|Sandals Halcyon Beach|
|Terri and Jim |
|Hi, Debbie, I know it is a bit late, but I have always used your very great site in the past and will continue to do so.I felt compelled to send you a review. My husband and I stayed at Sandals Halcyon on October 6 to October 13, 2008 .
We were there because our daughter was getting married on October 10. She and her soon to be hubby stayed at the Regency La Toc, the soon to be in laws stayed at the Grande(.They were to stay at the Halycon with us, but after not even one day, hated the resort so much ,they made an upgrade to the Grande.( More on that later).My husband and I had no real complaints, simply because this was purely my daughter's choice of destinations,( I had no say,) We were just very happy to be there for her! We ended up paying a whole lot more than had we gone to Cuba or the Dominican Republic, as my husband and I will always chose to do, given a choice.....I had read the reviews, so I had a heads up and knew what to expect .My husband and I had been to Sandals in Jamaica, many years ago, and because I had researched and read the reviews on St. Lucia, I was not expecting anything great... I was not wrong. We had no complaints with the staff, or the food. The overall food choices in the buffet and al a cartes were Ok, but again, nothing to write home about! The resort was very small and very plain. The two small pools were nice, but nothing like the brochures showed them to be! The room we had was clean and yes, it did have a four poster bed, like all the Sandals chains, but it was not remarkable.....No fridge, or bar, and I had to go to the front desk after the third day to request that someone please sweep or vacuum our room., as this was not being done. To be honest, we had nicer rooms and housekeeping service at other resorts we have stayed at such as the Blau in Veradero or the Riu in Mayan Riviera or the Melia in Santa Clara, Cuba. There were no nice touches such as towel art,ect, (small things you come to expect when you are staying at a supposedly first class resort!) .The other couple, the parents of the groom, were so disappointed because they had based their vacation on the brochures and the word of their travel agent.... Just a little note, nothing is as it may seem!! The water is not blue, there are no palm trees on the beach, there is no white sand! We did not experience any white glove service!
On a good note, my daughter was treated very well at the Regency La Toc, and was very happy for the service and care Anna the wedding consultant showed her. Every detail was taken care of, including the great Sax player who played at the wedding. Her room, which cost more than ours, was no better than ours! She did have a fridge, but if they wanted anything out of it, aside from water,it was at an additional cost! Crazy, since this is Sandals!! As an aside, it rained everyday we were there! Not the fault of Sandals to be sure! Just do not go away in October! The sun did come out on October 10 for Jess and Steve on their wedding day! We have lovely pictures and the happy couple had a basically stess- free wedding.
All said and done, I will never pay the money to return to a Sandals, as I feel you are just paying for the name. I love Cuba and will always continue to go there. Try a Riu or a Melia or maybe the new Barcello in Santa Clara. You can't beat the price or the wonderful beaches(blue water, white sand,) as well as the very lovely Cuban people! This is only the suggestion of someone who is well travelled. Happy Travels!
|Sandals Halcyon Beach|
|Windsor Traveler |
|We stayed at Sandals Halcyon from March 10 to 17th, and found the resort to be an excellent choice for a week away from the snow and cold.
The resort is small and intimate, only around 170 rooms, all in one or two storey buildings. Our room was close to the main pool and the main building and was fully adequate for a stay of a week (or two). Most of the rooms and in fact the entire resort is virtually right on the beach and the ocean. We did not have an ocean view room but were only steps away from an ocean view.
There are two swimming pools, we spent most of our time around the main pool but they are both very good, no trouble finding loungers at any time of day at the main pool. The second pool has a quieter image, serves tea and sandwiches in the afternoon, and has a popcorn machine giving out free popcorn any time. Yummy!
The restaurants are all first class; there is the Bayshore buffet, Mario's, The Pier, and the Beach Bistro. Mario's and The Pier are only open for dinner. You can also arrange a candlelit dinner for two (extra charge) on the beach or in one of the wedding gazebos.
The staff all seemed friendly and ready to be of service. Both pools and the Beach Bistro have a bar, as well as the piano bar which is open at night. There is no drink service on the beach or around the pools; you have to get up and walk over to the bar to get a drink!
