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“Second Time and Can't Wait To Return Again”

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Hawksbill by Rex Resorts
Ranked #11 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
A TripAdvisor Member
“Second Time and Can't Wait To Return Again”
Reviewed January 1, 2005

We returned to Paridise at Hawksbill Resort, Antigua and confirmed that we will be returning for many years to come. Many improvements, great staff, and the best beaches we've seen anywhere.

Richard and his staff have already made some improvements since our last trip in May of 2004:

Food - The food is good...not great overall, but they prepare their meals well. New Year's Eve dinner was excellent...as good as any resort or cruise that we've been on. Breakfasts are buffet style and there are some new offerings (fruit and pastry choices, Johnny Cakes or pancakes or French toast) each day. Lunches are at the beach BBQ grill, although they also offer a restaurant style pasta, sandwich, soup and salad bar. They variety at lunch is very predictable, which isn't too bad since what you really want is to get some quick lunch and then back to the beach. The grilled fish of the day was always the best and Sherridan and Millie ware always friendly, attentive and made sure we had the drinks and lunch things we needed. They offer a light English Tea Time with little sandwiches and cake, tea/coffee. Dinners were better than last spring...more variety (always some fresh fish, some type of chicken, the meat was often pork or lamb, and they had a vegetarian dish, as well), wines are good, and good desserts. Dinner presentations were nicely adorned...you could tell that the resident chef was making great strides...and hopefully they continue.

Accomodations - This time we stayed in one of the Delux A/C Club Rooms overlooking Honeymoon Bay...facing away from the main resort beach, which provided a nice private and quiet view toward the west and the setting sun. Excellent little room with screened windows and doors and a ceiling fan that really did the trick...we only used the A/C a couple of times. These rooms have private balconies where we could sit with our drinks, read books and play cards and not be disturbed by anyone...very nice, comfortable bed, nice walk-in shower, and the maid staff (Brenda) did a great job for us.

Beaches - The BEST! They have four beaches, each offering a little something different...water sports, lots of lounge chairs and shade protection, play areas more for families (not many kids, though), more secluded sections for topless bathing (mostly at Honeymoon Bay), or clothing optional at Eden Beach...the most beautiful, private (can only get there through the resort) with the jungle hillside behind it for a 1/2 mile stretch of beautiful yellow sand to stoll at your liesure, and very friendly nudist bathers (only about 15-20 on this whole beach) from all over the world to chat with and exchange travel information. They have security personnel that circulate throughout the grounds and beaches...very nice! The surf was a bit rough at this time of year...last spring we enjoyed more water activities, but this time we just enjoyed the sandy beaches.

Grounds - More improvements...well cared for, including groomed beaches each morning, well tended gardens, and a wonderful new addition: a gazebo-like structure just above the beach for outdoor massages (privacy bamboo curtains allow privacy as well as shade). They also have the Wellness Cottage for other spa-type treatments...excellent masseuse (Naokala sp?).

Great to see Richard the Manager out and about, along with the other managers and senior staff, greeting guests, and directing the staff to make everyone's stay enjoyable and personable. Some people have complained about treatment from the staff...not us, we thought we were treated well, respected, cared-for, left alone when we wanted to be...all-in-all, very well treated. Most of the guests are English (UK) (sometimes a bit stiff and not as friendly generally) but made friends with severral, and there were also many guests from Canada, Germany/Switzerland, France and Itally.

So...everyone has their favorite vacation places and travel needs...we've found a place where we felt safe, enjoyed meeting people and the staff, were well attended, food was good (getting better), and had the most beautiful beaches anywhere. Yes, we're already making plans to return!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed December 8, 2004

My husband and I just returned from our first anniversary trip to Antigua where we stayed at the Hawksbill Resort. We had a Beachfront Cottage. The location was EXCELLENT. The accommodations were less than stellar. If you hold them to American standards, it's pretty sad. Rudimentary furnishings, poor plumbing, and ants were just some of our complaints. These weren't enough to cramp our style, but we weren't exactly thrilled. The food was actually not too bad. Lunch was by far the best meal of the day. The fish and chicken were delicious. Breakfast is tolerable. Dinner is more challenging. After awhile you get tired of not having options. We finally starting going into St. Johns for dinner and enjoyed ourselves much more after that. The hotel staff was also hit or miss. We had some be down right rude to us (and I swear we were not being "ugly Americans." But others were very pleasant and happy to help.

We took a snorkel trip and were able to see more of the other island resorts and talk to their guests. I think if I had it to do again, I would pay the extra money and stay at Jolley Bay. The Hawksbill wasn't bad, I just expected better. And they could have done better. We'd definitely go back to Antigua, just not Hawksbill. But if you're really on a budget and aren't picky about your room, food and service, then you'll like it just fine.

