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“Beach Rondoval VS. Millionaire Suite”

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Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Rodney Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 November 2011

Sandals Grande vs. Sandals La Toc..... We just got back from staying at both of these Sandals resorts in St. Lucia. We stayed the first 4 nights at Sandals Grande, and then moved over for 6 nights at Sandals La Toc. This was our first stay in an all inclusive resort. My first suggestion is that if you like cruises then you will like Sandals, but if you want a more Caribbean style vacation stay somewhere else. Sandals is nothing more than a giant docked cruise ship.

As for the resort itself. Sandals Grande is a nice resort with a great beach location. We are travelers that love to splurge so we got a Beach Rondoval. While the Rondoval was very nice, it is extremely small for what you pay for. What you are really paying for is beach access at your back door. The pool, jacuzzi, and hammock in our back yard were amazing, except for the fact that your neighbors can see right into your back yard. There is absolutely no privacy whatsoever in your backyard. There is also no privacy if you leave your blinds open, which is what I assume everyone does, since you have an ocean/beach view. There is security gurards walking around at all hours right outside your window and backyard. It gets very annoying. The price for this room is not worth what you get!!!!

We also splurged for a Millionaire Suite when we moved to La Toc. Now this room is absolutely amazing!!!!!! This room was worth every penny, and it costs a lot to stay here. There is no doubt that the Millionaire Suite at La Toc is the best room you can get at either resort. I will post my review of this room under La Toc reviews.

The butler service at the Grande seemed good until we arrived at La Toc and realized that the butlers were awful at the Grande.

The food was average at best here. It reminded us a lot of cruise food. It was a big disappointment to learn that food is only served at certain times, unless you get room service or pizza. The candlelight dinner on the beach was very nice, and I recommend it for sure. Gordon's on the pier was a nice dinner place, but you must have a butler/concierge room to book here.

There were activities planned for the guests each night. Our favorite was the movie on the beach. We watched in lounge chairs on the sand. The other activities they have are a chocolate buffet, casino night (NOT REAL MONEY), and dancing. Nothing too great.

We did have an issue with the Butler's or housekeeping stealing $300 cash out of our room, and YES it was locked inside our safe. We made report with security and they never even called us back like they promised. The funny thing is that the night we made the report to security, we saw the security officer playing blackjack at the local casino. I am sure he found our money and was pressing his luck =)

I would NOT recommend this resort for couples that have been married for multiple years, and/or couples that appreciate the best quality for what they pay for.

I would recommend this resort for honeymooners, and there are plenty of them there!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank 1_Metallica_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,890 - 4,894 of 7,041 reviews

