The short review is that the Rendezvous is a lovely, romantic place and you would be hard pressed not to have a fantastic time here. The longer review follows:
We stayed in a standard room, and I thought that it was pretty spacious and well maintained. Being on the ground floor, we came in via the patio doors which didn’t always lock properly first try and did mean a short fight past the curtain and nets every time we went in or out! There was a good amount of cupboard and drawer space and a nice little dressing area with full-length mirrors. There were also plenty of power points about, including beside the bed and by the table in the dressing area. (Most were UK-style 3-pin sockets, but I did spot a couple of two-pin ones too). The air-con was efficient and not too noisy. I thought the little illuminated mirror on the dressing area table was a nice touch too.
This was a little disappointing. Not horrible, but for a four-star hotel, I’d have to rate it as a bit “meh”. The loo seat was plastic, the bath fittings were quite ugly and there was no handheld shower attachment – just the one fixed to the wall. There were a couple of anti-slip pads coming loose in the bottom of the bath and worse, there was no glass shower screen, just a curtain. There is no way a shower curtain can be cleaned as thoroughly or as often as a glass screen, so I think that they are unhygienic as well as ugly. Little touches were missing – the loo roll was plonked on top on the loo still in its supermarket wrapper and the tissue box was some kind of own brand affair stuck by the sink, not in any kind of dispenser. It wasn’t an especially large room and there was no cupboard or shelf, just the surface with the sink in. This was roomy enough for all our toiletries, but of course, being round the sink it did tend to get wet. We got one fairly small hand towel each and one modest bath towel each. I did ask at reception for extra towels, as I do need one for my body and one for my hair (which is quite long). They brought me extra towels that night (a bit wasted, as by then I had already showered), but then never did again. I couldn’t be bothered to go back every day, so I just used the blue pool towels as you could get fresh ones from by the Terrace Bar as often as you liked. On the plus side, the mirror was nice, untarnished and all the paintwork and tiles were neat and clean. The hairdryer was handheld and you could adjust the speed and temperature.
There is a good range of water sports and they are very flexible about what you can do when. The guys who work there are really enthusiastic and helpful. There is hobie-cat sailing, water skiing, canoeing and some pedaloes. They also have a dive centre, with one free dive included each day for qualified divers and a try dive for everyone else. The team seemed knowledgeable and had a good programme of dives each day. Most of the kit you need is included in the dive, but they do charge for wet suit hire (USD7). I brought my own wet suit and they hung it up at the centre for me which was convenient and meant that it had dried properly by the time I had to pack it.
There is a three-room spa – two single rooms and one double. I had a body scrub treatment, which was very pleasant – the whole of the spa is nice and its available for guests anytime as a place to sit in the cool or have a quiet drink if you want to. I think it cost me about USD65 for the treatment and that was with a discount – everyone had a discount card in their room when they arrived and there were various offers on during the week.
The main pool has a swim up bar with a balcony above it. There is another pool by the spa, and a hot tub at the side of it. Behind the spa pool there is a Lazy River and this is fantastic. It is screened by plants all the way along and to get to the various seating spots you have to wade along the river. This means that you don’t get many people going by. We found a fab pair of beds – lovely wicker ones with super-comfy cushions - that were right on their own. We could dip in and out of the river and every 30 minutes or so, a nice man would come by and ask what we wanted to drink. A few minutes later he would appear with our choices wading in and out the stream to bring them to us. Every now and then he would just appear with his best guess of what we fancied that time (we changed drinks a lot) and his guesses were all spot on! There were plenty of beds all with sunshades around both pools and along the beach. They were also hammocks dotted about the grounds and a few of those beds with the four-poster style sheets over the top. In other words, it was relatively easy to find somewhere quiet and secluded.
There is no wi-fi at the hotel. I knew this before I booked, but it was still hard to disconnected. There is one PC in the office, which costs USD10 per hour. Personally I think it’s a bit cheeky for an all-inclusive hotel to charge for PC time and they badly need to get wi-fi.
Breakfast is buffet style. Whilse the restaurant is open air, the buffet is in an air-conditioned room (with automatic sliding doors). There is a nice selection of food, but they have managed to avoid piling up ridiculous amounts as tends to happen in cheaper hotels. The food is good quality and in most cases properly protected from flies. I did see the bread left uncovered though. There is an egg station so that you can always have your eggs cooked fresh and a nice selection of daily specials.
