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“Expectations Met”

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
Regina, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Expectations Met”
Reviewed 7 February 2014

We just returned from a week at Sandals Antigua. My husband and I travel with 2 other couples. This is our 4th Sandals resort and they never disappoint.

Why do we chose Sandals for our vacations? Extra all inclusive including diving or snorkeling everyday – paying extra for diving can cost up to $1000 per week. We use the wind surfers and paddle boards – all in great condition. Tennis lessons – most resorts have tennis courts but few give free lessons. No limit to the number of times you can go to a restaurant and few need reservations. Good food and drinks with quality ingredients and variety. Less buffets, we would rather sit down and be served. And, of-course the adults / couples only.

The Antigua Sandals resort met all our expectations. The staff are very friendly – there was a few that don’t hit the mark but that is everywhere. The drinks were extra special here - every drink we had was well made and garnished with fruit – Latoya at the Caribbean swim up bar makes the most amazing creations – be sure to sit at the bar let her do her magic. The beach is gorgeous – there is a lot of debate about the vendors on the public beach for me they were a little much.

The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. We found the Caribbean side had a cozy village feel and the Mediterranean side had a new luxury vibe. Our room was right in the middle and steps from the beach. We chose a butler suite in the poinsettia building. Our butlers Desmond and Julian were amazing.
So what do you get for the extra money for butler service? Starting at the airport we were first to leave back to the hotel. Once at the hotel we immediately were taken to our rooms and checked in there. There was a snack and a drink waiting. Every day there was a surprise in our room – a bubble bath drawn, the bed made up with flowers, and a snack. Our butlers would call us to see if there was anything that we need a few times throughout the day. They would reserve a lounge chair where we wanted, made all our restaurant reservations for the week and brought food or drink to us where ever we were on the resort. This was our first time with butler service and we definitely could see what we got for the money.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank tapp496
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Surrey
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2014

We had a wonderful stay at this superb resort. As it was for a special occasion we booked a butler room and thoroughly enjoyed being pampered by our butlers Kevin, Vanessa and Desmond.
We were so happy to laze around on the beach that we only had one trip, which we organised with Sean one of the beach sellers. Sean did us proud and our day and Prickly Pear Island was a day I will never forget.
The food in the resort was perfectly acceptable though not stunning. We loved the coffee shop and went most evenings after dinner for a cappuccino.
Everyone working at the resort was very friendly and helpful. I would not hesitate to go back to Sandals Grande Antigua.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ziggidy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Crewe, Cheshire
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2014

Stayed at this resort from 17 Jan to 1 Feb 14, and had a fabulous time! We think it could be the best Sandals resort we've stayed at.

Check-in went smoothly, taken to our room which was the category we booked (no upgrade as the place was full) and were very pleased with it - opposite the volley ball sand pit, caribbean side. Perfect location as we were in the middle of the resort and had easy eccess to everything. Had a concierge room and it was very clean with generous proportions, full bar and fridge. The room wasn't always cleaned until well in to the afternoon, but we weren't in the room anyway so it didn't matter.

Restaurants - We ate at all the restaurants and have to say we did NOT have a bad meal. Yes the lobster was over cooked at Eleanors but it was still edible. The ribs at OK Corral were to die for, Marios was really good and the antipasta was great!
Biggest gripe about Mario's is they have changed the dress code to resort casual and that is a big mistake. They were admitting guys wearing baseball hats and letting them keep them through dinner - BIG NO NO!! The restaurant screams an elegant dress code, what were they thinking?

All the pools were good, the grounds were stunning and the staff were very friendly. Latoya at the Caribbean Grove Pool was brilliant - possibly the best bar tender ever, Claudine at the Duck was great and always greeted everyone very warmly with a big hug.

We went to the returning guests dinner our first week as we were due to get our gold sandals and our certificate for our free week, but we got missed off as the presenter should have been wearing her glasses and forgot to put them on, there were 3 couples missed. So we went in our 2nd week and everything went smoothly, disappointed with the lack of attention to detail, only a small gripe tho.

I think Sandals have one of the better check out rooms here as previous visits to other resorts the facilities have been appalling. Here they are more like changing rooms but clean and tidy with plenty of room although they are separate for men & women.

Bites - Yes I did get bitten on the 1st day (normally never get bitten) and after that we put spray on all the time, even on the beach in the day and that kept the critters at bay. The nurse said they were'nt mossies but sand flies/fleas.

