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East Winds
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Reviewed January 15, 2013

This is a small resort where you really can relax. The staff are delightful and they make a real effort to please you. The food, cocktails and wine are excellent. There are no queues and there is no scramble for sun beds. The most stressful activity you are likely to encounter is whether to choose the pool or beach; the kayaks or hobie cat. This was our second family visit and we are coming back for more.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George R, Owner at East Winds, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2013

RELAXED AND ENJOYED YOUR REVIEW – THANK YOU

Your review of the second family visit to East Winds Inn is greatly appreciated, particularly the manner in which you highlight the relaxing aspect of the hotel and the choice of activities. Comments pertaining to the delightful staff and their efforts to please are also recognized, as were your enjoyment of the food and drink, which you classified as “excellent”.

The benefits of staying at a smaller boutique hotel such as East Winds are exemplified in your comments about the lack of queues and ability to easily partake in whatever activity you want.

We are so pleased to hear that you will be coming back for more, and greatly value your support of East Winds Inn - "The Small Resort With the Big Heart". Thank you for sharing your experiences, and hope to see you again soon.

Warm regards,

George J. Reti
President

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We had a wonderful time. The service was superb and warm. The food was generally delicious particularly the produce. The accommodations were top rate. We loved the semi outdoor but very private shower. The grounds were like a botanical garden. The beach was very inviting and the swimming area was gentle and quite large. We used the Hobie cat and took advantage of the yoga lessons offered.

The all inclusive feature allowed you to do and try everything from food to drink to activities without ever considering cost. Bottom line... East winds is the antidote for stress.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Jesse K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George R, Owner at East Winds, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2013

A WONDERFUL REVIEW – THANK YOU

We greatly appreciate your candid and favourable review covering your recent stay at East Winds Inn. Your style is concise and to the point, and your overall tone and remarks are most flattering – especially relating to the service being “superb and warm”. All the staff at East Winds will be most happy to hear that, as their main objective is to ensure that all guests have a wonderful vacation while visiting the beautiful island of St. Lucia.

Your closing is a classic…”East Winds is the antidote for stress”. That is what a holiday should be all about, and we are so pleased you found us. Hopefully, you will return soon, as so many others do.

Best regards,

George J. Reti
President

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

This is a lovely place.
It's not earth-shatteringly stunning in the way that Jade Mountain is. It's a cosier, simpler, gentler experience.
The staff are really exceptional.
The food is good (not mind-blowing, but good).
The beach is very pleasant and, apparently, this is the only small hotel on the beach in St Lucia. The other beach-front places having been swallowed up by big resorts.
The rooms are fine. The gardens are pleasant.
There's a certain shabby-chic thing going on, where you feel like it's been there many years and - it has!
There's a ping-pong table and, most mornings, there's yoga.
I'd go back there. And I'd go back with a warm feeling towards the place and it's heart.
Not with my pulse racing about it, but looking forward to being taken excellent care of.
Some people, reading the amazing reviews on TripAdvisor, might be expecting somewhere more flamboyant or ostentatious. East Winds isn't either of these things. It's not flash. It's not slick. It's not trendy. But it does start to feel like home. And that's very relaxing.

Room Tip: Be aware that the garden cottages don't have a sea view.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank BLJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George R, Owner at East Winds, responded to this reviewResponded January 8, 2013

THANKS FOR THE SPECIAL REVIEW

This is a lovely review. It encapsulates all the important elements of East Winds Inn accurately and with feeling – particularly the human characteristics that make it tick. Receiving such positive feedback from a seasoned traveler and reviewer is both gratifying and meaningful for any potential guest, with emphasis on some of the adjectives which typically are not found in the average posting. Specifically, we like; lovely, cozier, simpler, gentler, pleasant and being taken excellent care of.

We are also pleased that you have taken the time and effort to indicate what East Winds isn’t. Not ostentatious, not flamboyant (other than the actual tree variety), not flash, not slick and not trendy – these are all aspects we are very proud to be without. In fact, you have recognized exactly what has become the core identity of East Winds Inn – “the Small Resort with a Big Heart”. As you say, “the staff are really exceptional”.

