Sandals Regency La Toc
13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Ok but just ok
"My wife and I were convinced by our travel agent that Sandals would be the ideal place to go for our honeymoon; as it would be romantic; relaxing and intimate.We found the food to be fine; however I did notice that they basically use the same foods and add a slightly different spice depending on what restaurant you went to!I felt that the tables were too close together and you ended up hearing 2 - 3 different conversations when the place was full.The restaurants we visited were -La Toc - Not very impressive; no real ambianceArizona - We both liked this one; food was good; open air eating to the sound of the wavesKumono's - great fun; a group of 12 people are sat together; depending on the group you can have a right laugh!Armando's - an ok Italian restuarant; good for breakfast though as the food is cooked for you there unlike the main buffet restaurantOff site we ate at the Pier which we both loved; great food and decor. (Halcyan) However the rest of the Halcyan looked / felt drab. If you like school antics for entertaiment stay by the main pool; not my scene however lots of people were enjoying it. For a more relaxing swim go to the bluff and enjoy the view as well as a swim! There is also a pool near to the piano bar that we both prefered to go to as it was nearly always empty and we had it too ourselves. (It also had the only working Jacuzi) The not so good.We had one cockroache crawl out of the sink..... bottled water for brushing the teeth I think! The shower didn't work and the back of the tv cabinet was hanging of. The view was great (we had an oceanview room on the bluff though!) I agree the a/c's need to be updated and although the rooms are obviously old; they are needing some upkeep.The staff were friendly; as long a you like scripted answers. Complaint handling is not their strongest suit however a lot of the complaints we heard were so pathetic I could see why. One American Lady kicked off because she was given the wrong drink ( and I mean KICK) What's wrong with saying sorry mate wrong one can I have... thanks!The beach is not private and on a Sunday the local lads play football on the beach have a swim and enjoy themselves. I did'nt have an issue with this at all; it was great fun watching them wind up the security guard who was watching them. Lets remember it is their country. As for the beach vendors I did find them pushy especially at the Halcyon and the Grande; however they are just trying to make a living; you just need to walk away saying no thanks. The activities day and night I felt were very poor. It was nearly always audiance participation. I like to watch shows; local music, dancing and be enteratained. Not hear Karaoke; (I though the lads in my local were bad!). This was practically every night; not all night but not what I associated with Sandals. During the day pool Olympics; water aerobics; and that's about it. We tried the Hobie cats; they were great however if you are not confident watch out!! It was windy when we went and most days the sea was red flagged (No swimming and no water sports) I felt the spa was over priced and we didn't bother; which basically left sun bathing during the day. We went on the shopping trip to Castries market and I felt like I had a bright neon sign on my head saying rip me off. The 'market' is really just a place to trap tourists to be pressured sold. We then went to the duty free part where the cruise ships dock. This was completely the other end of the scale.We have been to Cuba and Dom Rep. I felt Dom Rep was better value for money and the dream sold by our travel agent was not what we experienced."
- Travel date: Wed 26th of November 2003
There are better choices
"We visited Sandals St. Lucia Golf Resort in April of 2003. The room was very clean, well appointed, and in an excellent location(oceanfront).
On our second day, we arrived in our room at 500pm to discover that there was no water. When we called the front desk, we were informed that someone from maintenance would be sent to the room shortly. At 5;45, we went to the front desk to be told that the entire building was without water, and the problem was being worked on. That should have been told to us with the first phone call. We would have found something else to do instead of sitting in the room waiting for maintenance. Two days later, we were awakened to the sound of loud music and singing. This was at 100am. After stepping out onto the balcony, we observed Sandals employees having a party outside of the Arizona Restaurant. We called the hotel operator and requested Security to come and break up this party. Security did show up at 1:30. This is not something that we would expect at a Sandals resort. The next afternoon, we arrived at the main pool at 130pm, and headed to the hut to pick up towels. We were informed that they were out, but one of the watersports men would go and get more. At 2:45, he had still not returned. When I questioned one of the "Playmakers" as to why the towel hut would wait until they were out of towels to go and get more, I was told to "be cool". We never did see towels that day. There are posted signs at both the main pool and beach that lifeguards are on duty.
Although we used both beach and pool, not once did a lifeguard appear.
The ocean water can be very rough, don't go in if you don't know how to swim well. We found the pool to be littered with straws and plastic cups on more than one occasion. Although service is adequate, it is not outstanding. We found the food to be mediocre. We had dinner at Armando's twice, and on both occassions, had to wait 45 minutes between salads and entrees. The employees were friendly, but did not go out of their way. This is a good choice for honeymooners, or for people who have not travelled much. We prefer the Royal Plantation resort in Jamaica, which is owned by Sandals and Beaches. If you want a perfect place, with outstanding service and food, spend the extra money and go."
