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Reviewed 22 June 2013

We stayed ten days, so this is a pretty in depth review. Look no further East Winds Inn is the best resort on the island for those visiting the Caribbean that actually want to see the Caribbean. Don't bother looking anywhere else. Unlike most hotels, which are designed as white-washed tower blocks in which you could be anywhere and not know; East Winds Inn is set in tropical, botanical gardens spread out through the groove of a natural valley leading on to the beach displaying the beauty of St Lucia. When you first leave the airport and make your way there you will panic. The entrance to the road leading to east winds looks like you're heading down a dangerous alley. But after a minutes drive you head through a more private road, a moment after that you'll find yourself at a security check point and you'll start to see the botanical gardens come into play. The security team runs 24 hours a day, 24/7. They're VERY efficient.

Due to a delayed flight we arrived after midnight, of course the reception was shut but a member of the securities night team showed us too our room. This normally simple trip was like walking through the amazon at night. It was dark save for the decorative lamp posts and the wildlife sounds were incredible, the kind you buy on CD to chill out too. I remember talking to another couple staying at East Winds and they too were unsure if the sound was from the taxi CD player until they got out. When we arrived at the room we found that our presence at dinner had been missed and so the staff had filled our room table with a variety of club sandwiches and fresh fruit. This caring, attentive nature is the very theme of East Winds.

- Service -
East Winds Inn has a number of incredible unique qualities, but none separate it more from its competitors than the most amazing staff you'll ever meet. Each member of the team has a love for East Winds and St Lucia. They come across as a team of people that have found a happiness and want to share it with you. They're excited by everything they have to offer whether it's the incredible food, the water sports, specially made cocktails at the bar or just the view. You won't pass a single member of that team, without a warm greeting or a joke to make you smile.You're not a visitor at East Winds, you're a guest. These guys make it. Breaks my heart to hear people complaining about poor service, I even know who some of them are because I was there and I'm shaking my head at the untruths. You can do two things when you have a problem at East Winds, you can talk to the staff and they'll move heaven and Earth until you're more than satisfied. Or you can just revel in your bad attitude, don't say anything to anyone and whinge about it all over trip adviser. Shame on you if you're the latter, you're hurting a beautiful place and people and giving a false view to other readers looking for a holiday.

- Room -

We booked very late and got the most basic room available. Spotlessly clean, huge, fantastic decor, all windows fitted with bug frames and mosquito nets available upon request. Each room equipped with huge can of super bug spray for crawling and flying (EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE). I used it once, for Ants, outside. Never needed it besides that and even then I was just being thorough. Lovely bathroom and power-shower, great little kitchen with Mini-fridge inc. Water, Sparkling water, coke, sprite, beers and mini freezer. Room cleaned fantastically well every late morning, fridge restocked every day just before. Fresh fruit also provided. Dressing gowns, fresh and folded every morning. Large closet complete with Iron and Ironing board (Dinner is smart dress) and electronic safe. Mirrors everywhere. Curtains, sliding slot windows and lamps. Extremely effective air conditioner, got cold one night after leaving it on believe it or not and that was without the turbo option. Works by remote. There's also a ceiling fan with a gorgeous light capable of dimming, also works by remote. No T.V in the basic room. Trust me, you do not need it. Plus there's a book case and games cupboard in the bamboo lounge near the restaurant. Bamboo lounge is a great place with a bar to unwind between meals if not by the pool (swim-up DIY bar with recipes for cocktail making freshly stocked complete with shaker and measurement thimble!) or on the beach with the beach bar.

- Food -
Breakfast - Fantastic, bacon, sausage, beans any type of egg you want. Fresh pancakes (Try the blueberry), omelettes (try the bacon and onion), fresh fruit, breads, toasts, yogurts, cereals, juices, milk and a new fruit concoction every morning made by Elie. Breakfast is a buffet and there are so so many wonderful choices. (Our breakfast was cold one morning, we let the staff know and they cooked us fresh breakfast and for the rest of our holiday double checked to make sure it was just how we liked it; and it was. Every time.)
Lunch - They do an amazing grill. A specialty over a large fire pit built into a hut. Great to see and great to taste. This MADE the lunch as far as I'm concerned. It smells beautiful. There was a review putting the grill in a bad light. East Winds doesn't serve yesterdays scraps, they might use the steak they have left in the fridge, that's called being resourceful; You'll find signs in your room about East Winds taking care of the environment. But this is top quality stuff please readers don't even read the previous review. Even with the grill on Lunch has a variety of salads, bean salads, meats, fish, soups, vegetables and all sorts, cake and ice cream too. The amount of choice is incredible and there are so many new and native things to try! You MUST, MUST MUST MUST try the BBQ sauce!!!!

