We've just been to Coconut Bay and chose that over smugglers because of the transfer (am 28 weeks pregnant and get travel sick at the best of times).
It was great for what we wanted - ie not doing much. We did one full day boat/snorkelling trip and saw the volcano, pitons etc.
The Atlantic side is apparently a bit rougher and is quite breezy (I found this good because of heat and bump, but you might not). However, we found the sea v nice to swim in (but not snorkel). It may have been a quiet time, but we had no problems getting sunbeds etc. I have heard that the North part can get quite busy with cruise ships etc, but not sure how true that is.
If I'd not been pg we prob would have gone for Smugglers too on balance.
Thank you for all the info. Think it will be Smugglers then! Have always wanted to go to St Lucia and for some reason at the moment it's coming out cheapest for the caribbean islands for a week in April.
dh here - i lived in st lucia as a child (long time ago) and would chose smugglers over coconut. North of the island is nicer, nearer castries and rodney bay (yacht marina) and pigeon island etc. Airport is in the south though so as you say a longer transfer but worth the effort. Smugglers may have darker sand due to being in the more volcanic northern tip of the island if it is where i think it is - worth checking just so you are not disappointed. You could potentially get a local flight from the int'l airport to vigie in castries and then the car transfer would only be 30min. Not sure on the cost or practicality.
I've been to Smugglers Cove and found the transfer fine. We had a private mini bus and our youngest DS who was 7 slept. It's a nice resort and in a good area for excursions. Coconut Bay looks very good also but if I were going I'd do a bit of research on the beach/sea as it's on atlantic side of the Island. St Lucia is beautiful and the day trips are really good.
Think I'm leaning towards Smugglers Bay but I'm worried about the 90 minute transfer from the airport as DD1 gets travel sick. I've seen there's a helicopter transfer but guessing that will be out of our price range (plus DD1 is terrified of heights!). Has anyone got any advice on which resort and transfers? Will be travelling alone with DDs 13 & 5.