We made our bookings at the last minute to attend business meetings in St Lucia. As it is high season, accommodation was scarce. Like any resort, Smugglers Cove has its pros and cons, so here they are.
The buffet was very good, with some local dishes, which are always a treat. Seating was fast, although drink service could be a little slow. Dishes were well presented, delicious and plentiful. There are also several specialty restaurants that are included with the "all inclusive" price, but reservations do need to be made a day or two in advance.
The beach area is very nice, with activities like jetskis, sailing, waterskiing, etc available. There are a number of great pools and at least one is reserved as adults only, which is a great thing. Although the resort is definitely family-friendly, it's nice to have an adult only area....after all, I didn't bring my kids and I have no interest in being around yours.
Rooms are good, clean accommodation with decent amenities. Daily service is provided and the staff do an excellent job.
Bar service is friendly, fast and always upbeat. The glasses and mugs used are the size of juice glasses in Canada, so definitely bring your own cups or buy them at the local Super J Grocery as it will save asking for a refill on beer every 4 ozs. Tips are never mentioned, but they are definitely appreciated. $5.00 XCD (East Caribbean Dollars) or about $2.00 CAD given once or twice in the evening is sincerely appreciated.
Laundry service is horrid. We put in a laundry request on Friday and finally received our clothes back on Thursday, a full week later. No apology was provided, but the Resort did make sure to charge us full price for the service and wouldn't consider waiving the cost of having misplaced our clothing for a week. Very unimpressive and terrible customer relations.
The resort is quite secluded and is designed for the traveller that has no interest in leaving the resort. This isn't necessarily a bad thing and would certainly be a positive thing for some folks.....it just didn't work for us, but fortunately we had a rental vehicle.
Guests typically snap up beach chairs first thing in the morning by placing their beach towels on them. They then bugger off and take in various activities, leaving the chair unavailable for other guests to use. While this isn't a direct problem for the resort, it is certainly a practice that they should discourage if not outright prevent. Tying up a chair all day and then not using it whilst denying others the chance to utilize it is simply rude. I don't know if this is a European or American habit, but people need to consider others.
While the buffets are open for meal hours, there is no provision of snacks during the day. So, if the buffet is closed and you're a bit peckish: too bad. Not really "all inclusive" in that way.
There is no wi-fi or internet access in the rooms. Wi-fi is available in the Piton Lounge only and is hard to use in the evenings as the "entertainment" is performing and apparently the only volume level they can find on the amp is "10".
Promised amenities, such as a refrigerator in the room: don't count on it. Our bellhop pointed out we didn't have a fridge on checkin and despite asking the main desk 3 additional times, one never appeared. Additionally, we had paid an additional fee for a "larger" room and were given a standard. No refund was offered nor considered.
All-in-all a decent enough place to stay, but nothing special. We can assign a number of issues to "island time", but at some point management has to decide if they would like guests to write positive reviews or if they would like them to warn people off. Their call entirely.
If you have the option, definitey book the Bay Gardens Resort instead.
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