13 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
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: 11th January 2006
We had spent months and months looking f...
"We had spent months and months looking for the perfect wedding venue that we could combine with a honeymoon and we were totally drawn in by Sandals "the wedding of your dreams". Well in reality it is nothing short of a production line wedding resort. Sandals cheapened the whole meaning of getting married making it meaningless and tacky. The whole thing cost us around Â£8,000.00. My husband and myself have just come back from St Lucia Regency. Our wedding day was "the wedding from hell". As both of my parents have passed away, the thought of walking up an isle in church filled me with dread as it is every girlâs dream to be walked up the isle by her father, that is why we decided to get married abroad. Anyway we came across Sandals website and were totally drawn in by the perfect wedding of a lifetime. I take marriage very seriously and I wanted that reflected in the day. The wedding co-ordinator arrived 20 minutes late when I was supposed to be getting married. I was rushed into a golf buggy and then informed that my husband to be was not there!. I had to crouch behind a wall so he would not see me. No sooner had my foot reached the bottom of the stairs then the wedding music began. My husband was still frantically trying to get the rings out of his pocket before I got to him. The wedding co-ordinator was no longer to be found. The photographer was grumpy and barked orders at us to the point we said that we had had enough. We were left alone in the pool area with the wedding office being locked up and the wedding co-ordinator nowhere to be seen. We then had to get a lift in the hotel shuttle bus because we had no transport to get us back to our room. We then got changed and went for our supposedly wedding meal to find out that no wedding meal had been booked and I also forgot to tell you, we had our wedding cake pinched whilst having the awful photographs taken. When we did get the photographs, three of them had a semi naked old man being massaged in the background. Many of them were out of focus and blurred. We had also booked private transfer which was our equivalent of a wedding car, again this did not turn up and we ended up having to travel to the resort with luggage, wedding box etc on our knees for over an hour, which was quite uncomfortable. We were told by some Americans at the resort that on 5th May there had been about 17 weddings in one day. This filled us with dread, but we kept an open mind as we were fortunate to be the only wedding that day (30th May). As I said in my review the wedding coordinator turned up late to collect me, my husband told me that he had sat in a room with five other couples who were frantically trying to organize their wedding details whilst he should have been getting married. The wedding coordinator seemed more interested in booking other weddings in. We heard people complaining about the most ridiculous things, like not having their ice bucket filled. We were in awe of the place and could not believe we were there. The rooms in some areas were quite shabby, not like the fabulous rooms in the brochure etc. There were stains everywhere on the carpet, a tap dripped constantly in our room. The wood on the door leading to the bathroom was broken. On a positive note the scenery is beautiful. There is a drive in volcano, which smells like rotten eggs due to the sulphur content. Marigot Bay is also beautiful and worth a visit. Places to eat which in our opinion were worth a visit were La Toc, which was lovely food. It was quite difficult to get a reservation as many of the guests from The Grande and Halcyon go there. The pavilion was like a buffet, help yourself kind of thing, but again we found this to be ok. We were not quite as impressed with The Pitons as you were literally sitting on the next personâs lap. Food was not quite as good in our opinion there. Our food was quite cold when it eventually arrived. Amando's Restaurant we found it to be better in the evening then at lunchtime. It is a very poor country, which is a shame, and it is quite a contrast between Sandals and the surroundings areas. It is not safe to go out alone, especially in the evening. You are best to keep to the excursions provided. Although these can be very expensive. This has caused considerable tension between us as a married couple and I just want to prevent this from happening to somebody else. I know there is no such thing as perfect but I wanted it to be near to that as much as possible. I cannot bear to look at the wedding photographs because they just upset me too much. I could go on forever about this as so many awful things happened on what should have been the best day of our lives. If you are having your honeymoon there, fine but if you are considering marrying there, save your money - I cannot stress this enough! "
- Travel date: 30th April 2005
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. Allan "
- Travel date: 30th April 2005
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: 26th 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: 3rd 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: 1st 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: 24th 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: 11th 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: 20th 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: 5th 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: 28th 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: 25th August 2003
Sandals Regency La Toc is also called
- Sandals Regency Golf Resort & Spa
- sandals st lucia
- sandals regency st lucia hotel