Dinner - Dinner is fine dining, four courses each with three options. The food is a testament to incredible skill. Having been a chef in an award winning establishment I tell you now this is the real deal. Gorgeous food, you wouldn't believe how much you can like a food. To previous reviewer, good luck making those entrees at home. However there is a point I'll raise. Sometimes the food can be very much an acquired taste, especially if you're not used to fine dining. There are options like "Squid Ink Risotto". Make no mistake, there will be SOMETHING you can eat from the menu. There was one particular evening when my wife and I were quite tired and we just wanted a good dinner. The menu was a little too adventurous for us. You know when you're just tired and just want something comfortable to eat? It happens. It wasn't a problem, I know if I'd ask the staff for something else they would have provided something else. My advice to fellow travelers, the menu is often available to check a couple of hours before dinner and copies can be often dotted about the beach bar or you can just ask a member of staff to plan ahead. Might be worth doing, give the staff the chance to whip up a fish and chips. East Winds, would be cool if you put a line like "Options available upon request" at the bottom of the menu or something just to make guests more comfortable with asking (if it was already there I didn't spot it). No-one wants to tell an award winning chef they don't quite fancy what he's cooked. Please allow me to stress however dinner at East Winds Inn is out of this world. I just wanted to point out a small snag that can be avoided for a bit of extra comfort.

The evening entertainment is incredible, doesn't matter how good the food is you will put down your cutlery and clap. Great Jazz bands, great saxophone player and a beautiful Steinway piano within the restaurant which is just heartwarming to listen too. The pianist also takes requests!!! He even sang one night! There was also the national St Lucia champions steel pan players at one of the lunches! Absolutely fantastic entertainment, especially at a cocktail party held in the bamboo lounge which had two guys give a cracking performance with a guitar and rain stick.

- Environment -
East Winds Inn is beautiful. It has incredible gardens tended by a man who I think prefers to remains anonymous and continuously just gives the praises to his team. A truly selfless, gifted and warm individual. I however am a git and believe I should name Sylvanus and tell you reader to go and say hello. You'll love his handiwork and his teams. The environment is always clean and well tended (someone on here said the fitness trail was overgrown. Are you sure you weren't walking on the hillside garden tour? It is quite steep ;) We stayed 4th June - 14th June and we used the fitness trail. It was perfect.) The yoga pavilion is readily available, the ping pong table is through the connecting door and the equipment's in the baskets in the corner (took us a while). If you're as bad as us you can get more ping pong balls at reception. If you're as competitive as my wife its also close to the garden walk where you can make up again. The beach is combed regularly. Yep. Combed. I don't know what it's for but it makes it nice. You will get bitten by sand flies, it hurts like hell if you scratch the bites. Go to boots and get the travel med-kit for under a tenner. It has everything you'll need and a spray bottle of bite coolant which works like magic. Buy an extra bottle if you can its not huge but did us the ten days. In terms of mozzie bites (Mosquitoes) get Full Strength Jungle Formula (Green Can, available almost anywhere in the UK not sure about USA) Don't get anything else. The East Winds Boutique offers a formula but if you're British I tell you now to stick with the formula I mentioned. My wife's doctor had a great reason for it that I can't remember but for us it works a lot better, something to do with our diets I think. Two cans did us ten days. Longer if you spread it by rubbing it in. Travel advice, possibly may be advised by travel doctors to get Hep A jab and Hep B. Not a massive necessity but please research and note the difference between the one time Hep A (One year duration) and the booster (20 years) available through a course. Check with doctors. NHS says you don't need it but research contraction and make an informed decision (£60 - private) I didn't get it. Didn't see a need. But always nice to make your own choices.

- Side notes -
Not a place to go on holiday with your mates, it's a bit more intimate than that. There was a family with two small children, but the kids were quite young. Any older or if they stayed for longer they might have gotten a bit stir crazy.

On the whole, it was the honeymoon of a lifetime. The whole place looks beautiful, it's nice and quiet most of the time and the tropical weather is diversely beautiful. The manager also likes to walk around, you'll catch him once or twice as he makes sure you're having the best time possible. Watch the Sea Urchins on the Coral far left of the beach. Take the kayak with your travel partner and take a wander. You won't believe how beautiful this place is. Remember you're not at home, pack some common sense next to your sun lotion and you'll love it. Try not to do too many of the available trips, things are a little more tiring in the heat. But if you do, hit the bar. The pool is quite cool if that's just what you need. We've already started the booking process to come back...

