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“Not worth the money or the stars...”

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Carlisle Bay Antigua
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Saint Mary's
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 13, 2014

Let's start with the facts of our trip. We were assured by Scott Dunn and the Hotel that our room was "fantastic" for a family of 4. Two adults and two small children under the age of four. The room that was provided to us was a 2 bedroom Ocean Suite. In one of the bedrooms they had a desk, a tv cabinet two kids beds a baby cot and all the closets. There was barely enough room for the mosquitos to move around never mind a family of 4. Taking a closer look at the room, we noticed a number of issues:
-The place with filthy
-The furniture was at least 15 years old
-We had 1 chair provided and a small outside table for a family of four. The chair itself had a broken leg.
Our luxurious welcome package was 3 kiwis, no knife to cut them and water which we needed a map to find. It was tucked into a cabinet in the bedroom, under the TV.
Upon demanding either our money back or a flight home, they then moved us to more acceptable connecting room set-up. Interestingly enough when I called the hotel two days before arriving they stated, we have NO connecting rooms in the hotel. They DID NOT say they had none available. They said they had NONE. Interesting how the management team can build whole blocks with connecting rooms in two days if they were not lying.
As for the staff, 2 out of 10 are pleasant. The remaining 8 look at you like you are unreasonable for wanting a degree of urgent service for paying a fortune for a holiday stay.
On to the new room in the new part of the hotel.
1) You have to wait about 5 minutes to get hot water in the showers.
2) There is a pond behind the resort which has a bad sulphur smell to it.
3) Each morning at 5pm, we had a water rat / squirrell visiting the internal air conditioning unit and running around desperately trying to get out. Scared the hell out of us. Once we realised he lived there, it was OK.
4) I didn't see many mosquitos in this room. The bites on my ankles were either from the sand or the bed. I'm not sure which one.

Interestingly, in general chats with other guests, the conclusion was the same. I'd never come back. the more blunt chats were "complete waste of money".

Perhaps this hotel was good 15 years ago but either the financial crisis stopped investment, the owners have got lazy or the star rating system has got two lax. Travel Lodge in the Uk is cleaner and perhaps a bit more realistic about where they sit in the global quality rankings.

Room Tip: Definitely do not stay in any room under 100. Insist on staying in 101 and higher. As a family wit...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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12  Thank 485family123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jjonathanreynolds, General Manager at Carlisle Bay Antigua, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2014

Dear 485family123

I was extremely sorry to read your post concerning your experience at Carlisle Bay. It is very rare that we receive comments such as these and in the first instance, please accept my apologies for not meeting your expectations.

Whist we do not accept that your initial suite was cleaned to a substandard level, I was nevertheless very disappointed to learn that one of the balcony chairs, which had been removed for repair, was not replaced in time for your arrival.

We deeply regret any confusion regarding the availability of our interconnecting Garden Suites. Whilst these suites were booked for the first night of your visit, the Garden Suites were always available from the second night onwards. We were therefore pleased to be able to arrange a complimentary upgrade from this point.

As a standard we place fresh fruit in our suites. Each day a new variety of fruit is provided to ensure variation throughout the stay. Once your family requested a fruit basket this was arranged and it was indeed our pleasure to do so.

I was sorry to read that it took time for the flow of hot water to reach your suite and can quite understand how frustrating this must have been at the time. This is not in fact a problem we generally experience, as the water heaters are located in close proximity to each suite. Regardless, our maintenance team have since checked the water system a number of times in order to feel assured that this problem will not recur.

I can only imagine how unsettling it must have been to be woken each morning by noise from the roof. I wanted you to know however that we have since thoroughly checked the ventilation ducting and found that all is in order. Our engineers also looked closely at each of the ventilation grills to ensure they were properly in place. I can confirm that they were. Unfortunately what appears to have happened is that palm fronds to the rear of the suite were scrapping against the metal grill covering the air intake. This foliage has now been removed. We have since had the opportunity for members of the team to stay overnight in these suites and the noise has indeed stopped. Regardless, I do appreciate this was clearly a considerable annoyance to you, for which I apologise most sincerely.


Although mosquitos and sand flies are present in our region, we do have tried and tested systems in place to control their numbers. It is advisable however that in the evening when patio doors are open to draw the mesh screens across. In this way any insects attracted to the lights within the suite are prevented from entering.

Naturally we are all incredibly sorry that you did not enjoy the stay as intended. We would of course never wish any guest to leave having not had a fabulous experience. We remain committed to providing exquisite service and are delighted that this year further investment is being made to ensure our guests continue to enjoy a first class experience. Forthcoming projects include the opening of a fourth restaurant in the spring. There will be extensive replacement of soft furnishings throughout, in addition to refurbishment of our Beach Suites. In the meantime however I have written to you directly and do hope you will consider our offer in the spirit in which it is intended.
Thank you for sharing your comments and we remain at your disposal.

