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Hawksbill by Rex Resorts
Ranked #9 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Reviewed 18 January 2014

We love the Hawksbill where we go. Breakfast is lovely with the ocean out in front. There is a omlet/pancake/waffle/poached egg chef that cooks things to order. There is also a long buffet with all kinds off breakfast stuff. There are birds flying around and if we leave our table we just cover our juice with a dish or napkin. They don't poop on you, they are just happy, hopping and chirping around.

Lunch is always on Sea Grape beach and you can order something freshly made from a menu or get barbecue chicken/fish/hamburgs/hot dogs right off the grill. The grill is exposed and you can see the operation. I usually get some barbecue chicken and fresh salad from the salad bar. Then they have the most delicious ice cream flavors that you can order.

They have tea time late afternoon with little cookies and tea sandwiches. I try not to do that too because we have plenty to eat all day without that. The beach bar is at Sea Grapes and they have tons of fun drinks you can have and they are free. They are not heavy on the alcohol which is fine with us. The house wines are free all day too.

Dinner is up at the open dining room where we had breakfast. One night it will be a buffet of a ton of stuff so there is no excuse for not being able to find something. The buffet nights usually have a carving station with beautiful roast beef or ham or turkey. So we have whatever protein and then find what veggie or starch we want in the buffet. Desserts are works of art and they have a cheese bar of interesting cheeses. The next night is a fixed 5 course menu with two choices for each course. This is good food but service is slower because they are waiting on you as opposed to you going to the buffet line. Then once a week is a big ole barbecue. They put big grills out and cook to order. Fresh salads are available at every meal. If you wanted even more variety, you can make a reservation and pay extra to eat at the Italian restaurant on the grounds. We have never done that because we are quite satisfied with what we get in our all inclusive. Also, we don't leave to try any other place as that could be expensive. We have NEVER gotten sick on any of the food at Hawksbill. We can't say that for other destinations we have been to.

Oh, and on Sunday you can sign up to go to Shirley Heights. It's a high spot on the island that overlooks a beautiful shipyard. There are steel drums and a barbecue there. It costs maybe $30 per person for the round trip ride and dinner. Again, we haven't done that because we have usually used ourselves up swimming, tennis, ping pong, kayaking, beach walking, sailing and are too tired to leave Hawksbill.

Other things to do on Antigua: We took a helicopter ride over Montserrat and saw the volcano destruction. That was AMAZING! We have zip lined and done the obstacle course in the rain forest. We recommend the island tour to see the island. We go to the city to see the markets once in a while but don't stay long as it's crowded because of cruise ships and we can't get enough of the beaches at Hawksbill. We have taken snorkel tours and there is a boat tour that circumnavigates the island. We swam with the sea rays and explored the natural bridges. All fun and interesting. One day during the week an adorable older native woman takes people on a garden tour of Hawksbill. You would be amazed at what is on the grounds and Sylvi is so entertaining.

Hawksbill is an old resort and could use upgrades but it doesn't bother us. The price would go up and it would get crowded if they made it flashy. It's perfect for us and the staff bends over backward to make you happy. There is a taxi person at the resort at all times you can hire or you can grab a bus that goes by. Oh...all the beaches are beautiful (there are four) but a couple of them have rocky reefs in front so most people swim on the main beach which is sandy perfection.

Room Tip: Royal Palm Beach cottages are lovely
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Cindy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_hbaanu, General Manager at Hawksbill by Rex Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 20 January 2014

The Hawksbill by rex resorts team would like to thank you for taking time out to post such a great review. You have summarized our food, service and location superbly.

We find It very rewarding to know that our efforts have left such a positive impact on you. Your review, no doubt, will encourage others to come and experience our product.

It was indeed a pleasure having you vacation with us and we definitely look forward to having you once again for another memorable experience.

