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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 12, 2011

We spent the first week of November in Sandals Grande Antigua. Simply put: do not hesitate, just go! The only downside was the weather... could you believe it was too hot!?? A truly fantastic luxury resort. Antiguans are happy to welcome us to their wonderful island. FYI: the best kept secret in the resort is the piano lounge over the Courtyard: cool, thanks to the air conditioning, although, warm, because of a great staff. Enjoy!

Room Tip: We chose the Carribean section because it is more quiet then the Med Village. Our choice was excelle...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Christine L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,270 - 4,276 of 6,876 reviews

Reviewed November 9, 2011

I dont know where to begin describing my experience at this amazing resort. Not only was it very clean but also it truly was paradise. Our butlers Cecil and Wendell were the best. My husband hurt his knee on a wave runner and while upstairs I called Cecil for ice. Not only did he come quickly he also sat next to my husband holding a bag of ice on his knee while I took a cab to go to the local pharmacy to get medicine. Cecil and Wendel, You two truly made our experience perfect! If anyone is booking this resort with butler service make sure to ask for these two, they will go above and beyond!!!!

Room Tip: Mediterranean honeymoon suite with butlers... ask for Cecil and Wendel
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank anigaribian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2011

My husband and I decided to push the boat out to celebrate my birthday and as I'd never been to the Caribbean before I was really looking forward to it especially after all the fab comments from other travellers and the lovely photos in the Sandals brochure. When we arrived it was raining heavily, although my husband confirmed that it wouild soon pass and it did, with blue skies and sunshine after about an hour or so.... that was to set the scene for the weather for the rest of our break. Having said that sometimes the rain was very welcome, and certainly didn't spoil the holiday.

We were allocated room 214, Flamboyant block, and on entering the room couldn't believe how dark it was even with the lights on, plus there was a slight musky smell but put it down to the rain and started to unpack. The room itself was in need of a refurb as everything looked a bit tatty and in need of some tlc.The fridge was leaking and the carpet was heavily stained around the fridge which suggested this was a re-occuring issue and not a one off. Having unpacked, we ventured out onto the balcony to be greeted by Jack's Beanstalk ... I jest not, please see attached photo!

Swiftly moving onto the pool and outside areas. The gardens and walk ways were immaculate and were constantly serviced. The pool that we spent most of our days lazing around was situated in front of the Frangipani block, however, it wasn't cleaned on a regular basis so after a heavy rain pour you were sharing it with foliage and dead insects etc.

This didn't stop our enjoyment as we had lots to keep us interested, and this is where I'd like to raise a note of caution to anyone who is thinking of getting married on the beach, several weddings are scheduled each day and it was more like a conveyor belt than an intimate ceremony, especially as you had the likes of us, in our swim gear watching from our sun loungers! However, there is a lovely gazebo in the garden which was a lot more private than the beach. I can only comment about the ceremonies near the pool area where we spent the most of our days.

The beach is lovely and clean with white sand and the sea is turquoise (beware of jelly fish as I got stung and it was very painful indeed!) It's a public beach and you do get lots of locals trying to sell you trips etc. This is only slightly intrusive, but after 10 days I was still amazed that the same guy was trying to sell me a boat trip after I'd repeatedly told him I suffered from sea sickness!

The restaurants. You do have plenty of choice of restaurants but it is slightly spoilt by the fact that you have to book 2 days in advance, although there are several restaurants that you can just turn up on the night without needing to book such as the Bayside or Marios which are very nice (be warned birds are a bit of a pest in the Bayside as they swop in and peck the food) Elenor's was more to our taste but still not 5* dining, although a guy on the next table, eating the same meal as me, was asked by the manager whether he was enjoying his meal he proclaimed it was "Awesome",.... my response would have been less enthusiastic ... it was pleasant, and definatley better than the meals we had at OK Corral and Kimono's, where they cook two meals at a time in front of you and share it amongst the other diners at the table, not sushi as I was expecting.

