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“First class family holiday package”

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The Verandah Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Saint Philips
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Kent
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“First class family holiday package”
Reviewed August 12, 2011

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.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
11 Thank CedarLodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bradenton, FL
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2011

We all look for different things on vacation. What my husband and I want is peace and quiet away from the hectic pace of life at home. In five visits to Verandah, we have enjoyed just that and so much more.

Getting up in the morning and sharing coffee on our verandah overlooking the bay...starting a day like that is just one thing we love about this resort. We stroll to breakfast, for made to order omelets then a quick trip to the gym to ensure room for more yummy food later in the day! Then to the beach; reading, and swimming, snorkling or just snoozing under a tree. Lunch is usually at the bar overlooking the beach and bay...we must have a dozen pictures of that view on our computers, reminding us of what to look forward to on our next trip. Sometimes we hang out at the pool; the sound of that beautiful fountain is a heavenly backdrop to a quiet afternoon.

Each evening, we get ready for cocktails and dinner, meeting nice folks at the bar and in the restaurants. Service from the staff is outstanding. They're like family to us and we feel well treated by them all. Then a stroll under starry skies, back to our verandah for a nightcap and more of that beautiful Antiguan starry, starry night.

Is it all quiet? No, there certainly is music, entertainment and dancing. Great for those who want it. Not necessary for us. Like I said, everyone wants something different for their vacation. Verandah is what we consider our go-to vacation spot.

We can't wait to go back again and again and...

Room Tip: The 163 to 182 rooms get great breezes and have the best view. All waterfront are great.
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  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
12 Thank Marianne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2011

We visited the Verandah as part of our Silver Wedding celebrations, with two teenage sons in tow. From the initial welcome with drinks, the service and customer experience was excellent. We received complimentary room upgrades, one small issue with one of our two rooms was addressed within two hours, the staff - whether Gardener, Housekeeping or Catering always spoke and 99% of the time this was accompanied by a smile too - no corporate standards, just well trained employees with good manners!
As per their guide, the tap water is drinkable, the air conditioner in the room is very effective, the villas are well spaced and there really is something for everyone at the Seabreeze Buffet restaurant - if not, there's another three restaurants to choose from...
Our visit commenced during the first week of the UK school holidays, so I expected it to be crowded - and was surprised to find how spacious and uncongested it was. I was also pleasantly surprised to find people from the UK, Europe, the US and even local Caribbean Islands all staying as guests - clearly the reputation of the Verandah is spreading.
We would have no hesitation in going back..and hope to within a couple of years!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank rob_pep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2011

This was our first time to Antigua so didn't know what to expect. We absolutely loved it and it is the first resort/vacation spot that we are anxious to return to. We traveled with our 2 and a half year old daughter. The Verandah was perfect for our family. The rooms were huge with a nice little kitchenette where we could keep stuff for our daughter - milk, cereal, yogurt, fruit, etc. The bathroom was large as well - two sinks, huge tub. The resort was very quiet. They said it was full, but you never would have known it. The only place we had to wait was at the Beach Bar restaurant, so we learned to order, go back to the beach for awhile, and then come back to eat. We mostly ate at the buffet for supper. It was okay. Nothing spectacular. Drinks were fantastic. Both beaches were beautiful - clean, nice sand, not deep, and calm - perfect for our daughter! We didn't really take advantage of the kids club as we didn't want to leave her there alone - not because it didn't look trustworthy, but because we just didn't want to, but we did go almost every night before supper to play on the playground with her. Lots of walking but shuttles were available. We mostly walked - good exercise!

The resort and rooms were also very clean. No issues.

The only complaint we had was the bed. It was so unbelievably hard! My husband had the idea to flip the mattress, so we did and it was much better! Who knew?

Long Bay Beach is just a 2 minute walk from the resort. We went there a lot, too. It was a bigger beach than the two at the resort. You could also do your souvenier shopping there as there were several beach huts set up by local vendors.

This is the first vacatioin where we didn't leave the resort (other than to the beach next door.) We were so happy to stay here and relax!

Everyone was so very friendly!

Just an aside ... we were talking to a man from England. He said he had been to Antigua several times but this was his first stay at The Verandah. Compared to the other resorts, he said The Verandah was his favourite.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank Janet0818
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2011

We stayed at The Verandah at the end of May, and it was hot. Low 30's everyday and about the same at night. It was an absolutely beautiful resort, about 30 minutes from the airport. We received a lovely non alcoholic cocktail at the airport, but it was very slow going through customs. As long as you don't expect the same pace of life as in the UK you will be alright! Beautiful rum punch on arriving at the hotel. Golf buggies run you up and down the resort, which are great. If you are a family don't request to be away from the pool area as we did. Actually it would have been nice to have walked easily to the bar and restaurants, and the entertainment really wasn't that loud. Take ear plugs though if you don't sleep well with noise, as the tree frogs at night sound like little house alarms going off!! Unbelievable the amount of noise at night from the frogs. Take nothing less than factor 50 for children, and sun suits. I would actually buy long sleeved sun suits for the children as the sun is so fierce. The hotel staff can not do enough to help, the food is absolutely lovely, plenty of variety and lots for the children too. I would recommend booking the beach grill or buccaneers at night, which can be done by calling reception the day before on waking up. Just because the main restaurant has no air conditioning, the humidity can get unbearable at night. But the food is good! We had two children 3 and 7 with us and it was by far the best holiday we have ever had, and I would go back there in a heart beat. The girls keep asking when they can go back!!!! The grounds Are absolutely beautiful, it would be impossible not to be impressed, 5 star!