Sincerely,

John
General Manager
Hawksbill by rex resorts

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Reviewed 17 January 2014

I'm surprised to see all the negative reviews on here. If you are looking for a laid-back sun-and-surf beach vacation, Hawksbill is your place.
There is always plenty of seating, unlike so many places where you need to go out at 7 AM and put a towel on a chair.
There is always plenty of food, and even more booze. When you sit on the beach, you have 20 feet to yourself. You can stroll or swim at noon or midnight.
There are a range of rooms at a range of prices, so you get what you pay for in accommodations. But who spends time in the room?
The staff has been here for many years. They are eager to please and they quickly get to know your favorite drink. Your wine glass at dinner is never empty for long.
We think it is the perfect Caribbean get-away. But, if you like a fancy 20-story hotel with a crowded beach where you pay $40 to rent a lounge chair, then Hawksbill will disappoint you!

Room Tip: The honeymoon cove on the shady side are the best rooms.
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Rob L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_hbaanu, General Manager at Hawksbill by Rex Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 20 January 2014

The Hawksbill by rex resorts team would like to mention that it was indeed a pleasure having you home again. We truly appreciate your great review and recommendation of our Resort and definitely look forward to your return 'home away from home.'


Sincerely,

John
General Manager
Hawksbill by rex resorts

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Reviewed 16 January 2014

Perhaps best said by another guest at the Hawskbill was, "A 2-star hotel in a 5-star location." Well said! There are so many quirky little things to write about the Hawksbill including the housekeeping staff. How long does it take to clean a room? It takes forever because -- let's just say this -- Antiguans just don't seem to work hard or work fast. It doesn't help that they stop to chat on their cellphones for -- we timed 'em -- 30 minutes a call. No wonder our room wasn't cleaned (and that's being generous) until nearly 5 PM. I think it is just "island culture." After all, we are from the U.S. NY metropolitan area... Anyway, I digress. I think that Rex Resorts is sitting on a gold mine and doesn't realize it. Rex Resorts needs to invest in some serious money to revive this little gold mine. I did see a big cahuna in sunglasses walking the resort on his cell phone, but wasn't sure what he was doing to really help the place other than somewhat keep the staff on their toes? You can't beat the location and the layout, but the whole place needs a serious facelift and serious staff training. The best were the bar staff -- by far the most pleasant and efficient (it wasn't their fault when supplies ran low). Perhaps hiring a professional, experienced chef from the States could improve their menu. Although I did peek into the kitchen, and well, I just can't begin to go there... What can I say... we loved being 10 steps from the beach; we found nice lounge chairs very early each morning and set up our camp for the day; we didn't expect much from the food; the bar was conveniently located near the beach; and we were able to secure a couple of decent beach towels (sort of) to hold us over. Overall, most of the staff were friendly, but not particularly sincerely friendly. The weather held up and we accomplished what we came for: five days to sit on the beach to read, sit in the sun, and do absolutely nothing. The tree frogs were insanely loud.

Room Tip: Request the beachfront bungalow rooms.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Frances S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_hbaanu, General Manager at Hawksbill by Rex Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 20 January 2014

The Hawksbill by rex resort team appreciates your feedback for it assists us in enhancing the vacation experience.

We take note of your comment pertaining to the housekeeping staff and will investigate further. Room attendants start service at 8am and completes the last room by 5pm. Occasionally, there may delays in linen from the laundry which may cause the attendant to finish a bit later than schedule. However, our humble apologies for any inconvenience experienced.

Your recommendation for investment and staff training is noted.

The Manager is visible (as you noticed) and does daily walks to ensure all areas of the Resort are operating smoothly and guests are pleased.

We appreciate your kind comments pertaining our bar staff and will definitely share it with them.

In regards to the food, Chef Sean and team do a great job satisfying the various palates and caters to the various dietary needs.

Even though you had a few concerns, we are pleased that you were able to relax and enjoy your vacation. We also, hope you may reconsider a return visit therefore allowing us another chance in making your vacation experience memorable.

