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Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

Roanoke, VA
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Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

My husband and I are planning a trip to Antigua in October. We are looking for an all-inclusive resort. The main two we have been looking at are the Sandals resort or Jolly Beach.

I have read many of the reviews posted about either of them on this forum. But I still can't decide. I would appreciate any comments you may have about either of the resorts, or any other all-inclusive on Antigua.

Which side of the island are these resorts located on? The beach is one of the main things we look for in a resort.

I appreciate any comments you are able to give.

PS: If you have pics of either resort, please post a link or I can give you my email address.

Thanks!!!

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Antigua
Antigua
Antigua and Barbuda
Jolly Beach
Jolly Beach
143 Reviews
Antigua
Hermitage Bay
Hermitage Bay
#1 of 8 hotels in Saint Mary's
Curtain Bluff Resort
Curtain Bluff Resort
#2 of 8 hotels in Saint Mary's
Jumby Bay Island
Jumby Bay Island
#2 of 16 hotels in St. John's
Cape Elizabeth...
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1. Re: Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

Jolly is on the western side of the island and Sandals is on the northwestern tip.

I have stayed at neither one, but plenty of people on this forum have, and so I will leave it to them. I will say that both seem to elicit really strong emotions! People love these places or hate 'em. So you'll just have to sift through it all and decide what attributes are most important to you.

Thes two resorts, particularly the Jolly compound, are the two largest on the island (well, St. James may qualify also). Jolly is the biggest, if these things matter to you. They both have nice beaches.

One personal observation: The side of the mountain range that Jolly is on tends to get more rain than the other side of the mountains. This might enter into the equation, particularly since October can be chancy weather-wise anyway.

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Antigua&Barbuda
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2. Re: Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

Check this one:

www.allegroantigua.com

Toronto Ont Canada
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130 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

Subject: Antigua - Sandals Antigua

Location: Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda, Caribbean, North America

Title: * Loved Antigua *

ID#: 5229118

My husband and I went to Sandals Antigua for our 5 yr wedding anniversary (early 30's) we were

there April 1 - 11 2006.

CHECK IN & OUT - They check in for you as you are greeted in the lobby with champagne and a wet

face cloth to refresh & sit & lounge this took 15 minutes. Excellent

ROOMS- We booked a Premium room but were upgraded to a Luxury suite. Dont bother to pay a

fortune to stay in another room class all the rooms are the same it's just the location that

changes. Rooms are clean but small and in need of a renovation although some have already been

renovated. We stayed in room 601.

GROUNDS - The grounds were very well maintained daily full of trees & tropical flowers which

makes this resort very private.

POOLS - Each building of rooms have there own small swimming pool & jaquzzi. There is also a

large main pool with swim up bar (very close to the construction of the new Sandals Resort) Very

nice but with the beautiful becah & ocean this resort is nestled on who needs a pool in my

opinion.

FOOD - Restaurants were very clean (checking food temperatures daily) large variety of food and

very good. Ask for LOBSTER at any of the restaurants although it is not on the menu if you ask

you shall receive and boy is it great! When booking your reservations for the restaurants give

the guy at the desk 15.00 and book them all one shot & make sure to request your lobster.

Japanese restaurant & Italian were my favorites. They also have a beach BBQ one weekly which was

Terrific and you eat directly on the beach. Most of the restaurants have a very strict dress

code no t- shirts only collared shirts for men.

DRINKS - Have a Bananna Colada, Bannanna Sip Sop & A Miami Vice. Drinks are served in large

glasses and are NOt watered down at all. Bars are easy to come by & service is great.

SERVICE - Outstanding service, and although it was all inclusive the service was so good we

tried to leave tips and at our surprise tips were not excepted. Staff was so friendly &

welcoming always smiling!!!! Never experienced service like this!

ENTERTAINMENT - During the day this resort is very quiet no loud music or games on the beach

which we enjoyed at night they had shows, calypso bands, singers, fire eaters,dancers, newlywed

games. Entertainment was average.

