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“Not as good as hotels marketed at a similar level or the Grande St Lucia” 3 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
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“Not as good as hotels marketed at a similar level or the Grande St Lucia”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

We booked a private transfer, this was efficient and the driver was interesting. On the way back it was late picking us up, we thought we'd been forgotten but again the driver was charming.
Didn't get the usual warm Sandals welcome at check in that we've had on previous occasions which really took us aback, and with hindsight somewhat set the scene for the trip.
The room was in the big Med building when we'd been expecting a Caribbean room in the grounds, I was later told we had been upgraded and offered the room we booked if we wanted to change. However, the room itself was great - clean, spacious, sea view above the trees, large bathroom, plenty of towels, air con worked well and so on. Housekeeping service was good. Mini bar was stocked with everything and replenished daily. This was the only benefit I could see of the concierge service, though on the 8th day we got some cookies and a card addressed to another couple advising us to call if we needed anything. Maybe on day 1 someone else got ours!
The grounds are beautiful, immaculately maintained and designed.
The wifi was $43US a week and it worked very well all round the resort. $50US for late check out on departure day.
The spa needs modernisation - it's basic and they played the local radio station, the repetitive commercial jingles weren't very relaxing while you had a treatment.
Tried all of the restaurants in the evening except sushi and they were just 'ok' except Barefoot which was good, though as with all the restaurants the portions were very small. Share a pizza in the afternoon. Lunch and breakfast was mostly buffets, good choice of food, especially if you like flies. Can understand flies are hard to prevent in Bayside being open air, but in Mario's, no. They should use covers.
The service was the biggest surprise, and disappointment, for example on numerous occasions we had to ask for drinks several times (even wine which all inc hotels usually have someone topping up) and in general it wasn't the warm Caribbean or Sandals welcome that they are famous for. If you asked a question you got a curt answer. With the exception of the playmakers who were wonderful (didn't bother you if you didn't want to 'play' but put on fun games that were just as much fun to watch as participate) and the staff serving drinks around the pool. In Eleanor's the waitress spilt the soup over my partner's shirt and didn't even say sorry, she just walked away to get a cloth. Luckily as it turns out the soup was cold, so we sent it back.
I felt sorry for people who were only there a few nights, as unless you are in a Butler suite the restaurants for the evening require booking and you have to be at the front desk 2 days before at 8.30am to be in with a chance of getting a table, even arriving on the dot we found only 6pm or 9pm tables left. We met some people who had contacted another couple via the Sandals facebook page who were arriving earlier, and asked them to book Eleanor's for them! Good thinking!
Anyway we just laughed and had a great time regardless, how can you fail to in the Caribbean. Just wouldn't return to this hotel. The helicopter trip to Montserrat was amazing, definitely recommend that. We also went to Shirley Heights, this was good fun, very touristy, but nice to break up the holiday and get a few hours out of the hotel surroundings. We could no longer face the queue for restaurant bookings or the so-so food so we ate out on the last night, at Blue Waters Hotel, beautiful restaurant looking down on the bay, recommend it.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,089)
Date | Rating
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English first
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Grand Antigua for our honeymoon in May 2012. We had such a great time. We are not crazy adventurous people and wanted a nice place to relax and recoup from our wedding. Hopefully this review helps you make a great choice!

Hotel: The grounds of this hotel are beautiful!! The resort is surprisingly large, though easy to figure out where everything is. The ride to the hotel from the airport is about 15-20 minutes, but it does take a good amount of time once you're out of the airport to get situated in the van before you leave. We were greeted with champagne at check in! The beach is pretty. The main pool is large and hard to get a chair at. There is music and activities throughout the day that give the pool a lot of energy. There is another pool a bit smaller that also has a swim up bar and a few actitives, but is a little more low key. Then some of the buildings have a pool and that is really quiet and relaxing.

Room: We stayed in the Sunset Bluff Honeymoon Concierge Room. The room was very spacious, although the bathroom was not super large. The shower was average size. Our balcony overlooked one of the private pools. We were on the second floor and LOVED our view. It was quiet and serene, but also neat to have a pool there. It was far enough away from all the music and activities of the main pool.

Concierge is helpful only if you are getting the room for the in room stocked bar, which is why we decided on this room. The alcohol is not what you will find in the states, beer is not good, but the rum is made on the island and is DELICIOUS. I drank mostly rum and cokes while I was there. They say the stock the bar daily, but you do have to call them and it sometimes takes them some time to get to your room. We didn't have any trouble with the amount of liquor, but the sodas and bottled waters went quick. They did book our restaurant reservations for us and we had no problem getting a good time for seating. No idea if it is easy or difficult without using them because they did it for us. They also brought bags to our room which was nice.

Food: We ate at every restaurant at the hotel. I won't bore you with a run down of every one, but would suggest to not waste your time at the the OK Coral. It was a mediocore version of Tex Mex. The sushi bar was great, but is actually located at Kimonos and it is a sit down enviornment outside. Elenor's was by far our favorite, we actually ate there twice. The swordfish on the island is incredible. Bella's pizza is great too for a nice bit to eat for lunch, but pre call your food or you could wait almost 45 mins for a pizza. The people that worked there were also not very nice. The buffets for breakfast and lunch were exactly what you would suspect from any buffet. Nothing bad, but nothing superior, it's a buffet.

