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“More then just All Inclusive” 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 20 hotels in St. John's
Varese, Italy
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“More then just All Inclusive”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We had the pleasure to stay 8 nights in this Wonderful resort. At the moment of the reservation, the hoped that the price we payed reflect the service and the quality. We can say now, after our vacation, that we felt like at home. Thay take care of us in all the details and when they said "Is All Inclusive" it's really all Inclusive and much more. Even the last day, they don't treat you like someone that has to go, but they give you all the facilities to enjoy the resort until the very last second. We'll be back!!!! (Sooooooon)

Room Tip: We were in the Orchidea Gran Deluxe and was plenty enough. Why need to have a bigger room or a suite...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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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
  • 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (927)
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

literally just got back last night and i'm in shock that I had to return home! so glad we picked this resort! beaches are beautiful, sunsets are amazing and the people are extremely friendly...

I'll run down some things I wanted to know before booking :)

caribbean grove is the place to be! for the most part quiet and private and most of the activities at night are in the courtyard - and most of the restaurants are here. i don't think any of the rooms are bad. fire pits at night are very relaxing.

food is delicious - my fav was OK corral and their pork spare ribs and seared tuna!
beach is obviously public but the vendors are not as bad as they say. all you have to say is no thank you and they are on the way. we booked excursions thru the resort and thru one of the licensed vendors on the beach. they are legit (make sure they have a badge).

if you are not afraid of heights go to carribean helicopters and do a tour. the monserrat tour was amazing and well worth the money! my pics speak a thousand words!! st. johns and shopping is 5-10 min cab ride....i didn't have time but i heard its quite worth it! ziplining is very fun and only 30 min away.

cricketers is the night spot - with a dj - quite fun! also shows espn for those sports fans. main pool is awesome and i think has the best staff - fun and entertaining! i loved the large hot tub located in the main pool.

bring some bug spray and lots of sunscreen! and FYI - the locals are on island time, don't expect things immediately - relax you're on vacation :)

i would definitely recommend this trip to anyone. gorgeous beaches, easy to reach excursions, and awesome resort. loved it! I spoke to quite a few sandals frequent travelers and they said this was the best one they have ever been to.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
erie, PA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

My wife and I were married here almost three years ago and returned for our first and second anniversaries. We have had the best vacation three times! The place has the best scenerery, perfect size beach, great pools, great food, and great staff. The staff was all very helpful and fun to talk to. Chernell from guest services was outstanding and remembered us each stay, Gerald Christ was the most personable General Manager we ever met. Unfortunately the prices have gone up, as well as plane tickets, so it looks like we will have to cancel our trip, that we had a deposit on for reunion week 2013 in April. We highly recommend this resort. It is all what it is advertised, and the most romantic and beautiful island.
Katie and Chris

Room Tip: We liked our room and Chernell helped us reserve the same room when we returned...
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  • Stayed April 2012, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

We had an amazing time at our fifth Sandals resort! This was our best vacation yet! Antigua is a beautiful island, mountainous and tropical. The room and resort itself was top rate as was the service. The only slightly neg is the dining options. There were about five choices for entrees at each restaurant as most were a la cart. My husband has many food allergies so this made his options very limited. The food was fabulous! We are divers so we went on several dives when we were there and saw many amazing sea creatures and beautiful coral! The reef was not as pretty as in Jamaica but we saw more of a variety of fish, turtles and manta rays than we had seen there so it balanced out. The dive team is, as usual, top notch. You wont find a better group of people than at Sandals resorts. We found a dive master from Ocho Rios in Jamaica had transferred to Antigua and were thrilled to dive with him again! We would recommend this resort to anyone who wanted to experience the beauty of Antigua.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
Whitehall
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Wife and I spent our 10 year anniversary at Sandals Grand Antigua and absolutely loved it. We did our homework so we knew what to expect and our expectations were exceeded.
We stayed in the Portofino Walkout Suite which is located on the bottom floor of the main building on the Med side of the resort. The room was very nice, comfortable for two with the added benefit of the fully stocked bar, not that you need more opportunity to drink as there are plenty of bars and people wanting to serve you drinks.
We enjoyed all the restaurants, favorites were Eleanors and Kimonos. OK Corral was good food, but very slow service. Marios was good for breakfast, dinner appetizers and the Lava Cake, but dinner itself was nothing special. Lunch at Barefoot was the best, especially the Jerk Chicken and Pork. The least liked place was Bayside which was nothing but a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You will not go hungry!
In the evening, the entertainment was OK, nothing special. We enjoyed taking walks around the grounds stopping for a drink or two along the way. The social drinking spot in the evening was at the pub, which was fun after we met a few couples to hang out with.
Most days were spent lazily by the pool or at the beach. It was true, if you wanted a lounge chair in the shade, you needed to reserve it by 7ish. If not, no big deal, just get a chair in the sun and go hop in the pool to cool off. We enjoyed taking the Kayaks and the Hobie cat out on the water. The beach vendors were annoying, especially when they had their kids with them on the weekend.
We took the Sandals Exclusive circumnavigate trip. We enjoyed it, but the Atlantic was especially rough and the wife did not do real well with that part of the trip. If I had to do it over, I think I would have rented a taxi for the day instead and gone sight seeing around the island. We did take a taxi into town, waste of my time and money, but the wife enjoys shopping so you go along for the ride. Most of the souvener stuff is crap made in China, so watch out what you buy.
Negatives of the Resort:
They try to sell you 3 things. Pictures, Trips, and Spa treatments. The first two, not too much pressure, the spa is over the top in your face every place you go and was a real detractor. My wife wanted to get a massage while we were there but after the 3rd day of being hounded to sign up for a treatment or massage, she was turned off and elected to pass on it.
Positive of the Resort:
Great food, friendly staff, relaxing atmosphere, all the drinks you could possible want, Cafe de Paris (loved their coffee and expresso).