BEACH - Remarkable Beach white sand raked regularly, crystal clean water, array of gorgeous

colours and no waves whatsoever. Just perfect couldn't ask for a better beach. Dickenson's Bay

is rated one of the top ten worlds best beaches in the world.. and it definetly is. The beach

and ocean was by far the best this resort had to offer & a reason alone to return.

WEATHER - The weather was very dry but extremley hot no rain & only one day of overcast. Bring

lots of block even if you tan well. I love to sun tan but I found it very hard to lie in the sun

for more then 15 minutes at a time....I have never used block other then on my face and I found

myself applying 30 block as I was burning.

TOURS - We took the Waldaldi Catamaran tour around the entire island of Antigua & then to green

island a secluded island to go snorkelling and have a BBQ. The tour was a perfect way to see all

of Antigua & all the resorts. However my husband did get sea sick when we entered the Atalantic

Ocean with waves about 4 feet it did get rough so make sure to take a motion sickness pill

before going.

TIPS - There is a convinient store located off the beach along the fence where the construction

is going on walk along the fence and in the right hand corner there is a store.

CONSTRUCTION / NEW SANDALS RESORT - when we were there in April it was hard to see or hear where

the construction was until we saw a huge crane...noise was minimal as most of the work that

would cause noise is already completed...don't let this scare you off it's unnoticeable.

SHIRLEY HIGHTS - It's all a hipe... The party there is no big deal & way to over crowded

although the view is spectacular.

SHOPPING - The shopping downtown is expensive especially if a cruise ship is in. Everything on

the island is overpriced even at duty free. Lots of stores & jewllery & plenty of souvenior

shops with great gifts although pricey. We went to the tiny casino which was okay to pass some

time. Down town was very safe even at night but remember to always be wise & alert anything is

possible.

OVERALL - Sandals Antigua has mixed reviews and I believe I know why ... Most couples that stay

here are getting married or on honeymoon or anniversary and they stay in the ocean rondovals

that come with a private butter and are literally treated as ROYALTY and they are also focussed

on eachother rather then minor difficiencies and they give excellent reviews. Others stay in a

baic room with no buttler pay less money and expect the world and obviously dont receive it and

they are the ones that give negative reviews.

My husband and I paid 6000.00 Canadian we stayed in an average room & for what we paid we did

expect more out of our room but we loved our trip even though we did expect more out of the

accomodations however you must keep in mind that this resort is about 15 years old and you dont

spend the trip in your room & your not at home your in the carribean. I would reccomend booking

at the new sandals resort and trust me you will love every minute of the resort & Antigua. We

are planning on going back and staying in the new Sandals in 2 years.

Remember that some people that post on this site are paid to give negative reviews so

investigate & be wise about who & what you trust.

If you have any further questions please email me at LINAPARIS74@HOTMAIL.COM

Mentioned in this post
Antigua
Antigua
Antigua and Barbuda
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Sandals Grande Antigua...
7,106 Reviews
Antigua
The Catamaran Hotel
The Catamaran Hotel
165 Reviews
Antigua
Toronto Ont Canada
Level Contributor
130 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

Subject: Antigua - Sandals Antigua

Location: Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda, Caribbean, North America

Title: * Loved Antigua *

ID#: 5229118

My husband and I went to Sandals Antigua for our 5 yr wedding anniversary (early 30's) we were

there April 1 - 11 2006.

CHECK IN & OUT - They check in for you as you are greeted in the lobby with champagne and a wet

face cloth to refresh & sit & lounge this took 15 minutes. Excellent

ROOMS- We booked a Premium room but were upgraded to a Luxury suite. Dont bother to pay a

fortune to stay in another room class all the rooms are the same it's just the location that

changes. Rooms are clean but small and in need of a renovation although some have already been

renovated. We stayed in room 601.

GROUNDS - The grounds were very well maintained daily full of trees & tropical flowers which

makes this resort very private.

