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The Verandah Resort & Spa - All Inclusive
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Reviews (4,031)
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Reviewed January 18, 2010

I have been vacationing in the Caribbean for about 20 years now. I have stayed at some wonderful resorts and some just fair resorts. The Verandah can only hope to someday be a “fair” resort. I have never been compelled to write a review until now.
We stayed at the Verandah from December 26, 2009 to January 2, 2010. The first thing that struck us was that the staff (for the most part) was very rude and not helpful. After being there an entire week, I never saw any of the female bar tenders crack a smile.
We booked our trip 11 months in advance. All together there were twelve of us vacationing together. When we checked in, we found out that our rooms were not together. When we explained that we requested all rooms be together, the reply was that nothing was noted on our reservation. My sister and her husband were not even next to their teenage boys. After much complaining this was fixed.
The food is college cafeteria at best. There are three restaurants at the resort. One is buffet style, one is sit down and the last is a “gourmet” restaurant that charges $25 a person. I bit ridiculous after spending so much money to stay at a so-called all-inclusive. We ate three nights at the sit-down restaurant. The first night was fine. The next two nights were a disaster. Two and a half hours for the meal. The first hour you stare at the menu and your empty water glasses. As the week went on, service got even slower.
The rooms we not very clean. The tile floor was filthy most of the week. I was reduced to taking a wet bath towel and shuffling around the room. I ruined several of the Verandah’s towels. No amount of bleach would make those towels white again.
There are two beaches at this resort. There is a small beach near the main lobby building and one at the other end of the resort. We never went to the small beach because it was just too far from our room. The main beach is not very large. The one thing about this beach that you will not find on the Verandah’s web site is there are about three flights of steep stairs to get to the beach. My two year old and my elderly father had great difficulty getting to the beach each day. Twice a week, they bring in cruise ship passengers to the beach adding an extra forty or fifty people to an already crowded beach.
The resort grounds are quiet hilly. The Verandah’s web site stresses that there are shuttles (golf carts) to get you around the resort. Good luck trying to catch one. You call for a shuttle and they just never come. You try to flag one down and the driver will shout “Not going that way” even though they are driving in the same direction you are walking.
There is absolutely no entertainment at this resort. After dinner there really is nothing to do. This resort is not for the twenty-something crowd looking to party all night. New Year’s Eve was the only night all week we saw a band out by the pool.
At the end of the week, we were all looking forward to heading home. The van ride back to the airport is approximately 30 minutes. Once at the airport, lines are chaotic. Antigua’s airport does not have x-ray machines so they search all luggage by hand. Once you have your luggage searched and get your ticket, you need to pay twenty dollars to get off the island. Then yet another line to walk thru metal detectors and have your carry on searched. Then we were herded into a room with about 400 others waiting for their flights. It was about 100 degrees and absolute chaos. No one from the airport or airline explained what was going one. Each airline had their staff screening passenger again. This meant a pat-down as though you were a common criminal and yet another search of your carry on. The most ridiculous thing was that they pat-searched my 23 month old, lifting her dress and looking at her diaper. Finally, we made it through all the screening and stepped outside to head to our plane. Wear your sneakers if you go! It’s about a ½ mile walk to your plane! From the time we got to the airport, to the time our butts were in our seats, 5 hours, standing in 100 degree heat the entire time.
We would definitely not go back to the Verandah or Antigua for that matter. My wife and I joke that if we go on Wheel of Fortune and win a trip to the Verandah, we would not go. If you are considering an all-inclusive in the Caribbean, save yourself some money and head to the Dominican Republic. The beaches are far superior, the resorts much nicer and the people are so friendly and actually happy you are there. We love the Riu Palace Punta Cana….twice the service, half the price!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank DontGoToTheVerandah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2010

