10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Loved this friendly, intimate hotel
"We just returned from two weeks at the Bay Gardens Hotel. We travelled to St. Lucia and the Bay Gardens Hotel with a large party (15 adults and 6 children) on the occasion of our wedding. Everyone just fell in love with the island, the hotel and the friendly, hardworking staff.
This charming hotel offers five star service. The hotel is very pretty, the gardens are beautiful and the rooms are very clean, and comfortable. The staff are always painting and gardening and keeping appearances up. The hotel is conveniently located in between two grocery stores and close to a pharmacy and shopping mall. It is a ten minute walk to the beach but the free shuttle will take you to the beach, or the marina.
As the bridal couple, the hotel had prepared a room especially for us. We realized however that we would be quite far away from the rest of our family and friends and requested a move. This request was accomodated very quickly. In fact Emily, who is in charge of housekeeping ensured that anything that you requested was always taken care of.
The wedding plans exceeded our expectations with Alta King handling the arrangements. The wedding gazebo and reception area were beautifully decorated, the saxophone player that we hired was fantastic and the food was abundant and incredibly delicious. Following the reception we joined the managers' rum punch party which is held weekly. The dancers, singers and fireaters were amazing and will be talked about by everyone for years.
Breakfast was included in our vacation package. The breakfasts had plenty of variety including fresh fruit, baked items, cereals, eggs, toast and buffet items that changed daily and included St. Lucian dishes. We highly recommend purchasing the breakfast package especially if you have children. Our group also purchased the barbeque buffet dinner which is held once a week and again the choice of dishes was excellent and the food superb. The restaurant has won awards and is well known for excellent lunchs and dinners.
Our housekeeper, Esther, was always thorough and we had all the fresh towels and linens that we needed delivered daily.
We loved our little patio where we could sit and have a drink and watch the hummingbirds and wrens that came to feed.
This was our second trip to this hotel and our intitial first impressions were confirmed. This is an exceptionally well run smaller hotel that the managers John and Berthia Parle and their long term staff should be proud of. We are looking forward to returning as there is still much to see and do on this island."
- Travel date: Sun 18th of February 2007
Small Place with things to see
"I travelled to the Bay Gardens Jan 21-28, 2007 with 3 other family members. We flew in to Vieux Fort, then drove 1.5 hours to our hotel on a windy pot holed rd. The island itself is only about 60 kms long but the roads make for the long journey. We got there and settled in to our 2 bedroom condo. One with king size bed and it's own bathroom and the other with 2 single beds also with our own bathroom. We had a Kitchen full with everything but an oven. Instead we had a toaster oven, which was fine, but the plug was for european outlet. Thankfully, we had a converter. The pools are very small. Nothing like in the pictures and very cold. I love to swim but I did only once. When the 90 degrees got too hot for me, I put my feet in or simply walked down the stairs. The bath tub leaked quite a bit. There were tiny bugs all over in the Kitchen. We reported it and they came promptly with spray which got rid of the critters for a few days. Can't leave anything out. Not even in the sink. The maids were very nice and thorough. They left towel figurines with fresh flowers everyday. The hotel itself was cute and relaxing. Other than the construction which on some mornings started at 7am. The beach was about 10 minute walk away and not as nice as I had imagined. Chairs cost money to sit on and we hadn't brought any money so we layed on our towels. We didn't stay long because we were inhaling sand. It was very windy and we were getting smacked in the face by sand. The water is refreshing but sandy. As the waves come in, they are pretty strong so mixes with the sand. Out further, the water look beautiful.
We dined at a number of restaurants during our stay. At each one, even though we were sometimes the only customers, it seemed to take the same amount of time to be served: about 1.5 hours. Don't go if you're starving.
The people in St Lucia are very friendly. Not like anywhere else I've been. And honking on the roads mean everything it could mean: "watch out, hello, goodbye, I'm coming, move over" you get the point they are constantly honking.
During our stay, we visited the Pitons in Soufriere which were something to see. Pointy peaks that shot up after a huge volcanic eruption, which left a crater (the town of soufriere). We visited the sulphur springs, which are holes in the ground that release steam from the ground. Have you ever smelled sulphur? Rotten eggs concentrated. Disgusting.. Then we went to the mineral baths and Botanical Gardens. Here, we saw the diamond waterfalls, which were nice and bathed in the mineral baths. That was fine.
Overall, the vacation was not quite as spectacular as my trip to Costa Rica (where you see most of the same things, only more). Not sure I'd go back. Not because I had a bad time, it was nice, but there are so many other places left for me to go. Just another country to cross off my list."