POOLS - Each building of rooms have there own small swimming pool & jaquzzi. There is also a

large main pool with swim up bar (very close to the construction of the new Sandals Resort) Very

nice but with the beautiful becah & ocean this resort is nestled on who needs a pool in my

opinion.

FOOD - Restaurants were very clean (checking food temperatures daily) large variety of food and

very good. Ask for LOBSTER at any of the restaurants although it is not on the menu if you ask

you shall receive and boy is it great! When booking your reservations for the restaurants give

the guy at the desk 15.00 and book them all one shot & make sure to request your lobster.

Japanese restaurant & Italian were my favorites. They also have a beach BBQ one weekly which was

Terrific and you eat directly on the beach. Most of the restaurants have a very strict dress

code no t- shirts only collared shirts for men.

DRINKS - Have a Bananna Colada, Bannanna Sip Sop & A Miami Vice. Drinks are served in large

glasses and are NOt watered down at all. Bars are easy to come by & service is great.

SERVICE - Outstanding service, and although it was all inclusive the service was so good we

tried to leave tips and at our surprise tips were not excepted. Staff was so friendly &

welcoming always smiling!!!! Never experienced service like this!

ENTERTAINMENT - During the day this resort is very quiet no loud music or games on the beach

which we enjoyed at night they had shows, calypso bands, singers, fire eaters,dancers, newlywed

games. Entertainment was average.

BEACH - Remarkable Beach white sand raked regularly, crystal clean water, array of gorgeous

colours and no waves whatsoever. Just perfect couldn't ask for a better beach. Dickenson's Bay

is rated one of the top ten worlds best beaches in the world.. and it definetly is. The beach

and ocean was by far the best this resort had to offer & a reason alone to return.

WEATHER - The weather was very dry but extremley hot no rain & only one day of overcast. Bring

lots of block even if you tan well. I love to sun tan but I found it very hard to lie in the sun

for more then 15 minutes at a time....I have never used block other then on my face and I found

myself applying 30 block as I was burning.

TOURS - We took the Waldaldi Catamaran tour around the entire island of Antigua & then to green

island a secluded island to go snorkelling and have a BBQ. The tour was a perfect way to see all

of Antigua & all the resorts. However my husband did get sea sick when we entered the Atalantic

Ocean with waves about 4 feet it did get rough so make sure to take a motion sickness pill

before going.

TIPS - There is a convinient store located off the beach along the fence where the construction

is going on walk along the fence and in the right hand corner there is a store.

CONSTRUCTION / NEW SANDALS RESORT - when we were there in April it was hard to see or hear where

the construction was until we saw a huge crane...noise was minimal as most of the work that

would cause noise is already completed...don't let this scare you off it's unnoticeable.

SHIRLEY HIGHTS - It's all a hipe... The party there is no big deal & way to over crowded

although the view is spectacular.

SHOPPING - The shopping downtown is expensive especially if a cruise ship is in. Everything on

the island is overpriced even at duty free. Lots of stores & jewllery & plenty of souvenior

shops with great gifts although pricey. We went to the tiny casino which was okay to pass some

time. Down town was very safe even at night but remember to always be wise & alert anything is

possible.

OVERALL - Sandals Antigua has mixed reviews and I believe I know why ... Most couples that stay

here are getting married or on honeymoon or anniversary and they stay in the ocean rondovals

that come with a private butter and are literally treated as ROYALTY and they are also focussed

on eachother rather then minor difficiencies and they give excellent reviews. Others stay in a

baic room with no buttler pay less money and expect the world and obviously dont receive it and

they are the ones that give negative reviews.

My husband and I paid 6000.00 Canadian we stayed in an average room & for what we paid we did

expect more out of our room but we loved our trip even though we did expect more out of the

accomodations however you must keep in mind that this resort is about 15 years old and you dont

spend the trip in your room & your not at home your in the carribean. I would reccomend booking

at the new sandals resort and trust me you will love every minute of the resort & Antigua. We

are planning on going back and staying in the new Sandals in 2 years.

Remember that some people that post on this site are paid to give negative reviews so

investigate & be wise about who & what you trust.

