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All reviewssaga repcourtesy bussteep hillrodney bay and pigeon islandsaga hoteltwo double bedsoverlooking castrieshotel is situatedveranda restaurantoptional tripsevening entertainmentrooftop barno liftst luciavigie beachlocal schoollower pool
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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

If you're reading this, then the chances are that you are thinking of booking, or have booked already and are hoping to glean a little more information before you go. Be assured that this hotel has extremely high standards without being pretentious and that everything that guests have raved about is true. Rather than go over the well trodden ground that has been covered by so many, I thought I'd concentrate on some practicalities and information that may prove helpful.......

The entry level accommodation is the Bungalows which are painted in attractive colours and set back towards the entrance. The Partial Ocean View rooms are by the upper pool and the Ocean View and Garden Views are in the main accommodation block.

We had an Ocean View room that was clean and spacious so I can only describe that. There is the usual wardrobe arrangement on entering that houses the mini bar with soft drinks and beer (not restocked), the tea and coffee station, the safe, a full size steam iron and an ironing board. We had 11 quality wooden hangers. Hanging on two of them were lovely, lightweight bathrobes. A good sized mirror is wall mounted above the dressing table/desk - and here's the good thing - there are two UK style sockets next to the mirror (Yay!) for the hairdryer (provided - and it's the hand held kind), styling appliances or laptops. Incidentally, the WiFi is excellent throughout the hotel. Underneath the large flat screen TV with loads of channels there are two large drawers (soft close so as not to disturb your neighbours) . Quite frankly, if you cannot get all your stuff stored away you'll have brought far too much! Ladies - there is a also a full length mirror. Hurray! The beds and pillows are comfy with good quality linens and the headboards have those infinitely manoeuvrable bendy individual reading lights. The room has good blackout curtains and the air con is good - plus there is a ceiling light/fan. Between the beds is a nightstand that has two more UK style sockets that are handy for charging phones etc. All in all, it's a very well thought out room. The bathroom is modern and clean with a single sink, loo with a soft close lid and shower with plenty of hot water. The large mirror above the sink is brightly lit but there is no magnifying mirror for shaving or, if like me, for putting in contact lenses, so it may be best to bring your own if you need one. The towels are lovely and soft although there is no face cloth and the toiletries comprise soap, body lotion, conditioning shampoo and botanical shower gel. There was no shower cap. The good-size balcony has superior furniture with rattan chairs and a low table. In fact, there's not a plastic chair in sight anywhere. I think that speaks volumes.

Smoking is not allowed on the room balconies. There is a fine of 300 US dollars for breaching this rule, but there are smoking areas by the upper pool and on the lower deck by the Verandah Restaurant.

The restaurant is reminiscent of a plantation house. The verandah runs around three sides of the building and has lovely views. The food is good and beautifully presented (Oh dear! So tempting..) with bookable a la carte evenings several times a week. To save embarrassment, it is worth noting that although there is free seating on buffet evenings, you need to wait to be shown to your table and seated on a la carte evenings. In accordance with the high standards of this hotel, the table napkins are of fine material and there are sparkling white tablecloths at evening meals. The wine is decent and the service friendly and efficient. Okay, on some evenings service can be just a little slow - but, where do you have to be? Nowhere - so chill! The dress code for evening dining is resort casual. Some men wear longs and some wear smart shorts and the ladies either wear summer dresses or light tops with trousers. Lulu's serves up more of a fast food type menu than the restaurant at lunchtime.

There is no shop on site but staff will happily pick up little necessities from Castries for a small consideration if you don't fancy going down on the shuttle. They are so helpful. Shuttles run to Castries and Vigie beach regularly and are free of charge.

The upper pool is the shadier and cooler of the two with the lower pool seeming to be the preference of the more serious sunbathers. Guests relished the tranquil atmosphere and were softly spoken around the pool side.

The age range of the guests is 19 - 90 (honestly) and they are friendly but respectful of each other, creating a calm and peaceful ambience. There is no raucous behaviour so if you like things to be loud and drink beer before breakfast then this hotel is definitely not for you. There is no loud music poolside except during Water Aerobics in the upper pool. Evening in the excellent bar sees guests being extremely sociable - exchanging lots of good humoured and witty chat and I would say that there is a good time waiting to be had by all. So friendly, in fact, that I would recommend this hotel for solo travellers.

It would be as well to have good insurance cover. Seeing a doctor costs 150 US dollars plus medication.

There are mosquitoes around and they usually head straight for me. This time I took a repellent with Picaridin instead of deet. I think it may have made the difference.

Rooms need to be vacated by Noon but you can keep them until 4 p.m. for 50 US dollars, subject to availability. Alternatively, there are Spa showers bookable in half hour slots for later departures.

The only thing I found annoying was the leaf blower but that's just nit-picking.