7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed November 8, 2004

We stayed at Hawksbill Beach Resort for 10 days returning on the 6th Oct 2004.
Never have I visited a place that has such friendly staff. The bungalow concisting of a private balcony bedroom and very nice bathroom ( air conditioned) was fine overlooking the 2nd beach, and was always kept immaculatly clean. The food was good with plenty of choice , and there were several special meals ( international and Antiguan ) during our stay. In particular the breakfast Omlette chef was superb. We were made to feel very special, and will return at the earliest oportunity. The beaches were also extremely good and barring the second beach close to the pool and bar were all very quiet. Infact many times we found ourselves completly alone. Everyone we meet both on the Island and in the hotel were extremely friendly, we were never hassled to purchase anything, no jet skies to annoy us the sea was warm and clear. I cannot recommend the Hawksbill enough. Role on out next holiday there!

  • Stayed October 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester uk
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2004

My wife and I stayed at the Hawksbill Beach resort 20th -27 October 2004 for our silver wedding. It was the best weeks holiday we could remember. The hotel and grounds were beautiful and spotlessly clean. We were upgraded to a superior room on arrival which overlooked the main beach. The staff couldn't have been more helpful and friendly- nothing seemed to be too much trouble. We had never been all inclusive before and were a little worried beforehand but the food was 1st class from day one, with loads of variety, the watersports were good too, and the motorised ones were reasonably priced. The beaches were beautiful and not crowded, the best ones being the 2nd and 4th ones. Would definately reccommend Hawksbill to anyone and look forward to returning.

  • Stayed October 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13 Thank keith2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampshire, England
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2004

The best bit of advice I can give anyone thinking of going to Hawksbill is DON'T. We arrived at the Hawksbill to find the staff at reception slightly confused to see us - they told us that although we were not expected (despite the fact that they had a Welcome pack for us), luckily they did have a room free. Unfortunately this was not the Beach Front Club Room we had paid several hundred pounds extra to upgrade to. The room we were shown to was shabby, dirty (layers of dust and dirt on the toilet, and all surfaces) - there were hairs from the previous holday makers on the tiles in the bathroom, the air conditioning unit was obviously ancient, and was so noisy it kepy us awake at night, the room was so dark it was impossible to get ready or read. The meal we had on the first night was a choice of roast beef (fatty and rubbery) served with a spoonful of vegetables, or chicken corden bleu. Nice, authentic carribean food - NOT. Our main course was left to sit on the table next to us while we were still eating our starters (pasta bows in tomato sauce). At lunch the next day, one of the oh so charming waitressess came up to our table, looked at my partners cigarettes and said 'I want one of those - I'll come back and take one in a minute when my manager isn't looking' - and so she did just that!!! The sun loungers were all broken and ancient. One of the rooms in the main block was boarded up with plywood. Need I go on. We were so appalled at the standard of this supposedly First Class hotel that the day after we arrived, we insisted on being moved to another hotel (at an extra cost of £2,000), which actually took 2 days to implement, but was oh so worth it.

If you want a nice first class holiday, take my advice and DO NOT GO TO THE HAWKSBILL

9 Thank jillw0207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bexhill-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2004

I arrived at reception to be greeted with a glass of champagne. Kwame carried my very heavy suitcase down a flight of stairs and into the main block. Good choice, as some of the clubrooms were far away from the main building.
My room overlooked the garden and had a wonderful view of the sea. The room was spacious. The balcony was larger than other hotels. The bathroom was small, but as I was there alone it didn't matter. It did seem very hot, but once the ceiling fan kicked in, it was perfect. Also, the rooms have louvres (front & back), so you can get a perfect through breeze. The mozzie nets make sure nothing gets through. There was a fridge, and iron/board. The safe cost extra, but they did have some small safes at reception which you could use for free. I was quite worried at not having a tv/telephone, but it made my holiday all the more special, as I had no excuse to sit in the room all night. Had to go out and do stuff.
It was explained to me that the main restaurant served breakfast and dinner, and the beach restaurant served lunch and afternoon tea. I thought " no choice then ". I was wrong. Breakfast was the usual, lunch offered a much better selection. Afternoon tea offered a good selection of s/w and cake, but dinner was so much better than expected. The night I arrived it was buffet, and I thought " Great - A week of boring luke warm food ". It wasn't the case. The food was very good. Buffet on 2 days, beach bbq on Wednesday and 4 courses for the other nights. Waiters constantly re-filling your glass, and the wine was decent stuff.
The bar closed at midnight, but on 2 nights I was alone by 11pm. I guess everyone was worn out.
This is my 3rd holiday to the Caribbean this year, and its the only hotel where i can honestly say that the staff actually seem to enjoy their jobs. I did not meet 1 rude staff member. (The same cannot be said of my many trips to Jamaica).
I usually skip the managers cocktail party, but it surprised me. You should go.
I was suprised by the amount of free watersports on offer, and tried my hand at windsurfing for the 1st time. There isn't much to see if you snorkel at the beach, so its best to pay for a boat trip, and snorkel further out.
The beaches - 4 beautiful golden sandy beaches. In my opinion, the nude beach is the best. I stayed for a week, and for 3 days there was only myself and 1 other couple on a long secluded beach. Locals do use the beach, mainly in the afternoon, and it did come as a shock to see a man running back & forth along the beach naked - can't see the logic! But I was alone, and didn't get harrassed.
The hotel has just been taken over by Rex Resorts. Hopefully they won't change the place too much.
Special mentions to the following staff: Eddie - The tennis pro, Jimmy - Plays a mean game of Warri, David - A barman with interesting conversation, Adrian - A barman with a beautiful smile, Renee - One of the many waitresses, Devon - The assistant manager, and others whose names I can't quite remember (due to the large amounts of rum).
I've been back in England for 4 days now, and can't take it anymore. I've booked to go back from 17th October. Can't wait, Antigua here I come :-)

