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“Too expensive and not safe for families”

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Hawksbill by Rex Resorts
Ranked #10 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Annandale, VA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Too expensive and not safe for families”
Reviewed 18 December 2012

The room was immaculate, the sheets were crisp and white but the bed was a rock (had to sleep on 2 Duvets in order to not be sore in the morning). The view was great and it almost made up for the sparse and non existent landscaping, cracked concrete, the exposed wires and the unfriendly (basically rude) staff. It was also next to a nude beach which we were not expecting.

Additionally, if you need to change your reservation at all due to illness, emergency or whatever, they will charge you a 9%, yes that is 9% of your ENTIRE TRIP just to change the dates - last I checked they are not restocking large appliances, just changing a date in their computer for OFF SEASON dates. if you change to high season, you pay the 9% PLUS the difference in rate (which one would expect to pay the difference, but the difference PLUS not 9% of your entire trip). ABSOLUTELY ridiculous.

They also fail to mention as they try to book you at their resort that it is not safe to walk off of the property so you are forced to pay any cab at any time a minimum of $65 round trip to get anywhere off the resort - so keep this in mind if you plan an excursion which most DO NOT include transportation to and from. So glad I did not bring my children as I would have been fearful for them.

Hope this helps so that someone else doesn't' spent thousands of dollars on a dream vacation to be treated rudely and to have accommodations that are on par with Motel 6 (not that there's anything wrong with Motel 6 but you are paying Hyatt or Ritz prices and getting Motel 6 accommodations).

Room Tip: Get the bungalow with AC - great view
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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6 Thank maggie s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Virginia
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2012

My husband and I had been planning this trip for months and were excited to visit Antiqua. Hawksbill report was unfortunately a huge disappointment and not worth the amount of money it cost to stay there. We paid for the best room the place had to offer. First of all, the property itself is in a dire need of repair. Stone steps are chipped, sidewalk is cracked, there's exposed wire, rotting siding and exposed pipelines. the room itself was very plain-more plain than the pictures depicted. The view from the ocean front room was spectacular and the only saving grace. What the resort website did not accurately explain is that the only nude beach on Antigua is directly next to the resort. The average age of vacationer was over 60 and the majority of people seemed to stay at Hawksbill because of the nude beach. Unfortunately some of the vacationers did not adhere to the concept that you should wait until you are at the nude beach before going without clothing. So there were days when the views were not of the beautiful scenery but of an 80 year old man, wearing nothing but a fanny pack. The food was mediocre but the drinks were good. I was disappointed though by the staff as well. The staff was extremely rude at times, unfriendly and would barely speak to you. At the end of our stay, we were asked to fill out a questionnaire and add which staff person "earned the best smile award". I was told by front desk staff that staff friendliness towards guests was an issue that had been addressed for the previous weeks and was ongoing issue. Regarding non motorized water sports-you had to use them before 3:3o in the afternoon and could only kayak or sail within "eye sight" of resort staff. For almost 300 US$ per night, I was certainly expecting nicer grounds, higher quality of accommodations and better customer service. So unless your draw is the nude beach, I would recommend staying at a different place in Antigua.

Room Tip: The ocean view cottage had the best view and is the only room available with A.C
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank gogogogoVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
richmond
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2012

Had a very pleasant relaxing 10 day holiday here. Could not complain about anything really. It has a very friendly village atmosphere and most people want to talk to you. You definitely need the rooms with AC as there is an insect problem. There is always enough to eat and drink but could only rate it slightly better than average. Most guests are repeaters as it is guaranteed peace and quiet and most return to the naturalist beach. Personally I hadn't experienced this aspect of the holiday before and wasn't totally comfortable with it, very quiet though and you can always find a quiet spot. The worst thing on this beach are the Antigan men whose purpose i was not sure. one called Oliver i am told could organise trips etc, but not sure just what the ect was! Met some great people who made our holiday. I would recommend this hotel as it is only rated 3 star so you should really not be expecting 5 star services, I would say you would call it shabby chic. I am a surprised other reviewers say the staff are very friendly as I did not think this at all, I fact the lady who cooked the barbecue at lunch was laughably rude! I never had to complain about anything(if I didn't have anything I needed I only had to ask and I got it).
All in all a great holiday, but if you want Antiguan 5 star don't book this 3star plus.

