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“Go to Halcyon Cove with an open mind”

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Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Reviewed February 16, 2013

We have just returned to the UK following a week's holiday in Halcyon Cove. Some of the previous comments are justified - brown water from the taps, poor drainage from the bath, leaking shower, cold water from the shower before breakfast (but immediately fixed by the maintenance man) and lack of variety for dinner. We found the towels acceptable - those available from the Towel Hut were quite fluffy ! There was entertainment every evening ranging from steel drums to fire eater to karaoke. Afternoon Tea was available every day between 4 pm and 5 pm on the Warri Pier - sandwiches and cakes, tea PLUS Nescafe coffee ! The drinks from the bar in the entertainment were particularly strong - half a glass of vodka and half a glass of orange ! The staff were always very friendly and readily available to help - or find someone with the required answer. Our only complaint was the standard of the dinner meals. Sunday roast - the turkey in particular - was out of this world - possibly the best roast we had ever had but unfortunately the meals went downhill from there. The chicken was mainly bone with very little meat - we did comment to our Rep before leaving the resort and she agreed to pass on to the management. The breakfasts and lunches were varied and included something for everyone. The choices for breakfast catered for everyone. The hot choices for lunch were cooked to order and the cherry ice-cream is certainly second to none. We didn't experience any problems with the gardeners - even when they were chopping down some of the trees once morning - the bedrooms, eating areas, reception, pool and walkways were clean. The resort was fairly full but there was no impression of not enough space for everyone. The arrival of the cruiseship travellers was evident from the noise - although they were mainly on one part of the beach and not spread everywhere. If you want a holiday in Antigua with no OTT frills and can be open minded to what you may find then there would be no problem in staying at Halycon Cove.

Room Tip: We had a garden room, i.e. facing the garden but with a view of the pier and swimming pool, on the g...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank mcaorgigoenr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 16, 2013

Firstly I have to say i am surprised and somewhat shocked by the recent poor reviews of this hotel .... I am wondering if I stayed at the same place!
We have just returned from a wonderful 2 weeks at the Halcyon Cove... stayed there this time last year also and it once again didnt disappoint.
It is one of the most relaxed, friendly and chilled places I have stayed, and does exactly as it says on the box.
It has to be noted that it is NOT a 5 star hotel, and doesnt pretend to be so. There is no stuffiness or formality and we were just treated as returning friends by ALL the staff.
We specifically requested a room with terrace/balcony as we spend all our time outside - on our arrival we had been upgraded to a suite, which didnt have a terrace - with no fuss at all, we were relocated to an ocean front room which was just perfect. The reception staff were more than helpful with any queries.
Yes, some of the fittings in the room were a bit worn - but everything was in perfect working order - we had a problem with our shower fitting and it was fixed within an hour of reporting it. The room was kept very clean and towels changed every day and regular bed linen changes also. At the end of the day - I dont go to the Caribbean to sit in my room admiring it for 2 weeks so who cares if theres a bit of wear and tear.
Insects are a bit of a problem, arm yourself with indoor mossy repellant plugs and insect repellant sprays particularly at night, or you will get bitten!! Again, its a hot country so I would not expect anything else.
The food is plentiful - far more than I would ever eat at home. The breakfasts are brilliant, freshly cooked omelettes, eggs (chef Wendell sees these as something of an art form!) along with an array of other things. Lunch is at the beach bar with burgers,fish, 2 or 3 hot dishes, salad and yummy ice cream! For those who cannot wait the 4 hours between lunch and dinner (!) there is afternoon tea (sarnies and cakes) served on the pier and then a full buffet in the evening with 4 or 5 choices of dishes. We are very fussy eaters and personally I would have preferred some plainer food but I can see what they are trying to achieve. It does get a bit repetative when there for 2 weeks, and I have to say I am sick of the sight of food now, just because of the sheer volume of it!! The only real faux pas I could see was one night there was Coconut (YES COCONUT!) in the mashed potato which was unexpected and unedible but everything else was fine. AI guests can book dinner on the Warri Pier twice for the stay, but we didnt as the menu looked a bit fussy for us.
Its true that sometimes we had to wait a couple of minutes for tables to be cleared, but we're on holiday - whats the rush? We had no appointments to keep!! And the staff were so pleasant it was never an issue for us.
All Inclusive is an absolute must as it would be ridiculously expensive without that...even if you then choose to go out a couple of times.
The entertainment and activities are fine - Fenton and his team work very hard to put on a good variety to suit everyone. My favourite was the steel band and beach BBQ which is held on a saturday night - great atmosphere. There were all sorts of other things going on also.
The location is paradise - there were plenty of beds on the beach for everyone - although I think it was quite quiet when we were there, I dont know how it would be if the hotel was full. The sea is clear and warm - beautiful, just like on a postcard! The cruise ship visitors didnt bother the hotel guests at all so i dont know what some of the complaints are about! The beach vendors were not at all pushy and were pleasant to chat to - unlike some beaches i have been to. The only thing that was a bit annoying was a large group of loud and very raucous Canadian guests who did lower the tone of the place a bit but it was very lovely when they were out for the day!!
We have travelled quite extensively in the Caribbean, and have to say that this hotel is one of the places we are most comfortable due to the relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff, thanks Dolstan and Errol for looking after us so well at the bar!. People who complain about the shabbiness of the decor and lack of 5 star service should in my opinion pay the extra and go and stay at 5 star resorts where they would be justified picking it to pieces and complaining at every turn.
The Halcyon Cove is great value for money and we have come home totally recharged and relaxed, and will most definitely be booking it again next year.

