Sandals Regency La Toc

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Guest Reviews

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 1

Ended honeymoon early

Jan 19th, 2020

We planned our honeymoon to Saint Lucia, and booked a once in a lifetime stay at the Sandals La Toc. Based on Sandals reputation and advertisements as being the ONLY 5 star all inclusive resort in the WORLD, we naturally were filled with extreme excitement. Being educators, we would never normally upgrade to a suite, yet alone butler serviced suite, however, this being our honeymoon, we decided it was worth it. Saint Lucia has been awarded "The Honeymoon Capital of the World" numerous times. Despite its breathtaking views of mountains, oceans and seas, you would expect the self proclaimed 5 star resort to be just as flawless as the gorgeous island. Sandals La Toc did the exact opposite. Their resort was so shockingly underwhelming in all facets. After what seemed to be never ending issues, we heartbreakingly decided to end our "luxurious" honeymoon after 5 days. Listed below are the many disappointments we faced each day while there. Original vacation planned 12/21/2019-12/30/2019 Revised vacation 12/21/2019-12/26/2019 12/21/2019- Check in -Brought to room by butler after checking in at the Butler’s Lounge, very long wait time in lounge to check in. -Refrigerator in room not turned on nor filled with requested beverages (As was supposed to be part of the package) - Living room lamp did not work - Room was dark and had a musty basement smell Dinner at Armando’s Asked to stand outside of restaurant while table was being prepared but after watching the butler/hostess set the table, saw them removing ferrel cats from the table top and sweeping cat hair from table top and chairs. (Cats returned as food was on the table) -Untrained staff - They said they were not familiar asked what the risotto of the day was, waitress said she did not know because she was filling in for someone and normally works at a different restaurant -New waiter came, asked what the soup of the day was, he said it was “cream of something, best just get the salad bar" -Food was subpar 12/22/2019 -Cockroach in room in the living room, called butler to let her know -Pavilion Restaurant under construction (main view at the pool bar and sounds of construction covered up by DJ) -Asked Butler to bring cooler to the pool, took over an hour -If pool bar ran out of a preferred type of alcohol, the employees would substitute a different rather than refilling the preferred 12/23/2019 -Toilet not working, notified Butler’s Lounge to let maintenance know around 3PM -Returned to room around 6PM toilet still not repaired -Director of Guest Services moved us to another room 7 PM -Dresser broken, let the Butler know, he said he would call maintenance, maintenance came and he said he would need to call a carpenter to fix it -TV in room did not work -Guest Services plans to upgrade us to another room, waiting on a cancellation because all rooms were booked -Called room service around 10, 4 times, no answer 12/24/2019 -7AM maintenance comes to paint the patio, was unaware guests were staying there -Greeted by Guest Services at the pool and asked to return to the room to pack again and move rooms 12/25/2019 -Dead hummingbird on stairs to the main pool -Spent the day at the pool, returned around 5pm -Room never cleaned -Housekeeping came around 7 for turn down service, notified her that room was never cleaned -Asked to be picked up for dinner at 7:30, Butler came at 7:55 (had plans to meet friends for drinks) -Returned to room, room still not fully cleaned, bed made with same sheets, cups still left on counter, ants all around the sink and all over the counter, dead fly on window sill TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5

Paradise

Jan 19th, 2020

This hotel and location is paradise. We received an upgrade to a butler cottage when we arrived which was so beautiful. The food was excellent, the staff was amazing! Thank you for an unforgettable anniversary vacation. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 2

25th Wedding Vow Renewal and Birthday celebration

Jan 19th, 2020

I recommend never to stay at the Sandals Regency LaToc especially with a large group!!!My group of 0ver (60) ppl arrived to the resort in Chaos! The reservations desk had our rooms so disorganized! I had a butler suite and did not get the Butler private checkin service. Most all of the Restaurants were small, restaurants will not allow groups of 8 or more people and are not nice about putting tables together for a group! As a group we had only (1) restaurant option ; and the food was cafeteria style: I had a butler suite, not worth the extra money ! Drinks and liquor bottles definitely watered down Was scolded and punished by my butler for taking my bottle out of the room , he didn’t replace my liquor in the room for (3) days! Pizza Bar restaurant was out of service for the full week we were there because pizza oven broke down Part of our reasons to book at this resort was the shuttle between the three different resorts on the island, unfortunately the resorts shut down the shuttle service the week we were there due to Carnival, which could have been shared with us prior to arrival😩 This resort is a 3star resort not a 4or 5 star resort which I was so disappointed with the service, food or resort Food was Ok; not amazing Beach was nothing to talk about. My husband and I saved and planned for a year for this celebration, and hoped it would be special at my Dream Resort’ however this resort was no better then a Riu Resort. Caught a cab over to The Sandals Grand St Lucia and it was amazing😍!!!! Wish I had booked our group there and not have wasted our saving account on a “Wanna be Sandals Resort” Beautiful and amazing fun Beach Many Awesome delicious Restaurants Drinks not watered down Beautiful Resort 5 Star definitely , what I imagined a Sandals resort would include. So sad we choose the wrong resort😔 TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5

