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“Some myths” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts

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Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Dickenson Bay | PO Box 251, St. John's, Antigua   |  
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Ranked #11 of 18 Hotels in St. John's
Toronto, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Some myths”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

I was at this resort over a year ago but keep reading reviews. Looks that is no a big change since my visit You know that this location is stunnig and resort very tired, so don't want to repeat it all over again.
In my opionion is some myths about this place. I used to travel to many other islands before Antiqa and can do a honest comparison. The myth number one is a friendly stuff. I did not find them so friendly but on many occasions- kind of unprofessional. I was really surprised that bartenders can be so gloomy and untrained despite being well tiped.
I'd got a good, renovated room because I knew what room number I want to be booked in ( thanks to trip advisor reviews) The lobby's clerk said that this room is not available but after my " don't give up attitude" she changed her mind and I got a key. No further explanation or apology.
Maybe food and entertainment is getting better. During my vist there it was extremly borring.
Overall, if you want to relax and see this beatiful island you can take a chance pick this resort. If you have a little more money and prefer to get better service - do your homework and find a different place.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (337)
Date | Rating
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English first
Colchester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

This is a 3*hotel in a 4* location. Excellent beach,friendly staff, food not the best & rooms a little tired but we had a great holiday & will go back.
Tip : Alvin the Pelican tour guide,he was amazing
ask for him, you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: Ask to change rooms if not happy.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Waterloo, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014

If you like your holidays simple, cheap and cheerful, this all-inclusive on Antigua’s premiere Dickenson Bay is your place! Try not to be disappointed by the tired decor, the general runned-down appearance, and the aloofness of some staff -- at least you’re not paying $5-thousand bucks a week, like the folks next door at Sandals, to enjoy the same stretch of beach.

Here’s a review of the GOOD, the BAD, and yes, even the UGLY following our one-week trip in mid-February.

THE GOOD

BEACH - Spectacular! Have travelled to beaches around the world, and this one, with its sifty white sand, and warm turquoise water, ranks among the best.

WEATHER - Of course, the further south you go, the more dependably warm you’ll find the temperature. It was 28 Celsius and humid the entire week. (What a relief from the brutal Canadian winter we’ve been enduring!). It sprinkled every day, but these gentle showers only lasted a couple of minutes, and did wonders to cool things off.

FOOD/DRINKS - The all-inclusive fair was really quite nice with good variety. The grilled fish was outstanding. I don’t eat meat, but people seemed quite pleased with the fresh roasts. There’s always a good selection of veggies, salads, custom-made omelettes, desserts and local fruit. Drinks are included, and staff enjoy mixing tropical specialties.

EXCELLENT A/C - Although our tired room had “issues,” the air conditioning unit was quiet and in good working order. Apparently, they’re all fairly new. The A/C was really necessary to get a good night’s sleep.

ENTERTAINMENT - Every night the Halcyon provides entertainment for its patrons. We had a blast on Karaoke Night, Steel Pans Night, and all the other evenings featuring live local entertainment.

THE BAD

ACCOMMODATIONS - Okay, let’s talk about the rooms. Folks, you get what you pay for. Our holiday cost $1,200 per person through Transat. This was a last minute, affordable getaway, and we didn’t expect much. Although the room was spacious with fairly comfortable beds, the general appearance and state of cleanliness really needs addressing. Chipped and peeling paint, grimy grout, rust stains in the bathtub, a bathroom door that wouldn’t close, broken tiles, sagging curtains, really dated art work, dirty walls and doors, etc. Most of these issues are cosmetic and can be easily addressed.

ELECTRICAL OUTLETS - You’ll find both 220 (for Europeans) and 110 (for North Americans) outlets in the room. The problem is... there aren’t enough! There are no outlets in the bathroom, so styling your hair with an iron, or re-charging a laptop or cellphone is challenging. We found one outlet in the corner of the bedroom with no mirror nearby. (Who designed this place?)

BEACH CHAIRS - The good ones on the beach get snapped up VERY early in the morning, so make it your business to get your beach towel on your desired chair ASAP. (I was doing this at 6:30am on most mornings, and found many chairs already taken!).

PUBLIC BATHROOMS - You’ll find public bathrooms by the lobby and the pool bar area. The look and smell of both leave much to be desired. We decided to stick with our room facilities.

