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“Mosquitos, bad food beautiful beach”

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Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts
Ranked #5 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
A TripAdvisor Member
“Mosquitos, bad food beautiful beach”
Reviewed April 24, 2006

April 17-24, 2006
We will never return to this hotel. It is a run down 3 stars hotel. For the same amount of money you can go to 4+ star hotels in Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba etc.
Hygiene - questionable. No bottled water (have to buy), coffe maker. Always problems with towels in the rooms. Carib Bar lunches - terrible. Rice with leftovers from the previous day (fish and meat together), French fries, greasy meat. My wife got sick the second day. First time ever since we started to travel and she was not alone. After 48 hours of high fever and diarheria we had to call the doctor (US145.00) - antibiotics.
Stuff very friendly but they can not do much with the limited recourses.
The Island is beautiful English Harbor, Shirley Heights etc.
Excellent taxi driver- guide - Glen. US$90 trip around the Island well worth the money.
Locals are also complaining about the owner running down the hotel. It looks like pretty soon the only people coming to Halcyon will be the Time Share owners. They do not have much choice.
Sunday - excellent dinner - ham, turkey, beef slices to bad it was only good dinner during our stay.
Beach beautiful. We were AI and ate in the Halcyon only except for the restaurant in the English Harbor. Food - amazing.
Sorry Halcyon - wake up or close

  • Stayed April 2006
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8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2006

We stayed at the Halycon Cove during the third week of April 2006. It is a nice hotel with very basic amenities. The staff is pleasant but not naturally friendly. The food is average and kind of bland. Also, there was never any ice cream served at lunch or dinner. hmmm.
The beach is lovely, of course, and the weather is just great. It never rained during over entire stay. However, make sure that you bring LOTS and LOTS of BUG SPRAY. The insect repellent they sell at the hotel doesn't work. And the mosquitoes in Antigua are ferocious. They seemed to be every where and are unphased by OFF. Also, I've been told that in December the area is infested with biting sand flies. So, yes, it is a lovely island and the hotel in a nice modest hotel. But do take the necessary precautions so as not to become bug food. Some of us are still itching.

Stayed April 2006
Helpful?
8 Thank gome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2006

We are seasoned travellers having visited most of the Caribbean and other great beach destinations of the world eg Australia,Maldives,South Africa,Brazil (and Blackpool !!), we were stunned with the ultimate quality of Antigua.
This was not least because of the beautiful Rex Halycon.We were anxious as we had our 4 month old son Sean with us and had all sorts of worries especially since reading the reviews on this site - mainly some US visitors not coping with their own inadequacies I think!!
However,we could not have been better looked after.
On arrival,we had a lovely welcome from the reception staff,we were given a fabulous poolside room with terrace.The pool was 20 metres away and the beach near enough to hear the waves!
We had a fridge and excellent A/C system-never got too cold but kept the room comfortable.
We had booked "Room Only" and found this great.The food at the resort was expensive but what do you expect in Antigua.We went to a supermarket and even the locals were paying $4.50 for a box of cereal.
There are local restaurants either walking distance along the beach or a short taxi ride away.In conclusion - be nice to people and ...you know the rest...
So,don't be put off by unreasonable people slating Halycon Cove off.It's a wonderful place with lovely staff and a fabulous beach.Great value-as Sandals next door would cost over twice the price.
There are great local restaurants eg 'Home','Papa Zouks','Julians Alfresco' and twice a week a great Fish and Chip Caravan all a short cab ride away.
Walking distance you will find 'The Beach' also great and even the Hotel restaurants aren't bad but there is better as mentioned already.But breakfast was definitely worth it.
We would go back in a jiffy and knock ourselves out.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
21 Thank asandeepz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
36 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2006

The Halcyon Cove is affordable with basic, simple rooms (But, we don't spend our vacation in our room-do you?). We had a/c, a fridge, a tv & a lovely patio. The Grounds & Beach are Gorgeous! We were told that the hotel was just renovated, but a few more touches would be good. The closets & the bathrooms need a makeover & a little putty where cracks in the closet is essential. In the tropics where there are cracks or leaky a/c's, there will be mold, although we saw a tiny bit in the closet cracks, that's too much! We enjoyed the people that we met, many from the UK. The pool was great & the beach bar was very accesible. Although my husband & I couldn't figure out why there wasn't a bar at the pool. There seems to be a lot of opportunity to make this place into a great resort, but it is definitely not a "resort" as of now. It is a place to stay, not a resort as it's called. The rooms should have kitchenettes, but they don't. Some tiles by the pool are very slippery because they are the wrong kind of tile for a pool. I almost broke my knee getting out of the pool. My physician here said it will take 4-6 weeks to heal the bruised bone on my leg. There was no first aid anywhere, the front desk staff said they would get someone to go to town & get whatever I needed - huh?? Although, they are very friendly. I don't think it's their fault to have a first aid kit or doctor on call if their higher ups didn't get these essentials for them. The food plan is absurdly high for Americans - just say no! We found many lovely restaurants in St Johns - Hemingways, Napoleon, Big Banana & Tamarind bar & restaurant. The last one is a must see excursion on the other side of the island. Rent a jeep for a few days & go there! Also, visit Half Moon Bay - Wonderful! We have a small child, so this holiday was fine with no really important problems (other than my fall at the pool). We read the negative reviews & entered expecting absolute chaos. There was none. We enjoyed our stay & recommend this hotel, BUT, you must be a laid back person, family & enjoy the tranquility of the island, not the small issues on premises which often don't matter. We'd rather stay at a lower budget "resort" & spend our money on adventures to find, food, gifts & fun.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank beth A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Deerfield, IL
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2006