Best resort experience. Ever

Jan 19th, 2020

From arrival at the airport until dropping us off again at the end, our experience was nothing short of amazing. My wife and I travel a lot. We are a little gun shy of all-inclusive because of past experiences, but Sandals has figured it out. Every staff member without exception was friendly and genuinely cared that everything was ok. Food was excellent with many choices. I'm a diver and even that is included, so what a bonus. I highly recommend Sandals. In fact, we booked two more vacations with them while we were there. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3

Underwhelming, stressful and disappointing experience - Sandals La Toc

Jan 18th, 2020

I have waited to post this review to see if I get replies from the Sandals representatives I contacted with a more extensive review, but have not heard from them as yet. And to those individuals who don’t understand the ‘bad reviews,’ so happy you had the time of your life and thought your money was well spent. Not all are so lucky. 15 months in advance of our stay, after hubby's prostate cancer diagnosis (he rang the bell!), I starting planning this vacation to coincide with his birthday in early December 2019. I had read about the wonderful perks, treats, surprises that the butlers took time to prepare for their assigned clients, including special surprises for birthdays, anniversaries, etc. We chose Category BP, Butler Villa Suite with Private Pool. I arranged for a VIP escort through the airport arriving and departing due to my husband being hearing impaired, and Island Taxi private car to the resort to facilitate our arrival/departure. Highly recommend both of these services. Good points: The Spa: • Manicurists: the ladies who did my manicure (both with beautiful names I can’t spell but one started with a “T” and one with a “P”) were very professional and did an excellent job. • Masseuse: Gemma was great with the Deep Relief Massage we booked. My husband said it was the best one he'd had because of the firmness of the touch. Gemma really got into the problem muscle areas. Property grounds were well maintained; people we saw were friendly and acknowledged us; signs were put out for slippery surfaced especially if it had rained; stairs and walkways were mostly well-lit at night. Travel & Loyalty Desk agents very friendly and always came to talk to us whenever we were spotted around the property. Spicy always enthusiastic and welcoming when he saw us. Other agents were engaging as well. Room #810 comments: • The bedroom was adequate (dated and needs a major freshening up though). • Patio afforded a nice view of the ocean. • The private pool was too cold and only used once during the entire stay, not worth the extra money we spent on that feature. Also, the pool is approximately 4 1/2 feet deep, not a problem if you are tall, but being short, not pleasant. • There was a broken crank handle on the upper floor’s large-paned right-hand window which did not allow the window to be completely closed and sealed off from the outside atmosphere. Notified butler so that it could be fixed. • Curtain rod open/closer piece on the right side of the window, to close either the sheer or curtain, was broken and it was hard to close the curtain because it was short. Looked like someone had smoothed the end off but did not replace it. • Bed frame 2-3” wider than mattress, watch the back of your calves when getting out if you are short like me. • Check the downstairs right-side pool sliding door (actually do all doors) as it was not locked and could have afforded someone entry into the room with a little effort (albeit standing in the pool). • Really, the ‘private pool’ really isn’t private either as the sunbathing area or the pool (depending on which direction you look from above) is visible to either suite. • HATED THAT SINK. There was no room for personal items placed on the sink countertop to use on a daily basis. Everything was crammed in what little space that was free and when using the sink faucet to properly wash one's hands, water flooded the area next to the edge of the sink. A lot of wasted space on the counter-top due to how large the sink was. Restaurants: The Very Good - every time we were seated and had a server, we were asked if there were any allergy or a dietary requirement that they needed to be aware of. All restaurants asked this, we appreciated it. Armandos: All but one breakfast eaten there as the Pavilion was under construction, breakfast buffet with the muffins, buns, pastries - moist and very good; the crunchy banana French toast, very good; scrambled eggs very moist and favorable until the last morning. Watch out for the milk in the buffet area - got a glass the first morning and it was warm, there did not seem to be any cooling for that container at all; and later in the week, used the little milk jug on the table for my coffee, went to the buffet, and when I returned the milk had curdled in the coffee indicating it had spoiled. We asked for smaller quantities of some of the menu items and still got the full portion even though we did not want it (i.e. 2 sausages - got 4; ordered 1 poached