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“Honest Assessment: From First Time Sandals Visitor” 4 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
Des Moines, Iowa
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Honest Assessment: From First Time Sandals Visitor”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Where to begin!

Pro's: The property is every bit as good as the pictures. The place is kept very clean, is very nice looking, and given the setting by the beach - is truly a little piece of paradise. The included activities were a BIG bonus: snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, tennis, volleyball, etc. were all free and readily accessible. We were never bored! The entertainment staff is hilarious: Emmanuel and Antonio kept the mood quite festive. Can I mention the grounds again? What a tremendously beautiful place. There were several food options and drinks were more than readily available (all kinds of concoctions!)

Con's: 1) Too many rules to get food at night! If you are not wearing recommended attire (IE shorts) at night and don't have reservations, it is actually hard to get food without waiting a long time for a table. This was frustrating on the first day as we couldn't actually find a place that would give us food. After finally finding the one place that would serve us without a long wait, it still took an hour and a half to actually get our food. Then it was small portions (we learned to order two entrees for every meal). I ended up begging a bartender for a banana that night. :-( 2) Inconsistent service. There is complete truth to the reviews that reflect some poor service here. Don't come to Sandals Antigua expecting service that's at the level of basic restaurants like Chili's or Applebees - you won't get it. It's more like McDonalds. Friendly enough, but in no hurry to really meet your needs. Don't get me wrong, there were several staff members that were very friendly and looking out for us, but just as many or more that were just there to do their job. I greeted everyone with a smile and a "how are you"? But often was reciprocated by blank faces; reducing our communication to more of a 'what do you want'. 3) Noise, whether you like it or not - you are up at 9:00 am (on the Caribbean side) as they start their site maintenance promptly at 9:00 am local time. Leaf blowers, hammers, what-sounded-like-chainsaws were in full use making sleep impossible after 9:00am. 4) Long check in process (30 - 45 minutes)

Overall: Once you learn the rules of food (especially dinner), are aggressive about making reservations early to fill up your nights and learn what staff members to work with - this can really be a bit of paradise! I wouldn't go again as a couple (too expensive) but as a group, it was really amazing.

Hope this helps!

Room Tip: I wouldn't pay much for a room as you're spending most of the time outside of it! The Cari...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

We have just returned from Sandals Antigua and once again have enjoyed a wonderful holiday at a wonderful resort.
Our Butlers, as always, were brilliant, ensuring all our needs and requests were met and even going the extra mile decorating our table in all the restaurants we visited delivering the daily paper to our Cabana, running romantic baths and just making sure we had everything we needed without being too invasive………………Thank you Natasha and Kevin.
The restaurants are still all very good; we especially liked the improvements made to the furniture in Eleanor’s (great lobster) and also the new French theme in the Bayside restaurant where the chef has created a fabulous menu. One disappointment however was the menu in the Cricketers Pub, it is limited, is not authentic to a typical English Pub and some of the old favourites are longer available. However when this was pointed out we were assured that it was being addressed.
One huge improvement is the arrival of the wooden sunloungers, they are now in plentiful supply and even though the resort was at capacity I noticed every day there were still beds available at midday due to the pool patio area being extended. The couches around the firepits are also a lovely addition.
Being returning guests we once again enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Signature Guest dinner, made even more enjoyable by spending the evening with the wonderful Teresianne from the Sales department, who is always totally dedicated to ensuring the guests have a wonderful time; a true professional. My gratitude goes to Sandeep for making amongst other things our last day so memorable; Donavon, Althea, Celia, Anika, Stacey, Rosemary, Claudine and far too many others for making our stay so lovely, we really felt like we were returning home to our friends and family at Sandals Antigua.
Unless you are really fussy and hard to please it really is very difficult to find fault with this resort.

Room Tip: Caribbean Grove is so authentic with beautiful gardens, Med side is newer and very much a good resor...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indiana
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

My husband and I usually go on a Sandals vacation for our anniversary every year. Our latest trip, July 14-21, 2012, was to Sandals Grande Antigua and it was amazing. Sandals is a bit pricey, but after seven Sandals trips we know what to expect and know there will not be any hidden costs.