- Travel date: Thu 15th of February 2007
Beautiful, intimate Hotel
"I have stayed in Bay Gardens twice and both experiences were pleasant, especially with a young kid in tow.
The staff were extremely helpful and polite, just generally nice people. The rooms were clean and bright and air conditions and it is in a fantastic location.
It is not right on the beach, but a brisk 10 min walk will get you there or you can go on the shuttle provided by the hotel free of charge.
There is an ice cream parlour, especially useful for young kids and a couple on nice if smallish swimming pools.
Because of its location you can always take a stroll down to the Marina where there are lots of facilities or you can just do a spot of yacth spotting.
Personally I think it is a great little hotel in a great location for all of your needs.
If your the kind who just wants to sit on a beach for two weeks in an all inclusive this is not for you, but if you want a bit more of an intimate setting and freedom to wander and get a feel of more of the real St Lucia, I would recommend here."
- Travel date: Mon 12th of February 2007
Great St. Lucia experience
"We have just returned from a fabulous vacation at the Bay Gardens Hotel. The hotel was very clean and safe and the staff were exceptional. It is a few blocks from the beach, but it was a nice walk most days, other days we just hopped on the shuttle. Yes, St. Lucians on business do stay there, which just adds to the charm and welcoming feeling of the Hotel. The food in the restaurant on the property was very good, a nice selection for all meals. This is not a 5 star resort -but you are certainly treated like you are staying at one. By the end of our stay the staff knew us and genuinely took an interest in our daily activities. We also got to know most of the staff and truly appreciated the hard work and extra effort that they go to each and every day to make our stay just that much more memorable. We will miss Emily's morning greeting!
We were with a large party that was staying for a week for a wedding which was held at the hotel. The planning and preparations for the couple were great, and the decorating for the wedding itself was beautiful.
We were accomodated with shuttles to Pigeon Island or to the Marina when we needed.
My husband and I would highly recommend this quaint St. Lucian treasure to anyone and we will certainly be going back there for another wonderful and memorable Caribbean holiday!"
- Travel date: Tue 6th of February 2007
Do not stay here!!!
"I just got back from a week at the Bay Gardens and I feel like I need a vacation! This could possibly be the single worst hotel that I've ever stayed at, and I'm including run-down motels on the side of the road in middle America.
For starters, the hotel in general is completely run down and quite depressing. And, no one will be honest with you about this, but, the hotel caters almost exclusively to the island locals. From the minute we arrived in the lobby (if you can call it a lobby), we noticed that there were vitually no tourists. As we would later learn, the Bay Gardens is a "resort" destination for St. Lucians. In fact, it's location, off the beach, and its proximity to local supermarkets, is what attracts the locals to this place, away from tourists.
We were supposed to be booked into a junior suite with a kitchenete. When we arrived, we were sent to a room with not more than a 2 foot bar fridge. No kitchenette. After much pleading with the staff, we finally were transferred to a room - the next night - with a hot plate. Both of the rooms we stayed in were teeming with ants, in the bathroom and near the bed, and the rooms generally smelled of urine. The air conditioners either worked too much or too little, but either way, they didn't work properly. Even worse, our room was on the first floor of the hotel, with a sliding glass door that looked out to a public shower facility, where the gardener was showering at 11pm at night. That freaked us out. Worse, we discovered two days into our stay that the lock on our sliding glass door had been tampered with (not sure when or by who), and the door could not lock. The hotel staff did fix this problem almost immediately, BUT, we slept with all of the room furniture up against the windows and doors for the entire trip. Additionally, there are no windows in the bathroom. Instead, there is a wooden shutter that can be opened by anyone from the outside to look into your shower. We quickly forgot about that, because we spent most of our shower battling the rusty taps to find the spot to get hot water. Be careful not to flush the toilet or run the sink while your partner is in the shower unless you want to find the hot water quickly and burn your partner in the process.
The food. Our package included complimentary breakfast every morning. The food choice was extremely limited, but was decent for a 1 to 2 star hotel. The ants, however, seemed to make their way from your bedroom to the restaurant and set up shop near the bread stand.
