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“Our experience of bad service” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Carlisle Bay Antigua

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Carlisle Bay Antigua
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Old Rd, Saint Mary's, Antigua   |  
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Stay 4 nights pay for 3
Ranked #2 of 7 hotels in Saint Mary's
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Our experience of bad service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

Having been to Antigua in 2011 and unable to experience Carlisle Bay Hotel, we arranged a day out for our daughter's 18th birthday. We had confirmation from the concierge that they were expecting us, booking in June, and giving six months notice for our December visit.
All was good on arrival. We checked in, got shown where to change for swimming and a member of staff settled us on the beach with towels, sun beds and an ice cooler. After one and a half hours we were asked by a gentleman to remove ourselves from HIS sun beds. Naturally we were apologetic to him but explained that we were given the position by a member of beach staff. The chap kindly tried to find us alternative sun beds but were told it could take up to an hour to find us a place, as the beach was now full. We were left standing there with no staff member trying to accommodate us in any way or apologise for the embarrassment it caused. We had a table booked in Indigo, however, even the reception didn't try to persuade us to stay. We therefore decided to leave Carlisle Bay. A huge disappointment for us all. We had been recommended to book the visit by numerous friends and family. Sadly, for us, Carlisle Bay didn't live up to it's expected high standard. We sent an email to the manager highlighting our disappointment and as yet have not received any acknowledgment from himself or his concierge who confirmed our booking.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (161)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Miami, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

This was a vacation to be remembered. Not just for the beautiful property, in a very discrete and discerning oceanside location; nor for the first-rate service and food in the main restaurant; nor for the sunset hatha yoga on the famous jetty; nor for the scuba-diving just a few minutes off the coast; but most importantly, for the PEOPLE. Omarie & Winston greeted our arrival with big broad unending smiles, and seemed to keep it on throughout our entire stay. We didn't feel like we were in a hotel, but in someone's large home, as invited guests. They took better care of us than even our own families (LOL!). And Elza, what can I say, she's the manager, but you couldn't tell - and she was FABULOUS! To my wife, it seemed like a "sister" from another mother. We bumped into her a lot, and she gave us great tips on where to shop, where to explore, and just what to do. We were different from some of the other guests - adventurers if you will. We rented a car, that was dropped off and picked up directly at the hotel. We explored parts of the island and met several other Omarie's and Winston's wherever we went. To us, a vacation is not only about relaxing in a wonderfully welcoming environment, but it's about meeting new people, in THEIR environment, and getting to know a place that is beautiful not only on the outside but on the inside as well. The Carlisle Bay Resort was the perfect place for us to get that balance of deep relaxation and adventurous exploration. It was only 5 days, but it accomplished what we had hoped - it felt like 2 weeks! We will most certainly be back no doubt, and we look forward in earnest to the BIG SMILES and hospitality of everyone at the resort. But of course, Omarie, Winston, and Elza will forever be remembered. We LOVE you guys! :)

Room Tip: If you're like us, and traveling as a couple, the resort will place you in an area far way from...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tadworth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
352 helpful votes 352 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2013

Enjoyed this hotel for it's quality, ambience, lovely location, beach, and spacious modern comfortable room. Food in Indigo simple but good although quite expensive. Less impressed with the characterless East which had a menu which tried to be all things oriental without doing any real justice.

For us, rather too many young children spoilt the atmosphere at Indigo for breakfast, and they rather monopolised the smallish pool, but the beach was spacious enough for a peaceful relaxing holiday.

Staff warm, hospitable and friendly.

Would recommend and would return, but wish there were a separate adult only pool.

Room Tip: Nearer to water sports end of beach for adults seeking quiet environment
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2013

We just returned from a five day stay. We are already planning our next trip.

The resort is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. Everything is made easy and things get done with no hassle and fanfare. Even though it was fully booked, it never felt crowded. The staff is wonderful. Always cheerful, friendly and ready to help. The staff in Sports is also very nice. Special thanks to Lenny.
We only ate at the Indigo and the food is simple and light and very good ( the executive chef is French) and there's a good selection with daily specials every night. Wine list is good and reasonable. Ask for Michael to recommend you the right wine.
We stayed in one of the ocean suits and we loved the location and view. The rooms are very spacious and modern with plenty of closet space etc.

There are very few things I would recommend to change.
- we did not like the barbecue nights. It creates an atmosphere of a typical all inclusive resort. The food is also not as good and choices are limited. It should at least be kept to one night only.

- had a good massage at the spa (with Ebone). However, the room was facing the tennis courts and was noisy with laughter and screams making it difficult to relax.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

A really great property for families - kids club is amazing. Rooms literally on the beach so steps from the sea. Great food, non motorised waters ports all included and lots of tennis. Great spa. The suites are all lovely and spacious.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

Family holiday with our two ages 3.5 and 2. Beach terrace suite. Fantastic setup, and the best family spot we've been to.

