Old Reviews – Rendezvous Resort

Arrival – Flight out of Toronto to St Lucia. Arrival was quick and easy, found our tour rep easily outside and she directed us our “bus”. We waited for the 3 other couples to arrive and we were on our way. It was more a minivan than a tour bus which was good, I’ll explain why. To get from Hewanora to Castries the y take the road on the east coast and cut across. If you tend to get car sick, take a gravol or what ever you need. The roads were actually really good, our driver told us that most of the main roads were repaved last year because of Cricket World Cup but they are up and done and hairpins turns. Checking was easy but our room was not ready so they asked us to go to the bar. The reception wanted to see our paperwork but since we booked online it wasn’t the same as they were used to so it was a little confusing for them. No big deal, they had our names in the system. 15 minutes later we were escorted to our room. Rooms: We booked an Oceanfront room and it was literally on the beach. The main room was nice, well decorated but we found the bathroom was maybe due for a renovation. There is a lot of potential for those bathrooms, It is quite large with a rounded glass block wall on the outside and they have a chair with a table. I don’t know who like to sit in the bathroom? If only they had a big Jacuzzi tub there instead, then they could charge more for a Jacuzzi oceanfront room… We met a couple that was on the third floor and they said they had nice vaulted ceilings. The balcony was quite small but had enough room for two chairs and a little table. All the oceanfront rooms are on the beach separated by a walkway. The room were always clean, no problems with the maids or cleaning staff. There are no tvs in the room or mini bars. It wasn’t that big a deal but it would have been nice to have both. They 4-5 different rooms categories. Garden view, Veranda suites, seaside suite and oceanfront cottages. The ones behind the big pool looked nice, ocean view with a large veranda with patio furniture. Personally I like to be off the ground, more private.

Restaurants – There are only two restaurants on site. One is buffet and the other is A la Carte fine dinning. The buffet was a little on the small side but had enough choice to keep me satisfied. The big difference between this buffet and the ones in Mexico or DR is that they don’t elaborate with tons of carvings and lavish spreads. The food was good and what was supposed to be hot was hot and cold food was cold.

Breakfast caught us off guard a little. Instead of having all the hot food out, eggs, sausage, bacon etc they only have breads, fruit juice etc and you have to order your eggs, pancakes, waffles and meats. Sunday is different because of brunch so it is all laid out. Trysting Place was excellent(book at the main reception desk for 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 seating).. Small restaurant, I think about 15-18 tables of 2, 4 and a few 6 persons. I had a steak and my wife had the Cornish hen. It was the best A la Carte restaurant we have eaten at in the Caribbean, truly fine dinning. Pants are required for men for dinner. 1630hrs – 1830hrs is “teatime” which really means snack time. Tea coffee, sweets, sandwiches etc. Good food. You can go eat at Body Holiday at Le Sport, the sister resort. A coworker of mine went there and she said she still dreams of the food at Tao. Transfers are not included but if you are there long enough you might want to check it out.

Bars – There are 3 bars, the main one, pool bar and piano room. Served all kind of drinks, tried a few we really enjoyed and a few didn’t. They seem to like bitters a lot. They have Heineken and Piton beer, which is made, on the island. We really like Piton beer.

Beach and Pools – The beach was nice and the water was warm. The beaches are public so even if the resort is adults only, the kids come and play on the beach, the weekends more than weekdays. I guess St Lucians like the beach too…When you find your chair on the beach and settle in, the waiters come and give you a flag to plant in the sand when you want a drink. Not the quickest so if you are thirsty just go get your own. Nice touch though. The beach side pool is average size and was never really busy. It is surrounded by tree so there is lots of shade available if you need it. The other pool is small, more like a big backyard size, probably 15’ by 40’. The y do aerobics there and is usually really quiet.

Grounds – The grounds are extremely well kept by an army of workers. Very beautiful. They have this monster of a tree in the middle of the resort. I’ve never seen anything like it. The resort is small (7 acres) compared to the large places in DR or Mexico. They have nice grounds but you can walk them in a short period of time.

Activities – There is always something going on. No loud speakers announcing activities, they walk around and ask you if you are interested. What I found incredible is that water skiing and scuba are included. If you are qualified (PADI) they have 6 placed to go dive for free! I wanted to try water skiing but didn’t have a chance. All sorts of activities are available. Games, beach volleyball, tennis, dancing etc. Gaston seems to be involved in everything. Nice young man of 25, he helped us find a cheaper taxi to go to the Pitons.

Tours – They only thing we really wanted to do was to go see the Pitons. They have catamaran tours, fishing, land tours. Not interested. We’ve done too many like this were you spend an hour picking everyone up and then your stuck to a schedule so we just hired a taxi with another couple to take us down to the Gros Piton because we wanted to climb it. The road from Castries to Soufriere was a roller coaster, 10 times worse that the other side of the island. I had thought of renting a car but I’m so glad I didn’t. They drive on the left side(UK style) and I’ve never been on a road with so many elevation changes and hairpin turns. I was starting to feel sick. And like most Caribbean countries the driving is a little crazy.

We didn’t quite know what to expect at first, we’d heard different things like you couldn’t climb to the top etc so we said we’d just go as far as we can. It is US$25 per person to go up with a guide. Ours was called Marva, nice girl, really quiet but she would answer any questions we had. The trail starts off easy enough but then it gets steep pretty quick. It turns into a worn path that is not even and you’re stepping over rock, on rock, tree roots etc. It is challenging to say the least. I know you’re thinking I’m a wuss but I’m 37 and I work out 3-4 times a week and I was sweating really hard. If you think you can climb 40 story’s two or three steps at a time you should be ok. Seriously not for out of shape people or small children. There are 2 viewpoints at the top. The view from the top was incredible. You can see St Vincent and the Grenadines to the south and the Petit Piton from the north view. It was very satisfying to wave to a helicopter tour after we spent 100 minutes to get up. Once at the top we drank a Piton beer on top of the Gros Piton. Our guide said she had never seen anyone do that. The trip was 1:45 hours up and about he same down, BRING WATER AND A SNACK. 2 liters of water per persons.

Conclusion I have to talk about the airport right beside the resort. Yes you can hear the planes take off but it only lasts about 5 seconds. The frequency of planes is about one an hour and they are small planes, max 20-25 pers propeller planes. The earliest we heard one was about 0700hrs and they do not fly at night.

The resort was mostly British couples (60-70%) and average age was easily in 40s, early 50s. Not many young couples (under 25). The resort caters to British living, teatime, curry and other British food. All the staff speak English so there is never a problem communicating like in Spanish countries.

We walked from the resort to the market in Castries. About a 30-minute walk. We went down to the port where the cruise ships are and they have a large duty free complex there. In the center of Castries is the market where you can get all kinds of crafts. The resort was overbooked so we got a letter asking us if we wanted to go to the sister resort at Jalousie. We didn’t have to but we though it might be fun to see another resort especially one right at the Pitons. We were too late since another 2 couples got to reception before us. We told reception that if anything else was available we would be interested. Hey why not, it was later in the week so we thought we would get to see another place for free. They eventually transferred us to Cotton Bay Village on the Northeast side. Very nice Condo resort, they put us in a 2 bedroom by the pool. I would go back to Rendezvous. St Lucia is the nicest place I’ve been to but I’d like to try something else before I went back. The resort is small (7 acres) compared to the large places in DR or Mexico. They have nice grounds but you can walk them in a short period of time.

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