Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
16 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Love resides here
"My husband and I just returned from a truly enjoyable 2 week vacation at the Sandals Halycon St. Lucia. We have traditionally spent our winter escape in Barbados at the Almond Beach Village (10 visits) but our last visit was disappointing so we decided to try something different. Wow, we were very impressed. First the staff are truly caring and go the distance to please guests...cheerfully. I believe this is largely a result of the capable leadership of Mr. Lenox Dupal the Resort General Manager who was visible and approachable. The food 'unfortunately' was too tempting and delicious as I now have to try and work off the extra pounds I put on. My favorites, the International buffets were a feast for the eyes as well as the pallet thanks to Josette, the buffet manager and the professional chefs. The property was truly a large botanical garden with beautiful blooms everywhere and our accomodation was very comfortable. I enjoyed the fitness center which was well equiped and the many well organized and professional fitness programs under the direction of Janice. And it wasn't just the resort, we found the people of St. Lucia are kind and welcoming where ever we went. We will definitley be back and I am going to fast before I go!!"
- Travel date: Mon 23rd of February 2004
Halcyon - A Little Bit of Paradise
"Sunday Feb. 8, 2004 Arrived 5 p.m. had cold towels and champagne waiting for us in a gathering area. We were introduced to room 205 and met up with three other couples we knew. Dinner was at the Bayside restaurant. I had Mahi Mahi and my wife had duck. Chocolate moose was our dessert. Day 2 Monday:Awoke 730 am Beautiful breeze outside. Went to Bayside for breakfast and coffee buffet. Had orientation 10 am. Mario?s for dinner. Reservations only dinner at our hotel?s Italian rest. House wines with all meals all Sandals. I had steak. Best Italian food I have ever had. They have an antipasto bar, which is a dream come true. After dinner, they had a limbo and fire eaters show but we were tired and went to bed about 1030 pm Day 3 Tuesday: Four of us rented a private taxi for the day ($140 plus $20 tip) and driver Cuthberth took us all over the island for 7 hours. Went to the Pitons, twin somewhat extinct volcanoes. Sulphur springs, and a waterfall. $2.80 admission to Pitons, $2 for waterfall per person. Lunched at the Hummingbird hotel/restaurant. I had a fish sandwich, wife had an omelet. Bill for the four of us was about $32 with tip. Cabaret and karaoke night. Day 4 Wednesday:Toilet backup in our room. Called maintenance. All was fine before they came, if they ever did. One internet site in the expensive gift shop was nice to be able to answer your mail and surf. Went to Bayside again for breakfast consisting of eggs, coffee, rolls, and wife had an omelet and afterwards, the wife took part in the Player?s Club Aqua size program in the pool. Did some swimming and sunning. We used a 45-block suntan lotion and should have used a 30 because it did not allow us to tan at all on the arms and legs. Our drinks today consisted of banana, coconut juice, etc. Non-alcoholic called a SCORPION. We had quite a few of these throughout the week, nice and tasty. Similar to a pina colada. Tonight was returning guest dinner night in the Bayside with cocktails at the Mirage nightclub prior to. Very nice dinner, steak covered with fois gras and lobster. So much food, we weren?t hungry so it was a shame to eat two bites of each and push the plates away. The appetizer consisted of fresh tuna in a mustard sauce, pumpkin bisque soup, Caesar salad, rolls and wine. Each guest was given a bottle of Bounty 25th anniversary Rum and the women received a half-avocado shell full of individually bagged spices. Each guest was given a nametag and a Sandals necklace with two little sandals hanging from it upon arriving. Went to bed very full. We are not night owls so went to bed around 10 pm. Thursday Day 4:Up at 730 am to a beautiful morning. I fed leftover bread to the birds and hummingbirds outside our patio porch. Breakfast again consisted of coffee, rolls, cereals with skim milk, fruit including mango, melons, honeydew, etc. Today was vendor day at the hotel but we never saw them as we were always on the go. Wife checked out a book of short stories by Maeve Benchley at the library near the pool. Four of us rented a taxi for 3 hours and ?Charlemange? took us to the straw markets, and duty free shops. Two ships were in port this morning, one of them from Italy doing Caribbean tours. We bought some t-shirts, earrings, spices, and baby