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“Not the best in the Island”

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Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts
Ranked #5 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Not the best in the Island”
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Value-for-money wise is not bad, but is far from being at the state-of-the-art all-inclusive hotels.
Surprisingly I was there for work. The internet connection suffered congestion problems after sunset. The hotel needs some investment. The quality of the food can also be improved. The location compensates these short-falls.

Room Tip: The closer you are to the reception the better the quality of the internet signal.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JR10vuelve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kingston, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

We recently stayed at Halcyon cove in Antigua, and knowing it was a 3 star beforehand we were not surprised that the resort was a bit dated. Our room was clean and comfortable , good sized and all rooms had a balcony.We had requested a quiet room and were put into a Garden View room..
I am a picky eater,l but I did not go away hungry once; the food was very good, breakfast had many choices with fresh fruit, dry and hot cereals, breads muffins, meats and eggs or pancakes cooked how you would like them.Lunch was standard all inclusive fare with some recycled veggies or pasta from the night before, but there was always pizza and fresh subs,hams and hots and fresh fish. The desserts and ice cream were always good.
Dinner was always fantastic and Master Chef Dale outdid himself every day.There were new and delicious dishes every day, and a large variety of meats; roast pork, chicken, beef, and turkey all cooked different ways with the complementary side dishes.Vegetarians would also enjoy the choices offered since there was always many vegetarian dishes as well. The desserts were to die for - there was too many choices for us - we would take 3 each night and rate them. They were that good. We especially liked the Eve Pudding and Chef Dale made us our own dish for our last dinner there.
We ate at the Warri Pier overlooking the sea one night . It has a different menu that you order from and some dishes like lobster and scampi have a cost. We were happy with the meal and atmosphere.
The beach was where we spent most of our time and we were very pleased- it was beautifull, and big with plenty of places to sit
There are vendors that will sell you trips and souvenirs, but will not bother you other than that.
The staff at the resort are very friendly and accomodating, and when we went to the Managers cocktail hour we were introduced to the various heads of staff you could see they are like a family - they are all very dedicated to their jobs and work very hard to keep the hotel running smoothly. We would see the head of food services at breakfast as well as at dinner the same day, and the bar manager would be serving drinks in the bar, then run upstairs to check the restaurant.The resort offers a very friendly and laid back atmosphere and we felt quite comfortable while there. There was a wonderful group of people staying there the week we were there and we made some great friends!
Overall we were thrilled with our experience at Halcyon Cove. Yes, the resort could use some TLC, but it is a 3 star and our goal was to rest, relax and eat well, and we accomplished that.
We will be back :)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank GinaJones77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warwickshire, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
198 reviews
194 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 275 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013