BEACH TOWELS - You’ll be handed a little yellow card on check in. You then take this to the towel hut by the pool to get your hotel-issued beach towel. DON’T lose your towel, or they will charge you $100, which is quite laughable, really, since the towels are ratty, mismatched, and probably not even worth a buck. You can exchange your towel each day for a fresh one, but good luck finding staff at the hut, and expecting a clean supply. The never seemed to have clean towels when we dropped by. Better yet, bring your own and don’t endure this frustrating charade!

THE UGLY

DIRT, GRIME & GARBAGE - Perhaps as a tidy Canadian the level of sloppiness began to wear on me. Discarded cups here and there, crumbling sidewalks, the dirty, dark public bathrooms, unattended landscaping - these are issues which are easily addressed, and can determine whether a visitor will return or not.

EXCUSE ME WAITER! - On numerous occasions I began to wonder if I had suddenly become invisible. Standing right in front of staff at drink stations, eating areas, the towel hut, etc., the disinterested staff did their best to ignore us. One morning at breakfast I asked 4 times in 15 minutes for a cup of coffee. The curt waitress finally ambled over with the pot long after we’d finished eating. Good luck getting a refill! At the towel hut 2 workers chatted as we stood there for 5 minutes, until finally I said, ”Is this self-serve?” We had to ask 4 times over the course of 2 days to have a third bed delivered to our room. One day we had no towels. Is Halcyon under-staffed? Have they adequately trained staff on customer service? Are westerners too demanding and impatient? Well, if you’re in the tourist trade, and you want to please paying customer, these basic issues need to be addressed. When on holidays, every moment is precious. You don’t want to spend 15 minutes waiting for a cup of coffee when you’ve asked for it several times. Poor service means next time, we’ll take our tourist dollars elsewhere (...and write unfavourable reviews).

TRAVEL TIPS

Bring a face cloth if you like to use one because this hotel doesn’t provide them.

Bring an extension cord so you can actually see yourself in a mirror while trying to style your hair.

Check out “Putters” English pub on Thursday night for the weekly trivia (starts at 8pm). Walk south on the beach past Sandals. When the Sandals property ends, and just before the Antiguan Village, there’s a small pathway. Turn left and follow it as it curves a bit. Putters is on the right. It was a hoot!

Check out the abandoned “Clouds” restaurant at the top of the steep road, just to the left of Halcyon. As you walk around this eerie, crumbling outdoor structure, you’ll imagine the bygone colonial era, not to mention enjoy a spectacular tree top view.

DON’T drink the water coming out of the tap in your bathroom. Ours was often a dirty brown colour. They’ll encourage you to buy bottled water at the little grocery store on site, but you can get free, cold, purified water from the big orange jug at the pool bar. Just refill your water bottle there. We saw lots of people doing this.

Bring a big thermal cup for bevvies, and hand these to the bartenders for your mixed drinks. You’ll get more in your cup, and it will stay cold.

In the shower, for hot water, turn the tap right. (For some strange reason, it’s backward here).

DEAR MANAGEMENT…

Here are some suggestions that would make the stay at your resort more enjoyable. It goes without saying that repeat customers = more revenue and jobs for local workers.

PAINT & TIDY UP - What does paint cost in Antigua? Buy some nice Caribbean colours (pale blue, aqua, pink, yellow) and start painting! Sweep! Spray the tile and grout in the bathrooms with bleach and start scrubbing! Again, these are very easy clean up fixes which could take your hotel from a tired, tatty 3-star to a smart “retro” 4-star.

NON-SMOKING BEACH AREA - Nothing ruins a day at the beach more than having a chain-smoker park himself/herself beside you. Having a designated “Non-smoking” section of beach would be a desirable selling point. Am I right?

WATER & COFFEE/TEA - You’ll find self-service access to these beverages 24/7 by the pool bar, but why not also include these at the lobby bar, which is more accessible to patrons?

TV CHANNELS - Let’s face it - you don’t travel to Antigua to watch TV, but it’s nice to stay in touch with the goings on back home. The channel lineup features CNN, BBC, ESPN, etc., but not a single offering from Canada. With so many Canadians staying at the resort, why not provide at least one Canadian news channel for visitors?

WILL WE RETURN? Probably not. The beach is splendid, but the hotel is a little too dirty, and we found many staff members unattentive. We’ll likely take our tourist trade elsewhere.