If you have any further questions please email me at LINAPARIS74@HOTMAIL.COM

Mentioned in this post
Antigua
Antigua
Antigua and Barbuda
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Sandals Grande Antigua...
7,106 Reviews
Antigua
The Catamaran Hotel
The Catamaran Hotel
165 Reviews
Antigua
Wales
Level Contributor
21 posts
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5. Re: Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

Jolly Beach - definately! i am biased as we wewre married there in April & it was super. The wedding was fantastic & the holiday was too. We will be going back.

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Jolly Beach
Jolly Beach
143 Reviews
Antigua
Pinehurst, NC
Level Contributor
659 posts
8 reviews
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6. Re: Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

Sandals for sure. I am biased as well, I was married there at sunset!

London, UK
Level Contributor
196 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

Jolly Beach is huge and 'on its own' (well, it's so huge it mops up most of the bit of coast its on!) - got a casino and Marina and shops etc. Very big. Sandals is much smaller in that it shares Dickonson Bay with other hotels all along its length. It's next to the Rex on one side and another smaller one on the other side. (that smaller one, has, I think, the wonderful is it Coconut Bay restaurant, where you eat outdoors and just about have the sea lapping your feet across the tiny strip of beach - beautiful, quite beuatiful!)(need to reserve for dinner).

Dickenson Bay is much closer to St Johns if you wanted to get out and about - Jolly Beach is more remote and isolated.

Warning - I see from tourist brochures that Sandals are already showing their 'artists impression' of their HUGE new build on Dicensons - I don't know how much construction work is going on yet. I'm appalled they got planning permission as Dicenson is fundamentally a small, pretty place, and this will ruin it.

The beach on Dickensons' is lovely soft white sand. Don't know what the Jolly Beach beach is like.

Jay

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Dickenson Bay
Dickenson Bay
343 Reviews
Antigua
Jolly Beach
Jolly Beach
143 Reviews
Antigua
Toronto Ont Canada
Level Contributor
130 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

Sandals is Beautiful and you are wrong when you say they have a small beach they have a huge long beach which is rated 1 of the top five best in the world which jolly Beach does NOT have! As for the new Sandals building it will be beautiful and it will compliment the beautiful surrounding of Dickenson Bay and 95 % of the resorts on the island of Antigua need to be knocked down and rebuilt due to being so old it will only make ANtigua more beautiful. The weather can range drastically on the island of Antigua if you stay at Sandals the weather is dry (NO RAIN or VERY LITTLE RAIN) where as the other coast and over St John's is always cloudy and has frequent rain.

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Dickenson Bay
Dickenson Bay
343 Reviews
Antigua
Antigua
Antigua
Antigua and Barbuda
Canada
Level Contributor
272 posts
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9. Re: Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

Just a short comment about the beaches. I'm more accustomed to the Dickenson Bay beach, but I'm don't think it equals or surpasses the beach at Jolly Beach.

I should say too that if you haven't seen both beaches why comment about the beaches? Just because the beach at Dickenson Bay is nice doesn't mean that there aren't nicer beaches elsewhere on Antigua; there are.

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Dickenson Bay
Dickenson Bay
343 Reviews
Antigua
Jolly Beach
Jolly Beach
143 Reviews
Antigua
Antigua
Antigua
Antigua and Barbuda
Cape Elizabeth...
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for Portland, Antigua
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187 reviews
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10. Re: Need help deciding on a resort for upcoming trip

When one travels as much as I do it is always a little amusing to hear that a beach is "one of the top five" (although the claim is usually "top ten") in the world. According to whom?

The best beach, for each of us, is the one that works the best for our personal tastes.

By the way, as long as we are going to be discussing it, let's get it right..."Dickinson Bay" is the way Antiguans spell it.

(I stand by my original comment to the poster who asked the question in the first place-----those two resorts elicit VERY strong feelings in people! And from my point of view, neither one is the "best" on the island. But that wasn't his/her original question, was it)?