Sandals St. Lucia- Need legit advice

Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 01:27 PM
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Sandals St. Lucia- Need legit advice

I booked a room at the Grande St. Lucian from Sandals for my honeymoon at the end of June and am starting to get a little nervous about it. At first, I saw a bunch of mixed reviews. I pretty much threw out the "perfect, best vacation i ever had" and the "worst vacation i ever had" reviews as so many of these are often fake. However, i'm starting to notice more and more negative reviews (especially on this site).
This is in complete contrast to people I've talked to. Everyone I've talked to (or friends of friends who have passed along information) said it was great. Then i get online and people don't like it.
We are both 25 and used to more or less budget trips from college spring breaks. We did go on 1 cruise and loved it- though i will admit the food wasn't the best. I'm wondering if people who don't like this place are used to true 5 star resorts or if they are legit concerns. Also, what type of liquor did they have? Jim Beam, Smirnoff, etc. is just fine with me, but i can't handle the really really cheap stuff anymore.
What are people's experience on this particular resort? I can still back out and only lose my $300 deposit.
GAboy is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 03:17 PM
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KVR
 
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We stayed at the Grande in November 2005 after going to Sandals Royal Bahamian in September 2003. We had a conceirge room at the Royal and a regular room at the Grande as we didn't need the alcohol in our room and didn't want to pay for it.

Not all Sandals properties are created equal. The older ones no longer stack up to the newer ones. We liked the Royal, but felt we paid too much for what we got and we did not like the Grande at all. The Grande is actually an old Hilton that Sandals refurbished, so all the rooms were typical hotel rooms including the suites. The difference in the amount each room cost was dependent on the view of the ocean and the amenites they put in the room. ie, liquor, frig, butler service, room service, etc. They have since built true suites on the lawn in front of the Rodney Bay Building and the Lover's pool.

We found the food to be not to our liking and we've stayed at some low budget AI resorts in Mexico with better tasting food. The staff was snobbish and displayed preferential treatment to the guests who were multiple return members. After that experience, we basically wiped any other Sandals property off our list as they are over priced for what they actually provide.

I don't rememeber the liquor, but I took a picture of it.

http://travel.webshots.com/photo/150...38640397GehaOb

We drink beer and they only had Piton and Hieniken. Yuck! They had unlimited champange, so we drank mostly that.

We loved St. Luica and would highly recommend for a honeymoon, but would definetly choose a different resort.

You're welcome to read my review on Trip Advisor that I wrote. It's at:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR..._St_Lucia.html

Check my profile as we have been to many AI's resorts in all different price ranges and well as a few non-AI's. It's really hard to say what you will like or dislike in a vacation destination vs. what we like or what someone else will like. We all have different expectations and priorities. Food is too subjective to make any real justification from that. Just go with your gut and keep an open mind.

Here's our pictures also:

http://travel.webshots.com/album/507163297vNDUfY

Try this site also. Everything you ever wanted to know about a Sandals property.

http://www.tropictravelonline.com/ub...ubbthreads.php

After being a member of that site for several years, I noticed that most of the die hard Sandals fans and the Sandals Specialists Travel Agents began to realize that the luxuary resorts in Mexico were better and a greater value than Sandals. I've been saying that for years, but it was nice to finally see others realize it also.

Good luck with your choice and congratulations.
KVR is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 06:27 PM
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We stayed at the Grande for 9 nights when it first became a Sandals...We went primarily because friends of ours are Sandals die hards (and their travel agent is a Sandals Specialist) and we were with 6 other couples. They go every year - aiming for 70 nights so they get a week free....we tend to go every other year - simply because it's a blast to be with so many couples - we've been to Sandals Antigua - which the Mediterranean Village is very nice...and we've been to Turks and Caicos - Italian Village is very nice.....

Back to the Grande - we visited the Regency and Halcyon - and man was I glad we were at the Grande. I liked the beach (better than most on St. Lucia in my opinion) and I liked to hike to Pigeon Point (park -something like that)...I thought the room was nice and the food was good.

That said - I agree with the poster above - I think Sandals needs to do a a lot of refurbishing and I think they cost too much....A friend of mine went to Whitehouse this year (on Jamaica) a newer Sandals and he was a die hard too...he noticed a decline and said they changed their rum (downgraded) - they used to offer Appleton (made on Jamaica for goodness sake) but now offer some other stuff.

In April 2010 - we stayed at Beaches - we had a concierge room in the older Caribbean Village - it was nice - I would not say any of the properties I have been to were 5 *..... 4 * yes...the grounds at the Grande were pristinely manicured...the swim out rooms looked cool....that said....

one thing you might want to consider is changing to another Sandals - they opened a new one - in the Bahamas - Exuma - all rooms come with a Butler - I had other friends (die hards too) - but they LOVED it - said it was the best one they had gone too......maybe this way you wouldn't lose your deposit.....

Good Luck - would I go to another Sandals - yes - mainly because we travel with other couples and have an awesome time....but I too believe there are newer, nicer ones.....and if I were going with just my husband - I'd look at Iberostar Grand/Jamaica...they have hammock swings on their balconies.....my niece stayed there....my other niece went to Secrets wild orchid/Jamaica - they had a hot tub on their balcony..both properties were new at the time (2009/2010)...I heard Galley Bay/Antigua or The Cottages on Antigua are nice all inclusives...Looks like The Caves/Jamaica Negril is nice as well... Lastly, Excellence, Secrets Punta Cana looks good as well......
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Old Mar 24th, 2011, 07:45 AM
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We have been to six Sandals resorts. My husband is a fan and we have friends like Bellaclaires. We personally hated St Lucia - the only island we've ever said that about and we are quite well traveled. We are attracted to more of the affluent and romantic resorts and islands. There are many, many more resorts that would inspire a great honeymoon than this one.

You might like Barbados. There is so much to see. North Pointe is a very remote part of the island that is outstanding to see, but hardly anyone takes the time. Lots of exquisite scenery all around. It is a more expensive island but there's so much to explore. We like the Hilton and spent some time there in February, which was our 4th time there. We've treasured all of our vacations to Barbados. Maybe there is a good honeymoon package?
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 06:06 PM
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thanks for the information. We are going to St. Lucia no matter where we stay because the airline tickets have already been booked, but i guess we can always change where we stay.

One more question, when did everyone go? KVR- I noticed your pictures were from 2005. Looking at other pictures, many many updates have been done since then.

thanks again!
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 06:34 PM
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GAboy: Don't worry: St. Lucia is fabulous for a honeymoon. You could split your stay between Sandals and then move south either to Ladera or Anse Chastanet -- you will get a totally different feel. St. Lucia is a beautiful island, yes a bit challenging in places and to get around.
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Old Dec 25th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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Hi I'm just wondering did you go to sandals in st Lucia? If you did was it nice? Did you have a good time? I'm feeling kind of unsure about committing to sandals having read both bad and good things. Actually I can say that about everyplace I've looked at, but I'm getting close to choosing sandals grand st Lucia.

Thanks for you thoughts!
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