Part of our continued loyalty to Sandals is due to our amazing travel agent Hayley from Beach Bum Vacations. She booked our honeymoon at a Sandals and we had such a wonderful experience that we keep going back every year possible. She takes care of everything up front for us all we have to do is show up to the airport. Hayley also answered my innumerable questions after we booked, but before our trip. For about six months before our trip every day I would go on Trip Advisor and read the new reviews of others who had just been at Sandals Grande Antigua. I then went to Hayley with questions and requests that I had read about. She has a personal relationship with the GM so she clarified all questions, took care of all my concerns and even went above and beyond by taking care of some of my requests before we arrived. Upon arrival at the resort we were greeted by a staff member who said she had been communicating with Hayley and wanted to make sure that all of our desires were acknowledge correctly. Just amazing in my mind. From the moment we stepped onto the property we felt like royalty. All of our worries were whisked away by the ocean breeze to be forgotten for an entire week in paradise. We did receive little perks throughout our stay such as flowers in the room and little snacks that we think we received because Beach Bum Vacations has a relationship with Sandals. There was one small issue we had during our stay and we brought it up to two different people and after two days it was still not resolved. We sent an email to Hayley and within minutes it was taken care of. That right there is why we always book with Beach Bum. There is always someone there for you if you have ANY issues big or small.

The resort is amazingly beautiful. I love the two different sides which have different atmospheres. The big pool or all the small little pools just hidden for you to wonder around and find.

The food was extraordinary. More than one time my husband and I mentioned to each other that the food really was something that stood out at this particular Sandals. The best part was it was not just one restaurant, overall the food and drinks were excellent.

We stayed at Sandals Antigua about five years ago while the Mediterranean side was still being built. At that point there was just Bayside for breakfast. We loved having OK Corral as an a la carte option to mix it up a few mornings. Such a great view up there and it was nice to be able to sit down and enjoy instead of serving ourselves. After eating there for a week the breakfast options at Bayside and Mario’s did get a bit old. It would have been nice to have, for example, different pastries instead of the same ones everyday. I absolutely loved the huge selection of fresh fruit daily. I fell in love with mango while vacationing at St. Lucia, but there I had to hunt and sometimes request mango. It was very hard to find. Here it was readily available and always being refilled. The passion fruit was amazing. Very nice to be able to enjoy tropical fruit and not just the same things we can eat at home in the states.

Lunch was always a joy no matter where we went.

Dinner was good every night. My husband and I had different favorite dinners. He loved Kimono’s. Our waitress, Stacy, was very fun. She played into my husbands request for her to sing a soca song and show us how she dances (whines). She went and got her phone which had a great song on it and sang and danced. Pretty much just to make us happy. It worked. Thanks for going out of your way Stacy.

Another employee who stands out is Dwayne at the Caribbean pool. We told him we liked passion fruit and he made us his special drink that had that in it (addiction). After that we would go out of our way to go over to the Caribbean pool for a drink it we wanted one during that day.

At the returning guest dinner we met Dan the manager of Food and Beverage. The next day we saw him out walking and stopped him to say that he is doing a wonderful job. This was by far one of the best food we have had out of our multiple stays at various Sandals.

House wine and champagne were very good.

The one and only place we did not like so much was Café de Paris. The ladies were nice we just did not like the choices. At Whitehouse we were in the Café a LOT because there was always a case full of all kinds of yummy choices. Here there were only a few pastry choices each time and they were never that good. We would just take a bite to try it and not each the rest. Also, it would be nice if crapes were served more than just a few designated hours a day. We really like the crape place in St. Lucia that offered fresh made to order crapes verses the option here where premade ones were placed in a serving dish. The one time we looked they were smashed together.

One thing that needs to be incorporated into the new Mediterranean pool is a list of drinks hanging like the sundowner bar has. We have been to a few Sandals before so we knew some drinks, but those new to Sandals did not know what to order. There was a lot of people asking people what drinks they had or trying to order drinks by color. They do have laminated pages but because it is often windy those are kept behind the bar so they don’t blow away. I would have liked to try other drinks, but I was only aware of a few and those were ones we learned about at other Sandals. It did seem like new drinks we being created so it would be neat to have a chart that was easily updated showing new and top drinks. Then have the laminated sheet as well showing all drinks.

Suggestions:
1. We like playing shuffleboard on vacation. We save up all year for one vacation and part of our Sandals tradition has become shuffleboard. The one shuffleboard court in Antigua seems to not be placed in the best spot. It is not lighted so we can not play at night which we have done and enjoyed at others. Our suggestion would be to incorporate another shuffleboard that is more visible and more room to play into the winding trails in the Caribbean side or one on the Mediterranean side.

