Went with my husband for five nights during Christmas 2012 to celebrate our delayed honeymoon after we got married this past summer. It was our very first experience at an all-inclusive resort, and we are sort of bummed that we didn't start on a lower scale of all-inclusives because we can't see how future experiences could ever beat this one!
Resort - As you know, there are two sides: Mediterranean and Caribbean. The Med side is a gigantic resort -- very beautiful, traditional resort feel, and you can tell it's new. This is the side we stayed on. The Caribbean side, also gorgeous, has a different feel - there are several different apartment-style looking bungalows that are all different colors and designs, making each of then unique. This side seems much more intimate, private, and personable, and is hidden among a lush setting of trees (though this probably means more mosquitoes). I definitely wouldn't say one side is better than the other, but they are different. Since we stayed at the Med side this time, I'd love to stay at the Caribbean side next time.
Food - I'd probably give the food 3.5/5 stars. Nothing amazing or spectacular, but not bad. I'd say the best thing we had all trip was the chocolate lava cake from Mario's. During our last two nights, we ordered a piece to share and eat outside after we had dinner elsewhere. Yum! I won't waste time summarizing all the different restaurants since you can try them yourself, but I did love the open atmosphere of Barefoot and Bayside the best.
Beach - If you've ever been to Lanikai on Oahu, I'd easily compare the quality of water and sand to Lanikai. It wasn't crystal clear by any means, but it was gorgeous and the sand is soft as a baby's bottom! We were so excited to do the water sport activities, but you can only do them on a "yellow" or "green" flag day (depending on the current/tide) -- the first two days we were there, the flags were "red" so we weren't allowed. Such a bummer. The yellow days are "water activities with caution" and the green days are obviously days where activities are up for grabs. If you are adventurous, TAKE ADVANTAGE of all these water sports -- kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, sailing, etc. These things cost a lot of money normally so enjoy! Oh, and the vendors aren't that big a deal.
Pool - Amazing! Swim up bar makes grabbing a drink more convenient than ever! They have a handful of floaty things and I have to say that drifting aimlessly on a raft in the pool in the 85 degree blazing sun is one of the most relaxing times of my life! Yes, the pool chairs do get taken (on most days, a couple of days we just walked straight up to a chair) but don't waste time trying to get there super early to reserve a spot -- hang out in the pool for a bit and then go to the beach and lie out on the sand! The ocean is a more gorgeous landscape anyway.
Staff - The staff was very friendly. Somebody shows you to your room when you arrive and gives you all the ins and outs of how your room works and answers any questions you may have. No complaints here!
Miscellaneous - Yes, there are mosquitoes! I got bit quite a few times at night (I think there was a mosquito hiding in our room) but I just dealt with it. Bring or buy bug spray if they bother you. There are several stray cats on property but they are so tame and friendly, and some are quite pretty! I would also say that if you are staying a week or longer to definitely bring some work out clothes. The whole all-inclusive meals thing really starts to make you self-conscious, especially wearing a bikini all day!
- 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 Hotel St. John`s
- Sandals Grande Antigua Resort And Spa
- Sandals Antigua
- Hotel Sandals Grande Antigua
- Sandals Grand Antigua
- Antigua Sandals
- Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa Saint John Parish