Jamaica and St. Lucia, advice if you want it

Old Aug 12th, 1999, 11:41 AM
  #1  
Kelly
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Jamaica and St. Lucia, advice if you want it

I have recently (within the past year) been to the Rockhouse in Negril, and to the Jalousie Hilton in St. Lucia. Both were wonderful, but for very different reasons. Feel free to email me or post if you have any questions.
 
Old Aug 12th, 1999, 01:08 PM
  #2  
Gloria
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I have been to over 15 islands and by far St. Lucia was the worst. I would especially not recommend it for a honeymoon. There are so many other islands that have much more to offer (Bermuda, Hawaii, St. John, BVI's are my favorites). My husband, who is not picky like me, states that St. Lucia is the one island that he would never go back to. There were bugs everywhere. In many places the food is not fresh and is handled improperly. It is a very poor country with pathetic starving animals running in the streets. We encountered a riot in the city of Castries. The small airport Vigie (American Airlines shuttles)did not have running water. These are not the type of conditions that you want to see on a vacation. Perhaps I just had a bad experience but I was there for 10 nights and could not wait to get home. I was hoping it would get better, since I paid a fair amount of money - but it didn't. From talking to people at the airport there were lots of similar experiences. The only way that I would consider going back to St. Lucia is with a cruise line, where I would not have to get off the ship. <BR>Perhaps there are some better resorts but considering the overall experience I would steer people away from this devestated, unsanitary country.
 
Old Aug 13th, 1999, 06:13 PM
  #3  
leslie
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Gotta disagree totally. We went for our honeymoon and it was heavenly. Perhaps you just chose the wrong resort. I do agree that Castries isn't the prettiest place.....but it wasn't a nightmare. The beauty of St. Lucia FAR outweighs any downfalls. It was like being in paradise (surrounded by such a lush environment). St. Lucia is a poor country, but we found the people to be wonderful and the villages (Soufriere for example) to be charming. We did not come into contact with one bug or mosquitos. We took bug spray with us and never used it once. <BR>Anyhow, this is just our opinion. I'd return in a second and have found nothing that compares to the beauty of ST. Lucia since. We honeymooned in Sept 1998 and have since went to Cayo Coco, Cuba, and Bahamas. Each were nice... but the over all experience of ST.LUCIA was by far the best. <BR>(we stayed at Sandals Halcyon and highly recommend this wonderful resort).
 
Old Aug 13th, 1999, 09:51 PM
  #4  
Mike
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I'm with YOU, Gloria! Keep your eye out for the new Ritz-Carlton on Grand Cayman next year. I'm sure this will be added to your "to go" list!!
 
Old Aug 13th, 1999, 10:48 PM
  #5  
C.Clark
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I too will never go back to St.Lucia and I've been there twice. I think that if you stay in an all inclusive you don't really get to see or experience any place. How could you have any compassion for people that deliberately abuse animals? But Jamacia on the other hand we love. Both islands we traveled all over on our own, not with tours and the only place that we were bothered was St.Lucia. <BR>
 
Old Aug 13th, 1999, 11:44 PM
  #6  
Jane
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We are about to set off for the Jalousie Hilton. We've heard it is expensive but have booked all inlcusive. Any views on the food restaurants and service would be really welcome however..
 
Old Aug 14th, 1999, 08:31 AM
  #7  
C.Clark
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We stayed at a place called Candyo Inn in Rodney Bay for $75. per night peak season and it was really nice. There's alot of really good restaurants within walking distance from the hotel one of our favorites was Capone's. <BR>Just curious, why would you want to stay at an all inclusive resort,as it kind of secludes you from really seeing what a place is really like? I'm not being rude I've just never understood why a person would pay sooooo much more money and not really see a place for themselves. <BR>
 
Old Aug 14th, 1999, 10:39 AM
  #8  
Jane
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I too used to wonder this as I back packed around India, slept on beaches in greece, drove from Marakesh over the Tichka mountains, toured the oasis of the western egyptian desert in a 4 wheel drive jeep, got on buses and trains in Thailand etc etc. but having now got a partner who likes his air conditioning a five year old who likes his kids clubs and a very hectic job and lifestyle that means that room service and food and drink on demand is bliss they seem more and more attractive ! Actually we very rarely do go all inlcusive usually our holidays mean putting our own flight and accomodation together in a tailor made way and eating in local restaurants but from London UK this all inclusive approach seems to be easily the cheapest way to visit the Carribean. we wnet to Barabdos [Almond beach village] a couple of years agio and really surprised ourselves by enjoying it lots !!
 
