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“Awesome 10 year anniversary trip!” 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
Halifax, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Awesome 10 year anniversary trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

My wife and I had an amazing time at sandals Antigua. Here's a little rundown of our experience.

CHECK in: very close drive from the airport which is very important to us. On arrival we were made aware that Beach Bum vacations had arraigned a complimentary upgrade to the newer Mediterranean side. Our walkout room on the main building had everything we could ask for.

BEACH: my wife generally prefers the beach area to resort pools so we spent a lot of time by the beach and later in the afternoon we would head to the main pool to check out the action. The beach was fantastic! There is the occasional local that would try to sell you something but were not pushy after a polite no thank you. We used the paddle boards and rented jet ski's which was a lot of fun. Getting chairs on the beach didn't seem to be much of an issue. There were waitresses on the beach as well but we tended to take turns going for a quick walk to the bar just to keep the legs moving throughout the day. We were a little concerned that the beach didn't seem very wide from pictures that we saw on the internet but this was not the case. You could go quite a distance down the beach but we tended to make our walks shorter to keep an eye on our stuff.

POOLS: We spent most of our pool time at the main pool in the Med area. The pool bar was always easy to get a drink and the pool itself was beautiful. Although it was quite busy, we could usually find a chairs and slowly make our way to a more preferred area once guests leave. Many would leave towels/books etc on chairs to save them only to come back a few hours later to gather their things and leave. As with any resort pool bar there is always a few guys drinking for numerous hours in a row without going to the bathroom but what can you do!!! I guess they think no one notices? The floatation mats were popular but if you were patient enough or in the right spot most people would offer one up to you as they were leaving. We did spend an afternoon at the older main pool on the other side it it was nice as well. There was a full on volleyball game there and if I wasn't being lazy I would have joined in.

FOOD: LOVED the sushi bar!!!! Only disappointment was that it wasn't open every night. It didn't require a reservation so we often times went there just for appetizers before our reservations were made. Once you placed your order they would have at least part of your order on your table in 2 minutes which we thought would compromise the quality but it didn't. Beach Bum vacations pre-booked our reservations which we really appreciated. We enjoyed the grill by the beach and the tapanyake restaurant. The pizza place was quite good and breakfasts were great. We really enjoyed the beach night where there was tons of food selection and steel band entertainment all on the beach. I would say this resort had the best food of any of our all inclusive vacations.

BAR/NIGHTLIFE: Crickateers pub was a lot of fun. We would often meet up with a few couples we met over the week and play pool. One night was karaoke which was a blast. There isn't a "Disco" or similar bar but there was quite a bit of action at this pub and there were other options for a late night drinks if couples preferred something more quiet. The piano bar was a lot of fun one night although our English friends we met had a similar voice problem as we did the next day!

DRINKS: the regular wine selection was fairly good. Could always be better but it does beat most all inclusives that we've been to. They were more than happy to make any drink you desired or adjust one of the regular cocktails on the menu. Beer was cold and not flat which is very important to me. I can't remember the Beer being served but it was pretty good.(it was not as good as Budlight or Keiths light but I survived!)

SERVICE: we thought the service was excellent and really have no complaint with the professionalism we saw.

BUGS: they do spray every evening before supper which I think made a difference. The bugs like my wife more than me so she was bitten a couple times per night but I didn't think they were bad.

LANDSCAPE/VEGITATION: This was a beautiful resort that had tons of flowers and tropical plants around the grounds. The property excellent in this regard and you could tell they took a special interest and pride in the landscaping.