We stayed here with our grown up children over Christmas 2009. Hotel only 3 years old and was lovely with modern clean and generally well maintained suites. It was good to be able to make tea and coffee in the room, Air con was not very effective and noisy.
Buffet food (Seabreeze) was usually good with lots of choice, and lovely fresh fruit and salad; but became a little monotonous after 10 days. Running out of turkey for Christmas dinner was not very clever, thought the management did make up for it later. Nicole's Restaurant (“fine-dining, à la carte” Charge of $25pp) was good but often not open. Staff were usually friendly and helpful but perhaps a little amateurish. Most did not seem to comprehend that there was any sort of distinction between different sorts of red or white wine.
WiFi was available in the bar area, if you didn’t have your own laptop there was often a queue to get at the single guest PC.
There were two beaches, both rather small, the only sailing dinghies were 2 Hobie 14 and one Hobie 16 cat – guests were not allowed to sail the Hobie 16 for fear of them damaging it. The bay was small and partly restricted by a reef; you were not allowed to sail outside the reef. The Verandah is NOT the place for a water sports holiday.
While the pools and the limitless supply of fruit and rum cocktails were fun we soon wanted to explore outside the hotel. Walks to lovely beach at Long Bay and to the rocks at Devils Bridge were worthwhile. The hotel is on the more exposed eastern coast and is perhaps the furthest from most interesting places. Taxis are relatively expensive, for 4 of us it was better to rent a car to explore the rest of the island. Nowhere is more than 45 minutes away, there is not much traffic except around St Johns and the main hazards are the many pothole and speed bumps. The maps aren’t great – apparently no one bothered to preserve whatever was inherited from the Ordnance Survey.
St John’s was busy and noisy with lots of people off cruise ships. This is probably the only place to shop on Antigua but was rather limited. There seem to be two main occupations in Antigua – tourism and working for the government – agriculture has died out almost completely.
English Harbour and Nelsons Dockyard is the most interesting place to visit on the Island. Lots of interesting history remains in what is now a working base for lost of sailing yachts.
The four of us rented a yacht “Jabberwocky” for a day (US $700). This 50 ft Beneteau was based at Jolly Harbour on the west side of Antigua. The owners Kate and Nick are ex-pat Brits. We sailed out towards Montserrat with good view of the distant volcano, tacked down towards Carlisle Bay, and had a great time snorkeling in the very clear water, then a good lunch and back to Jolly Harbour.
We drove round the rest of the island, tried out the zip line in the canopy tour, and for a final highlight spent Christmas day at the beautiful Half Moon bay.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank BobandTheresa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2010

Went with my adult daughter for an opportunity to spend some time together. One of the most serene and relaxing vacations ever with gauranteed excellent weather! Fabulous water sports for the entire family. 2 beautiful beaches. Pristeen adult and family pools, exercise facilities, excellent food, outstanding service and warm and friendly staff. All facilities spotless. Outstanding design concept to accommadate extended family with a true sense of space and beauty all around you as you stroll through the property. I will definately go back and encourage all my friends, family and colleagues to not miss this gorgeous spot on earth.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank travelbug2010_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2010

Overall: This is a nice hotel, and we enjoyed out stay but the price very much reflects the standard. It is clean, relaxing and a nice holiday if you just want to relax and not do much at all. But, it is not luxurious.

Beach: The main disappointment for us was that the one beach (by the main road, was quite nosiy with the traffic going past and as its man made didnt have an authentic feel. The main beach, in the cove, is very pretty, but once again, has imported sand and trees etc, and therefore, isnt authentic. I was disappointed by the sea, not clear at all, as on the atlantic, and gets churned up a lot so not good for snorkling. We did head down to long bay which is a 2 minute walk from the hotel, this was ok but there was another hotel on this beach which wasnt great and once again, not great if you want to snorkel.

Staff: This was a real shame. Some of the staff were lovely, friendly etc but there was no consistency with the staff. Some of the longer term staff have attitude and are not friendly at all. This was a shame.

Rooms: Ok, clean, etc. Not luxurious though. Views lovely.

Food: Excellent. The way they cooked their meat was excellent, and plenty of great choice of the buffet, every night.

Entertainment: Not a lot going on. Night entertainment was average. Fine if you want early nights!!

Overal;, good value for money. We paid £3k for 2 weeks all inc for the 2 of us with Best at Travel. So good value.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank cezmorgan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2010

Overall a beautiful resort with a lot of potential, but the three restaurants they claim to have are really one....We signed up for all inclusive but since the food and service was so poor we spent the money to go to dinner in Falmouth Harbor and other areas, where we had great dinners and wonderful service. Management needs to an overhaul of the staff and operations. Will not go back nor would I recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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Thank gtwillis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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