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“Very Nice Vacation” 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 18 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence 2014
phoenix
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Very Nice Vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We spent a very nice 7 days at Sandals. We were greeted by friendly staff with appetizers and cool drinks. Our room was clean and well stocked. Three problems that I think Sandals could work on regarding the bathroom. The lighting was dark, no step or stool in shower for us older folks, and the bathroom window had no glass, only a screen so it was much warmer than the rest of the room, and humid. After taking a shower, it was uncomfortable to shave, dry hair, etc.
The view from our room was good. We were in the new section on the 5th floor and could see the property and sunsets, etc. from our balcony. We enjoyed sitting out there in the morning with a coffee, or evenings for a drink .
Breakfast at Marios most mornings with made to order omelets! Fresh fruit. I tried sugar cane and the fresh coconut was yummy. Coffee at the Patisserie was great.
We lunched at Bayside and By the Sea. Limited menu, but tasted good. The birds that kept fighting over food left on the tables were entertaining.
We had dinner at all the restaurants except Kimonos. Marios eggplant parmigiana was excellent, and OK Corral the ribs and filet were very good. We had the Lobster and Shrimp at Eleanors, and Coconut Soup. Very good and we felt that portion sizes were more than adequate at all the restaurants, especially if you had soup, appetizers, salad and then main course. Pizza was good. We did not eat at Cricketers. We found the service to be very good. The staff were all friendly and happy to help. The only complaint we had was the table cloths were not changed after each use, and so you were sitting down to a dirty table with clean cutlery, etc. They should be changed everytime.
The gym facilities are adequate, and reasonably updated. TV's don't have their own plug in for the volume, so it can be annoying if you're trying to watch something, but not a big deal as we wanted to spend more time outside than in anyway. This was a vacation after all!
The grounds are lovely. The groundskeepers were working on them while we were there, trimming, etc. There are about a half dozens cats running around the resort. They are very friendly, and didn't beg. I was happy to see that they had their ears notched. Not because they were notched, but because I know this means that they have been neutered or spayed and won't be having bunches of kittens. They probably help with controlling the pest population. Which by the way, we didn't have any problems with mosquitoes, etc.
Sitting in the lounge chairs in the evenings around the firepits to watch the sunset or listen to the ocean under the stars was heavenly!
The big pool is very nice and yes you do need to get there early in the am to "reserve" a lounge chair. We rented a cabana one day, but didn't feel we got any upgraded attention. Maybe because we just had an attendant and not a butler, but it was okay. The pool water was so cold, we didn't get in but the first day. Could have used some music playing around the pool instead of just in the bar area of the pool, but I had an ipod.
One last point. I wish that we could have gotten some plain, unflavored ice tea for those who don't like fruit in their tea or soda or fruity drinks.....We made our own one day with tea bags and the hot water pot in the room. We put it in a used water bottle and asked for ice at the pool. I guess you get creative!
The resort hosted a Caribbean Day on Friday, with traditional food, music, crafts, etc. That was great!
It was a good trip, and I would say a good place to stay but not over the top. We were there with a group trip, so I may have been more picky if we had spent more out of our own pocket. We probably would have preferred to stay at a B&B or other where we could walk more, and see more of the island.

Room Tip: Stayed in the new section, on the higher floors for a better view.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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4,837 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,204)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Dearborn, Michigan, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Sandals Grande Antigua for 8 days. It was INCREDIBLE. We got one of the less expensive rooms in the gardens and it was beautiful, spacious, and had a private little porch. It was nice and quiet and pretty secluded. The resort itself is absolutely gorgeous and we found the food to be quite satisfying (something we were concerned about due to our diet - vegetarian). The beach was beautiful, but I am not one to lay around in the sun all day...we did an excursion almost every day and I HIGHLY recommend booking excursions through Sandals. Every one of them was excellent. We spent several days on the water (kayaking, swimming with stingray, circumnavigation tour, etc.) and also on land (seeing the sugar mills, rural areas, St. John's, Nelson's Dockyard, etc.). I cannot wait to go back someday and I recommend Sandals Grande Antigua to every newly engaged couple I meet. The staff was very friendly and helpful, the grounds were pristine, and the service & food were wonderful. They had entertainment every night from singers, steel drum bands, and traditional dancers to fire-eaters! They were all great entertainers and made for a fun night. Other activities you can participate in include karaoke at the Irish pub and volleyball tournaments in the sand. Also, you can arrange scuba diving through the resort (take a class for a few hours and then go out to explore a sunken ship) - it was one of my favorite experiences. You won't regret Sandals Grande Antigua.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