egg on toast - got 2 boiled eggs on hard biscuits). But, one day, I ordered the grilled ham for a change and got two pieces of ham smaller than 1/4 of a deck of cards each. The ham could have been used as shoe leather if you could have bent one back into being flat. The ham had been so overcooked it curled (really curled) and the fork could not have pierced the meat, nor could the knife saw its way through to cut it up to eat (not that I wanted to try). Kimonos: appetizers (scallop/shrimp & Asian dumplings) were good. For our meal, we got full portions of each of the menu items. The beef was tough, chicken was ok; shrimp ok, fish overdone and dry. But the amount of salt used - every item on that grill got a lot of salt put on it. Coconut dessert was small and tasty, but the guava pudding was strange and most people left it without eating much. We ordered jerk chicken brought to our room as we could not sit on the beach as planned because of the massage oil used on my husband. The chicken was cooked to perfection and just spicy enough. Excellent. Returning Guest Dinner: interesting, vibrant, but food below what we expected as the steak was tough and the lobster was mushy. If you have Spicy as your table host, he is a real gem - enthusiastic, personable and friendly. Neptunes (lunch): quesadillas were nice, portioned just right. The fish sandwich was good. (Dinner): Would have preferred the mussels with less sauce with just a bit of butter. Chicken breast and ahi tuna ok. Cricketers Pub dinner: Both of us had the fish & chips with coleslaw. Desserts of apple crumble and bread pudding ok as well. Napoli pizza: got a pepperoni and mushroom pizza which really needed more pepperoni/mushroom. Ordered (through the butler) one pepperoni pizza with double the meat and still got pepperoni for a single pizza. Pitons dinner - I got the chicken salad, and it turns out it was chicken breast slices with a sauce over a green salad. The husband got the peppered shrimp as an appetizer. I got the grilled chicken and husband received pork medallions (which looked like pieces sliced from a pork tenderloin) which were a nice small size. Dessert was the chocolate cake with ice cream and that was very good. Excursions: We booked four but the Inside St Lucia tour was canceled because they needed one more couple??!! Really? But we have received the refund so we are good to go here. Castries Shopping: Driver was very careful navigating the traffic on the roads. The first stop was the 'tourist' shopping area where the cruise ships dock and had more upscale stores to offer items. The last stop was the vendor market. This is more of a 'buy the grandkids something’ area. While the vendors were pleasant, there seemed to be the same merchandise offered at each stall. The whole area needed a fresh coat of paint and some way to let more natural light into the very dim internal areas. The stalls crammed into one area, along with the dim light and humidity, making it very hard to enjoy shopping there. It was like a big maze. There wasn't any place to just sit and watch the scenery while waiting for the tour van. Sugar to Rum: Stormy Norman was the driver for this tour. That gentleman was obviously proud of the educational opportunities of his community as he showed us the college and surrounding educational opportunities for the students. We were treated to fresh bananas, fried plantain chips and a complimentary beverage from Stormy. Along the way, we saw avocado, banana, lemon, and plantain areas. Did you know pineapples grow on the ground? Only one fruit per bush is harvested. The Rum Distillery had the best tour representative as he narrated the history and info about the production facilities for that company. The rum tour guide always emphasized safety, and was knowledgable and passionate about the products that were made at that business. We sampled various rums and left the facility with our choice. The next stop was to Margay Bay for a quick ride via a local boat to enjoy the scenery and the complimentary beverage. We returned to the resort with an appreciation of how rum is produced in St. Lucia. Northern St Lucia Buggy Ride: This was an interesting tour. Right-hand drive dune buggies, driven on the left side of the road, stick shift, but the normal placement of pedals. Larry was the tour guide and was very professional in his effort to give his clients a good time. He was able to troubleshoot a problem with a loose battery wire on our buggy and get us going again. He patiently explained to all present when to follow him, where to follow him and how to handle boggy ground when encountered. The thing that impressed us both was the courtesy shown us by the local drivers. When they saw the buggy brigade coming, they kindly stopped and held up their progress on the road so that all of the buggies could keep up with the lead tour guide. For a souvenir, my husband got to keep his temporary St Lucia driver's license. I would recommend this tour to anyone who can drive stick, adapt quickly to driving on the 'wrong' side of the road (i.e. if you are from the USA that is), and who has a sense of adventure. The only negative is the long