Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa
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Travel Blogs from Cap Estate
St. Lucia - what a gem of a Caribbean Island.
From the first glimpse from our cruise ship window she had us in love with her beauty. Ports for cruise ships are generally the ugly side of town, but Castries was the exception being a pretty little inlet with sail boat moorings in our view and surrounding lush tropical hillsides with colourful houses poking out of the slopes. St Lucia is famous and has a UNESCO World Heritage listing for its ...
... the coast, there are a lot of very flash houses, and some large tourist complexes, and it seems a lot more developed than when we were here in 1996.
We get out of the bus at Mullins Bay, find access to the beach at a small bay with a restaurant, go in for a snorkel one at a time (very ordinary) then head south along the beach as far as possible. Find our way blocked by deep water and private property, so walk back to the restaurant, and down the ...
... big waves on our beam and gusty winds. We sailed with 2 reefs in the main and a small amount of jib, in winds of 22 - 28 knots; making speeds of 7 - 8 knots.
We arrived in Admiralty Harbour at 12.30pm. Rob and David had arranged for a local engineer to try and repair the outboard whilst we were moored there. In the meantime we were able to swim ashore and explore, or take a local water taxi. We were also required to clear customs on our arrival. ...
... Dasheene) didn’t open until 6.30, so I asked reception to call my driver and rebook my pickup until 7.30. While I waited I grabbed a table at the bar, T’Cholit, which is next to the restaurant with a flight of stairs leading up to it. I was early enough to grab a table next to the bar with a view of the Pitons with the sun sinking between them – magic!
I ordered a Planter’s Punch (dark rum, apricot brandy, orange, pineapple and lemon juice), ...
... Lucia topping up the tan, relaxing and enjoying spending some time together before going home. I think we're ready for it now though which is nice. Just seems weird we will be going back to Winter when the weather is so hot here. We even wrote our letters to Santa!! When our last day came we packed up and checked out before getting the bus back to the airport. We had our last airport beer of the trip and got on the flight home xx
How has this resort rated in the past?
- Free High-Speed Internet
- Swimming pool
- Room service
- Business Services
Historical Traveler Reviews Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa Cap Estate
More bad news...
Unfortunately, I have to confirm all of the negative comments posted about Almond's Smugglers Cove. We arrived March 9th and our heart sunk to see the state of the resort - it was not light construction, as advertised. I have to say, we had all the same problems as those listed by previous posters. The resort IS NOT ready!!!
Thankfully we requested a transfer the night of our arrival and were able to get a room at Morgan's Bay that we were pleased with.
I am just so disappointed with Almond. I also had called Almond headquarters the week before and was ASSURED that all was up and running smoothly except for the spa. Well, it wasn't a massage I was looking for at Almond Smuggler's Cove, - just running water and toilet paper!
Everybody's Talkin' About Almond Smuggler's Cove!!!
Almond Smuggler's Cove was obviously not ready to open on February 23. It would have been in the best interest of the guests as well as the resort to wait. That being said, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our time at ASC. I want to be honest and let you know the details that frustrated us as well as the ones that delighted us.
When we were taken to our room, we found it clean, tidy and spacious. It is no beauty, but we slept great every night, the AC worked and we were comfortable. Our only concern that night was that our door lock was broken. We didn't feel comfortable leaving our room unlocked and therefore had to wait for maintenance to fix it. It took a couple of hours, but was taken care of before we went to sleep that evening. The curtain was missing in our bathroom, and had to get that fixed. One morning we awoke to no running water in our room. By the time we returned from our excursion that afternoon, it was fine.
As for the restaurants, I would like to begin by saying that Cafe Enid's was our favorite! The food is delicious, the staff very friendly and accomodating and the ambiance wonderful. We also ate at La Trattoria and found it to be quite good. We did not like The Cove at all. That is the only place you can get breakfast and up until 2 days before we left, the only place you could eat lunch. The Cove has only one server that is friendly - you'll notice her quickly because she is the only one with a smile on her face. The food is inconsistant and the service is pretty awful. At some breakfasts and lunches, we would have to wait for 15-20 minutes, just to have someone ackowledge us. La trattoria is now also serving lunch - a much better venue, service and food!
There were three pools open during our stay - all very beautiful. The swim-up bar is great. We suggested to the management that they needed outdoor showers for those guests that have been on the beach, instead of them using the pool to clean their sandy feet. I've never stayed anywhere with a beach that didn't have showers????? Also, there was not any soap or paper towels in the public restrooms - that kind of grossed me out.
