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Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort
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Reviewed 20 September 2011

My husband and I were at Sandals Grande St. Lucian and had a great time! We knew we were taking our chances honeymooning anywhere tropical during hurricane season, but we are so glad we did. We had a fabulous view from our 3rd floor honeymoon penthouse suite. The beach was great (it is a public beach, so there are locals there trying to sell you things like jewelry, etc.) and the water was warm. We honestly didn't get in the pool much because we enjoyed lounging around in the sand and being in the water. We participated in a lot of the "honeymooner" events Sandals put on, which was a great way to get involved and meet other couples. The food was amazing. There were many nights while we were there they brought in local food- the seasoning is fabulous! We hiked up to Fort Rodney (definitely recommend) on our own after the group hike got cancelled due to Tropical Storm Maria. The view is beautiful! The room was great, the staff was VERY friendly. We called concerned about refridgerator not cooling, and they replaced it right away. Roach works for the resort, and was so wonderful! He brought us coconuts 3 of the 6 days we were there and sugarcane one of them, and sent us home with cinnamon, bayleaf, and tumeric from the island. His hospitality was endless and was such a joy to talk with- we learned so much about the St. Lucian culture and way of life. We would highly highly recommend Sandals Grande St. Lucian to any and all. It was a wonderful getaway- very relaxing with just the right amount of things to do. You can be as busy or as low key as you wish. We didn't have a butler, we went with concerige service (highly recommend as well) so they would come in to fill the fridge and restock the mini bar. The only thing that bothered us a bit is people are in and out of your room all day doing different things. We didn't have a "Do Not Disturb" sign in our room (we could've asked for one, but never did) so we never knew when people would be coming in to clean the room. However, this wasn't enough to detour us from going back...We will definitely be returning to the island in the future.

Thanks Sandals!!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank KaylaR971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2011

The view is stunning, a truly beautiful island. The resort is very beautiful. The pool is a big fun party, Monday's beach party is incredible, Thursday's street party is wonderful. The entertainment is top notch.

HOWEVER, we visited Armondo's at La Toc on the shuttle. We were sent to a bar to wait for our table, the bar had no bartender and when he showed up he was very arrogant. The restaurant will not accommodate to and food allergies or requests, this is because the food from what our waitress said was precooked and reheated out of a container later on. This restaurant had the rudest of all employees.

We tried Tosconini's... WOW. ants all over the table, plastic baked into the bread, what set us off was the dead cockroaches underneath our table. It was a major turn off so we got up and left quietly. A waitress chased us down and asked what was wrong, we quietly whispered to her what happened and she grabbed us a manager. The manager said "oh I'm sorry, are there no cockroaches back in Philadelphia?" and continued to mock us. Eventually they gave us a table and food from a different restaurant which was fine, I was happy they were working with us. However on our way upstairs two of the waitresses were mocking us in plain sight.

The Grande has the best of all beaches but don't bother setting foot on it unless you run to the ocean because people selling $20 shells will be hassling you all day long. The pool however is just as fun as the ocean.

Now the good side, Bayside is incredible, Josaphine's pizza and ice cream is great and Mariners has been a home run everytime.

I would honestly come back but its because I had some much fun at the tours you PAY for. The all inclusive stuff is kind of whatever...

  • Stayed: September 2011
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9  Thank Nonlinearedits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2011

Just got back from Sandals Grande last night and wanted to write the review right away!

PROS:
- Absolutely beautiful property. An amazing location with great views, great weather and just a gorgeous place to be. My husband and I were pretty concerned (having read lots of negative reviews on tripadvisor about the place needing serious updates) but we thought it was incredible.
- Several pools and always chairs available, both a "party" type pool with lots of action as well as some smaller quieter ones.
- Food was super good! We're foodies and weren't expecting much but we really liked it. Huge breakfast buffet every day at Bayside. LOVED the French restaurant, La Toc, over at Regency the best.
- Laid back atmosphere everywhere and very friendly staff.
- Great bottles of shampoo/conditioner in bathroom! Also bathrobes were provided which was nice.
- Resort is right next to a park where you can pay $5 and do a quick hike up to the top of the Pitons - good exercise, amazing views.
- Having been on several cruises, I'm used to the constant pressure of upselling and buying more everywhere you go on what is seemingly an all-inclusive vacation. There was a little bit of this with the spa and the photos but really, they were good at leaving you alone if you said no.

