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Fodor's Expert Review blu St. Lucia

Reduit Beach Ave., Rodney Bay, Gros Islet, St. Lucia See on Map

Jane Zarem

Singles, couples, families, and business travelers all find this a good base in Rodney Bay—right across from Reduit Beach—and a reasonably priced one, too. Guests have access to a comfortable lounge, library, gym, spa/beauty salon, tennis court, basketball court, 24-hour business center, game room with a pool table and darts, a movie-viewing room, and a boutique selling gifts and sundries.

room

Accommodations are in two-story buildings that wrap around a central courtyard. All rooms have dark-wood furniture and an overall contemporary decor in neutral colors. Ground-floor suites have private verandas with lounge chairs; most upper-level rooms have balconies. Adjacent junior suites can be connected to create a family suite accommodating up to five people. All rooms have a mini-fridge; suites have a mini-fridge stocked with complimentary soft drinks and bottled water.

YOU SHOULD KNOW For many rooms, it’s time for a makeover; some suites have already been updated.

bathroom

All in all, bathrooms are rather small and old-fashioned— tile floors and walls, single-sink vanities, and a tub/shower combo or just a shower—but they're certainly clean and functional.

lobby

The lobby is actually a long hallway off a central courtyard Reception is in an alcove with a few chairs, with additional seating nearby. There’s an all-day coffee bar there, too, as well a access to the “Little Harlequins” room with toys and games for youngsters. A small shop sells beachwear, souvenirs, and necessities.

pool

Cushioned sun loungers and umbrellas for shade surround the bi-level swimming pool in the courtyard. The pool terrace bar is adjacent for refreshments during the day.

spa

The Alaia Spa offers massages, facials, and aromatherapy, along with hair and beauty salon services. The spa features ESPA products.

gym

The fitness center has cross trainers, treadmills, and free weights that guests are free to use. A personal trainer is available at extra cost.

Grab a partner and play tennis or some one-on-one basketball on the resort’s courts. The use of balls and racquets is complimentary.

dining

The breezy Terrace Restaurant—a bar and grill in the courtyard, adjacent to the pool—serves breakfast (included), lunch, and dinner; there’s a children’s menu, too. HQ Coffee Shop, in the lobby next to reception, features fresh local juices, smoothies, sandwiches, mouthwatering cakes and pastries, and ice cream—along with tea and coffee.

Guests on the all-inclusive meal plan can indulge themselves on the coffee shop treats as much as they want!

drinking

The bar is open all day for pool-goers and all evening for diners and minglers.

beach

Reduit Beach, a five-mile stretch of golden sand and St. Lucia’s most popular beach, is just 100 yards from the hotel. At the beach, kids love Splash Island Water Park, just offshore. It’s an inflatable water feature with a slide, swing, monkey bars, trampoline, and more.

The hotel provides beach chairs and umbrellas for beachgoers.

LOCATION

Getting Around

You can walk to several nearby restaurants. It’s a 10-minute hike to other restaurants, bars, and shops in Rodney Bay Village. A rental car is recommended if you want to explore further on your own. Driving is not a problem in the north, as the terrain is fairly flat. To visit the iconic sites in Soufrière, however, a boat tour is the most comfortable way to travel—and the boats depart from Rodney Bay. Taxis are always available.

Restaurants

At Bay Gardens Beach Resort, just across the road, Hi-Tide (2-minute walk) serves international cuisine at dinner; for lunch and snacks at the beach, try Seagrapes Beach Bar & Grill. For delicious French Caribbean dining, head for Jacques Waterfront Dining (5-minute walk) in Harmony Suites Hotel—also an easy walk. And nearby, Buzz Seafood and Grill (5-minute walk) specializes in seafood. Farther along on Reduit Beach Avenue, all the way to Baywalk Mall, you’ll find one restaurant after another. For barbecue, for example, head for Delirius (10-minute walk); and if you have dinner at Ti Bananne (10-minute walk) at Coco Palm Hotel, you can stick around for the live music.

Bars

At night, you’re better off driving (in your rental car or a taxi) to the bars and nightspots in Rodney Bay Village. Verve (2-minute drive) is a dance club attracts a fairly young crowd. Or you can try your luck at Treasure Bay Casino (2-minute drive)—St. Lucia’s one and only casino—in Baywalk Mall.

Don’t miss Gros Islet Jump-Up (5-minute drive), the island's largest street party. It’s a Friday-night ritual. Huge speakers set up on the street blast Caribbean music all night long. You can also buy barbecued fish and chicken from villagers who set up grills along the roadside—along with beer and soda. Take a taxi to Gros Islet. The streets get so crowded that you’re unlikely to find a parking spot for a rental car. Your taxi driver will arrange a pickup time.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Homey but contemporary, families and couples, beach or pool…everything blends very nicely here. And those all-day desserts at the coffee bar…yum!

QUICK FACTS

Business, Family
72 rooms
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar yes
Cafe yes
Room Service no
$$
Gym, Pool
yes
Free Parking
No

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 758-456–9800; 877-502–2022 in U.S.

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