Tea, coffee and croissants are left out most of the morning if you happen to have a really late start and then the lunch buffet starts at 12.30. Again, there a good selection of cooked meals and salads and things like panini or burgers are made up and cooked on request. The waiting staff will bring you whatever you like from the bar. We only went to the evening buffet once – it was perfectly nice, but we were totally sold on the Trysting Place restaurant and booked a table there every evening. It is air conditioned, which is very pleasant after a day in the sun and the waiter service is impeccable. The house wines were quite reasonable – the champagne is a blanc-de-blancs and we liked the Chilean Cab Sav. There were quite a selection of wines that could be bought, but all my favourites were rather expensive – the cheapest that I liked was USD60 a bottle, but that is probably due to my expensive taste! They did have cheaper wines on offer, but to me they weren’t sufficiently better than the house stuff to justify the cost. The meals were four course and the menu changed every three days. We had no trouble choosing three different things from each menu, which is why we ate there every night.
I almost forgot afternoon tea. Most days I would have exploded if I’d had this too, but it was being served just as we arrived and at that point it was perfect. Basically if you sit down the Terrace Restaurant area mid afternoon, you’ll get brought tea or coffee plus a tray of savoury snack and cakes.
I found all the staff really helpful, courteous and pleasant. Our maid was a genius who managed to clean our room each day without once coming in when we were there. As I mentioned the water sports staff were particularly enthusiastic and I found so many of them paying attention to detail. Like the drinks waiter by the pool who got to know our preferences or the lady at breakfast who noticed that I drink my tea black and therefor hook the teabag out really quickly – she brought the water and tea bag out separately so that it wouldn’t stew while I was off getting my eggs cooked. When you arrive, there is no lengthy check in procedure, they just give you a drink, say hello and then take you to your room. They leave a check-in form with you to fill in and bring along to reception later or the next day. There is also a welcoming bottle of champagne in your room, which went down very well I must say! The only thing they got wrong was the towel thing I mentioned earlier.
I should know better, but I went to the gym every day but one. It is a really nice building with big arched windows and, of course, air conditioning. There isn’t a running machine, but their cross trainer has fixed arms and a similar movement to running. There is also a bike – the sit back type – and a step machine. There are four resistance machines and a bench with a large selection of weights. All the equipment is clean and well-maintained. There are four tellys and a music system. Thankfully we were usually there on our own so I could turn off whatever god-awful row they had put on. This is probably just me, but I can’t bear the type of music that gets played in gyms and I want to be able to listed to my shuffle without hearing some ghastly racket thudding away in the background. The gym was usually open earlier than the official time of 7.30 which was handy for getting it out of the way early.
There is a little airport close by, so titchy planes go past fairly often. Once or twice it was mildly annoying, but most of the time, we didn’t really notice them.
I find piped music intensely annoying, so I was pleased that most of the hotel was music free. They did play it in the Terrace Bar, but it wasn’t excessively loud. The Trysting Place would have live music – the steel drum player was talented but did have an annoying habit of standing near the tables. Most nights, it was a guy with a guitar and he was fine. Round the pools and most of the grounds there was no music, which was perfect.
This is advertised as a romantic retreat and it totally fits that bill. Being adults-only, it is a quiet and peaceful place and the pace is unhurried. Staff are attentive but not intrusive. It is easy to find a secluded and romantic place to pass the time, it is easy to enjoy a romantic meal together and I felt that the whole tone of the place was just lovely.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on two miles of powdery sand, surrounded by acres of exotic tropical gardens, it’s easy to why Rendezvous has been called “the romantic holiday.” It’s hard to imagine a more alluring corner of the world for two people to escape to. A world away from the everyday, it’s a uniquely intimate island retreat. From the long stretches of deserted beach to the lazy-river pool that winds its way through quiet nooks and secret hideaways, every aspect of this all-inclusive luxury resort has been created to give couples the space and time they need to be alone. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Rendezvous Hotel Castries
- Rendezvous Hotel St Lucia
- Rendevous St Lucia
- Rendezvous Resort St. Lucia/Castries