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Hawksbill by Rex Resorts
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Reviewed 2 April 2010

We loved this hotel. It was small enough to be personal, but big enough to have all you would need. We stayed for 10 days at the end of March, and half of all the friends we met there had been to Hawksbill before, a good testament to any resort.
We had a Garden Bungalow, but we still had a sea view, it had no air-conditioning, but the two ceiling fans were fine. It was clean and basic, but fine. Be aware that the electricity voltage is 110v. in the rooms.
The Staff were great, polite, friendly and courteous. David, Kerry-Anne, Shane, and Orlando were great behind the bars and all the other staff were lovely too.

The setting is perfect for relaxing, and there are no 'big hotel' entertainments staff' chasing you off sunbeds to play volleyball and beach cricket etc as at other resorts. You are allowed to chill if you want to.
The four beaches are all clean and the two farthest from the hotel amenities have iced water availiable on the beach. Eden beach is a great place to sunbathe and swim without clothes, but you have to be firm with locals who may try to offer you their services!

We only left the resort once during the 10 days to go on an organised excursion to Shirley Heights one evening to watch the sunset, as it was reccommended by other guests.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank simplyjimbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2010

We have just returned from another holiday in this wonderful resort. Hawksbill by Rex Resorts has the warmest of welcomes, great food, wine and service. It has four white sand beaches, one of which is a bare beach, bars, restraunts, pool and the accommodation is arranged in cottages for the most part facing the beach. While not plush or "up market", it is charming, clean and safe. The staff are happy, kind and helpful. The food is great, as is the wine and the cocktails! Good value for money.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank pfsf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2010

We recently visited Hawksbill-March 14-21st. Based on the reviews, we chose this resort for its laid-back atmosphere and smaller size. The arrivals in Antigua are OK...be sure to complete all portions of the "declaration" forms...they didn't tell us that on the plane...transport to Hawksbill was by Taxi and took about 20-30 minutes. We were warmly greeted by Shenneth at the reception and opted to take an in-room safe lock at a daily charge. Bottled water is not included, but once you have paid the $3.00 US, you can fill up the bottle at the bar or water stations...less plastic?? We had a superior seaview room in the main "lodge" on the second floor. Although basic in accommodations, it served its purpose. Rooms could certainly do with some updating,(new pillows-fix the taps), but again, the "cottage" style suits this property. There are no TVs or even a clock radio. Our small fridge wasn't working, and after two days, we had another one. They went out of their way to make our stay comfortable, extra pillows etc. The louvered shutters on both sides of the room allowed for lovely breezes at night. We had no AC, but the ceiling fan and breezes kept us comfortable. I would recommend ear plugs, as the rooster begins early!! (3 am) The tree frogs peeping add to the atmosphere, but the sound of the rolling waves gives great comfort!! The main issue was the mosquitoes....so take some repellent and something for the room!! They seem to be in the dark areas and are always after you....bring Afterbite, or some "Polysporin" as the bites can become infected. After a few days of getting to know some of the staff members, it became more like family. Sharing stories of children/grandchildren was delightful! Do attend the garden walk with Slylvia! She is very knowledgable about the plants, trees and stories of the old sugar plantation. Sylvia went out of her way to help a friend who was not feeling well by bringing cough syrup and fresh mint for teas. Every morning she brought a fresh batch of mint and eucalyptus for the tea. Cocktail recipes were written out by hand by Millie after her mixology class. (Not to be missed either). These little extras just add to the warm and friendly atmosphere. The pool area -although very small- was spotless and a lovely place to sit for lunch or to watch the sunsets. The grill everyday served fresh fish-Mahi-Mahi-Wahoo, Kingfish, or chicken, cheeseburgers, and accompanying condiments. Fresh ice creams or sorbets ended a great lunch! Lobster is available at the a-la-carte for an upcharge and was yummy! Drinks are great and strong!! The beach is fantastic. We ususally kept to the main beach. No problems to get chairs. Make sure you don't lose your towel as they will charge you $100 if lost. However, we had no troubles with leaving our things with our chairs....a few more palapas on the beach would be appreciated....!! There is some reef out from the shore--staghorn coral. It's hard to determine if the reef is recovering or deteriorating...lots of sea urchins, small colourful fish, but lovely warm and clear waters. If the waves increase...visibility is limited. The Hawksbill rock is beautiful against the sunset. Sunfish sailboats, kayaks, or a paddle boat are available...water skiing has to be arranged....not too much action at the water sports...on a few days...a fellow brings in a seadoo for rent...$50 for a half-hour...A Hobbie- cat sailboat would be a fantastic addition!! The beach close to the main entrance is good for some shells and beach glass, more rocky. The clothing-optional beach is Eden Beach and is a lovely long stretch of beach.. We arranged for a sailing day with Miramarsailing and Brian and Pippa provided a wonderful day on the ocean...complete with snorkelling and a great lunch...we sailed from Jolly Harbour to Carlisle Bay...saw some green turtles...this is a pricey trip but worth the money...just a small group!! (2) Other excursions on the water, will come into the beach at Hawksbill and pick you up . Zip-lining in the rainforest is also an option. We taxied to Nelson's Dockyard for an afternoon..(amazing boats) ...taxis are expensive..perhaps renting a car is more economical, but the roads are not good in places...We had a shopping trip into St. John's. Try to go on a day that the cruise ships are not there....so its not so busy...There are some lovely shops if you look around...Other items available than just "tourist T-shirts) if you look. The food at Hawksbill is fresh and tastey. Although the buffet is not extensive, it is very good. Fresh brown eggs for you in the morning, cooked any style...fresh juices, and fruits. Entertainment was offerred on some evenings...don't miss Lisa and her wonderful island songs and rhythms...dancing on the terrace was great fun!! The wines were good...and flowing...David and his crew do a great job at the bar!! There is absolutely no pressure here to do anything...as Sandy Francis said...Hawksbill is an escape for you from your regular routines...you are refreshed and ready to go again...weddings are available through Sandy and the gardens and grounds would make a wonderful venue. So no loud blaring music, no one bothering you to "participate" just relaxation and unwinding...many British couples, and some groups from Italy and a few from the US...a few Canadians...get on the plane and go!!
Just a word about the return trip through the airport...all checked bags are hand searched as they don't have scanners....so we were in line for an hour...also somewhat confusing going through security....rums etc are available at the airport...we travelled with Canjet which was fine except they jam in the extra seats due to March Break and of course no leg room...but they did provide a "breakfast of yogurt and muffin, banana" and coffee etc.. So visit Antigua...check out the Hawksbill Resort for a complete laid back vacation and you won't regret it!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with friends
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5  Thank OnABeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2010

