This is a beautiful and peaceful hotel, not too far from Castries, by the sea and between the other two Sandals properties with lush garden vegetation and fantastic friendly staff. My new husband and I had a wonderful 12 nights here September/October 2013 for our honeymoon. Overall we had an amazing time. The review below is aimed at being as helpful as possible.
We had a fairly standard room - it looked onto the gardens, the cabanas and was ground floor. It was absolutely lovely. It was well equipped, but not a fancy room. I spoke to other couples who had fancy rooms/butler service etc, but we preferred to stay longer at a cheaper room and do fantastic trips, then spend money on the room/butler etc and have less time to explore the Island! Each to their own depending on your budget and priorities.
The staff are so friendly and helpful, they literally could do no more to ensure we were comfortable and enjoying ourselves. I cannot fault the staff - they were amazing!
The choice of food at the hotel was great - I'm quite fussy (no pork/seafood/fish) and I had no problems with food. Another thing, the food was always well cooked, tasty and safe (usually when I go on trips I get some sort of disagreement - not at all). The choice of food was great, especially when you add the restaurants at the other two Sandals to the mix (make reservations!)
Our favourites: Kellys Dockside and Marios at the Halcyon, Kimonos, Sushi and Le Pitons at La Toc, and the creperie and pizza place at Grande.
The Halcyon is a lot smaller then the other two Sandals hotels on St Lucia which makes it more relaxing and tranquil. We loved the fact we could stay at one and play at three - otherwise we would've probably got bored (we're not really beach people). However, there were plenty of activities to do at all three hotels and the complimentary shuttle runs every couple of hours and allows you to plan days at La Toc and Grande.
There definitely was more going on at the other two hotels, but this made our hotel less rowdy! There was still a pool scene at the sunset pool early evening, and a bar or two in the evening, but it was quieter at nightime. We found we were exhausted by 10:30pm so it suited us well, but you could have had wilder nights out at the other two resorts and got the last shuttle or a cab back. Spring break/party animals will prefer the other two Sandals.
Just a piece of advice:
It was our honeymoon and despite putting it all over our booking, and emailing the hotel a few times in advance, it took us reminding our travel company (Virgin Holidays) that we were honeymooners for the hotel to acknowledge we were honeymooners. Once they knew, we got a lot of lovely things: a complimentary bottle of bubbles, breakfast in bed (limited selection), a honeymooners embrace evening, photoshoot and one pic in frame and discounts off massage and candlelit dinner. So it is worth making sure they know if its a special occasion if your package includes certain things.
We loved our candlelit dinner, very romantic on the beach with an excellent professional butler and white collar service. It was an expensive but worthwhile experience.
Before our honeymoon Sandals had sent us a lot of emails about booking the candlelit dinner in advance to ensure availability, so we booked it, but when we got the honeymooners pack with the discount off for honeymooners when they realised we were honeymooners, they initially wouldn't allow us to have the discount as we had booked in advance, but we spoke to our holiday reps (Virgin Holidays), they ensured we could get the discount refunded as honeymooners.
Basically, I'm usually a polite tourist who doesn't stand up for things - but my St Lucian holiday rep reminded me to push for the things that the holiday entitles you to. We had spent a lot of money and paid more for a Sandals experience for our honeymoon. Better to push and remind the hotel when you are there, then miss out and go home and moan!
Piece of advice: its probably not worth paying for the very expensive private Sandals picnic at Pigeon Island! Pigeon Island is definitely worth visiting - highly recommend - excellent walk uphill and fantastic ruins, take good walking shoes and a camera and water bottles! It is literally just off the beach by the Sandals Grande - simply get the free shuttle to that hotel, have food and drink there, walk along the beach to Pigeon Island (max 5 mins walk.. absolute tops!) Pay $6 per person to get into Pigeon National Park and then you're in... no need for a picnic - you're next to the Sandals Grande - we did get thirsty and found a bar in the park - but afterwards we just popped back to the Grande after our walk and ate lunch there. No need to lug a picnic around!
Other trips we did: Joe Knows - excellent, fab, awesome, but then I think every couple we met enjoyed their equivalent trips which basically did the same thing - speed boat, marigot bay, mud baths, snorkelling, volcano etc.
One thing Virgin holidays didn't tell us in advance - once you stay at a Sandals, you generally have to go with their stuff - eg trips out with Island Routes trips which can be pricier. We loved the Chocolate Decadence trip which involved the bean to bar Hotel Chocolat experience, and a Jungle jeep safari - brilliant!
Also, if your package says you get a private transfer from the airport to the hotel, make sure you get one or complain! We had to share with another couple - but our holiday company did refund this as.
Overall an amazing holiday and we loved the Sandals Halcyon. The gardens and cabanas are like paradise and it is so peaceful. The other two are busier, nosier and more to do, but why not relax in beautiful surroundings at the Halcyon and if you want a bit more action, just take the shuttle over to La Toc or Grande whenever you fancy.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- •Friendly to the physically challenged with low rise architecture •Fully air-conditioned Caribbean cuisine restaurant on its own 150 ft pier over the •Caribbean Sea •Houses 169 Rooms with true personal service and intimate experience •English-style afternoon tea served at the Paradise pool •Tableside service at the Beach Bistro •“Stay at one, play at three” free shuttles to Sandals La Toc Golf Resort & Spa and Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort•Sandals Resorts “World’s Leading All Inclusive Company” 16 years in a row •Sandals Resorts “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand”, 18 years in a row ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia Hotel Castries
- Sandals Halcyon Beach Castries
- Sandals St Lucia
- Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort St. Lucia/Castries