OVERALL: WE WILL BE BACK SOMEDAY!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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4,429 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,025)
Date | Rating
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English first
Aurora, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We had the butler service at Sandals and loved it. Our rooms overlooking the resort and the
ocean were beautiful. Each evening we sat on our balcony and watched the sunset with the
cheese, fruit and crackers that showed up magically each night in our unit. They also provided
us was plenty of alcohol to at to the enjoyment. The beach was nice but a little busy. Our butler set up a cabana for us each morning and hence we did not have to get up early to reserve (by
putting something like a towel on a lounge which we have had to do at other resorts and hate)
a shady spot on the beach. We have had better food at other resorts but most of our meals
were good espcially breakfast at Mario's and dinner at the O. K. Corral. We found the staff
generally very helpful. Other reviewers have complained about the friendlyness of the staff but
we found them at worst a little shy or reserved. We actually prefer to be able to tip the staff because we believe you end up getting better service. Another big plus of this resort is all the free water sports they provide. We really enjoyed the catamarans. We have already sighned
up for another stay next year.

Room Tip: Upper floors of the Cypress Tower are really quiet with great views, large balconies.
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
    • 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.
New Hyde Park, New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013 via mobile

This was my second trip to this resort. I cannot believe anyone has a complaint here! It was even more awesome the second time.
Management is the best. Matthew, Ezra and Gerald are wonderful. They go out of their way to make every guest happy.
The grounds are magnificent, the food was superb and the rooms are beautiful.
We met fun people here that made our stay even more fantastic. By the end of the week we were a group of 30 people who had just met at the resort.
A vacation is what you put into it. Some people just like to complain (about everything).

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

My husband and I honeymooned at Sandals Grande Antigua January 22 - February 1, 2013. After reading many of the reviews we had some reservations but in the end were extremely pleased with our stay. We were in a Venetian Oceanview Suite on the second floor of the Cypress Tower. The room was nicely decorated and very comfortable. I loved the jetted tub and rain shower head. The water pressure was very good. We had none of the problems with power outages or air conditioning that other reviewers have. Our view was of the Mediterranean Village grounds and the ocean beyond. Rooms on the higher floors have more dramatic views but we were happy with ours. We watched hummingbirds in the bushes outside each morning. My only complaint is that I wish our balcony was larger. We liked being on this side of the resort since it's newer and our room was conveniently located, but the Caribbean side is charming as well. It just depends what you want.
We ate at all of the restaurants except Bayside and never had any trouble getting reservations. The food was very good in all of them. I did have a meal or two that was a bit on the salty side but this was the exception, not the rule. Overall we found the food flavorful and well-prepared. Eleanor's was hands-down our favorite. Service at breakfast was slow but everyone treated us warmly. Dinner service was excellent and very attentive. Stacey at Kimono's, Omarie at OK Corral, and Lisa and Shannon at Eleanor's all went above and beyond. We loved Althea at the pool bar! She makes the best mojitos and martinis! We also found the concierge staff to be helpful anytime we needed assistance.
The beach is beautiful. It's narrow, but long so it's great for walking. The sand is white and soft and the water is a gorgeous shade of blue. It wasn't especially clear at the resort but the snorkeling was good both times I went. The vendors will approach you but as others have noted a simple "no thank you" does the trick. If you do take some time to talk with any of them, you'll find them pleasant. They're more than happy to tell you about their home or answer questions.
Antigua is a lovely island. We hired a taxi with another couple for a tour and it was well worth it. It was more rugged than I expected and there is so much history. I highly recommend a day to explore!
There were a couple of days that we had a hard time finding loungers in the shade by the main pool. The butlers do reserve them but there are generally plenty to go around. There are several smaller pools around the property that get shade throughout the day if you don't mind a more quiet atmosphere.
Many people have complained about the cats. Yes, they are there but we had no issues. I saw the same few during the entire 11 days and for the most part they kept to themselves. We weren't bothered by the tree frogs either. But when it comes to insect bites, I would have to agree; bring bug spray!
The resort is spread out but we didn't mind the walks since the grounds were stunning. The Caribbean side is so lush. It's more lively on that side at night if that's what you're looking for. If not, we loved the fire pits near the beach to relax after dinner and cocktails.
I had a spa treatment while we were there and I loved it. Collette gave a terrific massage and the entire experience was very relaxing.
Overall, we were happy with our decision to stay here and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it or another Sandals. We will absolutely return but there are other places we'd like to visit first.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Egg harbor twp., New Jersey
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Sandals Antigua is paradise the resort is just beautiful, the food was outstanding, drinks were great and the staff was great. The beach was beautiful and there was not one complaint about anything. We have been to a lot of places in the Caribbean and this was by far our favorite. We stayed on the Mediterranean side in a ocean view suite and it had a amazing view. There are lots of excursions you can do but we were so happy with everything at the resort we just stayed there all week. The pictures on the website are exactly what it looks like there just beautiful. We ate at all the restaurants and the food was all outstanding. If you read any negative reviews don't believe them this is a wonderful resort and if your thinking about going do it you will not be sorry. We had a private dinner on the beach for our anniversary and that was outstanding also. So to sum it up Go To Sandals Antigua you will be in heaven. Also have a sunset photo shoot with the photo shop on the resort they took pictures for us they were beautiful.