Sincerely,


John
General Manager
Hawksbill by rex resorts

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Reviewed 15 January 2014

We were island hoping from St.Maarten and thought Antigua would be a great place to see. We booked Hawksbill quickly seeing not much availability over Christmas. Big mistake. For starters Island hoping in the Caribbean is a big NO NO. Liat airlines is the only transporter and over Christmas the planes were full. We were exhausted when we arrived at Hawksbill at 11pm. We had the Superior Room, SeaView..which we paid more to upgrade from Bungalow Garden Area. Couldn't sleep due to the noise of the tree frogs (i assume) they were so loud! Our room was "Open Air". The next day we had to take a Cold Shower. We let the front desk know about it and they said they fixed the problem. Did they confirm with us that it was fixed??NO THEY DID NOT! We had cold showers all week. Went back a few days later and said the water hasn't improved and they said they fixed it.

We figured that we paid $200.00 usd a night for the accommodations and what did we get for it?. No sleep, beds were uncomfortable, Cold Showers, rusted out fridge, no clock radio or TV, couldn't get a face cloth or a hand towel, they were always out, sheets were stained.

This is downright robbery . I cant believe that people would return to this resort and stay in these rooms. I guess we should have went for broke and rented the Air-Conditioned units then maybe we would have had better rest!

We must admit that the food was great! Although if you left the table at breakfast or lunch your food was Free Game for the birds! If you are a coffee lover get used to "instant coffee"

If I ever decide to return to Antigua..I will look at booking elsewhere.

We were in St.Maarten for two weeks previous, not one bug bite. At Hawksbill we had lots of bites and we saw others that had welts on there legs from massive bites.

Previous to check-out we handed in our "Resort Review" and asked the front desk to read it. Thinking upon departure that the Manager or Assistant Manager would address our issues but was left "unnoted"

We were so happy to leave, thus looking forward to the comforts of our home.

Room Tip: Pay more and book the Air-Conditioned units.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank janicestm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_hbaanu, General Manager at Hawksbill by Rex Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 18 January 2014

The Hawksbill team would like to thank you for taking time out and sharing your comments. We value your feedback for it enables us to make the necessary improvements to further enhance our product.

In the Caribbean the nocturnal tree frogs along with crickets provide nightime sounds which are uncontrollable, however closing the windows lessens the sound.

In regards to the shower, we experienced a water heater problem which resulted in a lack of hot water temporarily. Please accept our humble apologies for the inconvenience caused.

Hawksbill's rooming concept does not feature Tv's or clock radios and is the preferred choice by many of our guests.

We take note of the mini refirgerator and bedroom linen concern.

Our beachfront club rooms, a total of thirty eight, are equipped with air conditioning units. The other room categories such as the garden view, superior seaview and superior beachfront rooms offer ceiling fans without AC's.

Chef Sean and crew have been quite successful in pleasing most palates with his menu selection and caters to the various dietary needs.

The open atmosphere of the Sea Grapes and Tamarind Tree restaurants allows the birds to visit the dining area, nevertheless, we note your concern.

We offer 'Douwe Egbert' brand of coffee which is dispensed by the designated machine. The instand coffee is just an alternative option.

Unfortunately, frequent rainfall usually stirs the mosquitoes in the nearby forest. Our main method of control is 'fogging' with a FDA approved repellant several times weekly. Bites can be a discomfort and we do apoloize for such experienced.

Hawksbill offers a a simplistic and relaxing atmosphere with friendly, efficient service team members who strive to make ones vacation experience most memorable. Even though a few expectations are not met, we still strive to encourage our guests to return to experience a vacation of a lifetime.

Sincerely,

John
General Manager

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Reviewed 13 January 2014

Mediocrity personified

My wife and I have just returned from Christmas and New Year at the Hawksbill resort in Antigua. Having booked we read the trip advisor reviews so will say little about the food or the condition of the place as everyone seems to know already. We did note, however, that the resort had won an award for the highest percentage of returnee’s on trip advisor in 2013 so we took some comfort in that.

