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Sandals Grande.. and safety

Halifax, Canada
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188 posts
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Sandals Grande.. and safety

We are planning our honeymoon and have picked Antigua. I am interested in the Sandals Grande Antigua, but am open to other resorts as well, as long as they are all inclusive.

We definitely want to stay in a resort that is located on a really nice beach and has good selection of food. Any opinions on which AI is the best?

Also I read you should not wear jewelery while in Antigua. We usually travel to Cuba, where we feel very safe anyway, and have never had any issues with jewelery (I only wear my engagement ring anyway) and I am wondering if I should just leave my rings at home instead of bringing them. We wouldn't be traveling off the resort much, except maybe a couple excursions.

Any antigua advice would be great!

yorkshire
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1. Re: Sandals Grande.. and safety

Antigua's a very beautiful island - different to Cuba in that its compact, and we did not find anyone trying to sell us cigars at every turn, draw caricatures of us or push us into hair braiding. Nor do you get the asking for money or gifts - begging from children in Havana in particularly.

We got a guy on the beach selling aloe Vera!

Antigua is laid back, has beautiful white beaches and the people were friendly enough. We did a fair amount of sightseeing by hiring taxis, which just dropped us off and collected us at a set time. At all times, we felt very safe, but like anywhere these days, take sensible precautions. Did not flash wads of cash about and did not wear much jewellery. Wedding bands and normal watches. Thats what we generally do on any holiday - not just Antigua.

As for hotels, the sandals beach looked gorgeous when we did a Catamaran trip. It pulled up right on the beach to let a couple board...

Hope this helps.

Halifax, Canada
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188 posts
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2. Re: Sandals Grande.. and safety

We never had any issues like that in Cuba, but then again, we did not go to Havana. We went to Cayo Ensenachos is on an island that locals are not even allowed on, except those who work at the resorts, so we probably avoided any of the negative things you would see in Havana. We did go to Varadero once and had no problems at the resort..but the airport was another story...

Things like that are why I won't travel to Dominican, I don't want to be hassled on vacation. I am glad to hear Antigua isn't like that.

My main concern was my wedding ring set, I just don't want to draw any unwanted attention. Not that I have a huge $10,000 ring or anything. Just want to be able to go on vacation and wear it like I normally do, but if it were any type of issue I could easily leave it at home.

Thank you for the info on taxis, that sounds like a great way to explore a little bit of the island.

Guelph, Canada
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3. Re: Sandals Grande.. and safety

Sandals is on one of the busiest beaches on the island, if that matters to you (pro or con).

Halifax, Canada
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188 posts
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4. Re: Sandals Grande.. and safety

That is good to know... I prefer a quieter beach where we aren't in huge crowd of people all the time.

UK/Antigua
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for St. John's, Antigua
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5. Re: Sandals Grande.. and safety

There are some great alternatives as well. Take a look at Galley Bay, the Inn at English Harbour, Carlisle Bay or even Cocobay.

I'm not sure who told you about not wearing jewellery, but it's simply not true. There are places on pretty much any island, Antigua included, where I wouldn't wear a lot of bling, but the same applies to pretty much anywhere I can think of. Antigua, is still a very safe island, and it's certainly not something you would need to be worrying about.

If you're wearing a big sparkler on a finger, it's worth keeping it turned to the inside if you're snorkelling or diving, though - there have been reports (perhaps apocryphal) of barracudas of the non-two legged variety liking bling ;)

Oldsmar, Florida
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6. Re: Sandals Grande.. and safety

We've only stayed at Sandals in Antigua so I can't compare it with other resorts there. But I will say that Sandals is a great place for a honeymoon or vacation. There are lots of food options - 6 different restaurants, plus a pizza stand and a pastry/coffee shop and a grab-and-go cafe. For breakfast, there are two buffets and one a la carte restaurant.

I thought the beach was beautiful. It is a bit narrow in spots but it is long enough for a nice walk in either direction. The water color is gorgeous but can be a bit cloudy. (Negril Jamaica had the most beautiful beach and clear water I have ever seen.) There is also a huge pool and several smaller pools to choose from.

I'll be glad to answer specific Sandals questions, if I can. We loved it there.

I've always worn my wedding/engagement rings in the Caribbean (including Antigua). I've never had a problem but my rings aren't very large and flashy. I do put them in the safe if I'm going to be snorkeling or scuba diving.

Haverhill...
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7. Re: Sandals Grande.. and safety

I agree with AsTheCrowsFly - we loved Sandals Antigua and will be returning in January. We felt very safe there and off property, and I never had any issues with wearing my jewelry.

It's a great resort that is big enough to be alone, but small enough to still be with people if you want - whatever makes your heart happy! And feel free to ask us more questions as well! :)

Vancouver, Canada
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176 posts
63 reviews
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8. Re: Sandals Grande.. and safety

No need to leave your rings at home, Antigua is safe. I have travelled all over the island many times and never felt unsafe.

Neptune, New Jersey
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9. Re: Sandals Grande.. and safety

Never felt unsafe in Antigua during our whole trip. Explored the island by bus and taxi, people were all friendly and helpful. Can't give you any info on Sandals, we stayed at Catamaran in Falmouth which is beautiful and relaxing, nearly a private little beach, but for restaurant options you do need the taxi / bus / car.

Halifax, Canada
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188 posts
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10. Re: Sandals Grande.. and safety

Thanks for all the info. The Government of Canada Travel webpage is where I read to not wear jewelery while in Antigua. I have always worn mine when we were in Cuba with no issues and just wanted to make sure that it was ok in Antigua.

I haven't heard any personal stories of people having issues, that is why I posted the question. I am glad to hear that nobody here has had any trouble, because I would like to wear my rings.

I think we are going to go ahead and book the Sandals all inclusive package.. it's $2,700 per person for the 7 night package, taxes and everything included. which is more than what we normally spend to go south, but overall doesn't seem too bad, especially since it will be our honeymoon.

It says you do not tip the staff here- is that correct?