Room Tip: We stayed on the Mediterranean side in a ocean view suite it had a amazing view and the room was bea...
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  • Stayed January 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barnstaple, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We are just coming to the end of the most wonderful week at Sandals Grande Antigua. My husband and I have managed to escape for a week to celebrate my 40th and this resort has provided total relaxation. We are staying in a suite in the Mediterranean village and have great views, our own hot tub, rain shower and generous mini bar. The restaurants have been better than we expected for all inclusive and we'd recommend the Japanese where they have the most amazing sushi & the highly entertaining chef cooks and juggles! Although i would recommend you make your reservations soon after arrival. The staff are warm and attentive (Celia has been especially kind) and we have felt very looked after, placing and receiving orders from the lounger! On the cocktail front I would recommend a Chocolate Monkey! We are now just working out how we can return...

  • Stayed February 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

It's nice to be able to compare one Sandals to another. Last year, we were at Halcyon in St. Lucia, and many people recommended the Antigua property...so off we went. We stayed in the Caribbean side which as some previous reviewers had mentioned...is a tad "tired." It needs a bit of tender loving care, but nothing major. Overall, our room was wonderful and in a great location overlooking the sea.

We noticed the service level was different than in St. Lucia...the staff was mostly very friendly and helpful...but some were less than top quality. I'll share one event.

The "premier" restaurant at Antigua is Eleanor's where you actually need a reservation. We had to wait to our last night to get one. There, you can get lobster and very nice decor. But the Maitre-D could not find our reservation (despite the fact we had the slip of paper they provided when we made it) and pretty much argued with us about having one. They reluctantly seated us only to be pretty much ignored after that. Late drink order, no bread (everyone got it)...and our lobster was dried out and flavorless. So...my point is that if you miss Eleanor's while you're there, you haven't missed anything at all.

Sushi restaurant was fun and pretty good for where you are. Best restaurant for us was Bayside for dinner. Great French food and wonderful service. We sat outside with a great view all evening. Other food was very good at Barefoot...where you sit at tables on the beach with great grilled fish...wonderful.

The Mediterranean Side is newer and seemed to attract more of the newly weds and heavy drinkers at the pool. It was loud and a "happening" place to be during the day and night. Not our style, but lots of fun for sure. Marios Restaurant is nice, but Italian food is so available to us, it wasn't special at all. We also agreed we would not want to stay 7 stories up for a view that you only use for an hour a day. Mostly, we feel the room is a place to sleep and change clothes...otherwise, you are out on the property doing stuff all day.

We had a credit for the RedLine Spa which we took advantage of. Very nice massage and terrific staff. We were not shocked to hear them recommend another massage before we left the island. A tad "salesy" but we just said no thanks. Same for the beaches...several locals selling their goods. Beaches are all public in Antigua...but we did not feel abused at all.

Highly recommend the Extreme Circumnavigation tour around the island. Super boats, OK lunch, but you see a lot and get to snorkel with the Stingrays. A Bucket List item now checked off.

So, go for the fun, the view, the beach, and the relaxation. It's resort living at a high level. Enjoy it and take LOTS of sun block with you.

Room Tip: Rooms with the plunge pools are nice, but not as "private" as it appears on the website...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.
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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 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#4 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#5 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#5 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#8 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 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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