Arriving in the early evening of Christmas eve we were shown to our “superior” beachside bungalow, where we quickly established that some of the lights didn’t work and the infrastructure seemed to be falling apart! We spent our first hour there on the internet looking for somewhere else to stay, eventually resigning to the fact that we were stuck with it we headed for dinner at the Tamarind Tree Restaurant ( the only place at the resort available for dinner). There we had our first encounter with the staff who varied from grumpy to pleasant and all stages inbetween. Maybe the “dollar a day” training charge could be used to improve this service
So how does this mediocre island resort manage to achieve the highest level of returnees on the island of Antigua we pondered? Is it because:

• The staff are generally helpful with some exceptions
• They couldn’t believe it the first time
• The location is stunning with lovely beaches
• It is somewhat quirky
• Stockholm syndrome!!
• They got lost on the way somewhere else

Any one of these people has stories to tell about some of the failings of this company (Rex resorts) and the idiosyncrasies’ of the location, from disappearing bath mats and towels to the intermittent hot water supply. Then there’s the now famous lottery toaster at breakfast where you can place bets on which side your bread will toast, if any. Missing cutlery (teaspoons are a luxury item). Lone bagels or muffins or the repetitive range of warm food. If you request “English breakfast tea” at breakfast they may come back and say there is none. Don’t worry just ask the next person you see and it will arrive instantly.

For breakfast or dinner you can visit the Tamarind tree where the food is the same as the location. The other beachside restaurant
where the food is the same daily and the menu requires some imagination to decide what to have after about two days. These are the only available locations even though the brochure describes an Italian restaurant which nobody has ever seen

The managers champagne party should not be missed as it excluded both the manager and the champagne on the advertised night when we were there. Christmas dinner was an adventure into mediocrity but the revolution came on New years eve when a buffet dinner was served by smart chefs in their whites and tall hats with a flourish representative of a Michelin Retread star restaurant. The food was good the staff were great and everyone had good fun.

What makes this resort is the location and some of the staff neither of which I am sure are properly appreciated. It is beautiful and relaxing. Our room was 10 metres from the Caribbean sea and you could lie in bed and listen to waves lapping on the shore. You could sit for hours on a decaying sun bed waiting for the end of its useful life to experience the wistful crack as it departs to another place called the tip! Not relaxing is not an option as if you didn’t you would be devoid of any alternative to stimulate the mind.

We met some lovely inmates I mean guests who had been there many times and surely qualified for the Duke of Edinburgh award for endurance. Come on Rex resorts either invest in it or sell it off. It does your reputation no good at all and you need to sell it on ebay before it falls down

We are considering re-booking for next year

Room Tip: Take your own beach towels
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Rem23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_hbaanu, General Manager at Hawksbill by Rex Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 14 January 2014

The Hawksbill team would like to thank you for sharing your vacation experience. Your feedback enables us to make the necessary changes to further enhance the product offered.

We have noted the following concerns mentioned such as some service staff behaviour; hot water supply, the lighting, the sun lounges etc. and will address accordingly.

Hawksbill is indeed known for its high ratio of repeaters (Highest in Antigua) who tend to meet each year to vacation together as one big family. Its the perfect atmosphere for making and meeting friends. Many have formed a permanent relationship with our team and truly consider the Resort to be their home away from home.

Unfortunately, there was an error on the New Years Eve program whereby the Managers Cocktail party which is usually held on Mondays, was rescheduled for the Tuesday, December 31st 2013. This was an oversight, please accept our humble apologies for the inconvenience caused.

Our New Years Eve celebrations were commended by many and we are happy that you enjoyed the festive occasion. Your positive reviews on the food, the chefs in uniforms etc. will be shared with team.

We take note of your recommendation to invest .

