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“Hawksbill Beach”

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Hawksbill by Rex Resorts
Ranked #9 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Reviewed 15 June 2009

Just come back from this hotel - it might only be classed 3* but the service was excellent. Some of the rooms are a little tired. Four beautiful beaches to choose from. We spent the last few days on the Eden beach which is the "clothing optional" beach. Only 1 or 2 other couples braved it while we were there. Although for the 10 days we were there it was very quiet overall so loads of space on whichever beach you chose.

We are vegetarians and after a few problems the kitchen tried very hard with dishes for us and on buffet nights there were plenty of vegetarian choices.

The onsite shop in the old sugar mill was very expensive US$35 for sun tan lotion so make sure you bring plenty.

There is a shuttle bus to St John's 3 times a week which is much cheaper than a cab at US$8 per person return.

Fantastic place to chill out in - no blaring tv's or disco music to disturb you.

We can't wait to go back!

12  Thank hawkeye9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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844 - 850 of 1,186 reviews

Reviewed 25 May 2009

I've described Hawksbill to friends and family as "almost rustic". It is almost completely devoid of modern technology (air conditioner aside) but for us, who were just there for rest & relaxation, the peace and simplicity of everything was perfect. The rooms (we stayed in the beach club bungalows) were great - very simple - but perfectly adequate. Slight problem one night when a sudden downpour started to seep into the room, but the management were excellent at mopping up and it must have been extreme rain as it didn't happen at any other point (although it did rain again). Food was also perfectly adequate - low occupancy meant we were always up in the main hotel restaurant where we had a mix of a la carte nights and buffet. Both were very nice but I wouldn't describe it as amazing. Bar was great - local beers were very tasty and they didn't seem to hold back when it came to cocktails. The beaches and the hotel surroundings were one of the best elements of the Hawksbill - all of them fantastic, even the clothing optional Eden beach. We did the Treasure Island tour, a catamaran around the island, excellent and pick you up from the resort. We also took a taxi into St Johns - there isn't much there but we found everything we wanted for souvenirs and presents.
Overall fantastic break - just wish we could have stayed for longer

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank LondonTraveller43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2009

Hawksbill is a lovely place, including the birds. 4 lovely beaches 1 is clothing optional. As it was our anniversary we were up graded to a beach hut over looking the seagrapes beach, which was clean and big enough for the two of us.

The food and red wine was really good for a 3.5 star.
Service in the dining room was excellent, (breakfast and dinner) never waiting very long for a top up or table being cleared or meals. All the staff worked very hard and most were friendly and chatty

Because part of the dining room is open air you do get birds that fly around and they fly into the dining room and land on tables, you only need to shoo them away. I would rather that than have an enclosed dining room. It’s nice to eat out side.
It was also like this when we visited Tobago so I would presume if you have an open air dining room you will get the birds which I must say I enjoy.

We like the fact that you had buffet service 3 nights, table service 3 nights and bbq 1 night.

Lunch and afternoon tea is taken in a different restaurant, all very good again

Also if you want to know anything before you go just email hawksbill,
[--] they get back to you straight away.

If you don’t want to buy bottled water just take a couple of empty water bottles and fill them up at the water coolers.

Hawksbill is very quiet; sometimes you may be the only one on the beach (where does everyone go!)

Evenings are also low key with entertainment couple of times a week.

The swimming pool is small, though that didn't bother us as we like the sea.

The grounds and gardens are beautiful and well looked after.
The ladies behind reception were all friendly and helpful and so were all the security guards who patrol day and evening.

We would definitely return.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank HUNKYDORYLONDON
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2009

If you are looking for an oasis of tranquillity where there are no other sounds than those of the sea and the wind, and crickets and treefrogs at night, where the atmosphere is decent and where you will encounter no drinking orgies and where there is no disco or other night life to ruin your sleep, then Hawksbill Beach Resort might be just the right place for you. Provided of course that you accept a number of drawbacks associated with Hawksbill, which we consider to be quite substantial but which other travellers may find trivial.

This was our first visit to Hawksbill, but we have been to Mexico, and we have been to the Dominican Republic several times, all of these all-inclusive resorts. Therefore, inevitably, we compare our Antiguan experience with the other places in the Caribbean we have been staying at. But let me start from the beginning.

One of our first acquaintances with Hawksbill was on the Rex Resorts homepage, and I must admit that this is one of the most uninspiring homepages I have ever visited, regrettably Rex Resorts seems to be totally unaware of the power of a professional web design. Next, we would certainly have expected to receive some basic pre-arrival information, such as how to get to the resort from the airport, at what rate, and whether we could use US dollars or if we need to exchange to the local currency. Further, it would have been nice to know what kind of mains socket outlet is used on Antigua, if it is the US type or the UK type of socket, it would also have been nice to know whether an insect repellant might be recommended as part of your travelling luggage. But disappointingly there was nothing, neither from Hawksbill nor from Rex Resorts.

