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Hawksbill by Rex Resorts
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Reviewed 8 December 2008

I traveled to Antigua for 5 days over Thanksgiving and spent the entire time at the Hawksbill. We had an amazing trip and it was exactly the R&R we were looking for. This hotel came recommended from Expedia and the reviews on TripAdvisor were generally positive so we were prepared for the property.

I'll divide the experience into a few categories:

Location: Tremendous. Best views on the island, the beaches are gorgeous and this part of Antigua is known for it's scenary. It also has the only nude beach on the island (with an avg. age of about 60).

Room / Property: The hotel is in decent condition - it's definitely a three star resort. Parts look a bit tired, the public restrooms are pretty disgusting. The room is adequate (we had a garden bungalow) and we didn't mind life without a TV or phone - it was one fo the drivers for us. The bathroom was probably the worst - the shower is crap, amenities poor quality, and it's cramped for 2 people getting ready.

The beaches are gorgeous, but a bit small - but there are 4 of them so people spread out enough. The 4th beach is the nude one, frequented mostly by elder Brits - it was the only beach long enough for a proper walk though so we would hit it at sunset when most of them were inside napping :)

Food / Beverage: The AI beverages are good - but I was kind of disappointed that I was in the Carribean - and they couldn't make a mojito! Or a Caprinhina! You can take all of the coladas or rum punches you want though and the wine was decent. The breakfast and dinners were great! I was actually really impressed with the quality of fish served and the set menus were really good. Lunch was pretty poor - greasy foods or heavy pasta dishes- and pretty much the same grill everyday - but we were never really hungry for it anyway. Tea was a joke - some tea bags in stryofoam cups and stale pastries - come on!

Service - This is where the property is really suffering. The reception staff were really friendly, helpful and inviting. There was also one bartender / waiter that was terrific - really friendly and accomodating. After that the service was really hit or miss. Some servers / bartenders were extremely rude - others acted as if you were putting them off by asking for a drink or coffee refill. The worst experience was the tour desk that the hotel hosts - the woman there was awful! She was not at all helpful and everytime we inquired about a different trip it was a huge chore for her to dial the other tour operators.

We also felt the same reception extended when we traveled off of the property. In the town of St. John, only a few salespeople were really friendly and helpful - all others were a bit gruff and put off by you. Driving around, our cars were spat on, and people cursed us out. It also wasn't an environment where we felt really safe exploring on our own.....you wouldn't go for a jog off property and would need to take a proper guide if you wanted to go for a hike.

Would I go back? Possibly - the hotel adjacent to ours was amazing - Galley Bay (we booked massage there - highly recommend it) and I might consider staying there - but I think there are probably other islands in the Caribbean where Americans / Brits are better received.

If you do go - I would definitely recommend booking a few excursions, checking out some other beaches on the island, and exploring Barbuda.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Service
3  Thank Krista N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hawkseye, Assistant Manager at Hawksbill by Rex Resorts, responded to this reviewResponded 21 December 2008

Thank you for your evaluation of our property. We have carefully noted all your concerns highlighted in your review and are seeking to address them.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2008

We stayed at the Hawksbill Resort in May for 10 days and only wish we had longer as it was such a relaxing holiday.

We arrived after our eight hour flight to receive a glass of champagne - always works for me! We were taken to our room via golf cart, Hawksbill rooms are all seperate chalet type buildings which are away from the main reception, bar and resturaunt buildings so it is lovely and quiet, the only noise you will hear during the night and morning is the sound of the sea.. bliss.. The rooms are large with high ceilings which gave a greater feeling of space, rooms are basic, only the simple necessities you need but the view over the beautiful beach and carribean sea more than compensates for this.

There are four beaches within the resort, all really pretty with good snorkelling just off the main beach - but its definitely worth doing some snorkelling/diving trips as there isnt an abundance of sea life. We went all inclusive and were impressed with the choice and quality of food on offer. They did buffet one night and a la carte the next and the buffet was always very varied, they also do a beach barbecue which was again really good and a great atmosphere. Being a vegetarian and sometimes struggling to get good variety of foods I have to say so far the Hawksbill has offered the best selection and quality of vegetarian foods than anywhere else I have ever been. The all inclusive drinks were also good, the cocktails were excellent and probably too good!! The waiting and bar staff were always very attentive and friendly, a previous review mentioned this to the contrary and I would have to strongly disagree, we found all the staff to be very chilled and happy and ready to help whenever needed. When we stayed there was a real variety of age groups there from couples younger than us so around mid 20's to our age group - early 30's, to families and older couples and we ended the evening on a number of occasions with other couples our age propping up the bar until the wee hours... the barman would stay on until we were ready to leave.

We took a trip to Bird Island organised by the onsite rep at the hotel, definitely recommend this trip, the boat will pick you up from the jetty at the hotel and you set off for the island, you do stop at another couple of hotels to pick up other tourists but heyho, but once on the boat the reggae is on and it is time to relax. Bird Island is on the other side of the island and the boat cant get to close in due to the coral reefs, you can snorkel in or get a small boat. The waters here are really beautiful and crystal clear. You get time to go out and snorkel and explore the sea life - tip def wear fins because seaweed cover from beach to right out reefs and not nice to walk in. The crew in the meantime while you enjoying snorkelling have set up a barbecue so you get back and have a bite to eat and a beer. They also do a hike to the top of the island - this isnt really a hike as it isnt that high! but the views are beautiful from the top, and they also do a treasure hunt which is the funniest easiest treasure hunt I have ever seen, you can though just opt out of all this and stay in the water, the other side of the island, just a short walk, also has beautiful waters well worth checking out. On the way back on the boat after a few beers and rum with the reggae playing you really dont want to leave, that is the life!!

