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Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort
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Reviews (7,238)
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4,601 - 4,606 of 7,238 reviews
Reviewed October 9, 2012

My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon a few days ago. There really isn't anything bad to say about Sandals Grande. The drive to the resort is a little long after all of the air travel but we didn't find it terrible. We live in the Appalachian Mountains so we are used to curvy roads. We booked the Beachfront Honeymoon Conceirge room (5311) and were pleasantly surprised by all of the extras in our room. Iced down bottle of champagne, flowers everywhere, fully stocked bar for any drink you might want and a beautiful king size bed with a ceiling fan. It had a gorgeous view and was very clean and well maintained.

The food was pretty good. I wouldn't say the everyday food was great but it was just fine for what we needed. We had a couple of really good meals at some of the lesser mentioned restaurants on here. We really enjoed dinner at Neptunes at La Toc and dinner at Beachside was really good too. We could have rushed to make reservations at one of the more in demand places but by the time we got there the last thing we wanted to do was rush around, we took what we could get and it was still very enjoyable.

We were going to do the Simon Sez tour but decided to go with the same tour that the locals offered (Exodus boat tours). It was cheaper than what Sandals charged and I dare say better. They picked us up a little earlier than the other tours so we could get to all of the places before the crowds. Our guide, Terry, was awesome and really worked his butt off the entire day. We snorkeled and did the mud bath and the waterfall and the lunch. The bonus with the Exodus tour is they used our camera to take pictures so we didn't have to worry about purchasing them later from the resort. We had a great time and would definitely do another excursion with them at any time.

Honestly my only complaint from the entire week was the birds! I'm surprised nobody else on here has mentioned them. They were everywhere looking to steal your food just as soon as you turned your head. They were stealing peoples meals and eating straight off of the buffet. It got a little annoying being stalked by birds the whole time but it certainly didn't ruin my trip.

My husband and I can't wait to go back to celebrate an anniversary and do it all over again. It was well worth the money.

Room Tip: If you want a great view definitely go with the beachfront rooms. You will pay a little extra but the view is worth it.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank sksarver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

My partner and I went for a 12 night holiday at the beginning of September 2012. (It was our second stay at this hotel) Admittedly we didn't get off to a brilliant start this time as we had requested a room overlooking the Caribbean when we booked and yet we were initially given a room overlooking the swimming pool at the back of the hotel. The Front Desk staff could only change our room 5days into our stay .. so it was a little disappointing to begin with. The 2nd room did overlook the Caribbean ... just ..... but it also had lots of foliage around the balcony which, apart from blocking part of the sea view - attracted loads of small biting insects which almost ate me alive after sunset whenever I sat on the balcony. Even after smothering Jungle Juice all over me!! So beware!! Apart from that though - the rest of the stay was almost perfect.

The swimming pools are well maintained and there is something for everyone. Those who want organised activities can use the main pool with the swim up bar .... for those who want a bit of peace and quiet there are 3 other pools to suit most tastes. We used the heart shaped one which is small and intimate and kept beautifully clean. There are even staff who come round for your drink orders!! All the staff are SO friendly and helfpul & they are all kept incredibly professional under the watchful eye of Ferry The Resort Manager who, apart from being really friendly, has an incredible attention to detail ...... and it shows ....in everything.

Compared to other luxury hotels - we felt that the bedroom furnishing/decor is beginning to look a bit tired now and rather in need of updating - hence our 3 star rating for rooms - but to be fair - it is all kept spotlessly clean and the efficient air con is an absolute life saver in September when humidity can be 95%. Most of the Restaurants are really good especially Toscanini's - but if you're British, be careful of The Olde London Pub as the "Pub Grub" is NOT up to scratch by UK standards anyway!! Bayside does wonderful Buffet Breakfasts every morning and the staff there are very efficient and helfpul too.

There are a LOT of Weddings going on every day especially weekends. The staff there take them VERY seriously and everything is beautifully prepared ... but there are SO many ... it's a bit like seeing a Conveyor Belt in a Wedding Factory! Be prepared to listen to Wedding Music and watching the First Dance on the beach many, many times during your stay!!

