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Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Reviewed 12 November 2009

I returned from 11 days at this hotel having had an amzing time - already saving to return. I was upgraded to a garden room on arrival and could not fault it. Cleaned every day and even if I was in the room when the staff came and they couldn't do the bedding etc, they made a point of returning later in the day so that they could do it.

Food and drink was plentiful and excellent quality. The staff were friendly, helpful and lovely beyond belief; in my opinion they made this hotel seem like a 5 star. I have stayed in higher rated Caribbean hotels and not received service like here.

The location was perfect for exploring the rest of the island, although on an island this size that is not a difficult thing! I have to say though, I barely ventured from the hotel - why would I when it was as good as it was?!

I would recommend this hotel to anyone and everyone - if I could go back now, I wouldn't need to think twice about my decision!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank SazzleBerkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,539 - 1,545 of 2,072 reviews

Reviewed 11 November 2009

Having travelled the world extensively, we always return to the Halycon every year sometimes twice!, One guest summed it up when he said, "its a 3 star hotel on a 7 star beach" Its location is perfect, the hotel is clean, rooms are cleaned daily, and the staff are some of the friendliest we have come across. Remember if you greet someone with a smile, they will return it, likewise if you approach someone aggressively then that to will return! Yes the hotel is somewhat dated but you can only complain if you expect 5 star luxury! If you find you have a problem speak to Debbie the Reception manageress with a smile and she will be only to glad to resolve it. We always go room only and find that there is enough choice of restaurants close by either on foot or by a 5/10 minute taxi ride( by the way ask for Gigi, who works from the hotel, a real pro and a gentleman!
The people of Antigua are genuinely happy and loving people, go there embrace them, and you will have a wonderful time! We are there in November for our 6th visit in the last 2 years, this surely speaks volumes for this place!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ib1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2009

beach - good - snorkelling nil ! water very cloudy all week.
beach vendors - very friendly, but would leave you alone with a quick no thankyou.they didn't pester you.
food - adequate - but prepare for long waits. three quarters of an hour in a line waiting for a burger ! that's after waiting to collect a ' dinner ticket ' even though your wearing an all inclusive bracelet.
breakfast - service slow. fruit juice - not from fresh fruit. only got fresh pineapple once to eat in a week.
lady, in charge of arawak restaurant, very strict, she reminded me of a headmistress, she took no nonsense, you began to love her really ! you had to sit where you were put and when she told you you could.
managers cocktail party - more queues !
my husband did in fact complain, about the slow service, bartenders - especially some of the women, just didn't want to be there. and things did pick up a little after that. i did not blame the cooks - the management are to blame, for trying to run the place with so little staff.
maid service - well, hit and miss. she didn't seem to care for cleaning out the coffee maker, i ended up doing that myself. and when i visited my sisters room, she hadn't yet found out her coffee machine, when i did find it - there was an old coffee bag in it, from the last occupant !
toiletries were not replaced, and we had to go up to reception to get more coffee.
towels were kept quite low as well.
as for beach towels, well, it was our third day, when my sister tracked down the towel man, even though there were set times for the towel hut to be open, no-one was there.it became quite a joke, trying to find him !
but, three star, is about right. the place does need a lot of work done. our room was a beachfront, the lounge lovely, but the bedroom was very dark, and the bathroom the same.all needed refurbishment.
the warri pier is the best place to eat, and we ate their twice. the barbudian lobster and the lamb chops were worth the supplement.and we watched big fish feeding in the water.
trips out -
the excellence catamaran :-
barbuda - go - i wasn't seasick - but it was very very rough. but it was worth it. if you can buy the cd, the music that accompanies your trip - that was therapy for me, kept my mind off the rough water !
and the dvd, great to look back on. still couldn't snorkel though, cloudy again.

mystic catamaran - from the harbour - around a lot of the coast, snorkelling at cades reef - clearer water - beach break as well. music, lunch included.and drinks.

safari - 4 x 4 over some rainforest, lunch at a disused sugar mill, kayak in mangroves,
lunch, rapid boat ride over to rabbit island and then on to great bird island, snorkelling here, my husband said it was better than cades reef.

all crew on all trips, we all friendly, and made the trips fun.

remember, to tell reception when you want to go to the hawksbill hotel, you will have to pay for taxi, but you can eat and drink, and use their facilities also.
we noticed the difference then, between 3 and 4 star. service was better, cocktails were better also.
also, the seawater was clearer. we told the bar staff their pina coladas were better than the halycyon, she said she'd pop over and give them a lesson !

if you want a cheap holiday in the caribbean, it was worth it, - you get what you pay for.

i must say virgin flights are sliding - they run out of food on the way, was left with a horrible pasta dish, also offer you drinks less often. no cheese and biscuits either.
also the choice of magazines before we got on was not brilliant as it was.
return flight, very bumpy, didn't dare have coffee ! entertainment didn't offer much either.