I don't normally have the time once I get back to Canada so I've decided to write my experience in this resort with my husband the night before we live this beautiful island. We came through a company sponsored trip ( about 70 of us or so) for a seven day vacation. We've never been to Antigua but some of our friends that came two years ago were not so lucky to have an amazing experience like us. We arrived on a Sunday afternoon and were met by a friendly staff ready to give us a towel and a drink, we checked in and a buffet of appetizers and refreshment were being offered while waiting for our room to be ready! We got ushered to our room by a gentleman who showed us where everything was. We were so impressed by the greeneries surrounding this resort it's not very often you see nature and everything that came with it , birds in all sizes and colors and the sound of crickets at nights when we came back to our room from partying! Our first reserved restaurant was a Japanese called the Kimono where we were served by two upbeat people Carol the waitress and Teddy the chef! These duo were so full of energy we forgot we were in a restaurant as we were singing along while waiting for our food! Our favourite hangout in this place was the Bayside restaurant where everyone around you is just friendly and very attentive to your needs! These ladies led by Nikeisha the supervisor through the cutest and ever polite smile of Latisha who just made our day whenever we came to enjoy the menus they have to offer! My husband had to ask to meet the Chef who happened to be a humble and courteous Jamaican lady named Juleen Rose-she is in charge of the kitchen. This lady went out of her way to cook us something that my husband and I wanted to have that wasn't in the buffet menu!! Then we happen to meet another unforgettable service from Eleanor's Restaurant a very polite and efficient girl Rosemarie - she went out of her to ask her supervisor if we can be in the reservation list the following day! We all go to a resort and sometimes out of the 7 days you might be unlucky to have 3 out 7 days of fun but in this resort it's impeccable service all the way, an experience we truly would and always remember! Great job Juleen, Latisha, Nikeisha, Carol, Teddy, and Rosemary for being the greatest assets of Sandals Antigua, and thank you for making our Experience to Remember!

Roy and Farah
Toronto Canada

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Pflugerville, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

This resort is one of the best I have ever been to. The service, food, facilities.....everything was great!
The concierge staff on the Mediterranean side was amazing. this team was lead by Diahann.
When we got in we got upgraded to a suite which was beautiful. The room service was very prompt and our room was cleaned fairly early each day which made our planning much easier.
All of the restaurants were very good.
We took the Extreme Circumnavigation Tour with Sean, Neon and Bob and it was one of the most amazing "tours" I have ever taken. Highly recommended.
We will definitely stay at this resort again.

  • Stayed March 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
    • 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.
neath
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

Travelled with BA holidays {excellent service} for my wifes 50th birthday.
Antigua airport - arrived ahead of schedule & thought great extra time in the sun.However, as we found out during our stay , the Antiguans work at a different pace to europeans.
It took us 45 mins to get through immigration, but good point was,we didn`t have to watch our cases going round the carousel.
The Sandals desk is situated outside where we were told to go for our free transfer. This is just a small desk where you report & small 6-8 seater taxis pick you up,the transfer was approx 20 mins.
Reception - stayed in the Caribean Grov section for a more authentic feel, on arrival greeted with a glass of champagne & a cool towel.
Filled in the normal forms & taken to our room, not the one we booked. We were upgraded to a much better room which on opening our door, opened out onto a shared small pool {well done sandals}.
Room - excellent decor / huge king size bed / 40" TV on the wall / good size bathroom.
Restaurants - visited all available restaurants except sushi bar.
All food was of a very high standard, however we found the service in the Bayside a lot slower pace than the others.
Best restuarant we found for breakfast was Marios.
The 3 restaurants that need reservations are booked very quickly, so have a look before you go & book as soon as you get there. We arrived Thurs evening & tried Friday morning to book, we had to take what days they had left, not what we wanted.
Bars - again all excellent , no complaints on availability of drinks & choice.
Entertainment - this was our only dissapointment, not top class as we would have thought for such a high class resort.
Swimming pool - pool bar / service / decor / equipment was excellent, however we found the hygiene in the pool not very clever. Groups standing around drinking & smoking in the pool.
There is a small shopping centre there, which was quite good, excursions / photoshop / jewellers / holiday shop.
Depature day - there is a shower room situated in the Mediterraean hotel where you can go to change if you have checked out & have an ebvening flight {excellent service again}.
Overall we had a thouroughly enjoyable holiday, the Sandals staff are extremely polite / friendly /
helpful and a credit to their training & management.
Would we stay here again - YES.
Booked an excursion at the resort - 360 island tour on the catamaran Excellence. approx £70 each for approx 7 hour trip. This trip is the one to go on, it shows you all the other hotels from seaview, what famous people have houses there and it is just made briliant by the crew of the boat.
If you are going to Antigua , push the boat out & spend a little bit more & stay at Sandals.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Holmdel, New Jersey
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

