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“Nice resort, good value.”

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Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts
Ranked #5 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
muskoka, ontario
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
“Nice resort, good value.”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

Just got back from Antigua 3 days ago, wish I was still there.
Most of the reviews are an accurate description of the resort. As long as you pay a reasonable price, you will not be disappointed. A lot of other resorts on the island cost 4 to 5 times more what we paid to stay at the Halcyon.
Very basic but clean rooms with limited water for showering, hot water is a hit or miss. Toilet paper and towels were not always replenished, but just ask front desk for them!
The food was good for a 3 star hotel, the Head Chef does a great job.
The drinks were also good, lots of variety. We found the rum drinks delicious but strong, so be careful.
The staff, with the exception of one or two, were friendly, helpful and polite.
The beach is lovely, lots of chaise lounges to sit on but limited palapa's for shade. People of course get up early and mark these spots.
Windy weather during our stay, so no snorkelling was available off our beach. And the water was a bit rough, but we did not have a problem swimming in the lovely ocean. Don't swim past the buoy line as there is boat traffic, mainly jet skis, that come very close.
No scuba diving is offered anymore at this resort. If you are a diver you will have to make arrangements yourself. The Resort needs to change this info on website as we always look for a resort that offers onsite diving.
Did 2 tours: Kayaking in the mangroves, Bird Island and snorkeling. This was a half day tour, it was fun but perhaps because of the (windy weather) we were disappointed in what we saw snorkeling. Nice tour though, and worth the $65 U.S. per person
Jeep safari tour is a great way to see a lot of the island. Shirley Heights, English Harbour, Nelson's Dockyard, the Rain forest etc. Lunch was at a restaurant on Turners Bay, which is beautiful and you can of course swim here. $100 U.S per person Fun and informative tour, just wonder if it could have been done cheaper if arranged on our own with a taxi driver. We choose to deal with Air Transat tours, and the rep Marie is very nice but there are other options, so ask around.
I highly recommend sightseeing, Antigua is an absolutely beautiful country!
FYI. Our pool view room had a fridge, a no charge safe and a couple of 110v outlets. No clock.
All in all, I consider myself very lucky to have made this trip on a budget to a very reasonably priced resort. I would not have a problem recommending this resort to anyone who understands "you get what you pay for" Look up the prices for many other resorts in Antigua and you will know what I mean!

Room Tip: If you like to go to bed early and are a light sleeper, ask for a room away from the pool area. Just...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank wildings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2014

If you are thinking about booking this hotel please be rest assured that you will make the right choice if you are looking for a three star property with five star staff and five staff location.

The staff are amazing, words cannot describe how hard they work and how they go over and beyond to make things happen we recieved excellent service from Normalyn and Patrick at reception, Austin, Dolston and Brian at the bar excellent service. Sharon the cleaning lady is very good, Mario the Duty Manager made it happen.

The beach is to die for it is georgeous. There are three dining places and please book early for the Warri restaurant it is on the water it is beautiful. Beach towels i would exchange everytime without a hassle and they always had. My room had clean towels everyday and i had all the amenities in my room coffee maker, coffee, tea, sugar, fridge, flat screen tv, air con and everything worked. Im wondering which hotel the other reviewers went too. Mind you everything cant be perfect, the room was very spacious as well

Only recommendations i have is to get some more personel at service time to moniter items at buffet so things are replenished, please have coffee machine stocked and working at main bar, and yes always the tiny tiny little things can affect some persons even the way some guest are handled, at checkout one manager lady fussed with a english guy and she had attitude and the entertainment guy fussed with his band on our last night and we noticed that. And because we know these things can change we know Nabil who speaks Francais will make this place superb.

The hotel is lovely and my wife and I loved it and wants people to stop moaning five star staff and location.

