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“Never again”

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Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts
Ranked #6 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Reviewed 30 November 2009

We have never had a holiday as bad as this. The hotel is very tired and in need of essential repairs trying to get a drink was a nightmare as the bar was always 3 deep and only 1 person serving very bad management. There was nothing wrong with the staff there just was not enough of them. When a party of 150 arrived together dinner was a joke they just helped themselves to everything picking food up with their hand it was disgusting. I would not recommend this hotel to a vegetarian as there was NO choice you had salad without tomatoes ( we only seen tomatoes twice )and the amount of BBQthat we had to endure was horrendous 6 lunches and 3 dinners

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank terri789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,589 - 1,595 of 2,127 reviews

Reviewed 24 November 2009

I stayed at this hotel last week with a friend. We were all inclusive with Virgin Holidays and also got a good deal. When we arrived the reception staff were handing out glasses of cool fruit punch which was great. Porters were also available to help take luggage to the rooms but we just made our own way there.
We booked a standard room and this was fine. It was on the second floor, spotlessly clean, had a coffee maker and a balcony overlooking the garden with sea views to the side. The only negatives with this room was that there was no t.v (i wasn't bothered as we didn't want to spend all day inside but some may be) there was no phone to contact reception and the shower was faulty. We reported the shower fault to reception and someone came out to fix it that day however due to crossed wires the problem was not sorted, the reception staff were very helpful and we were moved rooms and upgraded to a beach front room.
This room was lovely, no more than 10ft from the sand, had a t.v, phone, coffee maker, dressing area and a nice bathroom. The views from this room were amazing.

The hotel food was faultless, being vegetarian i thought i'd struggle but never had any problems. Although we were there at the same time as a previous reviewer we never had to queue at any time of the day!

Breakfast buffet - Loads of choice, both continental and full english was available. The food was always hot and there was a chef cooking omlettes and pancakes every day to order. Lunch - served at the pool bar, choices of burgers, fresh fish, hot dogs, salads etc. Again the food was fresh and very nice.

Dinner - Buffet served at the Arawak Terrace. Dinner was always lovely, far better than i expected. There were many choices every night including meat, fish and a vegetarian option. There was also plenty of fresh crisp veg and salads as well as numerous deserts. When we were there food seemed to take a theme each night i.e Italian, english, Caribbean but there was always so much on offer that alternatives could be found.

At breakfast, lunch and dinner there was always fresh fruit available by the boat load.

Warri Pier - We were told that this restaurant was fully booked until the day we left so couldn't eat there but maybe our fault as we didn't try to book until day 3 however the managers cocktail party was hosted there and was a lovely setting with great rum punch!

The location of this hotel is fantastic, it really is paradise! There were always loungers available by the pool and on the beach even if some guests did take to 'claiming them' with towels as early as 4:30am (This provided us with much entertainment)
The sand is pure white and the waters crystal clear.....every morning there are people raking away the seaweed to restore the beach to its glory after rainy nights.

The hotel staff were very friendly and couldn't do enough to help. I agree with other reviews that you will be treated well by the staff if you speak to them well. I overheard one guest complaining in a very arrogant manner that he wanted a room change as the birds were too loud!!....The staff were reluctant to help which is understandable. I'd like to mention three staff members, Roxanne (restaurant supervisor), Yinka (porter)and Eleanora (housekeeping), all three were fantastic and couldnt do enough to help!...

We didnt do any organised trips but did take a glass bottom boat from JC's watersports at the far right of the beach $40 for a 2 hour snorkling trip, great value for money and the snorkling was amazing.

Shirley heights is a must on the Sunday evening, views breathtaking and fantastic entertainment!!

I dont deny that the hotel is a little tired however it was spotlessly clean everywhere, the pool was always cleaned every morning and there were maintenence workers available all the time. This is not a 5* hotel and doesn't pretend to be, its very relaxed, friendly and perfect for a chilled out holiday. Although i had a few complaints i wont be letting it lower my review of the hotel as i would definately return and recommend to friends/family. If you are thinking of going there DO! you wont be disappointed. I'll be adding pictures, look at them.....pure paradise.

Its a 3* hotel not 5* and in my opinion far better than some 3* hotels ive stayed in previously!

...oh also a final tip...The managers cocktails were flowing at the party a little too well and we somehow ended up in the pool fully clothed on the way back from it! The punch is strong!!...Beware :-)

I will return to this hotel after doing a few more of the Caribbean islands!

Hi back to Craig!...

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank h011ybush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 November 2009

We stayed here for a week in early November on a room only basis. We only had a standard room and the cost was really low, about £450, so we thought we were getting a really good deal.

It's amazing how people's views differ, but that is the beauty of everyone being able to give their own opinion, although its funny how the negative reviews are usually not rated as being so useful - it seems as though people only want to hear about the good bits.

