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“AMAZING Weddingmoon Experience”

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 13, 2013

My husband and I just returned from our Weddingmoon at Sandals Grande Antigua. It was an amazing experience. The wedding day, staff and everything having to do with the wedding was absolutely fabulous. Everyone made sure the day was perfect! I would highly recommend having a wedding at this resort. The resort itself is beautiful and for the most part is very well maintained. I highly recommend their butler service, it's just makes things easier and provides you with much better service all the way around. Food and drink was plentiful and very good. Just a couple of things we experienced that I will share. As someone else commented, the shuttle service at the airport seemed disorganized and took longer than it should have. I would like to see better service for the price and for such a high end resort and better vehicles. Our room was very nice and clean, but for the price, I would expect more detailed payed to cleaning corners, baseboards, etc, which seemed to be neglected. Room service was very slow. Vendors on the beach are constantly annoying. Public bathroom areas were not very well maintained. We experienced slow and rude bartenders at times and some menus could use more of a variety of choices. When we did have a bad experience and mentioned it to anyone, employees/management went out of their way to correct the situation and ensure that we were happy. With all that said, it was still a wonderful time and I would highly recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Butler rooms are worth the extra money.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank LisaSkier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,254 - 3,260 of 6,867 reviews

Reviewed June 10, 2013

My husband and I had our Weddingmoon at Sandals Grande Antigua with just a few friends a family. It was so amazing and beautiful. Not only was our stay there spectacular but the staff at Sandals was so wonderful, it made our entire trip the best vacation I have ever had. We stayed in the Honeymoon Seaside Dickenson Bay Oceanview Butler Suite - Our Butler's name was Vanessa. If you have a chance to have a butler, PLEASE REQUEST HER! The entire staff has such great attention to detail; they want your honeymoon / vacation to be just as perfect as you do. They strive to make it wonderful; starting with cold sweet smelling towels with champagne when you arrive and ending with the utmost customer satisfaction as you leave - making sure your stay was perfect. We loved the Spa and not only had one massage, but went back for another while on our visit. We also took an island trip on the large Catamaran boat - It was very fun and entertaining! I highly recommend this resort!

Room Tip: Honeymoon Seaside Dickenson Bay Oceanview Butler Suite
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank MadisonN0122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2013

So far we are 24 hours in on our honeymoon. The check-in at the airport was a little chaotic and unorganized. The worst part about that was the baggage handlers "pretending" to be part of Sandals, but really person's just demanding tips.

The taxis used to get us from the airport to the resort were basic van taxis, licensed, I'm sure, but certainly not part of Sandals. The greeting once we arrived was great and pleasant.

Two things of note.... there are no towel racks in the bathroom, so no place to hang slightly used towels or bathing suits. Also, the food preparers do not wear gloves when preparing food, opting instead to use their bare hands.

Other than that we are having a great time and look forward to the rest of our stay!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Wolfgang L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

1st Sandals stay and first vacation as a couple and overall a very good experience with Sandals. Our experience was consistent with many other reviews we had read prior to our trip. Yes it's pricey, but overall you get what you pay for. Great beach, huge pool with swim up bar and fantastic attention to detail on the grounds.
Aside from the first and last impression (more later) the stay was quite enjoyable and lovely. The staff were quick to help and offer greetings and smiles always. Once when we got turned around looking for the gym the fellow cleaning one of the many smaller pools stopped what he was doing to show us the way- that was pretty cool. The little touches such as notes, gift baskets, flower petals with swan towels in our room provided by the resort were well received and nice surprises.
The pool bar staff was exceptional as a group, with special thanks to Charmaine, Althea, Marie Louise and Delano for many laughs and amazing drinks. Love in a cup will forever have a special meaning to us!
Food was good and consistent and the lava cake dessert at Mario's is not to be missed. Many options for all palates. Reservations are required for several restaurants and need to be made early in the week.
Many excursions available and opportunities for beach sports abound. Paddle boarding was fair due to the wind, Hobie cats were a lot of fun and snorkeling was worth the short boat ride. The circumnavigation excursion was a day well spent. Beach peddlers were friendly and a simple "no thank you" was enough to send them on their way.
On another note check-in was a disaster and entirely disorganized- what an awful start to a stay in paradise. This could have been much better managed on their end with more communication and staff available to assist. Check-out was equally unenjoyable with a "cattle herd" mentality- bus is here, get on if you can fight your way through the other 200 people headed for the same flights. Fortunately after the second drink on the beach after check in the experience became a more distant memory and the trip was pretty awesome until a similar experience at check out. Unfortunate bookends on a great trip. Also, still not sure what paying extra for concierge level service really gets anyone as the "concierge" desk happens to also serve as the main desk. Essentially we paid for a better room location.
Finally special thanks to Mitch at TripGuy.com- he was awesome! Further he helped us with a great trip and was spot on with his recommendations. We'll be telling everyone we can about him!

