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St Lucia Honeymoon - advice on whether to do All Inclusive or not?

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Oct 28th, 2013, 03:27 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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St Lucia Honeymoon - advice on whether to do All Inclusive or not?

Hello Everyone,

My fiance have narrowed it down to St Lucia for our honeymoon in late February. I think we are just missing Spring Break as we go the week after President's Day. We are pretty overwhelmed with all the choices of hotels. What are thoughts on doing All inclusives? Are there benefits of not doing one?

We would like to spend no more than $650 a night if that is possible that time of year without sacrificing a nice room.

Any suggestions appreciated.
Bronwyn72 is offline  
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Oct 28th, 2013, 07:43 PM
  #2
KVR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,075
Considering that most of the regular posters on this site do not like all inclusives and will never recommend them as a "value", you are going to get very biased responses.

Myself and a couple of other posters love AI's and frequent that type of resorts often. We also spend a great deal of time here defending them. So, to answer a question like this is really depends on your type of travel style.

If you care about eating and drinking a lot, than AI's can be a good value. People that don't drink alcohol or only very little may find AI's not worth the money. Many people say that the food at AI's are not that good. That really depends on the AI. Typically, the more lux the AI is with multiple dining options, the better the food. The exception I have found to that is the Sandals resorts. Their food is some of the worst. I have stayed at 2* AI's in Mexico with better tasting food. We have been to 15+ AI resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean.

We stayed at the Sandals Grande in St. Lucia and I rank that experience as 2nd to the worst of any place we have ever been. RIU Tropical Bay in Negril Jamaica stills ranks as number one in the worst AI experiences to date.

St. Lucia is very spread out. If you decide to not go AI, check and make sure your hotel offers plenty of dining choices and is not far from local establishments. Paying extra costs in taxi fare getting to and from can negate getting a good price on the hotel.

Besides the 3 Sandals resorts located in St. Lucia, the other couples only AI resort is the Rendezvous. The BodyHoliday LeSPORT is adult's only (16 and up) and geared toward fitness and spa like treatments, which is included in their packages. The Coconut Bay has a adult only side to the hotel. Anse Chastanet Resort is an adult's only resort (10 and up) and provides either a non AI or AI package.
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Oct 29th, 2013, 10:08 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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If you like peace and quiet, romance and soft music, check out East Winds Inn. It is unlike any other all inclusive holiday you will ever have. The down side in February is that you will probably be surrounded by over 60's English (but we are very nice!)
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Oct 29th, 2013, 01:28 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Anse Chastanet is gorgeous, Ti Kaye is as well, they now offer an AI package. I would suggest AI or a hotel with some meals included as some hotels are quite remote especially in the south of the island. So even if you don't take AI you might find you take most of your meals in the hotel anyway. You have a good budget so should have no problem finding something very nice. Sugar Beach has recently been renovated, is in a wonderful location but is not AI.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 03:46 AM
  #5
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Thank you for all the responses! Now just have to narrow down the resorts.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 05:46 AM
  #6
 
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Because St Lucia is so spread out, many hotels offer food packages.Not sure how much you know about St Lucia, but it is home of wonderful creole cuisine due to the influence of the French. KVR is right, some of us are not too much about all-inclusive resorts. People who stay there tend to have little connection to the locals and the local culture- it is a place to sit on a beach and eat and drink. If that is what you want, go for it. St Lucia has wonderful hiking, hot springs and volcanos. If you are interested, look at the Soufriere area. I loved Fond Doux Holiday Plantation- family run, has a bar and restaurant there, but close by other family run operations.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 08:18 AM
  #7
KVR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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"People who stay there tend to have little connection to the locals and the local culture- it is a place to sit on a beach and eat and drink."

This statement is why we constantly feel the need to defend AI's as it's absolutely not true. Just because someone chooses to go AI doesn't mean they spend their entire vacation sitting on the resort eating and drinking.

On our vacation we did tours, hiked up to Pidgeon's Point and went shopping in the craft market and the cruise ship duty free mall. The Island is gorgeous with lovely flora, fauna, waterfalls and mountains. Talking to some of the locals at the craft market was fun. The tour guides we had were awesome and quite informative. The only thing we regretted was not doing the tours over to Martinique and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They don't lock people in AI resorts, you are allowed to go out and see, explore and eat/drink in local establishments.

Some destinations have the need for AI's more than others as getting to/from dining options can be a hassle and expensive. Food/drinks can be expensive also in some areas. Another consideration to think about.
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Oct 30th, 2013, 12:52 PM
  #8
 
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I also disagree with the statement that those who stay in AIs are detached from local culture. Some clearly are, but not all. We almost always rent a car and go about on our own, take meals outside the AI. Some places are difficult to go out every night looking for a restaurant without transportation and are expensive.
Apparently Sugar Beach is an AI, according to the list published by Fodors.
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