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“dont go to sandals antigua grande its a rip off”

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
essex england
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“dont go to sandals antigua grande its a rip off”
Reviewed 13 November 2009

well where does one begin to tel you it started on our arrival and seeing the broken down sign to front of hotel. at entranance. On arrival was asked to sign a credit card over even though we didnt want to do this or have our credit card on file the hotel was insistant we did it... so did it relectanly
we booked a honey moon luxery room cabribbean side, it sounded lovely in the title and was told by thomas cook our agents that it was a premier room premier spot premier hotel, how as wrong could they get it. The room was based in the flaymbant buildings of the property and we were told that this was newly decorted and refusbished. Sounded lovely until we arrived to the room. The room was small very small with a simple bed trying to look like a four poster cheap imatation, a warbrobe which was in the bathroom makeing all your cloths damp daily a safe that took most of the space, a clock radio which never worked and several lamps which gave out no light, oh and a sofa that had seem better days for sure. The lizard population had moved on the balcony.
The noise from our so stocked not fridge full of coke and orange only not mentioned in your brouchure made enought noise to wake the dead and the sound of the air con unit right out side our room for the entire block was ear bending
There is no bar no robes no slppers no extras no luxury as stated this is a standard 2 to 3 star room you would find any where in eurpope.
The small pool outside the room was basic with dirty mouldy sun loungers.. so if you still go after this report do look out for the insect .life that lives in them.
on one occasion the pool was closed for treatments in the day time !!!!
restarants: bayside was alive with the birds cats and wildlife with what you ate you had them to share with you, staff almost encouge you to feed them.
food somedays better than others not always hot mind. Sheldene a lovey meat chelf did make me laugh a few times with her roast that you only got a small slice of when you wanted it
marios was the itailian buffet, on the med side which was the only restraant to have it right in our opion, the staff polite the food freshly cooked and dress code was obeyed
Barefoot by the sea seafood come afternoon lunch was a bare faced lie.... closed when it rained which if offend food over cooked and dry and holes in the table cloths chipped glasses and served plastic tumblers at night of this supposely 5 start establishment
the three restrants elenors ok corral and kimons do i really need to tell you
all imature and over rated
always difficut to get reservation for any of these unless you were prepared to get up at 7.30am to 8am in the morning ,
consigerge team some were freindly than others but in general quite helpful
bar staff at caribben side were always over woked and never a lot of time to talk to you
entertaiment or lack of it really, a simple put together band or simlar was annonced every nigjht with no audience partication accept oh forget the mr and mrs show which was hey prodomently american.
the beach was rated 4th best beach hahahaha what a laugh waters were murkey lots of seaweed sun beds old and tatty and lots of pestering beach sellers on beach let alone the water sports people who want your money who dont leave you be
beach not owned by sandals so any one can go on them.
We took two trips oransied by sandals one was a tour of antigua $100 each rip off the guy fish told us he had another pick up to do and we were rushed from one space to another making the whole experince a horrid one.
plus was only 4 hours long not long enought for such a trip.
better off with a taxi cheaper and do what you like
be warned though sandals wont let you get your taxi form inside the hotel unles you get it from them. you have to go outside the hote gate.
we also went on a shopping trip half day thought that wasnt too bad until you get to the town and get told nothing about the pest street vendors and alsorts there pestering you
so be warned ok
internet is not free in your room you have to pay for it
some wines at dinner you have to pay for
I would like to end my review by saying i did approch the managers of the hotel to make things right for us with our room at least after taking a stagging £5.500 from us and not all was 5 star a nd was told we are ful up and no room to move us
so people if you do anyt hing right for your summer holiday please do not visit this hotel its a rip off a con and you dont get what you want.
positive points are few
isabella customer serivices manager was so helpful and did her best to help us as much as possible but very little she could do
karen our room attendant was so lovey and if it wasnt for these two people i think we would have flown home much soon than we did
if you want to know more im happy to have a chat with you.
In one sentance "dont be fooled by a room catagory there are a con" its just a name they use to con you in to the rooms.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank heavencent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Bel Air, Md.
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2009

We had a fantastic time at Sandals Antigua. We've been following Sandals and Beaches around the Caribbean for the last ten years. We've seen them all and so glad that we saved the best for last.

We stayed on the Med side which is really like any deluxe hotel anywhere. I wondered if I made a mistake when I saw how colorful and and Caribbean like the other side was, with the lush foliage and flower gardens. After seeing the rooms over there I was very happy we were in the Med. Village. The rooms were beautiful and the views breathtaking.

As a returning guest, all expectations were surpassed. The dinner was the best one I've ever been to. All of our meals were amazing. The food was fantastic with a great variety and selection. The only thing I wasnt crazy about was the fact that you could only make reservations 2 days ahead. The restaurants filled up fast and you were out of luck if you didnt think of it first thing in the morning.

