Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort
Castries, St. Lucia
Reviews of Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort
Castries, St. Lucia
I first visited the Windjammer in 2008 and haven't been able to keep myself away ever since. I did a lot of research before selecting the Windjammer and it paid off. I don't think there is a single resort in the Caribbean that can compare. There may be more exclusive resorts, with higher end amenities, like private butlers. But I've visited those, like Jade Mountain, and I wouldn't trade that for the Windjammer. The individual villas of the Windjammer are situated atop a large hill overlooking the ocean. Each unit is unique, and huge. Even their basic 1 bedroom villa starts at 1100 square feet. There are acres of beautiful landscaping between the units. It feels like a tropical paradise, like coming to my vacation home - not like staying in a hotel. Balconies are private, and not connected like in a hotel. You will not be disappointed with a visit to the Windjammer.
Thank you, glennw100, for your recent review. I agree with everything you said and have actually wanted to post something similar. I have owned at Windjammer Landing since 1993 and have been back every year, sometimes twice a year. I'm looking forward to Jan.-Feb., 2016, when I'll be back again for 2 weeks, and I'll write a detailed review then.
I urge anyone reading reviews to disregard any review that is less than 5 star. I have been to Windjammer 13 times and am going back. There is no timeshare resort with the amazing view this has FROM the units. All units have a wonderful view. Other resorts all over the Caribbean and the world just do not have this kind of view. Staff is really the best anywhere (I have been to over 150 resorts).
Most resorts in the world have beaches that are not very private. Beaches are a public space. However, since the beach has rocks at one end, people do not walk by the resort as they do at other resorts. And, there are always chairs available...not the case at many other resorts. You can look for the positive anywhere you go....or dwell on the negative. Many people get bent out of shape and then focus on the negative. ANY problem I have had was taken care of in a very professional manner by the staff.
Negative comments arise from the "older units" near Papa Don's restaurant. People who stay in the older units see the newer units, some with pools and hot tubs and wish they were in one of those. Several things: 1. They could stay in them IF they paid more money...but they didn't. You want a newer unit, if available, you can pay for it and get one. 2. But, I have stayed in both. My preference is the older units. They have a better view (request one that is higher up...a tip) those have the best views. And, I think better than newer units...BUT..... there is nothing to complain about in ANY unit. I love the patios on the older units, and best of all is the pool just a few steps away at Papa Don's restaurant. Any unit with a pool in a newer unit is small...you can sit in it....can't swim in it. There again, the really expensive units have larger pools.... makes sense that they would cost more. When I swim at Papa Don's pool no one is around generally or just a few people...it is great. It is my favorite pool at the resort. 3. Any resort you will ever see has negative reviews....because some people just like to complain, or they are just not happy with their life and going on vacation doesn't make it happy. Unfortunate. If you are happy, you will be happy anywhere you are.
Windjammer is my favorite resort in the world. St. Lucia is my favorite place in the world. In general, it is safe, however no place in the world is completely safe. Windjammer resort has very tight security and far better than most any other resort I have been to or seen. However, my experience is that St. Lucia is safe and the people are the best !
And lastly, for the money you can't get the experience anywhere else. Most.... more expensive resorts... won't have it either.
Before I left for St. Lucia, I said this would probably be our last time. Why did I tell that lie! I will come back again and again. Going to the WIndjammer is like getting a new lease on life! I felt rejuvenated! The views are better than postcards! The staff is helpful and friendly. We were initially put in Villa 61 which would rank on Oprah WInfrey's best villas to stay in at the Windjammer (LOL), but the steps to that piece of paradise were too much for my mother who walks with a cane. RIcky at the front desk told me he would take care of it and he did! We were moved to the beautiful Hibiscus Suite 312A early the very next day. Wow - heaven on earth! Sauna and Sea!! How relaxing to watch the cruise ships pass by and view the flora and fauna. We mostly stayed at the resort and just chilled. The WIndjammer is excellent and we will be coming back!!!
