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“Lovely time but not 5 Star”

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Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Rodney Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 18 April 2012

We have just got back from 10 days at Sandals celebrating my husband's 60th birthday, we had a great chill out time but this is not a 5 star property. On arrival we were set down at the entrance and made our way in, a member of staff came to show us to reception where there was no one on duty, he wandered off then came back, we were told nothing when being shown to our room, I have stayed at quite a few 5 star hotels and have never been treated like this. Our room was very nice but again no 5 star finishes like robes, slippers, not even shower cap, ear buds or cotton wool not even a sewing kit!!!!!!

Saying this the staff are wonderful especially the playmakers, Neville the Devil was a star who always made me laugh, Crystal, Webster were lovely and always had time for a chat. The bar staff worked like troopers all day and night and we loved the BBC's which were delightful, you can have as much wine and champagne as you like but never make the mistake of ordering a bottle as you have to pay for this. Food was good but desserts weren't that good with the same most of the time but must have a rave about Toscanini's it is lovely, great food and delightful breakfast all waiter service and the staff in here were first rate and very professional. When I went to book up for the night of my husbands birthday I told the lady it wasmy husbands birthday and she didn't take any notice, which I found very rude but just put it down to maybe she was having a bad day.

One thing that I must say is that the manager should stop the saving of sun beds as people put a towel out and sometimes they are not even used, I haven't come across this at hotels for years, I thought this was a thing of the past.

Would strongly advise anyone to go on the Simon Says excursion as this is the best trip I have been on for a long time, snorkelling, mud bath and waterfall plus a very good lunch at Simon's home, all in a lovely speedboat, great day out.

All said and done St Lucia is a lovely destination and the people are lovely but Sandals is definitely not a 5 star property but would give it a 4 star.

Room Tip: The room was very nice, just what we neede as you only use it for sleeping and showering etc
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank diandruss2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,620 - 4,624 of 7,035 reviews

Reviewed 18 April 2012

My wife and I just returned from the Grande for a 2nd visit. After a week of relaxing and fun with our friends ( Playmakers , Staff ) during the reunion week. I must say that is was even better than our 1st trip in 2010. We always enjoyed returning to the Grande our home away from home with our friends. Winston the GM here is always around and always speaks to each and every guess. His employees speak very highly of him and the entire resort just shows how a great GM at this locations really rocks. We also are returning guess to this property and I would highly recommend this Sandals resort over any of the other 4 we have stayed at. The playmakers here are more into the guess and making sure that everyone is having a blast. From the bartenders to the watersports they all really seem to enjoying working here and meeting the guess here.
Now if you arte planning to go to St lucia I would highly recommend this resort over the other two on the island. The playmakers ( Nick, Junior, BigBoy, Webby, Crystal and of course Hector the selector doing all the great mixing by the pool bar each day. he rocks the house...........
The drinks to the food here are all great and the resort is 9 years old but I feel for 9 years old its great shape. If you go to the resort tell thme all that RickyBobby says hello along with the Carolina gang. Mean, Sweetgirl, Joybelle, Mindy and Jill we all love this place. And we will be returning soon.
Thanks again Sandals Grande for a great week.

Room Tip: Always request ocean front.also the room numbers that are odd numbers are ocean front. I can only ho...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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8  Thank Tarheel-2629
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2012

My husband and I were SO PLEASED with the Grande! We started our honeymoon at the Halcyon and decided to switch over after 15 minutes of visiting. It was EXACTLY how I had imagined my honeymoon being... The switch over was incredible! The staff is so accommodating. We had the Royal Jasmine Suite at the Halcyon (not so royal) and we told we would have to downgrade our room to be able to switch over because they didn't have a room on the same level (and it would have cost more). 10 minutes later, they said they found a room on the same level and wouldn't charge us the difference. We took the shuttle back to the Halcyon, packed our stuff and were back within the hour! Our room was AMAZING. It overlooked the main pool and mountains and the sunset...

The main pool was so fun to be around with the music and all the people but it was still SO relaxed at the same time. There was really no bad seat around the pool... I loved the chairs that were partially submerged in the water. The swim up bar was cool... They had a list of fruity drinks they would make but did not limit their service to them...

The food was great... The service was great... I think people (especially Americans) get bent out of shape when a waiter/ess isn't there every five minutes but I have to say, it was nice. If we needed someone, we asked. When they came around, they got/did everything we needed. And the best part was just getting up to leave at the end of your meal! I honestly did not have one bad meal. If anything, their menu choices will get you to branch out and try some new things... And the Bayside (buffet style breakfast and lunch) has a different type of cuisine for lunch everyday! We had creole one day and Mediterranean the next. So yummy!

Our room was SO COZY... The bed was cozy... The view was gorgeous... We had a concierge room so our fridge was always restocked with the Pitons beer (my husband loved that) and champagne, Cokes... One thing I liked about the concierge at the Grande was that you had to fill out a form for bottles of liquor when at the Halcyon, they just kept four FULL bottles of liquor in the room. Kind of irresponsible to me.

