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“Very Nearly Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Dickenson Bay, St. John's, Antigua   |  
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Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Very Nearly Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2008

We have just returned from the Grande Antigua. On arrival we were at first aprehensive that we had been upgraded as we chose our room for location within the resort as I do have limited mobility. I needn't have worried, we were given a room on the Med side and it was just beautiful. As the restaurants are split between the two villages there really wasn't a problem and the walk between the two is only a very pleasant 3 minutes. I cannot praise the resort enough, ok, there are still a few teething problems, i.e. shortage of staff and also during our first week a fight most mornings to get beds around the new pool. However, this was resolved the second week when another 200 beds were delivered. My husband and I experience fine dining on a regular basis and I honestly can not fault the food in any of the restaurants we ate in (OK Corral, Marios, Bayside,English Pub, Barefoot, Eleanors & Pizza Parlour). On two nights due to ill health (Chest infections we brought with us) we were allowed room service and that was faultless also. One criticism and that is the Pizza menu could be a little more extensive.

The pool on the Med side is stunning, you even have Rudy delivering drinks within the pool, a great idea. Gavin is brilliant in the poolbar and Jerry running the Cabanas with Tashoya and Ainslie do a fine job. Hello to Stacey in the Pizza restaurant also.

Theresanne in the Signature Guests dept. was brilliant. We had a family bereavment during our stay and were very touched when she arrived with flowers to the room.

One point which did annoy us was the lady (I assume from Sandals) who met us at the airport. I have never wanted to slap someone so quickly after meeting them before. We were asked our names and then with no other conversation she just clicked her fingers at us and hustled us into a minibus. When you consider this is likely to be the first person you speak to on arrival on the Isalnd, and certainly Sandals, it really is not the best introduction.

To conclude: the resort is fantastic, the staff very friendly, food excellent, gardens and grounds beautiful. This was our 4th Sandals, now our favourite (already booked our return).
Finally we found the evening entertainment the best of the 4 Sandals we have been too.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Chech-in
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,009 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Ontario
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2008

Just returned yesterday from a week at Sandals. We were upgraded to a beachfront room with concierge service. The room was pleasant, but the bathroom was very dated, but as my husband said - everything works so who cares if it's dated.

Our biggest complaint was the food. This was our 3rd stay at this resort and I think the food has gone way downhill. Everything was bland, tasted the same and I don't think they have ever heard of herbs and spices. The salad dressings in particular were terrible.

Sandals really play up the Concierge Service but our Concierge never got back to us with dinner confirmations and also failed to make one reservation that we requested.

My other complaint - and it may seem petty to some - was my inability to get any Diet Coke. I am not a liquor drinker, nor do I drink tea or coffee, but I HAVE to have my Diet Coke. There was Diet Coke in the room bar on our arrival, but while everything else was replenished the next day, the Diet Coke wasn't. When checking with the concierge, I was told they changed suppliers and they didn't have any but were expecting it the next day.

That same night, I saw a bartender carry four cases of Diet Coke into the bar. So, back to the Conscierge office I went and asked again and was given the same story. They told me if it hadn't arrived by the next day they would go into town and buy me some. Why they would lie is beyond me, but lie they did. Two days later I got my Diet Coke.

Some staff really are trying, but they still have a long way to go to make this resort welcoming and worth the money they charge.

I. Puzinas
Burlington, Ontario

  • Liked — Location to the beach
  • Disliked — Noisy air conditioning unit
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Timmins,Ontario
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2008

Was there feb 2-9,2008...and after reading some negative reviews was a bit concerned but must say was totally surprised.
We stayed on the meditarrean side and "wow" says it all. The rooms were huge and just beautiful, checkin was done very professionally, we found it to be classy and we travel alot in the caribbeans. The service was never slow for us, for our taste the food was very good, Ok corral was great ,Kimonos was a great show and good food thanks to George the cook, Mario's was also good, bayside on the caribbean side was great as well.
Night bands were always good, we are not the party type people so we loved the atmosphere of outside bands . The grounds are just gorgeous, the staff was always nice, always saying hello, good morning etc...
The pool was exceptional, Rudy serving champagne in the water, super nice great, the chair situation needs some improvement , too many people reserving and not showing up for most of the day and the fact that most people staying on the caribbean side come to this pool makes it hard to accomodate all of them.
The beach is great, many water toys, vendors are not rude on th beach.
Some improvements to be made would have to be , add an intenet cafe on the med village side and a car rental on med village as well. there is on the carib. side but not big enough to accomodate both sides.
All an all , it was a great place to stay at !

