Bay Gardens Beach Resort (BGBR) consists of eight 3-story buildings with 1- and 2-bedroom suites. Six of the buildings circle the pool with views of the ocean and headlands, while two face the beach directly. The resort is right on the end of Reduit Beach, just beside the entrance to the marina at Rodney Bay.
Arrived direct from Toronto via Air Canada and rented a car from Avis. (St. Lucia is a former British colony, so driving is on the left and be prepared for roundabouts in towns.) Drove directly to the resort in a little over an hour. Might have stopped for some of the views in Dennery and to check out the rainforest, but left that for another day.
Rooms: Rooms are very spacious, including a nice-sized terrace. Our room, (#611), was on the third floor and faced directly onto the pool and ocean. The nicest views have to be from the third floor, as I think that the view of the ocean from the first floor would be blocked by the beachside bar & restaurant. Kitchen was well-equipped, (although the solid-core electric elements do take forever to heat up and then to cool down), including both a cooktop and an oven. The bathroom was large and stylish.
Fresh beach towels were provided each day in our room–no towel cards or anything like that required.
Restaurants and Bars:
"Pebbles" bar services both the beach and the pool. Walk-up service only, though, and service is definitely on "island time", if you know what I mean. Reasonably priced, (USD$2.50 for a Piton lager and USD$5-6 for most other drinks), with 2-for-1 Happy Hour 5:30-6:30pm. "Hi-Tide" restaurant is also right on the beach and is good enough for lunch, but there are better options along the main drag in Rodney Bay for dinner.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Beautifully landscaped grounds, and the Reduit Beach has to be the nicest in St. Lucia. Rodney Bay is well protected, I guess, because the waves were negligible.
The free-form pool has lots of shallow areas to just sit & a cool off in, and there is a hot tub jacuzzi in the centre. The poolside is surrounded by more tables and chairs than deck loungers. Not a problem in late May–the hotel was at less than half occupancy–but it might be a bit of an issue to get a lounger in high season.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Lots of watersports activities can be arranged directly through the hotel. We went on a Power Boat tour that took us to Marigot Bay, along the west coast of the island, and down into Soufriere, where we packed into a van for the land portion of the tour. We went to the Sulphur Springs volcano and the Mineral Bath before stopping for lunch at LaDera. LaDera is a beautiful open-air hotel situated in the hills between the two Pitons that St. Lucia is famous for–what a view! Finally, we snorkeled in the bay between the Pitons. Well worth the USD$100 each. Book with Andre on the beach at the blue hut.
Another day we drove to the Diamond Estate to see the Diamond Falls and Botanical Gardens. The drive is not for the faint of heart, but having driven along the cliffs and switchbacks in Amalfi, Italy, this was no worse, (it helps that we rented a 4×4). Took about 2 hours each way, depending on stops you may make. Plenty of lookout points, although there is not always a good place to stop. The Diamond Estate admission is just USD$5 each, and well worth it! You can hire a private guide to give you a tour; they will explain the fauna and history of the estate, but it’s not totally necessary.