The property was beautiful... The flowers and trees... Love the hammocks...

We went jet skiing one afternoon which was fun... That was not through the resort though on property... It was $50 per jetski per half hour... We took one for half an hour and that was plenty. You can go out as far as your comfortable and they pointed to the "lover's rock" which took us 10 minutes (!!!) to get to... You could imagine how it got the name... Super nice guys.

Also, DO THE SIMON SAYS TOUR... We had so much fun. People might get weird that it's such a big group but I'm telling you you'll feel 10x safer... They took us on a speedboat tour of the island and stopped to show us landmarks and different points of interest... We stopped to go snorkeling which was AMAZING. It was like an aquarium. So cool. After refreshments of Pitons beer and rum punch, we went to visit a volcano and did some kind of bath... You get in 104 degree mineral bath and scrub yourself (or your spouse) with pumice soap, let it dry, get back in the bath to wash it off, then a cool shower to wash the minerals off. Skin was so soft. Then we stopped at Simon's "house" where his wife and auntie fed us an AMAZING St. Lucian meal... Ugh, so good. Then we hit a COOOOLD waterfall then back on the speedboats and back to the resort.

Sandals had one of their photographers come on the trip with us to take pics of everyone at the different stops. GREAT IDEA. Throughout our stay, they have photographers that walk around and take pictures randomly. It got kind of annoying but they are so easy and nice about it if you don't want them to. The pictures were expensive ($155 for 10 and one in a frame) but WORTH IT. We got some great shots.

I could go on and on but overall, it was an amazing time. I cannot wait to go back again and again!!!

"No pressure, no problems!"

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Heather L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2012

I have to say what wonderful and friendly staff. We had a lovely relaxing holiday celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. Great place to just sit back and do nothing or take the opportunity to go horse riding, sailing, walking or take one on the many trips on offer. We loved the English pub, no not just because we're English but the staff were great, especially Chevron & Shirley. Also must mention Aston who sorted our table and looked after us. Staff did listen to you and if you had any concerns Armando sorted everything out. As they say 'No pressure - no problem'. I also recommend Josephines and Julie the Manager was just lovely! try their pizza and crepes - delicious.

A great place to relax and unwind.

We went to Pigeon Island - a great walk with amazing views,

Top Tip Hire the Jet ski -$50 for half an hr - great fun!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank kazieLancashire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2012

We stayed at Sandals Grande in St. Lucia at the end of March 2012. We had an excellent vacation, enjoyed the sun, snorkeling and beer. The staff at the Grand and the St. Lucian people in general are wonderful – friendly, helpful and a lot of fun. The grounds are beautiful and very well maintained, the beach is excellent and the pools very nice. That being said, Sandals resorts are premium priced and I was expecting a little more 'premium' for my money. The buildings themselves are a little bit drab and shabby. They could really use some sprucing up. The main hallway where the 3 shops and Pub are located is very dimly lit and has an abandoned look about it.

Room
We had a Honeymoon Penthouse Beachfront Concierge Room. It had a balcony and a really nice view of the pool and Rodney Bay with the town of Gros Islet and some mountains in the background. Despite the name, it wasn’t on the beach by any means and there was absolutely nothing about it that would suggest ‘honeymoon’. There were none of the added frills or nice touches here that you might get at a lesser-priced resort: no swan shaped towels on your bed, no chocolates, not even a pen and paper. The room was nice and clean but really basic and somewhat lacklustre and small, not much bigger than a stateroom on a cruise ship. No luxury here. The duvet cover was so old and worn that the stuffing was hard and clumped together making it seem like it was stuffed with tennis balls. The bed wasn't the most comfortable and just getting in and out of it caused it to squeak, groan and creak very loudly.... The bathroom was builder’s grade at best. It resembled what you might get at an old motel along the highway in the US or Canada. The tub was just a plain old average tub, the cheapest you could buy at a home improvement store. No whirlpool, and not big enough for two. (Hey, it was a honeymoon room). It was curiously set a few inches higher than the floor, giving you a little surprise when you step out and nearly fall over. The grout between the tiles was moldy and mildew-y and was sloppily covered up with more grout, but the mold and mildew still showed through. A big complaint my girlfriend had was that the toilet paper was very rough, almost like newspaper. Strangely, the toilet paper in the public restrooms around the resort was nice and soft. Our soap run out and was never replaced. We had to go and ask if we could get some more soap in our room. The fridge was kept well-stocked but the Piton beer was always skunky tasting. (The same beer at the bars and restaurants we went to didn't taste skunky at all.) The flat screen TV with cable worked but all the channels came in very poorly, lots of snow and ghosting. On some channels the sound was so distorted they were unwatchable. Luckily, we weren’t in St. Lucia to watch TV.