Once you arrive at the resort you will soon discover that the “all-inclusive” is only partly true. If there is a safe in your room you will be charged 15 US dollars a week for the key, and they will charge you 3 US dollars for a bottle (1,5 liters) of drinking water, can you believe that? However, once you have acquired the first bottle you can refill it for no charge at the drinking water dispenser located at the beach restaurant. It would of course have been nice to have a free bottle of water waiting for you in the refrigerator in your room after 14 hours of travelling. And you will realize that standard menus and drinks are free of charge, but should you wish to dine à la carte it will cost up to 35 US dollars per meal, and prices on the wine list range up to 164 US dollars.

We were accommodated in a Beach Club Room at the far southern end of the resort, which was nice and clean, although not very spaceous and not extravagant, but perfectly satisfactory for our vacation. The view from the patio is magnificent and with perfect privacy since no other guests will be passing along outside. We were not able to look into other types of accommodations, but they all look very nice from the outside, about the same size as ours. Generally, we like the layout of the resort, it extends for about one mile from north to south, with lush vegetation and lots of beautiful flowers.

We would rate the quality of meals to range between acceptable and good, but we would definitely not go as far as to call them excellent. The good thing about meals at Hawksbill is that many - if not most - are served as buffet-style, so you will probably always find something according to your taste. Lunch is not particularly exciting, a lot of dishes are served which we would qualify as “junk food”, but there is always a soup and fresh salad and fresh bread rolls, not to forget a good selection of tasty ice creams and other deserts.

So, what are the drawbacks? Let me begin with the birds. If you have seen the Hitchcock movie “The Birds” you have seen only half of what is awaiting you. Big flocks of birds reside in the meal areas, in the main upper level restaurant as well as in the beach restaurant, they fly at head level all over the place, they sit everywhere and they leave their droppings everywhere, on your table, on your plate, on your chair, and on the floor. Before you sit down be careful to check the seat of your chair, the armrest, and the backrest. Never leave your plate unattended, if you do so the birds will be gathering on it within seconds. It really is disgusting, it is a nightmare! Dinner is the only meal when you won’t see them, at that time it is dark and they probably have gone to sleep. The staff seems surprisingly indifferent to this plague, hardly ever did we see them shoo the birds away, and never did we see anyone clean the chairs during the day.

Next observation is the staff. Quite contrary to what other travellers report I am sad to say that we experienced most of the staff as sullen, unattentive, and unprofessional. With some exceptions of course, Milli, the waitress was always kind, so was Brenda, our housekeeping lady. And of course David McCoy, the waiter, he is a professional in a class of its own. Throughout our vacation we kept asking us where is the famous Caribbean cordiality we have encountered in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Well, obviously not at Hawksbill on Antigua! No matter how respectful you treat the staff, or how many “please” and “thank you” you add, you are always met with the same sullen expression in their faces, you are treated as if you are a nuisance to them. When reading other travellers’ review on TripAdvisor I ask myself if we have been on a different planet!

There was one other thing that greatly irritated us. All these resorts seem to have one thing in common, they believe that they need to treat you with music from the loudspeaker system during meals and sometimes even inbetween. First question is, what makes them so sure we want to listen to music while we eat, and second question, if they play music how do they know what kind of music we might want to listen to? The answer is: they don’t know, they just do it because everbody else does. Silence is a precious commodity, in particular for all of us who come from the big city areas, we resent being arbitrarily exposed to sound pollution while we have our meals. So, the minimum requirement would be to occasionally ask the guests what kind of music they wish to hear while eating, we certainly could accept soft, non-intrusive music at a moderate level, but the noise that most of the time is streaming from the loudspeaker system at Hawksbill is simply awful.

The Hawksbill resort beaches are magnificent, all four of them. But our favorite is definitely Eden beach, at the far southerly end. Eden beach is referred to as the nude beach, but it is really a “clothing optional” beach, the only one on the island. It is about one mile long and between 50 and 100 meters wide. There are a couple of palm trees, plus a number of palapas on the first third of it, so you will always find some protection from the sun, unfortunately the “best-before-date” of the palapas has long ago expired, they are in desperate need of repair. Likewise, there is a large number of sunbeds on the beach, some of them a bit worn-out. We also would like to commend the resort for providing a container of cool drinking water each day at the cabin which is located on the beach. During the day you will probably see a number of single male locals visiting the beach, quite obviously in search of sexually more explicit adventures than nude sunbathing and nude swimming.

Summing up: Would we return to Hawksbill Resort? Probably. Not because of the exquisite meals, and not because of the friendly staff, and certainly not because of the birds, but the place undoubtedly has a certain charm. We like the tranquillity, the lush ambiance, and most of all we like Eden beach.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Sorba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2009

I swear to a member of the staff i would write a review with this title! She was very attentive! Verifying if there is anything they can do for us to make our stay memorable! Well, no, it was perfect!

Absolutely amazing spot. Nice beaches even if some of them are rocky on the side!
Been there with my parents, 60 years old, got a beach club room. They said it was the first time in the caribbean they were really able to eat with no doubt. Food was good- over average - between very good and gastronomy! On buffet night, there are not many options but it is different every night! So you can taste everything without being afraid to eat the same stuff everyday. They always offer a vegatarian menu.

We have never ever had a room so close to the beach. No problem with mosquitoes. Yes birds are getting up early, but if it is the only problem... that's not bad.