  • Stayed October 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
20 Thank CubanRumLover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 26, 2004

I booked this resort for our first wedding anniversary, as I read on Tripdavisor that a lot of people had been back year after year - that seemed as good an endorsement as any. Then the more I read the more I worried as some reviews said the place was terrible etc etc. This was the first time either of us (aged 29 and 34) had ever been anywhere other than a European beach holiday, and I booked it as a total one-off luxury trip. Having read everything written about it I'll give you a novices opinion.

Hawksbill is on the west side of Antigua, next to Galley Bay. This is important as all through the week (18-25 September 2004) there were storm clouds inland, but our bit was bright, sunny and hot all week, apart from half an hour's rain one lunchtime. According to locals the mountainous parts of the island attract the rain so if you stay along a north-south axis you have a higher chance of getting wet. Anyway, it was fab weather all week.

Accommodation: we stayed in a Garden View Superior Room, with a balcony looking out over the sea, not a/c. It was hot at night and humid but we did sleep a bit. To be honest the locals were saying it was too sticky as well, but our ceiling fan did the trick pretty much. We thought about upgrading but didn't bother in the end

Resort: beautifully looked after grounds (go on the garden tour on a Thursday morning - well worth it), four beaches were clean and well beach-like! We spent the week laid on sunloungers - there was never a problem getting hold of one either. Mind you we were still on UK time so awake at 5am every morning!

Food: I booked this place because it was quiet and secluded, not because I thought I would get gourmet food. That said it was lovely, breakfast of fruit, cereals, cooked breakfast, toast etc,; lunch either grill (local catch of the day or burgers) or off the menu, always soup as well and ice cream; dinner again good, with a couple of buffet nights as well. We enjoyed it put it that way, there was certainly nothing to complain about but if you're used to The Savoy you'll be disappointed!

Drinks: lovely, unlimited. Be warned though - an Antiguan measure of Rum is a bit stronger than a UK one!! Water bottles for your room (we had a fridge for the week at extra charge) at $3 worth doing for when you're thirsty in the night. Other than that - why moan when you can sit on the beach sipping cocktails from 10am to 11pm?!

Activities: we did dinghy sailing and kayaking. Good fun, saw a turtle when we were sailing. We took our own snorkels and goggles as we'd heard stories of getting infections from unclean equipment, but they may be just that - stories.

Weather: hot hot hot and humid at night I'm afraid but it's better than being cold and wet at home! Sunshine 5am to 6pm, and there's no twilight to speak of really. But it's warm enough to be out in just a pair of shorts 24 hours a day.

Staff: Antiguan!! That means just relax, they're people too and if you were treated like an imbecile you'd react like one as well. No complaints, they're all very friendly and good fun, always polite with a "you're welcome" whenever you say thank you.

Wildlife etc: Having read some reviews I thought I was going to a jungle - not at all. I heard one guy say he woke in the night to find a tarantula on his floor but I never saw a spider all week, not through lack of trying either! Lots of lizards everywhere, we had bats roosting in the roof space above our room and they do like to chatter all night, there are ants as well but no more than in your garden. Overall there isn't an issue apart from....mosquitos. Every day they "fog" the resort with insect repellant - we never minded as we were on the beach but apparently some guests don't like it. Fine, except the two days they didn't fog we woke up looking like we had the measles. Not nice. The little darlings will get everywhere , but if you go on the graden tour the head gardener will tell you to leave a clump of Neame leaves next to your bed as mozzies don't like them - it works to a certian degree. Also use the local Aloe Vera plants gel to treat the bites. They were the only downside to the week, and even then only a minor one. Tip - buy suntan lotion and aftersun with insect repellant in - it does work!

Overall: Loved it. We wanted a week off doing nothing and it was fab. The place really grows on you and if you accept that this is Antigua not the UK then you'll love it. If you want a clubbing holiday please book somewhere else as this place is all about unwinding, relaxing and enjoying the Caribbean sun!

18 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hawksbill by Rex Resorts

Property: Hawksbill by Rex Resorts
Address: Five Islands, St. John's, Antigua
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#9 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hawksbill by Rex Resorts 3*
Number of rooms: 107
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Also Known As:
Hawksbill By Rex Hotel St. John`s
Hawksbill Antigua
Hawksbill By Rex Antigua
Hawksbill Hotel Antigua
Hawksbill Beach Resort
Hawksbill Resort Antigua
Hawksbill By Rex Resorts Antigua/Saint John Parish

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