- Travel date: Mon 3rd of November 2003
Best Honeymon imaginable
"We went there for our honeymoon in October. We had the best time ever.
We are in our earlier 30s and the atmosphere was perfect. Plenty things to do and you are never bored. I would highly recommend the regency to any couple that is looking to have a romantic vacation with a little party thrown into the mix."
- Travel date: Sat 1st of November 2003
"Absolutely Wonderful! We had the best time of our life! I was extremely concerned after reading all the reviews but was pleasantly surprised by our wonderful experience. When we booked our trip (3 weeks before our arrival date of 10/17/03) the Grand was sold out, therefore, we decided to stay at the Regency. After spending time at both resorts, the Regency was better by far if you are looking for a fun/exciting vacation. The Grande is newer and has a great beach and is definitely more of a "hotel" feel to it....but we couldn't wait to get back to the Regency. The staff at the Regency was more pleasant and the nightlife (& day activities) more exciting. The Regency is spread out over a large area - (you will definitely get your exercise), it was like you were in a "mini" jungle paradise - absolutely beautiful.Upon arrival (10:30PM) we were shown our room and the A/C unit was making a crazy noise. I called down to the front desk and we were moved immediately into an upgraded room by the main pool (which I recommend). Our new room was perfect, the A/C ran great & I didn't see any "mold" as mentioned in other reviews. Also, the bed was awesome! Great mattress & I wanted to "snag" a pillow and bring it home.I was also concerned that we were going to be the "oldest" people there, I am 32 and my husband is 36...we were not. There were all ages, I think the youngest person I meet was 26....up to a couple spending there 30th wedding anniversary.The food was okay....the service was good...just remember you are on "Island time".Things I would recommend: Book your restaurant reservations the day you get there! Also, if you are doing any excursions, they do not run everyday...so book those ASAP. We did the Rain Forest Jeep Safari & the all day Catamaran tour. Both were exceptional... If you like a lot of activity, try to book your room near the main pool. If you want a more secluded vacation, book your room by the Sunset grill/second pool area. I think the most important thing to remember, is your vacation is what you make of it - great attitudes = great vacations and bad attitudes = you get the idea.....ENJOY!Lisa & Buck"
- Travel date: Fri 24th of October 2003
better than expected
"My husband and I went to Sandals Regency Golf & Spa for our Honeymoon - September 14-21, 2003. I read the reviews before we left and was a little nervous about going based on the negative feedback I read. I said to myself, any vacation is what you make of it and we will make the best of this. We arrived after a long day and flight and were pleasantly shocked - nothing like what I read. We were taken up to the suite concierge office and were given champagne. We were then taken to our room - it was clean (no bugs) and had a perfect view of the ocean.
We went through our week with great food and drinks - it seemed that everyday was better than the last. There were more than enough restaurants to choose from - great food at each. Our favorites were Le Piton and Kimono's. We visited Sandals Grand and weren't too impressed.
The beach was definitely better (white sand), but our hotel had more character - the rooms weren't all lumped into a large hotel, they were spread across the resort. I can't understand why there was so many negative responses on this site. We had a perfect honeymoon with no problems. I think the people who wrote the negative feedback would not be happy anywhere they go and have a complaint about everything in life. I have plenty of digital pictures of the resorts and our room."
