As you can easily see from the pictures this place is gorgeous and well maintained. So many other reviews talk about the wonderful service and the friendliness of the staff. It’s all true. I will try to stick to practical info in this review – what I would want to know before committing money to a place.
We stayed in the Cove Suites (Building 3), which was the furthest from the main lobby. I liked the privacy and quietness of this building, but basically buildings 1-3 are the same and 4 is furthest back so you will have the view of the other buildings in front of you instead of the beautiful blue waters – felt happy with our location upon seeing that. I spoke to other guests and a family stayed in 100 block said it was gorgeous but the sound of the ocean affected their sleep – a good problem to have I thought. I imagined I would have found it relaxing.
We did the Bed and Breakfast plan, which was ideal for us. Actually we thought it was a better value because unless you are big drinkers you would probably spend less even if you ate all your meals at the hotel. I noticed there were added charges for top shelf liquor and for eating at “The Cove”, which we would have incurred because when we do drink we prefer certain brands. Coming from the US, restaurants all over Antigua tend to be fairly pricey even by NYC standards that being said it wasn’t completely outrageous. It’s all relative.
There were plenty of great meals to be had all over the island. Coconut Grove is where my wife said she had the best lobster (I actually thought the best one she had was at “The Cove”), The Larder serves a large variety of food including Sushi which was a good change of pace, Hemmingway’s in St. John’s is a great place especially during Carnival for its excellent seating above the action – great food and drinks too. Le Bistro is old school French food that was a bit stuffy, but overall a great experience (Three words – Banana Cream Pie!). I recommend you get out and explore! Although, the breakfasts were excellent and we didn’t eat lunch often but that ones we had were all good.
We also did the Sunday party at Shirley Heights. Since it was on the south part of the island a taxi was pretty expensive. Luckily for us we found our cove neighbors and another family to share a large minivan and it was less than half the cost. It was also a great way to get to know people – we had a blast with beautiful views, good fairly priced beers and drinks, tasty BBQ and great music and dancing. One of the best times I had on vacation. Make friends and share costs – great way to do things.
We also booked an excursion on a Wadadli Cat for sailing, snorkeling, lunch and relaxing. One of the best parts was when most of the others in attendance were dropped off at Jolly Beach and we had the boat to ourselves for the next hour since Blue Waters is the last stop. Great experience!
All staff is friendly and provide great service, but I will relay two incidents that shows you the level of their commitment. The first night I wound up having a major migraine headache and we forgot to pack anything that could help. The gift shop was now closed so my wife spoke with the concierge, Gwen who told us that the hotel can’t dispense any medicine (understandable, why would a hotel expose themselves to a liability even for giving out aspirin), but told her where to go to purchase. Upon seeing my wife’s apprehension in going out in a taxi alone Gwen took her in own car. She would not accept any money for her time or fuel. Gwen is a concierge that is world class and a true gem for Blue Waters. Never in all my travels have we experienced such kindness and caring for our well-being (Thank you so much again, Gwen!).
The second incident is during breakfast – I wanted some plain yogurt to finish my meal there was no more in the case. I asked one of the staff and we were waiting a bit for it to come. Andy, The Gen. Manager, as he usually does, was walking around and I mentioned jokingly about the yogurt situation. He said he would look into it and returned personally with a plate and two containers of yogurt. He could have easily delegated this to someone on his staff, but it just speaks volumes about how much they truly look after you and provide some serious personal attention to your needs.
Before I booked, I was on the fence about a resort that allows children, but found there was no need for concern. It must be the type of people this place attracts because all the children there were extremely well behaved, pleasant and fun to be around. They were more mature than many friends my age! lol (The vast majority of guest were from the UK I didn’t meet any other American guests during our stay – I don’t know if this has anything to do with it). (Big shout out to George and Will – if we could’ve been guaranteed our kids would turn out like these two we would’ve had kids! So great meeting you guys and your awesome parents.)
There were a couple of issues to report – all relatively minor. The AC at night seemed non-existent, but I find this at most resorts and hotels. Usually during the days the rooms are freezing cold when you are not in them – it doesn’t make too much sense to me because I would rather have a nice cool, comfortable room to sleep in. Gwen, upon check-in, said if we had any issues with the AC we should call her instead of trying to adjust it ourselves.
I also would have preferred the beach pool (with Carolyn’s bar) to have a deeper section. This was a great place to be to listen to the beach and you could easily take a dip in the ocean or the pool, but it was a little too shallow for my liking.
Our last complaint was my wife calling the front desk at 7:30 am asking for a golf cart (buggy) to pick us up at 9:30am to bring our luggage to the lobby and we would have time to eat breakfast, check out and depart to the airport at 10:30am. We called a second time at 9:35 and the girl at the front desk thought we wanted it at 10am. We called yet again at 9:45 and the front desk was “surprised” it wasn’t there already. We waited five more mins and took our own luggage to the lobby, which is a far walk from Cove suite 3. This was a major aggravation to have on check out. I still find myself getting angry thinking about it, but fortunately the rest of the trip was so overwhelming positive!
This is the kind of place that guests return to again and again. In fact one person said they have been there 5 times and this is the best experience they had so far. In his assessment it just keeps getting better and better – I can see why. The management is very hands on and seems to constantly making adjustments and improvements.
Also I recommend booking through a competent travel agency. We choose Tripguy.com again – Mitch is top notch and I swear he never sleeps! Always responding promptly to my emails day or night. I also feel you get better service or an upgrade if available when booking through an agency where both the resort and agent have a mutual beneficial relationship. Mitch at Tripguy.com helped arrange champagne and treats on check-in as well as a “in-room champagne breakfast” to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.
That’s my review – the great, the good and slightly negative. Now stop reading and just go to this fabulous place to have an amazing vacation!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in the North West Corner of Antigua where crystal clear waters lap onto secluded white sand beaches, Blue Waters Resort offers an island paradise. From your personal welcome, complete with cooled scented towel and rum punch, you will realise you are our valued guest. Featuring small secluded beach coves, seven freshwater pools and 17 acres of lush tropical gardens, Blue Waters provides the ideal setting for relaxing days by the pool or on the beach, cocktail in hand, or for reading a good book in the shade of the swaying palm trees. Having gently evolved and constantly improved over 50 years we offer a range of luxuriously appointed rooms to meet the needs of our guests, from hillside rooms in a garden setting to beachside rooms with renowned spectacular ocean views. For the more active guest we offer complimentary watersports, tennis and a newly refurbished gym. Our recently opened Elemis Spa and Hair Salon with its stunning ocean views provides a perfect setting for a pampering treatment or as part of a wedding package. Finish the day off dining at one of our 3 restaurants, each with a different ambience to suit your mood. Our staff is ready and waiting to welcome you. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Blue Waters Antigua Hotel St. John`s
- Blue Waters St Johns
- Hotel Blue Waters
- Blue Waters Hotel Antigua
- Blue Waters Antigua Saint John Parish