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“beautiful place for a holiday”

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 November 2013

yhis place is lovely went for two weeks with my husband and we had a villa which boasted its own plunge pool and jaccuzi a large lounge area and seperate bedroom it also has a seperate walkin shower and a very large bath tub all the staff were really lovely and the food was second to none it also has a lovely beach withn views of outlying islands we only had one bad day of rain the whole time we were there truly lovely we shall return in the not too distant future

Room Tip: any they are all good
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank allison w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,029 - 3,035 of 6,873 reviews

Reviewed 22 November 2013

ok so I am guilty, i spent a week at sandals last november and had an awesome vacation. of course i never went online and wrote about it but i just got back from another all-inclusive resort elsewhere and had horrible experience and the first thing i did was go online and write about it so i figured i would also take time to write about my trip here. sandals defintely is the best-food,service, views, activities, and nightlife. the only problem is since they are the best they are also very expensive. Will be back hopefully sooner than later.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Stephen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2013

Hello! And thank you for taking the time to write a review of Sandals Grande Antigua, Stephen!
We are thrilled to hear of your fantastic experience at our resort and that we were able to exceed your expectations! We have some amazing offers at the moment and I encourage you to have a look at our Sandals website to find out more!
We hope to welcome you back in the very near future for an even more amazing time!

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Reviewed 20 November 2013

OK, so we were spoilt by Sandals Whitehouses in Jamaica. But we were expecting the same level of "special", "luxury", and "friendliness" we found there. What did we find? Well we found a visually beautiful resort (gardens and beach), great food, lovely room, but, but, but.......it missed somehow. Let me try to explain why.

The check-in - why does it take over an hour? And we were supposed to have a concierge service check-in (which actually took longer than the normal service), AND we had checked in on-line (a useless procedure - doesn't give you any advantage that we could see).

The guests - well it was the number of guests actually. Every morning fighting for a sun bed at 06:45 isn't my idea of fun. Also - and this is not a criticism, but it is worth knowing - this is a young persons marriage / honeymoon resort.

The beach - is not private (they don't mention that in the brochure) - this means that everybody wanders along the beach, and you are continually accosted by vendors selling everything from boat trips to hats.

The bars - there aren't enough (strangely) - a lot of very good restaurants, but not enough bar locations (particularly as the evening progresses).

The staff - again we were spoilt by Whitehouses here - but the staff were not quite so friendly, and they really didn't know the resort (this is a massive over generalisation as there were really nice staff). Also there just didn't seem to be enough staff - our room was cleaned at 17:00 on several occasions.

The concierge service - a generally quite useless service - either apparently over worked, and so unable to help, or providing incorrect information.

Let me be clear. This is a beautiful resort - hence our rating of 4 - but it could be so much better.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank OlderGuy1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2013

Thank you for your review.
We are pleased that you had an overall pleasant visit at our resort.
However, we were disappointed to note that there were some aspects of your stay that you were not completely satisfied with. We realize that there is always room for improvement and I will be forwarding your concerns to our management team for further review. We are constantly evolving our service and updating our amenities and we can assure you that these changes will make for a more positive outcome.
We look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

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Reviewed 19 November 2013

We spent a week here the end of October for our 10th anniversary. We flew United airlines from Detroit to Newark leaving 3 hours late....picked up our luggage, went to the hotel then back to the airport in the am for our flight to Antigua. No problems with that flight, arrived @ airport went through immigration ect and then off to resort, short 20 min or so ride. Check I was easy, room wasn't ready so went to grab a pizza and couple drinks came back and was shown to our room by Albert. We stayed in the Mediterranean village, booked Monte Carlo HM suite (old name) the room could use freshening up..wood, paint ect and was smaller than we expected the location was good and could see the ocean if you really looked :) spent a few hours at the pool bar the first day and just had dinner at the Drunken Duck Pub, service and food was pretty good. Sunday was a day of rest :) walked the beach, hung out at the pool. We were down at the pool by 8:30 every morning and the chairs were starting to fill up with people's stuff, if you need shade you'll have to be down there by 9 if you don't have a butler. We ate at most of the restaurants with Mario's being our favorite, ate breakfast here when we had it and they have a great antipasto bar for dinner, ate there twice. Went to Eleanor's for our anniversary the service was good the food just ok, I had the pork chop and my husband had the lobster, which he didn't care for. Missed the returning guest dinner because it was the only day to get into Kimonos it was good, our table had a blast!!! Also ate at OK Corral, bad service and food. Bayside was good for lunch if you wanted buffet style, Barefoot for jerk chicken, ribs and sandwiches and of course the pizzeria was awesome. Even on a busy day we waited no more than 20 minutes and when it was that long the apologized. Never made it to Soy. The Beach Party was on Monday, it was rained out and moved inside Bayside. I felt bad cause they had everything set up and had to move it inside. They had some sort of entertainment going on most nights on both sides of the resort. Tues was chocolate night, smaller than some of the other resorts we've been to. Friday they had a jamboree where they had local dancers, food and crafts set up bonus.....drinks in coconuts! What we didn't like.......NO music at the Med pool except for the day they had the jamboree. A guest finally did bring down a speaker with his iPhone and music but it still wasn't the same. NEVER seen anyone clean that pool, the whole 7 days we were there. Someone did take a water sample once, it was getting pretty nasty around the edges with sunscreen ect. The vendors were pretty pushy the first few days but come the end of the week when I wanted to buy a painting, he couldn't be found so ended up buying one from the gallery. Only 2 tv's in the pub, not a big deal for some but everyone was crammed in the little library room to watch the World Series games. LOTS of Red Sox's fans (who beat our Tigers) so didn't matter much to us but heard some complaints. Trip back to the airport when just as we're pulling in the entrance we get a flat tire, he got us there though. Thanks to the staff and management who were readily available if needed, which we didn't. Thanks for the decorating of our room for our anniversary, most of all thanks again for the great time and memories that we make every time we visit a Sandals resort! We will definitely be back but next year we're off to St. Lucia.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank hquinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2013

