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“Close, but not quite” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Waters Antigua

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Blue Waters Antigua
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Soldier's Bay, St. John's, Antigua   |  
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Ranked #3 of 18 Hotels in St. John's
Athens, Georgia
1 review
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Close, but not quite”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2006

My husband and I just returned from our vacation at Blue Waters. We've traveled to the Caribbean many times, and based on the reviews we read online, we were very excited about Antigua and the resort.
Perhaps our expectations were too great since we had an amazing time at a near by island several years ago, but we were slightly disappointed with our Blue Waters trip.

ACCOMMODATIONS:
Excellent. The resort is beautifully landscaped. The rooms were very comfortable. Our 100 bldg room had great views. Everything seemed clean and well maintained. Nice, private beaches, plenty of space.

ISLAND/RESORT ACTIVITIES:
Several water sport activities available (kayak, wind surfing, paddleboats) at the resort. Very helpful and friendly staff. Jet skis are available from outside sources. A tour of the island by taxi is nice. The best experience all week was the Wadadli cats circumnavigation trip. This was wonderful. The staff was amazing, very friendly, fun-loving and knowledgeable about the island. I would highly recommend this trip!!


FOOD:
We participated in the all-inclusive plan, which is a little deceiving considering that several dinner entrees incurr an additional charge ranging from $15-20 (i.e. lobster, beef tenderloin). Overall, the food was average/above average. Breakfast is always a buffet which becomes very monotonous.
Lunch was a combination of buffet some days, order off the menu other days.
Dinner was somewhat better food that breakfast or lunch. I would highly recommend Vivyen's over the Palm. The main entree presentation is always the same-- a scoop of rice, sauteed vegetables, and which ever meat you chose. Again, it gets pretty boring.


SERVICE:
We found the staff minimally helpful. Drink service was very slow and breakfast and lunch service was essentially non existent. Staff was, in general, not overly friendly or knowledgeable. Guest services was also not very impressive. There are plenty of brochures of things to do, but not much personal attention on planning island activities.

We probably won't be returning to Blue Waters, but overall we did have a nice vacation.

  • Liked — The pool and landscaping
  • Disliked — The service
  • Tips/Secrets — Do your research to ensure you get what you're looking for.
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,256 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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 (336)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Turkish first
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English first
oadby
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2006

Second time at the hotel even better than the first time my compilments to all

Stayed June 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2006

We just spent a fortnight at Blue Waters and just loved it! The hotel is very pretty with lots of pretty flowers and birds. We stayed in block 100 which is right off the beach with lovely sea views. The rooms are nice and comfortable, though not very big. They have lovely balconies from which we watched pelicans fishing in the sea. We also enjoyed looking at the hummingbirds in the gardens.

There are three swimming pools though they are all rather small. They do tend to occassionally put far too many chemicals in the pool so if you don't want sore itchy eyes recommend you use swimming goggles. There are small private beaches by the hotel and a few more a short kayak trip away for the adventurous.

The staff are in the main friendly very helpful and eager to please.

The food mmmm... lets say it caters heavily to the all inclusive tourist and is biased to an English palate. There are however some lovely restaurants in the vicinity which do some great sea food. We found The Beach and Coconut Grove in Dickenson Bay delightful. Recommendations from fellow tourists on the fine dining options in the resort - Vyviens and the Cove - ranged from "loved it " to "pretentious and overpriced foo-foo food". We tried both and were not overly impressed. You would do far better in London for the same price.

Overall an excellent place to unwind and have a lovely relaxed holiday ( or to get married which is a popular option.)

  • Liked — Pretty location and hotel
  • Disliked — Restaurants could be better (both choice and quality)
  • Stayed July 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2006

My friendly local Althams travel agent, Lorraine, suggested this gem of a place when my husband and I were thinking of getting married in Antigua and Iam so glad that she did.

After looking through several brochures, which don't do the place justice, we then looked at previous reviews on trip advisor. Although most were excellent a few comments made us have some doubts but we went ahead and booked anyway.

Before we had even landed I just looked out of the plane and knew we had come to the right place. Yes, there was a little wait at immigration but not too long. We had a private transfer to Blue Waters and after admiring the well kept cricket ground just outside the airport, we then sat back and enjoyed the beautiful views.

On arriving at Blue waters we were left to enjoy our rum punch in reception and then shown to our room. We had been upgraded to a deluxe beach front room (which I would recommend rather than a hillside room) and there really was the most stunning view of the Caribbean sea. The room and balcony were lovely but the bathroom although clean, neaded a little updating-but don't let it put you off.