We visited the Hawksbill Hotel in Antigua between 24th Feb & 6th March. This was our first trip and it lived up to and exceeded our expectations.
The resort is quite stunning and each of its four beaches has a charm of its own. We came across 'Cabbage' on Eden beach, who gave us a fresh coconut. That was breathtaking - he was utterly charming and the coconut was delicious, quite unlike anything we knew of as coconut!
There is fresh iced water available on every beach, so no need to carry bottles - a great idea.
The service is excellent and the staff are delightful - always eager to make your stay relaxed and stress free.
The food is excellent with plenty of variety. I loved afternoon tea - even with the birds for company! The birds join you for every meal so be aware - ask to sit inside if you do not want their company! However, I loved breakfast, lunch and dinner as well!
The evening entertainment is good and adds to the 'chilled' atmosphere.
The rooms are clean and comfortable. It is clearly in need of some updating but this does not detract from its charm.
The pool is quite small and clearly suitable for children only - but with four beaches it is not really a problem.
Warning - be aware of the sand flies - take plenty of insect repellant!! Repellants are available in the Sugar Mill Boutique and the house keeping team were more than willing to give repellant spray for the rooms.
You will either love or hate the tree frogs!! The Mongoose are wonderful!!
There are lots of interesting trips and excursions if you wish to explore, but the beaches are very tempting so you may not venture far!!
I hope we can return soon. We met many people who are Hawksbill 'regulars'. It is not 'stuffy', which, I suspect, is a significant contribution to its popularity.
It is a paradise on earth!

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Franshaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2010

Our family spent our March Break at Hawksbill form Friday March 12 to Friday March 19th. My review is written from a family’s perspective. (children ages 15,12, 10) We chose this resort because it offered good value, potential snorkeling, and had a breathtaking setting away from crowds and noise.
It was definitely one of the most beautiful locations on the island, and we did rent a car for 2 days and drove around the island to explore and compare. If you love quietness, space, not a lot of people and a gorgeous setting, then this is the resort for you. We were often the only ones on the beach when we did our morning and early evening beach walks.