The staff was attentive. We never waited for anything and were greeted by name daily.

The turquoise color of the ocean was breathtaking as well as the beach in general.

The grounds were immaculate.

The entertainment and nightlife was a blast. We were out every night until the wee hours of the morning. Not really like us, but, it was that much fun!

Overall a totally awesome resort!!!

Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank Charynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southern California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2009

My wife wanted to celebrate her 50th b'day someplace special. I suggested Antigua since everyone seems to go to Jamaica. After researching Sandals, we decided to stay there. The island itself is beautiful and the aquamarine colored water is so beautiful. We arrived at the Mediterrean village section which is very nice. This is where the red flags about this place should have went up for me: We waited an hour and a half for our room (What, they didn't know we were coming?), then discovered the safe in our room would not lock, the sink would not drain, and the fridge in the minibar didn't work. We called the concierge and about 15 min later they came to fix the safe and sink. Well, 45 min later they were still in the room working and since we had dinner reservations, I told them to come back tomorrow. Next day they fix the sink and safe, bring in 2 other fridges before finding 1 that worked, and after all that...We discovered the fridge came with ROACHES! Yes, you heard right! We had to repack our things and move to another room on another floor. I must give Albert King a big thanks for seeing to it our vacation was not ruined after that fiasco. Albert is a supv with the concierge team and a great human being. The resort is very nice and the food is great. We liked Kimonos and Eleanors best. Why they wear white gloves at Eleanors is still a mystery to me. The "entertainment" at Kimonos is not nearly as good as other Japanese restaurants I've been to. If you want breakfast at the Bayside or Marios, get there early if you want hot food. Once it's out, there doesn't seem to be any attention to keeping it HOT. The pool is huge and the swim-up bar is great. The grounds are kept up very well and the beach is combed every morning. Don't waste your time at the casino next door, you don't even get the feeling you are going to win anything. Overall, Sandals is a 3 1/2 to 4 star resort at best. Not recommended if you really know 5 star hotels.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lugzurious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2009

We truly had a great trip from the time we arrived at the hotel. The check in was easy, relaxed and very professional. When you travel the last thing you need is stress and this was not that at all.

Our room was exactly as I had hoped very clean and comfortable we stayed in the Med side of the hotel in a Honeymoon concierge suite.

I really appreciate being a repeat guest they do little extras such as "welcome back" notes in your room, an added touch that makes you feel as if you are their special guest.
The return guest dinner was really well done very professional and every detail was thought of.

We will definitely go back, we have been to 3 other sandals in the Sandals Family ,our first trip was to The Grand In St Lucia then a year later we got Married at Sandals Dunns River Villagio (Wow that was the best experience for a wedding ever) we then honeymooned at Sandals Negril and now we came to Antigua to celebrate our 2 year anniversary ,each time was an excellent experience and as good as the last.

The staff were all very friendly and a lot of them we made friends with this added to the day and to the trip
We are very fussy travelers and have high expectations and I will tell you this that this hotel did not disappointment me the only tough part was having to leave, I look forward to going back soon.

Cheers

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CanadianHappyFeet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2009

My husband and I went for our Honeymoon. Everything was wonderful...the hotel, the food, the service! I would definintely recommend this place to any Honeymooner!!!!!Chantel, one of the bartenders made us feel so welcome!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank EssAcq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Keller, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2009

My wife and I just returned from an 8 day vacation (10/31-11/8) at the Sandals Grande Antigua and had a fantastic time!! We are both in our mid-30's and were celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary. We were a little apprehensive about this resort after reading some of the negative postings that were written shortly before our departure, but we find the majority of things that were written to be completely false or grossly exaggerated. We are ordinary people who wanted to write a very unbiased review of the resort after we got home. Here is a breakdown of our thoughts:

Check-In
Arrived at the hotel at around 3:00 and were immediately greeted and given a cold towel. We took a seat in the lobby and almost before even sitting down, we received some light appetizers as well as someone coming by to take our drink orders. We We had completed the on-line check-in (which I highly recommend) and after a couple of minutes were asked to review the check-in information and to give a credit card for any purchases on the resort. We waited approx. 20 minutes or so and were then taken to our room where we saw that our bags had already been delivered. Very smooth and easy process!!
Rooms:
We stayed in a Venetian Ocean View suite and loved every minute of it. It was a large room with a table and two chairs, a King size bed, a very large bathroom with a separate shower, double-sinks and a large Jacuzzi tub. It also had a small porch with a table and two chairs that was perfect to watch the sunset on while enjoying a couple of cold beers and a hot pizza. It also had a bar that included a bottle of rum, vodka, gin, whiskey and red wine as well as a refrigerator stocked with beer, soda, fruit juices, mixers, bottled water, white wine and champagne. We loved it!! Whenever we had anything from the bar, it was replaced the very next day.

