Sandals Grande St. Lucian

Dec 20th, 2002, 05:31 AM
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While the drive time is somewhat long, it's a good way to see the island. I actually liked it and didn't think the roads were half as bad as what I'd heard before I left.

Otherwise, you can pay for a helicopter transport which can include a scenic tour of the island from Hewannorra to the north for, what I believe was two years ago, $100 per person. I believe this takes about 30 minutes. I had heard this was an awesome way to see the island and worth the money. (We had this scheduled but it was canceled due to a long flight delay).
Dec 20th, 2002, 10:32 AM
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Sandals Grande is far nicer than Sandals Halcyon. We were there last week and went to Mario's for dinner but couldn't wait to get back to the Grande. Halcyon seemed so run down and in desperate need of renovating. The rooms and so much nicer at the Grande. We flew into Vigie Airport on AA so we only had a 20 minute drive. We arrived on a Sunday when a group of 80 people were checking out so we did have to wait an hour for our room but they had the Patriots game on in the pub so it was no big deal! Our signature guest dinner went a lot smoother than someone posted earlier - they did not run out of anything and the filet mignon was terrific. My only complaint of the week was that the shuttle bus service that is posted at the bellman's desk was incorrect all week and that created a problem going between the resorts. Otherwise, it was one of the nicest resorts we have stayed at in the Caribbean!!
Dec 20th, 2002, 12:47 PM
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I'm not saying the above post is wrong, but in my opinion Sandals Halcyon was nicer. The rooms at Grande were more modern but the overall atmosphere was very negative at the Grande. At Halcyon everybody seemed relaxed and to be having a good time.

Also about the long ride from the international aiport, the drive was very monotonous and because of flight delays it was dark when we were traveling so you couldn't see anything. I probably won't go back to St. Lucia but if I did, I would pay the extra for the helicopter transfers.

When we arrived at the Grande there were only 3 other couples but it took a long time to check in. Maybe because it was evening and they had less staff on duty.
Dec 21st, 2002, 04:18 PM
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I know how frustrating it can be to see so many conflicting opinions on all of these forums. But since the Sandals Grande is so new i thought i should provide info on my experience.
We have just returned from St Lucia on 12/17 and stayed at both the Sandals Grande & Sandals La Toc (Golf Resort). We were at the Grande during the photo shoot and although we could have cared less, many of the guests where very unhappy and created an overall "negative energy" that hung over the resort.
The Grande had large hotel type rooms with nice new fixtures. The Pool was very nice, but being beach worshippers we were disappointed in the hard packed sand of the narrow beach. The resort property itself was pretty boring, the only interesting feature being the pool area.
The Sandals St lucia (La Toc) had a totally different personality. it was built into the side of a hill and was very lush and tropical, very much a rain forest feel to it. however this resort has two distinct parts to it; the Bluffs (biult 2-3 years ago) and the orginal resort rooms (built 20+ years ago?). The Bluff rooms are fresh, large and wonderful. The older "standard" rooms are cramped, worn and poorly outfitted. so beware of the room location.
The food at both resorts was unremarkable, the breakfast buffet being the weakest leak for both.
We also found the town of Castries (sp?) to be very unappealing.
Dec 23rd, 2002, 09:09 AM
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To Reality check-
I mentioned my clients experience to let people know that some people did like the hotel. Just because they were honeymooners, did not change the fact that they had a great time. They are very experienced travellers, usually staying at very high end resorts. They have travelled world-wide too, not just to the Caribbean. I still have to say that people have some responsibilty as to what kind of time they have. I have found in my 10+ years of experience, that people opinions of things can vary greatly. One person will love something, and another will hate it. It also depends on what your expectations are. I just wanted to clarify that my clients had a wonderful experience, and that they didn't have the "rose colored glasses on".
Dec 23rd, 2002, 09:17 AM
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We just came back and had a great time. We found the place pretty comparable to Royal Hideaway and resorts in Hawaii. The food wasn't the best but we loved St Lucia the people and found it romantic. Also - the daytrip to the Pitons and the Grenadines are a must
Dec 23rd, 2002, 09:24 AM
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I was just wondering what the ocean is like in February. In the archives there are posts that said the water is unswimmable in the winter. I am wondering if this would be true in the south as well.
Dec 24th, 2002, 03:47 AM
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Cecelia -

