We just returned from our vacation at Sandals Grande Antigua. We have been to three other Sandals and this one we enjoyed a lot with a few exceptions. Our main gripe was with the concierge service. We have had all levels of service at other resorts, including butler, so I have something to compare to. At this resort, the concierge leaves a lot to be desired. We requested certain things to have in our fridge and bar and the requests were either denied or ignored. We drink red wine every night on our balcony and it was never replaced without numerous calls. We also had trouble getting more shampoo and lotion. I have never had problems like this in any other resort. So, if you are going here and cannot afford butler service, do not bother with concierge. It's definitely not worth the money.
Our Room: We had a Veranda Room on the Caribbean side and loved it. The room was really large and in a great location to everything. We even had an ocean view, which I was not expecting. Our balcony was large too. Don't believe what you read about the Caribbean rooms being run down, ours was perfect. Also, housekeeping did a wonderful job keeping the room immaculate. I liked the beachy feel of the Caribbean side much more than the Mediterranean side and would definitely stay on this side again if we return.
The Beach: Beautiful blue water and white sand that is raked every morning. The length of the beach is very long and great for walking. The water is crystal clear and I've only seen bluer water in Great Exuma. The only issue with the beach is that no matter how early you get there, you will never get one of the shade areas. The butlers reserve every one of them and a lot of them stay empty all day. This is a huge problem that Sandals needs to address. At Emerald Bay, we had butlers and they were not allowed to reserve the shade umbrellas. It was first come, first serve. Also, towels are not available at all times. Most likely because the butlers take them all. The vendors are beyond annoying, but it's their island, so you just have to deal with it.
Pool: The main pool was huge and you could always find a lounge, but never in the shade. Again, they are all reserved by butlers. We opted to go to the smaller pool on the Mediterranean side and enjoyed that much better. There was always shade and the LaToya was a great bartender.
Restaurants: We tried all of them except OK Corral and that was only because we ran out of days. Our favorite meal was at Barefoot. The fish there is fantastic and cooked to perfection. Eleanor's lobster was very good and not over cooked like I read it some reviews. I live near Maine, so it didn't compare to that, but was definitely very good.The breakfast at Eleanor's was good, but it took over an hour to get our food. It is beyond slow and there were only a few tables with people at them, so I'm not sure what the problem is. Mario's was very good as well. The antipasto buffet was a meal in itself and the lava cake is to die for. The buffet at Bayside was better here than any of the other resorts we've visited. They change the items daily, so that was nice. Our worst mean was at the Drunken Duck. My burger was like a dried up hockey puck. I wish we tried OK Corral vs. the duck. No one liked there meal there, but the staff there more than made up for it with their attitudes. Definitely the most friendly.
Water Sports: We enjoyed the free snorkel trip and saw a lot of nice fish. We also used the Hobie cats and enjoyed them as well.
Excursions: We did the shopping trip into town. You can get some great deals and there are tons of shops. We also did the Cades Reef Catamaran tour and enjoyed that very much. You can book excursions on the beach and save some money vs. the Sandals tour desk. If you do, ask for Tony, he's the best!
So, I would definitely return to Sandals Antigua, but I hope they work out the issues that keep me from giving this resort a five star rating. With that said, we did have a wonderful time and if you've booked this resort, you will too.
- 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