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“Absolutely Fantastic”

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Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 12 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence
Plymouth
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Absolutely Fantastic”
Reviewed November 2, 2009

Can I just start by saying that the person who posted a negative review without staying at the hotel, in my opinion, is not actually in a position to comment constructively with a fleeting visit.

My husband and I went to this Sandals resort purely for the diving and we were not disappointed in any way. The staff were very professional, the equipment was very good, the dive boats were excellent and the dive sites themselves were fantastic. We were a little dubious as this was in the price of the holiday and we could have 2 dives in a day - we thought the facilities would not be very good but we absolutely loved it.....the 8 am start each morning was no fun but we had a magnificent time and a big thank you to them all!!!

The hotel itself was fantastic and am very surprised by the negative comments....all the staff were friendly and very helpful....Francis the restaurant manager was lovely and a complete gentleman. The food was fantastic and especially the Pier Restaurant and Italian Restaurant. We never took the opportunity to visit the other Sandals resort as we were so busy with the diving and were quite happy to stay within our resort which was very peaceful and friendly.

Our room was in the refurbished area of the hotel grounds and was very nice. It overlooked the pool area, very quiet and set in beautiful gardens. The bed was a four poster bed and was huge. Had a fridge in the room which was filled up daily...top tip...the older rooms do not have a fridge and I would say that this is a must. Air conditioning was lovely and quiet and a definite must!!....mosquitos love to munch at night ha ha

We had a fantastic holiday and can't wait to go back again one day.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Y40Pam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Saline, MI
Level Contributor
95 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 230 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2009

My husband and I spent the week of 24-31 October at the Halcyon and it is a very nice resort. It could do with more updating which is currently being done. We staid at a beach front cottage room and it was charming. The grounds are gorgeous and well kept up, only the walkways could do with resurfacing in places. We enjoyed most of the food, especially the food at Mario's. Our waitress was a gem (Narvel ?) and really knows how to make guests happy. The Pier Restaurant, so highly acclaimed, was a true let down for us. The place is lovely but the service can be called medicre at best and the food was not worth mentioning. The service was also very slow (and I don't mind waiting because I am on vacation) but when it is so slow that one gets bored, that is too much. The Bayside Cafe serves good food for breakfast and lunch and we had one dinner there, the Select Guest return dinner which was very good and lovely presented. We took advantage of the complimentary shuttles to the other two resorts. I agree with other reviewers, both, the Grande and the Regency, are just resorts with no "identity". We ate twice at La Toc French Restaurant and both times the food and service was outstanding. Truly a gem of a restaurant. My husband went scuba diving every day and the dive sites were all good with plenty of fish life and coral to see. The commuting trip to the harbor of Castries can be a bit tiresome, but that's where the dive boat leaves from. Most of the staff was friendly but I would not call them "like family". Of course I don't need them to know my name and my drink preference but some guests really enjoy that special attention.
Two negative observations.......1. not enough umbrellas at the pools and beach and 2. the beach towel supply is handled very poorly. There hardly ever are towels available in the morning and as soon as they arrive (noonish) they are gone. A steady supply thruout the day would be apppreciated.
Overall, our stay was very enjoyable, the weather great (a couple of showers did not make us unhappy) and the transfer to the airport was interesting and diverse while looking at the wonderful plants, flowers and villages we passed. We arrived at the Vigie airport on the way to the resort which is only a 5 minute ride. We therefore, enjoyed the longer ride (1 hour + to the international airport) .We took one excursion by private taxi and had a great time at the Sulphur Springs, the Drive-in Volcano, the Diamond Waterfalls and the Botanical Garden and the gorgeous ocean views all along the coast. One day we plan to return to St Lucia because it is a lovely island with nice people and gorgeous scenery.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Beachlover888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LANCS
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2009

Spent 10 days in the hotel. Perfect from start to finish. The standard of accommodation throughout is excellent and I would not pay a fortune for an upgrade. We were upgraded on arrival but our original pick looked as good. Beautiful gardens, lovely pools, huge beach, briliant staff and great food and drink. The well run, free water sports were a huge bonus and even though the hotel was full there was never much of a wait to water ski, sail, kayak etc. Even the lessons were free.
The complimentary shuttles to the other Sandals hotels were good and it was so easy to eat and drink at their bars and restaurants as well as using thier towels and pools.
Very few negatives. There is a shortage of shade around the pools and on the beach and a few more umbrellas would help.The trips organised by the hotel seemed a bit pricey. However the sunset party cruise is an absolute must. Do not think of hiring a car. The roads are awful and dangerous. I witnessed 2 crashes; many guests saw 4 or 5.
Overall a great hotel on a beautiful island.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank doc1lancs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bicester
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2009

The most beautiful location you could imagine, staff are fantastic everyone had a smile and an eagerness to make your stay memorable. The food was great ,with lots of choice in a variety of restaurants on the resort, as well as the option of a free shuttle bus to the two other Sandal resorts within a fifteen minute radius.