CONS:
- A lot of people have said it but it's true - the drive from the airport is brutal. On the way to the resort we were both keeled over for half the ride about to vomit. On the way back we took anti-nausea pills and passed out instead.
- The duvet on our bed had really weird uncomfortable lumps in it.....
- Housekeeping was very inconsistent - some days our room didn't get cleaned AT ALL even when we were out of it all day?!?! And other days they knocked on our door at 8am when we were still asleep. Super weird.
- We got a lot of bug bites - especially when sitting on the couches in the lobby area - I think the bugs live in the couch or the carpet. I would advise that people bring after-bite, calamine, or something like that to cope with it. We scratched our legs all week.
- I got stung by a Jellyfish in the ocean on our last day :(
- Our biggest complaint was the alcohol: We really think it is FAKE alcohol. We drank all day every day and NEVER felt the effects. And looking around the resort, no one was ever even remotely intoxicated. Not that we wanted to get drunk on our honeymoon, but when you're downing 8-10 drinks in a day before dinner and not feeling it at ALL, something is up. The only thing we actually saw opened (therefore, verifiably not watered down) was the champagne, which was really bad champagne (and we'll pretty much drink anything.) We noticed that the gin bottle in our room was labeled "Sandals" on it - making us think that the distributor of their alcohol deliberately makes weaker alcohol for their resorts. I'm not sure - would be interested in others' viewpoints.

Despite the alcohol thing and the bugs, we really had a great, relaxing time. Loved laying by the pool all day, stuffing our faces, watching a movie as we got ready for dinner, and then enjoying a great meal at dinner. I would recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank bloor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2011

We searched online quite a bit before choosing Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach Resort. We weren't disappointed! We spent a week here and it was the perfect way to relax, reconnect and enjoy time together. The grounds are beautiful and very well-kept, and our room was lovely, clean and comfortable. The pools are sparkling and the beach is spectacular. The room view wasn't *exactly* what we expected; while it was an ocean view, it also overlooked part of a parking lot, but it was quiet and had a nice balcony. No matter, there are so many wonderful places to sit an enjoy the views here at the resort, we didn't really spend that much time in our room, anyway. What really made our trip was the friendly staff here and terrific selection of food; we can't say enough about how nice everyone was at Sandals Grande St. Lucian.

A few people have commented in their reviews about a "musty" smell in their room; if you have ever lived in a tropical environment just steps from the beach, you'll know that this is just a fact of life because of the humidity. We found that if we left our bathroom fan on, it went away very quickly. The housekeeping staff do an amazing job and we enjoyed towels folded into hearts and other shapes with rose petals on our bed on our anniversary and the day before.

Food: They do a GREAT job here; so much selection and lots of quality meals, with healthy choices if you select carefully. Our favorite was Barefoot by the Sea; so relaxing, no reservations required and we strolled in whenever we felt like it. You literally are sitting at a beautiful table in the sand, enjoying the gorgeous view and delicious food. We found everything was good, but standouts were the fresh seafood and dishes with local St. Lucian flavors. We didn't have a single bad meal anywhere at the resort; the Old London Pub was pretty much what you would expect, with bar food, but tasty and lots of fun after a day of sun and surf and a few beers and rounds of pool in the awesome billiards room. We had breakfast in the Bayside Restaurant nearly every day and loved the fresh fruit and made-to-order omelets. Toscanini's was the perfect option for the one evening when it rained; we didn't have a reservation but they gave us a beautiful table and the meal was wonderful. The house wine is very good, with no upcharge. We did order one special bottle with our meal. The Pizzeria had amazing pizza, and you can get ice cream for an afternoon treat, although we skipped the ice cream and opted instead for a frozen treat from the swim-up bar. :) Introduce yourself to Peter, and request the Peter Special; fabulous! Our trip was made extra-special with a private, candlelight dinner on our anniversary; we chose this instead of Gordon's and we were were so glad we did! A once-in-a-lifetime experience, for sure. The food was outstanding, the setting was unbelievable and the service was impeccable. We opted to have our dinner in the beachside cabana, which made if feel a little more private and intimate than right on the beach.

Drinks: Pace yourself; this is all inclusive and you can find refreshing, tempting beverages all over the resort grounds, any time of day. The staff do a good job of mixing drinks so they are not too strong, but be careful of all those fruity, sugary concoctions, as they taste good but can give you a bit of a sore head and full tummy if you enjoy too many. We mostly enjoyed the refreshing Piton beer and a glass or two of wine with dinner. We didn't have butler service, so we also picked up a bottle of Absolut in duty free and kept it for an evening cocktail with juice in our room refrigerator.

