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“This is the Best of Sandals”

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 June 2010

We have visited several of the Sandals but by far The Sandals In Antigua is the best! I can't even begin to tell you about the incredible one on one service we recieved. Everywhere we went the staff knew our names and greeted us with a warm smile. The beach is spectacular! No grassy patches; cool, clear water, white sandy beach. There are eight restuarants on this property, all are great. My favorite was Mario's. We had a delicious Italian dinner two nights in a row. My husband and I traveled with 4 other couples, we all shared the same opinion; This is the best of the best!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank aryhdz10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,846 - 4,852 of 6,876 reviews

Reviewed 15 June 2010

Just spent two weeks at Sandals Grande Antigua.
Don’t believe those who complain about this resort!
It is absolutely fabulous! We were looked after like royalty by all concerned.
Restaurants were all top class and whilst there was the occasional wait for those where bookings were not required it was not surprising as the resort was 100% full.
This resort is split into two distinct sections – The Caribbean Grove and the Mediterranean Village.
The former is a typical garden community with loads of atmosphere and typical Caribbean style rooms. We stayed in a junior suite here and were more than happy with the standard and the style of the room. Whilst not new the room had been renovated and was kept clean and comfortable by the cleaning staff. The Caribbean Grove is the quieter area of the resort but had plenty of entertainment at night with bands of varying genre every night.
The Mediterranean Village is brand new and is a typical large hotel complex. Very plush with comfortable rooms and good facilities – but you can stay in hotels of this sort anywhere in the world and if that is what you require of your vacation that’s fine. The Main pool is here in this area and is very impressive. Lots of games etc around here and music all day – so if you want peace and quiet this is not the place to be.
We preferred the Caribbean side which had more ethnic atmosphere but visited both areas to try out the facilities.
There is no doubt that things can and do go wrong sometimes whilst on vacation but the management and staff at Sandals Grande Antigua were shown to be of the highest quality as they tried to deal with the occasional problem from fellow guests. We had no such problems but on the odd occasion where we needed something – like extra coffee in our room, it was done without fuss and within a reasonable time scale.
Special mention must be paid to several people who made our stay very special:
Firstly Nico Bersma who is the Assistant General Manager who looked after us like royalty. He was there to meet us when we arrived even though it was his rest day; he helped us book restaurants and regularly checked that all was ok with us throughout our stay.
Secondly Gerald Christ the General Manager who always came across to chat to us to make sure all was well as he did his rounds of the resort on a regular basis.
Special Mention of two people at the Bayside Restaurant Neikesha who was the best waitress on the resort who gave excellent service and decorated out table with flowers on two occasions and The Bird Man Ryan who has the job of keeping the birds away from inside of the restaurant as it is open to the bay. Ryan probably has the worst job on the resort but is happy and friendly and he decorated our lunch table personally on the day of departure in order to say goodbye and please come back.
We would also like to thank Lydia who is the chef in the Caribbean restaurant Eleanor’s who put on a special meal for us on the last night. Lobster, Steak, shrimps, wonderful pumpkin pancakes what a great meal that was.
Sandals did for us once again and we will be back!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank g0lfmaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2010

"Sandals did it again." Our last Sandals vacation to Whitehouse set the bar high, and our trip to Antigua reaffirmed our feelings towards a Sandals vacation. Everyone there is pleasant, friendly, and accommodating. Everything was so organized from the airport transfer to nightly events to checkout. The director of guest services checked on us a few times during the vacation to make sure it was going well.

There was a wide variety of food options, from hibachi and sushi, to Tex Mex, seafood, Italian, and of course, Caribbean fare. All the food was outstanding, especially the fish (made to order). All the restaurants serving lunch allow you to take the food to-go and allow you to enjoy it on the beach or at the pool side. It is worth noting that you should make reservations early for dinner.

We heard from one of the senior staff members that the resort was "at capacity." What is ironic about this was you would have never known. The beach, amenities, pool, and restaurants do not suffer.

There was one negative about the resort, but it did not affect the great time we had. First, as most of the reviews said, there are people selling everything from t-shirts to aloe on the beach. They will usually come up to you regardless of what you are doing and ask. A polite no-thank-you usually lets them away. Sandals actually advises you not to buy from people on the beach. It is public; there is not much you can do.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank AdNJ24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2010

We chose Sandals Grand Antigua for a romantic vacation. We got married on site and wanted to have rest and relaxation along with beautiful ocean views and surroundings. This resort provided all of this and more. The services we received were more than excellent! Our room in the Medditeranian Village was very nice, super clean and very comfortable and provided absolute breathtaking views of the grounds and ocean. Our services that we experienced for our wedding were beyond excellent. Every detail was attended too. The wedding was absolutely perfect/ would highly recommend to anyone. The food at every restaurant we tried was very good! We also experienced a private candlelight dinner which was delicious and provided outstanding ambiance & service (well worth the extra cost). The only thing we least liked was that other guests would stake out the pool side chairs for the entire day and if you did not do so also; you would not get a pool side chair. They would save them but not occupy them!; that was the problem. Perhaps the staff could monitor this better and not allow saving if not occupied. However there are many pools to chose from. All in all we had an absolute beautiful amazing vacation at Sandals Grand Antigua and would rate it highly and recommend it to anyone!!! We were treated extremely well by everyone & would definatly return again!!!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank valarie06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2010