Reviewed 6 November 2011

We spent two weeks here in 2009 and loved it. We should have been back last year but had to postpone due to work commitments. Finally we made it back this October and it was even better this time. We knew exactly what to expect and because we had been before we were able to slip straight in and relax from the first day. We decided to take the helicopter transfer as a special treat and it was really good. I don’t mind the drive from the airport but had always wanted to ride in a helicopter and this was a perfect opportunity. It was weird as you didn’t really get a sensation of speed. The helicopter just seemed to hang in the air – very odd sensation.
Our favorite restaurant for breakfast is Toscanini’s as it white glove a la carte. A very nice start to the day. The restaurant is air conditioned and the mimosas are perfect. I love the eggs benedict. For lunch we usually go to Barefoot by the Sea - try the ribs!!! In the evening all of the restaurants are good. The steak is very good wherever you go. The best meal we had was at the La Toc French restaurant. Worth the trip over there and I would say that was the only truly 5 star meal we have had. The food everywhere is great but more like high end pub food. We did several tours. We booked the speedboat tour off the beach on the boat called Exodus. This was a fantastic tour. I would recommend this over booking Simon Says with Sandals as the boat is smaller so only takes 12 guests as opposed to 24 with Simon Says. Consequently you get more time at the springs and waterfall. Also the boat goes faster as it is a bit smaller. We also did the zip lining both times we were there. It is that good. My favorite tour was the Segway tour. It is two hours long and is right in Rodney Bay only ten minutes drive away. You ride the Segways on a trail through the local hills. Very beautiful and the guide is very informative about the Island flora and fauna. You also get to see a pond cut out of the hill full of Koi carp which you can feed. The Segways are really easy to ride and you go very fast on them – I love them – great fun. The beach is wonderful at the resort. The sea is very gentle and warm. We took our own floats and I was glad we did as people tended to take the pool floats and keep them rolled up by their chairs all day. It was not easy to get pool floats after about 10am. My favorite cocktail was a No Pressure No Problem. Its not on the list but you can just ask for it or any other cocktail and they will make it up for you. The spa has offers on every day so I would not bother booking anything before you go. We booked to go back before we left but will go to the Sandals on Antigua next time. I just hope it is as nice as Sandals Grande. Having stayed at Halcyon 10 years ago and having visited all three resorts I would say Grande is definitely my favorite. Mainly because the beach at the other two resorts is not very good. If you like the beach and going in the sea you will prefer the Grande. Halcyon is small and quiet and very personal. La Toc is very large and parts are quite steep up on a hill. I think the food is probably better there. Certainly there is more choice. The Grande is flat and very well located on the beautiful Rodney Bay. You can stay at one resort and visit the other two so there is a lot of flexibility and I do think it is worth taking the time to go to the other resorts as they really are all quite different. I was surprised by how many people don’t realize that men need to wear long trousers and proper shoes to get into the better restaurants – don’t forget to take them. One last thing - alcohol. The house wine is very good – not the best but perfectly drinkable. My husband says the piton beer is also very good. I don’t think the cocktails are loaded to heavily with alcohol but as you are in the sun all day that is a good thing. You don’t really see anyone drunk at all – just very happy and chilled.

Room Tip: The rooms are all very similar unless you go for a suite or rondoval
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank giskard1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2011

My wife and I recently spent two glorious weeks at Sandals Grande St. Lucia and enjoyed ourselves immensely. More than anything, we found all of the St. Lucians at the resort to be friendly and extremely gracious hosts. We have traveled to many Caribbean islands but have never felt more welcome than during our trip to Sandals Grande St. Lucia. We stayed in a very nice butler suite and were served by Benedict and Clynns who helped make our vacation the best ever. They would draw hot baths, provide champagne on ice every evening, left great floral messages, afternoon snacks and evening deserts. One benefit of having a butler is they will arrange a cabana on the beach for you and if requested, bring cocktails or a cooler with your favorite beer or soda (at times Benedict even brought drinks, no request on our part, and always managed to bring the perfect drink right at the perfect time). The grounds and landscaping are immaculately kept at St. Lucia as are all Sandals Resorts that we have stayed at.

Those staying in a butler suite can dine at Gordon’s on the Pier without additional charge which alone makes it worth making sure you get a butler suite. The staff at Gordon’s was very attentive and accommodating. Gilbert was the most gracious server we have seen in all our travels around the world, a hard working, smiling, pleasant presence in a perfect place! We feel privileged to have met Gilbert. Spencer and Sara in the kitchen were more like magicians than chefs, turning out magical meals at each of our visits. We ate at Gordon’s five or six times and several times had the special of the evening. We also ordered off the menu and found all offerings to be fantastic. If you go to Gordon’s ask for a table near the water. You can watch trumpet fish chasing little baitfish and one evening we saw a little stingray while enjoying the evening. The view of the entire bay from Gordon’s is spectacular at night which makes it even more of a treat to dine there.

The dive staff at Sandals Grande was also extraordinary. We dove ten of our 14 days and were never disappointed with the sites. Rosebud (St. Rose) led our group most often and always managed to find some really interesting marine life to share, a puffed up puffer fish, a sea muffin, lobster, crabs and eels. We also dove with Tim, Martin and Natalie who were fantastic and led us to some really spectacular dives sites - Superman’s Flight, Coral Gardens and Fairyland were definitely worth repeat visits. Michael, the boat captain, also was always very attentive; helping everyone with gear setup and water and snacks between dives. Nigel from the photo shop went out with us on two different days and shot some great photos of everyone on the dives. This dive crew epitomized our view about the graciousness with which we were treated by everyone in St. Lucia. The water temperatures were in the 84 degree range which meant most of us dove without wet suites. Visibility most days was 50- 60 ft.