drive from La Toc Resort to the buggy location and all of the traffic construction going on. When we arrived there was a couple sitting in the waiting room who were not happy as they had been there for an hour and had to wait for us and other tour members to arrive. Website perks, buffets, entertainment lacking at Resort: According to the Butler Elite and Club Sandals information on the location website, we should have seen rum balls, snacks and pastries, sandwiches and wraps, Island Treats, signature drinks, an exclusive wine tasting event, and martini evening event included with our Butler Elite/Club Sandals package. I really don't recall the Club Sandals office having any of the above-mentioned items, and it was not open 24 hours either. I specifically asked to be notified/included in the wine tasting and martini events on our explanatory sheet I provided but never heard about those. I would have thought a notation would have been made to at least discuss those events as well as any special weekly events (i.e. Island Romance, Caribbean night, Rhythms of the Caribbean, Festival of the Arts, Reggae Night with the guest personally). Yes, these were in the paper but were not very well explained. What happened to the beach buffet with entertainment that I had been expecting (those are the most interesting as one can see the local experts display their talents and the buffet highlight the local cuisine) and had been part of what to expect from the Sandals chat people present on any resort webpage? Butler Elite Service and Butlers (the most underwhelming, disappointing experience and waste of money, ever): Upon arrival at resort and butler elite building, I was put on the spot by the Spa wanting to know if we wanted a couples massage, etc. I had sent, via email (and our travel agent sent that info to her contacts as well), the butler preference form and an additional request sheet. This information was submitted via the butler elite webpage and email multiple times to the overall butler representative. As a surprise, I had requested a massage be set up for my husband via the butler elite preference page but had to admit to the Spa employee, with my husband sitting next to me, that there should have been a surprise massage for him set up for Tuesday, with a manicure for me. There went the surprise I was planning. All in all, we had four (4) butlers during our stay: Ferguson, Jesse, Ficus, and Garving (names taken from the Sandals invoice). Monday butler service: greeted us, showed us to room, gave short 'how-to' work patio door, safe. If we needed him to do anything, let him know - my scheduled dinner that night per my typed list was Kimonos; cheese plate & fruit plate had been there for a while as cheese was soft and warm, canapés were warm including the shrimp and not cold; no celebratory champagne offered to us to "welcome us home," even though it was in the downstairs room on ice, nothing in room to indicate return guest status (i.e. card, welcome on bed). We were made aware of the returning guest dinner, butler's cocktail party but nothing indicating any type of welcome like I read about on the many reviews I previewed on the TripAdvisor web site for La Toc. When I asked where the discount card was to receive 10% on various stores on-site, I was advised to go ask someone about it as he did not know where it was. Once I got home and started recycling the paperwork and packet, I found the card stuck inside the welcome packet. I wish he had known more about the contents and specials that he handed to me. Gave Ferguson my detail sheet that indicated where we wanted for breakfast, lunch, dinner (reservations if needed), as were other requests, etc. including the excursions we scheduled. Received butler phone (did not indicate the power cord plugged in the wall was to charge the phone), packets for butler cocktail party and snorkeling excursion (which if they had read all the info I PDF'd them many times would have known we could not use the snorkeling offer), and he left. Now if he had looked at the detail sheet I gave him, he would have noticed that Wednesday we wanted to eat dinner at The Pavilion. Since it was under construction, that would have been the time for him to suggest a romantic dinner for two in the privacy of our suite or patio which is something the butler is supposed to help with. We were also supposed to have menus for all the restaurants in the room if we wanted something other than the room service menu. Never got those menus or a private dinner. There was no daily paper in with the materials for new arrivals, so make sure you ask for this to keep up with what is going on early in your stay. I also quietly mentioned to Ferguson that I wanted a surprise celebration at the Pub for my husband’s birthday on Friday, at which time he assured me that "We are planning something really special." Upon unpacking, observed we did not have either robes or slippers in the room and since we did not want to get charged for them upon our checkout, advised Ferguson and robes finally appeared a day or so later, along with the slippers. Never did get choice of pillow (so much for the pillow menu on the web