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Sandals Resort in Antiogua

Texas
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Sandals Resort in Antiogua

I've already booked a vacation to Sandals in Antigua over the holidays (Christmas and New Years). Can anyone give me the "real dirt" about this particular Sandals? The reviews section of Trip Advisor seem to indicate that people either really hate the place or really like the place.

All I am looking for is some solid information...... I don't need the kind of info where someone says "such and such is rated the best", unless that can be backed up with verification.

I guess what I'm looking for are responses such as, would you come back to this Sandals? Would you return to Antigua? What should I be aware of? How do I get reservations at the restaurants? Are any parts of Sandals Antigua open to people who are not guests of Sandals?

I am just trying to make sure that I either set my sights very high or that I sould not set my sights too high. Thanks in advance to any one who can fill me in.

Wimberley, Texas
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1. Re: Sandals Resort in Antiogua

We went to Sandals Antigua last November for 10 days prior to Thanksgiving and had a great time. We are returning this year for 11 days before Thanksgiving to Antigua. We went to St Lucia last Feb and enjoyed there also, but liked the beaches at Antigua better.

Take some OFF as the sandflies are out in the evening, but every resort seemed to have the same issue. We did not have a problem as we were prepared. Those who were not did have bites. Revs at resturants were really not much a problem as they let you make the next day the morning prior. We had no problems last year. Kimonos was the biggest disappointment to us, but some enjoyed it.

we did not notice any non guests. Staff was plenty attentive to us. I have stayed at 5 star hotels that did not include meals or drinks and the rooms were nicer their, but paying 7-10 dollars per drink and 50-75 per person per meal got expensive real quick. Sandals is very nice for what they offer. Expect a pleasant time with average to above average meals and you will be happy. We were and we are about to make our 3 visit to a Sandals property.

I have grown children and enjoy them when I am with them, but I find it nice that Sandals is an adult only property.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Fallston, MD
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2. Re: Sandals Resort in Antiogua

Well, "dbdinc" .........

After reviewing your last posting, some 3 months ago, on this forum .. If you've decided to book the Sandals resort .. you should just live with your decision. No offense intended whatsoever on my part. However, IMO, you should not set your "sights" as high as you have previously and currently stated. You may well be setting yourselves up for somewhat of a disappointment.

Antigua is NOT an island to visit on a tight budget .. but IS an island of great oppurtunities to explore. Frankly, over the Christmas - New Years holiday period, I would be surprised if you didn't enjoy yourselves at Sandals. However, I am not YOU ... and you are not ME. If you choose to come to ANU and take a little time to explore the island, I trust that you will have an enjoyable holiday vacation.

Cheers,

- - - - - - - -

dbdinc Texas Posted on: 1:13 pm, July 17, 2006

As was said in a previous post, "... to be glad of whatever I was given...." is quite true, however the key word there is given. In contrast to a luxury vacation, which is certainly not given, but purchased, I expect everything that is offered or advertised by a resort or other place to be as it is presented.

If I call for room service and it is not answered within a half-hour, yes I will be concerned.

If my meal arrives at my table and it is not hot, yes I will be concerned.

If my room is shoddy, yes I will be concerned.

If I am offered concierge service and do not recieve it, yes I will be concerned.

And yes, here in America, we definitely expect service and responses to be top-notch. It has nothing to do with being American or British or any other nationality. In my opinion, it has to do with what is spent and what is expected in return. If you pay $100.00 for a used, beat-up car, don't expect too much from it. However, if you spend $55,000 for a Mercedes, then you have every right to expect the world from it, and if you don't get it, then yes, you should be concerned.

Whether Americans or British complain more than the other is not the point.... the point is that you are entitled, on vacation, tocomplain if you are not recieving top value for top dollar.

Texas
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3. Re: Sandals Resort in Antiogua

All I am looking for is some hard and fast information regarding Sandals, as I stated: "All I am looking for is some solid information...... I don't need the kind of info where someone says "such and such is rated the best", unless that can be backed up with verification.

I guess what I'm looking for are responses such as, would you come back to this Sandals? Would you return to Antigua? What should I be aware of? How do I get reservations at the restaurants? Are any parts of Sandals Antigua open to people who are not guests of Sandals?"

