You deserve a vacation. That’s right, I said it! Everyone deserves to treat themselves. Trade your chaotic, hectic daily life for a hammock by the sea, gently drifting in the breeze. Sounds good, right? If you’re seeking serenity with your partner in crime, pack your bags and head to the island of Saint Lucia. For the ultimate in romance and relaxation, this Sandals Grande St Lucian review will paint the picture of a dreamy, tropical getaway that you need to experience with your love.
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About the Sandals Grande St Lucian
In this Sandals Grande St Lucian review, I’m going to tell you all about this spectacular resort, its features, and why you need to visit. Like all Sandals resorts, it’s an all-inclusive, adults-only, couples resort. Sandals knows romance and they’re the most idealistic properties to visit with your other half.
The Sandals Grande St Lucian is situated on its very own peninsula, with the calm waters of Rodney Bay (the Caribbean Sea) on one side, and the magnificent Atlantic Ocean on the opposite side. There are panoramic views of the lush green hills of Pigeon Island, as well as imposing mountains beyond the twinkling turquoise waters. The waters of the beach are some of the calmest in St Lucia, and its the postcard perfect destination for a memorable, romantic vacation.
An All-Inclusive Resort: What’s Included
In this Sandals Grande St Lucian review, I’m happy to report that pretty much everything is included with your stay. You don’t need to spend an additional penny while you’re here, unless you’re looking to book an outside excursion. At Sandals resorts, even the tips are included! Here’s a short list of everything that’s included, making this a true all-inclusive resort:
- All meals: fine dining at restaurants, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks anytime of the day
- Alcohol: unlimited premium liquors, stocked bar in your room, Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks wines, beer, cocktails, six bars (including a swim up bar),
- Roundtrip airport transfers
- Tips, taxes, and gratuities
- Green fees and transfers to two nearby golf courses
- On site activities and sports
- Day and night entertainment
- Stay at 1, play at 3: roundtrip shuttles and amenities of all 3 Sandals St Lucia resorts
- Complimentary Wi-Fi in your room and all common areas at the resort
- A free wedding with stays of 3 nights or longer
Interested in making the most of an all-inclusive resort stay? Check out my top tips and tricks for vacationing at all-inclusive resorts.
Sandals Grande St Lucian Review: The Resort
The Sandals Grande St Lucian is on one of the most beautiful spaces on the island of St Lucia. There’s a mile-long beach with many varieties of loungers, chairs, and hammocks both in and out of the water. At Rodney Bay, these are some of the calmest waters in Saint Lucia, perfect for floating around and swimming. Surrounded by volcanic mountains and lush greenery, you’ll quickly see why the Sandals Grande St Lucian is simply picture perfect.
The Beach at Rodney Bay
Rodney Bay is a horseshoe shaped, man-made lagoon that features the most beautiful beaches in Saint Lucia. The Sandals Grande St Lucian beach is a secluded, white sandy beach near Pigeon Island. The water here is mostly calm with a few, gentle waves. And the water alternates between shades of vibrant turquoise and deep blue.
It doesn’t take long to walk from one side of the beach to the other, although there are plenty of places to cozy up with your loved one. There are a variety of cabanas, hammocks, beach side beds, and loungers with thatched umbrellas overhead. There are also places to lounge in the water itself, like swings, hammocks, and other relaxing spots where you’ll be able to lay on the surface of the water.
From the beach, you can participate in many water sports, like waterskiing, wakeboarding, snorkeling trips, kayaking, paddleboards, and more. Feel like staying on land? There are also beach volleyball courts, basketball courts, and tennis courts. And you can also partake in a game of giant chess, croquet, table tennis, bocce ball, and more. There are no shortage of fun beach and land activities at the resort.
There was also a small fenced off area on the beach when I visited. It’s a turtle nesting place where turtle eggs will eventually hatch. The staff at the Sandals Grande St Lucian want to ensure that no one disrupts the nest, so these baby turtles will hatch, survive, and find their way to the ocean.