2. We really liked the pool and ping pong tables at the Mediterranean pool. Although if people were playing it made it hard to walk by. More than one time people would be playing ping pong and they stopped so we could walk by without interfering with their game. It was a bit crowded. What about moving the pool tables or just one up to the area above the Mediterranean pool. It would then help protect the tables from the weather a bit more so they would last longer and make more room down below. The observation area did not seem to be utilized at all unless it was people taking pictures on their last day. Putting up a clear plastic or glass along the rails would keep the balls from falling in the pool. Also, this will gave those playing pool a break from the sun which is sometimes needed.

3. It is very nice having the umbrellas provided by Sandals and having one in your room. It would also be nice to have a few umbrellas stands or holders around the property if you are caught by surprise out in the rain. For example, after the SSG dinner it was pouring down. Since our room was on the Mediterranean side we were stuck until the rain let up. Housekeeping could take the extra umbrellas (if there is more than one) out of rooms the next day while cleaning the room to refill the stands. Along these same lines the same night we were stuck we decided to watch the entertainment in the courtyard. The table and chairs we all wet and since everyone was dressed nice for dinner nobody wanted to sit in wet chairs. My husband had to go find a towel to dry off chairs. We have been nice if an employee preemptively did that.

SSG
Upon arrival to our room we were very impressed with the room presentation. Lovely arrangement on the bed with flower petals and the towel shaped like a swan. Gorgeous flower arrangement. Very nice. We also liked having the SSG shirt in our room for us. Nice not having to go pick it up. This was the one and only time we received acknowledgment we were SSG. Other Sandals we received other perks that stood out on our mind which made it special. We go on vacation to celebrate our anniversary every year. Usually that is recognized in some way, but this trip it was not. To Karen’s (loyalty manager) defense she did call our room as we were getting ready for dinner and say that we had left our do no disturb light on most of the day. We accidentally left it on as we left in the morning and we stay out all day until dinner so the light did not go off until we left around 5:30 for dinner. Even though it was on most of the day we thought we would get something that night. Nothing at all. Just a small plate of late night snacks such as chocolate covered strawberries would have been nice. Or since we accidentally left our light on they could have put a happy anniversary sign on our door like we received in Jamaica. Or even delivering something the next day would have been appreciated. The SSG dinner left something to be desired. We spoke to other guests the next day and they said the same thing. The food was not that great and at other Sandals we remember that being the best dinner there. The layout of the tables was not conducive to talking to the manger at your table if you were on the opposite end.

This is not specific to SGA, but a complaint with Sandals SSG department. Before leaving for vacation we asked our travel agent to find out how many paid nights we had because the last SSG dinner we went to they asked us and we were unsure. She was told we had 23 nights + July’s trip =30 nights. She was also told we were currently gold but after this stay we would become Platinum so we would be recognized as Platinum during this stay. We found that a bit odd since we were never recognized as Gold and our agent could not answer why were not. All she knew was what Sandals told her when she inquired. Because of the inquiry before we left we looked on the Sandals website and it listed Spa Hydrotherapy Bath for Two for our level. Our agent told us they are no longer offering the hydrobath but in lieu of that is a thirty minute massage per couple. We were fine with that and were very much looking forward to that. Upon check in nothing was said to us about this. We looked over all the information in the room and saw no mention of it. We did, for the first stay ever, see a print out of our stays. We noticed one stay was missing. We asked multiple times at the Soon Come Back desk about fixing the missing stay. We were told they were waiting to hear back from corporate and when it was cleared up we would get a new print out. Finally, the day of the SSG dinner we bought internet to email our travel agent Hayley since we were getting no where. Within minutes she replied to us so I am not sure what was taking so long for the Sandals employees to respond to us. Our agent was told that she was misinformed the first time and we did not get the massage. A bit of a let down and disappointed. The entire week we never did hear back from anyone at SGA about our inquiry about our missing stay. At least Beach Bum Vacations responded to us.