Tours: We chose to do the Antigua Tour which took us through all the villages on the island. It was so wonderful! We got a chance to see the island and get off the resort. I would def recommend and it was not that pricey either. We also did the Xtreme Circumnavigation tour. This is for those who enjoy adventure and being on the go. It was a bit much for us and the weather was not that great. It takes you in a speedboat all the way around the island, through Carribbean and Atlantic waters. I honestly would not really recommend and it was pretty expensive. You do get to do some great snorkling and swim with stringrays.

All in all we really enjoyed our stay. We don't have anything horrible to say about the place. You should def bring bug spray though, as on any island, the sand fleas are pretty bad. We really enjoy Sandal's resorts and even booked another trip to one in the Bahamas for our anniversary. Sandals is by far the best deal, although it seems more expensive, it truly is all inclusive and you don't have to worry about safety, food issues, water issues etc. Def worth it!!!

Room Tip: The pictures on the Sandals website are very true to what you will get in a room.
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
POS
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

My wife and I visited Sandals Grande Antigua for a 3 Night stay and I must say it was indeed more than we can ask for. We stayed on the Mediteranian Side. This resort has everything going for it, a romantic ambiance, exceptional staff that goes beyond the call, great restarunts, party atmosphere or quiet time, whatever you want to do.

This was my second trip to a Sandals resort and was more impressed than the first. The concierge team made us feel special, as we were on a late anniversary trip, when we checked in our bed had rose petals scattered all over and a bubble bath was set with a bottle of bubbly on ice and flowers neatly placed in the tub (thanks Sandals). We were absoutlely stunned and loved it.

The resort itself is well maintained, nice rooms, beautiful gardens / grounds, a very nice beach a stunning main pool and most of all a great staff. The fire pits at night was a nice touch and well recieved.

I visited the SPA twice and I honestly thought that I got alot more than what I paid for. The therapists that did the massages seemed to be well trained because when I left I was more than satisfied. I work in a very stressful position and I went with a year of stress to Red Lane and came out feeling renewed. I even asked my wife if we could take the therapist back home (she was that good).

We did the sunset cruise which we both loved and so did the other couples that were on. I did not get to visit St John or anywhere else on the Island but we do intend to visit again soon.

Forget all the negative reviews and give it a try this place is probably the closest to Paradise

All in all was well worth it and I will definitely be visiting Sandals Antigua again.

Room Tip: Stayed in 7417 Med side and had a beautiful view of the pool and beach.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Burlington, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

we just got back from an 8 day stay. This was our first Sandals experience, and we never want to stay at another resort! I have celiac disease which usually makes it very difficult to eat on vacation, but all the staff was knowledgeable! I always had so many options to choose from on the menu, because they will modify most of it to make it gluten free. Mario's (the Italian restaurant) had gluten free options (if you want the most options, let them know the night before you want to go and they will be sure to have bread and pasta ready for you, they do not take reservations at this restaurant). Vanessa from Mario's walked me through the entire antipasto buffet to let me know what is safe to eat. Also, let her know if you want g free pizza, she'll be sure the dough is made up for you the next day so you can enjoy pizza by the pool. Rochelle from OK Corral was an excellent chef and made me feel very comfortable about all the food choices. Even at Kimono's, they have a gluten-free menu, they prepare all of g free food on the clean grill before they start cooking all the other foods so as to avoid cross contamination.

We booked the honeymoon Orchid room and we were in the Oleander building, located on the Carribean side. Room was beautiful and clean. Matress seemed a little dated but was still comfortable, king size, four poster bed. Carribean side is a little older, however, it is much closer to all the restaurants, short walk to the big Mediterranean pool and the beach.

Resort is smaller then it looks on the maps, so you can walk everywhere very quickly, but it isnt so small that it seems crowded.

So much staff and everyone is so helpful. Anytime we asked for anything, the answer was always yes.

When you go to the swim up bar in the Med side, you must order:
-Chocolate Monkey
-Raggae Top
-Miami Vice
-Blue Soul

incredible vacation and we cannot wait to go back!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
alberta
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

Perfect setting and and exceptional service. Beautiful country! Food was really good though we never ate at the buffet as there was so many other options. Our favorite was the Italian restaurant for breakfast & dinner. Really good Pizza place as well.... Don't listen to any of the bad reviews. this place is paradise.

  • Stayed March 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oshawa, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

This was a wonderful vacation resort. You could be as busy or as quiet as you chose. There were always things to engage in or a lovely beach to relax on. The rooms were great and spotlessly maintained! The staff were friendly and efficient and went beyond the call of duty to be helpful. We stayed in the Caribbean grove side of the resort and loved it. If you want a faster moving more hip vacation then I would recommend the Mediterranean side of the resort.
It is the first resort we have been to that the general manager as well as the managers were friendly and easy to converse with. They mingled with the guests easily. There were staff and management with various language skills, which made it simpler for some of the non-english speaking guests. The food in the restaurants was nicely prepared and well presented in a consistently timely manner, and there were a variety of restaurants to chose from. During our stay the resort was operating at near maximum capacity, but you never felt rushed or crowded. It was an amazing vacation and we are already planning a trip back to celebrate our anniversary. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Varese, Italy
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 Family Hotel in St. John's
#5 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#5 Luxury 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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