Thank you East Winds. I can't wait to see you all again. Miss it greatly!

Room tip: It can be tempting to book the larger cabin type places, but the huts are quite nice and very close to the beach/restaurant. You do occasionally hear some chatter or loud laughter though it wasn't really a bother. It's not that kind of resort. You'll be fine in any of the rooms, big or small. Don't worry.
Date of stay: June 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank Michael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George R, Owner at East Winds, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2013

PURE REVIEW BLISS OVER THIS INCREDIBLE HONEYMOON POSTING – THANK YOU

Outstanding, detailed, honest, pure, heartfelt, factual, candid, emotional – and most of all, appreciated – these are only a few of the dozens of adjectives which could be applied to your wonderful review of your honeymoon stay at East Winds Inn. Rarely does a guest go to this effort to re-cap and expound on a holiday experience, regardless of where they have travelled and why. But to provide this level of minutia to all the positive aspects of the East Winds experience is truly exceptional, and we thank you wholeheartedly for that and all the effort you have gone to in order to make your point – “look no further than East Winds Inn”.

We can’t begin to specifically analyze your review and point out the elements of your vacation which you clearly enjoyed, for if we did that, our response would be as voluminous as your unprecedented posting. Rather, we would encourage would-be guests to read and re-read this review as many times as it takes to fully appreciate that virtually every aspect of the resort is so accurately covered. And what makes that particularly gratifying, is that this review contains not a single negative comment about anything or anyone, while at the same time, heaping praises upon all those people and all those things which made this guests’ experience at East Winds Inn so memorable.

Please believe me when I tell you that reviews of this caliber are not commonplace – particularly when they are authored by experienced guests who, as admitted by the writer, was a chef at an awarding winning hotel. “Gorgeous food, you won’t believe how much you can like a food” – how many chefs can say that about the place they are vacationing at? Then, to go to a completely different amenity and single out the head gardener as “a person who prefers to remain anonymous and continuously just gives the praises to his team. A truly selfless, gifted and warm individual….. I believe I should name Sylvanus” – these are the comments and discoveries of a guest who has truly taken the time to immerse himself deep within the East Winds experience. Interestingly, this experience is available for every guest of East Winds, and this is why we have such an incredibly high level of repeat business, which continues to grow year after year. Still, as a reader of this board, you will notice that there are always those few who whiz through life and never notice the smaller details or take the time to get to know the people behind them, expecting by some miracle to be bowled over with a fantastic experience they had no part in making. The writer of this review is the antithesis to the superficial guest, taking the time to breathe in the atmosphere to the extent it was so easy for him to recount it with such accuracy and emotion.

There are not enough thank you’s we can provide to recognize the quality of this review and all of the positive light you have shed on this little gem in the Caribbean, which we discovered so long ago and have tried to nurture to its original authentic state. We know the Caribbean and what it has to offer – there is something for everyone. We also know that East Winds is different, as do so many of our ever-expanding East Winds family, and like the author of this posting, we can appreciate the unique feeling that only a small resort with that personal touch that East winds delivers, is for real. Thankfully, you are already booking to come back and experience it again. We simply can’t wait to see you, and may you enjoy a lifetime of happiness together.

Warm regards,

George J. Reti,
President

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2013

After viewing the deceptive website, and reading all the 5 star reviews, I was so excited to visit this resort! That said, we were so disappointed. There are pluses and minuses, but no where near the 5 star review. Plus-Kerwin, Simeon, Miriam, Mavis, Fina and Windell seemed genuinely happy at their jobs, and interested in us. First and second course at dinner was generally good, and pastry chef very good. Most entrees were fair, and somewhat close to what I might make at home, certainly nothing to rave about. Lunches were disappointing, grill everyday if you must, I don't enjoy seeing the previous days food reinvented, but I understand that this may happen, but not at your price point. Offer an up charge for premium liquor, especially vodka, rye. Stating you have an activity pavilion and yoga room is a joke, if you don't really offer anything. 2 yoga classes a week is not an "activity schedule", and your "fitness trail" was overgrown with grass. The rooms were nicely appointed, but, while I can understand insects outside in a tropical climate, I am not a fan of having my bed covered with some sort of insect every day. Instruct cleaning staff to close doors, I don't want to fog my bed before I go to dinner and come back and sleep on it, yuk!

