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All reviews paradise pool quiet pool kelly's dockside st lucia our honeymoon la toc beach vendors road noise beach grill laid back club room joe knows water sports concierge room italian restaurant main pool shuttle bus
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Reviewed 28 May 2018

We visited this resort in January for my birthday and for a first visit to the Caribbean, what a massive disappointment on many levels.

The place is tired and in need of an upgrade. There is loud thumping music playing from the main pool bar all day long with no respite. The noise carries to the beach so there is no escape. The "quiet pool" is close to a busy dual carriageway, as are the hideaway honeymoon rooms. Sirens, loud motor bikes and constant traffic noise is the theme.

Not all but many of the staff are either rude or just plain indifferent. For most of them they treat the paying guests as an inconvenience.

The food is OK but definitely not 5* as advertised. Breakfast, if you want anything cooked to order, fried eggs or omelette, it is an ordeal so I stopped bothering.

The beach is small and because of the location on the island the sea is not the crystal blue seen in the adverts because the waves constantly churn up the sand leaving it a light brown colour. The sand is not white either, it is a light, chocolate brown colour, hence the name of the beach. Don't bother attempting to snorkel from it, you can't see more than a 10cm in front of you. Snorkel trips are arranged but there is a long bus transfer then you get an hour or so snorkelling from a boat..... with life-jackets???

There are too few sunbeds and the ones that aren't broken are "bagged" by 7:00am by the Butler service for their guests.

The highlight of the holiday was probably the massage in the spa but having said that, there is a hard sell at the end of it and then you are badgered for the rest of the holiday by the spa staff to have another treatment. They even walk the beach trying to sign people up.

And then there is the problem of the beach being public, which isn't mentioned in the brochure. There were problems with one particular beach vendor who patrolled constantly every day, stopping at the beach bar and badgering guests to get him free drinks and food; putting his head into our sun canopy 2-3 times a day to get you to buy his wares. He even threatened the people on the next sunbed when the guy quite politely asked him to keep his voice down when he was shouting across to people in the beach bar and making a general nuisance of himself.

Our rooms was left uncleaned a few times, There was dirty crockery left outside other rooms for days on end. There was no turn-down service. We had to ask for our toiletries to be replenished twice and we changed rooms because they were using a pneumatic drill on the pathway outside our room and didn't bother to warn any of the guests until we complained. I could go on!

We had booked Sandals Antigua for this coming January (2019), again for my birthday but thankfully, because we pursued our complaints we managed to get some small compensation for the St Lucia experience (they wrote off the cost of the spa treatment) and we got back the deposit we had paid for Antigua 2019.

We won't be returning to Sandals.

Room Tip: Try a different non-Sandals resort.
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank Paula B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2018 via mobile

Just returned from a 2 week holiday with my wife on our first Sandals holiday and had a nice relaxing time.

We were told when booking that once we had experienced a Sandals holiday we would never book anything other than Sandals, while we had a good time and the food was good we have experienced much better for much less.
I was really impressed when informed of the "no tipping" policy at Sandals to ensure the same level of service for everyone regardless of tipping power. This is the first 5* hotel in the carribean where there has been no waiter/waitress service around the pool or on the beach (we were offered twice only) which is the main tipping cost during our holidays. Whilst tipping policy is good in theory, removing the service which therefore means nobody to tip is not in my opinion the answer.
We took advantage of the three Sandals resorts and we visited the French restaurant at Le Toc , Gordon's at The Grande and obviously all at Halcyon, all restaurants were good but Gordon's at The Grande was our favourite.
We had a nice relaxed holiday but as previously mentioned we have had much better for much less !!

Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Glenn J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2018

Arrived at St. Lucia May 12th,bags were ready for pick-up after Immigration, then off to Sandals Rest room where Beer, Soft drinks & snacks were available, prior to our Journey to The Halcyon. I read a few reports that said the Journey was too long ,but its only 1Hr.& 15 min, and you get to drive through beautiful scenery & through the Mountains, see the Island ,its like a Free Tour. I loved it ,& you get to fill your Cups with Beer for the trip ( No Bottles allowed in the Van ). Check in was fast & courteous, and our room was ready on arrival. The room was quite large & well appointed ,we were in Room #216 which was very conveniently located to all the Hot Spots & an Ocean View to Boot. The Resort is Small ,but intimate & the staff are really friendly ,after a day or so they all know you on a first name basis. The beach is fairly large & never a problem to get a Palapa or Cabana, beach vendors are present but not annoying. they have 6 Restaurants on the property ,of which Kellys Dockside is their main attraction ,The Manager Celina was very friendly,& courteous,& our waitress Vircasy was server Extraordinaire ...thank you both for a wonderful Dinner.. The General Manager of the Resort is Christopher Elliott & he is on the Ball & runs a very neat & tidy Ship we had a small incident with our Emerald Status & he fixed the problem In less than 10 mins...thank you Christopher. It is also worth noting that The Halcyon is between the Grande & Latoc ,a 15 min shuttle drive in either direction. We did one tour ..The Sourfries sea Cruise ,with Joe Knows Tours ,it definitely shows Highlights of the Island ,Mud Bath , Waterfalls ,Marigot Bay where several movies were Shot, Lunch & snorkelling all for $115 US per.person ,Our tour guide was Big Al AKA "Chocolate Thunder", his sidekick was Lion & Junior was the Capt. Big Al was very entertaining & the Tour was worth every Penny.

