Serenity at Coconut Bay
What We Love
- Minibars come with blenders for making your own frozen cocktails
- Ordering room service naked, because they'll deposit it in the "mealbox"
- Being ferried around in a golf cart because you're too relaxed to actually walk anywhere
- Hammocks big enough for two
What To Know
- Guests have privileges at the larger Coconut Bay Resort & Spa, which is not quite as swank
- Splurge on a suite with an outdoor shower—you can thank us later
- Free WiFi
- The resort isn't actually on the beach, but it's a short walk (or golf cart ride) away
If the words “adults only,” “all inclusive,” and “personal butler” make you perk up your ears, this is the place for you. A resort within the larger resort of Coconut Bay Resort & Spa, the number of guests here maxes out at 72, so service and personal attention are always on point. Guests stay in suites that come with outdoor showers, decks and private plunge pools – the last are so popular that the resort’s central pool is often strangely quiet. Personal butlers are discreetly on hand to do everything from arranging a helicopter tour to bringing you more sunblock to making sure the chef knows you’re allergic to tomatoes, and no request is too small or too large. The Greathouse restaurant is where all meals are served, and it’s got a surprisingly creative menu: try the shrimp cake Benedict for breakfast. Guests can also eat free at any of the nine restaurants at Coconut Bay, which has a water park, but it’s much more tempting to stay in your adults-only enclave and order Champagne and shrimp to your plunge pool.
In the Area
Does anyone really leave an all-inclusive resort during their stay? Okay, maybe on St. Lucia. There are zip lining adventures, sailing, snorkeling, and horseback rides to be had, along with catamaran charters, dune buggy drives, and even a drive-in volcano (you can drive right through the crater, which still belches steam and sulfur, but it’s dormant). Because the resort is on the southwest coast, it’s conveniently close to all of these attractions, so you’ll be back in your suite asking your butler to bring you a margarita before you know it.
How to Get There
What a fabulous place! From the moment we departed our transfer from the airport and made our way to the hotel, it was a wonderful experience. Don Diaz, the manager, greeted us with spa water and a cool scented towel. Our room wasn’t quite ready so he suggested we have lunch in the Great House restaurant, which we did. At the end of lunch, we were greeted by a butler, Angus, who showed us to our room and gave us the lay of the land. What we learned is that you don’t have your own private butler but really a group of two or three butlers who are at your beck and call. We were even provided a butler phone to call them for anything and everything. Angus made it clear that we should not be concerned about phoning the butler for anything – “we were on vacation so let someone else do the work for us.”
The view: Serenity is a beautiful place and even though it’s not ocean front, you can see the ocean from the Great House Restaurant and pool area. Plus you can walk across the private road between the two resorts (a very short walk) and be ocean front on a lounger with a bar and restroom just steps away. The pool and pool side cabanas at Serenity are beautiful and the outdoor living area around the room is stunning.
The people: The staff are amazing! Many of them knew our names from the first day. They actually greet you with genuine enthusiasm each day - it was awesome! Also, nearly everyone on the island we encountered was much the same way. Tourism is their number one business so unlike some places, people seem to be genuinely happy that you are there.
The guests: since Serenity is so small (36 rooms) you get to know a number of guests because you see them nearly every day. You either see them at breakfast, at the pool, walking around at Coconut Bay or on a planned activity outside the resort. I’m not sure my wife and I have ever met so many wonderful people on vacation. We exchanged numbers with a few of them and honestly believe we may catch them in their city or ours on a future trip.
The drinks: they don’t skimp on mixing a good drink at Serenity and have plenty of fine alcohol to choose from for no additional cost including Grey Goose, Patron, Grand Marnier just to name a few. We actually ended up drinking rum from St. Lucia (Bounty Rum and Chairman’s Reserve, The Forgotten Casks) which were some of the best we’ve ever had.
The food: between Serenity and Coconut Bay you have lots of really good food items to choose from. There is really no need to go anywhere else to have a great meal.
Planned activities: we did the Grand Romance Package. The private tour of the island was one of our best days. Our driver from the company NERV was Danny (he referred to himself as Danny Boy). He was simply outstanding! We did the volcano tour, the mineral springs bath followed by mud and the waterfall (the waterfall is cold!), and then the botanical gardens. We were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed the botanical gardens. The flowers and blooming trees and plants are amazing!
