I just returned from my honeymoon to Antigua. What a wonderful 8 days we spent at Sandals! A few shout-outs to the staff, specifically Latisha at Bayside restaurant (best smile ever), Christine at Mario's (so friendly and personable!), Hursula in the piano bar (coldest bar in the place and she makes a GREAT chocolate martini), and Anika who took great care of us in our pool side cabana. Thank-you all for a wonderful week.
When we arrived at Sandals (minus my bag which was lost somewhere in transit) our room wasn't ready. They upgraded us to a nicer area and room because of this and we were very happy with where we ended up. Sandals was also accommodating with walking me through what to do about my missing bag, and they called me immediately when it showed up the next day and delivered it to the room. They also offered a 25% discount at the shops for any clothing that I might need to purchase. I didn't need much as I always pack a day's worth in my carry on as well as a swim suit.
We were able to get umbrella spots at the pool every day, our room was clean and comfortable, and we wanted to move in to the bathroom and live there. We enjoyed a massage at the Red Lane spa and that was great, and I had a pedicure as well which I was happy with. The gym was adequate for working out and offered a variety of cardio equipment as well as weight machines and free weights. It was extremely hot in there...seriously, Africa hot, and the AC did not really do a thing to make it cooler. That was rough for someone from Massachusetts who isn't used to working out in a gym that is 80+ degrees and humid.
I suffer from gluten intolerance and I found the staff to be extremely well trained in helping me make meal selections. Chefs were also able to modify pretty much any meal and make it gluten safe. This was even the case at Kimonos. They even had gluten free pizzas available at the outdoor pizza restaurant. Most evenings a chef came to our table to go over the menu with me before I ordered. I ate most of my breakfasts at Bayside where I was walked through the food areas and told what selections were safe. I have one small caveat here and it is that the breakfast meats like sausage and bacon ARE NOT GLUTEN SAFE. The meats themselves are, however if you are medically gluten sensitive or have celiac steer clear. They line the bottoms of the pans holding these meats with bread to absorb the grease. Watch out!
We spent most of our time at the Mediterranean Pool rather than the beach. All beaches in Antigua are public and we found it not very relaxing to be approached by overly agressive people selling things on the beach literally the moment you set foot on the sand.
On our last day we treated ourselves to a pool side cabana and were very happy with the experience. Anika took great care of us, and we had breakfast, lunch, and cocktails poolside all day. The ceiling fan was nice, and during the tiny 1 minute rain showers we were dry and shielded from the sun when it was out. It was a great treat for our last day and I would absolutely recommend it.
Overall our experience was top notch. The room was great, the food was very good, the grounds were beautiful, and the staff was friendly and accommodating.