After just one night we already felt at home and the staff had remembered our names. On night three our drinks came to our table without us having to order!! The service could not be faulted.

We went on two trips one on the Wadadli cat to Shirley heights and the other on the excellence to Barbuda (sister island to Antigua). The view and sunset from Shirley heights was amazing. The crossing to Barbuda was not so pleasant and there is no shade on the beach but there really is pink sand!

If you are expecting long sandy beaches then Blue Waters isn't for you but there are three well kept pools and the service is excellent. Our drinks were constantly being refilled and we never had to fight for loungers. We saw a few of the other hotels whilst on our stay and although they may look better in the brochure Blue Waters was definately more select and better by far.

The highlight of the holiday was when we got married and luckily for us we were the only couple to get married in the two weeks that we stayed. Although this was probably unusual I liked the fact that Blue Waters have a policy of only one wedding a day. Every bride should have their special day and shouldn't have to share it with three others!!

I had many concerns but the main one was about my dress and the heat. I wore a full ivory, satin wedding dress and felt absolutely wonderful. The gazebo where we got married was covered in fresh flowers and the florists had managed to include lillies as requested, in my bouquet. I walked down the 'isle' to the sounds of the wonderful steal band and the sight of the blue caribbean sea, perfect. The ceremony was conducted by Ulric Matthews and was amazing. It lasted at least 20 minutes and the vows were traditional and unlike civil ceremonies in England there could be reference to God (if you so wish). My husband and I went to Antigua alone so after the photographs (which were a little disappointing but the wedding video was excellent) we hired a Wadadli cat plus four crew to take use on a sunset cruise. Amazing. I would highly recommend this.

We ate at Vyviens every night and were never disappointed. The lobster was fantastic and Wingrove, Kempton, Marian and Gail all made us feel special.

We will definately be back.

Thank you Blue Waters.

Was this review helpful? Yes 20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2006

Firstly I have to say that I disagree with all negative comments written about this hotel. My husband and I stayed here from 14th - 28th June with my parents and a couple of our friends (one of which is a vegetarian and never had any problems finding something suitable to eat at any of the meals) for our Wedding. The staff are always friendly and willing to go above and beyond to ensure your stay is perfect so long as you are polite to them. When we first arrived we were not given our guaranteed upgrade to a deluxe beachfront room as a wedding couple but this was an administrative error and rectified immediately with lots of apologies. There were no other problems whatsoever. You cannot fault the food in either of the restuarants at all, there is always a large and varied choice and you can order a la carte on the all inclusive plan. The buffets were extremely good quality and always very fresh. I cannot speak highly enough of the girls at the beauty salon. My mother, my bridesmaid and myself all had our hair done for the wedding and it was better than the trials I had in England before we left. I had my nails done before going out but the gel fell off due to the heat and they were wonderful enough to fix them for me last minute. I had several treatments and all were of a higher quality and better price than in England.

Cindy was great with the wedding, I disagree with a previous review that states you should not get married here if you are a control freak. I am a total control freak and was worrying about many aspects of the wedding that I had no control over and as soon as I got there and spoke with Cindy she put my mind totally at rest, we discussed what we wanted, she took care of everything and it was absolutely perfect.

I cannot recommend this hotel enough you will have a fantastic time and I cannot wait to return.

Stayed June 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2006

We went here for our honeymoon for 7 days. The resort is absolutely gorgeous. Very well maintained and the beach and pool areas are very nice. They brought in music/entretainment each night and it was lots of fun to have drinks after dinner and talk and dance. Our only big gripe was the food. As you know, the resort is primarily British folks. They really seemed to adore the food. We were expecting to have more grilled fish and fresh fruit/veggies. This was not the case. Most of the food was breaded or fried. The fruit was no better than what we can get in Chicago! By the 7th day, we were pretty hungry!

However, its very relaxing and great for a honeymoon. If you like to be really active, I would not recommend this place. There is not a lot to do and the beach really is quite small. We wanted to walk outside the resort and the front desk told us we shouldn't because of the wild dogs. This freaked us out a bit so we stayed at the resort! We took a taxi tour for a day around the island, which was a nice way to sight-see. You can really see everything you need to in about a 4-5 hour journey.

We enjoyed ourselves. but I don't think we'll make another trip. too many other great places to go.

Stayed April 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelmsford, England
1 review
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2006

The worst thing about Antigua occurs as soon as you arrive. "Immigration" involves standing for an inordinately long time in a small, crowded hall where there is no air circulating and nothing to prevent the temperature and humidity going sky-high. When your turn actually comes, the immigration process takes no more than a few seconds but the waiting is a most unpleasant way of being introduced to the beautiful island of Antigua. However, this is probably the only unpleasant experience you will have to go through for the entire holiday.