  • Liked — couples only, great location and beautiful view
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
channel islands
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2008

we were a bit nervous to book the sandals due to the negative reviews...and also we were nervous about the crowd and food at an all inclusive. never mind all that, we loved the sandals. we stayed in the old part, had one of the cheaper rooms, but it was a great, clean and comfortable room. lots of premium booze in the room, great room service and a 30 second walk to the beach. we ate there all three meals and still didnt go to all of the resteraunts. food was great. service was great. we did snorkling or sailing on the hobby cat every day. no waiting. two tiny complaints....the ladder was broken on the snorkling boat so it was hard to drag our wet bodies out of the water, and i left my husbands cell phone in the room and it was stolen (my fault, tho)....all in all it was a great experience.s...

  • Liked — the beach and the services
  • Disliked — business services
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westfield, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2008

We stayed for 8 nights during Christmas week in 2 different rooms, the concierge room at the older building, and then had the butler service for three nights. We have been to the Sandals Royal Caribbean twice, and the Royal Bahamian once, and because the Royal Bahamian was so incredible, I was really looking for comparable service, but boy, were we wrong! First of all, like many people have said, the concierge workers could care less; they look at you like you are beneath them and like we are really interrupting their busy desk-sitting day when we ask a question. Again, big surprise, considering past concierge service at other Sandals hotels. So, then my husband and I couldn't wait for the supposedly amazing butler service of which Sandals has been touting for months now...well, all I can say is save your money...our butler took an hour with any request we made, and never offered any of the duties for which we paid (e.g. unpacking, bringing us an evening cocktail)...basically, like the concierge service, WE felt bad to bother him! Considering the expensive time of the year and knowing how much we were paying daily for the butler room was very upsetting but we tried to focus on the positives... beautiful beach, a couple of good restaurants, OK Corral, oh, and spring for the dinner on the beach, that was well worth the money. But like others have mentioned, you do have to wake up early to reserve your beach chair (however I find this common at all Sandals, so not really a big deal to me), and the bottom line, the service is really sub-par. Lastly, while the beach is beautiful, the fact that there are kids and families from neighboring hotels and cruise ships crowding around you was extremely annoying; the vendors on the beach were ok, but seeing all of these families when I wanted a child-free week was a big disappointment. So, I'm sorry to write this as my husband and I are really big Sandals fans, but please try another Sandals, I hear Whitehouse and Negril are amazing, and I can attest to the Sandals Bahamian as having wonderful service and great restaurants...oh, my husband and I are younger professionals that spend a lot of money on travelling to nice hotels, so feel free to contact me with more questions...

  • Liked — Beautiful beach, good bars, lovely property
  • Disliked — Non-existant concierge and butler service. Service here is a disappointment.
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
West Sussex
Level Contributor
56 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2008

There is no doubt that the addition of what has to be described as a magnifcent high rise 5 star hotel offers far more variety to a wider range of tastes but to our mind it is a different concept and does detract from the charms and former intimacy of the carribean village.
It was a shock to find that Sandals had let Franklin Eaton, a very efficient and hands on manager, slip through their fingers.
Despite the many staff changes, there were still some familiar faces. Cletus Pancham is still at the helm in the carribean village and as ever went out of his way to ensure that things got done and that our stay was throughly enjoyable.
Kimonos is as good as ever and both Conrad ("Sir Sugar" ) and George serve up great food with their different routines providing for a fun evening. They are very ably assisted by Patrick ("Baby Shack") and Sylvia.
A word of thanks too for Eleanor and Wendy in Bayside who both went the extra mile in looking after us.
Sandals Antigua has changed and not necessarily for the better, but that results from the concentration on the new Mediterranean Village rather than the creation of a separate resort. There is,however, still much that is good and there is no doubt that we will return.

  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NORWICH
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2008

Having just read some of the reviews I just wanted to write about our experience. We got married in this resort last July and it was everything I dreamt of and more, the staff were fantastic and very professional at all times.
We were upgraded on arrival which at first we thought great then we found that our room was next to the construction of the new village! I had specifically asked to be as far away from this as possible, we went to the desk and explained our concerns and they agreed to move us back to the room we booked originally the next day. This was fab yes a bit rustic and perhaps in need of some improvement but hey this is the carribean, We shared a small pool with 15 other rooms there was always a bed if we wanted , but most of the time we were on the beach.
We avoided the big pool bar, the new village was not yet open but we always found somewhere nice to eat. The satt were always friendly happy and polite, we loved it so much we are going back this Juiy to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.
We have asked to stay in the old part as we liked the peace and quite away from the music etc.
I have attached a couple of photos of our wedding, it was so chilled we were on the beach until 12.30pm , I had my hair done at 1pm and we were married at 2.30pm perfect. The wedding staff were fantastic the photos and DVD reflected our happiness as I said everything we had wanted and more.
Please don't be put off by some of the reviews remember we all want different things from holidays but if you go with a chilled out attitude its perfect. YOUR ON HOLIDAY ENJOY

Stayed July 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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Additional Information about Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

Address: Dickenson Bay, St. John's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in St. John's
#4 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#4 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#5 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#5 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#5 Family 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 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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