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“Paradise. Highly recommend galley bay if you want to feel really special, and welcomed to a beautiful quiet resort.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Galley Bay Resort

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Galley Bay Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Galley Bay Beach Rd, St. John's, Antigua   |  
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Ranked #3 of 20 hotels in St. John's
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Paradise. Highly recommend galley bay if you want to feel really special, and welcomed to a beautiful quiet resort.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2013 via mobile

Having started to think about a return visit I was surprised to see some fairly negative reviews when I browsed through the site.. Had promised to write a review on our return after our vist at the end of May this year and hadn't quite got to do it. First I just want to point out that bottled water isn't an issue as the resort has its own water treatment facility so you can drink it from the tap or refill a plastic bottle at any of the bars free of charge. The staff were fabulous and we certainly found them engaging, courteous and they couldn't do enough for us. A kind gesture of champagne and flowers with a beautiful handwritten letter on our silver anniversary made us feel really special and will be treasured in our keepsake mementoes. Galley Bay prides itself on being environmentally careful and so bottled water and no soap bars and packaging of shampoos but refillable dispensers in the bathrooms of soap, shampoo and body lotion. Restaurant service was not rushed, but who wants to rush a meal on holiday, that's part of the appeal, the laid back Caribbean days. Suited us and met our every need. If something isn't quite right then say something and I am sure it will be dealt with. I did notice a comment on this site about a rusty bath plug in our very room which had been replaced in the period between the comment being published and our arrival one day later! That's a pretty good response I think you would have to agree? This is perhaps a little detailed but I wanted to offer my response to some of the issues raised as a fellow holiday maker rather than an official management response. We will certainly be returning for a little piece of paradise as soon as we can.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestAmbassador01, Guest Relations Manager at Galley Bay Resort, responded to this review, June 21, 2013
Dear HolidayersLJ,

Thank you for your very positive reviews about your recent stay with us at Galley Bay. We are thrilled that you chose to return and celebrate your silver anniversary with us and that we had the chance to be part of such a memorable occasion.

Look forward to welcoming you back very soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (631)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Harlow, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

We had an amazing time at this hotel, 7 days of total relaxation. The staff were great, couldn't do enough for us. The food was fantastic. We stayed in one of the beachfront rooms and lulled to sleep every night by the ocean. We only had one night of tropical storms but the staff couldn't have been more prepared and accommadating Would love to return at some point money allowing!!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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GuestAmbassador01, Guest Relations Manager at Galley Bay Resort, responded to this review, June 19, 2013
Dear Charlie_Hearne10,

First and foremost ,we would like to thank you for your feedback on your recent stay with us at Galley Bay. Our goal is to always deliver the most memorable vacation experience possible and we are thrilled that we could be a part of your wonderful honeymoon trip. We hope we can help celebrate many romantic anniversary celebrations with you in the future!
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Farnham, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

This was our 3rd visit in 6 years and we continue to find it difficult to better the Galley Bay anywhere else in the world. It offers everything that we want from a luxury resort, although I accept it is not for everyone. Here is a fair assessment of how we see it:

The key positives for us are:

- Fabulous location with 1/2 mile of soft sandy beach which feels very private. Often you have the beach to yourself, or at least it feels like it.
- Only 98 rooms which means that even when full there will be no more than 200 guests at any one time. With the size of the resort, it never seems crowded.
- Adults only (except the Christmas weeks). For us, having 2 grown up children, we now wish to holiday without being disturbed by screaming babies, unruly kids, 'kids clubs' activities etc. etc.
- High quality rooms sitting on the beach. We have only stayed in the Premium Beachfront suites and these are lovely, although I recommend you ask for an upstairs one, as it can be distracting to have heavy footsteps above (and the occasional amorous noises if you have a honeymoon couple in the suite above...).
- All inclusive. If you don't want to spend any more than the original price, you don't need to as the drinks and cocktails are fantastic and the food is very good.
- Very few on site activities. Yes there is a water sports offering but this is limited to hobi sailing, and kayaks. There is a single tennis court, table tennis table and pool table, all outside. The gym is relatively small but ok and the Spa comes well recommended. But evenings are very quiet, just live music to accompany dinner.
- Very friendly staff (in the main), particularly when you are a 'returnee' to the resort. Management are always on hand to ask questions or to receive feedback and the staff react quickly to any requests or help.