Once again thank you for providing feedback and we are grateful to know that you will reconsider returning in the future despite the few mentioned concerns.


Sincerely,


Hawksbill Management

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Reviewed 10 January 2014

My partner and I travelled to Antigua to enjoy some QT and relax after a very busy year. We arrived on December 29th and spent New Years at the resort, departing on January 5th.

Overall, the trip was fantastic. Antigua is absolutely stunning.

When we first arrived at Hawksbill, I was in awe of the grounds. It's an extremely private little oasis at the end of a road. You're surrounded by hillside, palm trees, and beautiful beaches. We were greeted with delicious drinks, warm smiles and a "room upgrade"! We had originally booked a Garden Room and were offered an Ocean Side room when we arrived. I was a little bit disappointed when we were first entered our room. Although absolutely adorable from the outside with a fantastic view of the ocean, the room itself was very bland and boring. Everything was WHITE, and not in a good way. It was not an overly welcoming or cozy space, but we weren't planning on spending much time in the room anyways so I got over it! Throughout the course of the trip, there were a few little things that arose but things were generally dealt with fairly quickly. When we first arrived, we had no hot water (which was a common theme throughout most of the trip) and the power in the bathroom area did not work. When we went up for dinner we informed the front desk and by the time we got back from dinner both issues were resolved.

The pros:
- Absolutely stunning beaches. The nude beach is by the far the best! If you walk to the very end of the beach it is much more secluded. You can adventure around on the rocks to see lots of crabs and a neat little cave that the water splashes in and out of. It's gorgeous.
- The food was good! I'm a pesco-vegetarian, so I don't eat meat (only fish). During dinner, there was at least 2 vegetarian options every night in addition to vegetables, rice, fresh fish, fruit and desserts. The desserts were OK. Nothing to write him about, but everything else was fantastic. The best yorkshire puddings I've ever had in my life (aside from my Dads). The lunch was excellent. You can order off the grill (fresh fish, burgers, hotdogs, etc.) and there is always fries, salads, vegetables and rice. They also have a menu you can order off of which we didn't realize until our last day. Try the vegetable roti - to die for! Breakfast was good as well. Always 3-4 different types of fruit, oatmeal, eggs done whichever way you like, beans, etc. Great coffee!
- The service had it's ups and downs. Some of the wait staff were far from friendly, but then others were fabulous. The good made up for the bad. They all seemed to warm up to us by the end of the week.
- The drinks were great! Cold beer, decent wine and amazing pina coladas. One thing that would have been nice is to have a little menu that they could offer you (they did this at the dinner bar, but not the lunch bar). They just sort of ask what you want and stare at you until you make a decision. The first few days, I didn't really know what sort of drinks I felt like and sometimes it's nice to have a menu to look over.
- The guys at the water sports hut are amazing. Sean was absolutely hilarious and was very helpful. He even offered to take us out for the night and show us around Antigua. Dosher took my partner out for a personal snorkel trip. They kayaked a few bays down and snorkeled around some beautiful areas. It was really nice of him to take the time to spend an hour or so showing him around. They offer kayaks, Hobie Cats and snorkel gear and are always extremely pleasant and helpful.

Cons
- COLD SHOWERS (unless you shower in the middle of the day)
- Very uncomfortable mattress. As great of a time as I was having, I was looking forward to my own bed by the end of the week.
- As I said, some of the wait staff were quite rude. I had one lady chase me down for taking a fork from the 'dessert' section to use to eat my lunch. She took it back from me and told me she would bring me a fork for lunch which came about 5 minutes after my salad had been sitting in the sun. As a person who works in the hospitality industry, the customer comes first. Let me take the dang dessert fork to eat my salad with if that's going to make me happy. Also, when they are seating you for breakfast and dinner they just seat you wherever they want and if you ask to be seated somewhere else it always seems as if it's a BIG DEAL. People are paying a lot of money to come and spend the week at your resort. Let them sit where they want, and do it with a smile!