Shuttles are available running between all three Sandals resorts in St. Lucia, and you should take advantage of them to visit the other resorts and restaurants, which are larger and each different in their own way.
We had a great time and will return.
|Sandals Halcyon Beach|
|My fiancé and I booked a trip to Sandals Halcyon. Due to some weather related problems, we could not make it for our first day of vacation (we arrived a day late). Upon my arrival, I was told not to worry about the day; everything would be taken care of. They gave me a letter and told me to send to the main office for credit of the lost day. We spoke with the guest relations manager on-site and was verbally assured they would credit the lost day because of the circumstances. When I got home, they sent me a letter telling me they would credit a day if I booked another vacation with them. This was what I had told the guest relations manager when I was on-site would happen and again was assured it would not and I would receive my credit. They lied to my face and will not back the expectation they gave me while on-site. Buyer beware – I travel extensively each year on vacation, I will never stay at another Sandals
|Sandals Halcyon Beach|
|Aaron and Deborah |
Fort St. John, British Columbia
|To start off I'd like to say that my wife and I wanted a honeymoon to remember. We wanted a location to celebrate that wasn't the typical place that everyone goes to and we didn't just want a beach and a bar. We wanted an adventure, on a beach, with a bar, and thats what we got. We were hooked on the television show "Lost" and wanted something along that lines.
This was my first trip to any kind of tropical place and many of my family members who have travel extensively in Mexico and the Caribbean gave me many warnings about things I wouldn't like.
They were wrong !!!!!
We went for 2 weeks at the start of the rainy season (we had 20 minutes total rain the whole trip) We brought rain coats but didn't use them. The rain there is more like a shower and refreshing when it's been so hot Here's a breakdown of what we did and what we found.
I didn't have one bad meal. With the stay at 1 play at 3 policy we didn't even get to make it to half of the restaurants at the resorts. The service was great and the food delicious. You don't have to worry about running out of selection, I don't think I ate the same thing twice. They do enforce the dress code so make sure you have the proper attire.
The rooms are smaller and a little older but what makes up for it is having your own little patio and door to the outside. It doesn't feel like your in a hotel but that you have your own little place with your own little yard.
You can make friends and have them come over to visit. The bar is so close you can easily supply them with drinks. The resort is also small enough that you can get around very easily without getting lost. The rooms also have a little air conditioner that never failed us.
The staff was always very fun and their attitudes were motivation enough to want to participate in the different games around the resort. They always had enough players for beach volleyball and for the most part you didn't have to wait too long to get on the wake board or use the hobey cats.
One disappointment was that they didn't have any Sea Doos. We were able to rent some off the beach at the Grande for $40 an hour which is very reasonable. Sandals doesn't recommend them because of Safety but that's one of my only complaints is that they are a little over cautious. Also if you go off the resort on your own the excursion are often half the price and the local taxi driver can fill you in on some of the islands little known secret places.
After going snorkeling we had to try diving. If you are not a certified diver I would recommend taking the course and start it at the beginning of your trip so you are not rushing to get it done in the last week like we did. Also, when you are certified you get to go to much better dive sites than when you just have the resort course. That being said, the quality of the instructors was great.
They make sure you know your stuff and they emphasize safety. The Martinque dive was incredible and you get to see one of the other islands.
GROSS PITON HIKE
Sandals doesn't offer this as one of their excursions but I would highly recommend it. One of the staff gave us the number of Joe, an award winning tour guide on the island. He drove us to Gross Piton where we hiked to the top with the help of the guide. It is a day hike and you should be in reasonable shape, bring along good shoes and lot's of water. We went though
4 liters. The hike and the view is incredible. This isn't advertised and not many people do it but the Pitons are a national historic landmark and it's something you will never forget. The ride, and the hike including a nice tip for the guide cost us about $300 but it was worth every penny.
It's also nice to spend a little money off the resort with the people of the island. Sandals seems to run a tight ship and tries to monopolize many
things. You can email Joe at email@example.com He'll take care
GROS ISLET STREET PARTY
On Friday Night there is a street party in Gros Islet. This is one of the places that the people of the island go to party. The beer is cheap and the food is plentiful but a warning. There are two types of tourists. One who likes to sip pina coladas on the beach and the other who likes to spend 6 months at a $6 a night hostile. My wife is definitely the first type and did not enjoy it at all. We were used to Sandals and arrived early and all dressed to the nines. This is not that kind of party. We were slightly harassed by a couple beggars in the beginning because we stuck out like sore thumbs in the middle of the street. You can have a great time and meet all sorts of different people from around the world but dress down and arrive well after the party has started. Ask the locals for more details.
