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“Wonderful Resort!!!”

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The Verandah Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Saint Philips
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed June 18, 2008

We booked our trip to get married at the Verandah in December 07 for our wedding/trip May 17-24, 2008.

We started reading the reviews and were slightly concerned as the time came near but....we are very laid back travelers who like nice things but are also very realistic on what to expect. Antigua is an island and that should be taken into account when considering where you are going and what you should expect. Luckily, their way of life and standards are different than ours, that is why we go there, right? So, a nutshell review is that our trip was wonderful and our wedding was held there and it was better than we could have dreamed - thanks to Lionel and all the staff!!!

Here are some comments on the different things they had at the resort....

Kids:
We did not take the kids on this trip but we could have. They have one of the largest play sets I have ever seen, a kids club, and of course the pool and beach amenities that are for everyone. Any kids who love sun, water and fun would love to be there.

Rooms:
The rooms were very spacious and nice. We had room 178 which was right by the stairs to the beach and the beach bar.. oh and the wedding gazebo we used. The ocean front was a wonderful room and we had a wraparound porch that was very large. The safe is on the floor so it was kind of a pain to get stuff in and out, but it was a very nice room. We also brought coffee because of the reviews and that was not necessary.. it’s not as bad as the posts.

Pool:
The pool was beautiful! I wish they painted all the pools in the states a deep blue so they looked like this one! It was so wonderful and relaxing. Tons of chairs were around the pool as well. A good addition in busy season would be more umbrella tables, but they had an area in the back that was fully covered you could go under as well. We also liked the way they dealt with pool towels. They just had a stack by the pool to grab as you needed and a bin to dump the wet ones. We have been to other resorts that make you carry a towel card and also give you issues for getting more than one towel in a day, etc. Their way made it relaxing and wonderful.

Beach:
The beach is not large but it is large enough and very nice. There is also another beach right next door. There were free water sports as well. We used the kayak and went all over the bay. We actually took it over to the cove across from Devils Bridge so we could go see that as well easily. We also used their snorkel gear. The best snorkeling was out by the breakwater near the mouth of the cove..it was kind of rough water.. but worth it! There was quite a bit to do. By the way, there are stairs down to the beach, by they are not a big deal and we laughed when we saw them compared to the reviews we had read. The smaller beach near the front does still need to be cleaned up by the water so that it is more attractive as I doubt many swim in it. But, the beach itself is pretty.

Staff:
Well, we travel all over and never have we come across staff that are just so helpful and caring on how your stay is going, anything they can do for you, etc. The staff were truly amazing! It was obvious that this was not a job to them, they were part of a team here to make your experience the best it can possibly be. The one bartender even gave us a card for our wedding.. yes, my husband was drinking at her bar all week, got to know her and tipping her.. but to bring a card the day after our wedding and say congratulations was truly amazing! We missed the managers cocktail party as we had just gotten married and headed up for dinner. We had these wonderful martini glasses filled with guacamole, salsa, etc there though and the staff were so nice and got us more for our dinner upstairs! We heard the party was great though and should have thought to stay.. our minds were elsewhere though!

Shirley Heights:
Well, this one was not as good as we expected. The food, view, band, etc were good… but it got extremely crowded and wasn’t someplace you wanted to stay and party at. For a while it was fun, but not for the night. Not sure I would recommend anyone to go though and we would not go next time we visit.

Food:
They have three restaurants of which two are open each night. Some nights are sit down and some buffet. I have to say that all the food we had there was very good. All of the food for the sit downs was excellent that we had and the buffets had so much to choose from that if you could not find something we are just not sure what to tell you. the buffet also had an area where you could get eggs prepared at breakfast and stir frys, roasted meats, and pasta for lunches/dinners made up while you waited. All was very good. They also had ice cream if you asked for it, which many couples that came with us loved. We did suggest to the hotel that they do not start charging for Nicole’s as rumored. It is nice, but we have been to many all-inclusive resorts that have the one higher end restaurant that is just harder to get into because it fills up quickly, but we have never had to pay extra for it when at an all-inclusive.. hence the name. The staff were excellent in all restaurants although it was obvious that the buccaneer staff were not as seasoned as the other two restaurants. We are assuming that is because they are not open as often. The staff catered to you in all restaurants though and a plate is never left in front of you, they are very into customer service.

Wedding and Planner:
Not sure what to say except his name is Lionel and he is there to make your day the best day ever.. and he is very good at his job! He walked us through the locations to choose from, the pictures we can get, what we wanted for a cake, what type of flowers, etc. What was nice is that we had lots of options, they would do most anything we wanted or could dream of, but in the end, our main package plus a picture package was all that we really needed and it was more than enough. The cake in the package was wonderful and our flowers were truly amazing. The gazebo was directed very nice and all was spectacular. He even picked the perfect minister that fit our personality and my husband even had the pistons snuck in our ceremony! It was a truly amazing experience we will never forget and it is all owed to Lionel and his staff. One last thing on the wedding is that when we went to register downtown, we were the only couple at the Verandah getting married that week, but there were two busloads of people there getting married from Sandals. The comments we heard were that they saw brides everywhere and there were weddings every couple hours. Our wedding was special and ours and we are just so very glad that we chose the Verandah to get married at!