Room Tip: book seaview room its beautiful
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank vash j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2014

The hotel mostly is what others say; its simple, low key but on a fabulous beach. I am a very very picky eater who scrutinises the plates, glasses, kitchens, depth of cooking of meats, age of lettuce leaves etc but I never went hungry and there was plenty to choose from, in fact I feel terrible for the head chef with any bad reviews as he works so very hard to make sure the guests are eating well and the food is always topped up and fresh, the BBQ night on Saturdays was fantastic. Everyone we spoke to said they all have eaten far too much! Breakfast, Lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, round the clock fresh food available. The cleaners are lovely and patient, the rooms always washed and cleaned of any sand, beds made fresh every day. The hotel is calm and laid out well with emphasis on the beach. In terms of nearby places we walked along the beach to Coconut Grove for drinks one evening, had dinner up the hill (2 mins) blue pineapple, had drinks in a bar on the beach one afternoon. Taxis are expensive after using several times, so we decided to use the public bus, £1 each to Nelsons Dockyard from St Johns then caught a bus back to right outside the hotel, was nice to travel with the locals and see where they live, the bus driver even drops them off outside their house! Helicopter tour for circa £112 each for 1/2 hour was good, bit unnerving, but lovely to see the Island from the sky.
Michael is a beach vendor who sells tours, he is amazing, what you see is what you get, we went on two trips with him and he made our holiday. Shirley heights is fun if you are in the mood for drinks and some dancing, it rained when we went and just had a great time dancing and drinking very cheap beer! Some people got bored after a while so don't expect too much, the place is tiny and packed, make sure you get there for around 5pm for start of sunset.
Word of warning; the sunrise or sunset horse riding shocked lots of people, most figured the owners were being kind as the horses only came out when its cooler in the morning or the evening, but didn't realise they are made to stand outside hotels (not ours but Sandals) all day in the burning sun, the horses were grumpy, tired and very scared of their handlers, they bit each other and everyone who went on the trip were hugely saddened by what they saw and regretted the trip. For a lovely base and relaxing time with no worries of being fed and watered this is the perfect place. My husband who dislikes crowds and generally travelling too far was very relaxed and I cant switch him off from telling everyone how great it was. Go enjoy, its the Caribbean afterall.... nothing matters x

Room Tip: we stayed in the main building over looking the gardens but can see the beach from the front door an...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lemontree99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2014

I visited Halcyon Cove for the second consecutive January, this last week. I returned this year because despite the obvious fact that the place is in desperate need of a facelift, last year my room was spacious and exceeded my expectations, given some of the reviews that I had read.

I was pleasantly surprised, enjoyed the fantastic view from the beach, the service from the staff, and the delicious food.

However, I have come to discover, that last year's upgrade from gardenview to oceanview was merely the result of lower occupancy. This year however, was a colossal disappointment, and unfortunately, validated some of the reviews that I read before.

Let me start by saying that this is a 3 star, so I do not expect 5 star accomodations, amenities, or activities. I expect comfortable, if not extravagant, accomodations, a beautiful beach, and minimal creature comforts of home. Sadly, that is not what I got.

Don't get me wrong, I do not expect an upgrade. If it is possible, great, if not, you gladly accept what you paid for. However, what you paid for, should meet the minimal standards for a one star. Sadly, if you are in a gardenview room, you have fallen well beneath that.

For the most part the staff is incredible. Blondina from housekeeping and, once again, Eleanor, went out of their way to accomodate any needs we had. Errol, Fenton, Roxanne, Julianne, Yvette, Colleen, Night Manager Errol, and others do everything to make your stay pleasant. Many staff even remembered me from last year, and offered warm greetings. The staff make what could be an otherwise unpalatable situation, easier to bear.

Sadly, corporate, has severely hampered their efforts. There is a dearth of so many things: towels for the rooms, toilet paper, a toilet paper roll!! These are basic amenities that I expect from a 1 star hotel , on a one night stay, that are absent from this resort.

Sure the water was down to a trickle on a few days, and from time to time there was no hot water, but I am of Caribbean descent, I have been to the Caribbean many times, and I know this is common, so I take it in stride.

However, even our eventual upgrade to a poolside room, while a vast improvement, failed to result in accomodations fitting of a 3 star. The shoddy caulking in the tub, the falling curtain rod, and the leaking air conditioner, left much to be desired.

