Let me preface this review by informing you that it has been a couple of years since I've been to Rendezvous, BUT that I've been there twice--once in 2003 for our honeymoon and the following year for our anniversary. It is an absolutely wonderful property and I'm sure has only improved since our trips.
The ride to the resort is about 45 minutes if I recall. Our first taxi ride to Rendezvous was exciting to say the least! Let me just tell you I took motion sickness meds the following year! However, that first cab ride was the worst...the others not so bad. I guess it depends on your driver! The ride flies by (pun intended), given the scenery--banana farms galore. Views of the coast. You will experience some of the island which is a must, so do not factor the travel time to the resort into your consideration of this vacation. Yes, they drive on the left side of the road, and we got a little confused over this! It was adventursome to say the least.
We were greeted with warm towels and rum punch upon arrival. Our bags were taken to our room. We were in awe of the lush gardens and beauty of the lobby.
There are two places to eat at Rendezvous: The Trysting Place (which requires reservations but is not hard to get into) and the buffet style area. The Trysting Place is very gourmet. I would not have minded eating there every night. You order from a menu which changes throughout the week. All other meals (including breakfast, lunch and dinner) are eaten in the Terrace, which is just a few feet from the water. We requested a table next to the water as often as possible. The food is great. Breakfast offers hot items that you may order, or you can peruse the buffet. I can't think of anything they did NOT have. We really enjoyed the food, although we are not picky eaters.
I have stayed in 3 of the 4 rooms offered at Rendezvous. The ocean cottage was our favorite...it was like our own little place on the beach. Our first room, garden view, had a/c problems and we got upgraded our first year. We never again experienced an a/c problem. Ask and ye shall receive.
Daytime is very quiet and relaxed at Rendezvous. If you are looking for a party scene, go elsewhere. There are no speakers blasting music or other disturbances. Just people chillin' by the pool or on the expansive beach, most with books in hand. (Not that the guests are prudes! There's still plenty of boozin' going on). Prop up your flag and a server will come take your drink order. The premise behind Rendezvous is romance. This is why there are no tv's in the room. I know some people complain about this and I admit I felt a little "lost" w/o a tv too. But to tell you the truth, it was GREAT getting my husband away from the stupid tv and remote for a week--to just focus on us. To talk, enjoy the island/resort, etc. Also, there is a big screen tv in the main area at "happy hour" that shows CNN or football (soccer) for the Brits. There is also access to the internet if you quickly want to check your news (or other) sites. So if you are the type to stay in your room and watch tv and order room service (which Rendezvous does not have), this place is not for you.
There are a lot of water and other activities to participate in if you so choose. Tubing is a blast. They will have contests too. My husband and I competed in a tubing contest (where you sit on tubes and are towed real fast behind a boat). We were given a cup of colored water and the team that came back with the most still in their cup won. This was a lot of fun--and we won a bottle of rum for coming in 2nd. Kayaking is nice and peaceful too. Take your camera for a water's view of the resort. There is afternoon volleyball which is a lot of fun (to play or watch). The beach is expansive and you can take long walks (off the property, but still within sight of everyone...and we felt very safe...but don't venture after dark...common sense...). The water is very warm and calm.
There is an afternoon tea/snacks for those interested. Dinners are good (again, buffet style but lots of options). There are theme nights (for food and table tops) so the menu does change. Entertainment is like it is at most all-inclusives--good local talent. Most people dress nice for dinner. Sundresses or nice top/capris/skirt for women. Nice pants and shirts for men. The Beach Party BBQ is the exception--most wore shorts that night. There is a manager's cocktail party one night that was the most dressy, but again, people's attire ran the gammut. I liked dressing up at nights--found it to be more romantic and "date"-ish.
You must visit the town market in Castries. The market is ranked as one of the top 25 in the world by Food and Wine magazine. It is such a wonderful, cultural experience and about a 5 minute walk from the resort. Again, we felt completely safe and loved the exercise. There is also an early morning bike tour into town (w/ a staff escort) if you'd rather go that route. Also, you cannot visit St. Lucia w/o taking the Tout Bagay ("a little bit of everything") tour. You'll get out on the water on a catamaran and sail down the west coast of the town of Soufriere--seeing many sights along the way--namely the impressive Pitons. You'll tour Soufrie--seeing a live active volcano and rainforests. You'll stop for lunch and see a cocoa plantation. This excursion is a MUST for all tourists!! Rum punch all day, music and dancing on the way back...it was SO much fun. On our return trip we took a 1/2 day jeep trek into the rainforest. It too was fun, but second to Tout Bagay. We DO feel like we know the island very well, though! Next time we plan to go on the "Rhythm of Rum" tour.
Our return trip was just as pleasurable. We had a bottle of champagne waiting for us in our room, with a note that read "In Commemoration of your anniversary. Welcome back." A few staff members remembered us. We felt like we were home! We can't wait to return one day...maybe to renew our vows. Rendezvous is very special to us. The staff is so friendly and fun. They will join you for breakfast if you let them, burn you cds of local artists if you ask, or leave you alone if that is what you want. They speak English, although my husband had a hard time understanding many things due to the thick accents.
I cannot believe I didn't utilize the spa at Rendezvous, so I can't comment on it. Note that Rendezvous has a sister resort, LeSport. It is a 5 star resort that you can frequent for free, with a day pass. We went one day because that is where you must go to snorkel. It costs $20 for a transfer ride there and back, but it's fun to explore the upper portion of the island and check out other resorts. It was certainly nice, but we felt more comfortable at Rendezvous. The spa at LeSport is supposedly incredible. We looked around the facility and it is something else! It has wonderful, mountainous views and is a fun day trip, especially for those who stay at Rendezvous for more than a week.
Oh--Air Jamaica cancelled our return flight home without telling us--I learned of it on the internet 2 days before we were to depart. Our flight was moved to the following day. I called Rendezvous in a tizzy but they accomodated us for an extra night, at no cost.
I could go on and on about this resort but this review is too long already. Please let me know if you have any specific questions. This resort is so charming and quaint. It is not one of the super mega-big places that are springing up lately. I've been to those too, and they appeal to certain people/groups with certain travel desires. If you are looking for something no-fuss that is romantic and will allow you to celebrate your new marriage or rekindle an old one, this is the place for you. St. Lucia is a wonderful island--the best I've been to. At some places you are crazy to leave your resort. Not St. Lucia. Please do me a favor and tell our friend the general manager, Nigel, that Michael and Tricia said hello!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on two miles of powdery sand, surrounded by acres of exotic tropical gardens, it’s easy to why Rendezvous has been called “the romantic holiday.” It’s hard to imagine a more alluring corner of the world for two people to escape to. A world away from the everyday, it’s a uniquely intimate island retreat. From the long stretches of deserted beach to the lazy-river pool that winds its way through quiet nooks and secret hideaways, every aspect of this all-inclusive luxury resort has been created to give couples the space and time they need to be alone. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Rendezvous Hotel Castries
- Rendezvous Hotel St Lucia
- Rendevous St Lucia
- Rendezvous Resort St. Lucia/Castries