Room Tip: Higher floors in Mediterranean offer great views of property, pool and ocean. Lower floors may be l...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank gburnett13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

sandals was fab, accommodation is great loads of restuarants to eat at, entertainment was good but finishes at 11pm. late night entertainment is karaoke and disco in the English pub.
swimming pool area is fab with a great swim up bar, cocktails and champagne are great.
3 restuarants you have to book , ok corral, eleanors and kimonas but all fab.
at st marks square you can have coffee, cake and ice cream lots to choose from and very tasty.
watersports included and oh what a wonderful beach.
did a couple of trips ie catamaran and Shirley heights both excellent and well worth the money.
Rooms are great very spacious and cleaned spotlessly every day.
We had concierge room and the bar in this was fab.
Pizzeria is good for late afternoon snack.
Overall it is brilliant and would go to any sandals property again.
Roll on next year till I go back.

Room Tip: we was in Mediterranean village with a sea view room, high floors have best view.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank helen m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2013

Let me preface this review with the fact that this is our 4th visit to a Sandals/Beaches property. We previously stayed at Sandals Emerald Bay, Sandals Ocho Rios and Beaches Turks & Caicos. Based on our experience, we'd rank this resort as second from the bottom superior only to Sandals Ocho Rios in Jamaica. In short, grounds are beautiful, rooms are nicely decorated and clean, the beach is beautiful (albeit a bit eroded), but crowded with pushy vendors and the food is bad.

Arrival: one of the pluses of this resort is the arrival process, it was quick and painless. We cleared passport control and customs in less than 15 minutes and Sandals cabs were waiting right outside the terminal. Another 15 minutes and we were at the resort. Check in was quick, however, our room was not ready until 2:30pm and we arrived around 12. For some reason the resort was at close to full capacity in June, which was very atypical so we did not get the regular over the top upgrade as returning guests - we got only 1 category up.

Rooms: our honeymoon deluxe room in the Caribbean Village next to the tennis courts was nicely updated and clean. However, if you are looking for peace and quiet (and who isn't on vacation) this is not a great location. It was right next to the service road and the staff quarters and was anything but quaint. Constant carts were pulled through the road in a very loud manner, employees talking and screaming at each other at all hours. We had a pool steps away from the room and one day someone had a great idea to drill and cut metal just beside it. We had to pack up and leave because it was so bothersome. Also the pathways to the rooms are so narrow, we constantly had to push our way through cleaning carts that were left outside rooms garbage and dirty sheets and towels out and all.
3 days into our vacation, one of the managers asked us if we'd like to get upgraded to a Rondoval suite with a private pool in the Caribbean Village. The cost was only $200/night extra vs the 4k difference we would have paid if we booked that type if room initially. So try to get an upgrade when you are there and you will save money. The Rondoval suite was very nice and pretty, however, there was limited privacy because of the balconies that directly face the backyard.
Overall, the resort is pretty large and all the Caribbean rooms are closer to the beach than the Mediterranean village accommodations (except for Mediterranean Rondovals - those surround the pool and are pretty close to the beach).

Spa: do not pre-book any spa treatments. Even with the resort at full capacity the spa had plenty of appointments available. They run amazing specials: Sat and Sun you can get a 60-minute massage for $100 and they will throw in a free full body scrub ($100 value). On Monday, for $165 you will get an 80-min massage and same free scrub. The rest of the week, promotions mostly involve couple treatments. I took advantage of the 80-min massage + scrub deal and it was excellent.