On the bright side. Our taxi driver Jean Claude introduced us to his aunt who runs an internet cafe near the street party. He said if it gets a little much we can hang out there with them. It was a blessing and looking back in hindsight I think he knew that this wasn't for us, at least the way we looked.
I would recommend the Sunset cruise. It's a romantic boat that sails you into the sunset with champagne but then turns into a mini night club on the way back. It was great.
When the party did get going with the Karaoke and dancing it was good but the night life is definitely a little lacking at this resort. It's much more laid back. We did have a fun time singing songs at the piano bar and the managers meeting and charity casino and auction were a also a blast.
The only negatives that I can think of is that Sandals doesn't encourage you to visit the island on your own terms and is a little over safe. But they don't stop you from doing your own thing either.
The other two resorts are newer and fancier but we found that you got to know the people better at the Halcyon. It's much more personal and you can
actually make friends and get to see them the next day. The Halcyon was an
awesome little place and if we were to win a free trip back we would still choose the Halcyon.
We'd like to thank the wonderful Sandals staff and especially Joe and his family as they gave us honeymoon memories we'll never forget.
|Sandals Halcyon Beach|
|Will and Melissa |
|First of all, let me thank you for this informative and very helpful website! My wife and I used it extensively before we made our final decision on where to get married and spend our honeymoon. Please keep up the good work!
Before I get to the review, my wife and I would both like to express our sincerest thanks and gratitude to some of the folks at Sandals Halcyon who made our "Wedding-Moon" a most wonderful and memorable experience. Thank you Estelle, Dane, Sylvia, Delores, Gina, Maggie, Vernon, Shayne, Kurt and Otis; you all are wonderful people. However, our fondest and most heartfelt thanks are reserved for Cecilia. Cecilia, you are one of the sweetest and most kindhearted people my wife and I have ever met! Thank you so much for making each and every day special with your warm smile and wonderful breakfast treats!!!
Now for the review *we chose the Sandals Halcyon Beach at St. Lucia for many reasons, but a few of the most important were location, beauty, privacy, cleanliness and wedding options.
Before we left, we filled out the necessary pre-marital paperwork with a little help from our travel agent (Fountain Travel, Knoxville, TN - "Thanks Jimmy"!). My wife scheduled and prepaid her hair appointment, but other than that, everything else with regard to our wedding was planned when we arrived.
We traveled from Knoxville, TN to St. Lucia via Montego Bay, Jamaica on Jamaica Airlines. Just a note, you might as well count on losing almost a whole day each way due to layover times and a rather lengthy drive from Hewanorra Intl Airport to the resort (approximately 1 to 1.5 hours). I understand that American Airlines flies into the smaller George Charles Airport, which is only about 10 minutes from the resort, but you will have to fly in on a puddle jumper. So it's probably a wash between the two options.
Once we touched down at Hewanorra Airport, Sandals had taken care of our transportation to the resort. They hire local taxi drivers, so travel times will vary depending on the condition of the cab and skill of the driver. Going to the resort took us an hour and forty-five minutes, but the trip back only lasted an hour. Nonetheless, you do get to see some spectacular views of the Atlantic coast side of the island and of the tropical rainforest. You will also see a lot of locals and their small towns along the way.
When we arrived at Halcyon, everything was taken care of. Our luggage was taken to our rooms by a gentleman named Vernon and we were all given a brief orientation by some of the staff accompanied by champagne, cool towels and some finger food. We were given a small package containing lotions, shampoo, sunscreen, the room's safe lock and key, towel token card and a Sandals I.D. card (which was never used or asked for). Thankfully, no armbands or the like were required for towels, food, drinks, etc. Towels were plentiful and clean. They were easily changed out for fresh ones anytime that we wanted. The towel card is given to them the first time you get towels. Thereafter, you simply return the old ones for fresh ones. The token is returned to you when you leave and will be required for checkout. We were asked only for our room number when dining and doing resort activities. This honor system of doing things was very nice and everything seemed to run smoothly. It was nice to feel like you were the guest of a resort and not an amusement park.