shirts but don?t go for touristy stuff too much anymore. Eight of us met for dinner tonight at Kimono?s Japanese restaurant at Sandal?s Grande. Fifteen-minute shuttle drive from our hotel to theirs. Ate quickly as we had to catch the shuttle back by 8 pm. We later found out from our concierge that we had a ?dialect problem? in that the shuttles leave on the hour from 8 pm to 11 pm, NOT 8 OR 11. Same thing happened later in the week when we went to the French restaurant, Le Toc. We were told we had to hire our own taxi if we wanted to leave later. Kind of destroyed our meals not knowing what time the shuttles took us back. Kimono?s is similar to our Hibachi or Benihana?s chains in the U.S. but we did have a ?native? doing the cooking. He was a riot and very funny. Shrimp, steak, pork, fish, fried rice, chicken, the usual fare. Back home, changed into shorts and went to the piano bar for drinks. Home by 945 pm and bed. Friday Day 5 VALENTINE?S DAY:8 am breakfast. Four of us signed up 845 am for snorkeling trip. Spent two hours at Pig Island or the Rat Hole, can?t remember the dive site. My wife did very well snorkeling and could even see lots under water despite not having her glasses on. Paul from the dive team brought us a life preserver, which we could hold onto throughout the trip. He stayed with us the entire time and even gave me his mask and snorkel as mine had a leak from a tear around the nose. Home, showered and went to Bayside for lunch. Had a portion of oxtail and a second course consisted of goat meat for lunch. Nap time for 90 minutes. Took 615 pm shuttle to Le Toc, the French reservations-only restaurant. I had duck, which was very good. A few had Escargot, most were warm, one of our group who ordered snails were served refrigerator-cold. He sent them back and 15 minutes later, they came back piping hot. Shrimp bisque was not very good at all. It was hot but there was no shrimp in the bisque and tasted as if they had dragged a shrimp through it and called it shrimp bisque. I was rather bummed at this meal, as service was very slow. The staff seemed confused even though the place wasn?t crowded. We had to ask for the house wine because they had presented us with the wine list first which was extra. I again refer to the shuttle problems experienced earlier. Because we were still hungry, we went to the Bayside restaurant at the Halcyon for dessert and coffee because of the ?rush? to catch the shuttle. Then we learned they had lobster that night at the Bayside (unannounced to the guests) but we were full. Note to future Halcyon?ers, Friday night at the Bayside is where you will have lobster. The local fishing boats bring in their catch on Friday?s only! Saturday Day 6:Bummed around in the pool area for two hours. More Scorpions. I had the St. Lucia Special which consisted of some chocolate Cream de Cocoa. Weather was rain off and on all day. The rain only comes down hard for a minute or two then clears up. This happened all week but not enough to make your day a bummer. Lunched at the beach grill and then napped. Estelle remembered my name again and is a quick learner of names. She has been at the beach bar grill for about 6 years. I told Estelle she is quite famous on the internet as I found her picture behind the grill on a number of net sites. She doesn?t have an email address so there was no way I could send her a picture electronically. Saturday night, we had dinner at the Bayside and asked for lobster but they were out. My wife and I had surf and turf minus the turf. We asked for double the surf. They brought out to us 8 grilled shrimp with their heads on and we had to peel them ourselves. Tasty, but not a memory maker because our hands were full of what you would think of after peeling shrimp. This coupled with linen napkins and crystal glasses, etc. Dinner music supplied by a superb saxophonist. She played for over an hour and got many rounds of applause. Went to the Mirage nightclub and watched the Valentine?s day contest, sort of a newlywed game, consisting of five couples being asked questions sexually explicit in nature. It was funny the original Newlywed Game but not for those easily offended. Since this was our last night at Sandals, we said our goodbyes to a many of newly made friends. Sunday, Day 7 Last Day:One couple had to be at the airport by 7 am Sunday morning and wouldn?t arrive home until 10 pm that night. We were in bed by 1030 pm. Two other couples took a helicopter from the local but smaller airstrip to the bigger airport on the other side of the island. ($120 pp). We decided to take the free shuttle back to the larger airport. The reason we landed over an hour away from our hotel was to make