There are two pools one lively with activities, if desired, and a swim up pool side bar. This pool overlooks a wide expanse of beach and watersports. The other is smaller but secluded in a lush garden setting also with a bar. Jacuzzi' are also available.

A wide range of entertainment is available however the evening entertainment can be hit and miss.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mchefj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampsire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2009

There's heaps of mixed reviews on here for the Halcyon Beach - hopefully this should clarify some different views...

Firstly the resort does look a bit tired compared to the Regency and The Grande. We were a little surprised on arrival to be honest, and the piano bar where you check in is real ropey. We thought we would pay to move to one of the others at first.

We had a pool premium room - brand new and refurbished - stunning. It was much nicer than the rooms that were in a higher grade to ours. Mini bar, flat screen TV, beautiful! I have to be honest, if we had a beach room or something similar I think I would have not been as happy in there.

So, the important bits - the customer service at the Halcyon is unsurpassed. We went up to the bar (they quickly learned what we drank) and the drinks were already there with a smile and a chat. The team were extremely friendly. especially Francis and Rita and my partner spent more time talking to Kevin than he did me!. What everyone says about Marios and The Pier is true - they are better than the other restaurants in the other resorts, even better than Le Toc, the flagship restaurant at The Grande.

So, context. We met some people staying at the Regency, and they were enjoying the impressive surroundings, but said the Regency has no soul, and they felt a bit lonely. We could see that as when we spent some evenings at the other two resorts it's true, it's almost clinical in presentation and delivery. It made me realise that we preferred personality and soul over glitz. Oh, and it's easy to hop resorts, the bus runs once an hour to the other two - and they're only 15 mins on the Sandals bus away.

We looked forward to going back to the Halcyon after a night out elsewhere, and having a drink plonked in front of us and a chat with the team there or other holidaymakers round the bar.

The gardens are beautiful - it truly is paradise and Benton the groundskeeper will tell you all about the gardens and the flowers. He's a lovely man.

If you want to learn to dive, see if Charlie (Papa Smurf) is available for your lessons - he's a legend. Absolutely. I'd go back just to dive with Charlie again.

So, it depends what you want. Glitzy pools, glass, chrome, everything on an enormous scale, basically the TV ad made reality - book the Grande or the Regency. Want a holiday where you can relax, feel at home, make some friends and just relax...book the Halcyon.

  • Liked — The customer service
  • Disliked — Some aspects looked a little tired
  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank bongobabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2009

My husband and I travelled to the Sandals Halcyon Beach in May 2009 with my parents and my sister and brother-in-law. This was a trip which was months in the planning as it was to celebrate three extremely special anniversaries - a Golden Wedding Anniversary and two Silver Wedding Anniversaries. We chose the Halcyon Beach as it was the quieter of the three resorts, and it offered rooms with handicap access - essential for mum. Sadly I'm not sure what constitutes such a room at Sandals as the room they were given was no different to any of the others. We did ask on two occasions whether this was the correct room and were assured that it was. However all the rooms in the block were exactly the same, so how could it have been? We always try to make the most of things, but it took two of us to shower mum, and she fell twice in the bath, which was upsetting for her and for the rest of us.
We had upgraded to a luxury ocean view room as this was the first level available with handicapped access. Had we known there was no difference, we wouldn't have bothered. In addition, the "upgraded" rooms were dated and in need of renovation - something which had already been carried out in the cheaper rooms which had a much higher standard of facilities - mini-bar, fridge for example. At Sandals prices, we were surprised and disappointed that these were not available in our rooms.
There were many positives to the resort. Most of the staff were extremely friendly and courteous and some were exceptional - Francis, Selena and Milanus in the Bayside and Marios restaurants were wonderful, as were Cindy and Agnes in the beach bar. Eslyn, the play leader, was something else - give me some of that energy!
Marios was our favourite restaurant out of the three at Halcyon Beach - in fact of all three resorts. We also ate at the Grande and the Regency on a number of occasions, which we enjoyed - the Cricketers at the Regency was fun! The grounds at the Halcyon are absolutely beautiful, and well-kept and tended by the ever-cheerful groundsman.
However, we had expected a truly luxurious experience, and this was sadly lacking. The little touches were simply not there - small things such as "no room service", "you can only get a coffee at 4 o'clock" (what is that all about??), pool towels were scarce and often not replenished at all. The bar at the Paradise Pool ran out of Martini - not a crime, but this was on the third day of our stay, and it was never replenished, despite us asking on a daily basis! In a similar vein, the blender blew up - it took three days to replace it, and in the meantime, we were directed to other bars. In much "lesser" establishments where we have stayed, the staff would have gone to the other bar for you. Again in "lesser" (and cheaper!) establishments, we have had a turn down service, beautifully sculpted towels, sweets/flowers on the bed - none of these were present at Sandals, although I see from some of the photographs that some rooms did have these. The lack of consistency is a frustration and something which I would suggest the management should address.
In my opinion, this is an adequate three star resort but cannot be classed as a luxury hotel. Don't waste your money - there are much better places out there.

