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“It's Paradise!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Dickenson Bay, St. John's, Antigua   |  
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Ranked #5 of 20 hotels in St. John's
Woodstock, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“It's Paradise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I are regular guests of Sandals...This year for our 1st Anniversary, we wanted to visit an island we hadn't been to yet...So, February 10th-18th, it was off to Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa..
Now first off, don't you dare pay any attention to the handful of "terrible" reviews on this site regarding the resort..It's absolutely beautiful!
We stayed on the Caribbean side in a Concierge Room..It was clean, spacious and our fridge was stocked daily with all of our favorite drinks..
The restaurants were full of great food and amazing atmosphere..Our favorite's were Mario's and Kimonos..Try the Lava Cake for desert at Mario's, it's an evil delight..
The beach was gorgeous...White sand, turquoise waters and very little wind made for restful lounging and sunbathing..The vendors out there were courteous and respectful..
There are several pools, however nothing beat the atmosphere at the largest one located below the Mediterranean buildings..The music was great, the water was warm yet still refreshing and the swim up bar really came in handy...My two favorite drinks besides their local beer "Waddalli" were the "Dirty Banana" and "Miami Vice" (both frozen drinks)...Other reviewers boasted about no "pool chair wars"...Unfortunately, the chair vultures are everywhere, this place being no exception..The resort even posts signs discouraging this behavior, however you'll quickly learn that if you can't beat'm, you might as well join'em..Just get your towel and magazine on your favorite chair by 8:30 or you might be forced somewhere less desireable..
Lots of people complained about mot getting restaurant reservations, or special treatment for some guests who don't have to wait in lines either at dinner or for seating at the pool..I'll save you some confusion...The guests that pay extra for Suites which include a Butler get special treatment..It's a little annoying at first, but I can totally understand..I know how much those options cost..How can you not expect some special amenities? Good for them, we were envious..
Anyway, we had
an amazing time..It was romantic, relaxing and fun..If you're a returning Sandals guest, don't miss the Gala Dinner put on my Management..It was elegant, entertaining and they really know how to show their appreciation..
Thanks to all the wonderful staff..Everyone is helpful and accommodating..Other reviewers with the opposite opinion obviously expect to much from these people..They were great..We even had a guitar player/singer serenade us while we ate lunch on our last day to say goodbye...It was corny, but cute...
Although we plan to try a different Sandals on another island next year, I plan on insisting our return to Sandals Grande Antigua again soon! Cheers!!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (808)
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English first
Isle of Skye, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

This was our third visit hear it and what more can i say just as lovely as ever, there has been some nice additions too which have made that extra sparkle , we just love this resort (and other sandals resorts too) the staff are all so freindly (especialy Claudie and Kema), get involved with the water sports and your find the staff there are great fun , we took my wifes brother and partner along with us this time it was there first visit ,they were amazed how lovely the resort and gardens were they loved every minute of there stay there , the court yard cafe is a great little spot to have an early morning coffee and a great little place to have cakes and tea or coffee in the afternoon, the gardens are kept emaculate which makes the resort so nice, will be looking forward to our next visit here again some time again

Terry and Julie

  • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Sioux City, Nebraska
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

Wife and I spend a week here for our honeymoon in July of 2012...only had a few minor issues that bugged me not my wife...first off the room we had paid for didnt quite match the pictures from the website but was still a nice little room by the volleyball pit...only other issue was our air conditioner started dripping like crazy which I was ok with but it took 3 calls to the desk to get someone to fix it...over all great experience and the food was awesome...most importantly the intern or whatever he was named Junior was absoulty amazing, he seemed to truely care about our happiness, saw him several times and everytime he had a huge smile on his face and took the time to chat with us...great employee and hope Sandals keeps him around...

  • Stayed July 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
    • 4 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.
Stoney Creek
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

We wanted a trip where we didn't have to worry about a thing, and we got it! Right from checking in to checking out. The property was so well landscaped, rooms were clean and well stocked, food was good and beach was beautiful. The staff was polite and very friendly. We always found a lounge chair, be it on the beach or by the pool. I'm trying to find a thing I can complain about, and there is nothing....except having to go home to cold weather. This was our first experience at a Sandals and we loved it. It does cost a little bit more, but it's worth it. We are already planning our next trip.

Room Tip: Select Rooms on the Meditranian side, newer rooms. Carribean side is old part.
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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

My husband and I were looking for a relaxing mid winter getaway. We have been to several other Caribbean Islands, including an all inclusive in DR but this was our first time to Sandals. We do a lot of other trips that involve hiking and biking and other activities but we just wanted to lay in the sun for a few days. Our experience was exactly what we hoped for. The property was quite large and the gardens were beautiful. We stayed on the Caribbean side and our room in sunset bluff was standard and the bathroom needed to be a bit larger with an extra vanity but it was fine for the price.

There were plenty of choices for eating and making reservations was not an issue as long as you make them in advance. If you are going for the food then you may be disappointed. This is an all inclusive so do not expect 5 star dining, but by no means in the food bad.

We found the staff to be very nice contrary to the prior reviews. The main pool was fabulous and there were plenty of chairs even at 10:00 a.m., although getting one with an umbrella is next to impossible unless you have a butler to reserve one for you. The beach was clean and the water was warmer than the pool, no issues with people trying to sell you stuff. Just say a polite no and they leave you alone.

We highly recommend taking a catamaran tour with Wadadli Cats. It is a 7 hour excursion around the entire island. They stop at a secluded beach to snorkel and we were quite impressed with the lunch. The staff on the catamaran was fabulous and kept the drinks flowing the entire afternoon. They pick you up and drop you off right from the beach in front of the hotel.

We had a direct flight out of JFK and arrived in Antigua in less than 4 hours. The transfer was 15 minutes tops. Antigua is beautiful and we met some really great people from LI, NJ and Toronto. We really enjoyed the Sandals experience and aside from the excursion you do not have to spend a dollar. If you are looking for a nice beach get away with your significant other and don't want to deal with kids screaming at the pool then give Sandals a try. We are already planning a trip for next year to another Sandals location.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chippenham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

We visited Sandals Grande Antigua on 04/01/13 - 18/01/13. This was our fourth visit, last year we tried St.Luca, but this has always been our favourite. Everything was mostly as we remembered from 2011 however the restaurant food standards have dropped somewhat. With the exception of Bayside we found that the menus were very repetitive especially Eleanors, which was always our favourite. Over 14 days the menu remained the same.... this was to say the least a disappointment . Also despite sample menus on the website the sweets were actually 'no choice' just three mini selections on one plate. We found this really not up to the Sandals standard and many other guests we met were also disappointed.

We were hoping to return next year, as we qualify for a free week, but if this is the standard we may have to reconsider and chose another Sandals elsewhere, that will hopefully have the old standards still in place.

  • Stayed January 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We visited Feb 3-10 2013.
On previous trips we have noticed either Sandals lounges or Sandals reps greeting the passengers on arrival at the various Airports. We arrived in Antigua to find an empty Sandals kiosk & seemingly had to join a communal line up which took well over 1/2 hr to be allocated a vehicle.
This was probably the dirtiest vehicle I have ever been in, I think the driver used it for construction purposes in between flights... disappointed
As expected on arrival at the hotel we were informed our room wouldn't be ready for another hour (ok, we are probably taking over a room that was vacated by 11am, so how come it can't be ready within 3 hrs???)
The next morning (Monday) on the way to our orientation at 10 am we found the concierge in the mediterranean village so we decided to book restaurants.
We asked for a reservation at Eleanor's for thursday, only to be told we could have the next Sunday (after our departure) or that night at 6-15 as there was a cancellation. We also had difficulty booking Kimonos & settled on 9-15 Thursday.
We ordered crab cakes at Eleanor's & Lobster for the main course.
These where the smallest crab cakes we have ever had, 2 of them about the size of a small meat ball & cold. The waitress did replace them much to the displeasure of the chef, who I could view from my table. The Lobster was good, but there was no garlic butter and it came with scallop potatoes!!!... disappointed & not gourmet dining.
We ate at Mario's on the tuesday, but had to wait for 20 mins which turned into 40 mins.
My wife's Chicken parmesan was dried out, my Steak was very fatty, with one half cooked medium & the other blue... disappointed..no better the "pub food"
Every afternoon we had a pizza at Bella Napoli, this was excellent & most of the waitresses were really good
Wednesday we intended to eat at the Bayside only to find out it's closed Wednesday & Saturdays, apparently most of the restaurants close for 1 or 2 nights a week!!!!
So we had to scramble to get into Barefoot.
We had late supper at Kimonos on the Thursday, yet another disappointment. I think we had the apprentice chef. There was no juggling or tricks he just kept banging the utensils together.
The fried rice was stodgy, he salted everything & then added various salty sauces.
We ate breakfast at Mario's every morning except the last day, we changed venues in the hope of getting a better service...wrong... the sausage container was empty when we got there & was still empty when we left. We had ordered hot milk while being seated, after 10 mins I asked the waitress who said she hadn't been told, eventual the the smallest jug of hot milk arrived as we were about to leave, just about enough milk for 2 coffees....
I'm not sure if it's because they don't have enough staff working at breakfast time, or the girls aren't morning people. But it was painfully slow to get breakfast. Upon being seated we would be asked if we wanted tea or coffee, we always requested coffee with hot milk....some days the hot milk would arrive as we finished eating... There are 2 toasters in Marios of course only 1 works.
The staff in the cricketers were the opposite, cheerful quick friendly.
We had Lunch at Bayside everyday... just the regular buffet food... no gourmet foods
I had to get up at 6-30 every morning to get loungers by the pool with an umbrella.
There are about 20 umbrellas but about half are reserved by the Butlers and then some days some of them sat unused the whole day.
The honeymoon suite room was nice, clean with a large bathroom, unfortunately due to the gap between the top of the balcony door & the frame, mosquitos got in every night. It took us a coupe of nights of getting bitten before we found the problem.
We did see a worker spraying 1 day, clad in full hazmat suite & respirator, I wonder what they are using???
The hotel & grounds are very nice & clean, the beach is nice but surprisingly narrow.
I don't know why I had to pay almost twice as much to stay at Sandals than anywhere else.
I have never stayed at a resort where any of the restaurants close.
If this is a typical example of a Sandals resort I won't be going to another and I fail to see why others think that Sandals is so fantastic with gourmet dining.

Room Tip: We were in the newer Mediterranean side, we talked with people in the older Caribbean side who were...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.

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Additional Information about Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

Also Known As:
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort And Spa
Sandals Grande Antigua Hotel St. John`s
Sandals Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua Hotel
Sandals Grande Antigua
Hotel Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grand Antigua
Antigua Sandals
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa Saint John Parish
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 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#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
#8 Family Hotel in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•A European Hotel in the Six-Star, all-suite Mediterranean Village •Exotic Rondoval with private plunge pool and butler service •1,400 square foot Mediterranean villa with private plunge pool and butler service•Houses the East Caribbean's largest pool (1 of 6) •Offers 9 dining options and 8 bars including an English pub •Voted "World's Most Romantic Resort" 14 years in a row ... more   less 
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