My husband and I really enjoyed the beach - we would make camp there daily to enjoy the breathtaking views, wonderful St. Lucian winds and soak up the sun. All of the water sports were actively used - they had water skiing, sea kayaking, paddle boats, etc. The staff was helpful and friendly-the only thing I would suggest to the Almond group is that they send someone to the resort for some leadership. In the short time we were there (6 days), we noticed a lot of good changes....they are definitely working hard.
Overall, we had a wonderul time - we got an amazing deal on our trip to ASC so felt that a few minor bumps in the road wouldn't kill us. I wanted to post a few photos, but all of them exceed the MB that is allowed.
Getting Better All The Time
I felt compelled to write my first tripadvisor review since I have relied on this site so heavily. I had an absolutely wonderful experience at the Almond Smugglers from March 7 through March 14, 2007 while they were progressing with their rehabilitation of the property. Whatever rough edges there might have been were more than compensated by the remarkable staff and their friendliness and service. Plus the food was amazing... so good it was almost a curse (this was my first all-inclusive experience). And while I'm not into heavy drinking, I couldn't help but notice top shelf liquors (Absolute, Tangueray, Cointreau, Kahlua, and on and on).
The complex is all single story units. There are only 10 or 12 units that are ocean side (they were nearing completion when we left). We were "upgraded" since the standard units were not complete. The rooms were clean (new actually) and a good size. I was glad no one told us that you have to use the remote and select channel 4 to get the cable guide... I had 3 days without "Law & Order" since we thought there were only 4 channels.
We heard of water problems (rusty water and low or no pressure), but lucked out. One evening, some of our lights went on and off as electricians worked on the adjacent unit. One day, there was some light hammering as workers put a roof on the seafood restaurant. But in no way was there 300 workers... and, THIS IS THE CARRIBEAN!!! If you actually believe there was a lot of noise and dust and work happening, you probably never watched work in the Carribean.
I posted pictures so you can see for yourself. I saw considerable progress during the week we were there. All pools were open. The swim-up bar was open. The Cove Restaurant, Enid's (French/St.Lucian), and the Italian Restarant were open. There was entertainment every night... most being the "house" band, but three nights were special. The limbo group were athletic (yes, the guy is upside-down in the picture) and I decided to "eat fire" (hint... if your spouse misses the picture the first and second time... maybe stop... it gets a little bit hotter each time).
If you are intolerant, you should probably wait until after the World Cups are over. And realize that the standard units are not real close to the beach. The beach is basically brown with a central area that has some black volcanic sand. They did a nice job of grooming the sand, but there are rounded rocks that wash up on the beach and the young guy who pulls them makes it a lasting job. There is air conditioning and solar heated water. I heard of someone who had stuff stolen from their room. Make sure you get the in-room safe lock and use it. One side of our rear sliding doors did not lock and we had no problems at all. I say good morning and leave a tip for housekeeping daily. I got a really nice note and hugged about 6 people goodbye. When Maureen got off work, she came to sit with us and laugh and dance.
Perhaps a lot of our great experience was due to the fact that a lot of people insisted on going to Morgan and we were left with a resort with few people... until March 14th when a flood of Brits came to see the Kenya and Canada cricket match. So, it may be a bit more crowded. But they are definitely resolving a lot of the issues. Almond upper management were all over the place and they brought in staff from Barbados. The head chef said he was impressed with the quality of the staff (I complimented his staff to him first).
I guess there are common themes. You get what you pay for. I got a killer deal and knew there would be construction. I was pleasantly surprised that it was not disruptive and that the staff responded to concerns. But... I ask nicely and show courtesy and honestly respect those who work for Almond because I know they are people and not my servants. And many became our friends.
Enjoyed it !
Have just returned from Almond Smugglers Cove ,
When I booked this holiday I was informed by my Travel Agent that it is a soft opening , and not all facilities would be open .
But for the fanastic price we paid , we went away open minded .
I think we must have travelled at the right time , maybe if we went at the beginning of March we would have experienced alot of teething propblems like pools not open , i had heard that there was a water shortage etc .....
however we went as said open minded , and have had a wonderful relaxing stay , most pools open , and nearly all restaurants , staff are amazing really friendly , I have been to Almond resorts before in Barbados , and you can feel that the Almond feel is there , I am sure all new hotels take a few weeks to settle in staff etc.... , but this was a great holiday , I am guessing a few more weeks and even more facilities will be open .
all in all a good holiday , and when completely all factilites are open will def rate a super 4* .