We stayed in a Hibiscus Suite in Jan 2012. I'm posting this in November, and I can still remember how fabulous our stay was. Our room was spotlessly clean, very close to the restaurants and beach, but not too close, so it was peaceful. There was Wi-Fi in the room. The view from the apartment is truly stunning, beautiful turquoise sea and a very faint pleasant breeze. We had a balcony that had a hot-tub and a dining table for 6-8 people. The apartment had cooking facilities, a fridge/freezer and a laundry room in the back. You can breakfast in one of the restaurants or in your apartment. Either way, we found ourselves relaxing in a way we never have before. The fish and other dishes on the various restaurant menus were excellent. There was one restaurant that we didn't particularly enjoy, I think it was called The Dragonfly, but I am nor sure. (It was the one where the excellent breakfast in served). Apart from that, the other restaurants were good. Also, we went into town for a few great evening meals. About a 10 -15 minute cab ride.
We found the Windjammer staff couldn't do enough to make sure that we had a wonderful time. They greeted us anew each day and just went that extra mile for us. We are so looking forward to coming back, probably in 2014.
We stayed in jan 2012 for 2 weeks through an II "getaway". Getaway units are the least desirable and are part of WJL's "hotel" inventory. Exchange guests are put into more updated units. Our kitchen and living area were open to elements, the br's were enclosed. Being open means you'll have lots of birds as uninvited guests along with what they leave behind. The furnishings were old but in decent shape. The charming architecture and views are the biggest draw to WJL'S for me. The rest of the property is in need of refurbishing, particularly the main pool and beach area. The staff was great for the most part. The shuttles were usually prompt. We enjoyed seeing the beautiful, lush island of st Lucia through a number of organized day trips. Cabs were expensive. Papa dons restaurant had the best food. I was excited about going on this trip and staying at WJL'S because I had read many good reviews however I wouldn't return. Interestingly, after returning, I'm reading many more reviews that parallel my experience! Bottom line: refurbish!
My husband and I just returned on January 27th from a very enjoyable 2 weeks at Windjammer-Landing. We own at WJL and have been visiting for over 9 years. Let me be the first to say that the resort has gone thru some pains lately but they are trying. There is a new security force in place and while it may seem a little odd to see so much security around, they are really trying to keep their guests safe. The resort has suffered layoffs since the hospitality industry as a whole on the island has suffered greatly from the economic problems. All the staff we encountered went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. The food at Jammers Bar, Embers Bar and Papa Don's was very good and the service was slightly above standard. We had a party of four for the visit and stayed in Villa 418, one of the newer 2 bedrooms. The view was fantastic and we loved everything about the Villa. Of course we love the resort and will continue to return. We have been very concerned about the security, but it seems that they are putting a lot of attention to that. Hopefully the resort will experience an uptick in business as I do think the staffâs moral and stress has increased. WJL is not perfect, but it is a five star resort and vacation.
We love Windjammer Landing and St. Lucia !!!! The 1st time we came to Windjammer 7 years ago, we booked a unit direct through the resort. We enjoyed the experience and beauty so much that we ended up buying a timeshare and have been coming back every year since. We have explored every aspect of the island of St. Lucia and all the various resorts/hotels, and we still find Windjammer the perfect place to stay. Why you ask ? It is an ideallic setting with white washed villas perched up along the hillside, and wonderful ocean breezes to keep you comfortable. It is a friendly resort that offers you many resort amenities while not being stuffy. Virtually every unit has some view of the bay or ocean. Every unit is different in size and decor depending on when they were constructed. There has been several phases of development over the years. We have had many opportunities to exchange our unit for one of the "newer" units further up the hillside, but continually decline as we love the charm and location of the units surrounding the Serenity Spa, Pool and Papa Don's. It is easy walking from there to the beach, thus we do not need to depend on the shuttle for every transport to and from.....and we really like the pizza at Papa Don's, so we go there a lot and it is close. We find these units very comfortable, clean and charming, and the kitchen is more than adequately appropriated to handle the amount of cooking we do.......mostly breakfast and an occasional sunset dinner on the unit's balcony . But, If you are expecting the Four Seasons, then you would probably do well to stay elsewhere. We are pretty picky when staying away from home and in booking hotels in the U.S., so the fact that we keep coming back here says a lot, I think. This resort has a great deal of return timeshare owners who have been coming here....every year.... for 10, 15 and in some cases 20 years. Many come from Canada, Britain and the U.S. and spend 1,2, 3 and 4 weeks at a time. If you are coming to St. Lucia and Windjammer for the 1st time, please be mindful that this is the Caribbean. You are on Island time. The staff at Windjammer are really great and DO make every attempt to make sure your stay is memorable. Yes, you may experience an occasional blip along the way, but in all our time coming to Windjammer, we have always found that they (the staff) try to accommodate you, unless you are being unreasonable. We have always felt safe at Windjammer, as well as when going off the resort to nearby restaurants for dinner, etc.. But having said that, I think one traveling anywhere in the world needs to be mindful of their surroundings and not be a flashy tourist. St. Lucia is a stunningly beautiful Island and its people are some of the most friendly and warm that we have found anywhere in the Caribbean.