Location: 30 mins from the airport, jolty road. But a gorgeous crescent of sand, with little development in the hills so you feel surrounded by sea and jungle. Protected harbour so waves are very gentle, and good sand quality, make it a place you can spend hours building castles with the kids in lapping waves.

Rooms: The setup has the master BR / living room opening directly on to the beach, with the second bedroom at the back (at the front door), and the bathroom in between. That leaves enough room that you dont bother the kids when they are sleeping; and alternately during naptime we felt comfortable being on the beach as we could directly monitor the room. Nice fittings and furniture in the room as well, if a bit bland. However two drawbacks. The little one was that the main closet is in the second bedroom, which means waking the kids if you want to change. The big one was the tile floors. At best, they were tacky, the floors i've seen in cheap brazilian beach hostels. But with a drop of water they were slippery - and tile is unforgiving to a kid's heat. That really is my only complaint about the place.

Kid's stuff: There's a nice kids club, with morning and afternoon sessions, and they dont charge extra. What a treat. Everyone who worked there was lovely. From 5-630 every night they lay out a kid's dinner, which means you can walk up and they eat rather than waiting for food to be made - sometimes those 20 minutes matter. The setup with kids rooms basically between the beach and the pool and the eating facilities was ideal - everything a few steps from each other. This is far and away the best setup for a family holiday we have found, and it's on that basis we're likely to return.

F&B: I found the food surprisingly good. Indigo is the main one and we didn't tire of the menu - plenty of variety. Simply grilled stuff. Some light nice dishes. The caribbean specials trod the correct line between local food but still made light and well (I could crush some more of those rotis). East had remarkably fresh and excellent tuna for sushi - the only recipe you usually get in pan-asian is disaster, so this was pleasant. The pizzas are from a real wood oven, and accordingly good. And i found them accomodating - we asked nicely to deliver the restaurant menu to our room one night, and they were happy to. I strongly suggest going full board - the price for food is as high as you might expect, so it's much nicer to get the unpleasantness over in one go.

Activities: Tons of well kept tennis courts. Gym is good but not great (management: please get kettlebells/free weights over 20kg). Spa is very nice. All located in one area...and the back tennis courts conveniently near the kids club so you can check in on your own if they are being fussy...or play away from them if you dont want to hear them. Watersports had hobies, sunfish, kayaks all just to take out. Nice. Snorkels/masks too, though the bay is a bit stirred up for that. Also waterskiing/tubing but at a cost.

Service: Mixed. Our man on the beach (Barrymore) was a star - funny, and the right amount of engagement. It could get a bit dozy around the pool bar at times and Indigo could be a bit slow during peaks, but only to the level of modest annoyance, not true frustration - think mosquito bite, not spider bite. (And yes there are plenty of mosquitos).

Other: if you're a honeymooning couple, or worse yet empty nesters...it might not be for you. The best locations seem to be reserved on the family end (rooms right up on the beach, rather than set back condo-style with a little lawn and then tons of loungers). At the restaurants you'll see kids - you just wont avoid them except later at dinner. It's not like there's kids jumping on your lounger - they do split everything with families on one half of the beach, but as other emails indicate...it's a kid friendly place so there's going to be a lot of kids, and you have to be comfortable with that.

On the other hand...if you have kids, i have a hard time thinking of any place better. And though it's not cheap, you do get what you pay for. And you can't ask for much more than that.

Room Tip: If with kids - get the beach terraces 23-30, you walk out directly onto the sand, and the pool is a...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

The positives: spacious rooms, well maintained beach, very courteous service.
The cons: room interiors are extremely bland and corporate looking. Furnishings lack color and any type of local flair. The bathrooms are very spacious but the finishes are drab--e.g., commercial grade gray stone counters and tubs. The water pressure of the shower was lame.

I think this could be an amazing place if they punched up the decor a notch or two. It's nice having big rooms, etc. but I'd rather have less space but more pizzaz. That's my idea of luxury.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Carlisle Bay Antigua

Address: Old Rd, Saint Mary's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Saint Mary's
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Saint Mary's
#2 Family Hotel in Saint Mary's
#2 Spa Hotel in Saint Mary's
#4 Romantic Hotel in Saint Mary's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Carlisle Bay Antigua 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Carlisle Bay on Antigua is one of the leading luxury Caribbean resorts, its accommodation designed to allow for both families and couples to holiday in peace. Both kinds of traveler have a dedicated end of the resort, which allows for everyone the tranquility of the spectacular beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Carlisle Bay Antigua Hotel Saint Mary`s
Carlisle Bay Hotel Antigua
Carlisle Bay Resort Antigua
Carlisle Bay Antigua Antigua And Barbuda

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