We very much enjoyed the pizzas and crepes at Josephine’s most days after diving. We did lunch at Barefoot on a couple of occasions and very much enjoyed the nachos and chicken wraps as well. We ate dinner at Toscanini’s a couple of nights and found the food there to be spectacular. The evening of our arrival Benedict, our butler, brought room service which was also excellent. I had a steak that was to die for which doesn’t happen often with room service. We enjoyed our room service meal enough the first evening to order in again our second week! Since we dove most days, we had room service for breakfast each morning. The meals were always delivered on time (most days even a few minutes early) and the meals were great – a wonderful way to start your day - breakfast for two served on the balcony. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

We went to dinner one night at the Sandals Regency Le Toc restaurant. Shuttle service is provided daily to the other two Sandals resorts. Le Toc serves French cuisine which was extremely tasty. Service was excellent and the atmosphere was very nice. I would recommend trying some of the restaurants at the other two resorts. It’s a fun option and of course the food is great at Le Toc and at Halcyon

We have stayed at other Sandals resorts and have always enjoyed ourselves immensely, but this vacation was the best of the best. The staff at Sandals Grande St Lucia will see us again next year!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank rjm715
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2011

PROS
-Nicest of the 3 Sandals in St Lucia
-Many dining options
-Tons of activities and entertainment
-Good location
-Excellent Service: Winston, the GM took very good care of us. We had a minor mishap upon arrival and he did everything in his power to make us feel at home and welcome. After speaking with him on our first day, he turned our attitudes right around and made us fall in love with the resort and st lucia. Everyone of the staff was so friendly and accomadating. Among our favorites: Everyone on the Sandals dive team- especially Romanus- what a great instructor he was! The front desk staff was phenomenal. Also, we loved everyone in the pub, including Earl and Kyle!

CONS
The only thing we were not that impressed with were the rooms. To us, they were very average and the beds are pretty hard. It just doesnt look like the website makes you imagine.

A Few Tips
-Do not book the candelight dinner! They make it look so secluded and romantic on the website but it is not. They line up multiple tables on the beach right infront of the resort where everyone can walk by. Not worth the $$ when it is all included at the other restaurants.
-Toscani's, the Italian restaurant serves breakfast too. Try it- it is much better than room service or the buffet :-) We didnt figure that out until our last day.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Danielle8288
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2011

I just got back from a work trip to St. Lucia. I loved this resort and out of the 3 Sandals that are in St. Lucia, this was my favorite. I loved the grounds and the layout and at night/the ambiance was superb. Beware that there is a 1 1/2 hour drive from the airport to get to any of the 3 Sandals properties on the island. St. Lucia is a very hilly island and some agents felt it reminded them of parts of Hawaii. English speaking.........very nice people and Sandals does it best as far as all inclusives go. I would highly recommend this property out of the 3 on the island and beware that the pricing is up there/but worth it.........Sandals does not discount their pricing with using Expedia etc.

Room Tip: Sandals has many categories/make sure to do research before choosing a room
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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2  Thank pattiOhio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort

Address: Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Gros Islet Quarter > Rodney Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Rodney Bay
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Rodney Bay
#1 Romantic Hotel in Rodney Bay
Price Range: $775 - $2,824 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 301
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•301 room, 17 acre resort combines historic British & French flavor•Pigeon Island, home to our annual St. Lucia Jazz Festival, combines historic British & French flavor that unfolds at Sandals•Offers exotic island & international culinary temptations at seven dining options •Ocean & beach view accommodations •Caribbean Sea•A lagoon swim-up pool where guests can swim right up to their patio ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Hotel Gros Islet
Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa And Beach Resort

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