Room Tip: the suites/family rooms do not have terraces or balconies - our favourite is the ocean front room...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Emma M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2013

a fantastic hotel, very welcoming, with friendly staff and lots of choices. great beach ideal to walk along and the option of dinner on the pier. only minutes away from capital and shops. taxi and car on site

Room Tip: poolside rooms also have a great sea view
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Dennis G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

My wife and I have visited this hotel around christmas time for many years and enjoyed the
location and the friendley staff that have become our friends over the years,and in fact several came to our wedding on the Warri Pier at the hotel 3 years ago.
Our only complaint over the years was the food!! but they have employed a local Chef named Dale,and it has transformed the quality and the dining experience on the Warri Pier and also in the hotel dining room.Chef Dale is introducing some of his own signature dishes and we cant wait to return to enjoy them.
John and Kelly

Room Tip: A poolside room is our choice its close to everthing
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank John V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

Just returned from Halcyon Cove, although all in all we had a great time in Antigua there was many areas the hotel needs to improve immediatly.

Pros
-Amazing Location, Dickensons Bay was beautiful
-Staff at the hotel was very friendly and helpful. Servers had a geat attitude and cheerful demeanor. Although we always tip, never felt the preassure as you do on other islands. Even vendors along the beach were very friendly and not pushy at all, very rare.
-Very close to other retaurants and St Johns giving us the option to eat off the resort and visit other places on the island. Cabs were reasonably priced.
-Catamarans and kayaks always available to use.