I suspect this review will be wordy therefore some will not get to the end. Given this fact I will start with what I think is the most important detail... Be careful and somewhat weary!
We visited this resort August 15-22, 2009. On our sixth night in the resort a family was robbed in their villa, #401. The perpetrators were armed with machetes which they held to the neck of an 11 year old boy in order to scare the Father whose initial reaction was to defend his family. Each family member was gagged and bound and placed in bathrooms. The robbers had all the electronic equipment packed up before the family returned to their suite from dinner at one of the resort restaurants. The robbers forced the father to open the safe from which they stole about $3,000.00 US.
The family called the front desk immediately after the thieves left. First on the scene, at least 5-7 minutes after the call, was one unarmed security guard with no radio for communication. He scanned the scene and called back to the desk. Eventually many people entered the room including staff and local law enforcement. The family was questioned until about 3:00 a.m. At one point the 16 year old daughter was separated from her family for questioning. This lasted about 35-45 minutes despite the families insistence that this was illegal. In the end the resort staff did not comfort the family, make any amends or even put up a pot of tea. In fact they decided that the family was fabricating all or part of the story as an insurance scam. Two staff members told me this directly. The story became so rampant that a taxi driver repeated it to me as we were departing the resort.
Once this story was out in the open we learned that there had been a similar robbery two weeks before. In this case a couple was held at gunpoint and tied to their beds.
Finally on our last night at the resort we found one of our room keys placed on a windowsill just inside our open air window. We feel quite certain that a maid or maintenance staff member placed it there so that someone could take it and enter our room. We fortunately saw the key and removed it.
There are significant security issues at this resort. More importantly the staff is deflecting attention and failing to address the problem head on. Security staff we saw were not carrying clubs, pepper spray or other defensive tools nor did they have radios to communicate with each other. The entry gate is passable with a wave and a comment from the taxi driver, "these are yours."
We realize that this sort of thing can happen in many places. The measure of a resort's commitment to guests' safety is in the actions they take. This resort has failed our standard. Until they arm their guards with appropriate tools, secure their entry gates, disallow local citizens to move as guests on the property and care for victims with respect and concern their paradise is soiled.
If they do take responsibility and provide a safe environment we will return.
The resort is beautiful as is St. Lucia. We stayed in a three-bedroom, three-bath unit that was walking distance to the main desk, pool, most restaurants, and beach. Our master bedroom was well cared for each day although our first night we were missing a bed spread and robes. Our children's rooms were not tended as well but were passable. Most towels were plush and white although some were stained. The kitchen is well equipped, there was nothing missing. The furniture was comfortable and well coordinated with plenty of seating and room to move around. The balcony was perfect with a table and four chairs, a love seat and two upholstered chairs and two lounge chairs. We also had a plunge pool.
The panoramic view of the sea and sunset was tremendous.
I concur with others who reported that the check-in process is slow. This was a major problem for us given the fact that we had been traveling 12 hours and I was sick from the drive to the resort.
Here's the rub... The resort is 90 minutes from the only large airport on the island. The drive is full of curves and stop and go moments. I never get car sick but during this drive I had to ask the driver to pull over. To survive this drive going back I took one motion sickness pill and insisted on an air conditioned van. Unfortunately the resort, who arranged our pick up, sent an older car for the four of us. This was a disaster. With precautions the ride back to the airport was great.
