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“Relaxing, carefree week on St. Lucia”
Review of East Winds

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East Winds
Ranked #1 of 12 Hotels in Gros Islet
Certificate of Excellence
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
34 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Relaxing, carefree week on St. Lucia”
Reviewed July 22, 2010

We take a trip with extended family each year during the summer for 5-7 day and this year I thought we should go to the Caribbean and stay at an all-inclusive resort. On Trip Advisor there was a list of the 10 best all-inclusives and I chose The East Winds Inn from that group. We did not know what to expect. You drive down a narrow lane to a gravel entrance with a guard gate. Inside waiting for us was a small treasure resort that is understated but elegant. The attention to detail is perfect. Gareth and his staff were extremely friendly and helpful and the grounds beautiful. Our favorite things were the pool area with the swim up self serve bar, the open air restaurant on the beach, the comfortable lounge for gaming and after dinner chat and the comfortable slow pace of the resort. When we got there, we were given a rum drink and shown around by a staff member. Our cottage had a nice king bed, a sunken shower and a porch sitting area with a fridge stocked daily with beer, water and soft drinks.
The whole day revolves around the food. Breakfast is prepared for you and made to order. Lunch is usually a gourmet buffet with many excellent choices and dinner was a bit dress up with either a cookout on the beach with prawns, tuna, salmon or ribs or an off the menu experience that changed everyday and was very interesting in its selections. Several wine choices were offered and dessert was always tasty including the seemingly endless selection of ice creams if the cheese cake or lemon pie wasn't enough. Afternoon tea in this UK inspired place was not to be missed as well with scones, cakes and assorted beverages set out at poolside.
We all agreed that the food preparation, presentation and delivery were the best we had ever experienced while traveling.
We have already discussed a return visit.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Dutchman413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (228)
Date | Rating
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2010

The basics:

(1) The Service: The service, as a general matter, is excellent, friendly, and attentive. But unless you have something go wrong, it's unlikely that you'll recognize just how "above-and-beyond" the service at East Winds Inn is. Our flight was delayed and the airline lost our luggage. Garreth - the hotel proprieter - went to extremes to improve our stay. Among other things, he personally couriered us from the airport to the hotel. He had the kitchen prepare a late night menu for us when we arrived (10:30 pm). He opened the boutique shop at East Winds (closed on Sundays) so we could get supplies. He drove us into Gros Islet for additional supplies the next day. Etc. Etc. They even upgraded us to the beachfront suite (the ideal room at the resort, in my humble opinion). At an average all-inclusive, we would have been left on our own. Garreth took on our misfortune as his own, and saw to fixing it as best he could.

(2) Food: The best food at an all-inclusive I've ever had. If you're a "foodie" from a locale with top-notch restaurants (as we are), this cuisine won't knock your socks off, but it is WAY above average for an all-inclusive, and even well-above average for a premier hotel (Ritz/etc.). The chef did a remarkable job keeping it "new" while presenting multi-course meals with multiple options every night. Still - the winning dishes were always the local fare/ fresh fruit/ etc.

(3) Drinks: Because this is a smaller all-inclusive with a slightly older crowd, quality is sought (over quantity). Good champagne, a decent wine selection, and higher quality after-dinner drinks (relatively aged scotch, high quality rum, etc) are all available.

(4) Atmosphere: East Winds is, foremost, a destination for rest and relaxation. While we started out trepidatious about the lack of things to do, it ended up being perfect - we NEEDED to sit in the sun and relax all day. A dip in the pool, a quick ride on one of the skiffs, or a foray along the coast in one of the kayaks was all we needed to break up the day. That said, most folks did at least one or two tours during a week stay (which East Winds will gladly assist you in setting up). We went snorkeling through Eastern Carribean Diving (a 5 minute walk down the beach) and did our own hike through Pigeon Island (definitely worth it. We should have brought a meal and picnic'ed there).