This hotel is by no means fancy, and needs renovations, but was spotlessly clean, and the staff is the friendliest and most polite staff I've encountered at any resort hotel ever! The food is pricy, not as much as Grand Cayman, but expensive, nonetheless. The all inclusive is not a bad option @ $60 US per person/day. Beer is good, too much rum in the punch and food was decent. Breakfast good, some dinners excellent and some average. Warri Pier (their ala carte rest) was exceptional and is in the water. Beach is fantastic, good equipment all over, some nights had decent entertainment. Most of the guests are Brits, as Rex is owned by the Brits and Virgin flies direct. Great time and would definately stay again.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank DrWilliamP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 23, 2006

We booked the holiday before seeing the reviews so were horrified by what to expect. The reality was we had a fantastic holiday and will definately return.

Yes, the hotel is not brilliant but very adequate. The re-painting in brown does not help and there is not much atmosphere, but we had a nice (superior)room air conditioned with balcony and sea view which was clean with a very comfortable large bed. The bathroom however was bad with rust stained bath and leaking taps.

The location is fantastic and the staff lovely. Great value for money, better beach and it had shades which Sandals didn't. Dickenson's Bay is probaly the best location because of the great beach and the facilities it has to offer and is close to St John's.
Most of the other hotels are on isolated beaches without anything around and Taxis are very expensive. 20USD each way to St John's which was only 10 min drive.

By going room only and paying for breakfast (which was good), we had the freedom to eat out and are glad we did. Both 'The Beach' and Coconut Grove were great restaurants with good food and atmosphere and the 10 min stroll along the beach in the moonlight was a joy.
The restaurants are quite expensive but it still worked out less than paying for all inclusive with much better food and atmosphere and an evening out. OK you don't get 'free' drinks all day, but you have more choice and the bar on the beach serves great coctails and the guys who work it are great fun.

Antigua and it's people are lovely and so much nicer than Barbados. It is worth hiring a car and seeing the island which can be done in a day and Nelson's Dockyard / English Harbour is a must. As all the other reports suggest, Shirley Heights on a Sunday evening is also a must.

Despite it's shortcomings, we will return to Halcyon Cove for a good value holiday on a superb beach on a beautiful island with lovely local people. If you enjoy water skiing as I do, you can't do better with a 2 mile stretch of flat water, a good boat and good driver. Terry at the Halcyon Cove watersports centre is excellent. Other guys who deserve a mention are Marvin who organised our Shirley Heights trip and Marley at the beach bar just down from the hotel.

My wife and I have been very fortunate to have travelled extensively both with my work and on vacation to places that include Mauritius, Seychelles, Bali, Barbados, Phuket, Thailand, Goa / India, South Africa, Madagascar, USA, Hong Kong, China, Australia and most European destinations but Antigua is the best!

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2006

I have just returned from a week at Halcyon Cove with my girlfriend and had a very pleasant stay.
It is not perfect but very good value for money. As everyone says, the beach is one of the best on the island with good watersport facilities. We kayaked and sailed a catamaran (for an extra charge). Small dingy sailing was free.
The food was excellent, either the usual buffet with different themes or the daily lunch barbeque by the sea. Dinner was a barbeque on Saturday night also. We met North Americans who were unhappy with no choice of restaurants and the lack of burgers, fries and pizza. If you are looking for that kind of diet then this is not the place for you. The truth is that it was excellent fresh, healthy food with plenty of options. The fresh fish barbequed to order for lunch was a highlight - delicious ! I think '8 ball' was the really good fish chef.
The Warri Pier serves dinner some nights but on the night we tried they were less than welcoming. the food was ok and the setting good but the attitude of the staff off putting. We did experience similar in the main restaurant when we ate a bit later, maybe finishing after 9:30. The staff are obviously keen to get home and service drops off somewhat. Most people seem to eat around 7:30 so would not experience this problem and it wasn't bad enough to stop me revisiting. Most times the staff were polite and helpful.
After moving from a room with a connecting door which was noisy with the TV from next door, we were happy with the room and view we had. Fantastic big comfortable bed and it was very quiet at night, which as a light sleeper is important for me. No need to use the aircon, just leave the veranda door open and enjoy the night breeze. All in all a happy stay with the beach and beach restaurant areas the highlights (see pictures).

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank Christos99
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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