Back to check in despite the fact that rooms are suppose to be ready by 3 p.m. we waited until well after five for ours then found ourselves in an older suite, on three levels that were sweltering. The air conditioning on the main living area was not working properly and the ones in the bedrooms were not turned on. There were large sliding glass doors that were only secured by a piece of wood and a bracket. The kitchen was small, old and not well appointed. We were very disappointed and insisted on being returned to the lobby. We were told that some guests like this unit, #46, because one bedroom is on the lowest level while the other is on the highest. I will admit that the lower bedroom is quite large with a seating area that could sleep two more comfortable. Also the bathrooms were nicely remodeled. We were forced to stay in this unit for one night and most of the next day before being moved to 19.
We did also see a unit at the top of the hill, #420 and #34. 420 is a two bedroom three bath new suite. The bedrooms are on the same level with well designed bathrooms and reasonably sized sleeping quarters. We did not prefer this accommodation because the kitchen and dinning area is quite separate from the living room. Others may feel differently because the living room has a pullout sofa and access to a full bath. THe view from the balcony was spectacular but there was far less space than we had at #19.
Number 34 was a complete turn off to us. It was old and cavernous. the stairways were narrow and the lower bedroom was quite dark and dank.
Hibiscus was nice, newer and all on one level. The main area was by far the smallest but well appointed. The bedrooms were nice as were the bathrooms. The balcony had a hot tub for two and a table with four chairs but it felt small. The benefit is close access to the lobby and beach. Also there is a garden area available to all the guests in these units and off the garden are two pools one above the other. You never have to leave this area if you don't want to. Only possible stress I witnessed is the gathering of teenagers late in the day. They like to dive from one pool to the other despite the obvious danger.
The spa is in a nice location with pools just outside their door. My children had facials while I had a manicure and pedicure. The children were well cared for and I enjoyed my service. Diana is terrific. She is jovial and made me laugh. In addition she was very thorough and attentive.
The water sports staff was sometimes pleasant and accommodating while at other times non-responsive and condescending. Water sports are available without charge. You can take out kayaks, sail and paddle boats. You can water ski, wake board and knee board twice each day and you can get lessons for this although we thought the lessons were a joke. We were charged $20.00 for each of our children to stand side-by-side on land for a ten minute lesson. When we complained we were refunded. Our daughter water skied and did get pointers as she did so. Our son wake boarded and was questioned and handled with far less patience.
Water sports staff are responsible for water toys including a trampoline, water slide and inflatable climber. When there was a swell in the sea the staff took the toys out for our safety. GREAT! However despite calmer waters they next day the toys were not returned. It took the staff two days to return the equipment in part because one whole morning and half an afternoon was spent playing cricket with a group of guests. We loved watching the game but thought the staff was remise in providing for guests who weren't playing.
Papa Don's Italian restaurant is spotty with mushy pasta and kitchen staff hanging in the walkways. Dragonfly for dinner offers an unusual menu worth looking at before committing. I enjoyed my meal but the rest of the family was disappointed. Dragonfly for breakfast offers a good variety for a week. We wished they offered a special now and again to change things up. The upper deck was the best for us, good variety, good seasoning, consistent good service. The frozen bar drinks are watered down and lackluster but the staff is pleasant.
The fitness center is very small and feels tight. There are only six pieces for aerobic exercise. The space is very unappealing. I did participate in the water aerobics classes,; they were great! Verna is motivating and fun.
Pool towels were readily available whenever we needed them although some should definitely be relegated to rags due to stains and tears.
There were many lounge chairs on the beach and sufficient shade for those who wanted it.
The hotel does provide free internet access and wifi although the wireless connection is sketchy.
We did take the Island tour with Endless Summer. This was worthwhile as we learned about the history of the island, saw the volcano area, had a delicious lunch and swam. If you want to snorkel bring equipment from the hotel otherwise you will have to pay top dollar to the local men hawking you from kayaks.
We went to Rodney Bay two nights. Both nights we ate at Buzz, Great, fresh food, pleasant service and nice environment. We also visited Lime where there is karaoke. This was not an environment we felt completely safe in especially as the night went on and the drinks flowed. By 9:30 we happily left.
So there are my mixed feelings. We might return although we are weary and will wait to see what others say over the following months.
I would recommend this resort if security improves although I am saying no for now.
