I've reviewed this resort before but thought having been back for visit 6 that it was time to update.
Like me, people use Trip Advisor to get an idea where to visit for the very first time, so I plan on writing an honest review despite my love of the resort and all things connected to it.
Hawksbill is a beautifully located mid sized resort with a choice of 4 beaches, one being Antigua’s only clothing optional beach. The resort is traditionally Caribbean, relaxed, no frills, no TV in room, no banging music, no huge pool scene. It relies on the family atmosphere and the location to help you chill out.
There are four room types at the resort. The Garden rooms are what are offered as a base when booking (from UK), which are in single level blocks along a path running through the complex, the rooms are compact, a little dark and have no air con. The next level are the Superior Sea View rooms which are all in a pair of 2 storey blocks and closest to the main restaurant / lobby and beach bar. These rooms are large and airy, all with balconies or terraces, with two double beds. The superior sea view rooms rely on wooden shuttered windows at both sides of the room to allow a through air flow instead of any air conditioning. The upper level allow some lovely views across the Seagrapes Beach and the lower have terrace access to the gardens. Next are the Seaview Bungalows, which are in the front of the garden room blocks and face onto the Seagrapes Beach and have the wooden shuttering on the windows to allow the sea breeze to cool the room. If like me, you can’t acclimatise quickly to the tropical temperatures and sleep in the heat, then the Beach Club rooms are the ones to book as they have air conditioning fitted. There are two locations within the resort that beach club rooms are positioned, on the Royal Palm beach and on Honeymoon Cove. The Royal Palm rooms are slightly larger, but my personal favourite are the more compact Honeymoon Cove with views out to the Hawksbill Rock and wonderful sunsets.
Admittedly, the furnishings at the resort are now tired and could do with a little money being spent by the resort owners, but they are perfectly serviceable rooms and are kept spotlessly clean and fresh with daily maid service with little touches such as adding fresh flowers from the gardens to the room.
All meals are served in the main dining room, which during high season is part open air. Meals vary between self service buffet evenings and a la carte menu / waitress service. The food has never been anything other than excellent quality in the 6 visits I have now made with more choice available in high season than at quieter times. Head Chef, Sean Weekes, has a wonderful team and they work tirelessly to please the guests. I actually look forward to getting back out there to the amazing bacon at breakfast time, one of these visits I’ll actually find out how they cook it to my idea of perfection (crisp and well done but not cremated)
The bar service has been my undoing on many an occasion, from Millie’s Mixology, the cocktail making class, which takes place weekly at the beach bar during the day, to the never ending wine with dinner through to the post dinner cocktails!
I’ve now visited the hotel at various times of year and the atmosphere varies depending on guest levels, March/April the resort is buzzing, with a full restaurant, lively bar scene and plenty of new faces. Visit in the British summertime and you will find a more intimate experience with fewer guests but then you have more time to get to know the amazing family of staff.
However busy the resort, the beaches never feel crowded and there is always plenty of space, however there needs to be some investment in new sun lounger chairs as there are many tired and broken around the resort (particularly on the 4th / Eden Beach)
In brief, if you are looking for a commercial type, character free, modern executive hotel, one of those ‘you could be anywhere in the world and not know where’ types, then Hawksbill isn’t for you. However if you are looking for a place to totally get away from it all, really feel you are in the Caribbean, meet some amazing new people, both local and other tourists, eat and drink well and have fun, then maybe you ought to give it a try.
Please contact me if you would like more information about the resort. I am a repeat guest and I love it, but assure you of my total honesty with regards to whether I believe it will suit you as I hate reading the negative reports of the resort and would rather prevent people booking than being unhappy.
Finally - My personal comment to the owners of Rex Resorts and in no way aimed at the local management team who work hard to ensure the guests have an amazing time - Hawksbill should and could be the jewel in your crown, you are failing the resort and the people who work there by not making more investment into it. There is gold to be mined, with investment and good marketing you’ll find it.
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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