Cons
-Rooms were very outdated and need a major refurb. Bathtub was leaking creating a huge mess anytime anyone had a shower. The rooms were very clean though and housekeeping did a great job.
-The property on a whole was clean but again repairs were needed throughout.
-Food was decent, but got repetitive. We ended up dining off the resort three nights which was an expense we had not expected. Need more food options for lunch and also a different or rotating venue for dinners, same location got tiring.
-Food was only offered during set meal times. No snacks were available throughout the day. We often got hungry between the end of lunch 2:30pm and 7:00pm start of dinner.
-We were able to book the Warri Pier for dinner one night but soon cancelled when we realized that the majority of the items (except for 3 entrees chicken, pasta ect.) had a surcharge of $20-$40 US. We figured there wasn't a point of eating at the al a carte at our supposed all inclusive resort only to be stuck with a big bill at the end. We could easily go into town for less the price including the cab.
-Landscapers choose to cut the grass around the pool area at 11:30am on Monday, everyone around the pool was forced to get up move all their stuff and chairs themselves to make room. This whole process went on for 2-3 hours was very loud and disruptive. Also could have used some music around the beach and pool to liven up the atmosphere.
-Limited amount of beach chairs, many patons at the hotel put beach towels down in the early morning to only return for a few minutes throughout the day or not at all. This caused problems when the cruise boats were in as the other half of the becah was reserved for them. A simples sign saying towels will be removed if left alone for an hour will help deter guests from doing this.
-Felt the entertainment was lacking. Only one bar open into the evening, often the pool/beach bar. This didn't give guests who did not want to be outside any options. Also the bar shut down at 11:30 and all music stopped at 10:30/11:00. The earliest I've seen at any resort.
-On our last day we were not getting picked up to go to the airpiort until 6pm. The hotel cut us off drink/food and other services by 3pm. Thought this was extremely cheap, unfair and petty. What is three more hours to them? And they certainly made sure to watch over us all to ensure we weren't getting any drinks unless we paid for them. Topping the week with this was what really made me want to write this review, to me it showed no appreciation at all to us as guests. FYI to hotel guests make your buisness.

Even though this wasn't close to the most expensive hotel on island it was by no means cheap and the quality was not what I would expect from the price paid, reputation and previous postive reviews from this website. I think with some TLC and changes in operations this resort has the oppotunity to become great.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank nataque
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

This resort is not what is advertised. It is very, very updated, unkempt, old and musty. Nothing looks as if it was replaced, fixed, painted, or brand new for at least 10 years. The towels are paper thin and will cost you $50 per towel if lost!! The food is awful except for the beach barbecue they had one night. The pier restaurant was not available for any of our stay as it was "booked" but we didn't see anyone using it except for one of the nights we were there. Breakfast is your average breakfast and you could have fresh omelettes and pancakes. Bar drinks are bad as is the beer. If you are on the all inclusive plan you will get watered down drinks and only have your choice of one beer! You can pay extra for top shelf and other beers. Food is only available to you during the alloted hours of breakfast, lunch, dinner, so don't think you can get a snack of any kind during the day. Lunch ends at 2:30 and dinner is not served until 7:30, so you have a long stretch of time where there is NO food available anywhere. Do NOT get the all inclusive package. It's a waste of money. Take a taxi to St. Johns and enjoy dinner there. Taxi's are fairly reasonable.
Now, the good thing is... the resort is on one of the most beautiful stretches of beach I've ever seen. I've traveled to many islands and resorts and this spot was by far, the nicest. Catamarans and kayaks are available free of charge. Too bad someone doesn't come and tear the resort down and rebuild it, or at the very least, remodel and fix this one up. I felt as if I had traveled back in time to the 60's. I'm sure in it's prime, it was a beautiful resort.
If you do not mind brown water coming out of your shower head, or no one answering the front desk phone at 1:30 in the morning (I tried to call to have security come to our area to quiet down some very loud patrons), or dried up, repetitive food, then you will be okay here.
Honestly, I am not a resort snob by any means, but this place is just plain awful.
I feel so bad for the workers. I think they must know that their resort is tired and boring. It was only half booked when we were there and our bartender told us that this is their busy season.
Room service is not available at all.

Room Tip: If you choose this resort, make sure you get an ocean front room. They are in a prime location.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Annette M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We were booked into this hotel by Ba, as our flight was delayed and we missed our onward connection to Dominica.
It is a desperate place. The staff are unhelpful, no one was willing to show us to our room, despite the fact it was at the far end of the complex and in complete darkness. The room was horrid, old and out of date, the bath was filthy with scum marks and stains, brown water coming from the taps, the fridge was empty and rusting, all the furniture was tatty. Nothing positive to say I am afraid. We skipped the dinner as the everything was too awful to contemplate it.
Avoid if I was you.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CheshireTravelBug007
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:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#5 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
Price Range: $150 - $330 (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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