I have scoured over reviews and read many forum posts. I know many others have asked similar questions, so my apologies up front. I have always wanted to try the Sandals brand, and I'll have an opportunity in December. I have chosen St. Lucia for various reasons -- so now I have to choose which Sandals to book. I do not wish to pay the big bucks for a butler room. I splurged at a Secrets & Iberostar for a butler suite, and while we enjoyed them - it just isn't necessary for us to be waited on like that.
Secrets Halcyon is obviously the least expensive. However, less than $200 total separates the club level room at Halcyon from the bottom level room at La Toc. And, only $800 total separates the club level at Halcyon from the bottom level room at the Grande. Plus, the Grande is offering $400 in tour credit (which depending on how that is allowed to be used, could make it just a $400 "real" difference in cost. So, honestly those monetary differences are insignificant.
What I wonder is if the club level at Halcyon is really worth staying there and shuttling to the other resorts to visit, or if the non-club level rooms at the other resorts would be better than the Halcyon. I realize it is personal preference so I wanted to throw this out there.
We love the beach, and most likely we will be found lounging on the beach the majority of the time. I don't mind vendors as I have no problems saying no thank you. I understand the sand isn't powder white, nor the water turquoise. That is also ok. We just like a beach you can wade/play in about waist deep and not have to wear water shoes or worry about getting knocked on your bum by the waves. We also understand it is the ocean and there will be seaweed. We just don't like to fight loads of seaweed while in the water.
We enjoy the pool in the afternoon and love a nice swim up bar. Most of the times the swim up bars are crowded and you have to fight loads of drunks - THAT is what we want to avoid. We are a "young" 40, and enjoy a good time. But we have no desire to be around loud, drunk, obnoxious people (which I know completely depends on who shows up). But is there one that attracts that crowd more than the other?
We do not participate in water sports. We aren't big into pool games. We do like to have some entertainment in the evening, but even cheesy all inclusive shows are fine. We enjoy sitting around a bar with friends we just met in the evenings, listening to music, etc. We do not stay up late.
I do like a nice room, but it doesn't have to be huge - just clean and modern. We do like to dine ala carte and prefer many choices. Ideally, I wouldn't want to travel by shuttle to dinner --so staying at the resort that had the best restaurant choices would be ideal. We can shuttle a couple of times if we need to eat at a certain one.
I appreciate your help. We just prefer to make our base camp at the resort that will offer more of what we are looking for and minimize shuttling around (although we will shuttle just to see the others). I hope to say to myself, "Ahhh….we made the right choice."