(5) Nightlife - Most of the time, "nightlife" means after dinner drinks with the guests at East Winds. I actually liked this aspect a lot. Among others, we met a "space scientist," former lead singer of a British rock band, and a really cool pair of newlyweds from the States. If, however, you're looking for a livelier scene, you can get it by heading into Rodney Bay for the Friday-night street festival. Tons of street food, cheap beer, and loud music. This is mostly for the younger crowd though (or younger at heart). Apparently, St. Lucians are in to country music as well... and there are lots of opportunities to go "country music dancing" if you look into it.

(6) Only Concerns: If you need AC (we do), be sure to confirm you have a "deluxe" room or one of the beachfront rooms. East Winds was good about helping us out when we initially booked a room without AC. Also, be prepared for some mosquitoes. Bug spray is a "must." They aren't swarming or anything like that, but be realistic. You're in the tropics. There will be some mosquitoes. Bug spray works like a charm.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank DCtoWhereNext
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chelmsford essex
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2010

Have always wanted to visit the beautiful island of St. Lucia and chose this hotel on the excellent reviews which I am happy to endorse. We had a wonderful 2 weeks staying in deluxe cottage No. 25 which we loved as it was positioned higher up in the gardens with lovely views to the side and below our terrace. Service here is second to none and the food amazing but my memories will be of the complete peace and relaxation that abounds here. On my last morning I lay floating in the pool which was completely empty surrounded by the beautiful gardens and wondered where else in the world could be so peaceful.
The staff are so friendly and we will always remember Windel and Titus for their big smiles and personalities. During our stay the World cup was being held and Gareth ( Manager) very kindly provided a cottage for a group of us to watch the England game together. We had a minor problem with our toilet during the second week and this was dealt with swiftly and a key to the neighbouring cottage given to us in case of need. Nothing was too much trouble.
It is true that the mosquitos gave us all a hard time but I understand this has been a bigger problem than usual. On a trip we noticed most people had been bitten, some very badly. Of course the weather was humid which we expected being the start of the rainy season. We had a few days of rain and cloud but mostly sunshine and when it rained it was most welcome! We had a visit most days from Thomas the resident black and white cat and he seemed to adopt us the second week. Please look out for him and give him a friendly stroke.
I would recommend East Winds to anyone. For us it was the perfect rest we had long looked forward to and we will certainly return as most people do. I hope it never changes.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sharon9301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 28, 2010

Where do we start ? Well if your reading this reveiw then you are looking at going to East Winds Inn , well as you will see from the reveiws on this resort it speak for it selve , this was our second year running at East Winds, and we just love it , myself and the wife are in our 30's and we do enjoy relaxing , not the party life , so this resort is ideal , as it is tranquile , relaxing , friendly and you are made to feel part of the family .
The staff are the best we have met from the various places we have stayed , they are friendly and are willing to do anything for you i.e if its not on the menu they will do their utmost to do or get it for you .
The food is out of this world , its varied and oh so tasty , and you will never go hungry at any time during the day , the fact you have breakfast , lunch , afternoon tea and then dinner .
After dinner you can relax in the club house , play games , have a drink or three from the best barman Titus , or just chat to other guests about the day .
During the day you can either sit on the beach or laze at the swim up bar pool , you never have to fight for a sunbed as there are always plenty to go around , so no towels on the beds at 5am lol
So book up , go , enjoy and you will want to go back again and again .

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank PeterandRia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beds
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2010

We have been visiting East Winds for many years and before the days of swimming pools and air conditioning.
What first attracted us to this spot was the peace and tranquility found there, providing an ideal environment to escape the pressures of modern day life. What has been notable with the sympathetic development of the site over the years, has been the ability to preserve this precious commodity.
For those seeking organised high octane entertainment through the day and evenings this is not the place to come. As described in other write ups, low key but varied musical offerings are performed in the evenings and all performed live by local musicians - everything from classical piano offerings on the Steinway, to solo jazz performances on the sax, to traditional creole.
A steel band offers traditional West Indian music during the weeekend lunch time BBQ.
The addition of two Hoby Cats to the pedallos and kayaks for the water sports enthusiasts is to be welcomed but if more variety is required a short walk along the beach to the neighbouring resort will satisfy most needs.
I don't think East Winds can be matched by many resorts with regard to quality of service, food or drink, it is simply superb. The staff are ever helpfull and smiling under the inspiring leadership of Gareth Leach.
The accommodation is in our experience first class whether it be in one of the airconditioned bungalows or in one of the rondells and kept spotless by the housekeeping staff.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MarinerBeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level Contributor
215 reviews
84 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 317 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2010

Notes on East Winds

Having been to East Winds many times for lunch and dinner whilst staying in St Lucia, this was the first time I stayed a guest and also the first time I have done completely All-Inclusive for a week!

