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“A 25th Anniversary in Paradise...”

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Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Rodney Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 22 September 2008

We stayed in a beachfront rondoval from 9/7-9/14, and as soon as my husband and I walked in the room, we knew it was the perfect choice, it was absolutely beautiful, with a plunge pool, jacuzzi, hammock, and a patio gate that lead you right onto the beach.. With that alone, we were in heaven.
Our butler, Giselle, made everday special for us, champagne, cooler of beer, with lunch served to us on the beach, stocked bar, snacks and platters left in our room. Never ending surprises...
The day of our 25th anniversary, Giselle made sure it was a day we would remember forever.. We came back from our couples massage, and she had the front door decorated, flower petals leading to our sunken tub filled with bubbles, champagne, cooler of beer, cookies, fruit platter, and love songs playing in the cd player, flower petals leading to the bed, that was decorated with "Happy Anniversary to You", balloons and palm leaves. There was a delicious chocolate cake with decorations on the coffee table, and another platter of finger foods.
We were so toouched..

The Resort was clean and beautiful. The staff was extremely friendly, always greeting you with a big smile.
We thought the food was great, and even had lobster at the returning guest dinner. The pools were really nice, although we really didn't spend much time in them, we are more beach people. We played pool at the billiards, and enjoyed the evening entertainment.
There was always something to do.

We went on the Simon Says tour, and really enjoyed seeing and hearing about all the different areas of St Lucia. We saw some amazing views on the drive from Gros Islet to Soufriere. Went to the bananna plantation, snorkeled between the pitons, drive in volcano and a relaxing mineral bath,. His wife made a delicious buffet lunch, for us, back at his house. We had a great time and would highly recommend this tour.

We booked an ATV tour through John of Serenity tours. Again, we saw some amazing scenery along the way. He also gave us a great deal on a cell phone rental. We had the opportunity to sit and speak to John for a while, what a great guy. We will not hesitate to call him again, when we return to St Lucia.

We visited Pigeon Island, next door to the Grande and saw some breathtaking views, as well as learning the history of the Island.
$5 per person, entrance fee.

We were pleasantly surprised, that the locals who walk the beach at the Grande, were very curtious, friendly and not pushy at all. If you didn't buy something from them, they still wished you well and told you to enjoy the rest of your stay.

We took the helicopter transfer, when we were leaving to go home, and it was well worth it.. Amazing experience...

Everything at the Grande, exceeded our expectations, in so many ways. We had the time of our lives, and loved everthing about our stay.
We look forward to returning to St Lucia and the Grande..

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Denise F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,130 - 6,134 of 7,105 reviews

Reviewed 22 September 2008

Our stay in St. Lucia started by booking our honeymoon at another resort; that was a big mistake. After 1 night we made our way over to the Grande, and with smiles and open arms, were accommodated into our honeymoon grand luxe room. In a nutshell, we had an amazing honeymoon and it's all in thanks to Sandals and its more than friendly staff; a very loving shout out to one particular staff member Vernessa who made our 2 weeks more than just a vacation to remember.