Well, we didn't pay a lot, but that was reflected in what we got. The room was very basic, and need a complete makeover, although the bed was huge (bigger than king size) and was nice and clean. Air con was very effective and quiet. The bathroom was shabby and it was hit and miss as to how many towels we would have after the room had been 'cleaned' I put that in inverted commas as my biggest gripe is that the rooms were not cleaned to a good standard at all, in fact I would say very poor. Yes, I suppose we could have complained but I really get the feeling that it wouldn't have made much difference, so I suppose we didn't give them the chance to do a better job by highlighting this matter. We had room only, but paid for our breakfasts which worked out at about a tenner each per day. It was just okay, but getting tea and coffee and refills was really difficult and again we just gave up as it seemed to be too much bother for the staff. Other than that I obviously can't comment about the food. I like a cup of coffee first thing so we took tea/coffeetc and asked for a kettle, which came fairly quickly.

The beach is nice, although it's only about thirty minutes walk from end to end - the sea was lovely, clean and warm. Quite a few people on the all-inclusive packages seemed to be enjoying the kayaks and little sail boats which were free and fairly readily available.
Personaly, I think that the Warri Peir restaraunt looked quite ugly and we went to get continental breakfat there but came away when we saw that there were birds pecking at the food.

Reception staff were downright rude apart from one quite nice young lady, but I think that the whole place needs to improve its customer service, and its not for want of us being nice, friendly and respectful because we do make a big effort, not that it should have been an effort!

There is a really good supermarket about half an hour's walk down the road - we used it a couple of times and the prices were about the same as UK prices. We bought a nice cooked chicken and salad etc to have for our dinner one evening and it was really delicious.

Most prices seemed to be quoted in US dollars, which is what we took, but you are usually given change in EC dollars which becomes quite confusing. I had read that you can ask for a late checkout of your room, but it does cost US$60, so you may need to factor that in. Also don't forget your US$20 each departure tax.

We really appreciated the fact that we could check our bags in and get boarding cards in the morning through the Virgin Check in and Chill facility. In fact, we thought the Virgin flights were really good and would choos eto go with them again if possible.

We went on the Wadadli trip around the Island (US$110) which we really enjoyed and felt was well worth the money. Lots of food and drink - the snorkling was excellent and we saw loads of fish which was amazing.

To summarise, I think I would recommend AI as stuff is quite expensive once you get there and you can use the water sports stuff. The room was really poor, and not cleaned to a good standard. The beach and the sea were nice, plenty of sun beds. The customer service was, in my view, poor. Would I go back - no. Would I recommend it to a friend - no. Everyone experiences something different!!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank luckylane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2009

Picked up this hotel on an All Inclusive late deal so the price was good, but I expected more, even after reading the previous reviews.

Food was, in our opinion, very good. Great Sunday roast, but the service was at best adequate. Queuing to get into a half empty dining room is not on.

Warri Pier - we cancelled our second booking as we were so disappointed with the first. Same food as the buffet but served to you at an uncomfortably fast pace. Also it was nearly empty yet other guests were saying they couldn't book as it was full.

Entertainment was OK, but the bands were way too loud, especially for the small audience that were more interested in talking than dancing. Also our upgraded room was by the Carrib Bar (that part of the hotel) so sleep before 11 was impossible.

One recent review mentioned poor snorkelling, this was due to the poor weather the week before stirring up the sea and not a fault with the hotel or itself location. However, watch out for the jellyfish in the cloudy water.

We found the staff were friendlier than the reviews suggest, but I guess it is how you talk to them. I heard many complaints about all sorts of issues during our stay, some justified, many not so justified.

This hotel is suffering a lack of investment and badly needs refurbishment. But the location is good, the food is good and it all inclusive, the drink is free.

We don't recommend this hotel until after a refurbishment or management change, we will not return to this or any other Rex Resort based on this stay.

Hello to Holly - hope you don't have to kill me now?!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Dwain_Pipe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 November 2009

Had a fabulous holiday at the Halcyon cove resort in Antigua, would definately go back in a heartbeat.Although the room that we were in was quite basic, it was clean and serviceable. The Carib Beach bar was great, sipping cocktails listening to the carribean sea it had a lovely atmosphere and there was entertainment on every night, the entertainment staff were brilliant! The food was ok but the Warrier pier Restaurant which is Al La Carte is a must, you can eat lovely food whilst watching the fish swim by.The beach at the hotel is beautiful and sunbeds both at beach and round pool are free. I loved everything about Antigua, an Island tour is a must as well as visiting Shirley Heights on Sunday to watch the sun go down while you party! The people are genuinely friendly with no other agenda than making sure you have a great time. Mandy & Pam East Yorkshire

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Mand63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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:
#5 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#5 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
Price Range: £114 - £263 (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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