My wife and I stayed at the Sandals Halcyon in July 2014. Prior to this, we had never been to the Caribbean, St. Lucia, an all-inclusive resort, or a Sandals before. It was fantastic and I hope to return one day (probably not soon, but only because I would like to visit different islands first).
My wife is celiac so I had emailed ahead of time to make sure they could accommodate her diet. There appears to have been some sort of mixup, since we were supposed to meet with the chef when we first arrived, but the bellhop took us to our room before we had done that (in fact, he took us to our room before we even had our room key). Despite the minor confusion, the restaurant staff were easily able to accommodate her needs (bringing gluten-free bread, gluten-free desserts that weren't on the menu, and advising which items were glutten-free). A chef did manage to track us down one evening as we were finishing our meal to chat with my wife about her needs.
Since my wife was very pregnant during the trip, we choose to mostly take it easy, relaxing by the quiet pool or on the beach. Although bar staff only occasionally walk around the pool/beach to take drink orders, it is a simple 60 second walk/swim to the bar from anywhere to get a drink. I think that even if I had wanted to have a more active vacation, I could have done so at the Halcyon... I saw many couples playing beach volleyball, playing pool volleyball, kayaking, wind surfing, and doing all sorts of things. Although I didn't get a chance to take them up on it, my orientation guide mentioned that if I needed someone to play tennis against I could ask one of the playmakers to play against me (another thing mentioned during orientation that we actually did was ask a gardner to cut us down a fresh mango from one of the trees on the resort... kind of neat).
I found the food excellent. We ate breakfast at Bayside every morning (nice breakfast buffet that doesn't change much day-to-day, with some made to order options like omelettes, eggs, and crepes). We ate lunch at either the Beach Grill (burgers, hotdogs, fries, nachos) or Bayside (nice lunch buffet that doesn't change much day-to-day, with some made to order options like pasta). For dinner we went to Mario's twice, the Dockside twice, the Bayside once (on BBQ night), Kimono's once, and La Toc (French restaurant at the La Toc Sandals resort) once. We did not have a chance to visit Soy. Kimono's is the only restaurant at Halycon that requires a reservation (La Toc at La Toc also requires a reservation). My wife poked a little fun at Kimono's since it wasn't authentically Japanese, but the chef was very entertaining and the food was excellent (it's a bit of a different experience since we were dining with 3 other random couples and the menu was pre-selected).
We only left the resort twice. Once for a Catamaran ride to see the Pitons (good to see the Pitons, but got stung by jellyfish while snorkelling) and once to visit La Toc for dinner (the La Toc resort looks much more impressive, but lacks the quiet charm of the Halcyon).
I had deliberately read negative reviews before traveling in order to set my expectations low and not be disappointed, but I found most (all?) or the negative reviews unwarranted. I'll try to address some of those things here:
Although we travelled in July, we saw very little rain. It was raining heavily when we arrived at the airport, but it had let up by the time we reached the resort. We saw rain another 3 days we were there, but it was very light and over quickly (less than five minutes at a time, dried up 10 minutes later). We could actually see the dark cloud moving in and estimate when it would start and end. There was a lot of cloud cover though... great for enjoying the heat without getting a burn so I didn't mind it, but not exactly what I was picturing before going.
I found the bugs at the resort significantly better than the bugs at home. I don't know if that varies by season. My wife received a couple of mosquito bites, but considering we were spending 14 hours a day outside for 8 days that seems pretty insignificant.
The staff were fantastic. One waitress at the La Toc restaurant (at the La Toc resort) seemed a little unfriendly, but I cannot think of a single complaint I had in dealing with the staff at the Halcyon. My wife really enjoyed chatting with many of them (and they were always friendly and prompt with me, although I'm less chatty). Based on my experience at the Halcyon, the reputation the Caribbean has for slow service is undeserved.
The vendors on the beach were not annoying at all. My wife enjoyed chatting with them (and purchased a bit of jewelry). They were friendly with me, but left me alone when they realized I was more interested in my book than talking to them or buying anything. (My wife did say she encountered a couple of pushy vendors at the vendors arcade on the resort... but she choose to go there.)
The room was not particularly impressive, but it was clean, the bed was comfortable, and there were plenty of drinks (pop, water, juice) in the mini-fridge. When it gets dark, there is a lot of noise (birds) but I got used to it fast.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Destinology, Holiday Gems, Hotels.com, Travelbag, Travel Republic (UK), TravelUp and Traveltool, S.L.U. so you can book your Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia Hotel Castries
- Sandals Halcyon Beach Castries
- Sandals St Lucia
- Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort St. Lucia/Castries