As we've not stayed in an all inclusive resort before, I'd assumed that when they advertised the restaurants as a la carte they'd be the same as those we normally frequent but that was not the case.

The drinks were international brands and we had a lot of fun trying out the different cocktails, although what they refer to as Champagne taste more like Prosecco. The downside is that there is only one bar where the majority of the restaurants are so you do spend sometime queing for your drinks.

The staff overall were very pleasant and courteous, although the bar staff did seem to spend a lot of time chatting amongst theirselves, but our top marks go to the staff at the at the Bayside Restaurant who were consistantly excellant

Apologies for my ramblings but 5* this isn't , and unfortunately for me, my expectations were probably unrealistic because of the reviews of other travellers, who may have been looking at things through rose tinted glasses, having just got married. The only other American chain of hotels that we have stayed in is the Four Seasons, who are definitley of a much higher quality than our experience of a Sandals hotel. I think we would only try another Sandals hotel if it was recommended to us by family or friends.

Room Tip: Avoid room 214 if you want a view from your balcony!
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  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled on business
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4  Thank LeHug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2011

In November of 2010 my son married the love of his life. They chose Sandals Resort in Antigua to make their special day one they would remember for a lifetime. The wedding planner was helpful, the resort was breathtaking, and the event went very well.

This is a couples-only all-inclusive resort with lots of amenities. I was disappointed in their wine selections, but recently read they have made improvements to their selections.
One suggestions... fine dining restaurants need reservations ... those reservations must be made in some cases three days in advance. Do Not wait until you get to the resort to make your plans or you will be eating at the bars and cafes. Read what is available... dining and activities... before you go, so you won't miss out.

Room Tip: Stay in the newer buildings if you can.... rooms are a little nicer.
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  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank PamGlinski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2011

This was the first sandals experience for my wife and I, but it will definitely not be our last. I was very apprehensive about going after reading some of the other reviews on tripadvisor, however, we could not be more pleased with our stay in Antigua. Everything there, from the food to the entertainment to the room accomodations far exceeded our expectations. We find this resort to truly be "PARADISE".

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank tigerfan417
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Sandals Grande Antigua several weeks ago, as our honeymoon destination. It absolutely exceeded our expectations.

The positives: The staff was incredibly courteous, and always had a smile for us. There were several instances where a staff member went out of their way to make our experience special. The grounds were kept immaculately, and the property was breathtakingly beautiful. We were automatically upgraded to a nicer room because we were celebrating our honeymoon and my birthday, which was a wonderful surprise. Our room was very very comfortable- with maid service offered several times a day it was always clean- plus on my birthday they set up a complimentary bottle of champagne and flower petals on the bed! The drinks served at bars were delicious- our favorites were the Crazy Monkey, Banana Sip-Sop (I always asked for it to be made with coconut rum, a very yummy variation!) and the Japanese Bloody Mary at Kimonos and the Sushi Bar. The food was quite good- we especially enjoyed breakfast at Bayside and dinner at Marios, with a fantastic spread at the buffet antipasti bar. I would definitely recommend doing a candlelight dinner one evening- it's a romantic experience, and so nice to get the one on one time at dinner. The excursions we went on (Sail and Snorkel and Ziplining) were both a blast! We can't wait to go back :)

The negatives: There is no room service unless you choose to book a butler suite (a very pricey option). You will want to watch out for locals who approach you on the beach wanting to sell you things- they are generally nice about it if you turn them down, but they are persistent and come in numbers. We were a little annoyed in the end by staff from the Photoshop, who carry around cameras and will constantly ask to take your photograph, which you can look at later and choose to purchase (for a VERY elevated price!). But in the end we were glad to have a few photos of the memorable moments. Remember to bring enough sunscreen for your stay because you don't want to purchase it from the general store- everything is extremely expensive. We're talking $30+ for a small bottle.