- Travel date: Sat 11th of October 2003
Great Resort, Lots of $$$ though
"My wife and I went to Sandals St. Lucia in October of 2000 for our honeymoon. We had a wonderful time, but paid handsomely for it. We decided to splurge, because you only get one honeymoon. This was the first Caribbean trip for both of us, although we've traveled extensively through Europe and the US. If you're expecting 5 star(north american standard) rooms and service, you'll be disappointed. My first impression of the room(we had the "deluxe") was "kind of small", although the king size bed was SUPER SOFT. If you want a true five star room, you should probably just go to Florida and stay at a Marriott or something. Keep in mind that St. Lucia is relatively poor and their way of life is considerably "slower" than ours. The staff here are quite attentive and eager to please, you just need to give them some time. We had no real problems, as we didn't go looking for any. I've got to wonder if the people who claim to be treated badly did not bring it upon themselves? Remember, you're in THEIR country, where customs are certainly different than we may be used to. Here's my list of the good, the bad, and the ugly:THE GOOD -The people of St. Lucia are wonderful. My wife and I walked into Castries and found everyone to be friendly and polite. People interested to talk to us and ask how we were enjoying ther island. NOBODY tried to sell us anything. -The food at Sandals was pretty good. Again, if your expecting a steak as good as one of the top steakhouses in New York, you'll be disappointed. Overall, very good though. A good variety, and there's always something open. -No kids! None are allowed, and we didn't see any. -The watersports: Hobie cats, sunfish, waterskiing, and various pedal powered things. You can get PADI certified and go diving as much as you want, included! Snorkelling too. -the pools and swim up bars are great, no waiting to get a drink, friendly staff etc. -activities: there's lots and the staff really do seem to love their job. We were just there to relax, so we didn't do very many, and nobody pressured us. -NO TIPPING. We've since been to other "all inclusive" resorts where tipping is expected at every turn. At Sandals, the staff WILL NOT accept tips. Apparently, they can get fired if they do. -Security was very good. The beach is public, but I didn't see anyone sneaking onto the resort. -exchange with the other Sandals: The Grande wasn't open yet, so we just had the Halcyon, we ate there a couple of times and hung out at their beach. -daysail trip down to Soufriere. It was 75USD extra each, but well worth it. Free booze and food, snorkelling, etc.THE BAD -the beach is not the greatest, the one at Halcyon is much better. -as mentioned before, the room was OK, but not what I was expecting. Ours faced the pool, and was pretty loud until about 11pm. It was very clean though. -The Golf Course sucks. Do not expect anything near the WORST muni course in North America and you'll be all right! You need to pay for caddies and carts, and shoes if you didn't bring your own. For what you pay to stay there, it all should be free. The caddies are nice, though. I'm a golf freak, and I only played twice in two weeks.THE UGLY -As one might expect, the little store rips you off big time. We ran out of sunblock and had to buy some. YIKES! -You will need some money for incidental things, but DO NOT EXCHANGE AT THE RESORT. There exchange rates are brutal, and they would not cash advance our VISA. Walk, or cab, into Castries and you'll find all of the big Canadian banks. There you can exchange any currency at a fair rate.Keep in mind that it's been almost three years since we were there and things may have changed. We've since been to Costa Rica, Punta Cana, and Cancun. Our trip to Sandals is still the standard by which others are judged. I guess it depends on how rich you are whether you find good value for the money. We paid 9200CDN for two weeks for the both of us. That's a lot of dough, for us anyway. I don't regret it, as we had a wonderful honeymoon with memories to last a lifetime. I imagine there's better value to be had, but none of the St. Lucia resorts are "cheap". I can't honestly say that Sandals St. Lucia is twice as good as other resorts we've stayed at for nearly half the price, but it is definitely better. If you've got the money, go and have a great time."
- Travel date: Sat 20th of September 2003
We're going back!
"I really enjoyed my stay at Sandals St. Lucia. My husband and I got married on the beach and it was absolutely beautiful. I must admit, the check-in was a little bumpy. We were initially placed in the wrong room category. The staff, however, did not hesitate to step up and correct this problem. Within an hour we were placed in the correct category room and were given a discount at the end of our stay for our trouble.
There wasn't anything the staff wouldn't do for us. We got spoiled with the 24-hour room service. The food was good. Definitely do Kimonos! I really enjoyed my stay and will definitely be back!
Please don't be scared of the negative comments you read. I was petrified after reading the negative verbatims before going on my trip.
Sometimes you gotta just see for yourself. All I can say, is if the resort is anything like it was between 6/15 - 6/22/03 you will enjoy!"
- Travel date: Fri 5th of September 2003
Loved It - Get a life USA
"Boy are you Americans petty. We have just returned from a 2 week stay in Aug-03. We had a great time!! Yes the check in was a bit slow!! - about 10 minutes a believe, but take your time and drink the champagne.
Yes the rooms aren't massive but get out of them and enjoy the place.
Food was excellent, I had 42 meals at all the resturants and all where great - Le Toc, Kominos and the Italian where all superb. If you think the are small portions you must live on another planet. Main Pool was a bit roudy for about half an each day when they had a game on, but compared to European resorts it was quiet!! Yes the service was sometimes a bit slow but what on earth are you rushing for. If you aren't happy about something let them know and the staff did everything the could to help!! Don't moan about it 2 weeks after you get back.