My husband and I were there April 19 - 26, 2009. There is no doubt that this resort has a breathtaking view. The first place we stayed in had some problems but then they moved us up to the top of the mountain and to a much nicer villa with a panoramic view. It's important to talk to the right people if you're experiencing any type of problem...At first nothing happened when we just spoke to someone at the front desk but then we spoke to Beverley who made everything right. We enjoyed the food at the Dragonfly and The Upper Deck the best. We weren't too crazy about Papa Don 's. The pizza was really disappointing. The breakfast buffet was way too overpriced for what was being offered...$80 CAD for breakfast for two is just way too much! We did a great tour of the island and went to Ladera for lunch one day. We also checked out La Jalousie resort. Both had amazing views of les deux pitons. We also went outside the resort one evening for dinner to Coal Pot. It was good but quite pricey...St. Lucia, all in all, is a very beautiful island but very expensive. Since most of the resorts are so far away from the airport and many restaurants are so far away from the resorts, it is necessary to take a taxi everywhere which can really add up dollar-wise...Not much in the way of shopping...Rodney Bay is disappointing. We didn't go into Castries to shop but it didn't look too appealing so there didn't seem to be much point. Nice holiday in spite of some of the problems. Hawaii (Kauai) is still my favourite island....
My wife and I traveled to St.Lucia in Oct of 2007. We purchased a week through Redweek. What an incredible view that we had from our balcony. Our own private plunge pool as well. I would highly recommend this resort for it's laid-back feel. The people were very helpful, the resort was not crowded and there were plenty of activities to keep you busy. We are already planning our next trip back.
Must be one of the finest resorts in the World. 1st class service, friendly staff make this an A+ return
We had the most enjoyable time in St. Lucia in September 2007. Just a few weeks after the island was brushed by Hurricane Dean it was truly amazing how the locals joined forces and clean the island up. During our stay we were very fortunate to call the Windjammer Landing our home for the week. We had a 2bdrm unit on the higher level with our own private pool and I believe every unit faces the ocean with the most incredible sunsets nightly. Our "home" was in a new unit at nearly 2,400 sq feet with 2.5 bath and 2 decks. The fully furnished kitchen had all the modern appliances (no dishwasher) and more than adequate dinnerware. A wood dining table and buffet complimented the eating area. Having a washer and dryer is truly a luxury in the Caribbean but ever so practical as it can cut your packing in half. The unit was immaculate with housekeeping and pool keepers visiting us daily to see to our every need. The island itself is unique in that it is mountainous with natural vegetation. The Windjammer Villas are built in the cliffs which depending on your unit can be a little challenging to walk. They do offer on property free shuttles when you leave your unit to take you anywhere on the resort you want to go. Very prompt friendly service I might add. Our little oasis was 45 steps from the drive to our front door. Worth every step! Everyone at the resort was extremely friendly and knew the meaning of hospitality. Upon our arrival at the resort we checked in and completed our paper work. They offered us a refreshing beverage, on the house. The welcome was a truly needed relief from our long journey to get there. We flew into the Hewanorra Airport (UVF) on the south side of the island and it was a good little drive up to the resort in paradise. Courtesy Car Rental picked us up in our rental car and drove us to the resort and returned us to the airport on our departure. No extra fee. Any activity you want to do can be arranged there at the resort and the guides are so helpful in planning and making the most out of your limited time. We were able to horseback ride on the beach, a tree top adventure and take a sunset cruise on a pirate ship. All for $475 USD for the 2 of us. We did dine at our villa mostly but those meals we did eat at the resort were quite tasty. They also have a small market on site to help with untimely snacking craves. Again I cannot even express what a lovely experience we had at the Windjammer Landing. Being in the travel industry myself we have been blessed to visit most islands in the Caribbean and I can honestly state this was the nicest and cleanest accommodations we have ever had. Hats off to Beverly in reservations for making our stay a dream come true and our week so memorable.
We exchanged into this resort 12/06. We could not have been happier. The location is breathtaking. The accommodations are spacious and have daily maid service. The views are million dollar. The on-site restaurants and bars were above average. Great activities and spa as well.
We enjoyed it so much we bought a resale unit from Red Week.
Excellent full service resort, I love it here. The villas are unique and the staff is amazing. You will want to spend your entire vacation on site but force yourself to see this beautiful island.