SPA (hairdresser):
We went to the spa to inquire about doing my hair for the wedding. Well, I was a little nervous because I brought pictures and the girl seemed not as confident as I would have liked. I didnt need it to be exactly like the picture, just similiar. Well, she did such a wonderful job... it was truly amazing! I dont think I could have gotten what she did in the states! It was just amazing! As any girl knows, besides the husband, the two most important things about your wedding is the dress and your hair! So, thank you to her!! :-)

Activities:
We all went on the catamaran trip to the one island to snorkel one day. It was very nice and relaxing. Most of our group also went on the Zip Line adventure and loved it. Some went diving, and into St. Johns, played tennis, went hiking, etc…there was just a lot to do if you wanted to. There is also a very nice gym for those who work out while away.

Resort:
It was very spacious and clean and very nice. They would sell more out of their gift shop if they were to move it from the front check in area to the main area that the guests are in most of the time. But, the carts take you anywhere you need when you need to, so even going up front wasn’t an issue. There could be more of them or a little more often sometimes as we all waited for a few by the front beach when we were done on the cameraman and we all could not fit.

Construction:
There is only a limited amount left and you don’t see it. It is in the areas where people are not staying and mostly the inside of rooms they are finishing. We heard absolutely no noise.

Feedback:
The hotel reads trip advisor so ensure you always post.. they use it as one of their main ways to gain feedback on their properly.

Vacation Club:
We went and learned about it (this is how we received the free cameraman trip) and it was very good. It was a very laid back presentation and provided us with all the information but did not put high pressure on us. I thought it was perfect to get info and ensure if you were ready to join that you had all you needed to do so. It sounded like a great opportunity for those who it fits.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kyoung1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,625 - 3,631 of 3,824 reviews

Reviewed June 11, 2008

this hotel is fantastic. From the moment we arrived and were greeted with a rum punch we had smiles on our faces! My Fiance and i paid for a "bay View" room which had fantastic views, however so did all of the other villas - so i wouldnt advise spending extra for that!:-)
Ive never experienced such customer care and it really seemed that all of the staff genuinely would go that extra mile to be pleasant and they are clearly very proud of their new hotel, and not just a kind of American falseness that other hotels portray.
The food is of a very high quality as are the branded drinks and to have decent Champagne included in the all inclusive- well that speaks for itself :-)
The rooms are large with massive baths and are exceptionately clean.
the beach isnt massive, however walk out of the hotel, turn right and about 200 metres away is "long beach" which has the reputation of being the best beach in Antigua and is practically deserted,and we walked there every morning before breakfast.
The main pool is massive with lots of sunloungers and we especially liked the second smaller pool which is for adults only.
We loved this hotel and resort and would reccomend to everyone who likes being truly looked after in beautiful surroundings.The spa is well worth a visit too ... roll on next year! .... enjoy!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank sarah-jayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2008

This hotel was excellent, we only stayed for 4 days as the hotel we were booked into was appauling so we left. The rooms are fantastic, very clean, massive baths, excellent a/c beautiful outlook onto the beach and ocean, entertainment every night, and the staff were friendly and helpful. We intend going back next year and will definately be staying at the Verandah, cant wait.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank teddy59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2008

Firstly let me start by saying that before booking this resort I carried out a lot of research on the different hotels/resorts in Antigua for our honeymoon and on reading some of the reviews on this website I was a bit reluctant to book.....but thank god I did.

I could not complain about one thing regarding this hotel.....the staff could not do more for you if they tried (one even left the resort at night after the gift shop had closed to go to a local shop to buy cigarettes)....the room maids were in every single day of our weeks holiday and made the room up as if nobody had ever stayed in it.......the food was top quality, I personally think it would be hard to buy this quality of food in this country.......the rooms are very spacious, very clean and have all that you require within them.
The resort as a whole was very clean and tidy as there were staff out every morning cleeaning and carrying out general gardening works etc.

As someone had reviewed before the soundproofing in the rooms does leave a little to be desired (this is the only thing I could fault if I had to) but in the time that we were there the resort was quiet which most likely did help matters.

If booking in the high season I could only imagine that it might get a little tight around the pool area and beach beside the Bar Grill but there is another beach (Long Bay - 5 minute walk) that although I never got round to seeing, does have greater room for holiday makers to relax.

All I can say is that I will be returning to this resort at some point in the future but I will make sure that it would be at the same time of year as this stay as it may get a little busy if it was any later in the year.

There are still some small amounts of works being carried out finishing off the latter rooms that have been built but it all cosmetic; internal works only....absolutely no noise from this whatsoever.

