[Update] I complained to Hotwire about the experience, and they sent me a $130 credit! Yay Hotwire!

We thought we'd check out the "big city" over the weekend, so we booked a last-minute hotel in Castries on Hotwire for $105 USD/night (incl. tax): The G* Resort (omitting the name just in case they have mafia connections).

My initial impression when we arrived was, "Meh." It's on a hill with a decent view but a boys' correctional facility is across the street.

We went to the restaurant and the waiter didn't seem to speak English (St. Lucia is an English-speaking country). I picked what I wanted from the menu but he didn't understand -- he asked me to write it down for him. So I did.

10 minutes later he came back and said that they don't use the menu (??). He said they had fish. I asked what kind? He took out a cell phone and called the chef (!) and said they had Snapper and something else that I didn't understand. Then he handed me the phone, and _I_ talked to the chef. He was in his car, and said he'd get to the restaurant in 5 minutes (it was 5:30pm?). He asked me what kind of fish. Not knowing what the other kind was, I answered, "Um, half of one, and half of the other, I guess."

I saw the cook arrive 10 minutes later.

I had given the waiter a beverage order, but it still hadn't come. I returned to the bar twice to ask about it, and after a half hour we were able to pick the drinks up ourselves from the bar. It was just pineapple juice; not sure what the hold up was.

After 90 minutes at the restaurant our meal arrived. We were treating locals, and I hope they enjoyed it, because it sure didn't suit Canadian tastebuds. The bill was EC 260 (as there was no menu I had no idea what it would be).

You know, I wish the restaurant was the reason the Glencastle is an awful place to stay, but it's not. The restaurant was perhaps a highlight.

The A/C in the room was broken. Now, it's okay to be without A/C in St. Lucia IF you have windows on two sides of the room, so you can get a cross-breeze, and IF those windows have screens, to keep out the (plentiful) bugs. At the Glencastle, neither of these preconditions applies.

I went to the front desk to ask about it. (Incidentally, there was a Hotwire booking confirmation on the desk with Hotwire's full credit card information and the amount that Hotwire should be billed for my reservation. Hotwire's profit margin on my stay was $75.) They said there was nowhere to move us and the repairman lived outside the city. So we sweltered!! And I mean sweltered. Our 15-month old was absolutely dripping with sweat all night long. The temperature in the room stayed in the 90s; it was difficult to get any sleep.

Speaking of my 15-month old, the hotel is not child-proof. In St. Lucia, it seems that about half of the railings in use have 6-8" gaps between rails, and that was the case from our 3rd-story balcony. The electrical outlet by the floor fan was also broken, so the repairman bent the plug to get it in, leaving lots of prong exposed. There were also 1-foot steps into the bedroom and then into the bathroom. Lots of areas for little kids to get hurt.

The next morning I asked about the A/C. The front desk staff told me it wasn't their fault, because we had done a same-day booking on Hotwire...

We left the hotel, even though we had paid for 2 nights. We moved to the Coco Palm Resort -- which was fantastic! It has a wonderful Creole theme with cheery Caribbean colours, painting and handcrafts, a magnificent pool, and great food.