Other things included in the Grand Romance Package were a private cabana on the beach, a Sunset cruise on a catamaran and a private dinner in a pool side cabana our final evening on the island. The latter was the recommendation from the Serenity staff (to do the dinner on our last night) and I’m glad we followed their suggestion.
Other things to know:
We went during the rainy season - April - October. Rain did cause some minor changes to our schedule, but hey, we were on island time. Seaweed has become a bit of a problem in the Caribbean but mostly seems to impact the Atlantic side of the island. Bug bites, particularly sand fleas and mosquitoes, were frequent. Make sure to take or buy bug spray which is available at Serenity or Coconut Bay (we took our own). The hair dryer provided in the room is standard hotel issue so if it’s important to have a high grade hair dryer you may want to bring your own. And that’s mostly it. All in all it was a fabulous trip. The manager, Don Diaz, and his staff made us feel quite special and we were pampered everyday.
On tipping.... My wife and I both had food service jobs while we were in college so we may have leaned on the generous side. We tipped five dollars for most lunches and breakfasts - but not all. We tipped about half the time at the bar. We did not, however, tip for room service as we learned that room service was delivered by our butler and per Angus (mentioned earlier in this review) we tipped our butlers at the end of our stay. We provided $200 in tips to our butlers and another $150 or so to various other staff members. We did tip housekeeping and turn down service everyday although they didn’t always take it.
Again, we were probably a bit on the high side but we're ok with that given the level of service we were provided. We also tipped on each of the excursions off-property, ranging from a few dollars to the shuttle bus driver to a much bigger tip for Danny (boy) who took us on the half-day tour.
My wife and I have been to the Caribbean several times and all in all, this may have been the best trip ever. Jim & Lisa Simpson
Each room has it's own patio with great amenties for privacy at it's best. The staff was wonderful and took very good care of us, Maryanne and Rosey always had our room looking great with inspirational quotes and happy greetings each day and night. Hats off to Don, the GM, who runs this place like a well oiled machine and Danica for making sure we were able to squeeze in all the excursions and perks in just the right times. Our butlers, Quade, Nerissa and Ray were wonderful always wanting to make sure we were having a great time. The restaurant there was always a welcoming place and Sadie, Chard, Talia and the rest of the gang helped make our meals just that much more enjoyable with their wonderful charming personalties. The spa ladies Nadia and Gambina did a wonderful job on our massages, man was that perfect timing just enough for us to relax the entire day, i know i slept good that night. I can't leave out the guys that picked the freshest and best coconuts each day, Akim and Phil you are the best and always know how to appear just when we were looking for you. Shout out to Kernella at Coconut Bay, Silk Restaurant and Vaughn and the other bartenders who made the best drinks we could ask for, and the dirty bananas were the best. I can't say enough wonderful things about the folks that work in these two places they were all so very nice, courteous and hospitable. I look forward to seeing them all again. Oh and i won't miss out on thanking Monica at Coconut Bay for her care, understanding and assistance in getting our package delivered back home with care and handling what a relief for us. Ooops don't let me forget the entertainment at these places, talk about top class, it was wonderful for all.
After reading all of the great reviews I had high expectations and I was not disappointed. Everything about this place was amazing: room, grounds, housekeeping, food, butlers and wait staff. I can not say enough good things about Don and his team. Grand romance package is excellent and we enjoyed everything that was included. Beach Cabana was amazing and felt like we were on our own private beach. Sunset cruise was so much fun. Dinner in pool cabana was romantic. Half day private trip was excellent. We were driven around stopping for pictures, mud bath, gardens and sulphur springs. Food in the Greathouse was top notch. Some of our favorites included the crab cakes, lobster, filet and fresh fish. We never went anywhere else and enjoyed every meal. The rooms are fabulous with so much private outdoor space. There are so many wonderful things about this place that truly make it special and one of a kind. Don thank you for making this the best vacation ever and helping us celebrate our 22nd anniversary. Can not wait to come back but has to be longer than 7 days because it went too fast.