I am simply trying to determine where I should set my sights. I also stand by what I wrote about three months ago, that if you pay top dollar for something, you should get top responses. In other words, I'm sure Sandals is very aware of how Americans have come to expect top service for their top dollar. Whether it be the Caribbean or anywhere else, service is and should still be service. Notice I am not commenting about the food offered or how brash Americans can be.....only about service and accomodations.

I hope I don't offend anyone with my comments..... I am simply stating an opinion.

Fallston, MD
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4. Re: Sandals Resort in Antiogua

Well, "dbdinc" .....

I can't imagine that your comments and opinion could possibly offend anyone. Don't even give it another thought.

I'll field a couple of your questions but, although I've visited the resort, I haven't stayed there. So, those type questions I'll leave for someone else.

"Would you return to Antigua?": Yes ! This will be our 9th trip and, besides the beaches, we love the island and the local people.

"What should I be aware of?": I'm sure that, by now, you're well aware of the new construction that is ongoing at Sandals. I doubt that this will interfere with your Christmas/New Year's holiday experience because it should be nearing completion by then and most of the work would be confined to interior refinements I would think. But, no one really will know until that time arrives.

"Are any parts of Sandals Antigua open to people who are not guests of Sandals?": Not to the best of my knowledge. However, just keep in mind that all beaches are public. Therefore, the lounge chairs, etc. are for the exclusive use of Sandals guests only ... but anybody can, if they choose, plop themselves down on that beach or on the beach directly in front of the Rex, next door. It's a somewhat active beach area and a number of catamaran tours depart and return to the beach area smack dab between the Sandals and the Rex.

I absolutely, 100%, agree with your statement "that if you pay top dollar for something, you should get top responses."

Cheers,

United Kingdom
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5. Re: Sandals Resort in Antiogua

I think the question is what is top dollar? You may well think that you are paying top dollar at Sandels in Antigua but I can tell you of many resorts/hotels in the Caribbean that cost alot more. You are looking at a packaged holiday and this may or may not be for you. What I dont understand is when you can read all the dished dirt on trip advisor before you book why you are looking for more.

If you are looking for negatives I think you wont like the fact that Sandels Antigua has a very large building site attached, it is on a public beach. the water on that beach is not sparkling clear water but because the sand is fine its a murcky blue.

It you are prepared to travel out of the resort and open your heart you will find the Antiguan people are an open. generous. helpful and fun loving race. If you want to believe that the US is the 'top dog' forget it.

I love Antigua, a Sandels resort would never be for me, but if you want a packaged sansitized version of the West Indies with everyone jumping as you snap your fingers, maybe its the version YOU want.

I would rather be out with the real folk, but then some people believe the Disney stories!

alberta
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221 posts
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6. Re: Sandals Resort in Antiogua

LOL, munmunmun. You made me laugh out loud!

My fiance and I have already booked our 'weddingmoon' through Sandals. We have 2 children together and bribed them with a Disney trip if mommy and daddy could go away to get married without them(or anyone else coming), which is why I was laughing that you made the Disney joke!!

I will admit that I fell for their beautiful pictures and the basic promotion of their resorts, I bought into it. (by the way we loved Disney too, LOL) We also have friends who were married in St. Lucia at Sandals and loved it. My fiance and I are not worldly travellers, we have been a couple places and plan to travel much more now that the kids are getting older and we can bring them, or feel less guilt for leaving them behind!

We read reviews online before I booked and talked to TA's and decided to just go for it. I have questioned our choice a few times, but mostly just glad I get to go on a holiday with the person I love, with no kids around and have some time for ourselves, as well as exploring Antigua. We are getting soo excited about our trip, but our list of things to do keeps growing!

dbdinc, you will not get SOLID information until it is your own. No one else will have the same desires or palates as you do. No one else will have the same expectations as you do for their holiday.

My suggestion to you for some of your specific questions is to email Sandals directly and then the answers you seek about reservations and non-sandals guests on property will be answered by someone who should know. I hope you find the answers you are looking for(sorry I could not answer any for you) and enjoy your vacation dbdinc.

United Kingdom
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7. Re: Sandals Resort in Antiogua

Hi msimm

Congratulations on your forthcoming wedding. I have also been to Disney, enjoyed it for what it is and taken from it what I wanted and needed at the time.

I agree wholeheartedly with your statements and I am sure you will have a great time because you are traveling with an open mind.

