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“I would certainly return!”
Review of Bel Jou Hotel

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Bel Jou Hotel
Ranked #6 of 12 Hotels in Castries
Certificate of Excellence
West Sussex
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“I would certainly return!”
Reviewed 1 April 2012 via mobile

This was my first visit to the Caribbean and I was not disappointed. Due to flight delays it was already dark when I arrived at the Bel Jou in the beautiful warm evening to be greeted by a welcome drink and the sound of the little frogs 'beeping' as they did every night. I loved the view across the garden down to Castries and the Caribbean from my third floor balcony. Also, contrary to what the previous 'reviewer' said, the air conditioning in my room was extremely efficient and easy to use - set whatever temperature you wanted or turn it off completely.

You have to expect mosquitoes if you visit the tropics and it is sensible to use insect repellant at all times and not just after dark. I only got 6 bites during the week I was there and only in places where I had not sprayed - face etc. Also, the hotel certainly did fog the grounds.

It was very entertaining watching the antics of the resident bullfinches - they are certainly well fed! Also the humming birds - there was a nest in the garden while I was there and I, together with other guests, kept a daily watch on the progress of the fledglings.

All the trips I did were worthwhile - the best of them being the trip to Soufriere, returning by catamaran. The rainforest tram trip gave us a 1 hour long experience of tropical rain!! Thank goodness for the rain ponchos which our guide supplied - we certainly needed them.

The food in the hotel was good but it would have been nice to have a few more 'local' dishes on the menu. Only one criticism - please tell the chef to cook the carrots a bit more!

I loved this holiday and certainly would recommend it for an enjoyable relaxing break.

Stayed March 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank Ex-skiier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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282 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Surrey
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2012

The Bel Jou is set overlooking Castries, the capital of St. Lucia. We stayed on an all inclusive holiday with Saga. The rooms are spacious, no extra charge for singles, and provided an umbrella, binoculars, loads of wonderful smellies - shampoo, shower gel and coconut moisturiser and thick towels. The grounds are delightful - lovely flowers, birds and noisy tree frogs in the evening! The food is amazing - varied and delicious and the drinks never ending - fantastic different cocktails every evening!
The downside is the hotel is situated on the hillside - high above Castries and the sea. The hotel has a courtesy bus to take you to the local beaches/shops and Castries several times a day but it is not possible to walk - the roads are narrow and not safe.
We had rain every day in the first week and there are lots of steps from the accommodation to the main building/swimming pool/bar area which became very wet. We spent most of the time with wet feet - although not cold! The umbrellas were put to good use! The pool is a bit small - we preferred to take the bus to the local beach which was quiet and cooler. The locals were very friendly, not pushy - we were even trusted to baby sit on the beach for a lady who wanted to go for a swim! The staff were great, friendly and couldn't do enough for us.

Room Tip: All rooms have a view over Castries (apart from the single garden rooms) but they are all lovely.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank LubylouSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2012