sure we had a direct flight both ways and not spend countless hours in San Juan during a change of planes. We asked the Bayside restaurant to make up a boxed lunch to take with us on our trip. Our shuttle left at 130 pm for the airport. It is a one hour and fifteen minute taxi ride past banana plantations and picturesque villages. USAir left at 430 pm. We landed in Philadelphia at 8 pm, a half hour early. The early landing proved to be our downfall. The airport wasn?t prepared for us and there were no stairs to deplane, all was backed up. We waited on the plane almost an hour because Customs had also become backed up. We got our luggage at 10 pm. Overall, we like the Sandal?s Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica a little better than the Halcyon. The Halcyon was the best choice for us on St. Lucia as it was smaller than the other two hotels. The other Sandals were much larger and more hotel-like. Our staff was full of smiles and always had a ?hello,? or a ?good morning,? for you when passing by. The weather was in the mid 80s every day. The coconuts on the trees in front of our room were suddenly gone by midweek. That?s why they served fresh coconut milk inside their shells one morning at the Bayside. We keep the a/c on all day and night though because the humidity can be non-stop but not too bad that it is uncomfortable. While lounging at the pool Saturday morning, the resident cat (there were a few of them roaming) starting making some noise under the tree near our chaise lounges. We turned around to find the car playing with a rat. The eight-inch long rat was no longer alive and turned out to be a plaything for the feline. Don't let the final comment prevent you from coming to the Halcyon. We may one day return as this was one of the most relaxing vacations we have ever taken. Maril"
- Travel date: Tue 17th of February 2004
Paradise on earth!
"IT was all excellent, food, drinks, beaches, entertainment, theme nights, water sports, hospitality, what can i say other than anyone who reviews this place below 4 star needs to open their eyes and see where they really went because it was somewhere different to me, truly superb! Amazing new years international buffet, ice scultures, champagne, the works! I loved all three hotels but for quality of service, friendliness and allround hospitality, the halcyon is unbeatable! Superior, we will be going back!"
- Travel date: Sun 15th of February 2004
What's not to like!!!
"This was our second trip to Sandals Halcyon- we were married at Pigeon Island 5 years ago (when weddings weren't free at Sandals) and decided to go back for our 5th anniversary. We could'nt have made a better choice. We booked a regular Deluxe room, but since we were "returning guests" and members of their Signature Club for repeat guests, we were upgraded to a Deluxe Ocean view room. Granted, it really wasn't oceanview, more like pool view with a glimpse of the ocean if you were looking at the proper angle, but it was lovely, nonetheless. The resort was as lush and tropical as we remembered, maybe even more so. All of the employees are extremely friendly and more than willing to help you with any needs you may have. We were surprised that Estelle from the Beach Grille remembered us! She even remembered that we got married there. The restaurants were all excellent- we were treated to 2 nights of lobster at the Bayside- one night was 'all you can eat lobster and crab legs"- what a surprise and a nice treat that was. The Pier was a good as we remembered as was Mario's. We ventured to The Regency to the french Restaurant, La Toc, and we were just a little dissapointed there. The food was OK, but the service was not what we were used to after coming from Halcyon where everyone is so nice. We also went to the Southwestern restaurant there, Arizona, which was also just OK, not spectacular. One of our nicer surprises was Barefoot by the Sea at the New Grand- we had a lovely dinner there and everyone was very pleasant.
We spent a day on the beach there (which is much larger than at the Halcyon)- very nice and worth the trip. We went out snorkeling twice and had a terrific time and saw lots a beautiful, colorful fish and coral. All and all, it was a very relaxing trip and we will definitely consider making another return visit there sometime in the future. I am not sure what alot of people expect when they leave such negative comments but we have had nothing but great expreiences at Sandals Halcyon."
- Travel date: Sun 15th of February 2004
Worth every penny!
"I was nervous going to Halcyon knowing it was the oldest of the St.
Lucia Sandals, but I think it was better than staying at either of the newer ones.