Overall had a great time and would recommend it to everyone - Get a life you complainers"
- Travel date: Thu 28th of August 2003
OMG such a wonderful place
"My husband and I stayed at the Gulf Resort and Spa for our honeymoon & we absolutely loved everything about it!! Well, other than the fact that he lost his wedding ring in about 5ft. of ocean water the manager of watersports (Gibbs Bakie) went out of his way to help us try to find it spending at least 12 hours in scuba gear looking for it. The entire staff was so nice & everybody did everything they could to make sure you had a good time. The food was awesome, especially the buffet breakfast aat the Pavillion they had anything you could ever want for breakfast. I can not understand these people that give this place a bad review b/c we had the time of our lives!!! We are going back next year for our 1 year anniversary b/c thet give you the 1st and last night for free! The only thing that they could use some work on is their alchoholic drinks, but we aren't big on drinking anyway so it didn't bother us. We went scuba diving a few times, it was the most beautiful place i have ever been diving at and I've been dinving for 10 years. It was my husbands firsr time to dive in the ocean, being a new diver, and he was amazed!! If you have the money i recommend you try to fly from the international airport to the smaller airport near the hotel on a smaller plane or a helicopter b/c if not you will ride in a shuttle bus for an hour and a half to get to the resort and it was horrible. Bring motion sickness pills.!!! All in all it was like being in heaven and I wish we never had to leave!"
- Travel date: Mon 25th of August 2003
Holiday Inn quality at Ritz prices. - Food was a disaster. - What service?
"In July 2002, my new husband and I went on our honeymoon to Sandals St
Lucia Golf Resort & Spa.
ARRIVAL Upon reaching the hotel at midnight we were ushered (en masse)
into a waiting room to fill out forms. The person leading the process
didn't have sufficient pens/pencils to distribute to the guests and was
difficult to understand. We were provided with a "complimentary" bag
containing shampoo, conditioner and aloe. We were then escorted by a
bell hop to our room in the main hotel building. The room was a
Honeymoon Grand Luxe Oceanview room.
ROOM The room was very tropical in style with bright caribbean colors
dominating linens and bright yellow walls. The floor was a smooth
burgandy painted cement. There was a four poster king size bed with a
ceiling fan above. The room also included a small couch and desk. The
balcony was nice in size and the view of the ocean was amazing;
however, the window to the balcony contained a large, noisy, dripping
air conditioning unit, which blew hot air on us as we attempted to
enjoy the peace of the gentle waves breaking on the beach. The ceiling
fan was offered insufficient cooling so we were forced to use the "hot"
air conditioner throughout our stay. The bathroom area was okay - there
was only one sink and the fixtures seemed to be past their prime. In
addition, housekeeping took our small bar soap (the only one provided)
and did not replace it - even after phone calls to housekeeping. It
should also be noted that room service is not available to guests,
unless you are staying in one of the suite concierge rooms on Sunset
BEACH The beach is man made, narrow and short. No beach walking folks
you wouldn't go 1/4 mile. There are plenty of lounge chairs on the
beach and some shade, but there were sand fleas, when we were there so
be prepared. The water itself is beautiful; however, it doesn't have
the same beautiful blue/green shade as the water in St. Johns. The
beach is deep - so be careful if you aren't a strong swimmer.
MAIN POOL AREA The main pool area is pretty including a faux waterfall
with gazebo, where guests can pay extra for romantic evening encounter
meals. The deck chairs rim the entire pool perimeter and deck. The
chairs along the pool are packed so tightly you must get into the pool
to get in your lounge chair. In addition, there is no wait staff at the
pool and the fruity drinks pictured in the brochures are actually
served in brown, bumpy, small, plastic cups, without any type of
pineapple or cherry garnish. The drinks were weak and of low quality.
The atmosphere at the main pool resembled spring break Cancun from my
college days. Only problem - I'm not in college anymore and would
prefer a more sophisticated atmosphere. Frequent, games and loud music
ruin the idyllic setting.
BLUFFS POOL AREA To escape the madness of the main pool, we ventured up
to the high roller district "Sunset Bluffs" area. Here we discovered an
oasis of calm. No crowds - just people lazying around a smaller pool
with an amazing bird's eye view of the ocean. This pool also boasts
multi-level sun decks with views of the ocean, unfortunately some of
these decks also boast a sewage odor that was noted in other locations
at the resort during our stay, but particularly in the pool areas.
FOOD Don't expect haute cuisine - it's more like Friendly's. Here is a
sampling of our observations:
The Pier - restaurant in the round over the water at Halcyon (Sandal's
other St. Lucia property), The menu was fun with some unique choices
and we did get our own bottle of wine on the table, which was a nice
touch. However, the food was only mediocre.
La Toc - Order every course offered because the servings are small. The
food was well presented, but lacked taste.
Pavillion & Arizona's - both offer dining al fresco, which would be fun
except for the following: food was frequently observed to be
unrefrigerated, uncovered, with insects around and birds were seen
eating off of the buffet on numerous occasions.