Room Tip: If you don't mind the loud music at night, pay the extra for a "poolside" room, which...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodbridge, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2014 via mobile

So we just came home from Antigua. Trip advisor I view often and decided a lot based on people's reviews so felt it was important to write my review for this experience.
My husband and I went for a week from feb 13-21. We stayed at this hotel
I read all the reviews and was very nervous about staying here. All and all. It wasn't bad. It was good

As soon as I arrived I was a little nervous because the resort is very "tired". First day I was nervous and worried about the appearance of the place. But ones day 2 hit. It was a better experience!
A few things about this resort

PROS-
-On a stunning beach! Wonderful location
-Clean bathroom. Clean bedroom
-All main essentials you need for a bedroom
-Small resort so everyone gets to know each other
-Nice walking on the beach you can do and explore the surroundings
-Fav meal was lunch
- location. Location. Location!!!!!!
-beach was unbelievable. Was surreal
- left resort and went to 2 location restaurants for sinner. Delicious and close to resort.
- very safe. Lots of security
-you can leave the resort. It's safe
CONS
- broken safe (we put out passports in our locked luggage it worked first 2 days. Then they were having problems
- breakfast. Same same everyday
- dinner. Buffet and 1 alla cart only - the way the alla cart worked is it's the same food as the buffet but just presented nicely. Plated and on the pier. You have the option of eating lobster or steak extra at the alla cart only. But you have to pay
- you have to pay for bottled water $4.00 us at the bar
But then I found a convince store beside the Lobby and the bottled water was $2 us
- lots of Mosquitos!!!! Bring bug spray!!! (Of course this is all over Antigua not just this resort)
- no hot water for 2 of the 7 days we were there.
- night life, shows. We're okay

All in all. Did the resort fulfill my needs? Yes. Did I have a good time. Yes. It did the exact job needed which is to sleep and shower somewhere. Would I come back to Antigua. Absolutely!!!!! Would I stay at this resort again. No.
If I was able to go back to Antigua and have this hotel as my ONLY option- would I go there?
Yes

I think you get my drift. All in all it did the job. But the resort is tired looking needs updating. But I still had an amazing amazing time and enjoyed the beautiful beach and enjoyed what Antigua as to offer.

Suggestion. If you are looking to do an excursion I highly recommend swimming with stingrays.
It was fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!


Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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england
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

just returned from halcyon cove first impression was large room very bright but room needed updating it was overlooking the gardens by reception room 290. on chatting to people around the pool who either had a pool view or sea view they were having mega problems with their water needed to run it for 10 mins as it was brown then it was only warm our water was perfect and red hot. There was plenty of different kinds of food on offer from roast meats to curry lots of salad chips, or roasters something for everyone there is however normally a queue to get into the restaurant lots of empty tables but you have to wait to be seated and unlike us they are very laid back so its not their priority to clean the tables straight away. There is 24 hour tea and coffee available from the beach bar you just go and help yourself. All the staff were very friendly and so helpful within minutes of me telling them my air con remote didn't work there was someone there to fix it. Shirley heights is a must to visit on Sunday evening steel band then reggae band till 10pm and the sunset is stunning, also did the pelican jeep safari to see the island from the inside brilliant day out with AP he was great then the Wadalli cats cruise you can see all the island from the sea with lots of rum and more rum. the down fall of the whole holiday was stopping at Barbados on way back you get off the plane take all your hand luggage and then queue to go through security again then back onto the same plane in the same seats 1.5 hours it took us didn't even have time for a drink. if pos get straight through flight, the currency on the island is US Dollars if you pay in EC Dollars you get your change back in US Dollars we took both but really only needed US Dollar on the whole a great relaxing holiday.

Room Tip: rooms by the pool can be noisy as there is entertainment on every night until 11pm, rooms by recepti...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Ajax, Canada
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014 via mobile

Stayed at this resort Feb 2-9
Was not happy with first room 525. Room outdated. Bedspread not clean!!!!did not want to unpack. Thought we'd made a big mistake coming here! Bathroom had facet that was not attached properly. Tub so old and worn that it looked dirty,rusty,mouldy. We felt uncomfortable having shower. Complained immediately, was told they were full and to check next day. Would give it a 1 star.
Did not unpack. Unfortunately overview of resort looked dated!