First, it's very quaint...not small, but not huge. The staff was SO friendly and knew us by name! Everyone at Halycon would talk about how amazing and kind the staff was. When we went to The Grande we couldn't even find the bathroom it was so huge and were told after dinner at the Barefeoot By The Sea that we better hurry to Josephine's if we wanted to "beat the rush." Who needs that!? We never waited for anything at Halcyon. When we did the ATV tour, we mentioned how wonderful the Sandals staff was. A couple staying at The Grand said, "Yeah, but they don't smile much do they?" This just proved our point that the smaller size of the Halcyon made for better service. Plus the food at all of the restaurants was excellent. The best part...there really is no tipping. Several staff members refused our tips!
My only suggestions would be...get your massage at Grande, bring all of your documentation to the water sports hut when you sign up to scuba dive and confirm your reservations for Mario's.
Finally, Sue's Piano Bar around 11pm is the best kept secret! It's a sing along bar that is nothing but fun and Davis, the pianist, is THE BEST!!!
We loved our trip and can't wait to go back. I highly recommend it!"
- Travel date: Fri 6th of February 2004
Fun, relaxing, beautiful get away!!!! Jan 11, 2004
"This had to be one of the best vacations I have gone on. The employees at the resort were very nice and helpful. Everyone remembered you by name and they always made you feel right at home. The beach was very beautiful. There were plenty of tasty drinks and food was very good. I was a little nervous about the food before I got there, but it was very good. Great live entertainment everynight. The rooms were very clean and they never missed a day of cleaning them. I highly recommend this resort I can't wait to return"
- Travel date: Sun 25th of January 2004
They knew my name
"In January of 2004 I married my best friend and embarked upon what I never knew would be my best vacation ever. The staff at Sandals Halcyon went above and beyond to help make our trip just like we dreamed it would be. Each and every staff member we came in contact with remembered our names for future meetings. They were helpful with all of our questions. We loved the excursions, the playmakers, the tour guides, the photographers, right down to the ground keepers. They upgraded our room for free, and had nothing but smiles for us each and everymorning when we went to breakfast, and every evening at dinner.
The food was fantastic, the scenery breath taking...we hated to have to leave after our 1 week stay. At the end they gave us a survey to fill out and then recommend one employee that had provided superior service.
We listed most everyone we had come in contact with. I recommend this resort to anyone who likes to be known by name, who likes to have good time, but also to be awed by the beauty of St. Lucia."
- Travel date: Tue 20th of January 2004
Halcyon was Paradise
"My husband and I visited the Halcyon in St. Lucia for 8 days in May of 2003. It was absolutely wonderful. It is very private and the rooms are adorable, none of those high rise hotels. The rooming buildings are 2 stories and covered in stone completely tucked in tropical plants. We had a tree frog on our patio everyday and saw numerous hummingirds in the flowers. The smaller pool which was 5 seconds from our room was more private and we actually would sit there for hours at the swim up bar. The larger pool had a lot more going on but was still fun none the less. We met so many nice people, but people seemed to keep to themselves, which was nice at times. The food was excellent, there was so much to choose from and the staff was the friendliest I have ever seen. The bars are open really late and you can take a bottle of wine back to your room or the pool for an extremely late night drink. The pools are open all night for the night owls. The beach was clean and the water was really calm but a little murky at times so I didn't spend too much time in it. We took the cruise (Costs Extra) to the drive through volcanoe, this was fun, and we went to a little town and had an amazing lunch. We also did the horseback riding (also extra) it was beautiful except our horses were unfriendly, they seemed almost wild, the stable staff did not seem to care that my horse was trying to throw me off and run away, also the horse had fleas that bit up my legs. The room was nice and cozy but there were tons of mosquitos so bring bug spray. There were rarely any chairs at the pool so you have to get up early. The night life was bland, rarely anything going on and when there was it was quickly over. The music playing throughout the resort was terrible, they played rap, Brittney Spears, Backstreet boys, they rarely played any island music. The snorkeling was amazing, we saw so many schools of fish and coral. I reccomend bringing an underwater camera. Shopping on resort is a little expensive, if you find a good deal and don't have your cash on hand, run back to your room and grab some because if you go back the next day, they change the price. The ride from the airport was long but very interesting, very cultural and eye catching. Overall, it was a breathtaking vacation and I would love to go back. We are trying another island this year but it will be hard to compare any place to the Halcyon."