MUSIC
The music was disappointing. Whitehouse is one of our favorite resorts mainly because of the music. That was one element missing in Antigua. We like to hear local soca music which we only heard for the few hours on Antigua day at the pool. The music was actually a bit annoying because as we were walking the various speakers were competing and none of them matched. We understand everyone likes different music and you have to make everyone happy, if possible For example, the speakers at the Mediterranean pool bar would play one song while the speakers outlying the pool next to the stairs would play a completely different song and the speakers along the path another and those outside Mario’s yet another. You could walk just a few feet and hear four different songs. They should be more synchronized and not such drastic differences. You should be able to walk at least a few feet and hear the same song. We were not bouncing and humming music like we do at Whitehouse. The few times there was a dj at the Mediterranean pool we could not hear the announcements. We sat on the other side of the pool and just could not hear. It took us awhile to even figure out where the announcements and music were coming from. Being hidden under a tree is not the best place. The dj should be on the patio area where the steel drums were set up for Antiguan day. Much easier to hear and see there.

PLAYMAKERS
If this was our first Sandals we would not have even known about playmakers. They were not present at this resort until our last few days. I am not sure if there were new staff who came in or what, but the first part of our vacation we didn’t even think they had playmakers here.

ENTERTAINMENT AND EVENTS
We have a good idea of what to expect after staying at various Sandals. The entertainment and small special events were a let down. It was not just us either. We spoke to other couples who said they were just not going to anything else. The chocolate buffet was not much. The manager wine and cheese cocktail hour was not much. Entertainment was too similar the entire week. We would have preferred to see more of the local talent. There was a band outside of Cricketer’s one night that was supposed to play jazz. They were doing great until the singer showed up late. Once he got up on stage it was no good any more. He was not needed and brought down the band. The same band played at SSG and was very good minus the singer. Also, during the performance Sandals employees would come up and ask if they needed drinks which was interrupting to the songs. That should be done in between songs or sets. The beach BBQ was nice, but we feel the entertainment should be up on a stage like it used to be so that everyone can see better.

ANTIGUAN DAY
This was a bit of a let down. We looked forward to it all week because we enjoyed it at other Sandals. There were only a handful of vendors. Other Sandals have had more vendors with better goods to buy. We normally buy our souvenirs and gifts for others at home here but this time there was nothing that interested us. We were hoping for jewelry, wood carvings or steel drums. I thought for sure a vendor would be there selling steel drums since they were part of the nightly entertainment a few days. Nothing in the resort gift shop interested us either. We ended up buying things at the airport when we would have rather not waited until the very last minute. Also, the dancers were awful. Not entertaining at all especially the girls. The boys did try. The girls just stood in a circle and bounced back and forth on their feet.

THINGS WE LOVED
• The lights saying do not disturb or make up room. These are great to have. At other resorts it seems housekeeping would always come while we were napping or getting ready for dinner and this way we were never disturbed. The rooms are very clean and roomy.
• We liked knowing the names of employees who we could call if we needed something. We never did, but it was nice knowing Karen or Jewlie were there if we needed them. They both remembered us and said ‘hi’ if we passed them on the property.
• I can not remember his name right now, but the male employee who works in water sports and drives the boats. He was also at the SSG dinner. I would recognize his name if you said, but I am drawing a blank right now. Very nice man who we felt went out of his way to make sure we were having a good time. Kudos to him.
• At other Sandals we did not walk away knowing the names of any employees. Here there were a handful who stood out to us. That is something special.
• Multiple pool tables. If one was taken we just went to another and could usually find a free one.
• Red Lane spa employees were around and did ask if you wanted a massage a few times, but not annoying and did not hound you like other Sandals. Nice presence without being overbearing.


We did notice that plans did change. For example, white night. We read somewhere it was Wednesday but then it was on Tuesday. A bit confusing. Also, we read the SSG dinner was going to be on the Mediterranean side in the conference facility. We were looking forward to that because we were sure it would be more fancy than the last SSG we were at which was at Bayside. But it ended up being at Bayside.

Once again great work Dan in Food and Beverage. He does great work. We saw him out and about every day. He has some great employees as well.


DEPARTURE LOUNGE
This is a nice perk to have. We did use it because we did not have to leave until 2:00. A few comments from my personal experience. The liquid in the shower is not labeled. I had no idea if it was shampoo, conditioner or body wash. It would be been nice to have towels in there. We went to the pool to find towels and there were out at the moment so that was not very accommodating since you need a towel to take a shower. Also, other Sandals have provided lotion and a few other small bathroom amenities that made it very nice which were missing. Last the temperature in the lounge is unbearably hot. After showering I went to use the restroom and was dripping with sweat. My husband said that same thing that his lounge was very very very warm.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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.

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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:
#2 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
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 
Reservation Options:
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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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