And what truly has us smiling is the fact you openly state “I’d go back there. And I’d go back with a warm feeling towards the place and its heart.” After all, you can spend a lot of money building a big fancy new hotel, but without heart, you don’t have a whole lot to offer. And it “does start to feel like home to so many people”, they just keep coming back. That’s very relaxing for everyone who understands how to appreciate it. So an honest thank you and we hope to see you again too, because you obviously get it.

Warm regards,

George J. Reti
President

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

I am usually a "cup half full gal" and from all the fabulous reviews on Trip Advisor, I thought I had it figured out, East Winds was going to be perfect for a 6 day get away, on my own for peace and quiet and from what I was charged, I was expecting to receive reasonable luxury and good service. (I later compared my rate to a few other guests and learned I was paying maximum freight - don't forget to barter if you're interested in this hotel!) I was sadly disappointed. After ordering a taxi through the hotel to pick me up at the airport, and confirming again with the hotel by email, guess what? No taxi. A little alarming as a single woman travelling alone. In any case, I rustled up a taxi and told the the driver I was staying at East Winds Inn...and with a clear and audible "it's OK" comment from him, we started our 90 minute journey. He was right - it was just OK. I was met with a frozen towlette, my bag dumped in my room with no lights even turned on (it was a dark night thank you!), a request for an additional blanket that showed up 2 hours later and a tired room with a less than desirable, in much need of an upgrade... bathroom. Now to be clear, I have travelled extensively throughout the Caribbean and my expectations are reasonable and understated. In any case, I proceeded to blame myself for being tired and decided to make the best of the next few days. The food was good to excellent (and the leftovers creatively disguised the next day!) The music was excellent! There were so many staff, especially gardeners and security staff, I never in fact felt that I had the privacy I had hoped to get on the beach and on the grounds. As I was checking out, the oddest thing occurred... I was asked how my stay was by someone I had never seen before but looked to be part of the hotel, I asked who he was and why was he interested? Well, he was the Manager of East Winds...Hmmm...I hadn't seen him ALL week? He was there apparently and claimed there was so much Administration at this time of year... I guess he's a busy guy!??? In any case, I enjoyed the company of several guests, the beach and ocean are beautiful, the rose wine at lunch is lovely, yoga was good and the fitness trail was good. So all in all, good, but certainly not great!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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21  Thank FreeGal23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George R, Owner at East Winds, responded to this reviewResponded January 10, 2013

CUP HALF EMPTY REVIEW GOOD, BUT CERTAINLY NOT GREAT

We acknowledge your review of the six days spent at East winds Inn over the recent Christmas period, and are genuinely disappointed that you did not have the total experience of your expectations. The Christmas Season is viewed as a very special time of year for the resort, with all the management and staff exceptionally focused to ensure a positive holiday for all guests, be they families, couples or single people. In fact, unlike many hotels, we encourage and are very accustomed to having single visitors, providing them a safe and social atmosphere. Our apologies that you felt compelled to author the review which you have, as this is far from the standard that the majority of guests who visit East Winds Inn report on this website on a very consistent and regular basis. A great deal of questioning and analysis has gone into investigating your comments, including a special staff meeting, in order that we may provide the following observations.

Beginning with the positives, and there were many, you stated that the food was good to excellent, the music was excellent, you enjoyed the company of several guests, the beach and ocean are beautiful, the rose wine at lunch is lovely, yoga was good and the fitness trail was good. We greatly appreciate all of these remarks, which do not seem to match the three star overall rating you provided, and we do recognize that everyone is entitled to a subjective opinion. However, it is in the facts which you report that there seem to be some significant inconsistencies, including representations such as the full freight room rate which you claim to have paid, which is incorrect.