The beach. First, let me tell you that if you are the type of person that likes nice beaches, white sand, quiet and relaxing times in the water and on a chaise longue, do not go to St. Lucia. St. Lucia is a mountainous country, with rolling hills and very poorly developed coastline. We drove around the entire country and were completely disappointed by the beaches. The beaches are all not more than 10 feet deep, with very rough seas. Apparently, wave breakers and coral reef doesn't exist in St. Lucia. On one occasion, the waves were so rough that I had to rescue a 70 year old man from the shore who was knocked down and couldn't get back up in the strong waters. This incident happened at the beach near the Bay Gardens, which happens to be the "best" beach in St. Lucia. However, the "best" beach happens to be the same beach that almost 3,000 people from the various cruise boats decend on every day when they dock in St. Lucia. Needless to say, the beach is swarmed by local vendors selling anything and they are very persistant. If you have been to Canal street in New York City, the scene is quite the same. Busy, busy, busy.
Finally, when you work out the cost of the Bay Gardens, and include all of the other costs such as buying food at the supermarket (which is a story in and of itself), cabs, chairs and umbrellas at the beach, etc., you virtually spend almost the same or more than someone staying at an all-inclusive."
- Travel date: Sun 28th of January 2007
"My husband and I just got back from Bay Gardens Hotel, the 2nd week in January. We had read all the reviews, as well as heard first hand from co-workers that had previously gone here how much they loved it. All I can say....when visiting St. Lucia, which is breathtaking, don't think of staying anywhere else.
This place is fantastic. We stayed in their new one bedroom Croton Suites and it could not have been more perfect. This boutique style hotel is as clean as they come, has every amenity you need (including free internet service use in their lobby), food is excellent, pools are just right, and gardens are just beautiful. Most importantly and clearly impressive item to note, is the staff. From every staff level, you will find a best friend willing to help you or simply give you a smile and good morning. Ruth, head of housekeeping, couldn't of been more genuine and pleasant, David, one of the taxi drivers for Bay Gardens was outstanding, and the girls at the desk went out of their way to address your needs. They also make it extremely easy to set up excursions throughout St. Lucia for you. They work with the best tours.
Also worth mentioning, this hotel is in the heart of many fun restaurants, near the mall, and short distance to a grocery story. My husband and I have been a Sandals advocate for years, I believe this stay here just changed our minds. We're coming back to this hotel next year for sure.
I'd also like to add how economical this hotel is. They truly strive to bring paradise to everyone and make your vacation doable. Also added to your rooms during your stay is a fresh fruit basket.
My suggestion... take your family or just your loved one, stay in one of their new apartments. It was great to be able to cook some of our meals (save some $$$ so we could stay a bit longer).
Bay Gardens has everything you may need and more. Please note that their new hotel almost finished on the beach is must to visit also.
- Travel date: Fri 19th of January 2007
"We had a enjoyable stay at Baygardens Hotel. Employees and management are very friendly and polite. Maid services is excellent. My special to her. Pool is small. Service is good. They are building a new resort on the beach, look like its going to be great.
- Travel date: Tue 16th of January 2007
Great Place to Stay
"Overall we were very happy with our stay at the Bay Gardens Hotel. The staff were friendly and went out of their way to ensure that we had everything that we needed to enjoy our stay. The hotel was clean and the room that we stayed in was great. I would recommend this hotel for anyone visiting st lucia that was not staying at an all inclusive. (Please ensure to ask for the room with a hairdryer if you need it as not all of the rooms had one as we found out) The hotel was very close to all of the action that the town had to offer. It was less than a two minute walk to the supermarket to stock up on snacks and a five to ten minute walk to any of the great restaurants in town. The hotel was not on the beach but offered a shuttle, which I would recommend you take on the really hot days."
- Travel date: Thu 28th of December 2006
Liked the environment and the service
I stayed in Bay gardens for almost a whole week. I really liked the environment. It almost looked like i had all the nature of the caribbean there with me. And most of all, their service was great. Hope to stay there again.
- Travel date: Wed 15th of November 2006
Heart Rending To Leave
This E-mail is to express our gratitude to you and your staff.
We wish to acknowledge the level of service, it was excellent. From your front office stall Flavia, Ruth in housekeeping, Alma, your chef and all the ancillary staff we came in contact with.
For a group as large as ours to stay at the same accommodations and have no compliants about the hotel or the service is to prvide your establishment with the highest level of praise. Your staff always presented us with smiling faces and an eagerness to please.The attitude, work ethic and high level of professionalism demonstrated by your staff speaks to an organisation that will continue to grow and succeed. As it is only through the way that your staff, who are in day to day contact with the customer shine, that your hotel will continue to shine.
I hope that the owners and managers of your hotel realise the quality of workers they have at their disposal. For it was through them that our stay was made most enjoyable and we will recommend your hotel to everyone.
We thank you for welcoming us to your island, your hotel and we feel to your hearts.
- Travel date: Mon 25th of September 2006