Overall, the negatives were barely a blip on our radar. We came home relaxed, tan, happy, and with a new penchant for Reggae music. I hope we'll be able to return soon.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Heather A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2011

We stayed at Sandals Grande Antigua October 29 - November 5. This was our 2nd stay at this resort, as we had previously vacationed here in January 2010. Everything was just as great as we remembered and we had a fabulous time again.

Things got off to a bad start thanks to American Airlines, which lost both of our bags. Thankfully we had packed bathing suits in our carry-on. Our luggage arrived at the resort 27 hours after we did!

We had butler service again and that, too, got off to a rocky start as both of our butlers were off-duty the day we arrived. We had several butlers fill in, but with our luggage situation, we were a bit frustrated by the lack of service that first day. The next day, though, all was well and we received flawless service from our butlers the rest of the week, We once again had Cecil as our butler and he is fantastic--such a hard worker, perfectionist, and all-round good person. We can’t say enough good things about him and it was so great to spend a week with him again.

Our room was the Honeymoon Oceanview Dickenson Bay Butler Suite and I highly recommend this room. It was being refurbished last year when we were there, so we wanted to give it a try while it was still new. Located right on the beach, these rooms have great views and you can hear the ocean waves from bed, which makes for great sleeping. We enjoyed breakfast and snacks on our balcony--just a few feet away from the white sand and turquoise waters. The room was very well furnished and looked exactly as shown in the pictures on the Sandals website.

The dining was just as good as we remembered, with such wonderful atmosphere right on the beach at Eleanors, OK Corral, Barefoot, and Bayside. We never had any occurrences of slow or inconsistent service. Everything was done efficiently and in a friendly manner, just as we have come to expect from Sandals. The addition of Café de Paris was really great--desserts, lattes, and cappuccinos all day long!

We are usually beach people, but didn’t spend much time on the beach. It is still pretty narrow in places, though not as bad as on our last visit. The resort was only at 65% occupancy all week, so the beach also wasn’t as crowded. On days cruise ships are in port, the crowds are more noticeable, though. The beach vendors can be a bit of a hassle, as some don’t like to take “no” for an answer, but some are fun to talk to, too.

Since our room was on the beach and many of our meals were on the beach, we spent most of our time during the day at the main pool in the Mediterranean Village. This pool is the largest we’ve seen anywhere and is a lot of fun. We are early risers, so we had the whole thing to ourselves for a couple hours each morning. There was no problem with available loungers, though the ones with shade were usually taken by mid-day. There is a shortage of pool floats, but that is mainly due to many rude people hoarding them away under their lounge chairs when not using them. The pool bar was very efficient, though the absence of bananas for most of the week was a bit disappointing.

Overall, we had a wonderful time and would not hesitate to recommend this resort. We have already booked again for next year! Feel free to contact me with any questions or to see more pictures. And I would like to mention a few of the staff that really stood out for us--Hersilla in the piano bar, Brendaline at Soon Come Back, Sherman with watersports, and of course Cecil, our awesome butler. Looking forward to doing it all again next year.

Room Tip: Most of the rooms on the Caribbean Village side have been refurbished now. The rondovals are curren...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank hoppersh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

Address: Dickenson Bay, St. John's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#3 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#3 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#3 Family Hotel in St. John's
#4 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#5 Business Hotel in St. John's
Price Range: $561 - $1,012 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 373
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•A European Hotel in the Six-Star, all-suite Mediterranean Village •Exotic Rondoval with private plunge pool and butler service •1,400 square foot Mediterranean villa with private plunge pool and butler service•Houses the East Caribbean's largest pool (1 of 6) •Offers 9 dining options and 8 bars including an English pub •Voted "World's Most Romantic Resort" 14 years in a row ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort And Spa
Sandals Grande Antigua Hotel St. John`s
Sandals Antigua
Hotel Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grand Antigua
Antigua Sandals
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa Saint John Parish

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