Vacation Nightmare in "Strugglers Cove"
I just returned from Almond Smugglers Cove this week ,booked through Cheap Caribbean. All the negative comments in the other posts are absolutely consistent with my experience. The rooms still have barely functional locks which might work to trap you in a fire, since it takes a key to unlock from the inside, but can be opened with a credit card by an intruder on the outside(this was verified by a travel companion). A guest's laptop was stolen from a "locked" room during our time on the island. The sight is swarming with construction workers who can easily observe guests coming and going and are not part of the regular hotel staff. Heavy construction equipment arrives and departs continually throughout the day. It is dirty, muddy, noisy and unsafe. Construction debris is littered around the guest areas, they are in the process of pouring the sidewalks . Open trenches are traversed by rickety plywood "bridges" which guest are obliged to use for ingress and egress of rooms with their luggage. To call this unsafe is a gross uderstatement due to lack of barriers and lighting. The paint has now dried and sealed the room safes shut. We repeatedly pleaded for help with opening our safe so we could secure our valuables for almost 6 hours on the day of our arrival. The following day we repeated this procedure for something as simple as instant coffee packets which along with a tea kettle constituted our in-room coffee service. Most guests weren't lucky enough to have even that. The staff were obviously not helpful on either occasion as we were repeatedly calling and visiting the desk until after 11:00 both nights. They repeatedly lied to us and other guests about fixing our problems. There were also problems with the A/C, the TV's wern't properly hooked up and programmed, we had no bathroom curtain and workers were walking around outside our window. Our bath had dead bugs in it and the floor was dirty. Their was no water pressure, only a trickle of water, when the water worked at all . The pools were closed and full of brown water. The beach was full of large sharp rocks. There was no food or coffee service after breakfast at 9:30until lunch at noon, after lunch at 2:30 until dinner and none available after dinner ended at 9:00. The food service is incredibly slow, it took 2 hours for a simple lunch. There were no shops to buy snacks or anything else. A cab to Rodney Bay to buy snacks at the store costs $25 plus tip. During power outages the restaurants aren't operational. A lucky few like us got transfers to Morgan Bay but even that was bungled as we waited over 4 hours to get our room,and it had a persistant foul sewage smell outside the entrance. Don't waste your time or money on this dump, it won't be ready for months. Don't believe the Almond representatives in Orlando who assured us it was ready before we left. I don't beleive it ever will be a 4 star luxury resort but it certainly does not merit a single star now.
Please dont go
please, please dont go to this resort! it is not ready for guests!!!!!! maybe in a year or so when it is finished!!
was there last week march 7th. stayed one night and transferred myself to almond morgan bay. smugglers will tell you that morgan resort is full, dont listen take there shuttle to morgan bay resort and insist on a room!!!!!
Please don't waste your time!!!
I wish someone would have told me what I am going to tell you, the light construction said to be going on at this resort is somewhere in the neighood of 300 workers, now, just stop and thing for a minute how a vacation would be with 300 construction workers with hammers, saws, chizles, beating banging shouting dust everwhere you look, in your face anywhere you go !! Not one pool open, the beach looks like something from a third world undeveloped country !!! rooms had electrical problems, they have water problems, and don't be suprized to open a back windor to find trash piled up everywhere !!
The people there a great folks and it is not there fault that Almond elected to open this Resort a good one or two years earlier that it should be !! this is a motel #6 with a ring around it !!!! we meet no one that was happy in this place, I am sorry fro being so critical, I have never writing a bad review untilnow, but people need to know what the real story is, Oh yew, don't let anyone tell you like (Cheap Carribean) that this place has upgraded ocean view suits, they don't and they never will.
One wasted weekend i St. Luisa.
Almond Smugglers Cove (Formally Club St Lucia)
Arrived 28 Feb 2007. This hotel was basically still a building site with no swimming pools open, one main restaurant and the rooms had wet paint and looked like they had a quick slap of paint just before we arrived. The shower did not work. Brick dust was everywhere. The safe was painted shut!
The pathways were unlit and covered in mud which one carried into the rooms. There were no barriers between pathways and empty swimming pools. There were holes in the pathways, open stairways with no handrails and still 40 odd guests were arriving every day only to be transferred to the Almond Morgan Bay.
Children were playing in one end of the pool while treatment fluids were being tipped in the other!!
This hotel should not be open yet and will not be ready for a month or so.