form) as we requested the memory foam pillow and after mentioning this a few times, finally gave up. Now, this is the start of the underwhelming, disappointing services that should have been provided by our butler team. No champagne toast ever offered by any of the butler's to welcome us back to Sandals (this was the fourth different resort we visited). Mentioned to Ferguson that my husband liked ice cream and if possible to provide some each day. Ferguson personally guaranteed that he would make sure my husband had ice cream in the in-room refrigerator’s freezer every day. We got 2 bowls of ice cream on one day and never again. We went to the Resort Shop every day after that and either bought our own ice cream. So much for the guarantee of ice cream every day. We notified Ferguson, via a handwritten note, that we wanted an early breakfast in room as our Inside St Lucia Tour started very early in the morning. Note also had other reminders, such as the pillow preference, etc. After every tour, there was no one to greet us with a refreshing towel or cold beverage, for every tour there wasn't any offer of beverages to take with us, and after dinner every night, we eagerly returned to the room to see if we had special treats, beverages, a bath drawn, towel animals, anything. Nope and not even the dirty dishes from previous meals were removed. And no turndown service, but did start getting the paper placed on the bed so someone had been in the room. This service farce repeated itself every day. But the biggest let down was my husband's birthday. Now, this is the most exasperating thing, Friday was the birthday night. The butler was supposed to arrange something special to celebrate the birthday at the pub. Nothing. The pub did not even know anything about my request. By this time I am so frustrated with everything I could have spit nails. Maybe something in the room? NOPE. NOTHING. No special treat, beverages, card, bath. In my opinion, I guess if you aren't under a certain age you get ignored. I am saying this as the reviews on Trip Advisor praising the butler service all mention the plethora of special things done for the wedding guests, honeymooners, etc. Guess being over a certain age means you shouldn't expect the same service the younger more fun guests get. I really started to feel like a second-class citizen, and we paid for this!? Last morning there we met with the Butler Elite desk to assign tip amounts to the 4 (!) butlers. We mentioned how disappointed we were, and they advised us should have said something. Hello!!!! Last I knew everyone there is supposed to be an adult, with assigned duties outlined on the Sandals website. Why should any guest have to keep nagging to get something done that should have been automatically done in the first place and for which was paid for. Also asked, via the information sheet, to be advised how to get set up on the LOOP system but never were. The kicker - we had a private driver coming for us. We advised the butler of that the first day of our stay, and when we received the checkout envelope, we were noted as taking the shuttle to the airport. Reminded the butler again to make sure our driver was let in to pick us up at the main reception area at 10:30 a.m. We were extremely worried that the driver had forgotten or been delayed by traffic as he had not arrived at 10:30 came and went. Sandals employees started to call around after we got really concerned, and did finally call Island Taxi and found the driver had been waiting at the main gate for at least 10-15 minutes as the Resort refused to let him on the property to pick us up. WHAT/WHY? You allowed the driver to take us to the Butler Elite building on arrival, allowed a non-Sandals vehicle to take us to the Buggy Excursion from the main reception area and have a bus return us with no problem. We paid extra for the Island Taxi service, and La Toc’s exclusion policy created undue stress and confusion to us both. We found that the driver had asked the guard several times to call someone and then witnessed the feeble attempts to call, only to be told no one was picking up any phone number called at the main reception area. That is the worst customer service I have seen. If no one wants to answer a phone, have a walkie-talkie and one person who is responsible to notify the departing guests their driver is at the main gate but is not allowed onto the property to pick them up. If we had not had butler elite I wonder if we would have had to drag our luggage to the main gate ourselves? Worst Sandals vacation we have ever had (again this was the fourth different Sandals resort), expectations were not met, spent a LOT of money to have a relaxing vacation, and we were extremely disappointed in what the Butler Elite promised but never delivered on. I never thought we would join others reviewing their stay complaining about the butler service, but we sure are. Unfulfilled expectations, extremely stressful and hugely sorry I booked us at this resort. We had better stays at the 3 other Sandals resorts so have not completely written off Sandals. TRIPADVISOR.COM USER 

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