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“Most perfect holiday”

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Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts
Ranked #6 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Reviewed December 4, 2012

We normally go to a different Rex Resort but decided to try Antigua. We were not disappointed. From the minute we arrived we were spoilt by the staff. They all made our holiday with their attentiveness and friendliness. Our thanks go to all but especially, Debbie, her Cocktail evenings were brilliant and we went to both. Donna who we made friends with on our first evening, Roxanne, smiley face, Errol, best cocktails, and Carlos, the best egg man and grill chef. The new head chef Flavio has really done them proud with his menus. I am a fussy eater. Fish was superb and my husband said the meat was good quality. We are now back home and on diets. The grounds are well cared for and clean. The location to the beach is also a bonus. Yes, Sandals is next door. But to me is great for people watching. Halcyons beach is smaller and a lot nicer in my opinion. We walked twice a day down to Coconut Grove, a very scenic location. We had meals on Warri Pier. The Al a carte was slow and not many people eating so not much atmosphere. When they had the buffet there it was fantastic. Waitresses were serving wine. We didn't want to leave as had a seat over the far side and watched fishes and someone said small friendly sharks! Atmosphere was more buzzy. Lunch at the Carib bar was wonderful overlooking the beach. The rooms are a little tired but fully functional and everything worked. We had a pool room. Towels changed everyday. If you do need a supermarket First Choise is at least 25 minutes walk each way and remember its very hot weather! The only let down was the first night we went for a cocktail and when in the Caribbean must have piña colada. They did not have any coconut milk. It seems that once its gone for the day it is not replenished until next day, so if like me you only like one in the evening you could be unlucky as that is all people seem to drink during the day. This happened a couple of times. We would definitely go back on an all inclusive basis which I would recommend as there are very few restaurants close by. Hopefully, we can get a favourable deal next year. I must say this was one of my best holidays.

Room Tip: Pool rooms are the best but upstairs would have more beach views even from garden rooms.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank angie60Kent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 30, 2012

I have just returned from spending 10 days at Halcyon Cove – second visit this year. It was brilliant going back to a place I felt I already knew – it meant I could relax straight into the holiday. From the warm welcome on arrival (from Mario and Fenton) right the way through to the final night (including the 5 hour flight delay – which was luckily pre-warned and therefore spent at the hotel not the airport) I felt very much looked after.
As before there were a number of incredibly helpful, hard-working, professional (yet still fun) members of staff. This summary goes for the majority of the staff at Halcyon, with particular appreciation going to the following: Mario, Fenton, Michael, Errol, Devon… As well as Roxanne, Dalston, Julian and Collette. Also worthy of a mention are the Security team – who do a great job in the shadows yet always have a smile and say “good-morning/evening”, and although not directly employed by the hotel the taxi drivers – most notably Business and Gigi.
One negative from this visit is the apparent lack of customer service skill of some (not all) members of the front desk team, who are supposed to be the pinnacle of helpfulness and the face of the hotel. I would strongly recommend that the Management put some time and effort into training these staff as they unfortunately at the moment let the rest of the staff down.
There is a new head chef since the last visit and although the food before was good, it has certainly gone up a notch – delicious!
Overall another fantastic holiday both within the hotel grounds (which have been helped by the demolition of a block of old rooms between the pool and bar) and on the stunning beach. This is a holiday that does what it says on the tin – I went expecting a comfortable, friendly, 3 star Caribbean holiday, and got exactly that, with the added bonus of being surrounded by a great team of people. I can’t wait to go back!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Shane H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2012

Went on an all inclusive holiday with two friends and had a wonderful, relaxing time. The room was more than adequate for our needs, fully air conditioned with TV, hair dryer, fridge and safe. Had a pool and sea view room for a standard booking which is great value.
Breakfast buffet with freshly prepared omelettes and as much tea,coffee and juice as you like set us up for the day. You can choose to do as little or as much of the entertainment that's on offer from the brilliant team of Fenton, Michael and Collete. Water aerobics, table tennis, beach cricket, volleyball, football or something more laid back like bingo was on offer for guest participation. Lunch is served at the beachside and I highly reccomend the fish, although the burgers were tasty too. The memory making warri pier serves afternoon tea and depending on when you go you can watch the sun set- an amazing photo opportunity. Dinner can also be had on the warri pier, remember to book and don't expect a very fast service as after all this is the Caribbean and 'chillin' is the way of life here. Definitely worth a visit.
Entertainment in the evening is provided every evening except Sunday (Shirley heights is the place to be on a Sunday evening). Cocktails served beautifully by Errol and team can be enjoyed at the beach bar whilst soaking up the shows that we're put on for guests. We had a dance group, steel band, karaoke etc so plenty of variety. Your holiday is what you make it and the people you meet, we met such a wide selection of people by just striking up conversations and it adds to a great atmosphere, especially in the evenings. The staff are there to make sure you have a wonderful holiday but should anything not be to your taste just speak to Devon, one of the managers who will do everything to make sure it's a holiday to remember - just as he did for us.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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2  Thank Tsone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2012