Date of stay: June 2013
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
12  Thank vacationhappylady
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George R, Owner at East Winds, responded to this reviewResponded 17 June 2013

NO NEED TO BE SORRY FOR AN HONEST REVIEW

Thank you for the comments pertaining to your five day stay at East Winds Inn. It is unfortunate you had a disappointing experience, and like you, we are sorry for that. However, to state that our website is deceptive goes beyond the criteria of a normal review, and we take offence to that. Not one image, photo or video is taken from anywhere else other than on the actual resort, so how this can be deceptive is most difficult to understand. Furthermore, of the 422 reviews on this board to date, 368 or over 87% were of a five star nature, with an additional 36 being four star, bringing the total to 404 strong reviews, or 96% of all those who take time to post their experiences at East Winds. These numbers have earned us major awards on this website for six consecutive years, including best all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, and our current status as the #4 Top Resort in the entire Caribbean region. Recognizing that all reviews are subjective and you chose to grant us a three star review despite all the things you clearly liked about the resort is your choice, and from this, it is clear we simply can’t please everyone.

Let’s review the positives you have mentioned first. You liked the staff, including Kerwin, Simeon, Miriam, Mavis, Fina and Windell, who seemed genuinely happy at their jobs, and interested in you. The first and second courses at dinner were good, and the pastry chef was excellent. The rooms were nicely appointed. These are all your comments.

What you didn’t like are subjective aspects of your stay, pertaining to the main course of the evening meal and the lunchtime offerings. Interestingly, these are the very same aspects which the majority of our guests are most pleased with. We do offer premium branded liquors and spirits in our all-inclusive offering, and the nature of our clientele – over 50% of whom are return guests and some of whom have visited East Winds over 30 times – are not the type to drink themselves into oblivion at the expense of those who chose not to drink at all. We do have an amazing open air yoga pavilion – one of the nicest in the Caribbean – and there are a combination of professional yoga classes and Pilates a minimum of four times a week. Of course, many of our guests choose to carry out these activities on their own time as well, and the facility is always available for their use. As for the insects, you correctly point out this is the Caribbean, where a great number of the higher quality resorts are not even enclosed. You can only use your imagination as to the types of insects their guests are exposed to. We do provide insect spray for those who are not comfortable with the thought of any insects whatsoever in their rooms, but please recognize this is not a New York hotel area, and insects are bound to get into rooms once in a while. That is the purpose of providing the spray if one wishes to use it. Most people don’t.

In summary, like you, we too are sorry and disappointed. With no mention of any of these perceived shortcomings during your stay, it would be most difficult to please you. While we don’t expect our guests to raise issues in order to maintain a high standard of service and quality, it would be preferred to at least hear something which we might be able to correct before allowing your holiday experience to deteriorate to the point where you feel compelled to give us a dismal three star rating. But then again, some people just stick to themselves and don’t say much about anything until they get behind closed doors or on their anonymous keyboards, and issue deceptive reviews. Fortunately, the vast majority of our guests are not of that nature. Perhaps you will return one day to give us another chance to prove we are worthy of more.

Best regards,

George J. Reti,
President

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2013

A lovely, relaxing and charming hotel. Wonderful gardens and villa style accommodation. The restaurant serves a fresh selection of fine dining expertise every evening. There is a fantastic fusion of flavours and ingredients used (e.g. Beetroot & star anise soup, herb ice-cream with poached pear). The setting is perfect, by the beach with good water sports facilities. Such a relaxing place that after one week you feel you have been here for a month! Highly recommended.

Date of stay: June 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Alison B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George R, Owner at East Winds, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2013

THANKS FOR THE WONDERFUL HONEYMOON REVIEW

We greatly appreciate all your positive comments and exceptional superlatives in describing your recent Honeymoon stay at East Winds Inn. Giving us a perfect review is extremely humbling, and we thank you for your thoughtful remarks.

Hopefully, you will feel compelled to return to paradise sooner than later. We would be so pleased to welcome you back. Your continued support is the best reinforcement that the East Winds team could ever ask for.

Best regards,

George J. Reti,
President

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2013

We stayed at East Winds for 2 weeks in May. A small but beautiful hotel set in wonderful botanical gardens.The "cottages" are very secluded and peaceful. Lots of birds and very noisy frogs at night! Also land crabs in little burrows everywhere in the gardens.
Delicious food in the beach-side restaurant and pleasant, smiley staff. We did lots of Hobbiecat sailing and snorkelling in the warm lagoon.
We'll definately return one day.