Concierge Service
The extra money we paid for the concierge service wasn’t worth it. Check-in still took half an hour even though there was only one other couple checking in at the same time. I had checked in online but that didn’t make any difference and I still had to fill out all the same information that I had already filled out online. The one time when we went to use the concierge services to book an excursion we were told very rudely that they were busy and to come back in an hour. The charming girl who took us around for the resort orientation was very nice but just a little bit too chatty and what should’ve been a fifteen-minute tour dragged on for over an hour and a half, plus a twenty-minute wait for the orientation to start. Some of the other guests on the orientation were getting annoyed at the emphasis being placed on promoting the spa, jewellery store and other extra-cost services. The orientation took so long that we could just feel our first day of vacation wasting away. One minor point: other concierge guests would get a cheese plate in the afternoon but we never did.

Beach, Pool and Activities
The beach is excellent. White sand, no rocks and quite calm. There are six floating discs anchored in the water for you to lounge on. There's a row of ugly, cheap looking tents along the beach that don’t really provide any shade since they face the sun but are great for whacking your head on. We saw this happen many times. All beaches in St. Lucia are public so people would occaisionally pester you to buy something. A polite 'No thank you' would usually make them go away.
Beach towels ran out frequently, so you had to be fast. Even when we managed to score some towels and put them in our room, neatly folded, the cleaning staff inexplicably removed them while we were at lunch and we’d be left with none. Very annoying. Everybody was saving chairs by the pool and beach. We saw people reserving multiple sets of chairs, placing a few towels at the quiet pool, a few at the pool near the bar and a few at the beach. Greedy people hogging 6 to 8 chairs all day long. It’s frustrating, when we couldn’t get a single set of chairs, to see chairs reserved all day that were never used. You’d have to get up at 6am to reserve a chair. This obnoxiousness was bad at Sandals but is certainly not exclusive to it, as other resorts I’ve been to have this same problem.
The hot tubs were more like lukewarm tubs and half of the jets didn’t work. The pools were quite nice (if you could get a chair) but nothing mind-blowing. There were a few mattresses for floating on, but people would 'reserve' these too. Placing them with their stuff, hogging them all day and never using them.
The snorkeling was fantastic and free. They take you out on a boat to a reef where you’re guaranteed to see lots of cool, colourful fish. They place an emphasis on safety making you wear a life jacket and checking you in and out. Other watersports – sea kayaks, hobie cats and scuba diving - are also free.
There was an excellent 'chocolate night' with tons of chocolates, chocolate-covered strawberries and truffles. There was a huge beach BBQ where the steak was delicious. There was a free, guided hike up to the top of Pigeon Island that included a sunset boat ride afterwards, with rum punch, beer and chicken wings. The tour guide on this hike was very informative and a lot of fun, as were the other staff members on the boat. This was definitely a highlight.

Restaurants and Food.
The food was hit and miss. One day it was excellent the next it was terrible. Except for the pizza and fruit crepes, which were always amazing. The restaurants had odd hours and were often closed just when you wanted a bite to eat. Breakfast in the room arrived stone cold and the breakfast buffet was mediocre at best. Breakfast at Toscanini’s was pretty good but when we had dinner there, we had an interminably long wait. We sat there for 40 minutes before anyone even took our drink order, then another 30 minutes before our food order was taken. It was about another hour wait for our mediocre food to arrive. For most of this 2-hour wait our server was at the server station folding napkins and refilling the sugar dishes. The restaurant wasn’t that busy and we could see other patrons getting annoyed by the lack of service. The British Pub is gloomy and depressing and a big echo chamber. Our meal there was so-so. One night we ate at The Pier restaurant at Sandals Halcyon. We were made to wait for 40 minutes even though the restaurant was only half full. We were finally seated at a table that had been empty since we arrived. The food was okay but nothing great. The bars were good. None of our drinks were watered down and the beer was always nice and cold.

Although all-inclusive there was still some gouging going on. Staff would take your photo but then at the Photo Store they wanted $14 per picture! And you only get the digital file, no print out. The dinner at Gordon’s was an extra $120 per couple, but after seeing a bunch of cockroaches there we decided against it. A private dinner on the beach was $170 and renting a cabana on the beach was $90. Bottles of wine at dinner ranged from $40 to $200.

The ride from the airport is about one and a half hours of twisty, bumpiness. Bring some Gravol if you’re prone to car-sickness. The ride is interesting enough as you get to see a lot of the island. Unfortunately our driver didn’t say a single word. It would’ve been nice to get a little info as we drove along.

Sandals Grande St Lucia isn’t perfect, but it isn’t awful either and despite its flaws and lack of value for the money we still had a fantastic vacation. We met some really nice fellow Canadians and St. Lucians, soaked up the sun and explored a really beautiful island. The staff at Sandals Grand, with one or two exceptions, were wonderful, the best I’ve experienced anywhere. The resort however was below our expectations of what a luxury resort should be, especially given the high cost: a 3-star resort at a 5-star price. I’d definitely love to go back to St. Lucia but would likely stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank jealousnerds
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 Top resorts Hotel in Rodney Bay
#1 Business Hotel in Rodney Bay
#1 Romantic Hotel in Rodney Bay
Price Range: $779 - $2,746 (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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