games pool & bar during the day, so it was very noisy at all times of the day & night! And just as importantly we could actually only see a sliver of the sea between this pool bar & the Pier restaurant!
We did not consider this luxury oceanview & complained. We were offered an alternative that day that was in no better position so we refused. Eventually after 2 days we were offered an alternative which was somewhat better as it was in a quieter position but still by no means "oceanview" & so we accepted. Then we were told we would have to repack all our bags & have them outside by 10am & we would not have the next room until 3pm! We suggested they cleaned our new room 1st & allowed us to stay in our old room until then & then we would move ourselves saving them the trouble but they would not agree! We found them extremely unhelpful at the front desk, even bordering on rude! The hotel was pretty full & had a lot of "loud" guests staying which was probably not quite what we were expecting & so it was certainly not a very peaceful experience at all! The evening entertainment was pretty junenile, it was something you would expect from a holiday camp! The food in the Bayside was good & varied. Mario's food was very good but the Pier (which you had to book)was very disappointing! In fact all the bookable restaurants in each of the Sandals were very disappointing (except Toscannini's in the Grande)& in the La Toc at the Regency the main course was inedible!
The service is something you have to get used to, it is pretty to very slow but usually most of the staff are pleasant!
The beach is very narrow & needs a few more beach umberella's. and the views are much better from the beach at the Coconut Bay.
In fact given the choice we would return to the Coconut Bay but definately not Sandals!

  • Stayed: November 2005
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13  Thank welshlady99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewed January 10, 2006

By far I think it's the best Sandals to stay at on St. Lucia. Very beautiful gardens all throughout. I don't believe there is a bad room at the resort and we stayed in a room that would be considered the farthest from the beach. The walk from our room to the main pool was still less then 3 minutes, and we had the 'quite pool' right outside our door. The date of my wife and I's stay was the last week of April in 2005 for our honeymoon. We're very social and where a little apprehensive of the quit demeanor of the Halcyon. We took another TripAdvisors recommendation and flew into St. Lucia (from Chicago)on a Friday afternoon so we could spend a couple of days in town where we knew we would go out shopping, dinning, drinking, etc. We chose the Village Inn up in Rodney Bay and stayed there Friday and Saturday night. We did this primarily to make our vacation 3 days longer, and so we could check into Sandals early Sunday morning and enjoy a whole day there instead of flying in late Sunday afternoon and 'wasting' a day. I really recommend doing so as the staff at the Halcyon secured our luggage and showed us the pool right away even though our room wasn't ready yet. The Halcyon is a smaller 150 room resort but there was still plenty of cool people to meet. We really like hanging out in the 'quite' pool in the morning's and moving down to the main pool in the afternoon. St. Lucia is very beautiful island and the St. Lucians very nice people. Your onsite dining options may seem limited, especially breakfast and lunch as there is really only the main restaurant. However the food did vary and was quite delicious. Dinner dining was satisfactory at the Italian restaurant and the Pier restaurant on site. We did as recommended by other Trip Advisors and made our dinner reservations for the week right away on Sunday when we arrived. The Japanese restaurant at the Regency was delicious and a very cool experience. We also took a day trip over to the Grande which was fun, as well as a snorkel excursion, which is included at Sandals. The blended rum drinks are never ending at the swim up bars at both the Halcyon and the Grande. We often try to visit different locales from year to year but we both agreed that St. Lucia and the Halcyon would top our return trip list.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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19  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Huntsville, AL
Reviewed January 9, 2006

This is the perfect Honeymoon spot. Do it.

14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
London, Canada
Reviewed January 1, 2006

We have never posted reviews of visits we have made over many years of travel but we feel so strongly about our recent trip to St Lucia at the Sandals Halcyon that we wanted to share our observations.
We made several visits to the other two Sandals resorts in St Lucia through the share privileges with Sandals and while all had their individual nuances the Halcyon is very unpretentious and, as some folks from Cape Breton Island put it, “enjoyable for all the things the other two resorts are not".
The following is our synopsis:

Hotel Rooms
We did not have a chance to see inside the rooms of the other two properties (the Grand and the Regency) but our discussions would lead us to believe that the rooms at those two properties are larger and perhaps more eloquent. We can say that of the rooms we viewed at the Halcyon that the Concierge rooms in the 100 blocks were the nicest. Our room was in the 600 block and was smaller and a little tired, it was clean, quiet and the bed was unbelievably comfortable. Our only real complaint about the room was the smallness of it but it was far from a show stopper! The only real complaints we heard about the rooms in general was that for those who stayed in the 700 and 800 block of rooms, the road noise from one of the main highways behind the hotel was loud at times. A room upgrade recommendation from the basic room would be advised.
We also noted the Regency was undergoing substantial renovations while we were there to both the main restaurant (The Pavilion) and to many of the rooms. While this seemed to upset some people we spoke to from this resort, the renovations are a good thing overall.

If you are coming to Sandals St Lucia just for their beach you will likely want to stay at the Grand. Our observations here are that the Grand definitely is the clear Caribbean blue with white sand beach that you see in all the promo materials. The beach at the Regency had a fairly strong surf each time we visited and was somewhat smaller. The beach at the Halcyon was calmer, although stirred up and not that clear most times and was the longest to walk on. The sand was more of the brownish colour and thus the Caribbean blue that one would expect was not here. There were always lots of beach chairs at the Halcyon and unlike the Grand we did not receive cruise ship guests making it difficult to get chairs. No doubt though that if you are going to stay at a Sandals in St Lucia, the Grand definitely has the edge on the beach!

Of the three Sandals locations, the Halcyon by a landslide has the leading edge on staff. They simply can not do enough to make you feel wanted and comfortable. From the maintenance staff, front desk staff and all the way to the restaurant, bar, recreation and management staff, they simply have one vision - make their guests comfortable and happy! Never a grinch and always pleasant, they go out of their way to speak to you. We did not have this experience at the other two resorts albeit staff were generally still friendly, just not "Halcyon friendly". Special notes here to Vernessa, one of the Concierge's that went all the miles to meet our requests, Josiah, who found us some extras for our room (Diet Coke) for the few times restaurant and bar service was not available and especially Trevor and Dawn the Massage Therapists who did our Couples Massage on the beach. All are outstanding! Thanks to all of the Halcyon staff in general, we can not say enough about them all.

Food and Restaurants
We can honestly say that we were not disappointed with any of our meals at the Halcyon nor at any of the sister properties. While generally we felt the food, the ambiance or whatever, was somewhat preferred at the Regency, all restaurants served up a variety of delicious dishes. Our favourites were Armandos and Kimonos at the Regency, Marios and the Pier at the Halcyon and even the Old English Pub at the Grand. In our view though, there are no bad choices and enough variety to keep your taste buds happy for any length of stay. And as others have previously reported don't forget to check in with Pamela the Halcyon Beach Grill. She will remember who you are and all you tell her, she's a great cook too!

General Observations
There is so much that goes into a great vacation and while the Halcyon is the smallest of the Sandals resorts in St Lucia, it is in our humble opinion the prettiest and the friendliest. In selecting this property you have to be prepared to accept a quieter experience, one that may not be as lavish or amenity driven as the others. The great thing is that you can also spend your days if desired at the other locations but still return to a more tranquil setting at the end of the day. The Halcyon is located just north of Castries and nicely nestled in the middle of the three Sandals properties. The shuttle ride between them (no charge of course) is about 15 minutes without traffic problems but expecting 20 to 25 would be the norm. And by the way, island time does prevail sometimes but generally they do a good job of keeping on schedule.

Halcyon, Regency or Grand?
For best beach, younger crowd and more action the Grand has the edge. We deemed it a little like Hollywood though, a nice place to visit! It is large and assuming and the newest of the three properties. For the smallest of the beaches and the one with heaviest surf (each time we visited), the best restaurants and a very large, hilly property (shuttle services between restaurants and rooms), the Regency is your place. It was under considerable construction and remodeling while we were there and by appearances this will continue for a while longer. For the longest beach but not necessarily one that compares to the others, the very best and friendliest staff, impeccable gardens, and a much more laid back location, Halcyon has them beat.

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
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90  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

Address: Choc Bay, Castries GM910, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Castries Quarter > Castries
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: $484 - $1,202 (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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