The hotel is not luxury but the spot is so nice! We never felt crowded... at dinner, we were max 50 persons. I was alone on "my" beach many times. Yes, crowd is older than in other resorts... that is perfect if you wanna relax. No disco, no loud music... but 3 shows during the week.

The clothing optionnal beach is very nice, uncrowded! there are some chairs, water to drink and sometimes, a safety guard. I prefer that one to many others because of the real feeling of "au naturel" no restaurant, nobody to rent chairs...

Service was excellent except for one waitress.

Shanett working at the lobby was always smiling and attentive.

Thanks to a trip advisor traveler who wrote it was possible to go at no charge to their sister hotel... only have to pay for transportation. "HellCyon" as someone told us was the name of the other hotel (Halcyon). Nice long beach beside sandals, nice sand but the water is not as clear than in hawksbill. No where it is written that it is possible, gotta announce yourself at your own reception they will advise Halcyon. At Halcyon they were surprised and seems happy to have visitors from Hawksbill. The beach towel hut was close but reception staff found 3 of them for us! We spent the morning in st-john's and the afternoon at their beach - 15US $ from St-JOhn's with the taxi and about 30 $ from Halcyon to Hawksbill.

Good cocktails with premium drinks also. It is also possible to have porto which is rare for an all-inclusive.

Can buy some bottled water (3us$ for 1.5 liter) but the water is potable, good and with no odour! We all drank tap water with no consequences!

Room is basic but clean! Be aware not all types of rooms have A-C. Bed is ok. Got some insects in the room, nothing scary. Just take the flowers out of the room. Mini-fridge but unstocked. With all the warnings we read, we decided to bring some mosquitoes candles... didn't need them!

Free wifi at the lobby!

Had a bad experience with the taxi - they were arguing that i should take the one i had yesterday but i took also another driver... another guy finally sets it up for us...

Many nice excursions offered! Had the island tour... took a taxi for devil's bridge and longbay beach for snorkeling, went in barbuda, went in st-john's

It was not the first time i was looking for this place but it was more than the double of the price, found an amazing deal... couldnt believe it!

no security problem - felt safe all around the island! But on our last night, we heard a big sound... everybody freeze.. and then it came back to normal.... nobody knows what really happens... A guy was convinced that it was not a gun shot... some were not that convinced! Kind of scary when you know they had some murders on the island in the past months... but, yes, like everywhere!

  • Stayed: April 2009
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10  Thank guil46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2009

Have just returned from 12 nights in the Hawksbill and have nothing but positive things to say about the hotel. It was my 6th visit, but my better-half's first visit, and every member of staff did everything possible to make her stay memorable.

Check in was nice and easy, and our first experience with a new receptionist Sheneth, who was a shining light and nothing was too much hassle to make sure our stay was perfect, plus the glass of chilled champagne on arrival was a very welcome and nice touch.

The rooms were fantastic, we were staying on the first beach, we were right on the beach/sea front, large room, fridge and air-con. The room was clean and very well presented with flowers on the bed, which house-keeping did on a daily basis.

The beaches were in immaculate condition, good quality sun loungers and to be fair where we spent most of our time.

The food was great, breakfasts being my personal favourite as the 'egg lady' can never be beaten. Lunch has a menu and a grill option (which as a BBQ probably has the best view from any grill in the world), and dinners are a mixture of menu or buffett meals.

The all inclusive deal is a great offer, with the bar staff very knowledable on cocktails etc, and as the holiday goes on they get to know your drink of choice and you sometimes find it waiting on the bar for you if they see you coming over.

There are so many plus points about the hotel it is so hard to mention them all, but if you want a hotel which is 'Caribbean Luxury' then you will never get better than the Hawksbill. Ok lots of hotels these days have plasma tvs in the rooms, infinity pools, white walls everywhere, you wont find any of this in the Hawksbill, but thats what makes it so special, its a different way of living, the service is second to none, the staff so friendly (our personal favourites Sheneth, David, Millie and Aidrian) and everything is there that you head to a Caribbean holiday for.

I only have 2 negatives about the hotel, the drinks aren't always premium brands which would be a nice touch, and the entertainment although first class (Axis band and the AMP Halycon Steel Band our favourites), i remember the days when there was entertainment every night as opposed to every-other-night. But to be fair, if these are my only complaints about the hotel, i think it says more about me being picky than the hotel being at fault.

We will definately be going back, and as much as i would like to keep it 'our hidden secret' i would strongly reccommend it to anyone who visits this site.

Keep up the good work, and we cant wait to see you again for another (strong) rum punch!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank adamandjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2009

Just returned from 2 weeks at Hawksbill and although accommodation was a little 'tired' here and there the hotel was perfect! The staff particularly need a mention, all were so friendly and helpful and seemed genuinely interested that you enjoyed your stay, nothing was too much trouble. The hotel beaches were clean, never crowded, and you were never bothered by hawkers. Would stay there again without hesitation, in fact alot of the guests we talked to were repeat bookings. The food was varied, international and local and there was always plenty in variety and quantity.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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6  Thank Elizabeth V
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

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: £109 - £311 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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