We stayed at Halcyon Cove by Rex Resort for a week all-inclusive in February for my husband’s birthday. We booked through Virgin as I am a Virgin Club member. Check-in was fine and the staff friendly. On booking we asked for a quiet room and preferably not ground floor. We were allocated Garden Room No. 255 which fitted the bill. Our luggage was taken round and we settled in. As part of the holiday deal, as a Virgin Club member, I was supposed to have a complimentary bottle of wine in our room and, if available, an up-grade. I complained to the Virgin rep couple of times during our stay before we got the bottle of wine. We eventually got this on the day of my husband’s birthday so at least that was cool. We were not offered an up-grade and I am sure the hotel was not full but we couldn’t be bothered to make a fuss so we stayed in our allocated room.
Our room was a reasonable size with a large, comfy bed, a wall mounted tv, mini fridge, coffee maker (which didn’t work but was changed on our second day), room safe and air conditioning (which became very noise on our last couple of nights and in fact, the cover fell off onto the floor one morning). There were loads of drawers and storage space for our clothes. There was a nice long set of low drawers onto which you could place your suitcases, which was very useful. The electrical sockets were mainly English style 3-pin, which made matters easier. However, the electrics were rather antiquated and would never pass Health & Safety in the UK. Plumbing was also a bit dodgy and we often had rusty water when you first turned the taps on. The attachment to divert the water from the bath tap to the shower head was very temperamental too. The bathroom had plenty of room to put down your bits and pieces and there was a hairdryer. There is a line over the bath which was useful for drying out your rinsed out swimwear. The only complimentary toiletries were a shower cap, soap and shampoo but these were not replenished during our week there.
The bedroom had very poor lighting, just two bedside lights so it was very dingy in the evenings and no lighting over the wall mirror. Luckily, there was good lighting in the bathroom if you wanted to do your hair or your make-up. There was a balcony with two chairs and one lounger.
The hotel had a small gym which was free and had long opening hours. There is also a spa but I did not use it. There were a couple of shops on the site which stocked bare essentials. Non-motorised water-sports e.g. wind-surfing was free at the beach.
There was one reasonable size swimming pool and beach-towels were available each day. The sun loungers were sadly in need of replacement. Many of them were broken.
The beach was nice soft white sand and the loungers here were nicer here than around the pool.
The hotel provides free wi-fi but our room was too far out so we had to go to sit in the reception if I wanted to use my i-pad. If you want to use the public computer in the reception lobby there is a charge of 90ECD for 30 minutes.
Although we were on an all inclusive deal, this did not include bottled water.
Saturday night’s meal is a BBQ at the beach bar/restaurant and was very good.
Breakfast is taken in the main first floor restaurant with an adequate selection of hot and cold buffet. Scrambled eggs were really good. Not too sure on the fried stuff. Omelettes, fried eggs and pancakes were made to order and were very good.
Fresh fruit salad was a bit limited seeing as we were on a Caribbean island.
Lunch was taken at the beachside restaurant. There was not a brilliant choice here. Choice of hot dog, burgers or fish with vegetables, pasta or salad. As we do not like
hot-dogs or burgers, we had the fish option each day (which was very good). Salad was rather unimaginative. Lunchtime desserts were usually either ice cream or a choice of cake. Drinks at all meal times were free.
There was afternoon tea on offer in the main first floor restaurant but we never went so can’t report on what it was like.
Evening meals are again taken in the first floor restaurant where there was a reasonable choice of mains and desserts. The food here was fine and the service good.
Free cocktails are served throughout the day but these were served in disposable plastic cups and it’s just not the same as having it served in a nice glass. Small details I know but in my opinion, important.
There is a really nice restaurant on a short pier off the beach called the Wari Pier Restaurant and hotel guests were allowed to eat here free twice a week but you had to choose from the starred items on the menu. It was a bit limited so one night we went off the starred items and paid for our main course. The food here was really good and nicely presented.
If you are sensible at dusk, the resort was not too bad for mozzis while we were there in the February. I did get 3 small bites from either hanging around the pool at dusk or sat out on our balcony without any protection and we did manage to get one in our room one night and got a small bite. The only real problem place was the public toilets by the pool which always had mozzis flying around inside.
There is a hospitality suite where you are able to go for a shower before departure if you have had to vacate your room before your departure time (11am check-out). This was adequate but you had to go searching for staff for towels and there were a few mozzis lurking in there which were harassing us as we did not want to get bitten just before having to face a long flight home.
Although Room 255 was a very quiet room, you need to bear in mind that there is live music from the open-air beach bar/restaurant most nights until either 10pm or 11pm which can be heard from most of the hotel rooms.
Generally the staff seemed lovely but some were not very efficient. We complained on two separate days about the room maid forgetting to give us a hand towel. The first time we did not get a towel until the following morning. Also, the room had tea/coffee making facility but we were not provided with a spoon to stir our drinks. On the second day we had to go to find her to ask for one. Also, the hotel provided a laundry service but there was no laundry bag/booking form in our room and it took me two days to get this sorted. Only minor niggles but all totally unnecessary. I know the hotel is only a 3* but the service needn’t be 3*. Attention to detail costs nothing!
As we were on an all-inclusive deal we had to wear bright blue plastic wrist bands which were like the wrist bands worn by patients in UK hospitals, which you could not remove. So whenever you are out and about on the island, you had these wretched wrist bands on.
Don’t kid yourself - this is definitely a 3* resort. The rooms were very tired and so was the rest of the complex. It was reasonably comfortable but not very smart. You look at Sandals next door and it’s a completely different story – but, of course, you pay a lot more for it.
The highlights of Antigua for us were swimming with stingrays at Stingray City and also our visit to Nelson’s Dockyards and its surrounding area which we visited on two days. Really great places to eat there is at Hamilton’s and at Salty Dogs. Both had great menus and lovely staff and the latter had the most delicious coconut shrimp

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Annathetraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these St. John's hotels

Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013

This hotel needs to be brought into the 21st century. You enter it and feel like you've entered a hotel that was great in the 1970s. Unfortunately, that was a very long time ago. The prices, particularly the all inclusive package isn't a bad deal though.The food however, is another story. There was barbecue chicken for lunch one day. It looked like stumps of chicken that no one eats - really, this is a hotel, not grandma's house. And then there was the small wormish creature I saw on a piece of lettuce in my salad. Ok, I get that lettuce grows in the ground, it sometimes has dirt on it, but WASH it! Thank goodness I saw it early. When I returned it, there was no big apology either. From then on, I stuck to cooked food. The restaurant on the pier is nice, very lovely view. The food was decent, but took way too long. The bartender was great and stirred up some nice concoctions.

