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“Great place with exceptions”

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great place with exceptions”
Reviewed 9 June 2010

My wife and I have stayed at a few all-inclusive resorts and Sandals Antigua has plus and minuses.
The 1 bdrm honeymoon suite in the Med village was an awsome room, great balcony, bed and bath.
Butler service is no great thing you get a cell phone ours did not work for 3 days but when we got in touch with Jeffrey and Julian they did come through with any requests including adding friends to dinner reservations.
Bar in room is great stocked everyday unlike other all inclusive resorts and if you wanted something thing else just call and it will come.
Snacks in room are at a cost which was an insult at $6000 a week!!!!!!!!
Service at the pool bar was much better than other A/i's
Food was good lobster at Elenors and Barefoot was great.
Service was hit or miss at resturants if you changed anything on the menu forget about it you are on you own at Barefoot for lunch I think our waitress just went home and never came back.
Beach is very narrow and water was not the best in the Carrib so we stayed at the pool. Get a lounge chair by 0800 or you are out of luck.
Don't be afraid when the smoke monster runs through the resort at 1800 to get rid of the bugs every night they say it is safe. Even still bugs are an issue off the Med portion because is is so lush.
Sandals neeeds to widen the sidewalks the shrubbery is growing onto the sidewalks and even w/o it you can only walk hand in hand if no one is coming the other way.
Scuba was free and good.
Horsebackriding was Ok but I only like betting on them you can only do it from the beach hawks.
Beach hawks are not that bad go to Mexico and you can deal with anything.
Last note our night time housekeeper was the worst I have ever experienced hopefully she is fired by the time you get there. every night at 1930 she would knock and walk in and when I would tell her we were leaving in 30 minutes she would just walk away and not even close the door we started calling her broomhilder she was the worse.

So some bad but bottom line Sandals does a good job but for the money you think it should be a bit better if you are going cheaper the rooms I saw outside of the Med Village looked aweful skip it and go for the nicer newer rooms if you are going.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Smakn33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Harrisburg, PA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2010

Alright, first off I have been obsessively reading these reviews since we booked our trip in August and I was a little scared but you have nothing to worry about. I really couldn't find one negative thing to say about it other than the public beach
Check in went as smoothly as it could go. We got there and were handed a cool wash cloth and sat at a table with a great couple that we hung out with thru the week. Hi Jess and Brian. We were automatically upgraded to a penthouse suite and it was gorgeous!!
We didn't make reservations anywhere. We ate at Bayside two nights during the steak nights and both our meals were great. I made friends with the cat there and fed him half my steak the one night. I hate to see strays, it really bothers me, but if I was a stray in Antigua, this is where I would want to live. We ate at Barefoot on our last night for dinner and I wished we would have gone there sooner. Great ambience. I wanted the lobster but didn't know which one to get so I got both. Great meal. We went to the monday night beach party and hung out with 2 of our new friends and it was alot of fun. Great buffet. We also went to the sandals select dinner and would not recommend it. Our new friends went there on their anniversary and were very upset. It was like a time share deal where they were trying to talk you into booking another sandals vacation. Don't go. Waste of time. We ate at Marios every morning, Except one or two, for breakfast. Great breakfast and waitresses were very friendly Ate at bayside twice for lunch, Barefoot twice, pizza once. Am missing a couple somewhere. Didn't think pizza was all that great. Not worth the wait. Go to one of the buffets. Oh, Cricketeers once. Very good pub food and air conditioned.
Service was great. Everyone was very friendly. Thanks to LATOYA at the caribbean pool. She makes the best drinks but it was too much of a younger crowd for us. We couldn't hang there. We like peace and quiet. But thanks, Latoya. The only complaint was Craig at Concierge. Not the friendliest guy and didn't seem to care either way.
We did not do any excursions. We just like to lay around the pool and beach and drink and eat since that's what we paid for.
Overall, don't be afraid of what you read on here. It is paradise and if you can't enjoy yourself here, there's something wrong with you. I would not go back because of the public beach. We had gone to Grande St Lucian previously and loved the beach, but it was a private beach. You do have alot of vendors on the beach asking you to buy stuff. They are very friendly and you just have to say "no thanks" but it's still a pain.
Oh, you do have to get up early and reserve spots where you want them for the day. We got some great ones by the main pool every day under the palm trees with lots of shade. Not a big deal, though. We had a $250 Spa credit and we're not really spa people and we found out on the 2nd to last day there that you can use that credit towards products that they sell at the spa. We got 2 $150 robes there for free. Great souvenir too. Can also buy lotions and such.
overall, we had a great time and met 2 great sets of couples that we keep in touch with. Don't worry, you'll have a great time

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank angeck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2010

This was our second visit to Sandals Antigua, the first taking place two years ago, just after major expansion work took place. It has matured nicely and the resort is now very green and well integrated. The older part – called the Caribbean Village has a great deal of character with pools dotted around the well established grounds and a central courtyard/lobby area where most of the action happens come evening time. The Mediteranean Village, relatively newly built is very grand and stylish, with a massive pool and hot tub, sophisticated rooms in a seven story building and some excellent restaurants.