Old Aug 14th, 1999, 11:32 AM
  #9  
C.Clark
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Hi Jane, thanks, I guess now that I understand a little better. I still don't think that I'd want to do it that way myself though. We've done most of the caribbean during peak time and always got great deals and really nice places. But I don't work so I have the time to look into everything and not everybody has the time. We too have done the backpacking and while we enjoyed it I'm glad that we're doing things this way now. Thanks for the insight and have a great time!!!!!! <BR>
 
Old Aug 15th, 1999, 10:53 AM
  #10  
Cinker
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I too agree with Gloria. I did not enjoy my stay in St. Lucia, especially at the resort Le Sport. It was billed as a "spa" atmosphere, however it was nowhere near the caliber of a U.S. spa. Bugs were definately a problem -- and I don't mean mosquitos -- hugh roaches were everywhere, crawling on food, in the rooms, on the piano in the bar. The beach area wasn't beatiful like Jamica or Bermuda, the sand was almost black. We took a bike ride through the local town and it was very sad - all the poverty. There may be some wonderful hotels on the island, but after experiencing just a part of it -- seeing the poverty and all the unsanitary conditions--they will not get my tourist dollars in the future.
 
Old Aug 16th, 1999, 10:33 AM
  #11  
lisa
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I simply cannot understand these comments about St. Lucia. I was there in November '97 and we saw no bugs (except for moths at night) and no animals roaming the streets -- I have no idea what these people are talking about. Maybe because they stayed in the northern part near Castries, whereas I stayed in the south near Soufriere. The people of St. Lucia were delightful, the food was terrific (we ate some meals at various hotels and some in local establishments in Soufriere), the scenery was gorgeous, the snorkeling was fantastic, our hotel (Ladera) was incredible, and the whole trip was paradise. We can't wait to go back. Yes it is true that there are poor people on the island; there are poor people on every Caribbean island I've ever heard of -- and there are poor people here in the United States too. To avoid an entire country because it has poor people in it is ludicrous and would make for a very small world indeed. We did not stay at an all-inclusive and did not spend all our time on-site in resorts, instead preferring to get out and see as much of the island as possible. We went into the town of Soufriere many times, drove through the countryside and went hiking in the rainforest, met the local St. Lucians and saw no "unsanitary conditions" anywhere. Their houses may be small but they are brightly painted and their residents are rightly proud of them. Anyone complaining about the dark sand beaches in St. Lucia obviously didn't do their homework before they left -- of course the natural sand there is dark -- it's a volcanic island! (Duh.) This is mentioned in ALL the vacation literature so I don't know why anyone would be surprised or disappointed by it. And there are white sand beaches on St. Lucia (imported sand) if you insist on that (like at Jalousie Hilton). <BR>Jane: We did not stay at Jalousie Hilton but used their beach on several occasions and ate several lunches and one dinner there. The food and service on the beach were first-rate and there is a good dive shop on-site as well. We thought lunches there were fairly reasonable or at least not out-of-line for a large resort ($6-10 US per person); the dinner we ate there was expensive but was a buffet served on the beach and included a show afterwards with limbo dancers, etc. so you were also paying for the entertainment. Our favorite lunch item at the Hilton's beach restaurant/bar (and also at Anse Chastanet) was the roti -- they are absolutely delicious, as are the fruity tropical drinks they serve on the beach. The local beer, Piton, is good too. The pool at the Hilton is beautiful. The beach is in an incredible setting between the Pitons. I would imagine you will be very happy there. Even though you are booked all-inclusive, make sure you go to Ladera for drinks at sunset or for dinner one night during your stay -- it has the most gorgeous setting and is not to be missed! Also make sure you go snorkeling at Anse Chastanet, which is apparently the best on the island and we absolutely loved it. The botanical gardens and waterfalls near Soufriere are definitely worth seeing. Also, even though you are booked all-inclusive, you may want to get out for one or two other meals while you are there. There is a good restaurant in town called The Hummingbird. Also a fun place just down the beach from the Hilton called Bang Between the Pitons which has great grilled fish and is pretty inexpensive. I know you will have a fantastic time.
 
Old Aug 16th, 1999, 10:54 PM
  #12  
Jane
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Thanks Lisa for the information. It sounds great. We will definitely eat in some of the places you recommend particualrly at Ladera as from your and everyone else's posts it does sound really good.
 
Old Oct 28th, 1999, 12:37 PM
  #13  
Sue
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Kelley, please tell me more about Rockhouse. And the differences between this spot and where you stayed in St. Lucia. I am considering Rockhouse (I've seen it) and Ladera in St. Lucia. <BR>Sue
 
Old Oct 29th, 1999, 04:55 PM
  #14  
Liz
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I agree with Lisa, if you don't do your research, and there are plenty of resources at your fingertips, then you really can't blame anyone for the overall experience you receive anywhere. Mind you, there are unique situations, "acts-of-God", etc. that come into play, but when you book from a brochure that shows you only a few photos or just go on the advice of a travel agent who has never visited the place, then you only have yourself to blame for things that could have easily been discovered by doing a little digging. Also, you've got to book the appropriate place that fits your needs. <BR> <BR>I was in St.Lucia this past Aug/Sept on my honeymoon and we both enjoyed the people, the sights, the culture. Yes, we did stay and an all-inclus. but we did venture out quite a bit. I think some people forget that when they travel to a different country, they are in a DIFFERENT country. Of course you won't see the same way of life you're accustomed to to an extent. <BR> <BR>This forum really made a difference in deciding where to go for our honeymoon (St. Lucia was part two of our trip.) and I'll continue to use it for future trips.
 

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