The property is gorgeous, well kept and well maintained, but that's where it ends.

Everything about this place is mediocre. The restaurants and dinning experiences are average, leave much to be desired, and most comparable with banquet dinning. So all the hype and fluff about all their restaurants, and culinary experiences are flat, unmemorable and average at best.

If you're used to staying at premium properties, and like the better things in life, then this is not the place for you... Do yourself a favor and keep looking... Especially, if your in no mood to race down to reserve pool or beach chairs at 6 AM every morning...

I don't know about you, I go away to vacation and relax, not stress myself with the daily Kentucky pool or beach derby every morning, despite the abundant signage that clearly stresses that no one can reserve this seating... And if you don't, you will have no place to sit with any cover, and bake all day... The resort is well short of providing ample cover for their guests.

I reserved a concierge suite, at a pretty price... Concierge by most standards across the globe means that you're in the highest service level at the hotel. Well not at Sandals, concierge = peasant class, with no room service or other expected services and amenities...and keep in mind I spent $800 a night at this hotel... Their premium service is Butler-Class, an obscure detail on their website that is not prominently distinguished... Poor value, poor service, poor experience...

There are better options out there, save yourself the disappointment... Sandals is not all that that its fluffed to be, this is a mediocre resort, to those that are accustomed to better vacation experiences, and don't get fooled with candy-coated buzz words like concierge... It means nothing here.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
We are surprised to read your comments about your stay. Our goal is to ensure that all of our guests are happy and we go above and beyond to meet that goal no matter the room category. Please accept my apologies if this was not the case during your stay.

I have alerted our on-resort team of your concerns. The General Manager has assured me that after evaluation, the necessary adjustments will be made to make sure our future guests do not share the same experience.

Thank you for your feedback. We hope that you will afford us a chance to make things right during a future stay with us.


Sincerely,
Cassie C.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RI
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

We had a great time in a sunset rondoval rite on the beach. These are on the main "road" tho, so other guests are walking by all the time, but we enjoyed the activity. If you want a quiet private room, don't get one of these.
We loved the carribean pool where Latoya makes great drinks. It is quieter there than the main pool, but actually we spent every day on the beach, just walking to the pool for drinks.
We had butler service and they were both good, but Craig was the best. Very helpful, and interesting to talk to.
We had breakfast delivered every morning at 7:30, and it was always on time,or a bit early.
2 pots of coffee, some fruit and pastry. Don't know why they don't have creme for coffee tho.
Breakfast at bayside was perfect. Violet the perfect hostess. What a doll, so friendly and warm. Actually found most all of the workers friendly, except for Vittorio at Mario's who was rude and condesending!!! Be sure your husband brings some slacks, or he will be scolded and made to sit outside at Marios. He should be fired.
Keisha at the spa, gave me a wonderful treatment. Definitely worth it.
We did have a problem with ants in our room, but we were transferred to another room with in a couple of hours. Matt the hotel manager was very helpful with this process.
The grounds are kept up and groomed, and so is the beach. The food is good, we found bayside to be the best. Nekiesha, who is the night hostess, is a peach and so welcoming.
Finally, we found the whole trip relaxing and enjoyable. Most of staff was very friendly and warm. Be sure to try the jerk chicken at the barefoot. My husband ate it every day.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#4 Business Hotel in St. John's
#4 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#5 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#5 Family 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*
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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