First of all let me say that I had read lot of reviews of this hotel before we departed for our week away. They seem to be varied from each end of the scale so we were wondering what to expect, never having been to the Caribbean before.
We arrived hot and thirsty, to be greeted by friendly staff and a cool fruit punch. We had booked a Garden room and at first, we did wonder where we were being taken as it seemed a long way from Reception! Up a couple of flights of stairs, no lifts here, to our room. A problem... we couldn't turn the key...we both tried, a fellow guest tried but to no avail. Back to Reception for my husband while I wait with the cases. Eventually we did get a key that worked - the reason being that the hotel have to have new keys cut and sometimes they don't work!
At last we got in our room which we were quite happy with. It was very clean, the bed and pillow were comfortable and supportive (far better than the Travelodge we stayed at the previous night). The Air Con worked very well and boy was it needed.
Breakfast and Dinner were taken in the Arawak Terrace restaurant and we both felt that there was plenty of choice and food was freshly cooked to suit all nationalities. There was always a hint of spice but nothing overpowering. Being All Inclusive we had the choice of drinks with our meals and always fresh water. Somebody commented in their review that the food was awful and made them ill - all I can say is that maybe they ate too much! Lunch was served at the Carib beach bar, usually the same each day - burgers, hot dogs, fish and a couple of meat dishes with rice, veg, salad followed by a choice of desert.
All the staff were so friendly and polite, I wouldn't like to single out any one in particular, they all deserve praise.
The location right on the beautiful beach was lovely with plenty of sunbeds, towels etc. The Warri Pier was an extra bonus, where we took Afternoon Tea with sandwiches, fresh cakes, scones and biscuits, while sitting in the shade listening to the surf.
We booked this hotel because we were attending a wedding at Sandals, just 2 minutes walk along the beach. It was an ideal location in every way.
Any downside? Not really - just that we had no mobile phone coverage all week and even with free Wi Fi the connection was 'Poor'. We think that applies island wide so not the hotel's fault. the beach sellers are a bit of a nuisance but don't bother you if you say 'No thank you'. Some just like to have a chat, after all this this is the land laid back chillin'!
When we go away we are happy to have a clean, comfortable room and good facilities and that is what we got. We would definitely go back again.
One last tip - when you get your pool towels, keep them till they need to be changed. they don't have to be collected on a daily basis.
Enjoy!

Room Tip: The Garden rooms are fine unless you are 'picky' but be prepared to put up with the insect s...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JenniferW200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2012

This was my fourth stay at this hotel in 3 years, and once again I've come home wondering how soon I can go back! I firmly believe, having travelled a fair bit, that it is the people who make a place - and if that were physically the case this hotel would look more like the Taj Mahal than a tired, seen better days, 3* Caribbean resort!

As always most of the staff were fantastic - friendly, helpful and welcoming, with Errol (Barman) and Fenton (Entertainment Manager) providing many a laugh and happy memory (particularly where table tennis is concerned!!!) Also on Fenton's team Collette and Michael are great, working incredibly hard to ensure that everyone is having a good time.

Mario (Duty Manager) was only around for the first few days of our visit, but gave us a warm welcome as always. "Repeaters" at this hotel are always well looked after and treated like family, although it was a shame that there was no "Repeaters cocktail party" this time... Although this could be because there were not many repeaters there at that particular time. Devon, the Assistant Manager is always professional and helpful, and will hopefully one day make a perfect General Manager for this hotel.

The restaurant seemed short staffed on this visit (which should be looked into by the Management) and as a result service wasn't great, but most of the team just get on with it and will get to you when they can - Denise, Julian and Roxanne are always happy to help. There is a new chef who seems to be doing a great job - the Italian night food was awesome (to be expected from an Italian chef!!) although I would really like to see some more proper Caribbean food on the menu. Breakfast could do with some more variety too. Sadly the Warri Pier seems to get more expensive for food of lower quality every visit. This is a real shame because the location of this restaurant is simply perfect. It is now only open a few nights a week, with almost everything on the menu costing an additional charge on top of all-inclusive. (When I first visited here in 2010 the restuarant was open every night except Sunday and the only item not included on all inclusive was the lobster).