Grounds
Absolutely beautiful!!! The care that the landscapers take in pruning and cutting is amazing. They were always working and it showed. We loved walking around and seeing how well everything was cared for.

Buffet
We found the breakfast buffet in Mario’s to very enjoyable. We ate every breakfast here as we were staying on the Mediterranean side. The assortment on the buffet was great and the food was always fresh as it is turned over very quickly. We were always offered coffee very shortly after being seated and our plates were cleared almost as soon as we finished. No complaints at all. We never ate dinner at the buffet restaurant as we wanted to try as many of the others as we could.

A la Carte Restaurants
We ate at every one of the a la carte restaurants with the exception of the OK Corral. Marios’s was our favorite followed by Eleanors, Cricketers, Barefoot and Kimono’s. Kimono’s was the only meal that I thought was lacking as it did not have any flavor to me, but I am not a big fan of those type of restaurants back at home either. We made our reservations for the first two nights as soon as we got there which did make it easier. They only accept reservations 48 hours in advance so it was kind of a pain to go to the concierge office every day to make new reservations. The pizza place was a great place for lunch or a snack as well. The pizzas are the perfect size for a lunch or a late day snack and they are cooked to order. We never had to wait more than 15 minutes to get a pizza which we thought was great.

Pools and Beach
Our normal daily routine would be to eat breakfast at Mario’s and then head to the beach for a walk to burn off some of what we just ate. After the walk, we headed straight to the pool and spent the rest of the day there floating around or sitting at the pool bar. It was great!! We never had a problem getting a seat right next to the pool with an umbrella. As long as we were there before 9:30 or so, we could always find a spot to sit. The pool water was the perfect temperature as it felt refreshing after sitting out in the hot sun. The servers at the pool bar were incredible!! Overly friendly, always willing to make anything you could think of and also willing to suggest all sorts of new drinks that we loved. Althea had some great drinks that we tried almost every day and they were all good!! Sue-Anne was also especially good!!
Service
We found the service that was provided at all of the restaurants and bars to be of the highest quality. The staff were very pleasant and upbeat everywhere we went. We did not meet any staff members that did not say hi to us as we walked by or greeted us as soon as we entered a restaurant or bar area. They were all very friendly and social. The playmakers were great as well. They got everyone as involved as they wanted to be in all of the activities during the day.

Cons
While you can probably tell from our review above that we completely loved this resort, even the best vacations do have some negatives. My only complaint is as follows:
-- My wife and I really enjoy Bailey’s after dinner and thought that it would be nice to ask for a bottle of it for the room. We left a note for the maid and asked if we could replace one of the other bottles for a bottle of that. We were informed that we could do that but we would have to pay for the bottle. At an ‘ALL-inclusive’ resort, we did not think that we should have had to pay for that. This wasn’t a big deal as we just went to Cricketer’s after dinner and had as much of it as we wanted to before bed.
Overall experience
I would definitely go back. My wife and I love to experience different resorts so most likely will not return, but that has nothing to do with our experiences while there. It is just a personal preference of ours to constantly visit different areas of the world and stay at different resorts. This is definitely a very nice resort that we had a great time at and would highly recommend to anyone looking for a very relaxing vacation in a beautiful area at a very nice resort.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions. We just got back and would be happy to answer any questions you may have -- tksamps@yahoo.com

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank tksamps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yorkshire, England
Level Contributor
57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2009

My wife and I returned to Antigua to renew our vows. We have stayed at this resort on five occasions with over 120 nights spent here. This was however our first stay since the new complex was built. The rooms in the new complex are fabulous, with everything you would expect. The old Caribean side has started to undergo refurbishment. Overall it retains its charm however not as homely as it used to be, and now less visibility from the management team.
The only real problem we experienced was the Bayside retaurant. As it was previously excellent we booked our R.O.V. wedding dinner there. It was very poor. This restaurant has allways been the buisiest, now it is normally almost empty. For breakfat the food was always covered with nets, to prevent the birds from getting to the food. Now it is not and the food was covered with bird mess. Whilst at the resort in our first week we wrote to the G.M. concerning our findings, we did not even get the curtisy of a reply from any of the team, or even a telephone call. This would never have happebed under Mr Eatons leadership. Shame on you Sandals. Apart from this and the lack now of any snack bars on the Caribean side our stay was excellent.
Would we return again, Yes.
We would now stay in the new complex to recieve the room quality.
Apart from the Bayside, the other restaurants were great. Without doubt the overall quality of the food was first class.
The service apart from concierge, was as expected, superb!. The problem with concierge was that I think there are too many of them. Nothing was ever actioned and they were allways blaming each other. On three occasions we ordered packed meals the previous day and not once were they done. However the remaining staff made up for them.
The sales team were fab. Our R.O.V. was perfect, with the team showing world class effort. Thank you!.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
7 Thank candrew840
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 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#3 Family 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 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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