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Sandals La Toc in St. Lucia

by Jamie on July 15, 2012

Post image for Sandals La Toc in St. Lucia

If you follow My Baking Addiction on a regular basis, you may remember that Brian and I traveled to St. Lucia back in April. Immediately following a couple of Facebook posts and Instagram photos, my inbox was filled with questions from readers about Sandals La Toc and St. Lucia in general. Vacations are expensive, and it can be hard to know if you’ll get your money’s worth, so I thought I’d do a couple of posts to tell you about our personal experience on the island.

About a month ago, I sat down to retrieve all of the images from our island vacation when disaster struck – I dropped the external hard drive they were on, and when I went to plug it back in, it would only blink sadly at me, and the computer didn’t see it. I cried – seriously – I did.

About a week ago, I thought I’d try again, thinking maybe it miraculously healed itself from the fatal fall. While crawling around under my desk I realized after the hard drive tumbled to the floor, I plugged it into the Neat Desk instead of the computer. I swapped the cords and I was back in business, minus one folder of pics that disappeared. This is why some of the photos in this post are not my own.

Since neither of us had been on a proper vacation in years, we decided to enlist assistance from a highly recommended travel agency in our area. We didn’t really have a game plan, and our list of demands was quite simple: sun, sand, gorgeous water and of course – great food. When we mentioned St. Lucia as a destination interest, our travel agent, Kathy, knew just the place. The all-inclusive Sandals La Toc Resort in Castries, St. Lucia.

Her description of breathtaking scenery, gorgeous beaches, delectable food and amazing hospitality sounded like exactly what we were looking for and after looking at a couple of brochures, we were sold.

Sandals La Toc is located within a true rainforest on the beautiful island of St. Lucia. The vast 210 acre estate boasts a stunning, half-mile, crescent shaped beach, the island’s largest pool, a 9-hole resort style golf course, 8 restaurants and so much more. Yes, ladies, there’s also a spa. Although I can’t attest to the services at Red Lane Spa, I can say their in room shampoo and conditioner was magical.

I’m pretty certain the people of St. Lucia are amongst some of the kindest, warm, and friendliest people that we’ve ever encountered. The staff at La Toc are there to make your stay as incredible as possible. This is something we experienced at every turn. Wherever you go, you’re greeted with the island’s motto of No pressure. No worries. Quite refreshing, especially when crazy schedules pretty much rule my life back in Ohio. By the end of the vacation, Brian actually acquired a bit of a St. Lucian accent and No pressure. No worries. became his new mantra.

The employees were not only accommodating, many were quite entertaining – we constantly found ourselves wanting to tip them for their amazing hospitality, but tipping is a big no-no at the resort. Which actually made us adore the employees all the more because we knew they weren’t in it for a tip. They truly love the island and their jobs and that fact shines throughout all three Sandals resorts. Sandals has 3 resorts on the island of St. Lucia. Sandals La Toc, Sandals Grande St. Lucian and Sandals Halcyon Beach. Each resort had it’s own vibe, but we immediately fell in love with breathtaking view of the Caribbean from the Grande. It’s definitely on our must stay list. And it is home to Gordon’s restaurant which definitely ranked in the top 3 meals of my life, but I’ll touch more on that in another post.

Another amazing aspect of Sandals La Toc is that they have butler services. Now I know that may seem a bit extravagant; however, I can attest to the fact that it’s well worth it. We had Garvey as our butler. He pretty much epitomized the laid back nature of the island, but we really could not have asked for better service. The great thing about having a butler is that they arrange many aspects of your stay for you such as restaurant reservations, tours, and even room service. Heck, they’ll even unpack your luggage and deliver your favorite cocktail to the beach if you’re in to that sort of thing. We just really appreciated the fact that we could truly relax and knew that Garvey was just a phone call away if we needed anything. Brian and I agree that Garvey is pretty much one of the coolest guys on the planet.

If you’re really looking to splurge, La Toc has what they refer to as the Millionaire Suites, which are settled on the resort’s highest point and truly epitomize luxury. Along with the villa comes a plunge pool, waterfall, whirlpool, and of course – a butler.

The laid back atmosphere and stunning scenery alleviated my stressy pants, tightly-wound self in about 5 minutes. I honestly don’t think it’s possible to have a bad day while on vacation at La Toc. Honestly. One day a huge storm rolled in and saturated the resort for about 20 minutes and instead of running for cover, we sat on the patio in the downpour just because the sky was so beautiful as the clouds pushed through.