We took an organised Catamaran Trip to the South of the island .... booked through the professional and very friendly staff at the Tours/Excursions Desk in the hotel. It turned out to be a lovely day out - however, a word of caution - the tour of The Botanical Gardens & the trip to the Volcano were both a bit rushed - and do watch out for the "optional" tips for each of the excursion guides! It's a very "hard sell" and they soon mount up if you're not expecting it .

Do try to walk up Pigeon Island. The view from the Fort is well worth the climb .... but our advice is to make it as early in the morning as possible - they open at 9am. Remember to take your camera, suncream, a hat and plenty of water. You'll need all of them.

Lots of nightlife entertainment - but the lighting is often very poor - for the entertainers and for eating ..... so for the beach barbeques you really need to take a small torch to see what you're eating!!

We met loads of lovely guests - mainly from the USA - which made our holiday so special. Everyone seemed to enjoy their stay and most people were very friendly.

Lastly, we've seen several moans and complaints on this website about the "long trip" in the minibus from the airport to the resort ... OK it may be an hour and a half and it may not be in the most comfortable of vehicles - but it's really not that bad as you do see something of the island and Rodney Bay is by far the nicest location on the island. A word of warning however, We did find once you're through Immigration at the airport - the Red Cap Porters are REALLY pushy to the point of being rude and they just wouldn't take NO for an answer. So once again we had to fork out for the 10 yard porterage of our suitcases to the Sandals arrivals lounge - which is definitely a rip off. We're surprised Sandals haven't done anything about it as it's really not the best start to a luxury holiday and if they do read these reviews surely they'd want to do something about it? Sandals Reps ...... perhaps you'd like to say something on this website in response?

All in all though, this hotel is really welcoming and comfortable and we really can recommend it for anyone wanting a real (romantic) break in a little part of Paradise!

Room Tip: Our personal advice would be to ask for a top floor room facing the Caribbean - in the middle. You are then away from A/C generators, lower level foliage etc.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DaffodilDai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

It was perfect, more to come when I have a chance to write more! The gardens were amazing, the flowers sweet smelling, the birds chirped beautifully. Staff, well they were always happy, just wanting to do something for you, never had their hand out looking for a tip. In fact, we tipped one time and the woman said thank you but she said tipping was included and that she would put the tip in the Sandals Foundation towards improving the island and the school children etc. Without a doubt worth every penny, every meal was great, near white glove service at all times.

Room Tip: There isn't a bad room anywhere in the hotel.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank t_jpe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon. We were at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian from Sept 23rd-30th. If you get motion sickness then prepare yourself and take a lot of gravol. The drive from the airport to the hotel was about an hour and a half and it was probably one of the worst drives ever. The roads are like hairpin turns. The whole time I spent holding onto the side of the van because we were swaying back and forth. My husband was feeling sick from it.

The resort itself is beautiful! The grounds are spectacular and well maintained. The driver stopped to drop people off at Sandals Halcyon first and we were feeling a little nervous because it wasn't as nice but when we pulled into the Grande we couldn't believe how nice it was.

The beaches are wonderful. There are little huts with lounge chairs and my husband and I did not have any trouble finding a spot to sit, even when we got outdoors late, around 10am, we still found lounge chairs under the huts. The sand was gorgeously white and soft and the sea was amazing. We got in and swam for hours, it felt like we were swimming in soup. The water was clear and there were no waves.

The pool was nice too. It wasn't too cold but it was nice and refreshing. We really liked the swim up bar. There is also a nice lovers pool. Its a small pool by the beach, and they also have a hot tub outside that we used off and on.

The rooms were quite nice and modern. We had a king bed, which I heard is pretty much the only types of beds they have since it is an adult resort. The room was freezing when we arrived. They had the air conditioning blasting, but we adjusted the temperature and it was fine. We had a nice view of the lagoon pool.
We were a little disappointed in the maintenance of the rooms. Almost everyday my husband and I would leave our room around 9am to eat breakfast and go to the beach, we'd come back around 4pm and the rooms were not clean so we left and came back a little while later when they were finally done. It would have been better if they did all of their cleaning in the morning/early afternoon when people are out enjoying the beach.