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank jalousiegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2009

Yes its true i'm affraid....It was our first time in Antigua and there are far better hotels on the island i'm sure. This is the first ever negative feedback i've left so i dont normally moan (honest).

Location is spot on with a great beach and should and could be a magic hotel but is needing investment and a management shake up.

Even if you are All Inclusive you have to queue at lunch for a voucher to get your plate!!! Thats if they have any left to give you. Then you join the long single file queue while the 'chef' cooks his couple of burgers at a time. Why??

Breakfast and evening meal are less frustrating and food is ok,

Several bars but normally only one open at a time with often one tender so you can imagine the scene. Come on management get this sorted...

Rooms basic (even our beach room) need updating but cleaned daily to ok standard.

Staff generally not happy but i can understand why working in those conditions. For example one day when the pool bar opened at 10'30 the lady bartender had no glasses and had to clean all the dirties from the previous day at a very slow pace to the point that guests helped her...terrible never seen anything like it!

We have stayed at many AI in the caribbean and other long haul and have only positive things to say about them,lots of staff ,good rooms , but this is a budget hotel and you should go understanding this.

However i still wouldnt recommend it...

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank NottsJase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2009

We first stayed here about four years ago on the 'all-inclusive' package. At that time the food in the evening was a little disappointing although we found we put on about 15lb in two weeks so, you know, we obviously just gritted our teeth - though obviously not quite tightly enough - and got stuck in. You know you're having problems managing your food intake when you find yourself standing there at 2.30PM waiting for them to start serving the afternoon tea and cakes.

Just because it's there doesn't mean you have to eat it. Or drink it.

This time around we went for the breakfast only package figuring that we'd simply stuff ourselves at breakfast, skip lunch and then have a nice dinner.

This works well if you eat dinner off the property. The food at the Warri Pier restaurant on site - while a potentially fantastic setting - is over-priced and destroyed by indifferent cooking bordering on woefully bad and similarly (un)motivated service staff.

By contrast the food down the beach at the inspirationally named 'The Beach' restaurant is outstandingly good. So good we went back three times in only seven days.

The All-Inclusive package includes not just booze and stacks of food ranging from breakfast (good) through lunch (good-ish) to dinner (not quite so good) but also non-motorised water sports ie Hobie Cats and kayaks. Not a lot of the hotel clients seem to use them so you could generally just pitch up and sail/paddle off although because we had the breakfast only package this was billed at an additional 40USD an hour for the Hobies.

Still, fair value.

Kids Club was also included in the price even at Breakfast only rates and the kids had a good time with the facilitators

Beach has lots of other activities available - sea-doos, banana/doughnut tows by speedboat and parasailing although noise is not at all intrusive to just lolling on the beach.

Partyboats etc pick up from the beach in the morning for the various 'Pirate cruises', circle-island cruises etc etc so very convenient location all round.

Kids were older this time so went to the big tourist thing at Shirley Heights.

Two words.

Just don't.

If 200 pasty tourists dancing badly is your thing then by all means go but the only locals appear to be the band, the folk serving ffood and drink and a few local lads looking for their Shirley Valentine for this week.

A far better location any other evening or afternoon than Sunday.

Overall though the hotel offers a very fair price for what it provides although the contents of the spirit bottles are a bit dubious. The staff are generally very helpful and friendly, the breakfasts are good and their egg/omlette guy (Orin?) is outstanding. The main disappointment is their squandering the golden opportunity they have to make so much more of the Warri Pier restaurant but the upside is 'The Beach' restaturant is just a 200 yard walk down the Beach past 'Sandals' PLUS there is a great supermarket just a mile or so down the main road where you can get take-away lunch for about 6USD per plate.

Goat curry anybody?

