Vendors and wandering undesirables on the beach can be annoying
St. Lucian by Rex was one of the first major resort hotels to open on St. Lucia, unfortunately, it has not kept up with the times and is now in need of renovation. Despite its imperfectly polished image, the resort holds a prime beachfront location, an adequate pool area and beachfront restaurant, and all-inclusive rates that are half of what other nearby all-inclusive resorts (such as Sandals) charge.
Laid-back, no-frills, budget-oriented resort, popular with couples, families, and local business people
The large lobby of the St. Lucian attempts to capture the traditional Caribbean Colonial style that's prevalent at many of St. Lucia's resorts. A colorful bouquet of pink ginger flowers, bird of paradise, and anthurium greets guests at check in, but first guests must pass through an open-air courtyard ringed with colorful gingerbread style storefronts and a cafe. In the cavernous lobby, which offers glimpses of the sea, a nautical-themed bar occupies one corner while various groupings of tables are surrounded by striped chairs and sofas.
Despite the endless parade of distractions, guests arriving at the St. Lucian seem to head straight to the sea. The large pool area ringed with lounge chairs, the open-air Mariner's restaurant that overlooks the water, and the golden sand of Reduit Beach serve as the main hubs of this budget-oriented all-inclusive resort, which is popular with families, couples, and locals.
While the St. Lucian is basic in its amenities, simple in its furnishings, and tired in its decor, its all-inclusive rates can't be beat -- they are half the price of other all-inclusive resorts (such as Sandals) on St. Lucia.
On Reduit Beach, minutes to the action of Rodney Bay Village
The resort is set on Reduit Beach, one of St. Lucia's most popular beaches with five miles of golden sand and calm Caribbean blue water that is ideal for snorkeling, swimming, and floating. It is on a secondary road, about a six-minute walk to the heart of Rodney Bay Village, St. Lucia's entertainment district with more than 30 restaurants and bars and numerous shops, including two malls.
6-minute walk to the Bay Walk Shopping Mall
10-minute drive to Pigeon Island State Park
15-minute drive to Castries
75-minute drive to Hewanorra International Airport
Simply furnished, with private terraces overlooking the pool, gardens, or beach
The St. Lucian's 120 rooms feature either two double beds or one king-sized bed with views of the gardens, pool, or beach. The rooms are simply furnished with white tile floors, colorful ceramic lamps, rattan furniture, and subdued, slightly faded, beachy artwork.
Separate seating areas feature a small sofa and coffee table, making the rooms feel more like suites. White linens and duvet covers add a touch of crispness to the otherwise tired decor -- the furniture shows visible signs of wear and tear, the drapery is heavy, and the air-conditioning is noisy. All of the rooms have private terraces with two plastic chairs and a table. Mini-fridges, coffeemakers with packets of Maxwell House coffee, older TVs, and safes are standard.
Bathrooms are stocked with plenty of white towels accented by fresh flowers but are on the small side. The oversized, above-the-counter vessel sinks on dark wood vanities add a modern touch, but the tile work, tubs, and toilets could use updating.
Beachfront location, a large pool with hot tub, an open-air restaurant overlooking the ocean, and access to a gym and spa
The St. Lucian isn't fancy, but it covers the basics necessary for a beach vacation. Its biggest asset is its beachfront location on Reduit Beach, a five-mile stretch of sand that curves around the calm, Caribbean blue waters of Rodney Bay. Guests have access to non-motorized water sports (snorkeling and sailing) as part of the all-inclusive plan, but motorized sports cost extra. Basic beach chairs and umbrellas are available for guests on the beach, or they can settle in to similar chairs around the large pool and hot tub area.
Mariner's restaurant, an open-air casual space, serves all meals included in the all-inclusive rates, but guests also have access to an Asian restaurant, a cafe, and the restaurants at the adjacent (much more upscale) sister resort, The Royal. A small spa and a cramped, inadequate gym are also located at the Royal. Exit out the front entrance of the hotel and you'll be able to access numerous restaurants, bars, and shops in Rodney Bay Village. The Friday night Gros Islet street party is also popular with visitors.