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“Another Excellent Experience”

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 12, 2012

We stayed at Sandals Grande Antigua November 3 - 11, 2012. This was our 3rd stay at this resort and our 2nd time in the Honeymoon Seaside Dickenson Bay Butler Suite. Everything about our stay was great and we once again enjoyed the great amenities, service, and friendly staff of this resort.

For details of the room category or the resort and service in general, please refer to my profile to see previous reviews. For this review, I would like to address issues that are often source of complaints in other reviews that appear on Trip Advisor.

Cats--Yes,there are cats on the property. They serve a purpose. They control the pest population. I think the people that complain about this would also complain if mice or rats were present. So, which would you rather have? The cats are friendly, healthy, and aren't intrusive at all. They do hang out at the outdoor restaurants, but do not come near the food, are not on tables and chairs, and pretty much mind their own business.

Birds--Yes, these exist as a part of nature at this resort. They are present at the outdoor restaurants. They do not peck at the food at the buffets, however. The bread items that attract them are kept covered by screens and not once did we see a bird enter the food area. It is true that they will go after your plate if left unattended. The easy way to avoid that problem is to cover the plate with a napkin or have the plate taken away when finished. The restaurant staffs keep a sharp eye out for this, so it's not really problematic.

Bugs--Once again, these are a part of nature, not just at this resort but in any tropical location. The resort is fogged a couple evenings per week to try to control the problem, but it still exists. Mosquitoes and sand fleas are most active early morning and evening, just after a rain, or when there is no breeze. Be prepared for this problem by taking bug spray and using it. Also take something to treat bites as they happen, such as Benadryl spray or cream.

Pool chairs--It is true that pool chairs are saved in the mornings. This is something that happens at most resorts anywhere you travel. Butlers do save pool chairs, but also release them by mid-day if they see their guests aren't using them. There are hundreds of chairs around the pool and only 61 butler rooms in the resort, so claims that all chairs are saved by butlers are terribly exaggerated. The water sports staff is also good about clearing used towels when the chairs are no longer in use. We always saw available chairs in the middle of the day. It may be difficult to find something in the exact spot desired or with shade, but there shouldn't be a problem finding something available at any time of day.

Pool floats--There are not enough of these for everyone at the pool to have one. But there would also be no available space in the pool if that many floats were in it. The pool float problem mainly exists because many guests hoard them at their lounge chairs and will not share them when not using them. The water sports staff tries to control it when they see this happening, but cannot entirely stop it from occurring. We carried our own inflatable float with us and avoided the pool float hassle.

Spa ladies--It can be annoying to have your relaxation interrupted by a sales pitch when laying at the pool or beach. This was the first time we were actually approached by the spa ladies as we were checking in. It’s very annoying to be filling out paperwork and be interrupted to make a spa appointment before even getting to your room. Not the best time after a long day of travel and it puts a damper on the excitement of arrival. After a couple days, they recognize who they've approached and will leave you alone. I understand they are trying to make a living, but Sandals does need to tone it down on this issue.

Beach--This beach is public, as are all beaches on the island of Antigua. There are vendors, locals, people from other resorts, people from cruise ships, etc. It is a busy beach. Complaints about this beach are surprising, considering that only a few minutes of research will give an idea what to expect. This is not a quiet and tranquil beach and the activities of the beach here are beyond the resort's control.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or to see more photos. We have enjoyed all of our stays here mainly due wonderful staff such as Cecil, Maureen, and Sandeep in the butler service, Catherine in Cafe de Paris, Iola and Millicent in housekeeping, Vanessa in Bayside and the list goes on. Looking forward to returning here for a 4th time someday soon.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank hoppersh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 12, 2012