The TRIP was great for us after seeing a lot of complaints about the drive we took the helicopter and the 15-20 minute ride was worth the $280 per couple cost especially after traveling all day to get to St Lucia. We opted for it on the way back as well since we did a tour of the island and didn't need to see it again. You should at least take the drive once to see the sights. The ROOM was perfect and we had no problems whatsoever. The GROUNDS are all very well kept and there's nothing bad you can say about them. The POOLS are well kept, clean, and we spent every day except our last basking in them. I wish they had a water fall in the main pool, but hey, you can't have everything. The BEACH was clean and a pleasure to walk on. As all the beaches in St Lucia are open to the public you do get a few sellers asking if you want to buy some things, but it wasn't as bad as Jamaica and never a bother; usually 3 or 4 at most. The FOOD, well what can I say about the food except perfect. You'll never go hungry and it tastes delicious. The variety is good, although if you're there for 2 weeks, the food repeats very similar each week. The breakfast buffet is standard each day and you should have enough variety to make it no issue. The ALCHOHOL is of course plentiful and with the exception of 1 or 2 bartenders poolside that didn't seem happy sometimes, you get what you ask for and they're always ready to help you out with a recommendation if you can't decide. They could probably use 1 more bartender poolside as there were times that we had to get out of the pool and go to the adjacent bar to get drinks; but that was no big deal. The ENTERTAINMENT was very nice. From the beach side dinner to chocolate night, the fun is all around you if you want it. That being said, we originally opted for another resort due to reviews on Tripadvisor and we thought that Sandals would be too fun for our liking, boy were we wrong. The ambience is all around you and it is not loud and obnoxious like we thought it would be; it's just a place with atmosphere and fun if you want it. Take my word for it, we had plenty of romance and quiet times and music, dancing, and other fun when we felt in the mood. The ISLAND/TOURS were pretty good. The zip lines were okay but not enough at only 7 lines; it was over in about 35 minutes. We felt it went way to quick, all be it fun, to spend $100 per person and that's without any food included. It is worth mentioning that the tour guy was great and knew so much about the island that he shares with you on the drive. The botanical gardens and waterfall were nice to walk through and worth the $5 US to get in. Castries market has just about everything you would want in the way of gifts and you'll get a good sense of the local people after an hour in the city. The pitons are very cool and worth the trip if you do a few things on the way. The volcano/sulphur springs are okay, but nothing too exciting. The horseback riding and BBQ lunch was okay too although it poured for about 10 minutes and left the trail a muddy mess. As a result, my wife's horse fell and thankfully only dumped her on her butt and didn't fall on top of her; can you say major bruise! The ride is very slow, walking only, but was nice to ride the horses in the water. The SPA was very nice and we visited twice for massages. We recommend the champagne treatment as this really was the best.

The PEOPLE are great. I saved this for last because as I've said throughout the review, everyone was so nice and ready to make your vacation as best as possible. They say hello in passing; they ask you if you're having a good time; they ask if you need anything and then they work hard to get it for you; have a special thing you want to do, let them know and if it can happen they will make it happen; they walk around the pool offering aloe if you get burned; they get to remembering you and some of them actually call you by name; offer you smiles and make you feel at home!

Sandals went out of their way to turn our really bad honeymoon start into an amazing trip. We had a romantic dinner in the pool tower (and yes, I think we were the first to do that) dessert on the beach with champagne, flowers decorated throughout the room some nights and always smiles from everyone we met.

I could go on and on about our wonderful honeymoon, but I'll end it with this...we loved our vacation with Sandals so much that we booked 3 more vacations with Sandals for 2009 while we were at the Grande. There are always things that can be better, but on the scheme of things, I rate this 5 stars. Thank you Sandals and Vernessa for making our honeymoon that once in a lifetime collection of moments. We'll see you next year...a few times including on our 1st anniversary 8/31.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank msc999999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2008

The ride to the hotel will make u sick to your stomach if you take the group bus. The room was less than deserible. The room shower didn't even work. I paid to up grade my room. The room we paid to upgrade was very nice. If you can afford to get a room with Butler service, it will change your vacation experience. I have traveld many different places to many different Hotels and packages. I wouldn't recommend this Grand at St. Lucia. You can get more for your dollar at other vacation destinations.

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank jftaylor007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2008