Swimming Pools at Sandals Grande St Lucian
Do you like the beach or the pool? If you’re a swimming pool type of person, there are several pools where you can mingle or peacefully chill. The main pool has a swim up bar. Did you know that the first swim up bar at a resort in the Caribbean was at a Sandals resort? When you see swim up bars at any resorts, we really have to thank Sandals for making it such a popular amenity. At the swim up bar, there are loungers around the pool, both in and out of the water. It’s a great place to meet new friends, too.
Seeking serenity? There are quiet swimming pool areas around the resort, too. In this Sandals Grande St Lucian review, I’ll be referring mostly to one of the quiet swimming pools because I swam and lounged there the most. There were only ever a few people around it, and everyone was mostly into sipping cocktails and reading their books. I mostly had the swimming pool all to myself. And if I felt like heading to the beach, it was steps away from the pool. It was really nice alternating back and forth between the beach and the pool.
Red Lane Spa and Fitness Center
Now, we’ve reached the part of this Sandals Grande St Lucian review where you’ll see how you can be even more relaxed at the resort. A trip to the Red Lane Spa is the ultimate mind body experience in one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean. Treat yourself to many spa treatments, like aromatherapy massages, natural botanical facials, and other skin care treatments. You can enjoy these rejuvenating and luxurious spa treatments in private, couples rooms, or outdoors in nature. All spa treatments are available for an additional charge.
If you’re into fitness or working out at the gym, there are no excuses for skipping your daily routines. This Sandals Grande St Lucian review includes a quick peek at the state of the art fitness center. There are tons of cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, and more. There’s also a large space for fitness classes that are offered daily, including couples yoga, zumba, stretching, and tabata training (high-intensity interval training). The classes are all complimentary and included with your stay.
Activities Included With Your Stay
In addition to the swimming pools, the beach, the Red Lane Spa and the state of the art fitness center, there are so many activities to mention in this Sandals Grande St Lucian review. All of the following is included with your stay:
- Snorkeling (including equipment)
- Paddle boards, kayaks, and Hobie Cats
- Beach volleyball, basketball, pool tables
- Tennis at day and night
- Fitness center and land sports
- PADI-Certified scuba diving (and equipment)
- Green fees and transfers to 2 nearby golf courses
How Far is Sandals Grande St Lucian From the Airport?
When you look at a map, you’ll notice that the resort is in Gros Islet in the north of the island, and the Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort is in the south of the island. So, how far is Sandals Grande St Lucian from the airport? It takes about two hours to drive from the airport to the resort. All of your airport transfers are included, and you’ll ride in a comfortable, air conditioned vehicle.
Even though it takes a little while to get from the airport to the resort, it’s a great opportunity to soak up scenery of the island. On our way to the resort, our driver stopped at a couple of scenic outlooks so we could enjoy sweeping vistas of St Lucia. It was a great introduction to the island and its beauty.
Restaurants and the Bars
In my Sandals Grande St Lucian review, I’m happy to report that the dining options are some of the best that I’ve ever had at any resort. Sandals caters to any dietary restrictions or preferences. There are restaurants and cuisines for every taste. You surely won’t go hungry here!
Sandals is very accommodating for both vegan and gluten-free diets. They take dietary restrictions and allergies very seriously. You can be sure that you’ll enjoy delicious meal after delicious meal, no matter which ingredients you need to avoid in your diet. I had so many yummy vegan meals at the Sandals Grande St Lucian, as well as the other two Sandals resorts in St Lucia.
Swim Up Bar and the Beach Bars
It’s not a vacation until you order a frozen drink by the pool or beach, right? You can order any tropical concoction that your heart desires at the swim up bar or the beach bars at the resort. In fact, you don’t even need to get up from your lounger. Staff members regularly make the rounds for drink orders. I recommend ordering a frozen mojito (yes, these exist!) or a banana daiquiri. YUM!
Bayside Restaurant (Buffet Restaurant)
There’s a good chance that you’ll dine at the Bayside Restaurant at least once, or maybe even once or twice daily. It’s the buffet restaurant near the main swimming pool. I enjoyed breakfast and lunch there, and you’ll find a variety of delicious dishes. There are always vegan and vegetarian options in the buffet, and you can even order gluten-free bread and English muffins on request.