My husband and I went to this resort for our honeymoon the end of October and the first 48 hours was just a nightmare for us and at first we brushed a few of these things off but so many little things add up and you just have to point them out.
Upon arrival we waited for approx 20-30 minutes and then was told that our room was not ready even though it was past check-in. We went to get something to eat and came back and still had to wait anothe 20 minutes. The room we selected was an Oceanview Venetian Suite on the Mediterrean side. We arrived at our room on 2nd floor with a view of large trees blocking the ocean. Next, it was very hot in the room and I tried to adjust the temperature below 70 degrees but the temp control would not go below that. Called the front desk and they said that is what they set it at. Finally, we called later that night and asked for a manager and demand that someone adjust this for us as it was a little warm in our room. Since it was our honeymoon we also asked to upgrade our room as the room we were in was nice but looks like a standard room at many other all inclusive resorts. They informed us they would let us know in 30 mins. About 2 hours later we walked to lobby to follow up. We had to chase down the managers for 2-3 days before we finally changed our room.
Also, our first night we called Room Service and apparantly we were not on the room service plan so we were out of luck. We then went down and spoke with manager and said Mario's the restaurant could accomodate us. We went there and the place was half full with a bunch of empty tables and we were instructed we had a 45-60 minute wait. Went to Bayside and it was closed and then came back and complained that there were empty tables and then we were seated. We couldn't go anywhere else b/c of required advanced reservation as this was our first night. Next, they serve Beringer wines... not a big fan but there are only a few types. For example, I like Sauvigon Blanc but if you want a glass of that it is on "the manager's list" and you have to pay extra. All other wines are the same as well.
Next day we rented a cabana to get some shade. The cabana's have the steam misters that should blow cold water mist but apparantly these no longer work or can be used anymore. We received 2 different stories - health violations and they were all broken. I should have read the details on the website more clearly but Wi-fI is not free. It is $15 per day. Then my husband's flip flops were stolen from the poolside and no where to be found. We checked lost and found everyday but nothing. It became a joke though b/c he kept saying "my sandals were stolen at sandals". Other items for us was service is not great it is ok, same with the food. I just believe that for the money we paid for an all-incluisve couples resort it was not worth it. We have stayed at other resorts and had a much better and more luxurious experience.
All in all , this was a rought start and we made the most of it and went to the beach/pool everday and did a few excursions. The big pro's are: the beautiful beach, nice pool.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank CarolNYC74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Sandals Grande Antigua was top notch . From the time we checked in till we left . The staff was the best . This was our 4th stay at a sandals resort . We will return for another stay . Both sides of the resort has it's up and downs . If you want privacy stay in the rondavals . We stayed in the new towers and loved it . The food was top notch and the bar staff was great . We went to the sandals select dinner and it was great . We are in our 40s and there is alot of honeymooners but they all sleep in lol . We never had trouble getting beach chairs or chairs at the pool . We got up at 6 am and it was like the resort was ours till around 11 am . Great place to stay .

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank harleyman1967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Celebrating our Honeymoon with our 12 friends was AMAZING! The staff at SGA were outstanding, very friendly & accommodating with our large group! Nikeisha at Bayside ROCKED! Made us feel like family, & went out of her way for all of us EVERY DAY! Our first drink with bartenders Henson & James as we arrived was the beginning of a vacation we would never forget. Latoya, Latoya, Latoya....the bartender of the WEEK! She knew us well, put the party music on & kept the drinks flowing! Then there was Malisa...waitress on the beach....took our drink orders without writing them down & served us in a blink of an eye; best waitress ever! (Best of Luck to you Malisa!) Then, Andre, Entertainer of the Year ~ says it all! Thank you SGA for a GREAT VACATION ~ one we will always remember! See you Soon!

Room Tip: Our room (221) was the perfect location, close to everything ~ big pool, "party pool w/Latoya&q...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Paula D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

First time at an All Inclusive resort and would definitely return to another Sandals, if the price was right! We were fortunate to be able to take advantage of a 40% off promotion which made the holiday affordable. All restaurants offered high quality food and service and the choice available was extensive. Staff were friendly and attentive most of the time although security staff could be more proactive in dealing with one particular beach vendor who was extremely intrusive and often rude. He didn't have to work, he was fed breakfast, lunch and dinner by tourists! He was the main downside of the trip. Rooms were clean and adequate although the lack of bathroom amenities was poor, one bar of soap provided! The coffee machine stopped working during our stay and whilst it was replaced it did not have a flex long enough to reach the socket and had to be placed on the floor when in use. A small point I accept however when staying in a five star resort one would expect more. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would recommend the resort for couples of all ages Whilst my review highlights that the trip is for couples I would visit with a friend for a relaxing trip. Their target market does appear to be mainly for young couples and honeymooners although we are of 'advancing' years and did not feel out of place. At the price we paid, the resort was very good value for money. We are looking forward to further promotions at the new Sandals in Grenada!!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank EssexUKChristine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

My Wife and I returned to the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa for out third visit earlier in the year.
Since our first visit the resort has been transformed and over doubled in size,with the adition of the Hotel Complex.Great Butler Suites and Mirrored features to enhance the Coconut Grove side of the resort.We enjoy the variety that this resort affords us.

Room Tip: Great beach location,stay in the Coconut Grove side if you want an authentic Beach experience or cho...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank christuckeruk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

My husband and I spent our five year anniversary at Sandals Grande Antigua. What a beautiful resort! The staff was friendly and courteous from the time we checked-in until it was time for us to unfortunately depart. Our room was gorgeous with a private pool and hot tub which was cleaned everyday. Our butlers, Kevin, Natashia and Genevia took such good care of us the entire time we were there. The resort is well maintained and groomed at all times. The beach and beautiful ocean with the evening sunsets was stunning! The food was exceptional! No matter is you wanted fine dining or just a burger at the swim up bar, the food was delicious. I would highly recommend this resort for a wedding, an anniversary or honeymoon destination. We had such a great time, that we have booked at trip to Turks and Caicos and we are taking our children to Beaches. I'm sure it will also be a trip of a lifetime for our children!

Room Tip: We reserved the Ultra Luxury Ocean Villa One Bedroom Suite with private pool and hot tub along with...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Laurie M
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
#4 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#5 Business Hotel in St. John's
Price Range: $578 - $1,410 (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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