Besides the rooms, the whole resort is in serious need of some attention. The little tiki huts on the beach are falling apart, the beach chairs need to be replaced, and in general, the place needs a lick of paint. Just the cosmetic changes would be a big improvement, and do not require a vast financial investment.

What it does require, is the will of the General Manager and unfortunately, I do not see that.

A one day walk through and some attention to the daily operations of the resort, and any General Manager could initiate immediate changes that would have lasting effects. Sure the place needs to be renovated, and some substantial improvements need to be made, to merely offer a minimal standard of comfort to all guests, not just those who stay in oceanview or poolside rooms.

However, initiating standard operating procedures, thus ensuring that the bar is stocked before the beginning of every shift, and guests can purchase bottled water there, is something that on site management should have the foresight to do. This is basic management 101 and it is lacking here. I have worked in the food service industry before so I know what minimal effort such changes would entail.

In sum, this is a great location. Halcyon Cove by Rex has the better half of the beach and with some concerted effort by management, this resort could be the kind of place that people return to annually. A number of guests have said as much. However, it appears that management has become complacent, or just plain ambivalent, and I have little hope that the situation will improve. It seems that there are enough people that return annually that management has little incentive to make this place what it could be.

Management should beware. There are a plethora of vacation options available. Absent immediate attention to the many shortcomings here, and even those who prefer to opt for the cost-effective, comfort of familiar surroundings, over the enticements of a more expensive, attractive yet unknown locale, will soon give up on this place. I almost have.

Room Tip: Go for poolside or oceanview.
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Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank evan m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMrexresorts, General Manager at Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to express your compliments and some of your dissatisfaction during your stay with us at The Halcyon Cove by rex resorts .We sincerely apologize for the operational shortfalls that you mentioned even more so as you have had experience in hotel operation. As a repeat customer we take your concerns very seriously and hope we can win you back once you are satisfied all your concerns are addressed. Thank you for the compliments given to Blondina, Eleanor, Errol, Roxanne and all the other staff mentioned. We are happy that you were satisfied with the friendliness of our staff and the service given.
Thank you again for your comments and I sincerely hope you will give us another opportunity to offer the service you usually expect from Halcyon Cove by rex resorts
Regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2014

This beautiful little resort needs some TLC as the rooms are dated. The owners should invest some funds to fix the little huts at the beach and do some updates to the rooms. We didn't go to Antigua to spend time in the room so were satisfied that the room was spacious and clean. Remember this is a 3 star hotel although the food is far better than the 4 star on the other side of the island where we stayed previously, that being said the staff more than make up for it.
Many thanks to our bar staff Alek, Austin, Doulston and Heleen who always look after you. Special thanks to Alek and Austin for truly amazing service, great conversation and lots of laughs. I miss you already! Austin, karaoke and Bob Marley are awaiting you.
The food is amazing thanks to Dale our chef, I will truly miss the best fish ever. Roxanne will look after you in the restaurant and make sure that you have everything you need. Lunch and dinner offer a good variety of food, chicken, fish, burgers, and plenty of side dishes there is something for everyone.
The beach is perfect, sandy, mostly calm, lots of lounge chairs. The cruise ships have day excursions to this beach and the yellow shirt staff can be a little rude as they would like to take your spot at times insisting that you go to the other side of the beach. Hold your ground you are entitled to remain where you are.
Fenton and Errol do a great job with the activities and entertainment. Entertainment could be a steel band, singers or karaoke singers....
Devon and the general manager checked on us regularly to ensure we were okay.
Housekeeping do an amazing job keeping your room very clean. The water was a little brownish yellow at times in our room however doesn't seem to have hurt us. We had a little trouble with our safe however someone was there to fix it and make sure all was well.

The beach vendors are patient and a simple good morning and a polite no thank you will provide you with a peaceful day. They are not pushy or annoying. If booking a trip...go to Michael, he's the best! Prickly Pear Adventure was the best! Shirley Heights on a Sunday is absolutely the best thing you could do.

Looking forward to returning in the future.

Room Tip: Pool view ground floor is perfect, you have partial ocean view from your room. Rooms in the 220'...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LAMSummer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shrewsbury, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Stayed at the resort from 2nd to 10th jan 2014.