I love that there’s always an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Plus, they sometimes served hummus at lunch time, and it was super tasty. Another bonus of island life: being able to eat all of the fried plantains all the time.
Soy Sushi Bar (Japanese Restaurant)
Soy is the Japanese restaurant at the Sandals Grande St Lucian, and it’s my favorite establishment of them all. The sushi is fresh and delicious, there are loads of vegetarian and vegan options, and the drinks are so yummy.
Begin your meal with a fancy cocktail, like the Sake Cruise (sake, vanilla vodka, pineapple, cranberry, grenadine, and Sprite). Then, choose from many vegan options on the menu: miso soup, edamame, spring rolls, cucumber sushi rolls, and tofu salad. I ordered a little bit of everything…for research purposes, of course. My only regret? Not dining at Soy more than once!
Bombay Club (Indian Restaurant)
Another fabulous restaurant at the Sandals Grande St Lucian is Bombay Club, the Indian restaurant. Indian food is notoriously vegetarian friendly, but Bombay Club has lots of vegan meals, too. Order the Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potato curry), Dal Basanti (yellow lentil dish), Vegetable Bullets (battered and fried veggies) and Vegetable Samosas.
Dino’s Pizzeria Italiana
Looking for a slice of pizza by the pool? All of the pizzas at Dino’s Pizzeria Italiana are made to order, so feel free to order your pizza just as you like it. I ordered a vegetable pizza without the cheese (Sandals doesn’t have vegan cheese…yet!). It’s thin crust and wood fired to perfection. As part of this Sandals Grande St Lucian review, I decree that you must have a pizza at least once during your stay.
Josephine’s Gourmet Creperie
Josephine’s Gourmet Creperie…when you think about crepes, you probably assume there’s lots of eggs and dairy in the mix. Well, they are able to make crepes both vegan and gluten-free upon request. I ordered a vegan crepe with bananas and chocolate, and it was absolutely divine.
Olde London Pub
One of my favorite places to include in this Sandals Grande St Lucian review is the Olde London Pub. While I didn’t dine there (there’s a full pub menu), I enjoyed the atmosphere, the drinks, and the pool tables. I enjoyed my favorite drink out of every drink at the resort there, Pimm’s Cup!
More Restaurants at Sandals Grande St Lucian
Of course, there are more restaurants and eateries at the Sandals Grande St Lucian than you can try in a few days. Even if you stay for a week, you might not get around to trying all of the restaurants. It’s wonderful to be spoiled for choice.
Barefoot by the Sea is a casual, yet sophisticated dining experience right on the beach. You’re encouraged to dine barefoot, feeling the sand between your toes as you indulge in Caribbean style cuisine.
Gordon’s on the Pier is another restaurant that I didn’t get the chance to try. It’s an eatery that’s right on the sea, and you’ll need to walk down a long pier to reach it. Gordon’s is primarily a seafood restaurant, although I’m sure you could ask for a vegetarian meal (Sandals is so accommodating when it comes to dietary preferences).
And there’s even more restaurants: Kimono’s Oriental Cuisine (requires a reservation), the Jerk Shack, the Mariner Seaside Bar & Grill, and Toscanini’s Fine Italian Cuisine.
Rooms at the Sandals Grande St Lucian
There are a variety of rooms at the Sandals Grande St Lucian for every budget and taste. There are rooms overlooking the ocean and rooms with swim-up pools. You can opt for an even more memorable experience to celebrate a honeymoon or special occasion with the Grande Rondovals or the Overwater Bungalows. Yes, that’s right: you don’t need to travel to Bora Bora or the Maldives to experience an overwater bungalow. They’re right here in the Caribbean, too!
My Room: A Caribbean Oceanview Luxury Room
In this Sandals Grande St Lucian review, I personally experienced a Caribbean Oceanview Room. This spacious and elegant room features a king-sized, four-poster bed, a flatscreen TV, and an additional living space with a love seat and chair. There’s air conditioning and a ceiling fan, keeping the room at an ideal temperature. As this is an all-inclusive resort, there’s an in-room bar that’s restocked daily. Enjoy beverages like water, soda, juice, beer, and wine from the convenience of your room. There’s also a coffee maker and tea kettle in the room, too.
