11 February 2019

Royalton St Lucia Review

The Royalton, St Lucia, is a modern 5 star hotel overlooking the Caribbean sea boasting all inclusive accommodation and facilities. My recent visit gave me a taste of paradise but with the property being so new there are clearly still some teething problems and some improvements to be made.
Here is my independent review of the resort.

There are 3 different 'grades' of accommodation you can choose from. The main resort, the Hideaway (adults only) and the Diamond club which includes butler service and other small perks. Both the Hideaway and the Diamond club have their own pools and bars which the main resort guests are not allowed to use.
Having said that I believe the main resort has more than enough of its own bars, pools and restaurants to keep you satisfied for a 2 week break.
The rooms are spacious and very well maintained. You're able to prebook your room which is useful if you have a guest with a disability, want somewhere away from the noise of the main stage or just prefer a room with the best view. We were in 5414 which I had rebooked and it had one of the best views of the resort and sea. It was close to the bars, pools and restaurants but we were never bothered by any noise.

Rooms either have a king side bed, or two queens and boast an impressive bathroom with double showers, double sinks and a large bath with jets set into the middle of the room.
Curtains allow you to create privacy in the bathroom whilst also allowing you a view right out to the sea whilst bathing in the tub.
This was one of the most comfortable, well facilitated rooms I've ever stayed in.

For main resort guests you have access to two pools.
The main pool is right on the beach, with a pool bar and is where the pool activities are held. These activities are listed on the notice board by breakfast, as well as on your TV in your room. There's music playing at this pool all day so you have the option to join in or move to the other which is more quiet
The other pool is on 3 levels and also has a pool bar (Dips) on the middle level.
Both are well maintained and have plenty of sun beds around them. We did struggle a few days to find a tuned under shade as there are very few parasols and people reserved beds (and never actually came to claim them) even though this is forbidden. Please don't be ones of those people!!
Smoking is allowed around the pools though which I really disliked. Surely there should be designated areas for this, especially with children around.
There is music playing throughout the resort from speakers hidden in the garden which meant you were constantly hearing it whenever around either pool. I'm someone that would rather just enjoy listening to the pool and the birds so make sure you pack some headphones if you'd also like the quiet.

Each day there was a large number of entertainments throughout the resort ranging from sunrise yoga, to a toured walk to Pigeon Island to an evening performance of Michael Jackson.
The staff leading these activities (aka the Vibe Team) were always friendly and able to lead the groups well throughout the activity.
We especially enjoyed the walk to Pigeon island where were told about some of the native trees and plants along the way, as well as a short history on Captain Rodney and how the island became connected to the main land. This was a part of the island I was keen to visit so was very pleased that the resort provided a free (you pay $8 to get into the park) tour here.

As a main resort guest there were 6 restaurants included for us: Zen (tepenyaki), Hunter Steak house, Armadillo (Tex Mex), Calypso (West Indies), Gormet Marché (international buffet) and Grazie (Italian).
All of these eateries had good menus and the staff were mostly very friendly and able to advise on allergens.
I was worried I wouldn't have many options being a vegan but most of the time I was able to change dishes to make sure they were vegan. Some of the staff need a little more educating on what the foods they're serving contain as I was served nachos with beef chilli as well as offered ice-cream.
The buffet could also do with more allergen information as there were very rarely any chefs around to ask if something contained milk or eggs. I you have an allergy you need to be really vigilant as I often saw cross contamination of dairy.

There were 6 different bars available to us, 3 more for Hideaway or Diamond club guests, each with its own personality. We favoured the Sports bar as there was rarely many people there and it had a pool table. Another table would have been nice though as we occasionally had to wait and there is more than enough space to accommodate one.
We found the staff at the sports bar were the best at making new drinks, we often asked for "something with the melon shnapps", or similar, and were served something delicious.
The Martini Mix bar was also a favourite, although always busy. This bar is right next to main stage so a great meeting point before the shows start.
Drinks varied in quality and taste depending which bar tender you asked so I think I had about 10 different variations of a Peach Martini!
The pool bars are a great idea and really added to the day. They're also a great place to meet other groups if you're that way inclined.

Overall I would score this resort an 8/10. The place really is beautiful, never felt too busy and the staff mostly friendly and ready to help.
If they could improve the allergen issue, as it's a worry for me, as well as the smoking zones this place would be paradise.


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