We stayed at Sandals Grande Antigua January 22 – 30, 2010. This was our 4th Sandals vacation. After some research and advice from our travel agent, we booked a Venetian Oceanview Suite in the Mediterranean Village side of the resort. We got a fantastic rate and a $250 spa credit. A week before our trip we were offered an upgrade to the Luxury Penthouse Suite with butler service for only about an extra $150 per day. We gladly accepted this upgrade and feel that it was worth every penny.
After reading reviews of this resort for more than a year, I was concerned about service and accommodations. This resort received more bad reviews than any other Sandals resort I have researched. For those of you who have these same concerns, please set them aside. The resort was at 100% capacity while we were there and we never had one issue with slow service or rude staff members. Everyone from the gardeners to the wait staff to management went out of their way to say hello or inquire about our stay.
Our room was the nicest room we have stayed anywhere, with a kitchen area, living area, bedroom, huge bathroom, and large balcony. The Caribbean Grove side of the resort was beautifully landscaped and quaint, but we are very glad we didn’t stay on that side. We loved the wide-open views to the ocean that the Mediterranean side offered. This was our 1st experience with butler service and we were very impressed. Cecil and Wendel took care of our every need. They booked our spa appointments, our dinner reservations, arranged a private taxi tour of the island, brought us snacks and drinks at our loungers and in our room, drew bubble baths for us, and I could go on and on. They went above and beyond to make everything special.
Our only disappointment with this resort was the beach. A great beach is a very important factor to us and this one did not live up to our expectations. The beach is long, with the softest, most powdery sand I’ve ever encountered and the water is a beautiful turquoise. However, this beach has suffered erosion and is very narrow on the Mediterranean end. On a windy day, the waves were coming up to the fence and onto the loungers. The beach is still wide on the Caribbean end especially in front of Bayside, but there is very little shade on that end. Also, the vendors were a bit more intrusive than I thought they would be. Most of them moved on with a polite “No thank you” but others were more persistent. This is a public beach, so there is very little Sandals can do about these problems.
We spent our first two days on the beach and moved to the main pool after that. We loved this pool and the large hot tub. The staff at the swim-up bar provided great service, quickly and efficiently. There were always plenty of loungers available, but the best spots with shade were usually taken up by 10am.
We found the food at this resort to be very good. We never had a bad meal, but there were some that we liked more than others. I would describe the food as 3 to 4 star in quality and 5-star in presentation. Bayside, Eleanors, Barefoot, and OK Corral all sit overlooking the beach and made for a great dining atmosphere. Do not be shy about asking for extra portions or even asking for your order to go, especially at lunch. We took food back to our room or the beach several times and the servers were very accommodating with this.
We used the gym a couple of days and it was very well equipped with 6 treadmills, several ellipticals, bikes, stair steppers, and a variety of weight machines. We used bug spray before going out to breakfast and dinner and only had a couple of bites. The mosquitoes seemed to be worse on the Caribbean side of the resort. Pool and beach towels were not as easily accessible at this resort as some others we’ve been to. Turn-down service is supposed to leave 2 towels in your room each night, but we only received them a couple nights. Luckily, our butlers were available to bring towels to us. Otherwise, towels were available at the water sports desk, which didn’t open until 10am. My husband loved the cappuccino machine that was outside of Bayside, giving him access to coffee all day long.
We had a fantastic time at this resort and think we might return in 2 years. We would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone. Our next stop is the new Emerald Bay resort this fall and back to our favorite, Whitehouse, next January. Please feel free to email me with any questions and I will gladly share more photos as well.
- 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
- 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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