So my husband and I traveled the world in our minds while planning our 10th anniversary. France, Las Vegas, Yellowstone, Ireland they all made the list but after looking into all of them I realized that at this time in our lives we needed a vacation where the two of us could just be “us”. Our schedules are filled with football, school, two boys, and work. We have travelled to the caribbean before therefore I didn’t want to go to the same place twice but we decided to look into Sandals. I had heard good things and I wanted a worry free vacation so all inclusive was extremely appealing to us. So after many hours of researching we decided on Sandals La Toc in St. Lucia. Reviews played a great role in helping us decide where we were going to go so I thought I should give my opinion on our vacation.
We flew out of Newark, NJ. Living in Connecticut we had four airports to choose from Newark, TF Green in Providence, RI, Bradley in Hartford, CT, Logan in Boston, MA. Flying out of Newark, NJ saved us $800 on airfare. Lesson to be learned….. Research different airports! Newark is about 2 1/2 hours from our home so we got a hotel for the night where we were able to get a park and stay deal. We were able to go spend the day in NYC and spend an extra night in a hotel and still come away saving $400 just because we looked into different airports.
We booked a private car transfer to the resort from the airport. It was $140 and worth every penny. The roads are full of twists and turns in St. Lucia plus we wanted to start off the vacation just the two of us. It was great! We were greeted with a friendly smile and cold beer! Our driver stopped in a few spots to let us take some pictures. He also stopped at a local restaurant and brought us out a warm bread stick with local cheese inside. Honestly it was one of the best things I ate all vacation. It was AMAZING!!! After hearing other couples talk about the crazy drive on the shuttle with little air conditioning and having to pull over so people could throw up due to motion sickness we decided to book a car back to the airport. Because we booked at the resort it was only $125 for the ride back.
We booked the honeymoon hideaway one bedroom butler suite with private pool. So when we arrived we were brought to a special lounge to meet our butler. We were greeted with cool towels, Hors d’oeuvres, and rum punch! We met our butler Jamel who brought us to our room and did our check in in our room. I booked our flight independently from sandals and we didn’t use a travel agent so I had to put all my flight information in the computer before I left. When I got there I had to fill out all the information again. I will say I didn’t have it written down it was on my phone and although the butler service rooms had free wifi it was super slow. So it was a bit frustrating trying to locate my information. So don’t plan on having great wifi. It made it a bit difficult to Skype or FaceTime with our children but I do have to say it was nice being unplugged for 8 days.
Our room was great the bed was comfortable and our pool was clean. Our bathroom was a bit small and you have to remember that you are in a rainforest so it is a bit musty and humid. I made the mistake of turning off the air conditioning and everything was covered in condensation. I read a lot of reviews and people said the rooms were dirty and out of date. We did not find that to be the case. We had one problem a small part of the ceiling out on our deck fell due to a small leak in the roof. It was cleaned up and fixed right away. All in all we were very happy with our room.
Our butlers were Jamel and Jason. They were great. They brought us special treats and surprises to really make our trip extra special. I have to say going with the butler room was worth every penny. They reserved our pool chairs everyday which was a huge plus considering people with out a butler were having a hard time finding a pool chair.You have to reserve a chair early or you won’t have a spot. They packed a cooler for us, bought us lunch if we wanted it at the pool or the beach, they made all of our reservations, they pressed our clothes each night before dinner, they unpacked our luggage and much more. The resort is very large and you have to get a shuttle to go from one spot to the next but having the butler was great as they drove you everywhere you wanted to go in a golf cart.
The beach was not private and there were a few people trying to sell items on the beach but if you told them you were not interested they left you alone. The red flag was up for most of our trip because the caribbean sea meets the atlantic off the coast of the resort so the water tends to have strong currents. We could still swim we just couldn’t do any water sports (kayaking and sailing). So if you have a day where you have a yellow or green flag be sure to do the water sports as you may not get another chance.
We did do some snorkeling which was a bit of a disappointment. Snorkeling is not available at the resort. You have to sign up for a time 8am or 2pm and you have to meet at the water sports area and take a shuttle for a 30min bus ride to get on a boat that goes right back past the resort. We waited on the boat for at least 45mins before we left. We had to wait for others staying at the halcyon before we could leave. It was about a 15min boat ride to the first stop and when we got there the water was turned up so we couldn’t snorkel there. They were going to bring us back to the resort but decided to try one more spot the was another 10min boat ride. We did get to see the Pitons which was nice and the boat ride ended up being it’s own little excursion but it was a long frustrating morning. I wasn’t too happy about that.
Let’s talk about champagne! I LOVE champagne and had read many reviews about whether or not they had it. The call it champagne but it is a sparkling wine but it is a dry brut. It was very good I thought. I don’t like sweet champagne and I was afraid it would be a sparkling moscato but it wasn’t and I was very happy!
All the wine was Beringer and I found it very good. They also had all name brand alcohol. You just had to be specific and ask for it other wise they would give you their local brand. The drinks are mostly weak so don’t be afraid to ask for a double shot they will give it to you.
Onto the food….The food was good. I wouldn’t say it was great. It is not the gourmet food I am used to. I have to admit I am a bit of a food snob. The portions are extremely small but remember you can order as much as you want. I would by no means say that the food was bad but I wouldn’t say it was out of this world either. Armando’s restaurant had great breakfast but the dinner was really BAD! I wish we would have skipped it all together. Also don’t miss the street party they have it every Friday and they have lobster tails, shrimp, oysters, and tons of food. It was a lot of fun and should not be missed.
We went in October which is the rainy season and it rained a few times but they were quick passing showers. It was not even close to a wash out and the clouds came and went. We got a great deal because we went during the rainy season.
Overall I would recommend St. Lucia and Sandals La Toc to anyone. We really enjoyed ourselves and were able to relax and not worry at all. Happy traveling!!!!