Room Tip: As mentioned Room # 216 was very central & had an Ocean View. We were very Happy with the choice .
  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Brian L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2018 via mobile

We stayed at Sandals Halcyon Beach for 10 nights recently and throughly enjoyed our stay. This was our 1st Sandals experience and whilst we enjoyed our stay, I am not sure we would return as we tend to prefer experiencing new hotels/countries on our travels.

Transfer - we took the helicopter to the Halcyon. Throughly recommend this as you get there within half an hour compared to the 1. 5 hours on the bus. Booked direct with St Lucia helicopters- cost £240 for 2 people.

Rooms - we stayed in a Club walkout room (405) and the location was perfect, overlooking the gardens and just a short walk to the beach. Room was well equipped, fully stocked bar, robes and tub on patio. I am not so sure I would have wanted to stay in the rooms around the quiet pool - they looked very dated but I think they are being updated in 2019.

Food - we enjoyed all the food at Halcyon and the other resorts. Favourites were Gordon's, Kelly's, La Toc, Bayside, Soy and beach bistro. Least favourite was Mario's - don't get the hype about Mario's but maybe we had a bad night and men have to wear long trousers. Drinks were all good - lovely cocktails and nice selection of red and white wines. I drink Rose wine and there was no Rose wine included in the all inclusive which I thought was poor for a 5* all inclusive.

Staff - you cannot fault the staff at Halcyon - they are all so professional and happy. Agnes at the quiet pool is wonderful.

Pools - we spent most days at the quiet pool. It is a bit dated, but again I believe it is going to be updated next year. We found it very relaxing and peaceful. We were only offered drinks once in our 10 day stay both here and at the Grande - don't get me wrong we were both perfectly capable of walking to the bar or swimming up to the bar but I did find this a bit strange for a 5* resort.

Other resorts - we visited both other Sandals properties. Loved the Grande with it's wonderful beach. La Toc was ok but our least favourite.

Trips - we did the free snorkelling trip which was good and went on the Julian tours day to the volcano and mud baths. Got the tickets from Vernon on the beach - a great, fun day out. We also used the hobicats at the beach and went on the weekly kayak trip to Rat island.

Beaches - lots of people complain about the beach but we thought it was nice and enjoyed walks along it daily. The best beach is at the Grande.

All in all we had a very enjoyable stay and meet some great people. We loved the no tipping policy and the fact that water sports are included . Sandals tends to be full of travellers who frequent Sandals resorts but I am not so sure about the Sandals hype - we are very well traveled and we did have an amazing time but we have had better holidays/ facilities/ hotels for a lot less money than we paid to stay here.

Stayed: May 2018
6  Thank UkJaneB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2018

We’ve become regular visitors to the Sandals resorts and consider it to be an excellent brand with some strong fundamental environmental and humanitarian values; for example we’re really impressed about the recycling of unused food to the Cornerstone humanitarian society of St. Lucia, and the re use of food preparation and cooking materials to local farmers for livestock feed, this plus the Sandals Foundation makes it more than just another resort chain and we’ll be pleased to continue to be guests and have already booked for 2020. We’re also aware of the mutual respect between the staff at this resort, where his team holds the General Manager Chris Elliott in high regard.

Of course the food, service, ambience, cleanliness etc. is just perfect, that’s what you pay for so I won’t bang on about that; but it’s the personal touch when people like Francis, Nathalie and Angie at the restaurants and bars recognize and greet you, and when Noel and Jason at the Island Routes desk greet you by name, that’s nice and so professional.

A new touch for this year is the combined dive and snorkel afternoon organized by Jonas of the Aqua centre. I dive and it’s not really fair on my wife when I desert her to go diving, so the combined Thursday activity (plus a few nibbles and drinks post dive) worked really well, I dived, Christine snorkelled above! $100 well spent.

Halcyon is one of the smallest resorts and has beautifully manicured gardens and no high-rise blocks, it’s quaint, quiet and secluded, that’s the appeal. There are two pools, one aimed more at the younger generation and the quiet pool is tucked away a little for those wanting to relax or to have some privacy – it works well. For the action and more restaurants, of course there’s Sandals La Toq and the Sandas Grand ten minutes away by the two hourly shuttles. Stay at one, play at three.

Going back again in 2020, that says it all.

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Colin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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