Our room (121) was a partial ocean view, single level with a king bed, full bath, TV, closet with plenty of hangers, desk, nightstand and all tile floors. It was clean and kept that way each day by the staff. The only problem, if any, was that the tub had a small leak and the wall tile was not as clean as it could be. A little Tile-X goes a long way, but the resort does maintain some sort of "environmental friendly" rating. So I suppose liberal uses of cleaning agents is not approved of. Both my wife and I expect a clean room, and with the one exception of the tile, we were pleased overall.
Just about all of the rooms at Halcyon are private and well situated. The grounds around the rooms are well cared for with all sorts of beautiful flowering plants and trees. We liked ours because it was centrally located to the Sunset Pool, restaurants and main lobby. We visited the Regency, and while it was indeed beautiful, it was also very big and more like a hotel. Plus, you just about have to take a shuttle everywhere you go since it's built on a steep hillside and is spread out so much. We saw the Grand from the water and it was more like a high-rise hotel as well. I believe it used to be a Marriott at one time. We definitely like Halcyon much better since the rooms were more cozy, private and cottage-like.
Halcyon has two large pools, but the Sunset pool is the one we spent most of our time at. Both have bars, but the sunset has a swim up bar which is mighty nice and convenient! Finding lounge chairs and floats was not a problem. The trees and a couple of nearby umbrellas also provide shade for those who aren't sun worshippers. There are also a couple of Jacuzzi pools around as well. Hammocks are everywhere and surprisingly underutilized.
Insects were not much of a problem at Halcyon. The room had a couple of small ants in the bathroom two nights and one pesky mosquito that came in when we opened the door one evening. (Hint: don't leave your interior or porch light on when you leave for dinner in the evening. It will reduce the likelihood of having unwanted bloodsuckers follow you in on your return.) If you walk around at night it doesn't hurt to put on a little bug spray to ward off the mosquitoes, but they weren't very numerous when we were there. Overall, bugs weren't an issue.
Our wedding was very nice and went smoothly from the start. We met with the planner on our first day along with six other couples and filled out paperwork. We were instructed on what was required and available from the resort, and each couple met later on that day to go over specifics in detail with the planner. We didn't spend more than an hour or so total with our planner, Maggie. She took care of everything. So, it was no stress on our part at all. We were married at one of the two gazebos overlooking the beach. It was well decorated with both live and fresh cut flowers. The ceremony was just the right length and not drawn out. The cake, food and champagne were both tasty and tastefully presented as well. Everyone did his or her job well. Word to the wise; don't wear anything heavy or bulky, as it is fairly hot and humid. Just exercise a little common sense. We saw one poor South African groom wearing a worsted wool tuxedo to his wedding at 3 O'clock in the afternoon. It suffices to say that he was a bit uncomfortable. Overall, our wedding was wonderful!
We chose Mario's, the Italian restaurant at Halcyon, for our wedding dinner that night. It was a superb 7-course meal with both the preparation and presentation equally superb. We would like to thank Sylvia for being such a gracious hostess and Dane for being such a wonderful waitress.
My wife and I must also offer our special thanks to both Shayne and Kurt of the Halcyon photography staff for doing such an excellent job on our wedding and resort pictures. They are super nice and very easy to get along with. Our wedding pictures are excellent and the digital format is definitely worth the extra money. Thanks to you both!
Activities at Halcyon seemed to be fewer and more laid back than at the other two resorts, but most of the guests are married couples on honeymoon or couples getting married. Likewise, they don't seem to be as apt at participating at some of the games and such that the staff "Playmakers" put together (beach volleyball, races, games, contests, etc). However, the staff doesn't push it too hard and certainly aren't a bother, and the games don't really interfere with having a relaxing time.