- Travel date: Wed 7th of January 2004
Not as Bad as Some People Have Said
"This is definitley the place to go for peace and quite. Forget the other two. The Grande is like an 18-30's holiday. Some many people and so much hustle and bustle (nice beach though). The Regency is OK but everything is so far apart that you have to get a shuttle bus to get to places. If you are on the beach and forget your sun cream you will go without cause its so far to go and get it if your room is further away.
The Halcyon was nice sometimes too quite. We found it to be clean and the staff were really friendly most of them knowing our names. It is a really lush green resort. It all looks unspoilt with really nice gardens. The downside of all the resorts was that I never had a meal which I thought was wonderful. I thought they were OK. Nothing really special. But I would choose the Halycon over the other two anyday."
- Travel date: Sun 4th of January 2004
Halycon is Heaven
"My husband and I went to the Halcyon two years ago for our honeymoon,
and we just returned this past Christmas.
The Halcyon is a quiet, remote, intimate resort perfect for relaxing with the one you love. The other guests are friendly, yet most people prefer their privacy and keep to themselves. The Halcyon is a cozy, little enclave perfect for spending quality time with your spouse. The property grounds are lush and well manicured with bananas and coconuts growing right outside your window.
The service is personal and attentive. Many of the employees will even learn your name."
- Travel date: Thu 1st of January 2004
"We had a lovely time at the resort, however I wanted to ask you about a few things. We were told all of our rooms were upgraded and due to the upgrade we lost having alcohol in our rooms. We had to pay to have alcohol in our room. Also, no room service. I thought these things were included in our trip. Very disappointed
I would not recommend anyone to go to the Halcyon. It is extremely hot. You can only turn your AC up to 16C. No areas to sit wit AC in the resort, not even your room. Locals on the beach wanting to sell you weed, then they would stand at the end of the beach and smoke weed.
Everyone spoke so highly of Sandals resorts and I was very disappointed due to staying at other all inclusive resorts."
- Travel date: Sun 18th of September 2016
Choose a different All-inclusive Company
"We just returned from our 7 day trip to the Sandals Halcyon in the butler level accommodations. We were originally suppose to go to Sandals Royal Bohemian, but were called 6 days before we were to leave and had to switch entire trip to a new location because of "maintenance issues" which was really an employee strike! They changed us to a new location, which was not suppose to cost us anything, but I was charged $275, was told it would be refunded within 7 days, and it still has not been refunded. When we arrived at the airport, we expected to be driven to the resort in the Mercedes or Royals Royce we were suppose to have on our original trip, but instead, they didn't even have us on their list. After several minutes they arranged a taxi to take us the 1.5 hours to the resort.
The resort is small, and in the process of renovations so there is a lot of hammering, and construction noise no matter what area of the resort you are staying. Our cottage was nice and our butler, Claudia, was great and very attentive. The food, with the exception of the sushi restaurant, Soy, was bland and just not very good. If you like sushi, see Mark at Soy and try the chef's creation. Outstanding! Most of the wait staff are unfriendly.
We booked a 90 minute massage with our original booking. When we arrived, the resort didn't have a reservation for our massage but showed a credit for a 60 minute massage and a receipt that showed they "refunded" the amount for the extra 30 minutes. This NEVER was refunded, and we paid extra to have the 90 minute massage! We double paid!
The resort allows local vendors to be on their beach to harass the guests about buying their "local" junk. They do not leave people alone! It is shameful! There are random locals who walk the beach selling drugs too. Beware of leaving any valuables on the beach while you swim, including phones!
Each day we were asked to sign up for the Sandal points to book another Sandals vacation. I would never stay at a Sandals again. It is not worth the money, hassel, or frustration. They made our trip a major disaster from what we originally booked, and there was no customer service to make sure THEIR changes were made correctly without any fees/inconvenience to us. We were suppose to have a 2 hour plane ride originally, and because of the change we had a 7 hour plane ride. NEVER AGAIN."
- Travel date: Sun 14th of August 2016