On arrival the resort looked ok, big open foyer. No welcome drink on arrival which is a bit poor. A nice porter carried our bags to room 260, in a 3 story block at the back, nice view of the beach which was a plus. The paveing around the resort is a bit worn in places and very slippery when wet.

The room was clean, very spacious with a balcony. The bathroom was also a good size, over shower bath with a curtain! Bit retro! The safe and aircon both worked fine for us and the queen size bed was super comfy. The bedding was clean and light.

So, the food...! Breakfast is an American type buffet served in the terrace that over looks the lobby, the sea and quite a lot of car park. There was quite a good choice, but the queue for toast was a pain. (two normal 2 slice toasters you would have a home don't quite cut it)

Lunch: is served in the beach bar. Barbequed fish and chicken and cheeseburgers and random stuff. All edible if a but repetitive. After 5 days we went along the beach and brought our own lunch.

Dinner: rubbish. Badly cooked repetitive food everyday, again we went out to eat.

The Warri Pier; (a la carte) you can eat here twice a week. Its not 'a la carte' by any means but the food is better. Starter: pay or help yourself to soup. Main: a decent selection but steak or lobster are extra. Dessert: buffet

The location of the hotel is good, Dickenson Bay is probably the busiest beach on the Island. Lovely clear warm water and soft sand. Loads of beach touts, but a polite no thank you and they leave you alone. Jet skis are available for hire, so lots of them wizzing about. Also sandals along the beach have lots of watersports for there guests so to sea can be busy.

Evening entertainment was ok, fireman, steel band, karaoke etc. Nothing else to do unless you take a taxi into St Johns.

To Summarise: If you just need a base and don't pay to much money to get away this is ok.

Room Tip: Beach front rooms
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank scemma04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2014

Bear in mind this is a three star property which has the best beach call Dickenson Bay and to be honest the staff work so hard its unbelievable. Its a fifteen minutes ride from the airport and once you get to the hotel its more that sure you will realize the buildings were built in the seventies but just given a new look with some paint. i cant fault the room because the people there have no control over re building the place the owners need to fix the place up to match the lovely staff that work there. The restaurant is airy where we have breakfast but as everything else i guess the restaurant guy in charge dont look around the juice dispenser has issues and the same cloth on for breakfast is the same for dinner time and it has same spots, coffee machine also only gives hot water hit or miss, its the little things like this that we see everyday that we wonder if no ones sees. The guy that makes the eggs at breakfast needs to smile as well. Its the little things that matters all the girls in the restaurant are lovely. Be prepared to wait at the bar for drinks only the beach bar during the day and at nights the one in the foyer opens but still closes early, please put more personnel in the bar for better service. The food is ok but its not fair to guest to have same menu served at the buffet restaurant on the semi al a carte we feel cheated and the meals are to repetitive. Unlike some recent reviews we have been able to get room towels and beach towels and our room was cleaned every single day by lovely smiling ladies. The reception staff is brilliant and we were able to exchange money there as a matter of fact when we checked in a lovely lady Normaline was very kind to us and a young man Patrick took us to the room he explained everything to us and welcomed us he is a Trainee. The entertainment was not bad, there is a fire show which is awesome. The entertaiment people needs to get better lighting for the shows. We really love the hotel we had somes issues with safe, hot water and air con and Mario the duty manager had them sorted in record time, he is fantastic, he talks to guest and he is so understanding he represents his job well. If you have a problem while you are there ask for him. Check out is at 11am and it seems as if you have to follow the rule because as i sat in the lobby on day i heard one of the reception ladies Debbie being very angry at one of the guest, she had an attitude with them. I hope some of the management takes a page from the staff and be nice. Again its a pity the little things cant be seen before the guest sees.

Room Tip: rooms by the pool
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Derreck P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMrexresorts, General Manager at Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts, responded to this review, January 12, 2014
Thank you for your kind remarks and constructive comments so improvements can be made the way forward. Our customer service is our number one priority and we do believe in delivering a variety of choices on our menus.
Thank you again and looking forward to your next visit.
Best Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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