Our poolside room (320) was clean and spacious. The shower curtain needed replacing though - the water seemed to go straight through it. There are a number of small issues such as this that are frequent at this hotel - but at the end of the day it is classed as a 2 1/2* stroke 3* and is therefore perfectly adequate - if you expect more than this then go somewhere else, pay more (probably double) and you will get the facilities that you pay for (although probably not the great staff that Halcyon has!)

One major complaint this time is that the hotel let out "Clouds", the function room at the top of the hill, on a Saturday night, with music blaring (literally vibrating through the hotel) until 3.45am. Although I don't think this is a mistake that they will be making again, I would have suggested that an apology, and perhaps a complimentary cocktail or other gesture to all of the guests the following day would not have gone amiss! As a "regular" at this hotel I know that this was a one-off, but anyone staying here for the first time is likely to have unfortunately had their holiday tainted by this incident.

Antigua in general is a lovely, laid-back island that is quite simply beautiful. I have always wondered quite what it is about this island, and this place in particular that captured me on my first visit, and in truth I have never really been able to put my finger on it - but as I say, I think it is simply the people here. As well as the Rum, reggae, sunshine, white sand and turquoise sea that the Caribbean is famous for of course!

Room Tip: Book a pool or garden room - they are spacious and have balconies or verandahs, often with a sea vie...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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1  Thank daydreamer86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2012

Ok where to start.......having been to the halcyon every year for 15 years as a child/teen I wanted to visit ten years later, a risk of tainting many great memories I know but no regrets. The good.......the location of this hotel couldn't be better, great beach, great pool, great staff, the beach is literally a stone throw away, perfect. A big shout to Egbert the chef who puts his heart and soul into cooking. the food for a 3 star hotels is great. The staff are generally very happy and friendly which is lovely to see considering some of the clientele that forgot to bring manners on holiday.
The hotel has barely changed in 10 years which is ok but is falling behind in comparison to others. new furniture is a must (lobby, dining area) and the bathrooms need a desperate refurb. The rooms are a great size and the air con is excellent, also very clean.
Not so great are the beach towels, old bed linen, cheap draft drinks, more fruit would be nice also as It is the Caribbean.
In general the hotel needs money spent on it, money well spent. If you can see past/prepare for the little things then go for it, location is paradise.
I was a little disappointed when booking a trip through the hotel who took a chunk of what I would have paid directly to the guy for a boat trip if I'd booked it myself from the beach, these guys are great hosts and worth every penny. ( ask for smokey on the beach he's great and goes the extra mile with his boat tour)
The only reason I will not be going back to stay is purely due to the mannerism of the holiday makers which is no fault of the hotel, remember this is a 2/3 star hotel and you get what you pay for especially in the Caribbean when the scale of luxury differs immensly according to cost. For now I will leave my favourite memories where they belong. I will definitely be going back to dickensons bay ...............after all it is a home from home

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank cmb2912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2012

Had one week here after having a week at the sister resort, the Hawksbill. You can not compare this resort to the Hawksbill! The halcyon Cove was in a great location. The rooms were really good, great sleep quality. Good air conditioning! Friendly staff. The breakfast waitresses were really slow, but mostly because they were under-staffed. If you wanted a second cup of coffee....you could wait for ever. Food was reasonable, great Saturday night bar-b-q! Fenton was great...thank you. Beach was lovely. Just make sure you book this resort and not the Hawksbill!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jackieflower1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts

Address: Dickenson Bay | PO Box 251, St. John's, Antigua
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#5 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
Price Range: $159 - $364 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts 3*
Number of rooms: 181
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoying a pristine picture postcard beach front location, the Halcyon Cove by rex resorts offers the very essence of a perfect Caribbean setting. Beautiful glistening waters gently lap at the palm-fringed white sands of Dickenson Bay where guests can recline beneath the palm-frond parasols or exert some energy on a variety of water sports. International buffet breakfast and dinner cuisine is served at the Arawak Terrace restaurant or treat yourself at the Warri Pier a-la-carte restaurant featuring speciality grills and lobster in its unique setting over the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Halcyon Cove By Rex Hotel St. John`s
Halcyon Cove Antigua
Halcyon Cove By Rex Resorts Antigua/Saint John Parish
Rex Halcyon Cove Resort
Rex Halcyon Antigua

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