We have stayed in both parts and each has their charms, this time we were upgraded to a room in the Meditteranean side with a view to die for, flat screen TV, complimentary fully stocked minibar and whirlpool bath. Definitely one to remember and a highly enjoyable place to stay.


Staff here clearly enjoy their jobs and are proud of their workplace, they are unfailingly helpful and cheerful in a way unique to the Caribbean. They really did make our stay here special and went out of their way to help...

There are a multitude of restaurants, all are excellent and any favourites are purely down to personal preference, but we particularly enjoyed Kimonos (always a sense of occasion) and Barefoot by the Sea (my wife adored the Lobster thermidore). Bars are also much in evidence, serving local beers, premium spirits, wine and cocktails. The Cricketers Pub also has Guinness in cans, Bass pale ale and others on a rotation basis for homesick Brits missing their accustomed tipple. Japanese beers are also available in the bar accompanying Kimonos and the Sushi restaurant.

We spent a great deal of time relaxing by the pool, but the beach is also well worthy of mention, being very quiet and with loungers available. A couple of trips out are advised, Shirley Heights on a Sunday evening for the party and Sunset is just fabulous – don’t forget the camera, then hire a car and have a trip to Nelsons Dockyard, Devils Bridge, Half Moon bay and the capital St Johns for shopping – there is a duty free area for jewellery and souvenir shops. One day in the car is enough to see the island, they drive on the left and cars all seem to be autos, so the main danger is getting lost – not that easy when the whole place is only about ten miles square!

One last point, our 14 night holiday turned into a 25 night odyssey courtesy of an unpronounceable volcano in Iceland. Although there were a few worrying moments the hotel and General Manager Mr Christ were greatly reassuring and could not have been more helpful, making our enforced stay stress free and relaxing. Thanks also to Sonya, Director of Guest Services for all her help in trying to get us back home – although we didn’t really want to go…

Sandals Grande Antigua has now taken over as our favourite Sandals and is well worth a visit.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank RFraser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2010

After returning from a weeks stay at Sandals Antigua all I have to say is "STAY AWAY!!" I became violently ill the last day at the resort and after 3 days of nonstop diarrhea and vomiting I went to my doctor in the US. My doctor called me about 3 weeks ago to inform me that my lab results came back positive for Salmonella. This was our 4th stay at a Sandals property but after being literally poisoned by the resort I will never, ever stay at another Sandals Property. Please do not ignore this warning. To someone that is older or whose health is not great - Salmonella can be deadly. I have since contacted the resort only to be ignored and have received no response.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank 34515Vacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2010

This is our second trip with Sandals resorts. Our first was to the Grande St. Lucian in St. Lucia and it was wonderful. This time in Antigua was equally as great. What I love the most about Sandal's vacations is that they make it so easy for you. This is a beautiful island with friendly people and the employees are truly there to make your vacation as fun and relaxing as possible. Our room was very nice and clean. We are Sandals select members, so we automatically were upgraded from the Garden of Eden Premium room to the Veranda Suite with concierge service. Our room was up to date and kept immaculate. The restaurants are very good. There is a variety to choose from. Our favorites included Marios, OK Corral, and Barefoot (you have to get the lobster here!!) We also enjoyed having the wood-fire pizzas available for lunch and snacks during the day. We do not drink so we cannot account for the alcohol but it was always available and everyone else seemed to enjoy it. One thing we liked are the activities available pretty much all day. The beaches look like paradise!! The only complaint we had were the beaches are public and you are approached daily by solicitors. Other than that it was perfect. If you have any problems, see Donovan who is Director of Guest Services. He will help with anything! Also go see Opal for a great pedicure!! We will definitely be returning.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank tpenn24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kentucky
Level Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2010

My husband and I recently stayed at Sandals Grande Antigua with our families for our wedding. This was not my first stay at an all inclusive, but it was my first stay at Sandals. Based on my previous experience with all-inclusive, I expected sub-par service and obvious attempts to cut corners and up sell, rather than making me feel like I really was all included. Sandals could not have been more the opposite, or exceeded my expectations more in any way! The staff went out of their way to make us feel like personal guests at every turn. They were extremely friendly, personable, attentive to every detail from remembering us and our events, to adding special touches. Our entire group of 14 was easily accommodated for dinner on a moment's notice in the non-reservation restaurants, and it was always easy for us to spend as much time together or apart as we wanted. I would return to Sandals in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank RachieKentucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2010

The island of Antigua is a very comfortable and friendly place in the Caribbean. Very scenic island with friendly people. The Sandals resort property was fabulous. The staff are friendly and staff levels are such that good service is everywhere. We stayed in the newer Mediterranean Village where the rooms were excellent. Feedback from others staying in the older Caribbean Village side of the resort was that the rooms were fine and very clean, but were somewhat dated looking. This should be no problem as the whole resort is beautiful and the Caribbean side is very comfortable.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank crackcorn
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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