In preparation for your arrival to St. Lucia, the hotel staff had made a request to the Southern Taxi Association for a personal taxi to bring you to the resort. We spoke to the head of the Association who confirmed that the taxi driver was indeed standing outside the customs hall with your name on a sign for identification, but you never came. We also learned that the taxi driver who dropped you off at the hotel was not part of the Association, but rather someone whom you randomly, to use your vernacular, rustled up at the side of the road – hence his assertions towards East Winds as just being OK. In reality, East Winds Inn has brought great pride to St. Lucia for many consecutive years, having earned numerous International accolades for quality and friendliness, including being named the Number One All-Inclusive Resort in the entire Caribbean Region and Number Three in the whole World for 2012 on this website. As you can appreciate, it is most difficult to relate these significant recognitions to being simply OK.

You state that you were greeted with a frozen towlette, when in fact, upon your arrival at the hotel at 6:24 PM on December 23rd, in addition to a cold cotton towel to freshen up, you were given a choice of rum punch, sparkling water or a glass of ice cold French champagne by one of our receptionists, Gwen. You chose the champagne and appeared to enjoy it, yet there is no mention of that.

Your bags were taken to room 27, a spacious oceanfront room that was recently expanded and has a lovely covered verandah with an unobstructed view of the beach and the Caribbean Sea. This, you do not mention anywhere in your review. Your bag was not “dumped” on the floor, but rather placed adjacent to the closet. You were also given an orientation of your room. The following day, Charmion, our head receptionist, placed a courtesy call to your room and it is logged that you had a lovely evening. A full property orientation was offered, which you declined, despite it even being made possible for a later date at your convenience. You also mentioned that you needed an extra blanket because you found the room to be quite cool, and ignoring the option to simply turn down the air conditioning, this was attended to by Housekeeping the same day, well in time for your night’s sleep.

Despite your comment that the food was good to excellent, you inaccurately state that leftovers were served the following day. This is definitely not the case at East Winds Inn, where we serve only the freshest of ingredients, with each and every meal prepared from scratch. Our Head Chef, Tomislav Cukman, who graduated from London’s Le Cordon Bleu as head of his class with top honours, and our designation as a Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Guild dining room would never allow for the serving of anything but the freshest and best cuisine. This is attested to by all the positive comments we receive from guests of East Winds Inn relating to cuisine quality, including you. Frankly, our chef was quite upset by this remark in your posting, as it is unsubstantiated, misleading and flagrantly incorrect.

The number of staff which you encountered, including the gardeners and security you referenced, all have a significant role to play in overall guest satisfaction. They are encouraged to be friendly and engaging to all guests, and answer any questions related to their area of expertise or aspects of St. Lucian life in general. At the same time, they know to be respectful of people’s privacy. One of the greatest strengths of East Winds Inn is the quality and sincerity of its staff and this has been referred to time and time again on this website.

During the course of your visit, you also came into contact with many of our management team, and never expressed any aspect of unhappiness or shortcomings relating to your stay. Accordingly, we were somewhat taken aback by the demeanor of your posting, which we feel is rather harsh in relation to what you actually experienced. Still, we regret having let you down, and are hopeful that you might return one day in a more relaxed and open frame of mind to properly enjoy the East Winds experience. Thank you for your interest in East Winds Inn.

