Fodor's Expert Review Sandals Grande St. Lucian

Pigeon Island Causeway, Pigeon Island, Gros Islet, St. Lucia See on Map

Jane Zarem

Perched on the narrow Pigeon Island Causeway near St. Lucia's northern tip, Sandals Grande offers panoramic views of Rodney Bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Couples—particularly young honeymooners and those getting married here—love this busy, busy, busy resort, the biggest and splashiest of the three St. Lucia Sandals properties on St. Lucia (soon to be four). In fact, several weddings take place each day. Otherwise, guests enjoy a plethora of land and water sports, including golf and tennis. It’s all-inclusive, after all.

YOU SHOULD KNOW While everything here is geared toward romance, it’s definitely not what you’d call peaceful and quiet.

room

All rooms have similar décor and king-size beds, but Club rooms have added amenities (e.g., a stocked in-room bar); lagoon-side rooms have swim-up verandas; and very private, eco-friendly Rondoval suites feature indoor-outdoor showers, Jacuzzis, full butler service, and private airport transfers. Even grander are the resort's 9 over-the-water bungalows with glass floor panels, a private outdoor soaking tub, and (of course) butler service.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Wi-Fi is complimentary only in concierge- or butler-level rooms; otherwise, there’s a charge.

bathroom

Like the rooms, the bathrooms here vary. Some rooms have large, modern soaking tubs; some have stand-alone claw-foot tubs; some have tubs with jets. Some have single vessel or countertop sinks; some have granite vanities with double sinks. Mostly, the bathrooms are modern and well-appointed. And some rooms have a second soaking tub (for two) on the balcony.

lobby

The lobby here is a huge guest lounge, with a reception desk along one wall, a concierge desk, and access to the The Olde London Pub—one of the dozen dining establishments. Down an adjacent hallway, there’s a lounge/conference room and the always-busy wedding coordinator’s office.

pool

The resort has five pools, some with swim-up bars, and four whirlpools throughout the property.

If you’d like a private, secluded poolside cabana with concierge service, there’s an extra charge.

spa

At the full-service Red Lane Spa here, guests can indulge in luxurious massages, healing aromatherapy, rejuvenating facials, therapeutic body wraps, reflexology, and invigorating body scrubs. Specialty services include a bridal radiance facial, jasmine candle massage, hot stone therapy, green coffee wrap, a combination facial and foot massage with two therapists, and much more.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Spa treatments cost extra.

gym

In addition to working out on the machines and weights and working with a private trainer, guests can participate in various sessions such as power walking, stretching, intense Tabata, cardio “Jammin” to music, and something called the Caribbean Beach Shred—a high-intensity workout intended to burn fat and sculpt the body.

Guests enjoy complimentary greens fees at the 18-hole, 6,744-yard championship golf course at nearby St. Lucia Golf & Country Club in Cap Estate and at the 9-hole, 3,141-yard resort-style course at Sandals Regency La Toc in Castries. Shuttle service is available to either course.

dining

The dozen restaurants here give guests plenty of dining options: Bayside Restaurant, Toscanini’s Fine Italian Cuisine, Josephine’s Gourmet Crêperie, Gordon’s Pier Restaurant, Barefoot by the Sea, The Olde London Pub, Dino’s Pizzeria Italiana, The Jerk Shack, The Mariner Seaside Bar & Grill, Bombay Club, Kimonos Oriental Cuisine, Soy Sushi Bar

drinking

The resort has six bars and constant entertainment. There’s never a dull (or dry) moment!

beach

The entire resort faces a long strip of beach with soft, golden sand. There are plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas, as well as over-the-water hammocks. Guests can participate in any or all of the waterborne activities: canoeing and kayaking, sailing (Hobie Cats), snorkeling, windsurfing, waterskiing, hydrobiking, paddleboarding, kneeboarding, and scuba diving. And everything is included in the room rate—including instruction (except for scuba diving instruction).

Unlimited scuba diving is complimentary for certified divers; beginners can take a resort course or become certified for a fee.

LOCATION

Getting Around

Sandals guests usually find plenty to do on-site or at the two other Sandals properties on St. Lucia—or they join an Island Routes tour (also a Sandals operation). An hourly shuttle connects all three Sandals properties, and airport transfers are complimentary.

Restaurants

As an all-inclusive, guests likely stick to dining at Sandals. But here on St. Lucia, they enjoy the “Stay at 1, Play at 3” exchange program. That means access to 27 restaurants: 12 here at Sandals Grande, 6 at Sandals Halcyon, and 9 at Sandals Regency La Toc.

Bars

With 6 bars here at Sandals Grande, guests don’t need to venture far to get a drink. They’re also entitled to unlimited beverages at the bars at Sandals Halcyon (7) and Sandals Regency La Toc (8), so that’s a total of 21!

WHY WE LIKE IT

You know what to expect at Sandals: very nice accommodations, plenty to do, lots of entertainment, and many, many options for eating, drinking, and playing.

QUICK FACTS

Romantic
301 rooms
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar yes
Cafe yes
Room Service yes
$$$$
Gym, Pool
yes
Free Parking
No

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 758-455–2000, 888-726-3257 in U.S.

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