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The Food, Rooms and People Who Made It Special The Food, Rooms and People Who Made It Special

I'm going to do a quick run-down on the restaurants we ate at. It's going to be quick because the food was uniformly good and there was always plenty if you wanted to eat. My advice is to go with the seafood (Mahi-Mahi is wonderful there!) as well as fresh fruits. The beef the few times I had beef was quite good - this was at the Street Party and Beach BBQ. Link to the Grande's Restaurant Page.

Bayside - was breakfast every day. They have a HUGE buffet with everything from hot food, to breads, to healthy food and everything in between. We ate every breakfast here. They varied the items on the buffet daily, so it didn't get stale. Lunch is a buffet as well and we at lunch there once I believe.

Toscanini's - an Italian restaurant, the food is as good as the web site claims. Reservations are required and dress is more formal. We had dinner there once.

Josephines & The Pizzeria - our usual place for lunch. We'd order a custom pizza or crepe.

Barefoot by the Sea - Literally. We ate dinner there twice, the day we arrived and were in a daze and later in our trip. Informal dress as you are literally on the beach.

Old London Pub - The fish and chips are very good. The fish isn't cod, I'm not sure what kind of fish, but the fish was obviously very fresh. It was also the one restaurant that took us the longest to get into as it is a pub and the party crowd was there. So a bit of a noisy place, not what you'd go to for intimate conversation.

Gordon's - we ate there twice, the food and service quite excellent both times. I'd love to have their crab and coconut chowder recipe as the chowder was very tasty! Being out on the pier, it's a very intimate setting with lights in the water attracting fish you can see. This restaurant is free for Butler level guests and is an extra charge (I don't know what) for Concierge guests.

Kimonos - Sandals Regency - Our butlers strongly recommended this restaurant and set up the reservation for us. It is your Japanese steak house where the chef grills your dinner at the table. The food is good and the chef's are very entertaining. We had Chef Neal as our chef and it was NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICE.

Candlelight Beach Dinner - a private dinner. It's an extra cost and it isn't cheap. We did this dinner for Debbie's birthday and it was quite good food. We got to choose our own menu beforehand. We also got rained on too, so we had to move under a shelter for part of the dinner. Hey - it's the Caribbean and it happens.

A final note on food. None of these restaurants are 5-star, with Gordon's likely being the closet to what I'd think that quality was. For that matter, I have no idea what 5 star is myself as I don't have a habit of eating in such venues. However, the biggest gripes I've read about Sandals on travel review sites is that "these restaurants should be better...blah blah blah ad nausm". The food was very good and we were quite satisfied with everything about the food provided during our stay. The fresh fish was absolutely wonderful as well as the fresh fruits.

Our Rooms

We stayed the first six nights in a Prime Minister Suite and the last three nights in one of the Rondovals as we got a free upgrade. The gallery has images from the balcony of the Prime Minister as well as pictures of the Rondoval. It would appear to me that the resort uses some kind of passive type air conditioning as the rooms don't cool down quickly when you change the temperature. They do get there, but it will take more time than an American air conditioning unit. The staff kept the rooms clean and everything was in top-notch shape. Both units were very close to the beach and the main resort - for that matter nothing is far away on the Grande.

The People That Made It Special - Amos and Clynns

Amos & Clynns - Our Personal Butlers at the GrandeFor our entire trip, we were in the Butler class rooms. My intent was to use our Butlers as administrative assistants to set up the trips and offer advice on what to see and do on the island. It was not my intent to have them fetch us drinks - which they would have cheerfully done. To our midwestern upbringing, that was a wee bit silly given you could practically stumble into a bar from just about anywhere on the resort. And if you couldn't make the bar, the last thing you needed was another drink!

This trip was supposed to be for our 30th wedding anniversary back in December. However by the time we got there, it was July and Debbie's birthday occurred while we were at the resort. Amos and Clynns went out of their way to cater to these events and make the entire trip very special. For example, every day we were on the resort, mid afternoon they'd show up with a plate of light snacks, from fresh fruit to small appetizers. They'd turn down the bed every night - somehow knowing when we were out of the room - and leave an "atmosphere" such as flower petals and small chocolates, one night candles, and so on. For Debbie's birthday, they showed up with a decadently delicious chocolate cake.

For our side tours, both of them advised us on what to do, and more importantly what not to do when we were doubling up by seeing the same things twice. Then they arranged it with the tour desk and left us notes on where to be and what to bring. These people really do pamper you - trust me, it makes the trip that much more relaxing!

Butlers are also the one party you are allowed to tip on a Sandal's resort. It's entirely at your discretion and they aren't going to be ever asking or hinting for a tip. All of Sandal's butlers are graduates of the English Butler School and it shows. They were as professional as could be and took the trip from just being special to something extraordinary.

A Note On Departure From St. Lucia

St. Lucia has a departure tax, but for some funny reason we didn't have to pay it. The tax amounts to about $26 US per person and the tax is cash only. I believe the reason we didn't get taxed is there was a "St. Lucia Homecoming" going on while we were there and it's my guess the government waived the departure tax during that time.

You will leave for the airport early - our flight out was at 3:20 PM and we left the resort at 11:15 AM. It takes an hour and a half to get over to the airport in good traffic, so plenty of time is allowed for snafus. Security is not hard to go through at the airport and it didn't take any time to get through to the gate area. Bring something to do as you'll have at least an hour or more wait for your flight. The airport does have places to eat inside the gate area, which you might want to do after getting through security.

I was also able to successfully upgrade us to first class again on the St. Lucia to Atlanta leg. $150 a seat. It's worth it.

We had a longer layover in Atlanta on the return flight that was close to 2 hours. That length time was fortunate as we needed that time to go through US customs. The form is on the inbound aircraft, you just have to go through the lines and talk to the nice customs officer. The US form is for families, so we only needed to do one unlike St. Lucia where it's each person.

The flight to KC from Atlanta is a continuation of another flight and the flight was full out of Atlanta. If you need anything in your luggage, make sure it's on carry on as Delta did not get the luggage on our flight back that evening. What happened is the cargo bays were full, it was obviously due to the full flight and the luggage simply couldn't go on. They did get our luggage to us the next day at our home. Just be advised it's likely on this flight out of Atlanta.

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Trip Date: July 20 - 29, 2010