This was our third all inclusive holiday in the Carribean in the last few years and as an all round package it was the best of them. We have two teenage kids 17 and 14 so booked two rooms with a request for them being adjoining in a single 'villa'. As it turned out we were given a 'whole' villa with a double and a twin bedroom with ensuite bathrooms which for us was a major result.
The villas are still relatively new so are modern and clean with good air conditoning and most modcons. We had a slight problem with hot water in one of the showers but the maintenance team arrived within about 5 minutes and it was resolved quickly thereafter.
We were positioned equidistant between the reception area and the restaurant/main pool complex near to the small third pool which suited us well and encouraged a fair amount of walking rather than waiting for the taxi buggies which were never more than a few minutes away.
The beaches were well kept with decent amounts of shelter and a distinct atmosphere. The larger watersports beach was more family orientated with the smaller beach being quieter and better suited to couples. Due to the shelter of the reef the cove provides very safe swimming considering it is on the Atlantic side of the island. The wind is also generally stronger which took the edge off the heat and humidity.
The main swimming pool is very large and an obvious magnet for the kids but the adult pool is a decent alternative for those wanting more peace and quiet. The downside is that its a long way from the bar if you fancy more than a soft drink from a coolbox.
We thought the food was of a consistently high standard in the Seabreeze buffet, Buccaneers restaurant and the Beach Grill. We didnt go to Nicoles because the combination of previous comments on Tripadvisor and those we met whilst there didnt in our opinion merit the additional charge levied over the AI package. As ever some could moan about the 'sameness' in the menus but if you are after gourmet dining you are on the wrong type of holiday.
We found the staff almost without exception to be friendly and helpful in that less than intense Carribean way which we prefer to the full on customer service elsewhere in the world. Special mention for Travis one of the entertainments guys whose enthusiasm puts Tigger to shame and Tyrone one of the restaurant staff who our kids thought was about the coolest waiter they had ever encountered.
We didnt do any trips other than the round the island boat trip on Excellence which was a great way of seeing most of Antigua in a day but the lunch stop and reef snorkelling didnt set the pulses racing. Others we met enjoyed doing the Stingray Beach, going up to Shirley Heights or seeing the end of the Carnival but we didnt feel the need to spend much time away from The Verandah which is a fairly solid compliment.
Evening entertainment was the expected mix of hotel circuit singers - not great but not awful. We would have been quite happy with the steel band every evening but perhaps that would have been too much of a good thing and a bit of a cliche. The kids made the Pirates Den theirs for the evening and stayed there long after our bedtime! By common consent a good facility.
We struggled to think of many negatives. I used the gym in the morning and perhaps a revamp of the equipment might be on the agenda. The Wifi hotspots lacked energy and could do with an upgrade as everyone and their children seemed to turn up with ipads blackberrys and other gadgets. And that was about it. The resort was full for both weeks we were there and they dont seem afraid to reinvest in the facilities - the new mini golf course opened while we were there and is an amusing diversion for young and old if you want to do something different for an hour.
In general very little to fault and much to praise. Undoubtedly more of a family resort but not without attractions for couples and during school term time it wouldn't be far off a Sandals experience. Definitely recommended for those that like the AI way of doing things.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Verandah Resort & Spa is a world-class all-inclusive resort overlooking the crystal blue Caribbean waters of Antigua. Perfect for couples, friends, families, honeymoons, and weddings. Guests love the resort's friendly, romantic atmosphere, with lots of activities for adults, teens, and children--not to mention our Two White Sand Beaches!The Verandah's four restaurants, four bars, four swimming, including the largest freeform freshwater swimming pool in Antigua. Activities include hobie cat sailing, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, pedal boats, supervised Kids Club, 18-hole miniature golf course, and much more.Indulge at our Spa Tranquility, featuring a wide array of massage and beauty treatments, or enjoy a workout in our air-conditioned fitness center.We look forward to having you as our guest, and thank for your choosing The Verandah Resort & Spa, Antigua. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Verandah Hotel Saint Philip
- Verandah Resort And Spa
- Verandah Hotel St Johns
- Verandah Resort All Inclusive
- The Verandah Resort & Spa Antigua/Saint Philips