I already liked the resort for its laid-back Caribbean feel and good food but staying as a guest there exceeded my expectations. It had to be one of the most relaxing holidays ever.

Where to start?

Room

We had a deluxe room which was quite near to the staff rest area. This meant that we could hear some chat when on our terrace in the afternoon but this was fine. We had three chickens strolling about outside which added to the atmosphere and a mango tree right nearby where the staff would regularly pick mangoes for us. The fridge was stocked with Piton Beer, coke, water etc and was replenished on a daily basis as needed.

Weather

The week we were there, 5-11 June, it was exceptionally hot and humid. The “Winds” in “East Winds” became a waft and, even though we did have aircon, the unit struggled to cope but it was just about ok. The sunken shower area in the bathroom was lovely and this helped cool us down frequently.

The mosquitoes were a problem as were the sand flies. We had read reviews on TA before coming out so had plenty of repellent with us. I usually sprayed my legs first thing in the morning, again at lunchtime and in the evening which did help.Generally on the island overall everyone was complaining about the mossies including the locals!

Housekeeping

Housekeeping and the general standard of cleanliness around the resort was exceptional. There appeared to be a ghost army of cleaners, one never saw them but the results were noticeable. There are little foot showers at every entrance to the restaurant and lounge areas and guests did help by using these. The staff responded very quickly to requests for a towel, bath soap etc and were all very friendly.

Food
Very good and plenty of variety. The Champagne at 7pm each night is a lovely touch and I really liked the French influenced menu in the evenings. Sometimes 4 courses got a bit too much so I had 3 starters rather than 2 starters and a main. Desserts were delicious and the breakfasts and buffet lunches very good. I really liked the Thai Beef curry, and the Creole lunchtime buffet one day.

One minor niggle. The wines by the glass could be a bit better. The wine was fine but I missed the sauvignon blancs, chablis etc. I suppose this would be down to budget so I can't grumble too much!

Ambience
The pool at East Winds is one of my favourites in St Lucia and parts are shaded at all times. This is great if, like me, you hate using sunscreen and burn easily.

The fitness trail is fun, although I was a bit timid of the cinder path in case it was slippery. The trail winds through the resort and past labelled plants, lime trees, mangoes etc.

It was very easy to relax into a routine at EW, morning on the beach after a breakfast handcooked by Paula (loved the galettes!), followed by lunch and then by the pool in time for afternoon tea. There was a good mix of guests when we were there ranging from age 4 to around 88 and tea was quite a social occasion. There were guests from Britain, South Carolina, New York, Chicago etc. There were quite a few repeat guests and some honeymooners and families.

I was impressed that, in spite of the constant supply of alcohol including the swimup bar, I rarely saw anyone the worse for wear!

Birds
The resort is very open and the local birds are very tame. At breakfast they have their own feeding area but can have their eye on the guests’ food plates at other times. This is a fairly common situation on the island! I did get to see carib grackles and kingbirds up close which was lovely. The environment is very natural and I enjoyed watching the landcrabs, small hermits crabs, lizards and gekkos.

The Sea
Surprisingly this was quite good for snorkelling in early morning and I even spotted a lobster (out of season sadly). The sea at East Winds is cleaner than further down the beach towards Windjammer as there is more of a flow of water. The swimming area is large. Sadly there were no sails for the hobie cat the week I was there although I was told that the resort was trying to do something about it.

Entertainment
I was delighted to see the EW has local musicians playing every night. Dien was wonderful playing the Steinway and had a very sensitive approach to his playing combined with a good dose of classical music, lounge music and Jacques Louissier inspired jazz. The official entertainment mostly finished at around 10pm. One of the guests played the Steinway from around 10pm until about midnight on a couple on nights and quite a few guests did stay in the lounge until midnight. The Friday night local folk band were very entertaining and got some people up and dancing. Unfortunately the violinist broke a couple of strings and had to replace them halfway through the first set which held things up for a bit. Also I think the extreme humidity affected the tuning a bit generally. It is nice to hear the authentic Creole music.