There are some negatives, of course:

- Elements of the resort are looking a bit 'tired' and some investment is needed to make the place sparkle again. Sometimes these are just small things e.g. broken fencing around the pool area but also a lick of paint in places wouldn't go amiss - some villas were receiving attention while were there. A number of reviews talk about the beach loungers and I understand these will be updated soon.
- The food quality in the Sea Grape restaurant can be patchy, particularly when compared to the always excellent Gaugin and Ismay restaurants.
- Experiencing the Ismay restaurant should be on your list but beware the surcharge - it is not warranted in my view, however in fairness, it does serve to keep numbers down and you do get the feel of the dinner being a bit more special.
- The pool area is great but the pool itself is disappointing. Whilst the water is supposed to be natural, it does have an odd hue which can make it less attractive to swim in, although plenty did. Again other reviewers mention the noise of the fountain and I agree - it is noisy and distracting. The sea is, however, lovely.
- As mentioned above, those in a downstairs room can be bothered by noisy neighbours above but I know not everyone is so sensitive about external noises.
- You need to make good use of the Deet spray, particularly if you are watching the turtles late at night on the beach, as the sand flys can be vicious. But that is to be expected in the Caribbean.

If anything all of the above are just minor niggles as we really love the Galley Bay. With the cheaper prices currently on offer, it is in danger of attracting too many young adults and potentially alienating its historically traditional clientele. The beauty of this place is the wide range of ages that enjoy the resort.

Overall, another fabulous holiday and we will be back.......

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

My holiday time at Galley Bay was wonderful. I have traveled to a number of destinations and this is one of my all time favorites. The location is beautiful with a perfect beach for reading and walking. I love that so much of the heart of the resort provides breathtaking views of the beach & sea resulting in a sense of total relaxation. The gardens and grounds are well kept and beautiful with a wonderful blend of nature too. I'm more of a beach person but the pool area is also lovely and relaxing. The food was excellent . The staff was pleasant albeit a bit shy but they are very warm and will respond in kind to you if you take the time to get to know them a bit. They are very accommodating and they made me feel they truly wanted us to have the best time and for us to return to Antigua. Cedric Henry the General Manager was very approachable, helpful and he went out of his way to assure our stay was excellent. The only disappointment is swimming is a better option for the pool vs the sea as the surf can be very rough. Will return and hopefully for the next visit, will get to see the hawksbill turtles hatch.

Room Tip: We were given a tour of all the room categories but our preference is still toes in the sand.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
GuestAmbassador01, General Manager at Galley Bay Resort, responded to this review, June 19, 2013
Dear Raggae052011,

Thank you so much for your very positive comments about your recent stay at Galley Bay. We are thrilled that you thoroughly enjoyed your experience and are even happier to note that you will be returning. We cannot wait to welcome you back!
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Suffolk
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

