Let me first say that I travel with work, and stay at many resorts and hotels. My new husband spends a good amount of time traveling domestically and internationally, up to 10 weeks per year. We are tough customers when it comes to hotels and resorts. For added pressure, we were in St. Lucia for our wedding and for our honeymoon :-) .
We spent a week in the Honeymoon Beachfront Concierege rooms (which, granted are a little dated, but are being updated according to the staff) and were extremely happy. Every afternoon we spent sipping champagne from our in-room mini bar, watching the sunset. The beach was great, the grounds were lush, and the staff couldn't have been friendlier.
The Pier restaurant food was very good. Unlike some other reviewers, I personally wore dress flip flops along with semi-formal dresses on 3 separate occassions, and had no issues. Bayside was casual, but in the evenings, we ate under the stars by candlelight and it was amazing. Drinks were pleantiful and a very generous pour. I liked the swim-up bar and have requested one be built at home (I'm still waiting though).
Make sure you go to the Sandals Grande and have dinner at Barefoot by the Sea. If you get there early, you can have dinner on the beach, watching the sunset. Very romantic.
And at that point, I will share some observations that I hope will help out fellow travelers...
1) The Grande-- Reminded me of a Vegas hotel. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I will say that those who want a more swinging place-- book here. For my husband the Dr... let's just say that we never went to the Regency because he was so put off by the Grande, it's faux Greecian statues, and the Corinthian columns.
2) The private candlelight dinner-- It's not so private. The ones at the Grande are spaced right next to each other. The ones at Halcyon are scattered in not-so-private locations. Literally we were 10 feet away from one of these couples at Halcyon and 15 feet at Barefoot. If you are on a budget, forego it and have dinner either at Halcyon Bayside and request a table outdoors or have dinner at the Grande Barefoot by the sea. If you are not on a budget, take that money and donate it to charity... then have dinner at Bayside or Barefoot.
3) Weddings at Sandals-- are lovely (trust me, I saw 3 of them, including one of the reviewers on this site, lol) however they are also not private. Since we were in one of the beachfront rooms, our patio overlooked a very popular gazebo for brides. While I thoroughly enjoyed this (I am addicted to wedding shows), I don't think that most brides (including yours truly) would be amused by strangers milling about and people in shorts passing through the ceremony site. I felt bad for the bride that had her processional interrupted when a gentleman passed infront of her and her father, who were preparing to walk down the aisle. There are some lovely sites in St. Lucia to be married. Perhaps if you want quiet, you are better off elsewhere. (We were actually married on a private plantation overlooking the Pitons, but St. Lucia offers numerous ceremony sites, you just have to look around).
The reason I mention the wedding at all is that one of the brides (not the one on this site) was visibly upset at the circumstances, and I wouldn't wish anyone to have a bad wedding day. When we saw all of this, fortunately my now husband realized why we went to all of the trouble having an offsite wedding.
All being said, I have no hesitation recommending this location for a romantic vacation/honeymoon. We are already planning our return trip! I understand they are taking some of the rooms and turning them into butler suites, and updating all others. I hope that some of the charm isn't lost.
- 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