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“Long overdue return visit.”

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Hawksbill by Rex Resorts
Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Thaxted
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Long overdue return visit.”
Reviewed 24 September 2012

My wife and I returned to the Hawksbill in September to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary. We actually got married at the Hawksbill in September 1987, and a memorable wedding it was too.

The hotel hasn't changed all that much; the only noticeable change was the addition of the beachfront Club Suites that are located on both the Royal and Honeymoon beaches. From what we could see the only difference between them and the normal Beachfront Rooms was the addition of air-conditioning. We certainly needed that, but I think the additional cost of about £350 per week is a mite excessive.

It was also nice that September is a quiet month, so there were only about a dozen guests for our first week, with approximately double that in our second. We aren't normally "mixers" on holiday, but it was really good to meet the other guests and share drinks and meals with them.

There are two main reasons why the Hawksbill is such a popular hotel; one is the actual location and the second are the staff members who are really terrific. The complex has four beaches (including the rudi-nudi one), and although the hurricane of '95 caused major changes to the depth of entry, the beaches are all clean and well looked after. Water sports are available with the usual windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and the jetskis. This is all run by the resorts version of Delboy, ie Sean, who is always smiling and happy to help in any way he can.

Food at the resort is good and varied. I don't believe we had the same evening menu for the whole of the two weeks we were there. Breakfasts are good, with omelettes made to order and served with the usual bacon, sausages, beans, tomatoes etc. You can't beat a full English to start another strenuous day on the sunbeds?? Bar staff were prompt and the drinks were "wholesome".

The resort does have a pool, but it's not very big and more of a splashpool really. It is located close to the beachbar and beach restaurant so its ideally placed for those that want to chill out with a sunbed, a good book and a constant supply of drinks.

By the way, there is a good library of books at the resort so you shouldn't have to weigh yourselves down lugging books all the way from the UK to Antigua. There should be something for everybody in the library, and other languages are catered for as well.

One tip, from my research before booking, I noticed the ridiculously high charges added for transfers. My recommendation; get a cab. Taxis in Antigua work to a Government issued price list, so in the case of the Hawksbill its a USD 20 or an ECD 53 charge from the airport to the hotel, and that covers upto 4 people. Just go to the Taxi Despatcher at the airport and they fill in a form for you to give to your cabbie. Very organised and much cheaper than the normal transfers where you could be stopping at a number of hotels en-route to yours.

Entertainment at the Hawksbill is minimal, and bear in mind that the only television at the resort is down near the beach bar . It was though nice to be cut off from the world for 2 weeks. On Monday, they have a group of 4 guys who play a variety of instruments, some made by themselves. Wednesday is the Halcyon Steel Band, who actually played at our wedding 25yrs ago. The band does have 110 members and have been one of the top steel bands in the Caribbean for the past 10 years. They only send 6 of their group along and they are excellent. Then on Saturday its the Axis Band. They play all sorts of well known stuff, and have an excellent lead singer. With his voice, he could walk onto the X-Factor and wipe the floor with most of the competition in our humble opinion.

For those of you that are into cigarettes and alcohol, we would recommend booking the shuttle bus that runs 3 times a week, and takes you down to Heritage Quay, where the cruise boats dock. There are a couple of good shops, but we liked Ferrara's the best. The owner knows his stuff, and is open to a deal. Superking cigarettes were approximately half the price of the Duty Free shop at Gatwick Airport, ie 2x200 cartons came to about £25 as opposed to £53 in Gatwick. My search was for Pusser's Rum; this was the stuff given to the British Navy on a daily basis until interfering politicians decided to cut back. A 54% proof 70cl bottle in Ferrara's was about £9, a 15-yr old bottle was about £25. Absolute nectar and worth every penny. Try a shot in the winter when you come home cold and wet from work. You can't beat it.

Would we go back to the Hawksbill - you bet we will. We like the idea of a quiet, lazy holiday where the only activity to perfect is the turning of pages on a good book. I can honestly say that we have never been to a holiday complex where the staff have been better, and the beaches so abundant. During our two weeks, some guests were transferred to Hawksbill from other resorts (in particular Jolly Beach), and were overjoyed at the improvement.

Rex Resorts have just signed a new 50-year lease for the entire property, so they may now be encouraged to invest some money in renovations. The property is a bit tired in places but it was still one of the best holidays we have had for many years. We're sure you won't be dissappointed.

Tony & Mandy

Room Tip: Our room was No.141 which overlooks Honeymoon Bay. The sunsets in the evening are to die for, but th...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank diamondtone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (332)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2012

I stayed at Hawksbill for 1 night it was a fantastic stay on arriving it was time for dinner it was very palatable variety to choose from. Waking up to hear the splashing of the waves was beautiful the beach was excellent I cant wait to return I would recommend Hawksbill to all my friends I would like to say thank you to all the staff for making my stay a very memorable one

Room Tip: Garden bungalows are suited for couples
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Blackcherri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2012

We have recently returned from our eighth visit to this resort...our second this year. It is like home from home with the staff greeting us like extended family. We stayed in a garden bungalow which suited our needs perfectly. The food was excellent and because it was very quiet while we were there, towards the end of our stay, all meals were cooked to order which we really enjoyed. The food was lovely as always...thank you Sean and the other chefs who work so hard. Thanks to ALL the staff who, without exception made our stay so enjoyable and memorable once again. We are already planning next years trips and will be back for carnival. See you all then....can't wait.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
10 Thank jamaicanymph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2012