Was moved on the 5th to 393 near lobby. Fantastic. Room was brighter. Bathroom updated. Linens new/clean ! finally unpacked.
Our overview of the resort changed drastically once we were happy with accommodations. Would give it a 4 star.
Beautiful resort. Most of staff amazing. Food was great. Lots of choice. Chef Dale great job ! Lisa amazing at omelets always had a smile. Great worker. Bernadette was a great server. Dolsten and Orlando fantastic bartenders. Really enjoyed our time in the boat with Ashton and Sherika. Learned a lot about Antigua. Had a wonderful tour in SUV with Gary as our guide
Beach beautiful !
Would recommend resort and would return only if got updated bathroom. It's a shame that they are still having guests staying in rooms that should NOT be used.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Guernsey, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

I have been to Antigua quite a few times now, and usually stay at the paradise which is Blue Waters. However, on this occasion, paradise was full, and Halcyon Cove is just around the corner (and much cheaper) I think it's safe to say that in future, i'll stick with what i know.
Upon arriving late afternoon after an 8 hour flight from London, I was not impressed at the welcome I received. No nice rum punch and cool face wipes and I had to wait nearly an hour for my room. During this hour, i attempted to get a rum punch from the bar in the lobby....but the bar was closed (opens at 6pm)

When I finally got to my room, i was pleasantly surprised (I later found out we had been upgraded from a lead-in category to a pool view) The room was a very good size, with a patio/terrace, and practically on the beach. The beds were a little hard, but that wasn't a problem. I did find there was minimal lighting in the room...it definitely could've been brighter. Other than that, the bedroom was ok.
The bathroom, however, was a different story. There were no shelves for toilettries and the bathroom itself was very dingey. The shower looked like it could be good, but lots of the little jets were blocked, meaning water trickled out. Being female with long hair, washing it took forever. Also, the water was brown...eeew. I did make staff aware of this, though nothing was done about it.
Next stop was the beach....Dickenson Bay. Absolutely beautiful beach, with some really friendly vendors...They weren't too much hassle. As soon as i told them i knew quite a few locals and didnt need any of the junk they were selling, the either left me alone, or became quite good friends to chat to throughout the day. All in all, absolutely no complaints about the beach.
Onto the restaurants..Gaaahhhhh. Breakfast was like the whole hotel descending on the breakfast room at the same time. No staff to see us to a table. We would have to ask for a coffee about 3 times and it generally wasnt very nice. We later found that breakfast was also available by the pool bar, so we gave that a go. Marginally better, but only as there weren't so many people there! That changed at lunchtime though. Nowhere to sit as there aren't enough spaces, a salad bar consisting of lettuce and beetroot, and a hot buffet consisting of pasta or burgers and hot dogs.
After speaking with one of the duty managers (i think mario....lovely guy!) about all of my little complaints, more salad dishes materialised, and we were offered a complimentary dinner at Warri Pier. This was a very nice gesture, and the dinner itself was superb, with a beautiful setting.
I did encounter a few rude staff....one or two at the pool bar, and one in particular in housekeeping.
The grounds of the hotel are ok. They do need maintaining more, lots of cracks in pathways, paint needed on walls etc.
A nice touch was on departure and having a late flight, Mario had arranged us another room we could move to until we left after checking out.
All in all, my holiday was only OK. I wouldn't return, and will definitely be sticking with what i know. But if you're after something cheap, and arent planning on spending much time at the hotel, then this will be fine.

Room Tip: Try to get a pool or oceanview room, they are much bigger, and if you overlook the beach, it's l...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts

Address: Dickenson Bay | PO Box 251, St. John's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#9 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts 3*
Number of rooms: 181
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoying a pristine picture postcard beach front location, the Halcyon Cove by rex resorts offers the very essence of a perfect Caribbean setting. Beautiful glistening waters gently lap at the palm-fringed white sands of Dickenson Bay where guests can recline beneath the palm-frond parasols or exert some energy on a variety of water sports. International buffet breakfast and dinner cuisine is served at the Arawak Terrace restaurant or treat yourself at the Warri Pier a-la-carte restaurant featuring speciality grills and lobster in its unique setting over the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Halcyon Cove By Rex Hotel St. John`s
Halcyon Cove Antigua
Halcyon Cove By Rex Resorts Antigua/Saint John Parish
Rex Halcyon Cove Resort
Rex Halcyon Antigua

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