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“Nice, But Nothing Special”

Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa
Reviewed 22 February 2014

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Summation

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.

Thank DonSummers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (54)
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40 - 44 of 54 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Smuggler's Cove Resort on our honeymoon. Our overall experience at the resort was average...but our overall experience in St. Lucia was very good! We are the adventure type so having a 5 star room was not a neccessity for us as we enjoy going on the day trips and exploring the neighboring towns learning the culture etc. We were aiming for great value not neccessarily great estetics. What is important to us is having a nice, clean room, a variety of excellent restaurants to choose from, nice pool and beach area and evening entertainment to enjoy after being out all day. The resort property itself is big and beautiful with lots of natural vegatation. The grounds and pools are kept clean. We were happy with our room. once we upgraded to a Deluxe Garden View. It was clean spacious and met our needs. The restaurants were pretty good. The breakfast buffet is very satisfying with lots of selection for dinner, the restaurant overlooking the water was our favorite (name escapes me now as we were a few months ago) but our absolute favorite restaurant was in the neighboring hotels restaurant where the dining was a bit more upscale and they had live music. The resort staff are all really friendly and accomodating. The one major dissapointment was the entertainment. Quite frankly it was a farce. The first night we arrived they had kareoke (terrible)...and the nights that followed there were some amateur performers. It was a BIG dissapointment. There is only one area for entertainement..the main bar/stage area.. and every night the entertainment got seemingly worse! We eneded up spending more time in Rodney Bay - the neigboring tourist area which is a 5 minute drive from the resort. Overall, I think the resort has a lot of potential especially with the privacy of the property and natural beauty. With a few tweaks it could easily be a 4 star but for now my vote is a 3.

1  Thank Kara P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2013

I went to smugglers cove for one week and had the opportunity to celebrate my sister's wedding there as well! The resort is beautiful. Food was pretty good. Staff are friendly, especially Loraine! Rooms are nice. The resort offered some entertainment in the evenings (nothing too special, but still enjoyable). It was great experience overall! Nothing outstanding, but it has everything you need! I'd definitely go back!

2  Thank Myra K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2013

My review is based on my limited travel experience, the first trip l took three years ago was to Punta Cana, and we stay at the “Bahia Principle”, which is an Adult resort, rated five stars. We did not have one bad experience or anything to complain about, we would highly recommend this resort!

Now Smugglers Cove……………My husband, our two adult children (girls) ages 21 & 24, and myself went to St. Lucia and stayed at Smugglers Cove from Dec 23 to Dec. 31, 2012. We would NOT return to this resort, it is rated a 3.5, however, we would rate this resort as a 2 to 2.5 stars at best.

The resort is anywhere from 25 to 30 years old and it needs lots of TLC. The dining room ceiling had been repaired in several areas and is now breaking apart; the building is old, in need of paint, needs a new roof and is very untidy looking. There are stray cats everywhere in the dining room, birds flying around your head while you are eating. Birds are in the bread baskets, you see them drinking from the “milk”, which is then served to you for your tea and coffee. I was pooped on several times while dinning, not pleasant at all.

The public washrooms are failing apart, gashes and stripes of wood missing on the doors, dirty and in bad need of caulking, and paint, ants are everywhere. The toilet tank lids did not fit the toilets and most of the times 3 out of 6 toilets leaked water all over the floor and over your sandals. The other public bathroom 2 out of 4 toilets worked and was badly in need of paint and door and side wall repairs. (Just nasty to use!)
There was never any hand soap in the bathroom and the mirror where always dirty.

Rooms: Nasty! Rated -1
We had two Deluxe Garden View rooms and both room where VERY NASTY! They should rename the room and called it “Deluxe Jungle View”, the gardens where over grown and full of ants everywhere, the outside patio had spilled drinks all over it and looked like it never seen a broom and/or water for years. We had one plastic chair on the patio.

The room had ANTS EVERYWHERE, in the beds, on your toothbrush, everywhere. The maid never CLEAN the room, she would sweep the floor, throw clean towels in the bedroom, never placed nicely in the bathroom and make the bed.

The washroom sink looked like to have never been wash for years, it was black, and on our third day it was finally cleaned, only once for the whole week we were there. The shower and bathtub was filthy, old, never cleaned, need to have fresh caulking around the tub, just nasty! I didn’t want to use the shower; at least we had hot water.

The patio sliding doors in both rooms would NOT lock, we asked someone to fix them, and no one ever arrived. The patio glass doors and mirrors in the bedroom and washroom NEVER were cleaned once, finger prints all over everything from arrival. In fact, the housekeeper did not have any type of cleaning products on her cart. I asked to have our bed sheets change daily due to the ants and sand and I was advised by the housekeeper that she would changes the sheets every second day!!