Jonathan Reynolds
General Manager

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456 - 462 of 994 reviews

Reviewed January 13, 2014

We have just returned from our 5th Christmas and New Year stay at the wonderful Carlisle Bay hotel .Service levels have always been high but this year the hotel under Jonathan's management hit new heights . Particular thanks to the beach team including Hilma ,Vaughan Urania and the Watersports centre with Lenny ,Garfield ,Kleve Marvin and Prince .
We have been fortunate to stay at some of the best hotels and Carlisle Bay is up there at the top .Our family from great granny to our grandson who is 2 have already booked again for later this year.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014

We stayed at Carlisle Bay in October 2013 for a family holiday with our 4-year old son. Although we chose a super-busy week, with plenty of other families from the UK holidaying, the resort never felt too crowded - we always found space on the beach or in the restaurants.
The location of the hotel is superb - a wonderful crescent bay with a lovely, sandy beach. We had a room on the second floor and the view was fabulous! We also liked the fact that our room consisted of two separate bedrooms - ideal when travelling with children. The decor of the rooms is modern and linear, but starting to feel a little tired and not terribly inspired.
The facilities were very good - the kids' club was great, and the staff very friendly. My husband had great tennis lessons - coacg Gloucester was amazing! The spa, on the other hand, did not live up to the standard of other luxury resorts, lacking in facilities and with average quality treatments. The food was delicious, both in the main restaurant as well as in the asian one as well as the informal one by the pool. Overall a lovely stay...but the hotel could do with a little "facelift" and the spa definitely needs upgrading.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank F_Pinto_London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014

We went the week of Thanksgiving and stayed in a beach front family suit which was large, clean 2 bedroom suite - more importantly right on the beach. In fact we were so close that we could sit on our couch and watch our kids swim in the perfectly clam warm ocean. Our 2 girls (9&6) met a bunch of other kids and they spent some time in the kids club which is really set up for younger children but the wonderful staff set up some fun activities for them such as jewelry making, cookie decorating and their favorite tubing in the water - oh, they also set up a tennis lesson with the pro all free of charge. This is a lovely small resort and it was very simple to get around. They have amazing beach service especially for the Caribbean I was very impressed. The afternoon tea was one of the highlights of the day so don't skip that. The management really went out of the way to cater to us and make sure we were happy they even set up a wonderful kids dinner every night at 5:30 with a nice selection of items to choose from. We loved playing tennis and basketball which all the courts are well taken care of. The pool is not one of those amazing huge Caribbean pools that we have seen elsewhere but with a perfect beach you really don't miss that. They do have a movie theater set up next to the pool and they will gladly put on a movie if asked at any time of the day the location next to the pool was brilliant as you could be on the plush lounge chairs and your kids are safely inside watching a movie.

We did the free snorkel cruise which was a bit scary since the water was very rough and the current strong so we got the attention of our guide and he made sure to take us back to the boat. We also did water skiing and the boat operator was very patient with my 9 year old who had never tried it before. They have a fun zip line course about 15 mins away from the property that was very fun too.

The only slight negative was not the fault of Carlisle Bay but some grumpy old people that did not like kids and belittle them from making too much noise. One night in the restaurant they were is a section which is outside that we did not know thay had 2 couples having dinner - once we were made aware of this we quickly removed them and apologized but the grumpy old couple were irate and wanted them skinned and hung out to dry. Clearly they had a few too many drinks but other than that experience we had an amazing vacation and we look forward to going back next year! We did the all-inclusive and it was worth it.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank spaghetti1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

Carlisle Bay manages to cater to adults and children and we spent a full day there on Sunday with 6 adults and 6 children under 6.

We were pampered by the attentive staff on the beach, looked after at lunch and had great fun with the water sports guys doing kayaking, hobby cats and paddle boarding. My sister in law and I both has spa treatments which were fabulous. As the sun went down we wished we could stay. The manager Elza was exceptionally helpful and organised everything. I highly recommend their day passes or staying at Carlisle Bay. We will be back!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank SunnyAntigua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

I must admit, I had my doubts when booking this hotel only due to the child friendly nature of the hotel, but I was very pleasantly surprised and this was not an issue at all, in fact this was one of the best holidays I had and the fact that the hotel had guests of 3 generations in some cases added to the warmth of the place. What made our stay at Carlisle Bay memorable, however, was the warmth of the staff and their wonderful level of service, it is difficult to single out indivduals as everyone was great, but a big thank you goes to Barrymore on the beach and executive chefs Daniel and Sebastian for accommodating my wife's special diet and producing such wonderful, varied, delicious meals.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Baseloski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014

Having been to Antigua in 2011 and unable to experience Carlisle Bay Hotel, we arranged a day out for our daughter's 18th birthday. We had confirmation from the concierge that they were expecting us, booking in June, and giving six months notice for our December visit.
All was good on arrival. We checked in, got shown where to change for swimming and a member of staff settled us on the beach with towels, sun beds and an ice cooler. After one and a half hours we were asked by a gentleman to remove ourselves from HIS sun beds. Naturally we were apologetic to him but explained that we were given the position by a member of beach staff. The chap kindly tried to find us alternative sun beds but were told it could take up to an hour to find us a place, as the beach was now full. We were left standing there with no staff member trying to accommodate us in any way or apologise for the embarrassment it caused. We had a table booked in Indigo, however, even the reception didn't try to persuade us to stay. We therefore decided to leave Carlisle Bay. A huge disappointment for us all. We had been recommended to book the visit by numerous friends and family. Sadly, for us, Carlisle Bay didn't live up to it's expected high standard. We sent an email to the manager highlighting our disappointment and as yet have not received any acknowledgment from himself or his concierge who confirmed our booking.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
    • Service
7  Thank Cara C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carlisle Bay Antigua

Address: Old Rd, Saint Mary's 00000, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection 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) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Saint Mary's
#4 Romantic Hotel in Saint Mary's
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Saint Mary's
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Saint Mary's
Price Range: $508 - $1,959 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Carlisle Bay Antigua 5*
Number of rooms: 82
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Carlisle Bay on Antigua is one of the leading luxury Caribbean resorts, its accommodation designed to allow for both families and couples to holiday in peace. Both kinds of traveler have a dedicated end of the resort, which allows for everyone the tranquility of the spectacular beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Carlisle Bay Antigua Hotel Saint Mary`s
Carlisle Bay Hotel Antigua
Carlisle Bay Resort Antigua
Carlisle Bay Antigua Antigua And Barbuda

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