Thank you for your review.
We are delighted to hear that you had another fantastic time at Sandals Grande Antigua!
We appreciate all of the feedback that you provided us, as we are always wiling to perfect our service and provide our guest with the best vacation possible. I will be forwarding your concerns to our resort management team for further review.
We look forward to welcoming you to St. Lucia soon for an amazing time!
Happy Travels!

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Reviewed 19 November 2013

Having done two cruises (Eastern Caribbean & Western Caribbean) in the last year or so (we visited 9 islands in total) we decided the Antiguans were by far the friendliest of the 9 islands and so decided to book our first Sandals holiday in Antigua, I was quite dubious prior to our trip because on our cruises especially in St Lucia & Jamaica we were pestered by aggressive sales people but in Antigua they are far less aggressive and after politely saying no to them they tend to leave you alone.

Having just returned from a week at the Sandals in Antigua I would like to highly recommend a stay here, the staff were very friendly and the whole place is like paradise with so many good restaurants and pools to use. The cleanliness & quality of furniture in the rooms is very good (we had a concierge room in the Caribbean quarter). The weather was 30 degrees C every day and although it rained a few days the rain didn't last long and it was dry and hot again within minutes.

We were made to feel very welcome when we visited the different restaurants and would like to praise especially Anne Marie and Dalicia in Eleanors, Kendra in Bayside and a lady whose name escapes me who cleaned my hat after one of the cheeky but lovely caribe grackle birds had dropped its business on me from above at the barefoot restaurant.
Althea in the main swim up pool bar was also very efficient and friendly too and made my wife's Birthday very special..

The only slight problem was getting a sunbed by the main pool and being bitten by the mosquitos especially at dusk.

Antigua is one of my favourite Islands in the world and although it is now independent from the UK it still appears to retain a lot of respect for its british heritage and I would love to go back again one day and stay at the Sandals resort. As well as the normal tours on the island it is well worth visiting the Viv Richards Cricket Ground and the Old Recreation Ground if you like your sports like me and its special I.M.O that two great derby winning racehorses have been named after two resorts on the island (Mill Reef & Shirley Heights).

Thank you Sandals Antigua for a great holiday.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jim_lad_58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2013

Hello and thank you for your review, Jim.
We are thrilled that we were able to exceed all your expectations and that you had an amazing time at Sandals Grande Antigua. Our staff will appreciate all your kind remarks and it was really our pleasure to have had you as our guest. We appreciate your feedback and will be forwarding your suggestions to the resort team.
We look forward to welcoming you back again soon for more adventures in paradise!

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Reviewed 17 November 2013

We normally travel an average of 8-10 weeks during Winter to beach destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. After our travel agent insisted, we went for the first time to a Sandals in Antigua. The first face we saw in the lobby was a lady wearing a t-shirt who said: "we are short of staff and I'm helping with check-in, do you have your voucher?" we were never greeted formally i.e. "Welcome to Sandals/Antigua, how was your trip?" I thought this lady was perhaps the cleaning lady or someone's mother that just came in for the day to hep. Checking in took a while because we didn't have "the voucher" and the lady wasn't sure how to proceed…At the end of our not so smooth check in the lady said: "I also work for the spa, you want to make an appointment?" REALLY????? An appointment for what? She never told us about the services they offered!