Water Entertainment / Beach/Pools : For Dec. 24, 25, 26, 2012, we were told no water sports due to bad weather, however, the other resorts around us where offering water sports. The resort says it offers “lessons”, well that is not correct, many of us asked for lesson to sail, water ski, etc. and we were told all week “Sorry, we are not offering lessons today, and without lessons you cannot take out the sail boat, etc. Clean towels where hard to get, if you did not stand in line by 8:00 am in the morning, than you can forget about getting clean towels or signing up for water sports. The water sports where disorganized, they had everyone sign up at the same time and then you were told to stand in line and wait your turn. At times if you didn’t keep asking is it my turn, you never had a turn!

Some of the furniture on the beach and patios are old and need to be replaced. If you did not claim a chair on the beach or by the pool by 7:00 am, you would not have one for the day. My daughter sat in a chair all dressed up for supper and fell through the chair, she’s only 105 lbs. The pools where nice, and were kept clean.


Food: Compared to a five star resort, the food here is about a 3 star. If you want steak or lobster you had to pay $25.00 up to $45.00 for this. The meals at suppertime were good, not excellent, really no complaints, however, the menus stayed the same at each restaurant all week, except for Christmas day. The breakfast and buffet lunch was okay; they offered almost the same food selection each day. Tip for the day, when ordering your meal you can order more than on appetizer, however, no one will tell you this, we found out by asking. I recommend you book your dinner times on line, as we had to have some dinner reservations at 9:00 pm, way too late to eat! Furthermore, to book these dinner reservations I stood in line for 2 hours and could only book three restaurants at a time. They only had one person performing this job and it’s all done manually.

Night Entertainment:
The nightly entertainment was okay, something different each night, kept us all happy, and the drinks where excellent. Stay away from the spice rum, by daughter drank this for three days and they become very sick! Try drinking a BBC, very yummy indeed. 

People
The St. Lucia people are fine people, they made us feel welcome. There was always a smile and a hello, great customer service indeed. Buy your gifts, I would recommend your purchase your gifts at the little huts, its way cheaper than the gift shop and the Airport. The second hunt is operated by Marg, she offers hair braiding for a good price, I had my hair done, it was great, makes supper time easy to get ready for Pack a lot of sun screen it’s $25 in the gift shop. Also, I had a tourist steel our sun screen right off of our chair.

Tour:
Highly recommend you take the Exodus Adventure tour with “Caption Vicente” you will find him on the beach selling his package. His tour was the highlight of the trip. His staffs were wonderful, enjoyable, funny, and full of knowledge. Terry the guide kept us laughing the whole day. The girls parachuted and had a great and safe time. Price is noticeable with the tour guides, Jet Ski rentals, etc. Beware of those people selling necklaces on the beach my husband over paid by $45.00!

Conclusion: Overall St. Lucia is a wonderful place and I would visit again, however, I would not stay at Smugglers Cover again. With that said…. it was a nice vacation if you are used to staying in a 2 – 3 star resort. I have learned, if you can’t afford a 5 star, than keeping saving until you can! Hope this review was helpful.
My review is based on my limited travel experience, the first trip l took three years ago was to Punta Cana, and we stay at the “Bahia Principle”, which is an Adult resort, rated five stars. We did not have one bad experience or anything to complain about, we would highly recommend this resort!

Now Smugglers Cove……………My husband, our two adult children (girls) ages 21 & 24, and myself went to St. Lucia and stayed at Smugglers Cove from Dec 23 to Dec. 31, 2012. We would NOT return to this resort, it is rated a 3.5, however, we would rate this resort as a 2 to 2.5 stars at best.

The resort is anywhere from 25 to 30 years old and it needs lots of TLC. The dining room ceiling had been repaired in several areas and is now breaking apart; the building is old, in need of paint, needs a new roof and is very untidy looking. There are stray cats everywhere in the dining room, birds flying around your head while you are eating. Birds are in the bread baskets, you see them drinking from the “milk”, which is then served to you for your tea and coffee. I was pooped on several times while dinning, not pleasant at all.

The public washrooms are failing apart, gashes and stripes of wood missing on the doors, dirty and in bad need of caulking, and paint, ants are everywhere. The toilet tank lids did not fit the toilets and most of the times 3 out of 6 toilets leaked water all over the floor and over your sandals. The other public bathroom 2 out of 4 toilets worked and was badly in need of paint and door and side wall repairs. (Just nasty to use!)
There was never any hand soap in the bathroom and the mirror where always dirty.

