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.
- 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