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Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort 5.0

Gros Islet, Gros Islet Quarter, St. Lucia

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • All water sports (including waterskiing and scuba) included in the all-inclusive rates
  • Gorgeous white-sand beach with dead-on views of Pigeon Island
  • 12 restaurants ranging from barefoot beach casual to fine dining
  • Four pool areas, each with its own specific vibe
  • Access to amenities at two other Sandals resorts
  • Peninsula location that allows views of the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean
  • Huge fire pits over the water surrounded by comfortable lounge seating
  • Club Level Rooms with 24-hour lounge access; some rooms have butler service
  • Walking distance to Pigeon Island, where guests can hike and explore
  • Airport transfers are included in the room rate
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Overwater wedding chapel

Cons

  • Private beach cabanas come with concierge but cost extra
  • The gym is on the small side (only two elliptical machines) for such a large property
  • It's a large property that requires a lot of walking
  • The main pool can get crowded and noisy with imbibing young couples
  • Wine enthusiasts will want to upgrade to the enhanced Manager's Wine list

Bottom Line

The newest of the three Sandals resorts on St. Lucia, Sandals Grande is a 301-room, upscale, couples-only resort that's set on a peninsula adjacent to Pigeon Island, a historic national landmark. Its signature pool with a huge tower and swim-up bar is the center of the action, a place where young honeymooners mix and mingle. Three other (quieter) pool areas, a slew of water sports (including unlimited scuba), a beautiful spa, and 12 restaurants, including an authentic British Pub, help keep guests occupied. Club Level and Butler Level rooms are available for upgraded service.

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Scene

Upscale, all-inclusive couples resort with a stunning location and a slew of amenities

This upscale resort has a stunning location on a peninsula adjacent to Pigeon Island

Checking in at Sandals Grande is akin to being set free in an adult wonderland. At first glance, it's sensory overload -- a pool with a huge tower rising from its center, a long white sand beach, stretching piers with fire pits, eight restaurants, and a laundry list of water sports.

When the excitement settles, guests seem to find their place at the resort. Young, active, honeymooning couples head to the main pool to party at the swim-up bar, play volleyball, and mingle, while more mature couples seeking a less hectic scene head to the quieter pools or seek serenity within the cocoons of a beachfront cabana.

Guests won't lack for activities. Those already certified in scuba can partake in up to two dives daily, and other water sports include windsurfing, sailing, paddle-boarding, and water skiing. Dining options include fine dining with white-gloved service at an over-the-water restaurant, chocolate crepes at a French-style bistro, and burgers at Barefoot, where you can sink your feet in the sand and stare down a variety of artfully carved mermaids. Three dining options: Bombay Club (Indian), Soy Sushi Bar, and Kimonos (Japanese) were added after our visit.

Candlelit beachside dinners for couples and regular group activities are also on the agenda. Evenings include a rotating calendar of activities that bring out the crowds, including a particularly popular late-night chocolate buffet.

Location

On a mile-long peninsula of white-sand beach on St. Lucia's northwest coast, close to Pigeon Island National Park

Map of Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort

The resort is located about six miles northwest of Castries, St. Lucia's capital city. It sits on a peninsula between Pigeon Island (a national park and landmark) and Rodney Bay on St. Lucia's northwest coast. Views of the Atlantic and the Caribbean can be seen from the property.

  • 8-minute walk to Pigeon Island National Park
  • 7-minute drive to Rodney Bay Village
  • 11-minute drive to Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort
  • 20-minute drive to George F. L. Charles Airport
  • 23-minute drive to Sandals La Toc Spa and Beach Resort
  • 90-minute drive to Hewanorra International Airport

Rooms

Rooms have beautiful colonial-influenced Caribbean style; some have butler service or private lounge access

The Grande Rondaval Butler Suite with Private Pool features a circular bedroom decorated in luxurious colonial style

The resort's 301 rooms and suites fall into 16 different categories with three levels of service. Guests of butler-serviced rooms and suites are given a cell phone that allows them to dial up a dedicated butler whenever they desire to request help with anything -- from ordering drinks poolside to booking spa treatments and dinner reservations to having rose petals spread across their duvets post-dinner.

The Concierge Level, the resort's second tier of service, allows guests access to Club Sandals. The private club lounge is an air-conditioned haven where guests can grab a beverage and a snack and meet privately with the concierge to make reservations for dinner, the spa, and excursions.

Entry-level rooms do not have access to butlers or Club Sandals, but guests here can still access everything else on the property -- including Gordon's fine dining seafood restaurant, included in rates.

All rooms feature colonial Caribbean style with four-poster, king-size beds draped with breezy white fabric and carved mahogany furniture. The neutral color palette incorporates light-colored tile floors, textured rugs, pale blue or yellow walls, quality white duvets, and chairs and sofas covered in rich blue and taupe fabrics. All rooms come equipped with air-conditioning, mini-fridges stocked with beverages, coffeemakers, and either balconies or patios.

Room types vary by size and view and are scattered throughout the property. Among the most luxurious are the Grande Rondovals. Set on opposite borders of the property close to the beach, they feature large circular bedroom and living areas, huge bathrooms with deep tubs, walk-in showers, and two vanities. Also included with the Rondovals are private outdoor pool decks with plunge pools, hot tubs, hammocks, and outdoor showers. Other notable accommodations include the two-bedroom President Clinton Oceanfront Penthouse (he visited the island and prime minister in 2003) with a large outdoor terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and the Swim-Up Lover's Lagoon Rooms, which offer direct access to the pool from the patio.

Features

One of the most amenity rich all-inclusive resorts on St. Lucia

A rich variety of amenities include water sports equipment

Sandals possesses the largest water sports operation in the Caribbean and guests of Sandals Grande will find a long list of water activities to keep them occupied. Divers already certified can take advantage of daily dives while others can sign up to get scuba certified (for a fee). Waterskiing, sailing, kayaking, paddle-boarding, and windsurfing cater to active guests while the more leisurely oriented can partake in snorkeling and lounging in a giant seaside hot tub.

Other noteworthy amenities at the resort include 12 restaurants, a signature RedLane Spa, an overwater wedding chapel (added after our visit), and an adequate (somewhat small) fitness center.

Airport Transportation

Free transfers to and from St. Lucia's airports

The resort's rate includes airport transportation in a group van. Those seeking privacy can book a ride in a luxury vehicle for fee. This service is included with butler-serviced rooms.

Pools

Four pools, all with their own vibe

The resort has four pools, all with their own vibe, including the Lovers Pool, which overlooks the water

The main pool with its signature Sandals tower (large logo included) is the social hub for young, honeymooning couples who like to party and mingle. It has a swim-up bar, water-spouting dolphin statues, a ring of tightly packed lounge chairs, and a private club-like room at the top of the tower.

An adjacent grouping of pools and whirlpool, separated from the main pool by a small bridge, are surrounded by landscaping and palm trees. They offer a quieter environment.

The Lovers Pool and whirlpool is an intimate lagoon-style pool sheltered by greenery. It is rarely crowded and lounge chairs are spread out around the pool's edges.

The Lagoon Pool caters mostly to guests staying in the surrounding buildings where some of the rooms have direct swim-up access from their patios. It features collections of lounge chairs and pergolas.

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Address

Rodney Bay, Caribbean

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