My wife and I (mid-40s) have just returned from 7 days at Bay Gardens Beach Resort, in Rodney Bay, St Lucia. We have been to St Lucia, once before, 6 years ago on a cruise port of call. On that occasion, we taxied to Rodney Bay and spent time on Reduit Beach, so we had an idea of what to expect, this time round.
We had free flights from Virgin from when they bumped us off a flight from Dubai to London.
Uneventful flight, paid extra to sit in extra leg room seating on the emergency exit row, which was worth the price. Food was good and drinks plentiful.
We pre-booked with PHV Tours. Kimbert was unavailable, but his associate Andrew was waiting outside the Arrivals Hall with our name on a board. Some cold drinks and a pleasant 75 minute drive across the island with Andrew pointing out points of interest along the way. He is quite rightly proud of his island and really knows his stuff.
This was straight-forward, fill in a form, copies of passports are taken and a Rum Punch cocktail provided. We were told that we had been upgraded to a suite (Thanks Upgrade Fairy) and shown to our room.
We were in Room 507, which overlooks the pool area. Room was extremely comfortable. A King size double (4 poster) bed, plenty of pillows, a couple of chairs, drawers, TV and wardrobe (with a safe and an iron). The Suite upgrade gave us an extra living area with sofa bed, dining table and another TV and also a small kitchen, with fridge freezer, microwave, coffee maker (with complimentary coffee, tea and milk) and sink The balcony had a couple of easy chairs and a table. Bathroom had a shower over the bath, 2 sinks and a toilet. Finally, there was an additional toilet off the living area.
Pool / Beach
Nice clean pool and surrounding areas. The staff never stop cleaning up. The pool area is very shady due to having 3 storey buildings and a few trees, on each side. We tended to stay on the beach, as my wife likes sun and I like shade. Beach is excellent, comfortable sunbeds and fixed umbrellas worked for us. There is plenty going on with the water sports guts, next door. Swimming is safe although one day there was a red flag out due to rough seas and we did see one or two people get injured after braving the water.
There is a Vacation Club (Interval International) in operation on the property. Nice people trying to get you to buy in to “time share” properties, that looking at our suite, sell themselves. We did attend a presentation that got us a couple of free drinks, some discount vouchers for local restaurants and a USD 100.00 voucher off our hotel bill.
Timeshare doesn’t really work for us, but what they were proposing didn’t sound too unreasonable, if you are happy to be tied to vacationing only at properties within the “Club”
We booked Room Only and baulked at paying £16 each for a buffet breakfast, which looked OK, at best. “Spinnakers”, next door (down the beach), do omelette, juice and coffee for £6 each. We did eat a couple of dinners at Trios using vouchers given to us by the Vacation Club sales team and signing the bill to our room account meant the USD 100 Vacation Club voucher took care of it. The food is excellent although the portion sizes of the Appitizers could be bigger. I recommend the Jerk Chicken, the Jerk Lamb and the Beef Tenderloin. They also have a 2-4-1 Happy Hour between 7 and 8pm. 2 bottles of cold piton for ECD 7.00 is a good deal.
We also attended the Managers Cocktail party on the Wednesday, which was a nice touch and the Beach Party on the Saturday. This was excellent, both in terms of the buffet food and the entertainment.
They run a complimentary shuttle bus to their sister hotel in Rodney Bay town on the half hour between 9.30am and 10.30pm (except 1.30 and 5.30). It seats about 10 people and takes 5 minutes. We used this almost every day, as the supermarkets in town are nearer to the sister hotel and we bought back sodas, water, beers, crisps, bread and cheese to make breakfast and lunch to eat on our balcony.
You can walk in to town, in about 15 – 20 minutes and we did this occasionally early morning. Midday would have proved too hot for us. There is a coffee shop (“Rituals”, which is similar to Starbucks) about ½ way, which breaks the walk up, nicely.
We also ate dinners in Spinnakers (see my review), RazMataz (Indian) which was excellent although a little different to curry in the UK and Buzz which had good food, but was very dark, sat in the garden and we did pick up some mossie bites, here.
Perfect for us. It was 30 degrees, each day with a light breeze. Still warm enough in the evenings to not need a sweater or jacket.
We had an excellent holiday. The flight was free, so with just hotel and transfer to pay for, we could have splurged and gone to Sandals. However, this would have been 3 times the price we paid and Smugglers Cove would have been twice the price. I know that they are All-Inclusive, so we wouldn’t have spent anything on food and drink, but in the end, we didn’t spend that much, either. This hotel really is excellent value for money. If Virgin want to give us another free flight, I’d return tomorrow.
Cheryl and her staff work really hard and the level of customer service is excellent. If you have any issues, no matter how minor, Cheryl will sort thing out for you. She should be very proud of her hotel and its staff.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC