We'd never been to a Sandals, and our only AI experience was with Palace Resorts in Mexico - so they were the benchmark for our Feb. visit to Sandals Antigua. Sandals makes an incredible first impression - set on 27 acres, it is absolutely beautifully laid out. The buildings are all tucked in among carefully landscaped areas, with well lit paths and fake "rocks" that play gentle music. The beachfront firepits/couches are a lovely place to sit before or after dinner and the overall impression of the physical property is spectacular. The staff were almost all friendly, professional and responsive - we had one or two bartenders and one waitress who seemed unhappy to be there, but we must have encountered dozens of housekeeping, servers, grounds and bar staff during our time there and they were all courteous and pleasant. Our room (Venetian oceanview concierge) was lovely and wanted for nothing - big bathroom, comfortable bed, tiny balcony but certainly big enough to sit out for a while in the late afternoon. Housekeeping service was very good, and the bar was replenished everyday with sodas, water, beer, and wine (we didn't really use the spirits). Food was a bit of a disappointment - the buffets at breakfast and lunch were great - enormous choice so if you wanted something different every day you could do that- plus additional outlets like the Cafe de Paris and Courtyard for snacks and treats. Dinner however let us down -- each restaurant serves only about 4 entrees, so the choice is limited and may not suit all tastes. We never had a bad meal, but didn't ever walk away saying "wow"! either. This would be one of only two areas in which Sandals didn't meet our "AI benchmark"....the other was a lack of shade at the pools and at the beach. The clientele seemed to skew to an over 50 crowd, with about 20% being the younger wedding/honeymoon crowd....the former always seemed to be looking for shade and there just isn't enough provided at Sandals. Reservations for dinner are hard to get -- we tried on the day we arrived and were not able to book for nights 1, 2 and 3...but don't let this put you off, as the food was of equivalent quality at the reservation and non-reservation restaurants; the non-reserves are easy to get into. Overall, a very enjoyable, relaxing week; we'd probably try another Sandals and see if they can earn our fifth star by having better dinner options!