It was difficult to make the choice of which resort to stay at, theere was a wide choice of offerings in Antigua. In the event we were very lucky: Hawksbill suited perfectly. The offering was really excellent. A peaceful location, good facilities and outstanding staff made our holiday nearly perfect. We enjoyed the watersportss (sailling in particular), the company of those we met, and of course the swimming in the bay. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank jennysunnyspot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2012

This was our eighth consecutive trip to Hawksbill with our two children aged 12 and 15. We had a truly wonderful holiday in the most beautiful setting on the island. The staff were fantastic as usual with ALL doing everything in their power to ensure our stay was the best yet. We are so grateful to Sheneth, Miss Simon, Miss Francis, Claudette and Agatha for making our welcome and stay so special. William, David and Adrian, Christabell, Millie and all of the bar staff are truly wonderful , always more than helpful with each request being greeted with a beautiful smile. The kitchen staff did a super job with lovely tasty meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner - and an extra extra special thank you to Novella - we all love you -Billy especially for his daily helping of chololate ice cream! It was lovely to see the hotel and gardens so beautifully maintained, fogging was regular and it was nice not to have quite so many birds attempting to steal lmy bacon in the morning. Our room was charming as usual , shabby chic and typically caribbean - As I have said in my previous reviews - don't come here if you are looking for super duper excessive luxury - the place is not about that - it's about peace, relaxation and appreciating the simple things in life with the most accommodating , helpful and beautiful staff as a fantastic addition. We can't wait to come back next year.

  • Stayed August 2012
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Helpful?
8 Thank tracie_perkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
46 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 196 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 August 2012

On our arrival at Hawksbill, we were greeted by a very smart and friendly receptionist who booked us in and offered us a complimentary Rum Punch. We were then taken to our beach cottage on the Royal Palm Beach, which I'm afraid to say was just ok. We were slightly disappointed to find that the beds were not 'double' beds but size wise, midway between a UK single and a UK double. And also, there was no way of putting the two beds together. So for this holiday, apart from the first night, we slept in separate beds. Mind you, it was better for us both ( in the end) because of the night heat. We were very thankful for the fan and air conditioning. Had heard some accommodation at Hawksbill does not have air conditioning. On first inspection of our 'cottage' we found a problem with the front door lock. The key we were given only fitted the rear door and not the front door (one key should fit both locks). We reported the problem to the staff and it took two days to rectify and that was only after our rep (Kouni) intervened. It turned out that the hotel (manager) was aware of the broken lock but had not done anything about it. I dare say it could have been fixed sooner, but due to our holiday commitments we were not able to meet up with our rep until two days into the holiday. But really, it should not be just up to the rep to get things sorted out for hotel guests, it has to be the responsibility of the hotel. Thankfully, the rep got the problem sorted within an hour of being made aware of it from us and when we got back to our cottage, there was a complimentary bottle of Champagne (on ice) and an Apology Card from the hotel. Very nice thought in the end.
Over the first couple of days, we noticed that there didn't seem too many guests staying at the hotel and suffice to say, the hotel lacked a bit of atmosphere and friendliness. Also, there didn't seem to be many staff at the hotel either. This changed a few days later when the hotel was (fortunately) invaded by a large group of American soccer players over for a competition in Antigua. Then the hotel appeared to liven up.
The main restaurant (Tamarind Tree) was pleasant and comfortable. The daily meals (breakfast/dinner) were plentiful and varied. Lunchtime meals were taken at the Sea Grape Grill.
The gardens of the hotel were very well kept and we enjoyed walking and learning about the variety of flora and fauna in the gardens around the hotel. One member of the restaurant staff is very knowledgeable and takes guests on walks explaining the flora and fauna on view.
The beaches were nice and clean, especially Sea Grape Beach. Although the beach facilities were lacking in sunshades.
We had two entertainment evenings and the steel band and group were very good.
Overall, the holiday was relaxing and peaceful once we were finally settled in. Whilst we were on Antigua, we went out on a couple of days, one day snorkelling and one day on a private tour of the island with a visit to Nelson's Dockyard amongst other places of interest. With respect to places of interest, I have to admit, the government could do a lot more in the way of improving certain places, for instance "Betty's Hope".

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Cliolady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vordingborg, Denmark
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2012

We had a one night stay here in July. We are a family of five. Mom and dad with three children aged 10,12 and 15.

Even though we only had two days and one night here there is no doubt in our minds. This place is the most romantic and relaxing place we can imagine. We came from bustling Dickenson bay, so this was a big change but also a nice change.

The hotel is located far from everything on a remote and private beach. It is the perfect couples retreat. We will for sure visit this place later on when our children are flown away from home, and we are travelling alone.

Staff was very nice.
Food was great.
Beaches are wonderful and snorkelling was great with a coral reef just 50 metres from the shore.
The cottages we had was so wonderful. It was number 120 and 121 located on the beach with astonishing ocean view from the Verandah.

We recommend this hotel especially to couples who are looking for a romantic and relaxing place to spend their holiday.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
8 Thank Cobraleif
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hawksbill by Rex Resorts

Property: Hawksbill by Rex Resorts
Address: Five Islands, St. John's, Antigua
Region: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#7 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Hawksbill by Rex Resorts 3*
Number of rooms: 107
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Hawksbill By Rex Hotel St. John`s
Hawksbill Antigua
Hawksbill By Rex Antigua
Hawksbill Hotel Antigua
Hawksbill Beach Resort
Hawksbill Resort Antigua
Hawksbill By Rex Resorts Antigua/Saint John Parish

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