All in all a great holiday and we would definately return, it did rain near enough every day but it very quickly blew through and we both came hope with fabulous tans!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Devon-GirlCrewe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2014 via mobile

Just returned from our first stay at a Sandals. After many trips to the Caribbean we decided to try a Sandals and were not disappointed. Really liked the butler service - Vanessa, Julian and Desmond are THE BEST! A special treat was THE SPA. Jeanna gives a WONDERFUL massage. Rented a car to explore the island. Driving is a little difficult but loved Devil's Bridge. We will be back.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank swiman1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cu-later67
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2014

Wonderful resort with several restaurants to choose from. Food was good and friendly staff. The beach is large and beautiful. Bar service on the beach as well as at the pools. The resort has a quiet side and a spirited side both available to all patrons. There are two large pools and several small secluded ones. Swim up bars, good food, sunshine and fun times. What else could you ask for?

Room Tip: Choose the Caribbean Side if you prefer more privacy.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank cu-later67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Milford, Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2014

We traveled here Jan 18 -25 2014. We planned this trip last year through the Soon Come Back program while in St. Lucia. Somehow along the way our reservations got "lost" and we didn't have a room. Due to some finagling by my travel agent and Sandals, we did end up with a butler suite. My husband and I were a little apprehensive about having a butler. We are both in the sevice industry and did feel a little uneasy about it. Let me tell you, this is the way to go folks! We were met at the hotel by Julian who was very friendly and inviting. He took us up to our room, gave us a tour of everything we needed to know. Offered to unpack our bags (whattttttttt???) and get us a bite to eat. He asked what our preferences were for the week. We told him we were pretty easy going, we would just like to be sure that we had spot on the beach every day. The next day Desmond (Butler #2) came by to show us our "spot" on the beach. Perfect! The beach here is very nice. Keep in mind that all beaches in Antigua are public so it does tend to get some cruise traffic in the afternoon. The vendors on the beach are plenty, but a simple "No thank you" and they will leave you alone.
The food was spectacular. Eleanore's is not to be missed. We ate there twice, (Thank you to Vanessa, butler #3!) . The pasta at Mario's is delish. Make sure to stop at the cafe' for wonderful capuccino! The entertainment was good. If the band is not to your liking, there is always the Drunken' Duck for a good time. The DJ there is great.

We did a tour through Island Routes at the resort. Did the the 4x4 Eco Kayak trip and were surprised that we were the only ones from our resort on the trip. What a day! We definitely got our money's worth. It was a full day of sight seeing, kayaking, snorkeling, and eating. A true pleasure. The tour guide on our trip was AMAZING as was our Kayak/snorkeling guide. See our review under Island Routes for that one.

We would come back to Sandals Grande Antigua in a heartbeat. Truly a great experience all around!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank Maria B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lakeview, OH
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2014

My husband and I just returned from Antigua where we spent our first anniversary at the Grande. We chose Sandals because we were married at the Sandals Grande in St. Lucia in 2013. Overall I would say that this location was good, although a very large resort. We usually like a smaller resort so my comment is strictly based on what we like. The choices of restaurants was a wide variety - which we liked very much. Our favs were Barefoot, Eleanors. and Bayside. We had breakfast at Bayside most days - its right on the beach. The food quality was excellent everywhere we ate. We stayed on the 5th floor in the Mediterranean Village. The room was great - perfect views of the main pool and ocean - plus sunsets! While there we did do a couple of the excursions. One shopping trip into St. Johns - not impressed by the 'mall' or the vendor area, we decided to explore to the outlying area and found a treasure trove of small shops and the C&C Wine shop where we had a wonderful glass of wine and a short break from the heat. We also did the trip to Shirleys Heights - advertised and a shopping trip as well - but we were really disappointed. The only 'shopping' was one vendor set up with hot sauces. But the sunset there is spectacular - the jerk chicken was awesome and so was the steel drum band- so well worth our time. The best experience we had off the resort was when we had the hotel staff get us a taxi for the afternoon. We asked to be taken to Devils Bridge - THIS YOU MUST DO! That is a once in a lifetime experience. Our driver (his name was Wahl) was very knowledgeable and gave us a lot of history about the islands. If you go on a jaunt like this - make sure you ask about seeing Betty's Hope. It is one of the last remaining windmills that they used in the old days to process sugar cane. Truly a great example of how the island has evolved from those earlier days. Hard to believe that this windmill and park were never mentioned in anything we read before going to Antigua. **something worth mentioning *** At the resort every evening around 6:15 they fog for bugs. We know that this is a must - just be aware and take cover if you get caught on the grounds. We took refuge in the Drunken Duck - had a drink and a game of pool until it passed! So make the best of it - the alternative to having bug bites is not a pleasant thought!!

Room Tip: The Caribbean side of the resort is the older part. It is charming and would be a good choice too. T...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Kelly K
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

Property: 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 Family Hotel in St. John's
#3 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#3 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#4 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#5 Business Hotel in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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 Resort And Spa
Sandals Grande Antigua Hotel St. John`s
Sandals Antigua
Hotel Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grand Antigua
Antigua Sandals
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa Saint John Parish

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