This was our fifth visit to Galley Bay, and although we found some standards had slipped slightly since our last visit, this is the Caribbean after all - just chill! - and we were not disappointed. You cannot beat the lovely beach at Galley Bay and the variety of restaurants (all a la carte, no buffets apart from breakfast buffet in addition to a la carte cooked breakfasts, and the once a week bbq grill) on site for a relatively small hotel. The Gauguin restaurant is wonderfully unique, and the new Barefoot Grill for lunch is a great addition to the facilities. The staff are 90% excellent, and the new General Manager Chris and the rest of the management team are always mingling, making sure guests are happy. Yes, there were a few issues but each one minor and not a problem if you just want to relax and enjoy a wonderfully relaxing, non-stuffy beach holiday. I am not even going to mention any niggles because they were, as I say, minor - I am a travel agent and am used to making constructive criticisms, and Chris went out of his way to address the points I did raise, and I hope that the necessary improvements will be put in place, but nothing spoiled our holiday at Galley Bay and I will definitely return and continue to recommend Galley Bay to my clients without hesitation. DISREGARD ANY BAD REVIEWS ON THIS SITE ABOUT GALLEY BAY - SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST TOO FUSSY.
A huge thank you to Natasha, Janice, Hyacinth, Heather, Gilda, Ernestine, Mike, Everton, Stuart and everyone else on the Galley Bay staff who made our holiday so memorable once again. You are all stars! And not forgetting Sean with his new sailing boat - definitely worth going out on a sail with him and his "second in command" Freeston.

Room Tip: Premium beachfront rooms are the most expensive, but to be honest the deluxe beachfront are perfectl...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stourbridge
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

We had a week at Galley bay in May for our 50th & 60th Birthday celebrations and stayed in a Gauguin cottage. The resort is very small but if you just want the most wonderful relaxing holiday in the sunshine with excellent food and friendly staff then this is the place for you. If you are deciding between a cottage or a beach front room this might help. The cottages are really different and very private (until the odd grounds person walks by!) the little plunge pool was lovely (just needed slight refurbishment). My husband revelled in the wildlife that came realy (I mean really) close, we had giant crab (scared the living daylights out of me in the early hours), mongoose and humming birds. The down side to the cottages are that there is no air con in the bathroom which is where your clothes hang and felt like a sauna and the half open air walk from the bedroom to the bathroom can be get bit much at night. My complaint regarding the cottages would also be that although you are a stones throw from the beach, which is no problem at all, there are no shaded areas or your use on the beach, They are all outside each of the villas and for the use of those occupants, this made sitting on the beach impossilbe for us as we are not fond of baking in the sun.

As I said the food was fantastic and easily the best hotel food I have had, the drinks were just wonderful too - banana slide is a must have cocktail. All areas of the hotel are separate (no large building) and all bars and restaurants are open air so no air con here either which did make for a few hot and sticky meals.

The pool area is a bit tired looking now but there was always a lounger (a quality lounger too) available. The water sports guys were great and we tried a kayak for the first time which was fun despite falling out trying to get back to the beach through the slight surf.

The resort is at the end of a long road and the beach is enclosed at each end so you really are stuck on site unless you have a hire car or go out by taxi. We went on the trip to Shirley Heights but I am sorry to say I wouldnt really recommend it as there is very little there and you are there for 3+ hours (the steele band were good though). We also went to Nelsons Dockyard and again there was less there than we expected but it was nice to get out and our lovely taxi driver Marcu showed us round the more rural area on the way back.

One thing I wish the travel agent had told us was - DON'T take local currently, everything is priced in US $ and has to be converted if you want to pay by ECD .

On the whole it was a lovely place, you certainly see what you get for the extra money we spent for this special holiay. I was just a little too quiet and a little too humid for us.

Room Tip: Gauguin cottages are very different but not if you dont like wildlife on your patio! If you want sh...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

This was a special holiday for us and we chose Galley Bay after a recommendation from a friend. We loved it. The beech front location was beautiful and there was so much space.
The food and service were excellent.

Room Tip: We stayed in a beech front room and it was fantastic. straight out the door and onto the beech
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Galley Bay Resort

Address: Galley Bay Beach Rd, 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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#3 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#3 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#3 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#3 Family Hotel in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Galley Bay Resort 4*
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Also Known As:
Galley Bay Hotel St. John`s
Galley Bay Antigua
Galley Bay St Johns
Antigua Galley Bay
Galley Bay Resort Antigua/Saint John Parish

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