Activities: It's easy to be active here, with kayaks, Hobie Cats, swimming and snorkeling just steps down the beach at the surf shack. I was eager to try stand-up paddle boarding, which is advertised on the site, but they don't have it yet. We sailed once and even twice most days, swam and took the snorkel trip, which leaves right from the dock at the resort. We also played table tennis and a round or two of billiards every day. We didn't really do any other organized activities, as there was so much to do right there, and the hammocks were tempting for reading, too. We talked to a few guests who said the add-on activities were a lot fun and well organized. You can also hike up the beautiful mountain just to the right of the beach; just ask the resort staff and they'll point you in the right direction.

Sunscreen and Bugs: We had a nice base of a tan when we arrived and slathered up with sunscreen every day, and mostly avoided any burns, but we saw SO MANY people with horrible sunburns, so be careful. The sun is much stronger here and you are outside and in the water a lot. The sand fleas also had a feast on my shins, so maybe bring along some bug repellant or take some vitamin B-12 for a few weeks before your trip.

The Pools and Beach: It's hot and tropical, so the pools and beach chairs do tend to fill up. A lot of people go out super early and claim their chairs and pool floats by putting our towels and other items, then hoard them all day even if they are not using them. We resisted the urge to do the same and took it as an opportunity to explore different areas of the resort or the beach. The resort is big, so there is always somewhere to sit and relax, and we didn't really want to float around on a pool lounger anyway; most people used them as drink holders. The hammocks are blissful.

Spa: I had a spa treatment - a massage - which was very nice, but not spectacular for the price. I thought it might have a nice, semi-outdoor setting or a private pool area for relaxing before or after, but it didn't. The waiting area is serene but narrow, and co-ed, which seemed a little uncomfortable for me. It was very professional and nice, but not outstanding.

Relax: The trip to and from the airport is a bit long, but interesting, and you get to see a lot of the island. When you arrive at the airport, get your baggage, clear customs and walk to the door that says Sandals. There will be bunch of guys with luggage carts standing right in front of it, wanting to carry your luggage for you, but the Sandals waiting area is just down the hallway, so it's silly to have them do it. Just politely ask them to move so you can get through the door. :) It's a little confusing as to what is going to happen when you first arrive in the Sandals waiting area, but just relax, have a nice, cool drink and a Jello shot, and they will take care of you. It's not always clear during arrival and departure what is happening when, but somehow, everything works out and everybody is well taken care of. Really, you kind of just have to switch gears and take the St. Lucian "No Pressure, No Problem" philosophy and know that everything will be taken care of, and it is!

The People: Aside from the beautiful grounds and facilities, what makes this place really special is the people. We found the St. Lucians at the resort to be warm, smart, professional, friendly, fun and proud people who love their country and do a great job of making guest feel special and welcome. A few shout-outs to those who made our trip amazing: Yvonne, our personal waiter for the evening of our candlelight beach dinner; Ronnie at the pool walk-up bar; the amazing and incredible Philip at Barefoot by the Sea; Hanna and Kelvin at the Old London Pub; Peter at the swim-up pool bar (ask for The Peter Special!); Lance the photographer; Jimmy in Activities (we never did any activities with him, but he was so friendly and fun to talk with and always had a smile); Fletcher and Kelvin, who took us snorkeling and showed us huge, beautiful starfish and other sea wonders; and Selma, Paulinas, Liomie and Garry at Barefoot by the Sea - we nicknamed it Toes in the Sand!

Nothing but good things to say about the resort, our trip and especially the staff. Highly recommended it you are looking for a couples-type trip that is relaxing, low-key and romantic.

Room Tip: The Rondoval beach rooms look amazing if you want to go all out. Oceanfront rooms seemed like they might be a bit quieter than beachfront. The swim-up lagoon rooms looked fun, too.
  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank travelstory09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2011

We stayed a week at Sandals Grande St Lucian in November 2010, just a fortnight after Hurricane Tomas had hit St Lucia hard. Sandals did their best to make our stay as pleasant as possible. Good room, good food, plenty to drink, plenty of space at the quiet end of the beach, lots to see. I'd hoped to take advantage of the all-inclusive two dives a day, but the hurricane had turned the sea into brown soup. Vis down to just 2 meters at times, so I only did five dives. The weather in the last few days was dreadful, too, with plenty of torrential tropical rain. But we got off lightly compared to the St Lucians.

See our FULL review at http://www.dunbankin.com/stlucia2010/index.htm, with lots of pics.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank dunbankin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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