Management and Staff
Superb. Other resorts could learn a lot from the way East Winds is managed. We did have a chance to speak to Gareth Leach, the General Manager, several times during the course of our holiday. He is constantly on resort and is very astute. We were very impressed with his dedication, love of St Lucia, birds and music (!). The resort is very well run and staff standards are high. Whilst 10% service charge is included in the resort staff we did want to show our appreciation. However, with so many good staff it was difficult to single out people. We therefore made a contribution to the staff party instead (with the agreement of the management) and wrote a letter of thanks.

We are already planning a repeat visit. I hope the resort does not change as it is a very rare find.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank St-Lucia_Enthusiast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2010

We chose East Winds Inn as we were looking for a peaceful retreat where we could totally unwind. East Winds did not fail to dissapoint.

As mentioned in previous reviews we were greeted at reception by a welcomed cool towel and an even more welcoming rum punch! Contray to other reviews the general manager, Gareth Leach, was present to meet us and was most welcoming. Gareth's presence thoroughout our stay was subtle and charming, by no means intrusive.

Our room did not have air con and to be honest it was not necessary. This is the Caribean; you are 14 degrees from the equator, it gets hot! The design of the cottages is superb both in terms of controlling the heat naturally and providing a spacious and luxurious retreat. As it was our wedding anniversary we were greeted by a complimentary bottle of rum and fruit basket, an unexpected but greatly appreciated touch.

The food and drink is fantastic and can not be complemented enough. Dinner is a 4 course meal with a variety of wines or the option of champagne. We believe that it is here where East Winds offers excellent value for money. An equivalent dinner for two, including wine, in London would cost £150+ if you take this over 10 nights that's £1,500 worth of dining (this is not even mentioning the excellent offers made daily for breakfast and lunch).

Another unusual touch was the 'help yourself' swim up bar, I can't recall any other hotel allowing it's guests to get behind the bar and knock up a quick cocktail or too.

The staff truly are exceptional and although it appears to be a sound bite they really are. We found two staff to be extremely welcoming and who relly made our stay enjoyable; the infectious smile of and good humour of Windel and extensive knowledge of both rum and cricket delivered by Titus, we really should have left the bar earlier on our final night!

The gardens at East Winds come close to rivalling the Botanical Gardens near the Pitons and provided the ideal surroundings to relax or walk off an overindulged lunch.

The location of East Winds itself was great for us. The transfer from the airport is about 1 1/2 hours by taxi ( many other resorts on the Caribean coast are a good deal further). We booked 5 excursions on our 10 day holiday and on everyone we were the last pick up and the first drop off which was a real benifit.

Would we return? In short a resounding yes. We have travelled to many other Caribean Islands and found St Lucia to be amongst the best. When we return it will be to East Winds.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kentish_Karma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about East Winds

Property: East Winds
Address: La Brellotte Bay, Gros Islet, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Gros Islet Quarter > Gros Islet
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Gros Islet
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Gros Islet
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Gros Islet
#1 Luxury Hotel in Gros Islet
#1 Family Hotel in Gros Islet
#1 Romantic Hotel in Gros Islet
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — East Winds 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover Saint Lucia’s best kept secret and immerse yourself in true Caribbean luxury. East Winds Saint Lucia is a breathtaking garden-by-the-sea, planted on the island's most picturesque sandy bay. Our Island Hideaway is Saint Lucia's original boutique resort featuring 30 cottage style suites, tucked away amongst lush plants, trees and a kaleidoscope of colourful bird-life. East Winds is home to what many consider the finest beach on the island and our guests share it with very few others just like them; travellers looking for personalised care and all-inclusive service in the most authentic of Caribbean experiences. Come experience the Caribbean the way it was meant to be experienced. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
East Winds Hotel Gros Islet
East Winds Resort All Inclusive
East Winds St. Lucia/Gros Islet

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