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....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!! :-)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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