My wife and I just returned from ANOTHER amazing week at Sandals Antigua. We went last year and are already booked for next year. We are experienced travelers and have learned over the years that the old saying "you get what you pay for" really holds true. That said, do not expect to have the same experience in a "Garden" view room that you would get in a butler villa suite. My wife and I tend to splurge on our vacations and cherish the alone time! Life is too short to go cheap on vacation. Many people ask us if the butlers are worth it? I will tell you without hesitation, YES. Our butlers, Hunter and Lincoln, tAke care of everything for us. They reserve the best chairs at the beach and pool, they make our restaurant reservations for us ( not easy to get the good time slots if not butler guests), they set up our villa every night with special touches that you have to see to believe. They are never intrusive and will provide you with a cell phone to contact them whenever you want to. This was our second year in a row with Hunter and Lincoln and we already reserved our villa for next year. These guys and this place are simply the best. We have been to other all inclusives, including other sandals ( Royal Bahamian), none come close to SGA. I read many of the same complaints, "there are not enough chairs at the beach" "the people are not friendly" or my favorite, "too many Mosquitos ". The resort, beach and pool areas are tremendous, if you do not get a chair, you either arrived at the beach/pool way too late or did not have a butler. I never feel crowded at any public area while at this resort. As a matter of fact my wife and I tend to wonder where everyone is. The resort was fully booked and yet there is never a mob of people anywhere. It really is very nice to not wait in lines or feel like a number. As far as the people go, I am convinced that the people that complain are simply nasty ********* and have no idea how to treat people. We never came a cross one staff member that did not say hello, good evening or simply smile. They love their jobs and if you treat them with the respect that you want to be treated with, you will be treated wonderfully. If you are a jerk and treat everyone like they are your servants, well my advice is to learn some manners or do not complain when you wait 20 minutes for a melted frozen drink.
As far as the food goes there are two places not to miss. Mario's and kiminos (especially the sushi bar). Mario's serves some of the best lasagna I have ever had. I know every Italian mom out there just said " what does he know" but I have to say as a 41 yo from NYC with an Italian mother in law and wife, I know good when i taste it and Mario's is excellent. The sushi is outstanding, very fresh and rivals any sushi bar I have been to. Say hi to George for me. He is the "Japanese " sushi chef and does a great job. The rest of the restaurants are all good with barefoot being the best of the rest. Elenors is overrated in my opinion but worth a isit if you want lobster. Ok corrall is just that......ok. Mario's also has a great breakfast buffet but if you have butler service you will have breakfast in your room every day if you want to. The English pub is great and has some very old late gift bar food available until 2:00 am. Their dinner menu is not extensive but very good if you are looking for a casual night.
As far as entertainment goes, you can be as involved or removed as you want. There is a schedule of events and shows but no one will force the issue or pull you off your chair if you do to want to participate. The nightlife is limited and is focused in the British pub during the late night. If you are looking to do belly shots and bar slides, this is not your resort!!! If you are looking for a romantic and fun week with your wife, it is paradise. One GIANT NEGATIVE FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW IS THE PIANO BAR. It is in a horrible location that resembles an attic from the 1970's and the piano player is awful. We have been to other resorts and the piano bar is often the life of the party and a great place to kick back and sing along. Here it is almost an afterthought and honestly a ig disappointment. If anyone from Sandels reads this, please address this glaring issue. We do to expect Billy Joel but the player and the physical location of the bar is terrible.
Be nice to and make friends with the photography staff. If you are like us, you do to want to lug around a camera. These guys are everywhere and take great shots of yo all week. Just give your room number and they will link all the photos for you. When it comes time to buy your photos, you can mimimize the pain if you have been a good sport and kind to the staff all week. If not you will pay full price and it is expensive.
If you plan on communicating with loved ones at home, buy the wifi service and download "pinger" you will be ale to text and call until your hearts content. The service is being upgraded everywhere you look but is currently very good in the 3rd floor med lobby and by the pool. It is not so good in some rooms but it was not a problem for us to walk 50 feet to the pool area to make the occasional FREE call. Again download pinger to your iPhone. You will be glad you did.
I hope I covered everything and helped anyone planning to vacation here. Spend the extra money if you can and get a villa suite with the butler. You will not regret it. Nothing like your own hot tub and pool cleaned for you every day! It makes for a very nice way to end the night.
- 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