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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5  Thank jgm2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2009

I stayed at this Hotel for 14 nights All Inclusive between 19th Sept -4th Oct 2009 . I went with my daughter and her husband - we both were upgraded to a poolside room on arrival - The booking in process was easy and informal and the front desk staff were very nice and welcoming -- The room I could not fault for the grading of the hotel - I have stayed in higher graded hotels and the rooms were not better - Staff at the hotel no matter what job they had could not have been more pleasanter if they tried - Food was on a par with a lot of Caribbean hotels I have stayed at and Dining & Bar staff again were superb -- I would not hestate to recommend this hotel to anyone - A real fun holiday and will definitely be returning - The Islanders are a very friendly people no matter where we visited . There is a bonus fact also on the All Inclusive package you can visit their sister hotel - The Hawksbill and utilise the facilities their as if you were in the Halcyon i/e Food & Drinks throughout the day and of course the staff there were just as wonderful.

  • Stayed: September 2009
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2  Thank Zephyr1London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2009

We stayed here for 2 weeks in August with our 2 daughters aged 11 and 13. We had stayed at Halcyon Cove 8 years ago and had a fantastic holiday then so were keen to return.

We had a poolview room which was kept spotlessly clean for the duration of our stay, there was a good supply of clean towels and the bed linen was changed several times during our holiday. Compared to some family sized rooms the room was a good size for the 4 of us and all our luggage. We had requested that the beds for our daughters be proper beds rather than camp beds and our request was met, we had a couple of minor problems with our room and reception and maintenance could not have been more helpul and efficient in sorting the problems out. These minor things were the type of things you may expect from a hotel in the caribbean and I can't help but wonder if some people who travel to these destinations have unrealistic expectations here and so end up disappointed.

We stayed AI but ate out quite alot as we had planned to. We ate at Coconut Grove, Tonys bar, Roti King, the beach bar on Darkwood beach and at the Australian Ice cream parlour in St Johns - I would recommend all of these, the food in all of them was excellent. During our stay we ate several times on the Warri Pier and thought the food was lovely, the service varied but was always extremely friendly and after all we were on holiday and were never in any rush. If you have young children I would definitely recommend booking the earliest slot . The food in the buffet restaurant catered for most tastes, some nights were much better than others but again the friendliness of the staff could not be faulted. We were constantly amazed at how rude and inflexible some people can be to the hotel staff - treat them with the respect they deserve and you will get the best from these lovely island people.

We spent the day at Darkwood beach, visited Jolly beach, St Johns and also went to Hawksbill for the day. Again all of these we really enjoyed and would definitely recommend. Before we went we booked the Eli Eco adventure with Adventure Antigua - this was a brilliant day, the crew are great fun whilst being very professional, this really was worth every penny.

Our experience of all the staff at the hotel was very positive. The reception staff were very friendly and always extremely helpful, the restaurant and bar staff again were very very friendly and the same goes for the maintenance, housekeeping and gardening staff - they always smiled and said Good Morning. There was always a duty manager roaming around the hotel and we found they were very keen to speak to guests to get feed back for how things could be improved. When we left we felt we were leaving some good friends behind.

We made some great friends during our stay who we will be staying in contact with, lots of families were like us, repeat customers which I think speaks volumes.

If you are considering this hotel go along with realistic expectations for a 3 star caribbean hotel and every intention of treating the lovely staff with the respect and friendliness they deserve and you should not be disappointed. We are definitely planning on returning sometime in the future.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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3  Thank Boscar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts

Address: Dickenson Bay | PO Box 251, St. John's, Antigua
Region: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#5 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
Price Range: £118 - £229 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts 3*
Number of rooms: 181
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoying a pristine picture postcard beach front location, the Halcyon Cove by rex resorts offers the very essence of a perfect Caribbean setting. Beautiful glistening waters gently lap at the palm-fringed white sands of Dickenson Bay where guests can recline beneath the palm-frond parasols or exert some energy on a variety of water sports. International buffet breakfast and dinner cuisine is served at the Arawak Terrace restaurant or treat yourself at the Warri Pier a-la-carte restaurant featuring speciality grills and lobster in its unique setting over the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Halcyon Cove By Rex Hotel St. John`s
Halcyon Cove Antigua
Halcyon Cove By Rex Resorts Antigua/Saint John Parish
Rex Halcyon Cove Resort
Rex Halcyon Antigua

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