• R K

Getting to the Carribean

Updated: Jan 14

Two words. Saint Lucia. Okay. Three more words. Sandals Halcyon Beach. We have fallen in love with the Sandals company, their brand, and their reputation (and nope we are not getting paid to say it). Our experiences have been phenomenal, from customer service and booking our stay, to the wide variety of food and (adult) beverages, the clean and friendly atmosphere, and then there are the views. WOW!


In our travels, we discovered many new revelations (see how I did that). One, if you are a first responder or one of several other professions you can get 10% off when you book your stay at Sandals. Check in with booking directly and not on-line. Two, if you book a trip while on the property you can score an additional 12% off when booking your next trip. So why would we not book another trip? Exactly. We had to pick our next destination in the Caribbean. After two great experiences, we had to explore another part of the caribbean. Our experience at the Sandals Grenada resort at the end of 2020 (even during covid) made us eager to get our next trip planned and on the books. For 2021, we had to decide where to choose next? Decisions, decisions. This is where we took out the random selector app, you know the one you use to pick what your are having for dinner, when the two of you just cannot decide. And the winner is...


Sandals Halycon Beach in Saint Lucia!!


PRE-ARRIVAL


Okay, okay. We decided to do this blog to share with our readers, and those who plan their next trips to wherever, the nitty gritty and to learn from our experiences. Well, Covid sucks and has made everything way more difficult too do anything especially travel. All this to say, keep your flight plans on your mind and check on them regularly to ensure you stay on top of any possible flight changes. We planned our flights well in advance and had to rearrange them several times prior to our trip. This was due to the airlines changing their flight schedules around multiple times. I am hoping once we are past covid some of these issues will subside. This is probably the most frustrating and biggest stressor prior to bouncing on vacation. She was on the phone for hours at a time getting them changed, trying to find the best flights home, and shortest layovers. Some airlines are better than others (future blog on that), but alas, we did it.


...And more on Covid. Thankfully Saint Lucia's travel requirements allow for you to have a negative covid-19 test no more than 5 days before your arrival. This gives you a couple extra days to get your test completed and receive the results. Just these couple extra days provides some stress relief when you are already stressing about just trying to get out of town. St. Lucia also requires a travel registration form no more than 2 weeks out and you can get this started prior to your covid test and upload the results electronically once your receive them.


St. Lucia is a beautiful country and island. The island itself is over 20 square miles of lush, thick landscape, beautiful views, and Mount Gimie, which stretches to 3,117 feet. St. Lucia has two airports; George F. L. Charles Airport (SLU) and Hewanorra International Airport. Hewanorra is the larger of the two airports and is the one all the major airlines use.

Hewanorra is located about 37 miles from Sandals Halycon Beach, which does not sound far but ends up being about an hour and a half drive. If you are someone who might get a bit squimish when driving on in a van on some windy roads you might want to take advantage of ordering up another ride to the resort.. We paid the extra for our own transport to and from the resort and it was well worth it. Our driver was fun, personable, and had a couple beers waiting for us in the car. He also stopped at the Dennery Bay where we snapped the pic of the awesome view. If you are leaning towards your own ride to the resort you will have to book it before you get there. This can be done directly through the Sandals resort as well.


I do not know about your, but to have our own personal car for that 90 minute drive was perfect. I don't mind people but having to be crammed in a small van with 6-8 other folks is not my idea of a good time. And besides we got a couple beers out of it too. So our recommendation is get the personal ride to the resorts. Oh and by the way, you can also get a helicopter flight as well. We might have to try that out next time we land on Saint Lucia.


Landing in Saint Lucia


We made it!! We landed in Saint Lucia on-time and we were ready to get to the resort and poolside, with an umbrella drink in our hands (both hands, of course). Well after getting off the airplane we were escorted to a large, giant, white building. This is where we spent the next hour going through the covid paperwork check-in. Nothing we could do about it other than move slowly, snaking back and forth in the hour long line. No food, no adult beverages, not even water was waiting for us in this line or building.


If we had only known about this line, I would have recommended at least hanging onto a couple of the pretzel bags from the flight. Just something to hold you over until you got through the line. I am one of those who can get a bit punchy when I get "hangry". This might seem like a small nugget of information but for me it would have been nice to know prior to landing, would have saved some snacks. Nevertheless, we survived and made our way through customs, baggage, and landed right smack into the Sandals lobby. Once there they poured some cold beers for us while we sat and started chillin.


Our private driver showed up soon after and without delay we got our luggage packed up and hit the road to adventure.


Stay tuned in to read about our experience on the Sandals Halycon Beach resort! Thank you for reading.



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