  • Stayed April 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FlipflopsYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waukesha, WI
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2009

This was our first visit to this Sandals Resort, our last visit was to the Grande Antigua and this year we decided that we had so much fun we wanted to return, but also wanted to try a new resort. We wanted a property that was lash with tropical foliage like we had in Antigua, yet we also wanted someplace that had good scuba diving... Our travel agent suggested the Halcyon and based on the trip advisor reviews we agreed it looked like a good choice, actually it was a GREAT choice! This resort is one of three in St. Lucia, it is located right between the Regency and the Grande, and the great thing is as a Sandals guest you stay at one and get to use all three. Between the three resorts you have a choice of 15 restaurants to dine at.

The Halcyon has three restaurants, Mario’s, The Pier and Bayside. We wore only at the Halcyon for one week so we did not get a chance to visit many of the other resort restaurants as we fell in love with ones at the Halcyon. Mario’s was our favorite as the food was just outstanding, and the entire staff there was fantastic, prompt service with a huge smile and the Fillet was to die for… The Pier was also a fantastic restaurant again with great food and above all the service as all the service at the Halcyon was outstanding.

As an example of how wonderful the staff is at the Halcyon, my wife came down with the stomach flu on the very fist day of our trip, probably picked up the 24hr bug on the flight from the US. We went to see the resort nurse and she was very helpful, and in fact she event went to the local pharmacy to pick up some medicine for her and delivered it to our room. We had planned to go scuba diving the next day but my wife was just not up to it, but my wife urged me to go diving and Julian the Customer Service Manager assured me that they would take good care of my wife, that they did, they checked in on her all morning. Matteus one of the chefs in the Bayside made her a special chicken soup and brought it to her in the room… that soup helped her get her strength back, and in fact for dinner that night at the pier the chef even warmed up the soup so she could dine with me… to say the least our trip was saved by the kind and caring staff.. You would never get that kind of service at a 5 star hotel in the US.

The water sports team at the Halcyon is great and they have a lot of fun things to do at this resort such as water skiing, tubing, and sailing…and of course our favorite SCUBA! If you are a certified diver you get a two tank dive each day, except for your last day as they do not allow any diving within 24 hrs of your flight home…and that is the safe thing to do. If you are not certified but want to try SCUBA you can take a resort course and with that you get to make up to two dives during the week. The scuba equipment is in good shape, the boats (46ft Newton) were very well equipped and the dive staff on the boat was very good, very safe and made sure you had a good safe dive. The diving in St. Lucia is very nice and the trip to the Pitons where you do a drift dive was a real treat both above and below the water.

The rooms are all very nice and unlike many of the other Sandals resorts all the rooms are about the same size and the main difference in room category is where you are located, we stayed in a Honeymoon Beachfront Concierge room, these are the closest to the beach and unlike some of the previous reviews we had no problem with any of the beach vendors bothering us. Just a note, all the beaches in St. Lucia are public so you will have some locals roaming the beach trying to sell you items so they can make a living. They are not pushy, and if you treat them with respect and just say no thank you, they will leave you alone. There are a few regular beach vendors that are always there and they are great people to talk to and will make you some stuff right there on the beach, Rasta Charley is one of them and he is a very fun guy, and made us a very nice coconut bird feeder that we hanging outside our kitchen window, and the birds love it.

The resort is in the process up updating their rooms, they have started with the Paradise Pool rooms and they look pretty good from the outside and the Sandals web site has views of the inside.

All in all we had a great time but one week was just not enough to really see all there is to see so we will be going back Jan 9-23 in 2010.

If you want to see what the resort really looks like from a guests perspective I have posted a slide show on You Tube that you can watch, it will give you an overview of the week we stayed there. The link is below, be sure to click on the HD symbol on the lower right side of the show to view it in high quality

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfoqevMMDFU

As you will see this is an excellent resort and if you have any questions feel to send us a message and we will do our best to answer your question.

John and Ann

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MrJEB
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 Family Hotel in Castries
#4 Top resorts 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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