Sandals Halcyon (and the other resorts) offers other activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, island tours, and cruises. Some are at an additional cost to the guests, but quite a few are not. We decided to go snorkeling one day (at no charge) and had a great time. Fins, masks and snorkels are provided, but we took our own with us, which was no problem. The waters around the island are gin clear and visibility is superb. The boat ride to the reefs was scenic and the boat itself was top notch. The one negative was that my wife got stung numerous times by small jellyfish that were prevalent that day. Obviously, the people had no control over this, and it should just be chalked up to bad luck. We did have one complaint. We weren't allowed to borrow fins to use around the beach area at the resort for some reason and were not told why either. Overall, our snorkeling experience was good.
We also went on the sunset cruise up the coast one evening. It was very pleasant for the most part except for a few rowdy juvenile "adults". The views and vistas were very beautiful and the ride was smooth on the big catamaran. The only complaint that we had was the way that the boat staff stored your shoes. Once you come on board, you are required to put your shoes into one of 4 plastic boxes. Bear in mind that this boat holds nearly 75 people; that's up to 150 pairs of sandals/shoes that everyone wants at when the cruise is over. It suffices to say that it was a bit of a madhouse trying to get our shoes at the end of it all. Fortunately we managed to find our in the midst of the madness and get off without suffocating in the masses of pushing and shoving people (did I mention that a good portion of the folks on board were inebriated?). Helpful hint: enjoy the cruise but keep your shoes!
While at Halcyon, we decided to take the shopping tour in Castries one morning. This was only for a few hours and like everything else, transportation was provided by the resort at no extra charge. They took us to the local market and later to the duty-free shops. The local market was interesting, but it is definitely geared towards the tourist and the items for sale are for the most part cheesy and uninteresting. The best thing to buy at the market is the variety of local hot sauces (if you are into that sort of thing). The duty free shops have a lot of high dollar items but no real deals to be found. Overall, we were a little disappointed at the lack of local handmade crafts, paintings, etc.
Although we did not go, we did hear from several of the other couples that the all day adventure to the volcano, rainforest, snorkeling and tour of Soufriere was well worth the money (approx US$90 per person). They also offered jeep safaris, biking, and ATV tours as well, all for an additional charge.
The night entertainment at Halcyon is not all that much to write home about, but there are things to do every night at the Mirage. Different themes were offered every night that varied from Karaoke, to disco dancing to talent shows. However, my wife and I enjoyed going to Sue's Piano Bar the most. I can't remember the pianists' names, but they are both very good with the elder of the two being the best. We had the best time singing and carrying on with the other guests to a varied assortment of tunes. There is also a jukebox with a wide selection of favorites and a full bar for drinks and such. It is also a good place to escape from the sometimes-humid night air since it is well conditioned. Only one complaint from us; "please have peanuts and pretzels at the bar!"
My wife and I also got a couple's massage at the Sandals Regency. The massage was good and fairly relaxing though the masseuses did seem a little overzealous when we requested a full sports massage. The surroundings are nice, but are not "world-class" as they advertise. They do need some improvements. For example, the showers in both the men and women's changing areas have no hot water. Also, they have male staff traveling though the women's and female staff traveling through the men's changing rooms at various times. While I am not all that bashful, I don't think that it's appropriate to have that going on. My wife did not have a convenient place to plug in her hair dryer after taking her cold shower. Let's just say that it was somewhat of a challenge to dry/style her hair while standing in one room with the mirror in another. There are some other things that were not quite right, but not worth mentioning. Though the staff was courteous and professional, our experience was not all that we had hoped for or expected.
Of the three main restaurants at Halcyon, we enjoyed Mario's the best. It consistently had the best food and service of the three. Though some of the staff rotates among the three restaurants, it just seemed to be better at Mario's. Next best was the Pier, but the food just seemed to be a notch below that of Mario's. The Bayside was where we ate most of our meals though. We ate there mainly for breakfast and lunch because it was both quick and convenient. The food was good and varied with lots of different dishes to choose from. Let Cecilia make you one of her delicious breakfast smoothies. You won't be disappointed! We also ate at the grille located near the beach. It was a great change of pace from the Bayside with its fresh grilled fish, burgers, dawgs, fries and rings. Estelle will cook them for you with a warm smile and remember you when you come back to see her again!
We also ate at two of the restaurants at the Sandals Regency. We ate first at Kimonos, which is a Japanese Teppanyaki-style theme. The food was fair, but we both have had much better here at home. Most of the experience at this type of restaurant depends on how good your chef is. Ours was somewhat lackluster and was pretty much all business. The party next to us had a more colorful chef and seemed to have a much better time.