The food was pretty good. My husband and I are used to going to Cuba where the food isn't as good, so we were quite pleased with it. We ate at London Pub a few times and loved the food.The morning buffet at Bayside was great though. Everything tasted so good.
I was however a little disappointed in the variety of places to eat. My husband and I pretty much ate everyday at this place called Josephine's for pizza. We were also not too pleased with the a la carte we had which was at Toscanini's. The portions were small, we may as well have eaten at Bayside or somewhere else. We also had to pay for wine which I understand its a more upscale place when you do a la carte, but we spent enough money for the hotel and then to add wine on top of that was a bit extreme.

MOST of the staff were friendly. We had a few people that could have been a little nicer. My favorite person was Samantha from the Olde London Pub. She was so friendly and upbeat and loved her job. She was so enthusiastic with us. We were a little disappointed with the "honeymoon specials" we were told by our travel agent if we mention we are on our honeymoon we can get a honeymoon package or something. We arrived and didn't have anything. So we asked the front desk, all we got was a bottle of cheap champagne. It would have been nice if something was given to honeymooners especially since we paid an arm and a leg for the trip. I'm sure they could have upgraded our room, but we didn't ask. The resort was not full so the staff could have offered an upgrade.

My husband and I did a few spa treatments which were amazing. We had a couples pedicure which was nice because they took their time with us and we had a glass of champagne while we were in the nice chairs getting our feet pampered. We also did a couples massage, I did the tropical bliss one (for those that enjoy relaxation massages I recommend this). I have never felt so relaxed in my life. My husband and I both felt slightly intoxicated after the massage thats how good it was. We did a Happy Feet massage on the friday before we left. We both agreed we could have skipped it. It wasn't as great as I thought it would be and wasn't exactly worth the $60US.

We did one excursion while we stayed. We did the Simon Says tour. It included snorkeling, a mud bath and swimming underneath a fresh water waterfall. The snorkeling was amazing. I did snorkeling in Cuba and didn't see as much as I did in St. Lucia. The fish were crazy and beautiful. I got a little freaked out because some of the fish swim so close to you! The mud bath was not what I thought it was going to be. I was under the impression when they said mud bath we would be sitting in an actual bath filled with mud, but it was having hot 115 degree mineral water poured on your bodies and then having your spouse rub a soap (mud) on your body. It felt nice but I was disappointed. The waterfall experience wasn't the greatest either. We were told we would be swimming in a waterfall. All we did was get in the water, pose for a picture under the water and then get out. (might I add the photo being taken was not for free. If we wanted the picture we had to pay for it).

Overall, We had a good experience. Would we go back? Probably not and its not that we didn't have a good time, it's just that we like to experience different places. So the next time we go on a vacation we want to try something different. Would we choose a Sandals resort again?
Depending on the price. We have stayed in some nice hotels elsewhere that were just as nice as sandals, but much more affordable.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ney16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

This was our third visit to a Sandals resort (first time to St. Lucia). We booked a butler suite during our visit to Sandals Antigua last year. The Soon comeback Antigua staff helped us select the Sandals Grande and her recommendations were correct. We wanted to stay at La Toc but she told us we would have to hike up stairs to our room or wait on a golf cart to come p ice us up. This property is built in to the side of a hill and has many rooms up the hillside, so there were a lot of stairs at La Toc. The folks at La Toc often can't use their beach due to red flag for rough seas. That means no swimming, no sailing, paddle boarding, etc. Some of the La Toc come over to Grande to use the beach (15 minute drive). If you SCUBA dive and are staying at La Toc or Halcyon you will be shuttered to the pier in Castries to get on your dive boat. The Grande has a dive boat at the resort, and the dive staff are great and dive sites were amazing! We dove at the Pitons two days...the World Heritage Site and it was so good.

We had an opportunity to eat at Gordon's as we had a butler so we didn't have to pay extra, thank goodness! The food was good but it wasn't any better than the restaurants on property, so I would have been very pest to pay $140 per couple to eat at Gordon's. you will see that during the day Gordon's is nothing special to look at as it is tables and chairs, but they do make it look nice at night and the breeze is nice, but don't pay extra to eat there. The resort makes it out to be a bigger deal than it is.