Overall, the resort was fantastic! I would recommend Hawksbill to couples who are just looking to spend time with one another and relax. There are no big parties, no late nights. It's a place to put your feet up, read books, swim in the ocean, and relax.

Other things to note:
- Go into St. John's for the day! It's a fun vibe when the cruise ships are in. Lots of people, steel bands, shopping!
- Go on the catamaran trip to Barbuda! By far my favourite tour we did the whole week! We went with the Excellence tour and it was fabulous. Delicious drinks, great music, and amazing views. Once you get to Barbuda, go for the trip to the bird sanctuary to see the frigid birds. They were really neat. Bring a little container with a lid to collect some pink sand from the pink sand beach. So stunning.
- If you feel like getting off the resort for a night to eat somewhere different, try Sheer Rocks. It's expensive, but a really special place.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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10  Thank Jessica E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_hbaanu, General Manager at Hawksbill by Rex Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2014

The Hawksbill by rex resort team would like to thank you for sharing your vacation experience. Your invaluable feedback greatly assists us in enhancing the vacation experience we offer at Hawksbill.

Your positive reviews pertaining to our manicured landscape; our four beautiful beaches; the tasty cuisine; the friendly service of our water sports team, the warm smiles of our bartenders serving delightful cocktails will defintely be shared with the team.

In regards to the room related issues, we apologise for the inconvenience caused and do appreciate your acknowledgment of reported issues being dealt with in a timely manner.

The reported unsuitable behaviour of the waitress is totally unacceptable and rest assured we will take the necessary disciplinary measures to prevent reoccurrence. Our service team is usually highly commended for their friendly and efficient service and this reported behaviour is definitely not the norm.

Both bars, the Sea Grapes and the Tamarind Tree, feature beverage menus with a variety of cocktails to choose from. However, we will monitor closely to ensure menus are available always.

Once again we appreciate you sharing your feedback and we do look forward to a return visit allowinging us to once again make your vacation experience with us a memorable one.


Sincerely,


Hawksbill Management

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Reviewed 7 January 2014

The good things: The location is excellent, and SOME of the staff try hard. All credit to them.

But - all the buildings are way past their sell-by date. Shabby, slightly grubby, more than tired. Not enough sunbeds - and they were very old. I think they are past refurbishment - the place needs to be closed for a year or so and rebuilt.

And the staff need hospitality training - Many of the staff just didn't seem to want to be there - no engagement or acknowledgement and almost grudging attitude. Some were trying hard, however - that has to be said loud and clear. Reception on arrival felt like a recitation of School Rules, not a welcome. Food was variable - sometimes good, mainly very ordinary.

We had 4 days here after a week at nearby Galley Bay. What a difference! maybe this suffered by comparison, but I doubt it.

Rex Resorts - if you think this is OK, I won't be looking for a holiday at any of your other resorts!

Room Tip: Try to book at Galley Bay if you're in this area of the Island!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gm_hbaanu, General Manager at Hawksbill by Rex Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2014

The Hawksbill by rex resorts team would like to thank you for sharing your comments. We value your feedback for it assists us in making the vacation experience more memorable.

We appreciate your comment in regards to our unique location and the work of our staff.

The Hawksbill facility is mature in age and was built in 1960. In order to maintain the physical character of the buildings, only minor changes have been made over the past years. Nevertheless, your recommendation for refurbishment is noted.

In regards to training, all staff undergo such each year and its ongoing. We will continue to re-brief our team on the importance of effective and efficient customer service.

Our receptionists deliver a standard welcome orientation to all arrivals and its usually complimented by many. However, your feedback in regards to this is noted and will be shared with them.

In regards to food, our Chef and his team aim to please the most discerning palate.

Once again, we would like to thank you for your feedback and truly hope that you may reconsider a return visit in the future.


Sincerely,

Hawksbill Management

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Additional Information about 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: £131 - £305 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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