A 20 minute taxi ride takes you to Blue Waters and any reservations you might have had while at the airport are immediately dispelled. The hotel is quite compact but always gives the impression of being spacious and not at all crowded. We were met by the assistant manager and were immediately sat down in the enormous reception area, given a cold towel and glasses of rum punch and invited to relax while we were checked in. This sets the tone for the rest of your stay. Everything possible is done to enable you to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself. The staff are very friendly and helpful and nothing would appear to be too much trouble for them in making your stay as pleasurable as possible.

When we were ready we were taken to our beachfront room, with a quick tour of the site on the way. After speaking to other guests, we were glad we obtained this upgrade as apparently many of the hillside rooms lack either a view or a balcony or patio. It was not quite as large as the pictures on the website suggested, but well decorated and maintained and provided us with everything we could want. The bathroom was large and spacious, our one criticism being that it was almost impossible to get cooler air circulating in the bathroom, which made it very hot and humid all the time. According to my wife, the complimentary Gilchrist & Soames toiletries (large size) are ‘fabulous’. Best of all, however, was the view from the room, looking out over the Caribbean sea and across to the other side of the hotel and the causeway and gazebo where the weddings take place. The mini-bar facility was kept well stocked with everything that we required by simply hanging the order form on the outside of the door the night before, and sheets and towels were changed daily. The chambermaids are without exception friendly and helpful, and our usual maid even left a gift of fresh flowers on our bed on the morning of our wedding.

The facilities provided by the hotel are second to none. There are 3 pools to choose from plus the beach. At the two bigger pools which have bars, the staff are very attentive and supplies of iced water, cold towels and freshly cut chilled fruit are regularly brought round to everyone. Wherever you are it is never noisy or crowded, it is the perfect place to chill out and relax with plenty of sunbeds available. Changing our beach towels was never a problem, but I should imagine it would be quite inconvenient if you were in a hillside room and planning to use the adults only pool high up in the gardens or the smaller beach on the other side of the causeway, as the watersports staff who issue the clean towels are situated at the opposite end of the resort.

The 2 restaurants are of a very high quality. The dress code seemed to be largely ignored at the Palm, and mentioned but not enforced at Vyviens. We ate all our meals at the Palm except on our wedding night when we went to Vyviens. I highly recommend the steaks served at the Palm which are truly melt-in-the mouth. The Monday BBQ evening is also well worth attending. The island cats do walk around quite unobtrusively in the Palm dining room, but seem so much part of the scenery that you almost cease to notice them after a couple of days. My wife was more bothered by the birds who take every opportunity to partake of your breakfast milk if it has been left uncovered! If you are on all inclusive, as we were, you seem to be able to eat almost continuously if that is what you want. In general, the meals are excellent and the service is relaxed and very friendly. I disagree with a comment made in a previous review that the buffet-style breakfasts are not vegetarian friendly; in addition to the meat dishes, there are plentiful choices of cereals, yoghurts, fresh and tinned fruits, croissants and pastries, toast, eggs cooked to your liking, and a wonderful concoction known as ‘chop up’ served on a Sunday which is totally meat & fish free. I would say that choice is far more limited at other mealtimes when there is usually only one vegetarian dish on the menu.

Mention must also be made of the gymnasium in the hotel, which contained modern equipment, was well maintained and was available for use throughout the day. It was also the second coolest place in the hotel (quite how they managed to get the temperature in the restrooms at reception so low I will never know!!)


While staying at Blue Waters we got married. Having read previous reviews we knew it would be a wonderful and very special day. Thanks in large part to Cindy Joseph, the wedding coordinator, our hopes and expectation for the day were exceeded. Everything was done in a very relaxed way, but everything possible was done to make the day exactly how we wanted, and more. Even the trip into St. Johns to organise the legalities prior to the wedding went far better than expected, only taking around an hour instead of the entire morning we had be warned to expect. My wife visited the beauty salon to have her nails, hair and make-up done and reported that the staff were efficient , although lacking in some of the pampering skills one would expect in a salon of this quality in the UK. However she was very pleased with the results and with the flowers provided for her bouquet and my buttonhole.