Some people may have had bad experiences with this resort but I most certainly am not one of them.
This place in my eyes comes highly recommended.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank GlasgowCraigie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2008

We were not really too sure what to expect out of our stay at the Verandah, what with the mixed reviews an the hotel only opening in Oct 2007...however we definitely were not disappointed!!

The staff were fantastic - really happy in their work and it showed, really friendly and polite from the groundsmen maintaining the beautiful gardens to the bar staff. The manager's cocktail party is really worth attending with introductions to the management team and free excursions and wine being given out as raffle prizes!! (we won a piece of art by a local artist - very good)

The hotel grounds are immaculate and constantly being maintained - I would rate this hotel as a 4/5 star easy. Rooms are extremely generous and ours had a wonderful view.

Food again was faultless - lots of choice and high standards, Nicoles being particulary good. It was my partners birthday whilst we were there and I arranged a cake to be brought out - little did I know it came along with singers and champagne!!

Excursions worth doing are Shirley Heights although its an idea to arrange your own transportation so you can stay till the end and swimming with Stingrays was excellent too!!

We will definitely be returning!!!

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Helsybub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2008

I am a great believer in that you only get one chance to make a first impression. Well first impressions on arrival at the Verandah reception were positive. Fast efficient check in and transfer to our room via one of the hotel buggies was accompanied by an informative tour of the complex which lasted minutes but gave you a basic knowlege of where things were; valuable to say the least.
Our room was most inviting. A semi- detached appartment is probably the best description.Thought has gone into their design. The rounded ceiling with rough plasterwork adds an element of character. It was clean, spacious and well furnished. Each room is individualy given a themed name. Ours was Grenada; much nicer than say room twenty . After the briefest of explorations it was very apparent that the resort is beautifully laid out with careful attention to detail. The landscaping is excellent and thoughtful. The gardens are beautifully maintained and the ambience of an unfussy, relaxed resort quickly became apparent.
There is a bit of walking involved but the distances involved are not excessive and hardly a challenge. For those with limited mobility the hub of the resort will meet all but the most demanding of requirements. The only stairs encountered were to access one of the two beaches. I would not envisage this as a problem as the pool, restaurants and all other facilities including one of the beaches is easily accessible. In addition the regular buggie service could deal with most access demands.
The faclities are to a high standard.The gym is cool and well equipped. The family pool is large and attractively laid out. The small adult only pool provided a haven for those wanting absolute peace and quiet. The larger of the two beaches whilst still relatively small is attractive and well maintained. Refreshments were available on the beach without having to climb the stairs to the beach bar. Additional shade sreens were being installed during our stay although finding a lounger with some protection from the sun was never a problem. The swimming was safe and catered for all skill levels. The bars and retaurants are spacious and have a bit of character.
The food was excellent with a choice of restaurants. We did prefer Nicoles which was available to all inclusive guests at no extra surchage. However all the food irrespective of restaurant was of high quality. Yes you will see the menu repeated if you are staying longer than a few days but it was none the worse for that.
The service was not flawless but having spent several holidays in the Caribbean it was as good as you can expect. The staff were superb. If you are looking for a robotic 'have a nice day. Missing you already' response then go elsewhere. These are real people. The responses you get are genuine, warm, and unfussed. The service was not heel clickingly perfect but all I can say is thank goodness for that. This resort is run by real people. The interactions are non scripted and from the heart.
I would thoroughly recommend a trip to Shirley's Heights on Sunday evening. Arranged through the hotel it was our second trip there and was as memorable as the first. Great venue, great company. Nelson's dock yard is stunning. Full of history and peculiarly British. Antigua is a beautiful island.Hire a car from the hotel and explore.You will find it rewarding. The Ecellence boat trip is good. Again second time round this starts off fairly slowly but on completion you will conclude money well spent.
In summary the Verandah is good, in fact I would say very good. Well run, eager to improve. It provided us with a wonderfully relaxing break; all that we wanted. The staff are genuine and above all sincere. Would we go back?, an unreserved yes would be the answer.
Lionel keep up the good work. You and your team are doing the Verandah proud.
P.S. my wife wanted to ask Lionel to come home to the Highlands to be her butler. Fortunately for me he declined.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank HighlanderInverness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2008

May 3 - 10 ,2008

First of all I would like to say the staff at the Verandah are top notch. This is the first time that I have ever experienced such a staff that were excited about thier jobs and it showed in their work and attitudes. The grounds were unbelievable, the rooms were very large and did not have any insects. My boyfriend felt right at home watching the flat screen TV. The food was also very
good even for a picky eater. The drinks there was also very tasty. No nasty birds to shoo away let alone droppings on chairs and tablecloths. They had two beaches and pools which we both visited, one very large and open and one smaller and more private. They had a small casino with a pool table, a nice
size gym and the childrens area looked appealing also. Needless to say this was one bargain that I actually got more than I paid for. I can't wait to go back.

Selina and Waymon

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank SELINA551
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

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: $328 - $1,170 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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