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“Great Escape” 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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$305 Spa or Tour Credit!
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in St. John's
London
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Great Escape”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Having left London just before a snowflake shut down all transport links it was great to board the Virgin Atlantic flight for an escape to some winter sun, the flight was via Barbados so the relatively cheap upgrade to premium economy was worthwhile and the in flight movie selection made the time 'fly.'
Upon arrival at Antigua the welcome oven door effect, shedding of winter clothing, quick passage through arrivals and transfer to Sandals was most welcomed.
We were upgraded to a honeymoon suite in the Mediterranean village, nice clean room and views of the gardens and the sea from the little balcony.
The many bars on site all served premium spirits and served great cocktails, the restaurants, food and service was very professional and of a high standard.
All the staff were exceptionally polite, always smiled and said hello whenever they passed by, customer service with a UPA always evident.
We did a couple of trips, booked with the excellent Virgin rep, Catamaran 'Excellence' around the island with snorkelling and beach barbie, Jeep safari trip with many stops at the top sites and photo opportunities galore.
The usual pool lounger nonsense was evident with all beds 'reserved' before breakfast ended, not a big deal as the beach was great and the sun was shining.
A lovely island with friendly people - enjoy !

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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4,465 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 (1,044)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Calgary
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We spent a week at the resort at the end of January. The experience can be summed up as excellent! Antigua is absolutely beautiful and the weather was perfect. We had a few 5 minute rain showers over the course of the week but that didn't hamper anything. In fact it was refreshing.

Upon arriving at the airport in Antigua, the Sandals desk was easily found across the lane in front of the terminal. After checking in with the staff, we were quickly shown to a van along with several other couples for transfer to the resort. The drive from the airport to the result was about 20 minutes.

Once we arrived at the resort, the Sandals staff did a great job of getting us checked in and briefed, all while enjoying a glass of welcome champagne. The property is beautiful, clean, well laid out, and really does have all you could ask for. Our room in the Caribbean Grove was clean, comfortable, and steps to the beach. We opted to purchase wifi for the week at a cost of $6 per day. Although it would be nice to have it included, we felt the price was reasonable and the system worked fairly well. If you need a strong signal, just find one of the numerous small post mounted wood enclosures scattered throughout the grounds - they house the wifi antennas.

The restaurants and bars were all very good. We highly recommend the Japanese restaurant Kimonos. Book your reservation for this one as soon as you arrive. You will be seated with 3 other couples for a fantastic meal prepared table side and get the chance to meet people you otherwise would not have. We met two great couples that we ended up spending the remainder of the week with. If you like sushi, you MUST try Soy Sushi Bar next to Kimonos. It was excellent and doesn't require reservations. Also, don't miss the beach party dinner. Another great time and opportunity to meet others. The bartenders don't skimp out on the alcohol at this resort. Try the Banana Sip Sop. You'll be hooked! A couple of great places to grab traditional snack food is the Courtyard Bistro (unmarked and inconspicuous next to Bayside Restaurant) and the Bella Napoli Pizzeria where you can grab a quick thin crust pizza to go.

There are lots of activities to enjoy at the resort. We took the Hobie Cat sailboats out several times and really enjoyed the fun. Another day, we walked down the beach to Tony's Watersports and rented 4 jet skis for some fun on the water. What a blast! Don't be afraid to barter on the price. We booked a trip at the activity desk for a morning shopping excursion into St. Johns. It was ok but there was nothing spectacular to see once there. Its a typical cruise ship port market experience. I was disappointed by the absence of local food choices, which was something I was looking forward to.

Back at the resort, keep an eye open for Calypso Joe singing and playing his guitar in the main lobby. He was great and very entertaining. The entertainment in general was fantastic. Check the entertainment board in the courtyard for the daily shows.

If you are thinking of visiting the Sandals Antigua Grande, don't think twice. It is an excellent resort which I'm sure you'll be totally satisfied. We would go back in a heartbeat and definitely plan to visit again.

  • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
See more room tips
  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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...
See more room tips
  • 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.
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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
#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 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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