If Almond do not refurbish the rooms again, they will are not fit for purpose. There is no comparison with Almond Morgan Bay, which has some building work going on but is a lovely resort.
The staff at both resorts are great BUT they are very much learning the ropes at ASC.
Almost ruined vacation
We booked our trip online with no problems for Almonds Smugglers Cove in lovely St Lucia. We arrived 1.5 hours late, the plane delayed in Atlanta. After clearing the airport and finding our transfer we left for Smugglers Cove. Another couple was in the taxi with us, they booked with the same online agency. They also read the some description and amenties we would find at Smugglers Cove. On the drive the taxi driver told us that the resort was still undergoing construction. (We were told to expect a little dust due the finishing touches being completed. What we found was a full scale construction going on.) Then we had to enter through the back gate, it looked like the construction gate to me. When we got out of the taxi at the main lobby you could see that the resort wasn't ready to recieve guests. The lobby office was make shift at best. All the other rooms in the lobby area were under construction. However we were met by some very nice staff who treated us to cold towels and a cocktails. At that point we were told that our rooms were not ready. We were then told we should have dinner and then our rooms should be ready by then. Walking to the dinning area I noticed a half empty swimming pool. The entire pool area was under construction, wires hanging out of conduit, temporary ramps. The dinning area was a nice looking building but it also was still under contruction. The dining area restrooms were digusting dirty and again not finished. However the dining service and meals were very good. We returned to the lobby and got our key (1) to the room. The bellboy helped us with our bags to our room. As soon as I opened the sliding door and entered the room I know we were in big trouble, The room looked like a room that had seen its better days 20 years ago. The bell boy turned on the ACs for us. One of the AC units did not work. I went to the bathroom and turned on the water, nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was enough so back to the lobby we went, just to find a waiting line to talk to the night manager. After about 1 hour waiting we finally got our turn. We complained about the conditions and were told that the water was being worked on and would be returned to service shortly. At this point we were ready to leave and just take our chances finding a room elsewhere. But after checking the time (10 pm) We decided it would be better to stay the night and start anew in the morning. And that our other concerns would be addressed quickly. I got 4 large bottles of water to wash up with and flush the toilet. In the morning the water was still off and now the electric was off.
We looked around the room and found the following problems.
no shower curtain
no hanger bar in the closet
The two TVs that didn't work, Looking on the back of the TVs I didn't find a cable connection. The remotes weren't set up they were still in their plastic packing bag.
During the night the only working AC leaked condensate in the room covering about 1/4 of the floor with water. What a mess in the morning.
The rooms dressers did not have any knobs to open the drawers
The lock on the sliding door was about as good using a rudder band to hold the door closed.
When the electric was on, half the lights didn't work.
Enough i could go on for another hour.........................................
The grounds had very poor lighting and its a wonder that someone didn't trip and injure themselves.
Later I investrigated outside the room I found a trench with plastic water pipes piled along side our room. Looking at rooms above and below us I found the same conditions. They weren't fixing a leak, they replacing the entire potable water system. There was no way that project would be done in a liitle while (maybe more like 3 or 4 days if someone was working on the system).
We dragged our bags out of the room and returned to the lobby. There we demanded to be transferred to the other Almonds Resort. The asst. manager told us he is trying to get us transferred there. We ate and met with our travel agency rep and complained to her about conditions. She finally got one of the head managers to talk to us. He promised to transfer us and to return to us in 30 minutes. At the travel reps meeting we met 3 other couples with the same problems. The manager never returned to us so we went hunting for him. We were informed he was out for a while and the asst. manager was our only help. He managed to transfer some of the people to the other Almonds resort. We were told that we would be transferred to a different resort. About 45 minutes later we were transferred to another resort. Which turned out to be lovely. Later during our vacation we met a number of people who went thru the same problems and treatment at Almonds Smugglers Cove. They were also finally transferred to the other Almonds Resort or another resort. The people who went to the other Almonds told us that it wasn't full and there was plenty of open rooms. We were told at Smugglers cove that the other Almonds resort was full and the first three were lucky to get a room there. This resort is by no means ready to receive guests and have ruined many vacations. This is purely a poor upper managerment decission to open this resort,
It's not ready yet
Just returned from a trip here-as an opening special offer- would not recommend going here for a while - work is continuing at a fast pace but no pools were open when we were there & lots of unfinished building work around the site- staff were excellent & food good however
Deal was good but depends on what you need for a vacation
It will be good when it's finished so would advise checking status before booking