* In addition, to the aforementioned we noted on a few occassions the telltale signs of microwaved food (ie cold center, crusty corners.
OFFSITE TOURS Sandals has an on-site agency, which will handle day
trips for you. However, the tour agency is not affiliated with Sandals.
We only took one trip due to the high cost of the tours and the fact
that we had already paid all-inclusive rates to be at Sandals. We took
the horseback riding BBQ, operated by Trimm's riding stable. We were
picked up at the resort in a standard tour bus, we then proceeded to
stop at four other resorts to pick up additional people. After about an
hour we arrived at the riding stable, which seemed to be in reasonable
shape (I have ridden and owned horses, since the age of 9). Once
everyone was aboard their mounts we started down the trail.
Unfortunately, the trail was littered with all forms of trash
imaginable, including barbed wire, old rusted out cars, tires, kitchen
appliances etc. We reached the beach and had a BBQ - which was very
scary, the hosts were nice so I felt obliged to eat, but I was nervous
about the food. Luckily, neither myself or my husband got sick. We then
were able to ride the horses bareback into the ocean for a photo and
then reversed course.
SPA The spa looked nice, but when we requested a tour of the facility
we were rudely denied; therefore, we weren't about to pay for any
WATER SPORTS Sandals provide Hobie Cats, sea kayaks, aqua trykes and a
power boat for waterskiing, as well as, snorkel and scuba trips. All of
these sports should include instruction if requested. Scuba requires a
4 hour class or certification. We went on two snorket trips - the first
was to Pig bay, which was crowded with cruise ship day trip boats and
other trips. I was nervous to get in the water because of all of the
power boats in the area. However, the crew was kind enough to push
people off the ladder and into the water to make the decision for them.
In addition, no head count was taken to ensure that everyone in the
water returned to the boat after our 30 minutes in the water. The boat
staff seemed annoyed and uninterested in us.
Our second trip was much better. We snorkeled in an area called Virgin
Cove. There were no other boats in the area and there was a person in
charge, who actually checked everyone off on his clipboard and made
general safety announcements. Tip: Take a banana from lunch to feed to
the fish they love it."
- Travel date: Fri 22nd of August 2003
Having previously stayed at a Sandals re...
"Having previously stayed at a Sandals resort in Jamaica (where we got married) we were keen to book another Sandals holiday as soon as we could.
The resort we choose was the Regency in St Lucia. Overall this resort did not live up to the standards we had expected based on our experience in Jamaica.
We upgraded our room to an Ocean View Deluxe room, which seemed to be in an old block of the hotel. The room although well equipped was quite tatty, with flaking paint work and very worn furniture.
Part of the hotel was being refurbed during our stay, the noise did interfere with relaxing around the main pool. The restaurants and choice of food was fabulous and the quality as you would expect.
The staff were friendly, but no-one appeared to go the extra mile to make our stay just that little bit more special.
We had quite a bit of "liquid sunshine" during our stay. Unfortunately, activities when raining were few and far between."
- Travel date: Wed 11th of January 2006
Iâve always avoided the all-inclusive...
"Iâve always avoided the all-inclusive Sandals type experience until this year. My wife and I were looking for something different for an anniversary and after a lot of research we plumped for St Lucia. On checking all the available resorts we chose the Sandals Regency both for the range of facilities on offer and the cost of the total package.
The hotel and service lived up to what we expected. The food was absolutely fantastic with a choice of 12 restaurants spread over 3 Sandals resorts with free transport between the resorts.
The sports facilities are fantatstic with a 9 hole golf course - green fees included - only extra cost was for a caddy to carry clubs in high temperatures - $5 per round.
If you add up what you could spend by doing all of this independently it would be considerably more than the cost of the holiday.
St Lucia is a lovely island -it does rain occasionally - but it wouldnât be a green and rain forest clad island if it didnât. There are a few organised trips to the Drive in volcano and rain forest excursions. The trips and treatments at the Spa are the only things we spent money on.
We flew with BWIA from Heathrow - on time and good service but in flight drinks not included - with all the drink available at Sandals we probably didnât need any more!
Would we go to another Sandals resort - Yes most certainly.
We spoke to many couples who used Sandals for their weddings and they say it was the best decision they had made for a completely stressless ceremony in marvellous surroundings they couldnât praise the Sandals experience highly enough.
The only downsides - the roads on St Lucia are really just potholes with occasional patches of tarmac! Be prepared for a rough ride. There are obvious signs of poverty in and around the main towns Castries and Souffriere. Shopping is not that exciting.
Overall a great holiday for pampering somebody you love.
- Travel date: Sat 30th of April 2005