To sum it up, definitely had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. Definitely interested in staying at a Sandals again. Antigua is a beautiful island and the people are friendly and laid back.

Room Tip: Enjoyed the location on the Med side of the resort.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newport, vt
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

We just returned from an 8 night stay at Sandals Grande Antigua. It was amazing!! We have stayed at previous Sandals in St. Lucia and Jamaica. The whole property is amazing! We were upgraded to a beautiful room on the Mediterranean side, I think we were in the Almond building, 5106. The beach was beautiful, I was a little worried about the vendors bothering us, however I found the spa girls to be far worse. The main pool is a lot of fun, as is volleyball on the Carib side. The food was good, Eleanors is by far our favorite, with Mario's a close second. Cricketers is alot of fun too, we did lots of late night dancing! We also met a lot og fun people and the staff was great! Antonio and Emmanuel got us to play volleyball almost everyday and were a ton of fun. We met a really nice intern too Anete. Melanie at the soon come back desk was awesome. We booked beaches turks and caicos for April and Sandals Emerald Bay for next Nov. We can't wait!! We booked the helicopter tour to Monserrat, it was awesome.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honeoye Falls, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

For those of us who paid for the butler service, Sandals promises that your expectations will be satisfied before you know what they are- it slices! It dices! It's amazing! I'm actually staying in a Sandals suite with a plunge pool right now, and I can tell you that - as nice as this place is - it isn't *that* nice.

The butler service, in particular, is a bit of a joke that I would STRONGLY encourage you to not purchase. This is why:

I don't have terribly high expectations. Really. Feed me, point me to the pool, and I'm generally happy. But when you blow smoke and tell me you are going to bend over backwards to make my vacation amazing if I just pay you $8k for 4 nights, I kind of expect you to deliver.

For example, I traveled 6 hours by car, plane, and bus. When I arrive, I don't expect to sit in a hot lobby for another 20 minutes waiting for a butler to find me. I want to take a shower. Is it too much to have the driver of the crappy shuttle bus call and say we are on the way? I thought I was being picky, but I also thought, you know, so far my expectations haven't been exceeded. I'm not paying through the nose for average, and already, this is average service.

Once back at the room, we were hungry. I called the butler on the little phone he gave us and asked him to send over a steak. Nope. No steak. You can get fried food and pre-made salads at the one place that is open at 3:15pm. What? Is this a joke? Apparently not.

I also asked if the butler could get a floatie from the main pool and bring it to our pool, 100 feet away. Nope. Can he reserve us a floatie in the main pool? Nope. WTF, may I ask, do the butlers do?

Day 2. At about 2pm I called the butler and asked him to bring dinner from one of the restaurants to our room at 6:30. "No problem, sir." Dinner didn't arrive until 7:19, and it was really just below average. (Being late seems to be normal for Sandals Antigua. When we arrived to a 1/3 empty restaurant for dinner last night, they kept us waiting for ten minutes before seating us.) That brings me to my second general gripe. The food is just approaching average. Its almost good but not quite.

We have had three steaks so far. One was no better than what you would expect a local diner to serve for breakfast; it was thin and over spiced. The other two steaks were just not that good. Neither of them was nearly as good as any steak I have had from - no joke - Applebees. Also, the fish here all tastes frozen. I'm honestly shocked about the fish, considering we are in the middle of the ocean.

Booze is another issue. If you look at the videos Sandals posts online, you will hear the phrase "top shelf liquor" repeated over and over again. I really expected to find Patron Anejo, Glenlivet or Glenfiddich 18, etc. So far all I have found is well tequilas and well scotches. None of the mixed drinks are made with fresh fruit. I didn't travel 2,000 miles to get loaded on booze that isn't as good as the stuff I keep at home. Again, I'm really not that picky, but Sandals sold a particular experience, and so far they haven't come close to delivering.

Look, if you get a great deal on a stay at this resort, and if all you want is to stuff yourself with average food and crappy booze, I understand. Buy don't come here thinking there are Vegas-class restaurants or NYC-class bars. There aren't. It just isn't all that amazing. Its nice, but not amazing.

Who knows - we have two nights to go. If there is a dramatic turnaround I'll update this review, but so far I'm disappointed enough that I didn't want to wait.

Room Tip: We are staying in a villa with a plunge pool. Its very nice, but not as nice as say, The Bellagio.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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:
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:
#1 Business Hotel in St. John's
#4 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#4 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#5 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#5 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#7 Family Hotel in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa 5*
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 Hotel St. John`s
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort And Spa
Sandals Antigua
Hotel Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grand Antigua
Antigua Sandals
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa Saint John Parish

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