The bathroom is clean and roomy with lots of counter space and shelves. There’s a shower and a bathtub, and I love all of the shelves in the shower for toiletries. Every room has a hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, and a fluffy robe to use throughout your stay.
My favorite part of the room is the private balcony. There’s a table and chairs for two, and this is the best spot to enjoy room service breakfast in the morning. I also enjoyed sitting on the balcony with a cup of coffee in the afternoon. There’s delicious Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee served throughout the resort, and you can order a pot of it from room service. I woke up each morning to gaze out towards the palm trees, the ocean, and the mountains off in the distance. Every evening, I watched the brilliant Saint Lucia sunsets from the balcony, too. The views from this balcony truly made my stay extra special.
Sandals St Lucia Overwater Bungalows
While I didn’t stay in one of the over-the-water bungalows, I had the opportunity to take a sneak peek inside one of them. I’m happy to include this small glimpse into these luxurious suites in my Sandals Grande St Lucian review. There are a limited amount of bungalows at Sandals Grande St Lucian, and they book up very far ahead of time. You might even need to reserve them a year ahead of time, especially if you’re looking for specific dates.
So, do you need to jet off to the Maldives or Bora Bora to experience an over-the-water bungalow? Think again! There are St Lucia overwater bungalows for a trip of a lifetime. These dreamy overwater huts offer an intimate and memorable experience for you and your partner. Positioned over the turquoise Caribbean Sea at Rodney Bay, you can gaze down through the glass floor panels for a glimpse of the sea any time of the day.
The private patio showcases breathtaking scenery of nearby Pigeon Island and the ocean. Soak up the sunshine on the patio’s sun deck for tranquility and full relaxation. You’ll also have Butler Elite service: your personal butler will tend to any of your requests. Spending the night in an over-the-water bungalow is one of my top experiences in this Sandals Grande St Lucian review. I’d love to experience this in the future. If you stay in one of the Sandals Grande St Lucian overwater bungalows, you’ll have to let me know how you enjoyed it.
Grande Rondoval Butler Suite
The Grande Rondovals at the Sandals Grande St Lucian are like having your own cottage with a private plunge pool at the resort. Just steps from the beach, these spacious, circular suites have their own private verandahs, hammocks, outdoor showers, and jacuzzis. You’ll also have butler service and 24 hour room service. While the over-the-water bungalows are an incredible place to stay, the Grande Rondovals aren’t too shabby either.
Sandals Exchange Program: Stay at One, Play at Three
Why hang out at one resort when you can spend time at three? While this Sandals Grande St Lucian review focuses mainly on the resort I slept at, you could easily spend a week exploring all three Sandals Resorts in the country. In Saint Lucia, there are three Sandals Resorts: Sandals Grande St Lucian in Gros-Islet, Sandals Halcyon Beach in Castries, and Sandals Regency La Toc in Castries. When you stay at one of these properties, you have access to all three for free!
There is a shuttle service between all three resorts, so you don’t need to worry about transportation. With the Sandals Exchange Program, you can experience 11 pools, 11 whirlpools, 21 bars, and 27 restaurants in total. There are also two golf courses, unlimited water sports, and entertainment at all three resorts. And of course, it’s an all-inclusive resort, so all food, drink, activities and entertainment are included in your stay.
I ventured to the other two resorts to experience the food and overall vibes for inclusion in this Sandals Grande St Lucian review. Here are the fine dining establishments that I tried.
Sandals Halcyon Beach: Kelly’s Dockside
Sandals Halcyon Beach is a more intimate resort where many of its guests return year after year. It’s the epitome of calm, tranquility, and it’s really a sanctuary in the middle of the Caribbean. I dined at the recently renovated Kelly’s Dockside, an over the water restaurant on a 150 foot pier.
First, the restaurant itself is stunning. There are twinkling chandeliers and modern decor inspired by seaside living. The cuisine infuses the delicacies of a seaside bar with Creole cooking.