I’m telling you, there’s just something about the island and the resort that transforms you while you’re there – it’s pretty amazing.

Although it’s only been a short few months since our stay at Sandals La Toc, we’re already planning our next visit for this coming Spring and are already starting to count down the days. Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll be talking deep sea fishing and Brian will fill you in on his volcanic mineral mud bath.


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Tong July 16, 2012 at 2:42 am

What a great review. I’ve always wonder if it’s worth it to travel to Sandals. Glad to read up more of your experience. :) So glad that you recovered most of your vacation pictures! I know I would cry too if I lost mine. I look forward to reading your next post for the review.

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Averie @ Averie Cooks July 16, 2012 at 3:38 am

Glad you had such an amazing trip – that you’re already wanting to go back. Love trips like that :)

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luv what you do July 16, 2012 at 7:24 am

I would have cried for months if I lost my pictures so I am so happy that didn’t give up and found them. I loved reading about the resort. My boyfriend an I were in St Luscia in January on a cruise. We went to the Pitons, but when you are only on an island for a day it is hard to know what it is like. I always wonderf if it is the kind of place you can spend a week, and I can see that it is! Looking forward to reading more and seeing those pictures!

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alyssa July 16, 2012 at 9:22 am

I’m going to the grande in 3 months for my honeymoon! We originally booked la toc but switched it a couple of weeks ago :)

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Brooke July 16, 2012 at 9:33 am

We stayed at the Sandals Grande in St. Lucia a few years ago for our honeymoon and it was AMAZING! We loved the island and like you, we had a great experience at Sandals. Glad you could get your pics back, they make me want to go back sooooo bad!

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Sonia Tamez July 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

OMGosh! Thank you for sharing, we are going to St. Lucia next month for our 15th anniversary. I was a bit scared on how things are and what to do and so forth. But now i’m just excited to go… Thank you, thank you!

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Laura July 16, 2012 at 11:12 am

We stayed at La Toc and it was the worst experience of our lies. It was waisted thousands of dollars. There were rats running around the place, cockroaches running THROUGH THE FOOD, we both got food poisoning, the beach was almost nonexistent due to some work they were doing. It was the worst week of our entire lives, we were begging to go home by the end. Worst of all – it was our honeymoon and we had been saving for a year for it. We actually had a rats nest outside of our room on our little patio and their response was to just not use the patio. We stood in amazement one morning watching the chef at the omlette bar as cockroaches ran across his fixings – a group of us just walked out. The only thing we liked was the alcohol because it kept us sane. We met many many other people who were just as angry as us and having just as bad of a time. The only people we found that were happy were ones that had a private butler. I am glad you guys had a good time – but amazed that you did after our experience. We went in November 2008 so maybe they have made some changes by then….at least I hope.

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Jamie July 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Laura –
I am so sorry to hear about your experience! I have to tell you, that is not the La Toc we experienced at all. We saw the occasional cat and little frog, but never anything beyond that. Being from Ohio, we don’t even think of leaving the house without bug spray, so for us, La Toc was a noticeable change. I don’t think we even took the stuff out of the bag.

Every bit of staff we encountered were courteous and listened to our needs. But this is also one of the reasons we booked through a travel agent we could reach back to. If there had been any of these problems during our stay, we would have had her on the phone in a heartbeat to help sort a resolution out.

I hope that your experience hasn’t soured you on St. Lucia permanently. The island holds many wonderful places, and I hope that you were able to enjoy them for their own beauty.

-Jamie

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Lydia July 16, 2012 at 11:18 am

I’m so glad you wrote another post about your experience at La Toc. We actually booked our honeymoon there for this coming spring after reading your previous post and talking to our travel agent. We can’t wait!

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Sharon Antonio July 16, 2012 at 11:28 am

We went there two years ago..not horrible but ot worth the money..only catered to those with a butler or those representing a travel agency. Never again!

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Cathy @ Noble Pig July 16, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I have died a million times looking at this post…thank you for the mini-vacay on this chilly Monday morning!!

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Jennifer July 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm

So so glad you got your pictures back!!! From experience I know that can be upsetting. Can’t wait to read about the rest of your vacay!

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Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy July 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm

St Lucia looks beautiful! I can’t wait to go one day!

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Erica July 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I went to St. Lucia for my honeymoon and stayed at the Grande. We also visited La Toc for one day. To those that are considering which resort to stay in, we preferred the beach at La Toc, but Regency had a larger number of restaurants and fewer people (if that’s what you’re into).