We have just returned from staying at the Bel Jou, having looked forward to this only hotel owned by Saga, no children at all and a taste of the Caribbean. What an expensive let down, it was cheaper going to The Maldives this time last year, and the staff and food was 100% better.
As other 'reviewers' have mentioned the location up a VERY steep hill made any attempts at taking a walk outside the gated hotel an impossibility. Security guards patrolled the hotel and grounds 24 hours a day. The gardens are very small so no walking there either. There is a serious mosquito and sand fly problem here with many guests being bitten and these bites causing serious problems in some cases. During the two weeks we were there no 'fogging' by outside contractors took place.
The three half day included trips were a rushed affair and only the Lushan trip was quite interesting.
The room was disappointing, with not enough hanging or drawer space, very small beds and mouldy smelling toilet room. The air con unit was so noisy and couldn't be altered so sleep was interupted all night
There are 54 steep steps from the garden to the hotel reception and not of an even height, these flooded badly when it rained.
Jeannette on Reception, Mitchell in the Dining Room and Gabriel the Chef, were very friendly and helpful staff. Ian the Guest Relations (not a Saga Rep) was always willing to help and nothing was too much trouble.
The hotel activities were varied, interesting and we took part in the majority of them.
The shuttle bus had a good timetable, but places were limited so it was on a first come basis.
Castries was a typical shanty town and not a place to enjoy walking around to do shopping.
The views from the hotel were OK but nothing special as the sea was quite some distance away, otherwise we had a good view of the cruise liners in the port.
The food left a lot to be desired, roast meats were baked hard on the outside and raw on the inside. Vegetables and the salad bar were limited and whilst we tried all the caribbean food it was not very appetising. The soups however were excellent, we didn't like Calaloo and Peanut soup was interesting............
Afternoon tea was excellent, the only meal we looked forward to.
The two hand gel dispensers were rarely being used by the guests.
There was entertainment in the restaurant on 6/7 nights, but you had to remain at your table as there was not enough comfortable seating to be able to move away. Many guests went back to their rooms as a result it was empty by 10.30-11.00 every night.
I would not recommend this hotel, and obviously never return either. Saga has a lot of work to do here to bring it up to QQQQ standard that it states in the brochure.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank Stewart R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kent
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

Having just returned from the Bel Jou the hotel the rooms the staff where all very good, shame about the saga rep he needs to go on the trips and all he needs to better informed about thing going on on the Island .ie It would have been nice to be told about the independance day parade the day after we arrived also entrace to the casino as it was a birthday treat his information was completely wrong .The hotel needs a large blackboard in the entrance to the restaurant update daily with the days event .the birds where very friendly and came in every morning while we had a cup of tea watching the planes take off and the cruise boats arrive

Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank janet y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Yorkshire
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2012

Stayed for 2 weeks in January and we agree with all the reviews. The hotel is excellent with stunning views. The food is superb, the staff very friendly and helpful. A special mention for Ian the Saga rep who is quite simply amazing. Whatever Saga are paying him.....double it !
There is lots to do. As well as the included trips which are excellent there are also activities in the hotel, talks, cookery demonstrations aqua aerobics. Ian also organises walks which are fun and informitive, and croquet and Pimms in the hotel garden and a quiz every Sunday.
The only downside for us was the location. The stunning views are because the hotel is at the top of a very very very steep hill. OK, I know that we were warned by Saga, and that there is a excellent shuttle bus service however we, and a number of other guests missed being able to go out for a stroll, the hills are too steep and dangerous. We did try. We walked to Vigie Beach, and walking back is the nearest we have come to rock climbing. The other road which goes to the centre of Castries is not quite as steep but it is very narrow with deep drainage ditches at each side of the road. Not reccommended.
However, this is a lovely hotel, very very clean and beautifully maintained. Everything is provided, iron/ironing board, pool towels, bug spray for the room, hairdryer the list is endless. There is even a very well stocked library of paper back books and magazines. We would not hesitate to recommend it to our friends.

Room Tip: For the best views of the gardens and the sea 4th or 5th floor but please remember that there are no...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank KD's Mommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bel Jou Hotel

Property: Bel Jou Hotel
Address: La Pensee Road, Castries 89131, St. Lucia
Region: Caribbean > St. Lucia > Castries Quarter > Castries
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Castries
Price range (per night): ₹ 13,609 - ₹ 33,188
Hotel Class:3 star — Bel Jou Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
St. Lucia's wonderful, adults only hotel. Boasting stunning views over Castries and out across the gorgeous ocean from its setting atop a lush, tropical hillside, the 4-star Bel Jou provides a tranquil, tropical retreat for today's adult and senior travelers, free from the distractions of the more overrun resorts. With many opportunities for sightseeing and sampling island life, the hotel's relaxed atmosphere is perfect for a leisurely holiday or a lively Caribbean experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bel Jou Castries
Bel Jou Hotel St. Lucia/Castries

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