St. Lucia is a lush, tropical Mountainous Volcanic Island. The Island is only 27 miles long, but because of all the hair pin turns. It takes several hours to get from one end to the other. We chose St Lucia as we had been there for one day on a cruise and fell in love with the beauty and the Pitons. The Pitons are Volcanic Domes located in Soufriere.
We stayed at the Jalousie Plantation (JP) in Soufriere (South) for seven nights and then The Sandals Grande for 3 nights in Gros Inlet (North). The two resorts were very different experiences. The North is more commercialized with larger hotels and party atmosphere while the south has the true Island feel and the hotels are very isolated. You can not leave without a taxi. The south of the Island is more picturesque that the North.
Our first impression was how luxurious everything was. The beach is white sand and very pristine. There are no natural trees on the beach, so there is no vegetation, and no debris. Sandals rakes the beach every morning. It was like being in Disney. Everything was pristine. We did not plan to leave the sandals resorts as we were only there for 3 days.
The Italian restaurant was my favorite restaurant at Sandals. We experimented with a lot of different drinks. I think our favorite was the dirty banana. A dirty banana is half a banana, coconut cream and Kaluha. At the London Pub the background music was the Beatles of course and that was great. They then has a local guitar player come up who played. He was very good. The food in London was just OK, but the atmosphere was very fun. They have a billiards room attached to the pub and it is never very busy. We played several games of pool after dinner. Our last night at the Grande they had the Gala Buffet. It was excellent.
Sandals can keep you very busy. They have 3 Snorkeling trips every day. We went on one snorkeling trip the second day and then I went on two our last day. The trips were fun. They were a boat ride of 10 -45 minutes to a reef and then 35-45 minutes of snorkeling. I enjoyed the boat rides. I thought the snorkeling there was excellent. I saw large schools of blue tangs and Schools of cuddle fish.
Sandals has vendors who offer jet Skis and parasailing. We did the parasailing it was awesome. Dave really wanted to do it and I am afraid of heights so I reluctantly agreed to go. They take two up at a time or I would have never done it. You get strapped in to a harness and then you sit on the back of the boat and as it takes off you are both lifted in to the air. We both said “I’m king of the World” when we got up in the air. At first it was fantastic but after about 10 - 15 minutes, Dave had had enough, the rocking motion was too much and he really felt nauseated. I’m still glad we went.
Sandal also offers kayaks and hobie Cats. The hobie cats are lovely. Little sail boats for up to 4 people. A guide took me and another girl for a 30 minutes ride around the bay. Beautiful!! The kayaks, hobie cats and snorkeling trips are free at sandals. We ate, drank, fooled around, snorkeled and swan. What more do you want for a perfect vacation in paradise?
picasaweb.google.com/astridwilson/StLuciaBest#

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank AstridWilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2008

This was our first time to the Caribbean and our first time staying at a Sandals. We had a general idea of what to expect from reading reviews and whatnot, but you always have to take those with a grain of salt. The whole vacation ended up being perfect. We owe a large part of that to Amy McHugh at Dream Makers Vacation Services. This was also my first time using a travel agent. I really don't know how I would have done it without Amy. I will be tossing in her contributions throughout the review.

We arrived in St Lucia without any difficulties. As a surprise to us, Amy had arranged for a private car transfer from UVF. This was definitely nice when we hit traffic in Castries. Upon arriving at the resort we were impressed with the grounds. The resort is beautiful and the pictures do not do the vibrant colors justice. We got a couple drinks and waited in the lobby for somebody to take us to our room. We were hoping to get an upgrade to a Rondoval, but we didn't want to get our hopes up too much. Well, Amy came through for us again and we got our upgrade! We were both very excited. The room was absolutely perfect - very spacious, cool, private plunge pool and hot tub (it does cool down enough at night to use it), good closet and dresser space, and a very comfortable bed that you just melt into. Like I said - perfect.

Now on to the resort and general staff. We got to be friendly with quite a bit of the staff on our stay. It seemed that at every restaurant or bar there was somebody that we knew working. They'd greet us with a smile and they always remembered our name. I guess it was kind of easy to remember us. There were a total of 14 there for our wedding (including us) which is very large compared to what Sandals is used to. Still, it was very nice being greeted like an old friend wherever we went. We both thought the food was just fine at the resort. The only complaint was at the Pub, but there we just ordered drunk food around midnight. The food was cold...but we still ate it. Like I said - drunk food :) I think the problem that night was they tried to serve everybody at our table at once and their kitchen just wasn't equipped for that large of a party. We tried all of the other restaurants on our stay and had no complaints. I will say that they usually cook their red meat a bit longer than in the States. If you prefer medium rare you might want to try just ordering rare and see if that helps. The service at Gordon's was outstanding as well as the food. We had the same waiter (1 of the 2) both nights we stayed. Again, we were greeted with a large smile and he remembered my name right away. It's just those little things that make it more enjoyable. Like I said - the grounds were beautiful. The swim up bar was nice and the pool never felt crowded (even with the resort being 100% full when we arrived). We never had to wait long for a drink, either. If you have any specific questions about any of the restaurants or anything like that feel free to contact me.