Rooms: Nasty! Rated -1
We had two Deluxe Garden View rooms and both room where VERY NASTY! They should rename the room and called it “Deluxe Jungle View”, the gardens where over grown and full of ants everywhere, the outside patio had spilled drinks all over it and looked like it never seen a broom and/or water for years. We had one plastic chair on the patio.

The room had ANTS EVERYWHERE, in the beds, on your toothbrush, everywhere. The maid never CLEAN the room, she would sweep the floor, throw clean towels in the bedroom, never placed nicely in the bathroom and make the bed.

The washroom sink looked like to have never been wash for years, it was black, and on our third day it was finally cleaned, only once for the whole week we were there. The shower and bathtub was filthy, old, never cleaned, need to have fresh caulking around the tub, just nasty! I didn’t want to use the shower; at least we had hot water.

The patio sliding doors in both rooms would NOT lock, we asked someone to fix them, and no one ever arrived. The patio glass doors and mirrors in the bedroom and washroom NEVER were cleaned once, finger prints all over everything from arrival. In fact, the housekeeper did not have any type of cleaning products on her cart. I asked to have our bed sheets change daily due to the ants and sand and I was advised by the housekeeper that she would changes the sheets every second day!!

Water Entertainment / Beach/Pools : For Dec. 24, 25, 26, 2012, we were told no water sports due to bad weather, however, the other resorts around us where offering water sports. The resort says it offers “lessons”, well that is not correct, many of us asked for lesson to sail, water ski, etc. and we were told all week “Sorry, we are not offering lessons today, and without lessons you cannot take out the sail boat, etc. Clean towels where hard to get, if you did not stand in line by 8:00 am in the morning, than you can forget about getting clean towels or signing up for water sports. The water sports where disorganized, they had everyone sign up at the same time and then you were told to stand in line and wait your turn. At times if you didn’t keep asking is it my turn, you never had a turn!

Some of the furniture on the beach and patios are old and need to be replaced. If you did not claim a chair on the beach or by the pool by 7:00 am, you would not have one for the day. My daughter sat in a chair all dressed up for supper and fell through the chair, she’s only 105 lbs. The pools where nice, and were kept clean.


Food: Compared to a five star resort, the food here is about a 3 star. If you want steak or lobster you had to pay $25.00 up to $45.00 for this. The meals at suppertime were good, not excellent, really no complaints, however, the menus stayed the same at each restaurant all week, except for Christmas day. The breakfast and buffet lunch was okay; they offered almost the same food selection each day. Tip for the day, when ordering your meal you can order more than on appetizer, however, no one will tell you this, we found out by asking. I recommend you book your dinner times on line, as we had to have some dinner reservations at 9:00 pm, way too late to eat! Furthermore, to book these dinner reservations I stood in line for 2 hours and could only book three restaurants at a time. They only had one person performing this job and it’s all done manually.

Night Entertainment:
The nightly entertainment was okay, something different each night, kept us all happy, and the drinks where excellent. Stay away from the spice rum, by daughter drank this for three days and they become very sick! Try drinking a BBC, very yummy indeed. 

People
The St. Lucia people are fine people, they made us feel welcome. There was always a smile and a hello, great customer service indeed. Buy your gifts, I would recommend your purchase your gifts at the little huts, its way cheaper than the gift shop and the Airport. The second hunt is operated by Marg, she offers hair braiding for a good price, I had my hair done, it was great, makes supper time easy to get ready for Pack a lot of sun screen it’s $25 in the gift shop. Also, I had a tourist steel our sun screen right off of our chair.

Tour:
Highly recommend you take the Exodus Adventure tour with “Caption Vicente” you will find him on the beach selling his package. His tour was the highlight of the trip. His staffs were wonderful, enjoyable, funny, and full of knowledge. Terry the guide kept us laughing the whole day. The girls parachuted and had a great and safe time. Price is noticeable with the tour guides, Jet Ski rentals, etc. Beware of those people selling necklaces on the beach my husband over paid by $45.00!

Conclusion: Overall St. Lucia is a wonderful place and I would visit again, however, I would not stay at Smugglers Cover again. With that said…. it was a nice vacation if you are used to staying in a 2 – 3 star resort. I have learned, if you can’t afford a 5 star, than keeping saving until you can! Hope this review was helpful.








2  Thank SonyaBo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2012

beautiful island, sunset cruise was great. trip to rum distillery was good. favourite trip was the full day surf and turf trip

2  Thank julie t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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