The other restaurant that we ate at was Arizona. It's a Tex-Mex themed eatery with buffet style dishes ranging from BBQ ribs to fajitas. The food was pretty good and it has an excellent beachside location perfect for sunset dining. It's just a little odd being next to the beach with palm trees swaying and a leather saddle next to your table*.
Overall, the food was very good with no problems as far as stomach ailments. I would offer that you drink bottled water instead of the tapped stuff. The tap water is safe to drink and won't give you trouble, but it do vary in color and taste. One thing we both would like to have seen at Halcyon that the other resorts had would be snacks readily available (i.e. popcorn, pretzels, nuts, etc). The Regency had a couple of these machines located around the bars and grilles. There are lots of times throughout the day that you really don't want to eat a full meal, but would like to have just a little something to tie you over.
In summary, I would like to say that our experience at Sandals Halcyon was wonderful. Everything from our wedding to the accommodations was top notch and we would definitely go back for a return visit or anniversary! We would definitely recommend it to anyone seeking a laid back and relaxing honeymoon, wedding and/or vacation!
Thanks again for hosting such a helpful website!
|Sandals Halcyon Beach|
|Although my wife and I have been lucky enough to spend many years travelling in various parts of the world, our visit to Sandals Halcyon Beach hotel in January 2004, was the first “all inclusive” booking we had ever made.
We are “Brits” who now live in the Beautiful City of Vancouver Canada which perhaps is not quite so beautiful during the rainy period from November to February, hence our visit to the Caribbean at this time of the year which has great sunshine and low rainfall, especially in January and February
Although both Britsh Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly direct to St Lucia from the UK, my feelings are, as we did from Canada, that it is far better to fly to Miami for an overnight stop at an airport hotel, rather than direct, for three important reasons
1) It gives a chance of visiting another island prior to St Lucia at little extra cost, i.e. Puerto Rico (Try Carbe Hilton only 15 mins from San Juan
2) You will then fly by American Airlines into the local George Charles airport in St Lucia, which is less than 10 mins from Sandals Halcyon against about an hour from Hewanorra International Airport where all the larger aircraft arrive. In either airport you are picked up by Halcyon transport so there is no problem in trying to organise taxis upon your arrival
3) Being a major airport, flights via Miami can often be very well priced and can often be cheaper than flying direct to the Carribean destination
The Halcyon is the smaller of the three Sandals establishments on the Island and is probably the quieter, however as there is free transport to the other two Sandals Hotels and that their restaurants are also free to guests, it made sense to us to make Halcyon our base and travel to the others for odd days, returning after Dinner. Being a more intimate resort, we found it to be far more acceptable and our stay of five days, to be just right. The only possible downside is that few rooms face directly to the Ocean, and those that do, are a bit too adjacent to the pool activities. Many rooms do have a partial view of the water and in general this is acceptable, as most look out on immaculate well-kept Caribbean gardens in which tropical plants from all around the world are nurtured by the very attentive staff
For those who wish simply to laze around the pool or on the beach, it is a very relaxing resort although the pool area has rather loud non-Caribbean music played all day long so the beach is the haven of peace to aim for us old timers.
Included in the price, are plenty of water sports and certainly at the Halcyon and we found that there was no waiting to be able to take out a Kayak, aqua cycle or sail boat, none of which really required much previous experience or any real restrictions on where you go, although the water sports staff do keep a relaxed eye and a their rescue boat is soon despatched if you appear to be in trouble or disappear over the horizon heading towards Martinique which can be seen from the hotel grounds in the distance.
Food is first class at all restaurants catering for almost anything you desire, and the wines, which in most cases are limited to two or three different types of red, two or three white, plus a sparking, are all very good and should a couple are capable of finishing a bottle, another will arrive post haste. During our stay, one attraction on the dinner menu was fresh lobster of which the Chef informed us that 400 were bought fresh that day
As British Columbian Canadians we do find it a bit odd to allow smoking in most restaurants although generally the non-smoking area is generally separated from the smokers.