Room Tip: Get a room with AC
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank jackieRichmond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
berkshire
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2012

It is so difficult to describe this place. Accomodation and up- keep of the buildings is dire, food adequate, entertainment poor but we love it.We are already talking about when to return.

Staff are friendly and the location /beaches are idyllic. And it's quiet and peaceful. If you want to be near shops, clubs and bars and entertainment DON'Tt stay here.

We are lucky enough to have 3/4 holidays a year at considerably higher starred establishments but this is the only one we keep returning to.I can't relly explain why.

If you want flashy without Caribbean character go to Dubai!

By the way the wine was Chilean and on sale in Sainsburys at £10 a bottle.

And as for people moaning about mosquitos buy some spray! No one can attract more of them than my husband.

Room Tip: If you want Air conditioning you must pay for beach club rooms.
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank idleone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hindhead, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 December 2012

We went back to the Hawksbill for the 3rd time in July of this year. We stayed in the air-conditioned rooms on Honeymoon cove with a view looking straight out at the Hawksbill island. It has not really changed since we were here in April 2011. (That is a good thing).
Still the only place we have ever returned to and we will do so again. So relaxing and very beautiful. The staff are great - Its like coming home - David, Millie, Ornella,Adrian, latoya and the rest of the staff are fantastic. A special mention to Sean the Chef for doing so much for my wife Allison as she has a gluten allergy....As usual the food was great.

I have commented on both my stays before and the same still applies.

This location is fantastic, the beaches are quiet and vibe is ultra relaxed. We did venture into town a couple of times but just chilled on the beach for most of 2 weeks. You do not come here for the accommodation - which is clean and comfortable - but not modern or plush. You do sometimes get outbreaks of ants or flies but if you tell the staff they come and sort it out - Its the Caribbean. You come here because the staff are superb and the indefinable charm that the Hawksbill has. Half the visitors are repeat visitors - some have been here 7, 8 or 9 times. Nobody is claiming its like the Ritz - its not. However if you want real relaxation, good food, wonderful views, great swimming and snorkelling, helpful staff and a real slice of Antiguan hospitality then you will forgive any shortcomings and will be very very pleased. Just dont tell anyone else as we would hate to see the place spoilt.

The present of sparkling wine as it was our anniversary was lovely and the leaving present of rum and spicy sauce was a nice touch.

Room Tip: Go for the beach cottages or Honeymoon cove. You can survive without aircon - You do get used to it...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank grantr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pilton, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
266 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 190 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 December 2012

Our two weeks at Hawksbill were probably the longest of my life. Sure, the place was quiet, relaxing and the beaches sublime but as far as I'm concerned, that's where the magic ended. There are many ingredients that make the perfect holiday and like a good cake, if mixed well, provide a wonderful taste and pleasant memory.

Not so Hawksbill with it's lease nearly up and crumbling through lack of investment by its Indian owners. Other than the palm trees and turquoise green seafront, the rest of the 'resort' could have been lifted straight out of a derelict Butlins or Pontins holiday camp. Tired dark sheds for accommodation and food better suited to a 1970's English factory canteen.

Breakfasts were an endless greasy spoon with lashings of instant coffee and tinned fruit juice. Dinners offered roast dinners three nights a week including boiled veg, yorkshire puddings, cabbage soup and a portion of jelly if you still had room. Other nights you're offered table d'hôte menus where you had slices of the previous nights roast dinner dressed up in 'sauce' never once living up to the flouncy description on the dog eared photocopied menu sellotaped to the wall. What happened to Caribbean cuisine? Something to indicate we'd travelled a third of the way round the planet?

Lunches were repetitive, generally consisting of 'murdered' bland fish, Hawksbill burger (dry burger bun with pineapple slice), some inedible congealed pasta dish, a 'meatish' surprise (clubbed to death animal drowned in sauce with added tongue piercing bone shards throughout), chopped up beetroot, uneventful salad, ugh.. If you're rich enough to stay for two weeks, the whole lacklustre experience repeats itself! oh joy...

At least to wash down the awful food, you can over indulge in the all inclusive booze? Alas not! The under £2 a bottle dishwater red, rose and white wines (seen by for sale in English Harbour) were utterly undrinkable and cocktails, so inconsistent, ludicrously strong (neat spirit with hint of mixer) or teeth tinglingly sweet, that they offered no temptation either.