Lastly (Thank Goodness I hear you say!) the hotel supports the Dunottar School. This is a school for children with special needs and the school band is funded by the Amy Winehouse Project. They come to play Steel Pan music at the hotel sometimes and their performance is charming. Please click on the logo for "Pack for a Purpose" at the bottom of the Bel Jou hotel website for more details of the support scheme. I couldn't find the Bel Jou listed but I emailed in advance and was told that that the school welcomes any gifts of school-type stationery. So, if you can find a little space in your suitcase, please take some with you. It will be appreciated.

I will post some up to date photos that I hope will be helpful and may also put a face to some of the staff mentioned in previous reviews.

Go ahead and book It.....You won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17  Thank HobbyHolidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We have just returned from an 11 day stay at the Bel Jou in Castries. It was one of the most relaxing and caring hotels we have ever stayed in - Absolutely loved it!! The whole and very genuine ethos of the hotel led by Dean (an excellent and very person orientated manager who proactively looks to speak with all guests and staff every day) comes through in every member of staff. The rooms, quality of the food, drinks, entertainment and the cleanliness are all exemplary. There is even a quirky self-serve pool bar - never had one of those before! The care for the local community is second to none with their sponsorship links with the local special school with the children and young people’s steel band performing and also a charity casino night... which was excellent fun! I highly recommend this hotel - We are already looking to return in October/November!!

Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
5  Thank RozandChrisDanks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

I have always wanted to visit the Caribbean and as luck would have it Secret Escapes offered up a fantastic deal (hotel full board and flights included) in May. The offer seemed too good to be true. And it was - quite truly amazing. From the moment we landed at the airport in St Lucia to be greeted by a lovely driver, to arriving at the hotel itself to be warmly greeted by Dean the Manager and members of his staff in the lobby with cool face towels, within moments we knew we were really on holiday. The room was perfect - overlooking the gardens framed by the sea in the distance and perfect for sunsets. The restaurant was absolutely lovely and offered up a wide range of fresh dishes and both formal and informal dining throughout our stay. My only one note to the hotel is to offer up more Caribbean fare because it deserves to be celebrated! The two pools were well positioned with fresh towels all day and a perfect setting for those wanting to sunbathe, but equally there were some nice shady spots for more sun sensitive souls like me. I enjoyed the Aqua Aerobics on offer, and the gentle Pilates classes that were held. For more serious sporty types there is also a small but well equipped gym. The evenings offered up occasional entertainment with brilliantly talented local musicians, who covered artistes ranging from Beyoncé to Pharrell Williams by way of Lionel Ritchie with a good dose of calypso and reggae thrown in for good measure. A special mention to the fantastic staff at Bel Jou who made our stay so special: Dean the manager for his presence, visibility, genuine interest and care; to Danielle for her grace, professionalism and warmth; to all of the bar and restaurant team, for their service and inventiveness with food; and last but not least to Jahfree, a one-man entertainment and knowledge industry. Jahfree organized many of the activities at the hotel and accompanied us on trips. He is also a qualified fitness instructor (amongst many other things as he is a true renaissance man) and all round good egg and great company - thank you Jahfree for being you!

Room Tip: Rooms on the third floor overlooking the gardens and the sea offer the best views
  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank Sue T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2018 via mobile

Time whilst waiting for my transfer to the airport to reflect on the hotel. As dozens of others have said it’s the service here that makes it stand out. The staff are truly fabulous. With people like lulu and glen in the bistro remembering your likes and dislikes; Vision who made the charity casino night so much fun and room hospitality staff who go about their work quietly with amazing attention to every detail. This hotel has it all for both couples and solo travellers. As a solo traveller I have made some wonderful friends and never felt uncomfortable. The manager maintains a high visibility and is super responsive to your concerns or needs. Thank you Bel Jou for making my first visit to the Caribbean a truly wonderful time.

Stayed: June 2018, travelled solo
8  Thank J H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 June 2018

As an independent travel agent I am always looking for fantastic hotels to recommend to my clients and I will definitely recommend Bel Jou. The biggest asset for this hotel is its staff. Everyone said hello, stopped for a chat and couldn’t do enough for us. After a really difficult 18 months my husband and I wanted to go to a hotel where we could relax and rest and we did exactly that. The manager Dean was always visible and spent a great deal of time making sure that all of the guests were happy and I think he is doing a great job of improving the hotel, moving away from just a Saga hotel and making it a great adults only retreat. The Mothers Day celebrations were great fun, the staff worked so hard to make it a success and it couldn’t have been better. The food is fantastic and the restaurant has a lovely atmosphere. If you are looking for all night partying then this hotel isn’t for you but if you want great food, perfectly clean rooms, lovely pools, self service bar, amazing staff and a break away from the pressures of everyday life then you won’t go wrong if you go to the Bel Jou. Finally, go to the amazing spa and have the best massage in the Caribbean (if not the world) with the most lovely lady, Juliana. I went back again for a second massage as it was just so good! Also had a beautiful manicure and pedicure. Thank you everyone at Bel Jou, we will return!!

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
8  Thank ELAINEO1804
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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