Date of stay: May 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Christine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George R, Owner at East Winds, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2013

THANKS FOR THE TOTALLY RELAXING REVIEW

We greatly appreciate your review of the recent 2 week stay you had at East Winds Inn. It is clear that you liked your holiday very much, to the point where you say you will definitely return one day. That is the best testament we could ask for, and all the staff at the “Small Resort with a Big Heart” are pleased that you were more than satisfied.

You reference the delicious food and smiley staff at the beach-side restaurant, as well as the wonderful botanic gardens and the secluded and peaceful cottages – all positive features of East Winds Inn. And it also seems you were kept quite active, with the Hobbiecat sailing and the snorkeling on East Winds’ very own reef. Of course, you could also have partaken in our morning yoga and Pilates classes, and used our Fit Trail for whatever level of exertion you cared for. It seems a pity that the tree frogs at night appear to have affected your sleep, but after all, this is the Caribbean in its natural and authentic state, and that is the main reason so many people choose to travel this far to paradise – just as you experienced it.

Looking forward to welcoming you back for another visit.

Best regards,

George J. Reti
President

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2013

....to review, when I've read all the other excellent reviews.....but having just spent an unbelievable week at Hotel Chocolat at Soufriere, this was a hard act to follow....... the staff were great fun and always up for some banter, and that ready St Lucian smile, with 'You're Welcome'.
Location of our beach side room good, would have been nice to have stairs straight off the balcony onto the beach, but hey.....the bathroom was desparatley in need of modernising, was small, and the unlit shower seemed dingy.....food good and plentiful....

I thnik something more could have been made of the live music and the guys seemed a bit out of it -maybe put them in the centre of the restaurant instead of a dimly lit open stage?
Checking out, my wife mentioned her mozzie bites, 'well we could have given you a mosquito net' -would have been nice to have known before and we shouldn't have needed to ask.

We liked the help yourself pool side cocktail bar!! And scones and tea by the pool at four was so ENGLISH!!

.......but something was lacking and we could never put our finger on it....

Date of stay: April 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank FLYINGBLUEDOG
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
George R, Owner at East Winds, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2013

DIFFICULT ONE TO RESPOND TO WHEN YOU CAN’T PUT YOUR FINGER ON IT

Dear FLYINGBLUEDOG - Thanks for the post on your stay at East Winds Inn, even though in your first sentence, you are raving about another hotel on the opposite end of the island, which is not even on a beach. We accept that everyone is entitled to their own opinion of what makes a good holiday, and the fact that your unsubstantiated three star review follows no less than 29 consecutive five star reviews on East Winds Inn, comes totally out of the blue and is surprising to say the least. Not once did you bring up any issues with any person of our staff or anyone in management. Also surprising, is that you did not take any time to write a review on the other hotel you claim to have loved so much.

You state that the East Winds staff were great fun and always up for some banter, had that ready St. Lucian smile and were quick with a you’re welcome. You said the location of your beachside room was good. This room is actually one of the guest rooms of Lord Horlicks’s original Caribbean beachfront home, and has been renovated numerous times with an eye to maintaining its authenticity. Many of our repeat guests request this room for the reasons you mention – it is right on the beach, has an exceptional view of the water and the famous East Winds sunset.

Your comments on the food are that it was good and plentiful. You seemed to take issue with the location of our nightly entertainers, but make no mention of the fact that the Steinway concert grand piano which is played three nights of the week is actually located near the middle of the open air dining room. The thatched open stage seems, for the majority of our guests, to be a lovely seaside setting with the surf as a backdrop for jazz and authentic St. Lucian music. We could not know that your wife had trouble with mosquitos if you did not tell us – had you done so earlier on, the problem would have been mitigated. All our rooms are enclosed and have bug screens, so mosquito nets are not usually necessary. If someone needs one, it is made available straight away.

You also mention that you liked the help yourself pool side cocktail bar, and scones and tea by the pool at four was so English – more positive comments. But then you end by saying something was lacking and you could never put your finger on it....so what are we to do about that? And this is after you left your camera lens in your room safe upon departure, our General Manager transported it with him all the way to the UK and then posted it Special Delivery to your attention, for which he received a thank you note in your writing – and we can put our finger on that! If that isn’t personalized service that deserves a positive mention, along with all the other positives you have highlighted, what else are we supposed to put our finger on? Your comments are appreciated, and thank you for staying at East Winds Inn.

Best regards,

George J. Reti,
President

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