We saw some other hotel/resorts whilst there and some of them looked like butlins in the carribean, if you are going with young kids then this is ideal but if you want a relaxing chilled out holiday where the other guests are mainly other couples or friends the Hawksbill is ideal and comes highly recommended. If we went to Antigua again I would stay at the Hawksbill.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank LondonKymani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2008

When you arrive they great you with a smile, a cold towel, and a glass of champagne. When you have registered at reception you turn around and the view is absolutely spectacular!!

We were shown to our room by Everlie and she indicated where everything was as we went. They had upgraded us to a Club room and yes the rooms are basic but it is the Carribean and it was clean and there were flowers and the towels were all laid out for us.

There are four beaches and they are all white sand and the sea is blue and clear. If you go to the jetty just down from the main bar you can see the fish so clearly, yellow blue,etc etc.

The food is excellent both in the main resturant and in the Sea Grapes bar at lunch time. There are birds that land on your table for pickings but no different to anywhere else in the Carribean. After reading other reviews that say the birds left a mess on the chairs they failed to say that the chairs were cleaned each day.

The pool is small and is 5ft one end and 6ft the other but we didn't use it as the sea was so beautiful

Please do not be put off by other peoples reviews on this hotel that states that this was 'Gods Waiting room in the Carribean' we were there at the same time and if any thing it was 10% over 70 and not the 90% they suggested. There were a wide range of all ages. This hotel is not suitable for young children but if you read the brouchers it does tell you this.

The meals were excellent and the wine was filled each time your glass was either half full of empty. The staff are only too happy to help and if you want any information they get back to you very quickly.

We went on some trips and the island was beautiful but upon returning to the hotel it was always a breath taking view and one not to be missed.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank tinkerandtucker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2008

There are some positives about this hotel. The location and the beaches. The grounds are well kept and the sea is beautifully clear (mind out for the jelly fish - two people were stung while we were there) with some reasonable snorkelling around the jetty (Cades Reef snorkelling trip had less variety of fish) and four pretty beaches (one nudist). Unfortunately it all goes downhill from here. My family and I stayed here this past week and the place was very very quiet - not that we were looking for Butlins - just perhaps a little more excitement than the live entertainment of the week being a man playing a handmade banjo style instrument accompanied by another man playing a drainpipe (I kid you not). The games cupboard contains a Taboo boardgame and some tennis rackets - oh and Connect Four but no tokens. The pool was a great disappointment as it is very very small and after the two steps in from the side it drops to 5ft 5ins. Rather tricky if you have smaller children or are not a strong swimmer. The room we had - a superior sea view did indeed have a good view but it was grubby, tired, not well cleaned - different coloured paint to cover stains on the walls etc and the cot that was provided for my daughter was an inch thick in dust. The clientelle are 90% over 70's who give the employees here an easy ride and don't compain at the often downright rude and even for the Caribbean - slow service. The very few younger couples that we met were very disappointed to be in a place which was tired, generally run down in need of a good clean (yes the place does have lots of flies, sand flies, mosquitos and birds per a previous review) - not that the birds concerned us - just the bird crap on all the chairs in the lunchtime restaurant and the fact that the waiting staff stood by while the birds literally helped themselves to the bread in a basket on a main table you are expected to eat yourself with soup. The waiting staff are generally larger, older ladies who are sullen and slop around trying to avoid your eye just in case you should want something such as being served a drink or perhaps a knife and fork/napkin with your lunch. Breakfast is ok if you get there early, lunch does have a good choice but again it's the service that lets it down. Evening meals are served on the whole by the same waiting staff that are around during the day so I need not go into that again. The bar at the main restaurant should be open until 12 but the female bar tender clears everything away by 10 making you feel like you should have taken your cocoa to bed at 8.30p.m....There are A LOT of steps - most which get very slippy with just a small amount of rain. There is a small gift shop - it was not open once as far as I was aware during my stay despite numerous visits at different times of the day. Upon checkout I was billed fo two international calls that I made but weren't answered - I refused to pay but would an older person have stood up to the pretty scary, unsmiling reception staff and argued the toss? I doubt it. The Hawksbill has great potential but I think that while they get away with such second rate service nothing will change in a hurry. Our humble advice? Stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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4  Thank ABCL_2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2008

hawksbill is great. I stayed here for 1 week with my family - 2 older teenagers and my 21 year old daughter.
The rooms are fine - not elaborate but perfectly ok for your stay - they are clean and the beds are comfortable. Did appreciate the air-con.
the food is very good. breakfast is adequate, lunch is really good and dinner is fine. there are some problems in the morning with birds but just a minor issue.
The staff are fantastic. friendly,helpful,fun and could not have been better.
The beaches,grounds and facilities are very good.
Take it from me - none of us wanted to come home. Would love to go back

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank middx1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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