I really hope dbdinc finds a good vacation but only he/she will know what for them is 'solid imformation'

Good luck for your future together.

Texas
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8. Re: Sandals Resort in Antiogua

And I thank you all for your replies......

I am not a "snob," and hope I didn't come across as one. I just like things to be good and enjoyable on my vacations, while realizing that things in different parts of the world are truly not American (hooray for that!). The second reason for my asking what I did is because my wedding anniversary is on New Years Day and I definitely like things to go well, so as to not disappoint my wonderful wife. So far, all our trips have been fun, enjoyable and wonderful (with the exception of having used Air Jamaica 2 years ago --- never again!!!!), and we have been to Costa Rica twice, Canada, Mexico and Tahiti. Reading some of the reviews on Trip Advisor about Sandals Antigua has just made me nervous.

Again, thanks for the replies and Happy Halloween to all!

alberta
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221 posts
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9. Re: Sandals Resort in Antiogua

munmunmun, thanks for your warm wishes-and I agree with you on Disney, lol

dbdinc...I completely understand how you feel about the resort(we are entrusting our wedding and pictures to them)and I do not nor did I think you were a 'snob' either.

Happy Anniversary and I am sure your wife will love you even if the trip is not perfect!! Enjoy your time together as you have in other trips and I am sure you will have a wonderful getaway.

Be sure to fill us in when you return, so we know how your anniversary trip went.

Nashville, Tennessee
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10. Re: Sandals Resort in Antiogua

Here's my 2 cents worth: Your vacation will be what you make of it. If you are looking for problems, you will most definately find them, and at just about Resort you visit. If you're willing to overlook a few minor inconveniences (whieh WILL happen where ever you go), you should be all right.

That said, we honeymooned at Sandals Antigua in August 2003, and had a wonderful time!!! We loved the resort, and did not have any major problems or complaints. Yes, there are areas in the resort that are not brand-spanking new, but we felt that this resort had more "soul" and character than some of the shiny and beautiful newer [hotel-like] AI resorts we have since visited in other caribbean locales. Now, granted, I did a LOT of research on this particular resort prior to our trip. I also talked to several people who had vacationed at other Sandals. In addition, we got very lucky in that our travel agent was a return Sandals Antigua guest, and knew about all the rooms (we actually were booked in a room that is not listed on the Sandals Website). We got the specific room we asked for, and even without concierge service, had no problems eating where ever we wanted whenever we wanted--we just made our dinner reservations in the mornings.

Go in knowledgeable, and you should have a great time. Here's some advice/forwarnings in general to help make your trip more enjoyable:

Do NOT book a room right up against the pool (whatever room category). Those rooms (at whatever resort you stay at) will tend to stay more moist and have more of a musty odor. Top floor rooms tend to have a better view, plus, no neighbors overhead walking around.

DO book a newly renovated room if at all possible (I know that SA has been doing upgrades, and they are in the process of building a whole new section). If you don't get a "new" room, be prepared for a little wear (this resort isn't brand-new). Also beware that while the rooms are airconditioned, some of them have windows without glass--just louvered wooden blinds--so you will have air from outside blowing into your room, and you will be able to hear your neighbors. . . . . .

While the food in most of the resturants is good, it will not be what you (or anyone from the US) will consider 5 star. Yes, the majority of the resturants are open-air (Kimono's was the ony resturant with A/C when we were there), but you get a wonderful view of the ocean and wonderful ocean sounds. Yes, there will be birds in/around the resturant at breakfast and lunch, but just shoo them away, or take a table more towards the inside to avoid them. For dinner, we eespecially njoyed Il Palio and Bayside. We felt Kimonos was OK, but didn't really like the steak place. While we had no problems booking dinner reservations, you may want to book your reservations a day or two in advance, especially if there is a particfular resturant you want to get into.

Definitely go into town one day. We didn't go for long, but it was interesting and enlightening to see the island. Do tours if you want, but don't feel guilty if you don't. We did the sunset chanpagne cruise which was very nice, and the whole day snorkle cruise (which included snorkling, a beach BBQ and LOTS of rum-punch). That cruise was nice b/c we picked up people from several other resorts, so we got to see what the other resorts were like.

Again, your vacation will be what you make of it. Hope you have a good one.