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Almond Resorts Reopens Renovated St. Lucia Property

April 16, 2007 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent

Made-over Smugglers Cove looks to become top property on the island

Almond Resorts likes to get things done quickly. About four months ago, the company began a $23 million mission to make over the former Club St. Lucia, a nearly 20-year-old property. Smugglers Cove reopened on February 23 after a surprisingly quick three-month renovation. 

In late March, Travel Agent was on site in St. Lucia
to see that the newly named Smugglers Cove, with just a few minor renovations
left to complete, is already virtually transformed.

 We took a tour of the 60-acre estate recently purchased by
Almond Resorts, the facility's third owner. The property aims to be a
top-notch, all-inclusive resort that has the potential to soon contend with the
likes of the all-inclusive Caribbean
powerhouse Sandals.

We stayed at the recently renovated, but not yet complete,
Smugglers Cove on the northwest coast of the island, just eight miles from the
capital city of Castries.
In an effort to bring the facilities up to Almond's vision of the property—a
four-star all-inclusive with beautiful beaches, modern restaurants and quiet,
spacious rooms with a view of the Caribbean Sea—some
improvements had to be made.

What's New at Smugglers Cove

The speedy makeover included new restaurants, a new fitness
center, more space and renovated guest rooms. Rooms were actually scaled back
slightly from 360 to 357. 

 A water slide at Almond Smugglers Cove, a village-style resort on a 60-acre estate with beaches and tropical gardens

The resort consists of 98 Standard rooms, 84 Deluxe Garden
View rooms, 60 Superior Deluxe Garden View rooms, 15 Superior Deluxe Beachfront
View rooms and 100 one-bedroom Garden View rooms.

We stayed in a Deluxe Garden View room, room number 139, and
for its price and size, we highly recommend it. It has a small living room with
a TV, a pull-out couch and a door separating it from the bedroom. The bedroom
is home to a king-sized bed, ample closet space, another TV and an air
conditioner powered by solar energy.

In fact, travelers concerned about the environment should
know that all Almond Resorts, including Smugglers Cove, are environmentally
friendly, using everything from solar energy to recycled tap water.

Resort Amenities

A beaches at Almond Resorts' Smugglers Cove

Smugglers Cove has five swimming pools, its own Racquet Club
(note that the bar at the Racquet Club is the only bar not included in the all-inclusive)
with a squash court and seven tennis courts. Three rounds of free golf are
offered for guests at the nearby Cap Estate Golf Course (however, fees for
transportation on the course are not included).

There are four gourmet restaurants serving everything from
continental and casual Italian to fresh seafood and traditional Caribbean fare. The seafood restaurant, however, which
will be on a pier with an amazing view of the sea, will not be ready until
mid-April at the earliest or June at the latest.

The resort has a full-scale spa offering a variety of
treatments from massages and body wraps to special facials.

Booking Rooms and Tours

Travel Agent has learned that Almond Vacations, the
in-house tour operator of Almond Resorts, is now being handled by Travel
Impressions. Travel agents can book either via Almond Vacations or their
favorite of the eligible tour operators, which include Mark Travel, Apple
Vacations and American Express. Commission is 10 percent.

All Almond Resorts offer a 10 percent commission to agents.
For booking information for any of the Almond Resorts, call Reservations
Manager Scott Bulger at 800-4ALMOND, ext. 126.

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