For those considering whether to stay at Sandals, a few considerations: the food at Sandals is AMAZING! That’s where the higher price comes in. However, for a young couple looking to have fun, we found the resorts a bit “sleepy”. The entertainment was just ‘ok’, compared to other all-inclusives I’ve been to, and there was no ‘disco’. The food was definitely the highlight, for me.

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DC July 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm

We went there this spring as well and had one of the best times of our lives, the food was great, the staff was amongst the nicest people we’ve ever been around, and the Joe Knows Tour was the absolute best thing I did there, we can’t wait to go back and do it all over again.

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Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes July 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Look like such a beautiful vacation spot!!

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Lee July 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm

This is a very nice review. Thanks for sharing it. St. Lucia is a beautiful country to visit. The all inclusive resorts such as Sandals are devine. The real treat is outside of the resorts. Spend a little traveling around the Island during the day. When you get back home and think about your time in the resort and your experience in the community..your gonna say “Wow! what a trip.

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Julie @ Table for Two July 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I believe this is where we’re going for our honeymoon and I simply cannot wait!! Thank you for sharing :)

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Pat July 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm

One of the best trips of my life was to St. Lucia! Between there and Costa Rica, I’m really spoiled. So glad you had a wonderful trip too.

Pat

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Lynna H. July 16, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Glad you had fun! It seems so gorgeous & beautiful!

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Linda July 17, 2012 at 9:42 am

We were debating between Costa Rica and St. Lucia for our next vacation, I think you’ve sold me on St. Lucia. It looks absolutely gorgeous, so keep the posts and photos coming. We are going to check out the Grande and La Toc.

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Urban Wife July 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm

What a relief you got the pictures to work! Thanks for sharing about La Toc. I’m thinking we need to book some flights stat. :)

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Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy July 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm

oh my gosh, how gorgeous! the color of that water is incredible!

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Tickled Red July 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Love this post!! It makes me want to go and visit asap :D St. Lucia has been on my list for a while now. So glad you two had such a wonderful time :D xoxo

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Glory/ Glorious Treats July 19, 2012 at 2:58 am

Wow, this sounds like such a dream!! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

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Casey@Good. Food. Stories. July 19, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Beautiful, Jamie – and though you’ve always got the memories, I’m so glad you got the pictures back. Remind me to tell you the story of how I had a total crying fit in the middle of Tekserve when we see each other next month!

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Stephanie @ Macaroni and Cheesecake July 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm

The pictures are gorgeous! Looks like a fabulous vacation spot!

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Debra July 26, 2012 at 1:09 pm

WOW! :D What a beautiful place.

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Lyn September 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm

OK, this was back in 94 so a LONG time ago, but we went for our honeymoon as well and had a horrible horrible experience at Sandals/St. Lucia. We used a travel agent and the island was hit by a hurricane three weeks prior but the travel agent never let us know that and claims she was not aware of it.

The water had to be sent in on a barge. We were advised not to drink or even brush our teeth with it. My husband got sick because I think they were still washing the vegetables in it. The pool bathrooms were left unflushed because of the water shortage so there were horrible smells by the pool.

We ordered pina coladas and when I wasn’t feeling a thing, I asked them why and they said, “Oh, we don’t put rum in the pina coladas (a machine made one) UNLESS you ask for it…” With liquor included, shouldn’t it have been the other way around?

It was so disappointing and for all the $$ we spent.

I was happy and surprised though to read that someone had a good experience at Sandals.

We’ll never get that time back, unfortunately and since then I have never recommended Sandals to anyone, nor would I, but again, glad it worked out for you. :)

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Leah March 30, 2013 at 7:43 am

Ohh wow…well look at this ! Browsing you cookie recipes and I came across this !! Im actually from St.Lucia and Sandals La Toc happens to be one of the best hotels i’ve visited. Glad you enjoyed.

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Pam April 27, 2014 at 8:24 pm

14 yrs ago I traveled to St. Lucia and got married at the Halcyon Sandals resort. I can’t say enough about there amazing service. When we went in Sept 2000, you could stay at one resort and play at al resorts .I want to go back for an anniversary some day

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Amy July 7, 2014 at 12:20 am

Sandals in St. Lucia was the best. Each resort is a little bit different, but they’re all spectacular in their own way. Definitely the best ocean I’ve ever dipped my toe into. This is a great review! We liked the trip so much we did our own site dedicated to the resort.

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Nyree July 30, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Happy to hear you guys enjoyed Sandals … as a child I frequented the property because my brother took tennis lessons there. Yes, Saint Lucia is my island home.

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