Generally a first class holiday which has plenty to do with almost with a high class holiday camp style of continuous activities for those who cannot sit still, but for the vast majority, it is an excellent place to relax in the sun in peace, the only distractions being when or what to eat for your next meal or whether we should work off some more pounds in a kayak. As mentioned by previous guests, Estelle at the Beach Grill is a real character that insists in having your first name the moment she sees you. From that moment she will remember each and every name for the duration of the stay – quite a talent.
Probably the highlight of my stay was eating dinner at the open air Grill Restaurant at the Sandals Grand hotel with the mellow tones of a saxophonist playing some relaxed jazz over the darkened pool area, a very memorable moment
Overall a great visit although as mentioned probably in my opinion five days is just right with perhaps another five days in San Juan, Puerto Rico on the way out.
|Sandals Halcyon Beach|
|We chose Sandals Halcyon because it IS smaller and more quaint and quieter than the other Sandals. We made the right choice.
Please note to all first time travelers. You are going to a small island nation and things are going to be as super-organized as they might be, say, in Kennedy Airport in NYC. Take your time, be patient, and remember you are on vacation, and just enjoy the beautiful scenery that you will see while traversing from the airport to the property. Believe me, St Lucia is one of the most beautiful islands you will ever see.
The hotel itself is very very nice. Is it the top place in the entire carribean to stay for all-inclusive; No, of course not. Is it a nice, quiet, very lush, well stocked resort where you can go, relax, and simply enjoy a wonderful island, its wonderful people,wonderful food and drink, and have a wonderful vacation/honeymoon/wedding; of course. If you take it for what it is, and haev a little perspective about where you want to go, Halcyon is fabulous.
My wife and i got married and had our honeymoon there for 7 days and thought it was simply perfect for it. The other Sandals were bigger and a little better, but they were also louder, and had more hustle and bustle. Halcyon was quiet, more compact, and perfect for the romantic trip we wanted it to be.
The Pier and the italian resturant on the property were very very good. Service was also good for whatever you needed.
The one negative point...there isnt much to do come night time. the disco is usually empty and since what seems like 90% of the people there are either getting married or on thier honeymoons, folks retire to the privacy of thier rooms after dinner. We had the top honeymoon ocean front room, which, although it was not a suite, was very well stocked with drinks and the sound of the ocean hitting the shore never got old.
As i said, dont believe all the bad things you may see about this hotel, its a very good place to stay.
|Sandals Halcyon Beach|
|My husband and I chose the Halcyon for our honeymoon and had a wonderful experience. Although the one hour and 20 minute ride from the airport was a little scary, the reception that we received upon arrival at the resort more than made up for it. We felt like we were on Fantasy Island.
The Halcyon is the smallest of Sandals' St. Lucian properties, but don't let its size fool you. It made for a nice, intimate and romantic honeymoon. In addition, the staff was very friendly. Estelle at the grill really remembers your name for the entire time that you are there (makes you feel special). Teddy, who I believe is a recreations director, was awesome. He gave the most memorable tour of a property that I have ever experienced and appeared to be having a blast every time that I saw him.
Lets not even get into the food. I am still salivating. We ate breakfasts fit for kings at Bayside. I am still longing for johnny cakes. The service was great at the Halcyon. We never had to wait for anything. I was never hungry. We visited the Regency for lunch and realized that the staff was not as attentive over there (probably due to the larger size of the property). However, I cannot rave enough about Kimonos (the Japanese restaurant at the Regency). You must make a reservation to dine at Kimonos but it well worth the wait. Our hibachi chef, Bert, put on a great show AND the food was good.
We went on the Jeep Safari Tour, which was a blast. The guide was great and equipped with lots of historical information regarding the island. I also enjoyed a soothing Swedish massage. Ahhh! Just what I needed after the chaotic period preceding our wedding.
The only drawback was a small ant infestation in our bathroom. They would get in there at night through a vent, but it was nothing that a little OFF didn't take care of. By the way, do not forget to bring your bug repellant. The mosquitoes can be quite enthusiastic. Also, beware of the skycaps at the airport who will try to carry your bags for a whopping 8 feet and then demand a tip. FYI - the airport is only about 10 sq. ft.
Overall, St. Lucia was beautiful and Sandals fantastic. I can't wait to return.