Almond Resorts Reopens Renovated St. Lucia Property

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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