Secluded beach paradiseA luxury tropical retreat in St Lucia
Destination: St Lucia, Caribbean
Vacation: Tropical paradise
Seeking: All-inclusive luxury
Highlight: Secluded boutique-feel
Even as our airport transfer weaved its way across the island towards Sandals Halcyon Beach, we could already see why St Lucia gets hyped as the most beautiful tropical paradise on the planet.
It has everything. Dense, lush, rainforest, sweeping panoramic views from a variety of elevation, glorious white and dark sand beaches, coral reefs, secret coves, waterfalls, and the stunning Pitons, a UNESCO World Heritage site consisting of two volcanic mountainous spires rising from the Caribbean Sea along St Lucia’s southwest coast.
Sandals Halcyon Beach is located on the northwest of the island not far from the port city and capital, Castries, but far enough away to feel like you’re sharing the entire island with no one else but the other guests at this adult-only resort.
Whichever room you choose to stay in wandering through the vibrant gardens at Sandals Halcyon Beach to get to your accommodation is an experience itself. The beach is stunning too. Powdery white sand with a pier stretching out across the sea to the upscale overwater restaurant Kelly’s Dockside Bar & Grill which takes centre stage.
Our first impressions of Sandals Halcyon Beach were that somehow the resort seemed bursting with things to see, try and do, while at the same time maintaining an air of calm, secluded tranquillity, and relaxation very few places can match. Any lingering wonderings about whether an all-inclusive could provide that sense of serenity and luxury found in more boutique hotels was forever banished on arrival. That, ‘I’m not going home. I’m staying here forever,’ feeling, normally reserved for at least day two or three of an unbelievable vacation, was present from the start.
Scroll down to find out more about our stay at Sandals Halcyon Beach, including the rooms, things to do, and food and drink. For more luxury resorts to choose from in St Lucia take a look at Sugar Beach and Ladera Resort. You can also browse our full collection of Caribbean luxury resorts.
- Tropical 100% 100%
- Seclusion 100% 100%
- All-inclusive 100% 100%
- Variety 100% 100%
“Here in the midst of a tropical utopia, where majestic palms line a pristine beach and verdant mountains rise from a turquoise sea, you’ll discover a charming and intimate sanctuary that’s the essence of its name… tranquil, peaceful and calm.”
Best food & drink
One of the great things about Sandals Halcyon Beach is the variety, and it was a nice problem to have to try and narrow down our three favourite restaurants and bars out of the six restaurants and seven bars on site, and the 21 additional restaurants and seemingly countless bars you have access to at nearby Sandals Grande St Lucian and Sandals Regency La Toc. But we couldn’t leave out Bayside.
Bayside restaurant is where you’ll likely have breakfast every morning. A combination of excitement and jetlag drew us to Bayside early each day of our stay, and we sat as close to the beach and the sea as you could. The view is Caribbean perfection. And the food, and the Jamaica Blue Mountain® Coffee is excellent. As well as the a la carte breakfast, Bayside also serves a la carte lunch and a la carte French Brasserie dining by night. But it was breakfast that really wowed for us, and taking a mug of fresh coffee after we’d eaten for a stroll along the sand became our unforgettable daily routine.
2. Kelly’s Dockside
Dressing up and walking along the pier and into Kelly’s Dockside Seaside Bar & Grill, with its lantern lighting and glowing chandeliers, is special. The restaurant is glamorous, elegant, and fun. Eating fine food and drinking fine wine sitting above the Caribbean Sea slightly offshore, with panoramic views all around, is a unique experience.
The food itself, a fusion of seafood and Creole cookery, is great too, as is the service and the ambience. Every meal at Kelly’s Dockside was a leisurely affair soaking everything in, from the Instagram photos we took on the pier outside, to the indulgent desserts. One to savour.
It was a tough call and Kimonos, oriental cuisine with Teppanyaki-style cooking, deserves to be mentioned, but ultimately it was impossible for us to leave Mario’s off this list. We didn’t expect too much. Some decent Italian food perhaps in a pleasant setting, but Mario’s is far beyond that. It’s an authentic, exceptional Italian restaurant, with classic Italian cuisine prepared by native Italian chefs. In St Lucia, on your doorstep in the resort.
Mario’s draws its cooking style from the beautiful region of Tuscany, where E.A. Mario, grandfather to the restaurant’s first authentic Italian chef, was born to a family of humble means in the northern Italian region of Lombardia. Growing up in a family of six in a small apartment behind his father’s barbershop, everyone in his family needed to pull their weight to get by. Mario was in charge of preparing dinner and his delicious dishes would bring his whole family together every night. Mario instilled that same sense of passion for his love of food and family into his children and grandchildren. And it really shows. The décor is transportive, as is the food.
Sandals Halcyon Beach features classic French-Caribbean architecture. Low-rise buildings and cottage-style rooms and suites add to the luxury boutique feel of the resort.
We stayed in an Oceanview Club Level Room with Balcony Tranquillity Soaking Tub. The room design was elegant and luxurious, and the bathroom was a good size. But it was the balcony, and the soaking tub, that made our room most memorable. Enjoying a glass of champagne in the tub, surrounded by bubbles, watching the sun go down, the white sand and turquoise Caribbean Sea visible through the bright greens of the palm trees and lush gardens. Definitely a vacation highlight.
The Pitons. They’re a must. Normally we’d probably say you shouldn’t feel guilty about spending your entire vacation at the resort, should you feel the need to simply unwind and recharge, and Sandals Halcyon Beach is a serene and wonderful place to stay and do just that. But St Lucia is such an incredible island, and the Pitons so spectacular, we’d recommend at least one excursion to see them while you’re there.
We saw some of the island by land and some by sea. Notable pit stops included chocolate making at Hotel Chocolat’s Rabot Estate, Sugar Beach, a spectacular white sand beach and luxury resort right at the base of the Pitons, and Marigot Bay, an idyllic yacht-speckled bay that was used as a filming location in Pirates of the Caribbean.
There are many activities on offer to make the most of your time, including almost every water sport imaginable, volleyball, day and night tennis, lawn chess, croquet, pool tables and much more.
We were perfectly content to lounge on the pristine beach and in Sandals Halcyon Beach’s Crystal Lagoon Pool, the longest in the Caribbean, measuring 600 feet and meandering through the resort, complete with waterfalls and lush greenery.
Caribbean inspired spa treatments using regional natural products are available at the exclusive Red Lane® Spa at Sandals Halcyon Beach. The Spa offers treatment rooms, a fitness centre, beauty salon, a Yoga-Pilates studio, steam room, plunge pools and several intimate relaxation areas in secluded gardens.
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Find more luxury travel inspiration and amazing places to stay across our social media channels. Join the collective and tag @wildbayco in the posts and comments of the places you would love to see in our collection.