All in all, if you're looking for budget and don't care about room quality, this is the hotel for you. But the hotel will do well to join the rest of us in the 21st century - update the lobby, fix the wireless, change the doors (those keys are ridiculous), change the room furniture and the tv options are not the best.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Globehopper79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

While you can pay a wide range of prices to stay here, if you can grab it at 1200 a week or less including flight & taxes, you will receive value.
Most beaches in Antigua are fairly rocky, not this one. It's long ( shares the cove with Sandals, and some smaller private commercial enterprises and homes - all beach access is public in Antigua, but the hotels put out chaises, shelters etc) and there is a substantial shallow area.
This place has clearly been around for a long time, distinctly 60s-70s architecture, charming for the most part and unostentatious.
it seems a very gradual reno effort is under way, but slowly enough that you won't be disturbed.
Rooms are clean, in fact the whole property is tidy, though a coat of paint on buildings and oudoor furniture would not be wasted.
Staff are professional, pleasant and kind, in particular, server Heather and Bars Supervisor Heleen went way out of their way to be excellent hosts.
The food, served buffet style (dining room breakfast and dinner, beachside at lunch), was well prepared, the custom omelette bar in the mornings was very popular, and the chef's soup skills are impressive.
There is a reserve only restaurant on the complex, Warri Pier, as you might expect, it's on a pier off the beach. Some fancier items are extra charge, and worth it, at least one night if not two.
The covered, but open sided dining room is charming and the meals are good.
I ate fish wherever I could (every lunch and dinner) and was never disappointed.
Everywhere is close in Antigua, and taxis with posted prices, are always available at the entrance to the property.
You could spend 2 or 2 1/2 times as much at Sandals a short stroll away, you'd be surrounded by a very snazzy fence, spend your sleeping hours in a designer environment and probably be fawned over, but if you go to Antigua for a great beach, decent meals, pleasant and competent hosts, and a few outings, you'd have as good a time at Rex Halcyon Cove, and you could afford to go back next year.

Room Tip: Closer to the beach or pool is better. All are quiet and clean. Older rooms are to the left of the f...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gordonscott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Travelled with friends to Halcyon Cove in January. The hotel is rather small in size, but that's fine by me, I don't like overcrowded hotels or enormous hotels where you have to walk 15 minutes to go eat at the buffet. The food at the buffet is great, although there's not much choice. The various soups at dinner were a hit! The one recommendation I have food wise is don't eat at the Wari Pier... unless you pay, their "all inclusive" menu is a bit disappointing. The beach is Awesome, no other words for it. While on the beach, make sure you go for a Hobbycat ride or a kayak ride, well worth it. The rooms on the other hand... well this is where my mixed feelings are. We got a room almost in the jungle... and the path to our building was in decay... Some of the buildings are in advanced decay and are in need of some serious TLC... The room itself was fine, clean linens, clean bathroom... but we had no screen on the bathroom window and our balcony sliding door didn't close properly. Our friends had rooms in a different building, a bit more updated, with newer furniture and nicer paths to get to their rooms Their sliding doors closed properly & they had a screen on the bathroom window, but they are still the ones who found a tarantula in the bathroom... yeah!! One of the perks of the Caribbean... We took a taxi to downtown St-John's one day... not much to see, apart from the cruise boats that stopover for the night he colorful houses. We also went snorkeling... it was just ok. There were a bit of waves, so the water wasn't very clear and the reefs were on the ordinary side... I've seen much better in a lot of different parts of the world. So overall, if you're looking for a small resort with an amazing beach, good food, and you don't mind the fact that the hotel isn't in perfect condition... this is a good choice. I really can't complain as well just because we paid under 1000$ for an all-inclusive week here.

Room Tip: Make sure you get a room in the buildings closest to the entrance... not the ones furthest from the...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Oana-and-Vince
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Along with 60 other Seniors from the Toronto Area, we went with our Fitness instructor for a week at Halcyon Beach. The resort was probably very good in its day, but now it's a bit tired - frayed around the edges, the way your comfy old slacks start to fray at the cuffs. A significant upgrade, say about $8 - $10 million, would bring it "right up to snuff" and make if competitive with any other property.
Housekeeping was good for us, variable for others in our group - we had to give shampoo to one of our group after Housekeeping had skipped putting shampoo and soap in his room for a couple of days. A drip from the air conditioner soaked a pile of magazines and business papers of mine. The restaurants were OK, although food choices were somewhat limited.

Room Tip: My room-mate and I had the very last beachfront room, at the far end of the property. A little bit o...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Captain68
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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