HOW TO OCCUPY YOURSELF
We found the guests to be mainly seniors at about 60% British, 20% Italian and 20 % American and Canadians . There were a few nights with some good entertainment such as a fantastic Steel Drum band called A.M.P Halcyon Steel Orchestra. The only slightly disappointing thing was that everything packed up by 11pm or earlier. After the kids went to bed, my husband and I wouldn’t have minded staying up a bit later. The most popular resort activity seemed to be reading a book on a lounge chair (of which there seemed to be 2 or 3 available for every person to lounge on)
I had to work hard keeping my children entertained as there were no other children at the resort their age, for most of the week, and no television in the rooms. We had planned to snorkel all week, but found the snorkeling not great. If you could manage to swim out to the Hawksbill rock, from Eden Beach, away from the sand, the snorkeling was not bad. It was quite the swim and the kids were ready to turn around and come back shortly after reaching the rock. If you manage to get out to the rock, it gets shallow and the water clarity improves significantly. I didn’t make any new sightings, as there was the usual blue tang and yellow snappers, but no large schools. There was also some okay snorkelling at the dock area, especially swimming along shore, by dock out towards the ocean. We did see a couple of stingrays.
There was a tennis court, so we played tennis once or twice a day when we were not out on excursions.
If you decide to rent a car from Richard at the resort, as we did, be sure to check the tires. We ended up getting a flat, but luckily on our way back to the hotel at the end of our 2nd day. We then noticed, on closer inspection, how worn down the tires were. We were amazed that we must have had 10 people stop to offer us help. We definitely felt the island to be very safe and friendly.
To keep the kids entertained, I felt a need to sign-up for some excursions. On a one car rental day we tried zip-lining, which offered 9 zip-lines. The kids enjoyed this activity. The same day we went snorkeling with the stingray at Stingray City. I loved this outing, as a small boat took us out to a gorgeous aqua, clear water where a guy threw in calamari that attracted dozens of wild stingray. The stingray were free to come and go, they were not caged in. The stingrays would brush up against you and even bump into you while the food was around. I found the snorkeling at this spot quite good with coral, a variety of fish and extremely clear water.
We also tried 2 boat tours; Eli’s Eco Tour (booked on-line) and Treasure Island Catamaran Cruise, (booked at the resort) Our family liked the Cat cruise better as it was a bigger boat with lots of shade, more snorkeling time and only 22 people on it. They took us to some snorkeling spots off Bird Island and had a beach barbeque. It was a lot of fun.

FOOD
I love seafood, so my favourite food all week was the fresh fish that was cooked while –you- wait on the barbeque at lunch and served with interesting pepper sauces. The fish at dinner wasn’t quite as fresh, and therefore not as good. The morning eggs to order were also good. We liked the homemade calypso/Cajun sauce served over poached eggs. My kids loved all the freshly made blender drinks such as banana crush, coconut crush and pina colodas (without alcohol) and so did I.

“WILDLIFE”
Besides the oceanlife, there were hundreds of different small birds around the resort everyday. They especially loved to hang out at the restaurant at breakfast time, waiting to steal food from people’s plates when they moved away. They would even eat right out of your hands. (even thought you were not supposed to do this) It was such a pleasant sound to wake up to all the singing of the birds every morning, along with the ocean wave sounds.
There were also goats running around different parts of the resort. At night and in the morning we heard roosters cooka- doodle –dooing. Apparently there is a farm next to the resort. There was also this rodent called a mongoose that came out at dusk and dawn. They looked like a large squirrel crossed with a groundhog. Apparently they were introduced to the island to control snakes.
There were tiny geckos in the beautiful gardens that we watched from our balconies. We had to get 2 rooms because of having 5 people in our family.

STAFF
If you made the effort to talk, the staff were very friendly and helpful. We had to adjust to the slower Caribbean pace. People seemed to love our children and take the time to have conversations with them.

We had a great time. If I were to come again with my family, I think I would try to book with another family, so the kids would have friends to play with. I wish more people would travel with their children.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank NapaneeFamily5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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