  • Stayed May 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sarahknigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2011

We spent 2 weeks in the Verandah at the end of July 2011. I travelled with my husband and son (7) and travelled with Virgin Holidays. Overall everything was as lovely as we hoped for.

Room: We had a room right next to the Main Pool and Bar and Restuarants. This was very convenient and despite the hilly walk to the "quiet" beach it was a pleasant walk. We did make use of the golf buggy service but not on all occasions.
The rooms were very spacious with large double bed, huge bath in the bathroom and small kitchenette (with coffee maker) and verandah. The view was overlooking the sea, but as we were on the Hillside the view was slightly obscurred by large plants.

Restuarants/Bar:
The Seabreeze buffet restuarant was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the first week it was relatively quiet and there were no problems with food availabilty but as it was busier in the second week there was a noticeable reduction in the availabilty of items and also tables. Queues were longer but the staff did their best to cope with the volumes of people. Food was varied and interesting at all meal times, but the menu did repeat each week (which is not a problem, especially if there was an item that was a dish that was lovely (like the tortilla wraps with vegetable curry inside!)
We ate in the Buccaneer most nights (you need to book the day before with Guest Services). The menu is changed weekly (on a Monday) and the food was very good. We did enjoy the lobster, there was a $20 supplement but it was lovely. Our son also tried a number of the meals from the main menu and the staff were happy to meet simple requests such as sauce on the side or no salad.
Point to note if you order steak - in our opinion the meat was cooked a little more than we would expect for the same in Britain. For example if you like Med-Rare ask for Rare as it was over cooked to our taste.
We had 1 meal in Nicole's, which was very nice and we felt worth the additional money. It was a level above the Buccaneer but wouldn't eat there every night! The only downside for us was that we put our son into the Kids Club but he was the only kid there, so spent the time watching TV under the supervision of the staff. We have been to other resorts where there is pre-planned organised Kids late night sessions and even sleep-overs which would have been more enjoyable for him.
Main bar was fine, service good and a wide range of drinks & cocktails available. Also served crisps/mixed snacks if asked.

Pools/Beaches:
The main pool was great but the usual issue of people reserving sunbeds and then not using them was a problem, especially in the second week when it was busier. This was particularly a problem with larger groups who would reserve enough beds for all people in their party (10+) but only ever have a handful of people at the pool at any one time. Often you would see other members of their party sitting at the bar further away from the pool. We only ever use the sunbeds for the period we are at the pool (normally about 1hr at a time) so it was annoying to have to search for free beds when hardly any were in use. The hotel did state they will remove towels from unused beds but we only saw this on 1 occasion, at the request of another guest.
Both beaches were fantastic. The "quiet" beach near reception was good as there were very few people on it, and as a result more fish were present in the water. The Watersports beach had lots of free activities and we did kayaking, snorkelling (but didn't see many fish) and went out on a Hobie Cat with a member of Staff.
We did not get round to using the Adult pool but did raid the drinks cooler on a few occaisions as it was conviniently located near to the games area.

Other facilities:
Kids club was open 9am to 10pm. Unlike other resorts you do not need to pre-book, just turn up when you want. They have a large indoor and outdoo play area plus pool. Our son really enjoyed spending time their, but the staff were less engaging than we have seen in Eurpoean resorts
Outdoor Games area: Pool table, table football, table tennis and shuttleboard all for free.
Indoor games ares (Pirates Den): Pool table, table football and Wii Sports. A haven for kids in the evening when parents were in the bar - heaven!
Spa - did not use

Tours:
We did the Eco Tour, Virgin Ahoy and Helicopter to Montserrat. All were fabulous! The only downside was the 30min+ taxi ride to/from the pick up points as the hotel is on the other side of the Island and the locals do not stick to the 40mph speed limit!
Both boat tours were brilliant, with lunch provided and snorkelling on reefs. The helicopter trip was also amazing, seeing the volcanic activity on Montserrat

Room Tip: Near to main pool/bar restaurants was best for us
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Alex_the_Lion_2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2011

My husband and I are on our last day here at the Verandah and I must say it has been wonderful. It has been raining (something that obviously can't be controlled by the hotel) but I had a lot of fun in this hotel. We visited the beach a few times and the sand is just lovely (NO ROCKS). We are here as all inclusive which means that we can have breakfast lunch and dinner at the sea breeze and the food here is food. They had a lot of things to choose from so if you didn't like something you could find something else. They also have a bar and grill that offers burgers, nachos ice cream etc. that is included and of course all the drinks alcohol or non you can have. The staff here is wonderful and the safe is free unlike other hotels. The room was huge and it had a bath tube (this is a plus coming from NYC where I just have a shower). There were flowers at in our bathroom when we arrived. There are no clubs here but there is nightly music last night it was steel drum band. There are a few kittens on premises but they are near the furthest beach near the grill/bar I mentioned they were harmless( I am a dog person but the cats were cute).

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank wperezc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Verandah Resort & Spa

Property: The Verandah Resort & Spa
Address: Indian Town Rd, Saint Philips, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Philip Parish > Saint Philips
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Saint Philips
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Verandah Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 200
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

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