- Georgia Bee
- 7 years ago
- Wedding: October 2010
Darling Husband and I just got back from our delayed honeymoon. We went to Sandals La Toc (formerly known as Regency).
Why? We really wanted a low-stress, beachy place. We didn’t want to be challenged about where to eat, etc. every night. We had both been to several places in Europe already. Also, there are direct flights from ATL. We didn’t want to spend 2 days doing nothing but traveling.
The Food – we didn’t come for the food–good thing. Most of it was OK, not great. There were only a couple things that I would say were good. Portions were small, but you could order as many entrees as you wanted. There were buffets available at breakfast and lunch. Any sitdown restaurant had really slow service. Desserts were HORRIBLE. Far worse than any grocery store bakery. I did not know you could screw up flour and sugar so bad.
The alcohol – good thing I never want dessert when I’m drinking. Most of the drinks were pretty strong. Only 2 kinds of beer–Heineken and Piton (a local beer that tasted like Corona to me). The mudslides were delicious. Wine was pretty basic, you could order upgrades for a charge.
The rooms – the only thing availabe the week we booked were Deluxe Oceanview. We were upgraded to Emerald Isle Oceanfront, although they were supposedly completely booked. We had a nice view of the ocean and were conveniently located near the pool and most of the restaurants. Unfortunately no balcony, just a railing. The ground floor rooms had walk out patios. I never stay in ground floor rooms and definitely wouldn’t do it here. I would think you would have a real problem with bugs. If we were going back, we would try to get one of the 2nd floor rooms with a balcony. The concierge and butler level buildings are further away. The location is beautiful, but a little inconvenient to the beach. If you forgot anything in your room, it would be a pain to go back. Our room was kept reasonably clean.
I thought I wanted a butler-level room but I don’t think we would have used the services enough to make it worth the extra money.
Customer service – as noted above, service in the restaurants were slow. The bartenders were all very nice. In particular, a girl named Maria walked the beach every day taking drink orders. Loved her! Otherwise, the front desk people, etc. weren’t very helpful. Other guests noted this as well. A couple people had problems with their rooms and really had to make an issue of it to get it corrected. Trying to communicate with them via email or phone is ridiculous. We were double and triple charged for all our gift shop, photo shop purchases, etc. Everybody had the same problem. It was a pain to fix it and everyone was trying to fix it at once, creating some chaos.
The pool – if you didn’t reserve a chair by 7am, you weren’t getting one. Since we have lots of pools in ATL but no oceans, we spent every day on the beach.
The beach – somewhat narrow, but it was fine. Very soft sand. Darling Husband got very sunburned the first day, so we parked ourselves under the gazebo every day for shade. Again, had to get up early to reserve our spot. Everybody wanted it. The surf at La Toc is a little rough. We had no “red flag” days although I’ve seen on Trip Advisor where they weren’t able to swim in the ocean at all.
The weather – was mostly beautiful. It rained a little almost every day, but it passed over within a half hour. Other people have said it rained every day and they had to go to one of the other resorts. This probably has something to do with the time of year
Excursions – we only did one and didn’t care for it. It was their Soufrere Adventure cruise. The cruise part was great, but the tours were boring and I hated the food. In addition to Sandal’s excursions there is also a company called Joe Knows and another called Son of Man. A couple people enjoyed the Joe Knows, although they seemed like more of the same. There is a ton of history on this island–I wish there was a tour that really emphasized that. I don’t know anyone who did the fishing, hiking or zipline tours so I can’t comment on those.
Activities – due to the sunburn issue, we did not go diving or snorkeling. If you want to snorkel off the beach, bring your own equipment. Sandals doesn’t loan out the equipment unless you go on their boat (free). There is some kind of entertainment every night. If it rains during the day, there is NOTHING to do. Bring reading material just in case. Darling Husband did play golf one day. It ended up costing about $75 for a cart, club rental, caddy and shoes. The course is on a steep hill, so it is a little challenging. Worth it to bring your own clubs if you want to play every day.
Weddings – if I wanted a beach wedding, I would consider this. You can have your ceremony on the beach or in a gazebo. There were probably 10 of them while we were there. Some were just the couple, there were others with a small group of people. They were pretty public so if you don’t want strange people watching you (nobody got too close), this isn’t for you. This does cost quite a bit extra, as I understand it.
We took the helicopter ride (St Lucia Helicopters) to the resort. This was a great time saver and the pilot was a good tour guide. However, it was $145 each so we didn’t take it on the way back. There are a lot of reviews where people talk about the horrible ride from the airport to the resort. It was long and twisty, but not that bad.
St Lucia is beautiful from a topography point of view. However, it is very poor. If I wasn’t on an excursion, I would not feel comfortable outside the resort (and I work in some of the worst neighborhoods in ATL). I would be interested in hearing the perspective of anyone who has stayed in a private home here. We met one couple that went to a recommended restaurant and did not have a good experience.
We can’t wait to go back to the Caribbean and would do Sandals again. For variety, we would probably try another country. Yes, there were some things that could have been better, but we wanted a quiet, relaxing vacation and we got it.