The day we arrive July 25, 2011, yes the bus ride it an hour and a half from the main airport. The ride is not too bad if you are use to curvy roads but the scary part is the roads are eroding off the mountain. Also they use 2X4 s painted yellow for guardrails. Yikes! We have been traveling since 4 AM that morning and arrive at the hotel at 4 PM.
1. First of all we get there and the staff is handing out wet clothes and avoiding answering any questions about getting checked in to your room that should have a/c. Next, we had to fill out some more paperwork and you would think everything was covered. The front desk ask for a credit card even though everything is paid for and if you do not have a credit card they will charge your debit card for the amount and credit it back after your stay.
2. We are then escorted to what was supposed to be the room you paid fornot in our case. We paid for a ground level Handicap Room and were put on the second floor near the 24 hour main pool. I told them this was not what I paid for and would like to be put in the room that I paid for. So, they made us wait for over an hour and said they were cleaning the room. Even after it was so called Cleaned they tried to put us in yet another room. Eventually we get to the room about 5:45PM. The room was dirty with bugs on the floor, had an inch of black mold in the shower, the pillows/comforter had green mold on them, room smelled of mildew/musty, no coffee pot, no hair dryer, no umbrella, no menus, no stationary/pen, the toilet was detached from the wall(you could actually tip over), and everything unplugged. The refrigerator was not working and was a fire hazard because it was hot to touch and enclosed in a wooden cabinet with a door. Also we did not have the Honeymoon welcome: champagne/flower petals. We complained to Dahlia/Jason of all the things listed above because this room was suppose to be clean thats why we waited for over an hour in the Lobby.
3. Next at about 5:50 we decided since we havent had anything to eat since 11AM we should go try out the food. We first walked around and everything seemed to be closed. So we asked Jeremy if he would show us what was opened. He first went by the Pub which he also said was closed but should open in 10 mins. We were shown the pizza place and Josephines, but when we entered the staff said they were closed. Nothing else on the resort was open. We had to wait at least 20 more mins for the Pub to service us. We order spinach dip/chips, wings, ribs, and a salmon platter. The spinach dip is horrible.it was soupy cheese colored water with green specks in it; the chips were not fresh and stale. The wings (3) were fatty, very low quality, and tasted terrible. The ribs were also very fatty and gross. The salmon was edible but not very good. We also order a cheeseburger, this was worst than any school cafeteria soy burger. While at the Pub, we decided to order a drink. I ordered a Stoli vodka drink but what I got was mostly WATER. So I asked for a new unopened bottle of the same but they said they did not have anymore. I would say by far the Pub was the worst place to eat.
4. We went back to our room and the housekeeper came to spray some freshener due to the overwhelming odor. We asked her to leave it with us because we are sensitive to chemicals. She said she could not it was against policy. So we were asked to go on the patio outside our room. After she sprayed she told us it was safe to enter. Well, the floors are tile and she had covered them in a chemical of some sort, which caused them to be slippery. I entered the room and slipped causing injury to my hip. I called the front desk and was told someone would call me back. Dahlia did call the room and asked why I didnt call immediately.I did and was told someone would call me back. So needless to say, she received an ear full at that point. First day of your honeymoon injured in bed crying for hours and in pain. I couldnt even relieve the pain with a drink because it was water. I told her we wanted our money back and she said we would not be talking about that tonight. So I arranged a meeting with HM- Paul Simones 10AM the next morning. About 9 PM that night we received the hot champagne and two unopened bottles of liquor of our choice.
5. At 10AM the next morning we had a long list of things that had gone wrong and requested again for our money back and that we wanted to leave immediately. Paul Simones told us it was impossible to get your money back, he would have to make a case and it was not going to happen. He also told us to let them make it up to us and try again. Well at this point we really dont have a choice. Unless, we spend more money to change our flight and not get a refund at all. Paul told us that because they were at full capacity they could not even give us another room. I asked Paul why the affiliate company called Unique Vacations received an F on their BBB Score, and he told me he did not know why and was not sure what the Better Business Bureau was. Even though he proceed to tell me of 20+ years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry all over the US/WORLD. St. Lucia does not have a BBB, but the Miami based Unique Vacations the name of the company that collects the money for your trip does. I would say if Sandals did get a BBB Score it would also be an F for not handling/answering customer complaints.
6. The next couple of days did not get any better. The food was terrible everywhere besides Gordons which is not included in the inclusive for most people. The food was not 5 Star anything, it was mediocre at best. My husband and I are both very fit and healthy people. The portions are SUPER SMALL; I mean 2 oz of meat per person. So every time we ordered at least 6-8 plates of food because you didnt know what you would get or if it was even edible. Also you would think at most times during the day every restaurant would be open to eat. No the times for eating are very limited as well as the options to choose from. Most food gave us heartburn and we had to buy a $9 US small bottle of Tums because we ran out of the ones we brought with us.
7. Later in the stay we were offered at Cabana for the day.not really exciting. Also a stocked refrigerator with their local beer Piton (5 of 10). When you stay at and all inclusive resort you would expect some sort of entertainment, right? No not exactlymore like volleyball in the pool, bingo in the water, Ping-Pong available, terrible karaoke, and some unheard of music at night. We thought the water sports listed on the website would be available at several times all day. No it is first come first serve at 2PM and if you are in line and everything has been checked outtoo bad. Maybe another day. Every excursion you must pay extra for ranging anywhere from ($65-300). We spoke with a lot of guests that did go on more than one excursion and they were highly disappointed.
8.If you cross the fence at the beach or leave the resort .YOU will be harassed for money and called names if you do not have any or give the locals any money. I was called a racist B because I did not have any money. I informed Security at Sandals and they could care less, the guard actually just laughed. Obviously they do not have a no loitering/panhandling law.
9. The people at the resort are mostly nice because they know that their lives depend on tourism. But not all people are nice some are just rude and do not want to work at all. For instance the girl at the excursion reservation desk is over the top rude and explained to me that the buses are the only thing on time everything else is on island time. So dont get in a hurry unless you dont want to miss the shuttle.
10.The public hot tubs are not hot.unless you have a private one. The pools are not cleaned very well either.
11. We visited the other resorts on the island and we came to the conclusion that we did in fact pick the best one but that is not saying much. We would not go back or to any other Sandals Resort. We felt like we were ripped off and taken for our money. To top it all off, they (Sandals staff or customer service number) does not care about your feedback. I called customer service when I got back to the US, and I was told to email a complaint to an address I was given. I could not talk to anyone with authority and I definitely would not get ANY MONEY BACK. But if they decided I had a claim they may give me another stay at one of their FINE RESORTS in the Caribbean.