The water is fine in February. There seems to be this misconception that any beach on the north end of St. Lucia has rough water, especially in the winter. That is not true. Any beach in St. Lucia (or anywhere in the Caribbean, for that matter) that is EXPOSED to the north can get a little rough in the winter because winter storms in the northeast Atlantic can cause waves to roll in from the north. (This phenomenon usually doesn't last for more than a couple of days at a time.) The beach at the Sandals Grande St. Lucian faces south and is therefore completely protected from any northerly swells. As a result, the water at that beach is almost always pretty calm.
The beach at the Sandals golf resort just south of Castries in St. Lucia faces north, so that beach is sometimes affected by northerly swells. Some people find that the water at that beach gets rough. That might be what people are referring to in other posts when they talk about "unswimmable" water at Sandals St. Lucia in the winter.
Dec 24th, 2002, 06:33 AM
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Thank you for the reply. It is nice to see an answer to a question rather than resort bashing. Have a happy holiday.
Dec 25th, 2002, 04:19 AM
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We are back from our 14 days att the Grande and we think its a great resort.
The St Lucian people are wonderful and very friendly. They will do anyting to please you. We stayed in an Swim up room. The photo shot was for 6 days and we get a 4 night free Voucher as compensation to use in future traveling to Sandals or Beaches. In april we went to Grand Lido Sans Soci and we think that the Grande was much better than Sans Souci in every part. We will return to the Grande somtime in future. Hope this helps!
Dec 27th, 2002, 08:59 AM
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We must have been there when you were Tord. We, too, were in a swim up room. It was great.
Dec 29th, 2002, 10:47 AM
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There have been a lot of mixed reviews on this resort. Has anyone been lately - since the photo shoot? Have things gotten better?
Dec 30th, 2002, 09:44 AM
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Ive just returned from a trip to St Lucia & stayed at the St Lucia Golf resort (in november). Although I didnt visit the Grande (too much to do during the 2 weeks stay at our hotel) we did meet people who visited the hotel several times to take part in their watersports & spend the day / evening at the resort. Eight of us had a reservation ar Marios (Halcyon) one evening & althogu the hotel seemed ok (& I knoe its difficult toguage in the dark) the halcyon seemed to be much quiter than our hotel (even though at the time the golf was only 70% full!) Personally I am glad that we stayed at the golf as the staff were (in the main) really friendly & there was more to do & I did hear of people who transferred from the halcyon to the golf as their original choice was too quiet. If you do arrive at the grand & dislike it so much then you should (subject to availability) be able to transfer - & if yu do need to transfer choose the golf resort - the resort was older that the grande so maybe not up to scratch with decor but spend a couple of days with the playmakers at the golf resort (if you like joining in with the activities) & you'll not want to leave!!

ps the trip from hewanora airport isnt too great (took about 1 hour to our hotel which was about 15 mins from the halcyon & 30 mins from the grande) but you could do the helicopter transfer which I believe only goes to Castries (about 10 mins from halcyon & 20 frm grande)- the only problem with that is its $100 per person for a 12 minute flight. Trying to get a direct flight into vigie airprt at castries woiuld be you best bet - not an option we couldve taken flying directly in from london gatwick but never mind!!!

Anyway have a fab trip - wish it was me going back although we are keping in touch with one of the people who worked at the hotel & at least 4 of us intend going back in 2004!!!

Enjoy!!! - & have a piton on me!!!
Dec 30th, 2002, 10:51 AM
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Yes, we are aware of the long trip, so decided to fly into
Vigie - even though we have a 20 min layover in Puerto Rico, I felt that was better than the 1 1/2 hour trip and I get sick on helicopters!
You didn't visit Grande? Did you meet people who did or who were staying there? Did you do any day trips that you'd recommend?

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