It was very easy dining as a vegan at Kelly’s Dockside. For an appetizer, I ordered the Grilled Octopus Bruschetta, minus the octopus (toasted ciabatta bread, topped with tomato, roasted garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil). There’s a vegetarian/vegan main course, the Grilled Vegetable Stack (garlic & thyme marinated zucchini, peppers, scallions, carrots, tomato, onion, fried plantains, grilled polenta, pumpkin puree, and coconut emulsion).
Even though there isn’t a vegan dessert on the menu, the staff prepared one for me as a special surprise. I ate a sweet and delicious bananas foster with sorbet and fresh fruit.
Sandals Regency La Toc: The Pitons Restaurant
Sandals Regency La Toc is a glamorous resort on a half-mile crescent beach. There’s a golf course on site, as well as beautiful views for days. I dined at the open-air Pitons Restaurant at Regency La Toc. The restaurant actually looks like the famous Pitons themselves: it’s a circular restaurant with a cone shaped wooden dome.
The cuisine of the Pitons restaurant takes inspiration from French, British, and Indian fare, as well as the cuisine of the original inhabitants of Saint Lucia, the Caribs and the Arawaks. You’ll find meals prepared with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables at the Pitons.
To start, I had the Roots, Fruits & Leaves (a salad with mixed greens, radishes, tropical fruits, and a light citrus vinaigrette). This choice is naturally vegetarian and vegan. For my main course, I ate the Vegetarian Roti (seasonal vegetables, steamed white rice, mango chutney, and plantains), which is also vegan. Everything tasted very fresh and perfectly seasoned with the right amount of spice.
Excursions and Tours from Sandals Grande St Lucian
You can conveniently and confidently book your excursions at the resort itself with Island Routes. One of my favorite things to mention in this Sandals Grande St Lucian review are the fantastic excursions and just how easy it is to book them. Walk over to the Island Routes desk in the front lobby, browse their excursions, and book your day trip. Easy peasy!
Hiking at Pigeon Island
Looking for what to do in St Lucia? Let’s start with a short hiking trip to Pigeon Island. It’s my number one recommended activity in this Sandals Grande St Lucian review for its proximity to the resort, and a big payoff after only a short hike. It’s only a short walking distance away, plus the scenery is amazing. Furthermore, Pigeon Island is a national landmark with a rich history and spectacular views.
When you visit Pigeon Island, you can see the remnants of military forts and barracks and try to imagine what they once looked like. Then, hike to the lookout point at the top of the fort for panoramic scenery of the coastline. I could see the Sandals resort quite clearly, with the calm Caribbean Sea on one side and the wavy Atlantic Ocean on the other side. You can see beaches and lush, green mountains all around. It’s one of the most magnificent views of the island, and one of the best things to do in St Lucia.
Excursion with Island Routes: Soufriere Adventure Cruise
One of the top things to do in St Lucia is to travel around the island by boat. Why not do it in style with Island Routes’ Soufriere Adventure Cruise tour? On this tour, you’ll sail past the famous Pitons, visit the sulphur springs for a mud bath, check out Morne Coubaril Estate, travel to Toraille Waterfall, go snorkeling at a protected reef, sail past Marigot Bay, and enjoy some delicious beverages while you’re on board. It’s really a “best of St Lucia” experience where you can see so many incredible sights all in one day.
I hope you enjoyed reading this Sandals Grande St Lucian review and hopefully it helps you plan your future trip there. There’s really something for everyone at this beautiful resort, whether you love swimming, delicious cuisine, or simply a relaxing getaway with your partner. If you’re seeking a sun destination getaway, don’t hesitate to visit this Sandals St Lucia resort.
Looking for another Sandals Grande St Lucian review? There are many more online of all the Sandals St Lucia resorts. Check out what fellow travelers think about Sandals Grande St Lucian, Sandals Halcyon Beach, and Sandals Regency La Toc.
Thanks so much to Sandals Resorts for hosting my stay and Island Routes for hosting my tours. I had an amazing getaway and I’m confident that you will, too!