Having spoken to several other couples, we realised after booking the ceremony that our planned time of 2pm was going to be the hottest part of the day, so asked Cindy to change it if possible, which as usual she managed with utmost efficiency. I would urge anyone marrying in Antigua to opt for the latest possible ceremony (4.30pm) to take advantage of the slightly cooler temperature and really think twice about what they plan to wear. We saw brides wilting in the heat and grooms struggling in suits which quickly turned into their own personal steam baths; although the gazebo itself benefits from some delightful sea breezes, the heat is oppressive once you return to the main complex. We were very glad we had opted for the casual look – myself in a short sleeved shirt and linen trousers and my wife in a knee-length silk blend dress.

We opted for the steel band who really added a Caribbean feel to the occasion and the photographer who was friendly and capable although the finished prints are not quite as high quality as some people may require. We felt that they were exceptional value for money especially as you also receive all the negatives. The ceremony itself was conducted by Cleo Percival whose words were truly emotional and, unlike a civil ceremony in the UK, included references to God. As we had travelled to Antigua by ourselves, our two witnesses were Cindy and Karen, one of the managers at the hotel. We couldn't have asked for a better start to our married lives than to have the ceremony take place in the gazebo at Blue Waters.

The clientele during our stay was predominantly middle-aged British couples, with a few younger couples (many of whom were there to get married with accompanying family members) and a very few Americans. There were hardly any children, and I feel that Blue Waters is very adult orientated, which was just what we wanted. The evening entertainment is variable, ranging from very good to just bearable but mainly consists of local bands that have very similar repertoires. Although our room was near to the bandstand, once inside the music becomes pleasant background noise and we had no trouble dropping off to sleep when we wished to retire early.

We didn’t feel the need to go on any trips during our stay (despite the best efforts of Elvis on the beach – a great character who is happy to take no for an answer) but those of our fellow guests who did seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Jewellery shopping in St.Johns was mentioned more than once (but luckily out of my wife’s earshot). Wadadli Cats will pick you up from the beach and take you for a day’s swimming and sightseeing, but be warned you have to board a small dinghy to reach the Cat which people with mobility problems or babies in pushchairs may find difficult.

Two things could have been improved on during our stay: on one day the entire hotel was without water due to the lack of rain over the previous months and the inability to obtain any from anywhere else until late in the evening. We felt that this situation should have been foreseen and avoided, and when no mention of this was made in the evening bulletin delivered to all guests when the beds are turned down, it seemed decidedly lacking in customer relations. Surely an apology and a ‘thanks for your patience’ would not have gone amiss?

The other episode we were less than happy with occurred on our last evening at Blue Waters. Having ordered certified copies of our marriage certificate and paid $ 30 for these, we were shocked to discover that these legal documents had been left outside our room on the patio by whoever delivered them. On reporting this to reception, it was obvious that the receptionist we were speaking to had been the person responsible, but no apology of any kind was forthcoming, (a completely different attitude to Cindy’s when we told her about it the next morning).

On the day we left, staff were coming up to us and hugging us, saying their farewells and hoping we would come back to Antigua soon. It doesn't get any friendlier than that! We have been back from holiday 2 weeks now and the wonderful memories are still fresh in our minds, not only of the wonderful place that Blue Waters is in itself, but also how extra special it is made by the wonderful staff that we met and got to know. One thing is for certain, it will not be long before we return to Blue Waters.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Waters Antigua

Address: Soldier's Bay, St. John's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in St. John's
#2 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#3 Business Hotel in St. John's
#3 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#4 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Blue Waters Antigua 4*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the North West Corner of Antigua where crystal clear waters lap onto secluded white sand beaches, Blue Waters Resort offers an island paradise. From your personal welcome, complete with cooled scented towel and rum punch, you will realise you are our valued guest. Featuring small secluded beach coves, seven freshwater pools and 17 acres of lush tropical gardens, Blue Waters provides the ideal setting for relaxing days by the pool or on the beach, cocktail in hand, or for reading a good book in the shade of the swaying palm trees. Having gently evolved and constantly improved over 50 years we offer a range of luxuriously appointed rooms to meet the needs of our guests, from hillside rooms in a garden setting to beachside rooms with renowned spectacular ocean views. For the more active guest we offer complimentary watersports, tennis and a newly refurbished gym. Our recently opened Elemis Spa and Hair Salon with its stunning ocean views provides a perfect setting for a pampering treatment or as part of a wedding package. Finish the day off dining at one of our 3 restaurants, each with a different ambience to suit your mood. Our staff is ready and waiting to welcome you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Waters Antigua Hotel St. John`s
Blue Waters St Johns
Hotel Blue Waters
Blue Waters Hotel Antigua
Blue Waters Antigua Saint John Parish

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