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scchk7 Apr 3rd, 2008 12:46 PM

Sandals Resorts in St. Lucia
My fiance and I are trying to plan a honeymoon trip and at the moment St. Lucia is at the top of our list. Can anyone lay out the pros/cons of one Sandals resort vs another? Right now we are looking at the Grande and the Regency. Also, I've read in some places that you have to make your reservations in advance (i.e. when booking) at the restaurants. Is this true for all times of the year or just peak seasons? We are going in October and since this is hurricane season I wasn't sure if it would be as busy. Thanks in advance for any help or advice!!

KVR Apr 3rd, 2008 03:17 PM

We went to Sandals Grande in Nov., 2005 after Hurricane Wilma re-routed our plans to Cozumel.

We loved St. Lucia. It was absolutley beautiful and we had a great trip. However, we didn't care for the Sandals Grande. We felt it was overrated and overpriced. We also didn't feel we got our monies worth and the food was very subpar for an AI hotel advertised at this calibur. We've had better AI food in less expensive destinations/hotels.

The Grande did not require reservations for any of their restaurants, but some of the restuarants at the Regency or Halcyon did. We didn't bother making reservations for the other Sandals resorts as the distance was really too far for us. We didn't feel like doing a 30 minute shuttle to and from just for dinner. To make reservations, just go to the desk and they will do it for you.

We did spend a day at the Regency. The beach is quite rough and wavey. It gets red flagged a lot. Their pools are much better than the Grande's. The food was the same at the Grandes, just more of it, since they can hold more guests. The Regency is very hilly and more spread out. Lot's of walking or waiting for the golf cart to transport you.

We've also been to the Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassua. We really liked that Sandals better, but we didn't care for Nassua.

I think now you can do a few pre-reservations for some restaurants and activies on their web-site. So if your interested in going to one of there resorts, check it out.

scchk7 Apr 4th, 2008 06:51 AM

Thanks KVR. I appreciate the info!

Kimberly Apr 5th, 2008 02:58 PM

We have been to The Regency 3 times and loved it each time. Great staff and super entertainment "dancing". Lovely views from the resort and a great pool. You can also enjoy the other 2 Sandals free. Any specific ? fell free to email [email protected]

Knowing Apr 6th, 2008 05:21 PM

If you love to walk along a beach, the Regency may not be for you. They red flag the water most of the time and the beach disappears in the water.
For what we paid for our vacation there, the Sandals Regency Resort provided us with perhaps the worst service we have ever experienced on any Caribbean island. We had our camera stolen from the room and the staff was indifferent and told us to stay in the office while they investigated. This was after friends had also turned our room upside down to make sure we hadn't just misplaced it. Well, their staff came back with the camera and a total lack of responsibility, instead saying that we had indeed misplaced it! Yes, much of the grounds are beautiful, but the food in the restaurants was not good. The staff didn't connect with the guests. The general manager was not an easy person to approach.
It takes a lot to make us complain about a vacation, but this was the worst! People say don't ever judge a resort by it's brochures. Normally we don't agree or else we've just had very good luck, but we found the Regency to not be as it was presented.

Kimberly Apr 7th, 2008 07:29 AM

My god Im shocked at Knowings post....we loved this resort. Im so sorry they had such bad luck. We have been to this resort 3 times with the greatest of service. He is right in reguards to the beach it is not big and the water tends to be a bit choppy... but thehuge pool makes up for the small beach. The views of the ocean from this resort are awesome. We found the staff to be one of the best of all the Sandals we have been and the GM was alway asking if everything was going good during our stay.Ever evening wecame into our room with something alittle
special on our pillow or a fruit tray,crackers and cheese or a bottle of wine cold w/glasses. On our anniversary they had candals lite all over the room for us and a bubble bath drawn for me champagne and a cake!!! wonderful service on our stays.
Our worst Sandals was the Sandals Royal Carribean we will never do that resort again!!! very stuffy and to old of a crowd for us.

KVR Apr 7th, 2008 04:46 PM

Knowing, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that of the Sandals in St. Lucia. We had a much better experience at the Sandals in Nassau.

Kimberly, how many Sandals have you stayed at before you received those special services at the Regency? The typical or first time guest usually won't.

Kimberly Apr 8th, 2008 07:01 AM

On our first say we recieved great services...and we just recieved our 70th night stay in Feb. I have to say time spent at the resorts might have a little to do with great service but it really is the resort
We just returned from 12 days at Sandals Negril and it was our 70th night and the service was not great and it was our 3rd stay at this resort.

Knowing Apr 11th, 2008 11:50 AM

You did bring up a really good point.
One of the couples we traveled with there there thinks that Sandals is a fantastic place. Period. They have had the free trips, so they've spent a great deal of time at a number at the Sandals resorts. During our stay there, they fixed them everything that they were hungry for, regardless of whether it was on the menu or not. They got service that was unbelievable. They call before they go to the resorts and inform them that they will be there during such and such dates and they stock the bar special for them. They give them room upgades, etc.
The rest of us didn't get that kind of service and that was our fourth Sandals trip, although our first to St Lucia!

KVR Apr 12th, 2008 05:59 AM

I've read so many reviews and comments, plus my own experiences, unless you are a priorty SSG memeber or you book one of the way overpriced butler suites, exordinary services like that are not the norm.

When we went to Sandals Grande St. Lucia, we booked at the last minute since we were orginally scheduled for Cozumel and Hurricane Wilma cancelled that. The Sandals hotel was no where near full capacity and being a SSG memeber, but only our 2nd Sandals stay, they wouldn't give us an upgrade. There were so many empty rooms around us. We did complain as we did not pay for an upgrade, so we couldn't expect one, but with empty rooms all around it really was a disappointment. We saw a young couple at the front desk throwing a hissy fit they couldn't get an upgrade and the Sandals rep was holding her ground that they were not getting one. Not a good way to ensure you get repeat cusmtomers. It appeared that only the guests who have been to Sandals numerous times were their priorioty. You could see the favortism.

However, I truly think all of the Sandals resorts are not created equal, but their prices are not competive with other resorts whose services, food and amenties are just as good or better than Sandals. We've stayed at much nicer resorts in Mexico than the 2 Sandals resorts we've been to and their prices are 1/2 than what Sandals is charging. I have no problem with going to another one if they would just lower their prices.

TBK Apr 12th, 2008 02:01 PM

My boyfriend and I (27 and 36) went to Sandals Antigua and had a phenomenal time. The island is very safe, felt comfortable everywhere. Recommend the ATV tour.
The resort was nice, spa very good, food okay, drinks great and their beach was excellent. The sand was pristine and the water very clear. The best part is the abundance of pools and hot tubs- one right outside of our door.
The crowd was a big mix of ages, from 21 to 70s. We met a lot of people our ages and went to dinner, beach, and excursions with them the whole week. We will definitely go back to Sandals Antigua in the future.

Knowing Apr 14th, 2008 09:04 AM

We agree that not all Sandals are created equal. We think Antigua is the most romantic resort of all of them and has a great beach. We liked our meals and drinks there as well as our accommodations.

We also loved MoBay with it's clear waters and the large white-sand beach. They have such a fun staff, although they were respectful of the times you just wanted to be lazy.

I would not have a problem returning to either one of those properties.

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