Words can't describe how great our vacation was. We stayed in the Med Village, the room was amazing we were in the Penthouse Suite, with Butler service, our Butlers were Juilian and Geffory, they are the BEST !!! they went out of their way to make our vacation great. The Staff always had smiles and said hello, which made us feel welcome. Antigua is one of the BEST places we traveled to, and we have been traveling over 30 years, to different places. We already booked a return trip to for next year.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank rutgers1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2010

We vacationed at Sandals Grande Antigua May 2 thru May 9, 2010 and stayed in the Mediterranean Ocean View Penthouse Suite. I gasped when we first arrived at the beauty of this paradise. The pictures I viewed on-line while planning our trip here were all so true. Needless to say we have booked again for JUne 2011. Our Butlers Geoffrey and Julian were fantastic! They couldn't do enough for us from making all our reservations, packing our cooler with goodies for the pool and beach, making these fantastic towel animals, rose petals, champagne, snacks ... the list goes on and on! The entire staff at Sandals were so great, charming, friendly and helpful. We can't thank them enough for making our 40th Wedding Anniversarytruly memorable. The grounds, pool, beach were spotless and so well maintained. All the restaurants were excellant, but our favorite was Mario's with Eleanor's coming in close. We could have had room service every morning but chooose to go to Cricketer's for their morning buffet. From authentic Antiquian to American fare everything was delicious and the with the champagne we just couldn't ask for anything better.The sea was so clear, warm and clean and the pool with the swim up bar was beyond expectations.We also had a chance to visit the spa which was an exciting axperience and so relaxing. Also the sunset cruise is so romantic and shouldn't be missed. Our room was very spacious and so clean, the bed was so comfortable and the view from our balcony was absolutely breathtaking. Once again Sandals Antigua thank you so much, you are the best!!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rich1508
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2010

The Room
My husband and I stayed here for 10 days for our honeymoon. The resort was beautiful, and the staff outstanding. We were upgrade from the Honeymoon Garden of Eden Premium to the Honeymoon Luxury Concierge. I know a lot of people complain about the Caribbean side of the resort but my husband and I thought it was great. We got a free mini bar with the room too, except we really only used it to drink bottled water. Housekeeping came twice a day, once in the morning and once at night for turn down service. They also restocked our mini bar daily and provided new beach towels.

The Food
The food was good, I am a food lover and I wouldn't say the food was outstanding. I think we had a few awesome meals, but really everything to me was just average. The upside is that you don't have to worry about brining money or tipping anyone. It was really nice! We didn't have a problem making a reservation at any of the restaurants, but you do have to call and make it 2 days ahead of time. You can also go up and ask if there were any cancellations and see if they can seat you right away. One of our favorites was the Sushi Restaurant. I forgot our chef's name but he was from the Philippines and he was excellent! The next time we went though he wasn't there and we weren't as impressed...

Drinks/Service
All the drinks there are pretty good but have very little alcohol added to them... Our favorite bartender was at the sports pool and her name was Latoya. Best drink maker ever!! She was super friendly, and seriously, everyone that knew about her raved. Another outstanding worker was Violet at the OK Corral. We wanted to sit facing the ocean but we arrived super early to our reservation and all those seats were already taken. We had to wait awhile to be seated but she made sure to reserve a spot looking over the ocean, it was perfect!

Water Sports
The water sports are fun. We did the kayaks and hobbie cats (sailing), snorkeling and scuba diving. We went out on the little sail boat on a very windy day, we advise that you DON'T do that...we got stuck out there for a bit and we were worried about tipping over. Fortunately we didn't tip but we watched 2 other sailboats tip. Snorkeling was nice; they take you out 15 min away from Sandals to Paradise Reef. Most of the coral is bleached out but you do get to see some fish and fans.

The only thing we were very disappointed with was the scuba diving. I had gone scuba diving before the trip but my husband had never been. Neither of us were certified so we took the class for $70 per person. The class was good to help introduce scuba diving and ease my husband into it. They teach you in a pool and then after the class take you out for a dive to a shipwreck. That part was so fun and we saw a lot out there. My husband had so much fun that he wanted to go out again at some point on our vacation...so a few days later we went up to sign up for another dive. The Sandals website states "After completing the course, guests will be allowed one tank dive (of approx. 30ft) per day (subject to availability and weather conditions). " At first they told us that the boat was filled up that day and there wasn't any room. They told us to come back in the next few days and try again. We come back and see that the class for that day is small, so there was a chance for them to fit us in...however they told us since we only took the class and were not certified we couldn't sign up again. Very disappointing.

Pools
Our room was by its own pool that you share with the rooms around it. There were other pools secluded around the resort. We rarely saw more than 1 couple at any of these pools. We only went to the main pool once but went to the smaller sports pool (with swim up bar) a lot. We liked that shade at the smaller pool and there were always activities to do there. For instance I think every day at 2:30 they had pool volleyball.

Activities
They had activities everyday but we really weren't interested in doing them. We did go to the beach party on Monday at the Bayside Restaurant and it was a lot of fun. The food was great and they had steel drums playing, later on another band, and games to win a bottle of rum. We didn't participate in the games but it was great to watch!

The beach was beautiful, quiet and just perfect for us. It was extremely calm and the water temperature was perfect! Make sure to use sunscreen as much as possible!! We saw a few miserable sun burnt people...

We do suggest taking a tour off the Sandals resort. Sandals has a tour booth to sign up for different activities. We signed up for the Eco Adventure Tour and loved it. We got to snorkel, hike on Bird Island and cave at Hells Gate. There were other tours but we chose to do this one because of its great reviews!

We had such a great time at Sandals! It was perfect for our honeymoon and we would definitely come back to a Sandals again!!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank smj139
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 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: £422 - £760 (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 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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