As far as the beach walkers go (locals trying to sell you tours), I was a bit rude to them at first. I'm used to persistent solicitors and homeless people in California. When the locals would approach me asking if I was interested in a tour I would just shake my head and keep walking without saying a word. They'd just let me go with no problem. When I remembered that I wasn't in California anymore I would stop and talk to them a bit. They were never pushy about the tours and would be totally cool to just hang out with. No Pressure, No Problem is the motto on the island and they definitely live up to it. We actually got to be friendly with a couple of the guys, Ray and Bano. They offer horseback tours of the island. While we didn't personally go on the tour, my sister and cousin went and had a great time with them. They also took a few of our friends into Castries for the Seafood Festival on Friday night and everybody had a blast.

Another local that walked the beach was Simon Says. I had actually contacted him before arriving on the island to set up our tour with him because we had such a large group. Simon called me at the resort after I had arrived to confirm our tour and arrange where to meet up. The island tour with him was great. He took us to a banana plantation, a little casava bread bakery, the volcano, Soufriere, snorkeling between the Pitons, and the mineral baths. In addition was my wife's favorite part of our stay on the island. He took us to his home so his wife could make us lunch. It was a great tour and gave us a wonderful overview of the island.

Now on to our wedding. Chaos is a good term to describe the week leading up to our departure for St Lucia. We had plumbing issues in our house and our Man of Honor had to cancel his trip last second. I don't know what we would have done if we didn't book through Amy. She assured us that everything would work out great and it did. Our Man of Honor and Best Man had planned on rooming together. Amy took care of making the arrangements for our Man of Honor to stay with my sister instead. It sounds simple enough, but believe me it wasn't an easy switch. Amy also arranged for an upgrade for my sister. My sister was originally slated to stay at the Regency to save a little bit of money since she was going to travel by herself. It worked out great to have everybody at the same resort for the wedding. The wedding coordinators worked with everything that we brought for the ceremony (parasols, fans, etc.) without a problem. The whole planning process was very quick. Sandals definitely knows how to plan a wedding. Even though it is a streamlined business for them, the ceremony itself still remains a very personal time. It really couldn't have been better.

Now to highlight a couple of the staff that really stood out for us. Our butler, Tony, was outstanding. Not that our other butler, Immer, or our "substitute" butler, Giselle, were bad by any means. They were all great. It's just that Tony happened to be working while we needed a butler the most. He took care of last second reservation changes (I felt a little guilty bypassing the line of people waiting...but not that guilty), saving prime spots on the beach for us when we had just casually asked how to get one of the "tiki huts", he arranged reservations for 14 people two nights in a row (the first at Bayside and the second at Tuscanini for the night of our wedding...food both nights was excellent), and I could go on and on. The butler service was well worth it. I don't see how the trip would have been as perfect as it was without it. The other staff member that really stood out to us was Gemma, our photographer. Our Man of Honor (who had to cancel) is also a professional photographer. We had planned on having him take a number of our pictures to help cut down on cost. When he cancelled that changed things a bit. Ghem was amazing. We got shots that we wouldn't have even thought of with our Man of Honor. We also did a Trash the Dress photo shoot (where we wear our wedding clothes into the ocean and pool). Ghem also did that for us. The man has an infectious smile and that is exactly what you need when you pose for 100s of pictures. We couldn't be happier with our pictures.

That's about it for my review/novella. There are some things that I left out (treats our butlers left for us, our trip to the market, golf at the Regency, snorkeling, couples massage, feeding the fish off the pier, another private car set up through Amy upon leaving, etc.), but we didn't have a single bad experience with any of it. The island and all of the people that we met exceeded our expectations every step of the way. And again, one of the main reasons the trip went so flawlessly is because we went through a travel agent. Booking with Amy McHugh at Dream Makers Vacation Services is one of the best decisions I made with this trip.

Hopefully your experience in St Lucia is as good as ours was. If you have any questions about anything please feel free to get in touch.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank TheWilfords
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: $690 - $2,989 (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 And Beach Resort
Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Hotel Gros Islet

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