The Good:
Great property along the beach, lots of restaurants along the water.
It's always easy to find a chair at the beach
Never felt crowed even though they were 100% occupied.
Good entertainment options - most nights 2 bands
Plenty of restaurants to chose from
Adults only
WI FI: very good throughout the property
Air Conditioning works great in the rooms
Activities: Zumba, Yoga etc…


The Bad:
SERVICE: SLOW and At least 50% percent of the waitstaff lacked service skills, they would not smile and it seemed like they were doing you a favor.
TOWELS: There are plenty of towel stations throughout the hotel, problem is it was very unpredictable, you never knew if you could find one. We usually go out walking at 7:00 to 10:00, and in most days we never saw a single towel until past 11:00 AM.
SERVICE, SERVICE, SERVICE


AVERAGE:
FOOD: They do have some good dishes like the Rib eye Steak at Mario's, coconut soup at Eleanor's, or Tikka Chicken Massala at The Druncken Duck that were pretty good.
ROOMS: very small balconies. (Bathrooms were very functional and nice)
SECURITY along the beach: It is great to have security, problem is that while you are laying down reading, napping, or so… if you happened to have a security employee close by, all you would hear is a radio and talking of the security with vendors and other employees.


Towards the end of our week, I called the concierge and asked "what's check out time" (simple question I thought) for what she sounded absolutely confused by saying with a "what a stupid question kind of attitude": "What do you mean? Check out? I don't know…it depends at what time are you leaving..I guess I don't know how long it takes you to get ready?" Anyway the next day we received a letter from the hotel saying that check-out was at 11:00 (which we chose to disregard after that call).

Perhaps is the Caribbean/Antiguan culture that seems slow and somehow unhappy to be working, but I think that maybe Sandals is not doing such a great job with training…and making them understand that if there is no tourists…there is no job…

EXCEPTIONS: This people made a difference in our experience due to their smile and willingness to help: Andrea (Mario's), Kia & Julia (Pizzeria), Delicia (Eleanor's), and Teresina at the main counter.

We will NOT come back to this hotel, however we were already booked for next week in Sandals Bahamas… (again, our travel agent..) forcing us to give them a second chance…

I'll be posting my review then...

Room Tip: If you are in the new building, you have to be on floor 3 or higher to get an ocean view.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Deniseworlds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 18 November 2013

Hello and thank you for your review, Denisee.
We are pleased to see that you really enjoyed the resort and its amenities! Antigua is indeed a beautiful island.
However, we regret to hear that we did not meet all your expectations, particularly in terms of service. We have many guests who have been very impressed with the high level of service they have received from our staff and we are disappointed that you did not have a similar experience. As hoteliers, we realize that there is always room for improvement and feedback is crucial in this process so we thank you for your review. I will be sending your concerns to our resort management team for further discussion and action as needed.

We look forward to welcoming you to Sandals Royal Bahamian and to showcasing the best of what Sandals has to offer.

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Reviewed 17 November 2013

We stayed at the resort back in March 2013 and it was excellent. This is a great property, with great amenities and excellent restaurants. Mario's was especially excellent as the chefs were from Italy and food preparation was exceptional. Also, food selection whether it was at breakfast or supper was incredible (you could not have improved upon it). The fact that they had a Kimonos on the property was an added bonus as you could show up for sushi (which was superb), or sit down for a Japanese display of good humour and good food prepared in front of you. Take advantage of Red Lane and take a couples massage. It was a relaxing and sensational experience. Beach wand pool areas were fantastic with lots of water sports activities. The service was excellent overall but not the same level at Barefoot (beachfront for lunch), but the jerk chicken was excellent. Airport ride to the resort was less than 30 minutes.

Room Tip: Our room was on the ground floor and did not have a view because of all the greenery; however, it wa...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank aftalarico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

Address: Dickenson Bay, St. John's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#3 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#3 Family Hotel in St. John's
#3 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#4 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#5 Business Hotel in St. John's
Price Range: £174 - £1,031 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 373
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•A European Hotel in the Six-Star, all-suite Mediterranean Village •Exotic Rondoval with private plunge pool and butler service •1,400 square foot Mediterranean villa with private plunge pool and butler service•Houses the East Caribbean's largest pool (1 of 6) •Offers 9 dining options and 8 bars including an English pub •Voted "World's Most Romantic Resort" 14 years in a row ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Grande Antigua Hotel St. John`s
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort And Spa
Sandals Antigua
Hotel Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grand Antigua
Antigua Sandals
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa Saint John Parish

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