We stayed at the Grande for a week at the beginning of January for our belated honeymoon. We booked a rondoval suite with butler service which, although pricey, was definitely worth the money - we were treated like royalty for the entire week by Giselle and Wendell, our butlers. Champagne every day, bubble baths, snacks brought to our room, dinner in our room and so much more. We got 2 reservations at the best restaurant, Gordon's, because Giselle said she thought if we went once we'd want to go back again - she was right! We also had a chance to go to the Regency resort further down the coast and try their Kimono restaurant, where food is cooked in front of you whilst you are treated to a bit of showmanship from the chefs - fantastic!
Some tips and pointers:
Don't worry about travel sickness tablets for your ride from the airport (some reviews have suggested them). It does take just over an hour and in a couple of spots the road is a bit winding, but there are road improvements going on, most of the road is in good condition and if you don't normally get travel sick, you won't. We got a private car each way which is probably a little better than the bus, but make sure you take a good look around you on the journey as there is so much to see.
Don't hesitate to book a Simon Says tour if he approaches you on the beach (and he probably will!) - they are not afiliated with Sandals but they are well worth it - make sure you take $200 in cash (about 540 EC dollars) with you to pay for this. You have the chance to go snorkelling, to a mineral spa, the volcano and a local town. Simon's wife will also cook lunch for you and she is a fantastic cook! If you know anyone at the Halcyon resort who is planning on taking this tour too, tell them to get the shuttle to the Grande to pick up the boat as there is no pier at the Halcyon, making boarding the boat "interesting" to say the least!!
Make sure you do take plenty of cash - it is all inclusive but you will find things you want to spend money on, and there is no ATM at the resort. You can only get one cash advance on your card of up to $100.
Don't let anyone offer to take your bags when you come through customs at the airport. They simply take them about 50 yards and then ask for a tip!!
If you don't have a rondoval or swim up room you will have to get up pretty early to reserve a sun bed! If you have booked a swim up room, check which way you are facing, as we noticed some of the rooms facing away from the beach never seemed to catch any sun.
If you have a spa credit or are feeling flush, definitely try the couples massage at the Red Lane Spa - both of us nearly fell asleep!
Try the "No pressure, no problem" cocktails at the beach bar, and if Mark is around, ask for a "Mark 10" - his speciality, which is fantastic!
Our favourite meals were: Breakfast at Toscanini's, Lunch at Barefoot by the Sea and Dinner at Gordon's (Gordon's is only inclusive if you have butler level but the food is AMAZING!) - Bayside also has a fantastic choice on their buffet.
Top Tip: Take mosquito repellent!! You will get bitten - mosquitos usually don't like me but even I got a few nips!
Overall, I would definitely recommend this resort - we had a fabulous time, and after only arriving home yesterday we are already planning another Sandals holiday!
- 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