Food at the resort was good, the Italian restaurant at dinner was wry good and staff are attentive. One morning for breakfast we ate there and it was 9:30 and they quit serving breakfast at 10:00. The continental breakfast items were not replenished despite my husband alerting them of the lack of plates for fruit , no bowls for cereal, and, no pastries remained. We left and ate at Bayside on the buffet, and they stop serving at 11:00. Selection was picked over there as well at 10:00.

Drinks at the pool bar has very little alcohol. Folks were asking for rum toppers to get an extra shot. I had the best cocktails of the trip at the Italian restaurant. We didn't encounter this issue in Antigua in 2010 or 2011.

The lounge chairs at the pool are reserved by butlers for their clients, which I understand, or individuals come and place towels in chairs but don't return to use them until after lunch. Sandals needs to purchase more floats because the same individuals who reserve chairs gab up floats and place them at their chair to not be used until after lunch. To make matters worse, once they finish using the float they put it by their lounge chair and it can't be used by others in the pool! That is so selfish and often a couple will hold two floats instead of one.

The private car transfer was nice, and we were transferred in an older Lexus sedan that was clean. The driver was informative and pointed pit sites and facts. On the return trip to the airport we had a new Range Rover and other copies had BMW sedans or Mercedes. Not sure where all these nice new cars were when we arrived in St. Lucia.

The butlers were great and anticipated our needs. We don't really use the butlers, we actually want a better room and just so happens the butlers come with the room. I admit it is nice having poolside or beachside chairs reserved with a cooler of drinks.

Now for the issue, our room was a suite so we has a separate living room and bedroom on the forth floor of the building and it faced the ocean. The air conditioning didn't work well. We arrived on Sunday, mentioned the matter on Monday and staff worked on it by cleaning it. The thermostate was set on 65 degrees but the actual rep was 75 degrees the entire week. We were told to keep both sliding glass doors with windows drawn closed all the time. We also were told that due to the room being on the top floor and given the heat outside it was what it was. Keep in mind the room isn't that cool, and the bathrooms have no air conditioning so getting ready at night was awfully hot and humid. When we slept at night we were warm and tossed all night.

We called the head customer service manager to come up to our room on Thursday to understand our problem. She stated there was nothing wrong and had little empathy for the issue and told us to keep the blinds drawn. I explained to her that I felt Sandals deceived me, and we were loyal customers paying a lot for the week. I didn't come to the beach to keep the blinds drawn and that was a pitiful solution to the issue.

She offered to make the problem right, and said they couldn't move us due to full capacity, but she would offer us something great. We told her we were probably booking again for next year at Exuma or Antigua. She offered us a one nights stay for up to 12 months out, but the certificate excluded Exuma. So the one nights stay was of no use. Saturday we asked to speak to her but she was off so we talked to her counterpart and she researched other options but came back with nothing. After demanding a better solution since we had booked Exuma next year and could use the free night they came back with allowing us up to 24 months to use the free night.

Having to deal with an A/C issue in the first place was not good given the founder of Sandals began his career in the A/C business, but to have to spend all week addressing this matter is beyond ridiculous. The staff just don't seem to realize that customers who spend what it costs to stay at the Sandals properties expect a certain level of service such as the basics to work, hot water, good A/C, good bed, and good food. We have been loyal fans of Sandals but I don't know what is going o n within the Sandals Corporation, but it seems several properties are having mold issues, food issues and customer service problems.

Understand what is important to you in your vacation before you book and ask questions before booking. Sandals has built its reputation on luxury inclusive vacations, but they are not providing 5 star service.

Room Tip: Staff are not quick to resolve problems or eager to fix issues. If booking a room beware of air conditioning issues. We had a suite on the fourth floor, top floor, and faced the beach. A/C was set on 65 degrees but room never got below 75. Bathrooms don't have A/C at all so it gets hot in there when getting ready.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank AmyGreen72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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