We're not 'posh' travellers having stayed in everything from £2 a night Goan beach huts to 5 star Maldives Islands. We are are however used to wandering outside the hotel, finding a bar, or restaurant, or other hotel which if the included food turns out bad, as in this case, at least offers the opportunity to salvage the holiday dining experience. Unfortunately Hawksbill is isolated with nothing around, so at night you feel like an inmate in a self inflicted prison with nothing but a bar devoid of atmosphere plus some of the least memorable meals you're ever likely to fail to enjoy.

Most nights we were in bed by nine. The Mosquitoes however had other ideas and decided it was time to party! Our dark bedroom although spacious, benefited not from air conditioning. Barely rotating ceiling fans (on maximum) combined with mosquito screens so full of holes failed to prevent our being savaged by the plague of mosquitoes that descend on Hawksbill just prior to sunset every evening. Mozzie repellent and four, yes four burning mosquito coils in our room offered no protection.

We found many of the staff initially quite rude although this improved slightly during our stay. We don't like staying in a hotel where you feel guilty about inconveniencing staff for a drink! The constant faux 'are you having a nice holiday', 'how are you today' etc. that was clearly being indoctrinated into the staff each morning, adopted reluctantly and said with such little feeling or conviction, it made us embarrassed to listen to it.

You might think from this review that we didn't enjoy our holiday but you'd be wrong. In a way our time at Hawksbill made us realise just how good previous holidays elsewhere had been by comparison. We were utterly staggered by how many British guests return here year after year and now realise that the bulk of Hawksbill trip advisor reviews we based our choice of holiday on were blinkered, non objective and unrepresentative. Some repeat guests have been 7 times before??? Misguided loyalty does not make for an impartial point of view. Just ask Tony Blair!

The Indian family behind Rex resorts should be ashamed of themselves. They let down not only their staff but more importantly the very loyal band of guests to whom the hotel owes its livelihood.

There are far far better hotels in tropical climes than this one and if guests old and new voted with their feet, Hawksbill and its stunning location might at least stand the chance of a rebirth. If things continue as they are, things will only get worse and from our point of view it's already as bad as it gets! Not only would we not come back to this or any other Rex hotel, I doubt we'd consider Antigua again either!

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank WaterwaysExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dorking, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 December 2012

Our holiday was a belated honeymoon. We chose the hotel because it was small, comparatively cheap and, interestingly, had a nudist beach (although we have never been on one before). Some of the other reviews suggested that the hotel was a bit run down. Clearly some guests had very high expectations more akin to what you might find at Sandals etc., however overall we had a really great time.

Certainly the place is need of some TLC - because of a protracted issue to do with the land lease or something, very little has been invested in the resort for a while, however we had a lovely, relaxing, totally chilled out week in a beautiful area. Most guests are from the UK and States and initially we felt the average age might be a little old for us (I'm just 50!) however we soon found a few couples of a similar age who we gelled with and had a great time.

Interestingly, a good proportion of guests were returning to the resort and several had been time after time - one lovely couple had been there for the past 24 years. More interestingly, most of these people went back because of the nudist beach. As first timers I was a little apprehensive I must admit, however the way the coves run, the nudist beach is furthest away from the hotel and is a lovely long white sand beach with palm trees, facing the iconic Hawksbill rock. There is a shallow rocky/coral line running along most of the beach although with care you can step/swim over it from the beach or if you go to the middle or end it is easy. the beach was so long you could easily be 25 metres from the next person on the beach.

The rooms themselves were quite adequate if a little tired. Ours was room 25 on the top floor of the main "block" and our balcony view was of "The Rock" - quite lovely. The room was spacious with a high ceiling (peculiar to the upper rooms. I would suggest you consider taking earplugs if, like us, you find it hard to sleep with the noise of the frogs and sea.... sort of cute but quite loud!

I love really good food, but given the price we paid, my expectations weren't sky-high and to be honest I was very pleased. A good buffet breakfast, pretty wide variety for lunch at a great beach-side restaurant and different styles of 4-course meals in the evening. If you are a vegetarian the food is a lot more limited, however if you speak nicely to Sean, the Chef, he will look after you nicely and created a number of great meals for my wife.. but you do need to ask nicely!

The watersports are very limited so if you love sailing cats etc, choose somewhere else. If you want to lie on the beach under palm trees this place is great!

Will we go back? Probably, yes, and we would recommend it. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Main block first floor rooms 20-26 have a lovely view although if you're very romantic... there...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Dathan100
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
#8 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
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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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