Best regards,

George J. Reti
President

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

My wife and I visited East Winds for 10 days in summer 2012, having spent the past 3 summers at different resorts in Antigua. The primary reason for choosing East Winds were all of the positive reviews on Tripadvisor, and knowing how much stock the resort places in the reviews I've given it 4/5 with some trepidation (!) but ultimately we felt our holiday was 'very good' rather than 'excellent'.
The hotel is a winding 45-60min drive from the airport. We went by taxi on our arrival, but it left my wife feeling car sick and so we took the scenic helicopter ride back at the end of our stay...definitely worth doing as it not only saves on travel sickness but gives some truly stunning views of the island.
In terms of the accommodation, we felt that East Winds felt a little tired and in need of some TLC compared to other 5* resorts we'd stayed at in the caribbean. The room was nice enough although suffered from a lack of air conditioning...we appreciated that you could ask for units to be brought down upon request, but for me AC is something I'd have expected as a standard feature. The pool is a good size and we enjoyed the self-service style of the bar. If we had one complaint about that area it was that the sun loungers felt a bit old, and shabby, which again was disappointing in a resort with this reputation.
East Winds has a nice little beach and good selection of activities for guests to take advantage of. As it's such a small resort there usually was no problem in taking out a boat or canoe whenever you wanted.
The restaurant was nice and all the food of a good standard, with nice variation and a decent selection of wines and other drinks. The live music, and in particular the live piano, were absolutely fantastic and some of the highlights of the holiday. Staff throughout the resort are very friendly and it has a warm family atmosphere, which was helped by all of the returning guests we saw during our stay. A special mention to the yoga facility as well, which my wife took regular advantage of in the mornings and loved.
All in all we had a very nice stay at East Winds, but it just fell a little short of our admittedly high hopes and expectations, which were based on comparisons from other holidays we've taken in the caribbean in recent years. It's certainly a quiet and peaceful resort, which we wanted, but may have been better suited to couples slightly older than our mid-30s range, or for those not seeking a modern-style luxury resort.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank PaulandJane10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George R, Owner at East Winds, responded to this reviewResponded January 3, 2013

THANKS FOR THE “VERY GOOD” REVIEW FROM YOUR TRIP LAST SUMMER

We appreciate receiving our first review for the 2013 calendar year, albeit based on a very good experience dating back to June 2012. The minor items you have specifically commented upon that held you back from granting an excellent review have been dealt with - quite some time ago actually – as we will address later. You will note that East Winds Inn, apart from its level of service and cuisine and many of the special “extras”, has never held itself out as a “five star” rated hotel, as that would imply something which would be impossible in order to maintain the authenticity of the resort in terms of a true Caribbean experience. For example, you could have a five star resort with 30 rooms on less than an acre of land, with tight quarters, a small beach and lose the luxury of privacy and tranquility. What East Winds offers is 30 cottage style rooms on 13 acres of verdant botanical gardens where all the facilities are intertwined with nature, creating a very unique Caribbean atmosphere of understated elegance and relaxation. We prefer to have the five star status granted to us by our hundreds of satisfied guests on this website, as opposed to a self awarded five star rating based on the man-made features that have been used in the construction of many extravagant but soulless facilities that have replaced original resorts such as East Winds Inn.

Dealing specifically with your review, the drive from the airport to not only East Winds Inn but all of the resorts in the more developed north part of the island can be considered both scenic and educational, or simply a long vehicle ride. It all depends on one’s perspective, but we are aware of hundreds of people who look forward to the trip as it allows them to get caught up with all the recent developments in St. Lucia and puts them in an island frame of mind by the time they reach the resort. The helicopter has its pluses as well, but the land transport luggage aspect detracts from the overall experience, and there are many stories about delayed or misplaced luggage.

East Winds Inn is not a new resort – in fact, it is one of the oldest and last remaining Caribbean style resort in St. Lucia. Every aspect of the resort has been totally upgraded in the past few years to the highest possible standards which would still allow it to maintain the rare authentic atmosphere. There are many very special features which you enjoyed and commented upon that simply cannot be found in other Caribbean locations. These include the Steinway concert grand piano in the open air dining room which you found “absolutely fantastic”, the highest quality McGuire and Pavilion furniture throughout the resort, and the formidable open air yoga pavilion “which your wife took regular advantage of in the mornings and loved.” It is somewhat surprising, given your desire for air conditioning, that you did not book one of the 26 out of 30 rooms that do have air-conditioning as a standard feature. We have deliberately left only four rooms without it as some of our repeat guests prefer the natural sea breezes to cool them in the evening. The Pavilion lounges in the pool area have new cushions, which were back ordered at the time of your visit last summer.

We appreciate you pointing out many other positive aspects of the resort – the “nice little beach”, the good-sized pool with self service swim up bar, “the restaurant was nice and all the food of a good standard”, and the entertainment quality. You also stated that “staff throughout the resort are very friendly and it has a warm family atmosphere” You summarize “all in all we had a very nice stay at East Winds” - that is excellent reinforcement for our team, and we hope to have you back as a repeat guest in the future.

Best regards,

George J. Reti
President

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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