Food: oh, gosh, where do I begin with this one... Compared to all the other Sandals -owned resorts this one had the worst food. We are from NYC so we know good food but we also immensely enjoyed Sandals food in the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (see my previous reviews). Everything here was just not right: all the bread and pastries were stale, no matter the day of the week or the time of day. My favorite Paris cafe inTurks was replicated here and I expected yummy pastries and great coffee and it was just not up to par.
We tried all the restaurants and the best ones were the Sushi Bar and Barefoot by the Sea. We had a grilled lobster at Eleanor's and it was edible, unlike steak and seafood pasta at Mario's. This was the first time we ever just got up and left after eating a spoonful of our entrees: the steak was a lump of fat and the seafood pasta was spaghetti mixed with marinara sauce and some flaky fish. The antipasto bar was also pathetic. We tried a French bistro steak night at the Bayside restaurant and it was also pretty bad: all the appetizers were supposed to be at the buffet bar and out of the Caesar salad ingredients they only had one - lettuce. French onion soup was a concoction out of a can, reeking of sodium and with no sign of Gruyere cheese or croutons. Barefoot had a decent selection of seafood but their dishes were also a hit or a miss. The "gourmet" pizza place was also far from gourmet - their signature shrimp pizza was a regular cheese pizza with 10 tiny defrosted shrimps.

Service: the service here is slow, but it is expected in the Caribbean - we are on island time after all. Some employees were great - cheerful and fun. One of the servers at the Paris Cafe wrote a nice message in chocolate syrup on our plate with crepes. She did not have to do that, but it was very nice of her. You could tell some employees really cared. The reception desk had top notch employees - cannot rave enough about Melissa, Leslie and Timothy. But some employees were just plain terrible. The best example was a bartender at the main Caribbean lobby bar - stone-faced and completely ignores you when you ask her questions. Jeez, you are a bartender. Lighten up! One day we made a mistake of forgoing the buffet breakfast and trying Ok Corral for ala carte breakfast. The place is very small - 10, maybe 12 tables. The chef was cooking on the griddle right in the middle and we witnessed our food sitting on the output serving tray for 20(!) minutes before our server paid attention and decided to finally bring it to us. The servers at Bella Napoli were also horrific - they got every order wrong. It seems like pizzeria is either a training ground or a banishment for those who are incapable of working at the regular restaurants.

Beach: the beach is a picture-perfect Caribbean beach: turquoise water, white sand and plenty of beach chairs to lounge in. However, we were constantly inundated by vendors. Sandals is the only resort on this stretch of the beach (the resort next door closed for renovations 2 months ago) and the vendors are just walking the Sandals beach area back and forth all day. The same vendor would come up to you every 15 minutes. Some of them were nice and just moved on after a quick "no, thank you", but some were really persistent: they'd introduce themselves, try to formally meet you and then proceed to unload their bags with stuff. After 3 days we stopped going to the beach b/c you just could not relax. I know that we should help the local economy, but plenty of people buy things from booths on the beach, there is no need to approach and pester everyone.

Guests: this resort had a lot of European guests. We heard Italian, Portuguese, French and British English with the most frequency. The majority of young couples are honeymooners. The main hangout was the Mediterranean pool during the day and the Pub at night.

Tours: we took the "best of Antigua" tour with Island Routes. It was definitely not worth $200. $100, maybe, but definitely not $200. We were driven along the coast to the old British fort town where we saw 2 picturesque places and then we drove right back. I heard people liked the boat trips better.

To sum it up, we are definitely not coming back to Sandals Antigua. We will still give St. Lucia a try, but being so disappointed with food here, I don't know if I can handle another week like that.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a better room after you arrive - you will not be charged full price.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank olesya154
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2013

At just over £4000 (uk currency) for 10 nights, this was an expensive but one off luxury hols for me n my new wife. First of all the flight with BA was fine, food was good and although long (8 hrs) the flight was comfortable. We had dressed up smartly (shirt n trousers) n asked for an upgrade as we were celebrating our honeymoon but were told at the check in desk that they had no availability despite this the lady offered us to pay for the upgrade at £180 each...don't think so love!! Transfer to our resort was easy, minibus across the road from the airport, can't miss it. My wife n i, like most visitors we met at this resort were on honeymoon. Most people were americans, which i like as they're really outgoing, pleasant n confident which makes chattin etc really easy. We were stayin for 10 nights in one of the basic garden of eden, premium deluxe honeymoon rooms, but after a mention to the staff on booking us in that we were on honeymoon n would appreciate an upgrade we were taken to a ground floor room slightly higher up in the resort, which had a private pool n jacuzzi area for the surrouning rooms and included mini bar and fridge (regularly topped up on daily basis). It had 4 poster bed and bathroom with shower n all other basics. The water n soft drinks on demand was an excellent addition as the water served with food etc by staff tastes strongly of what i imagine to be a purifying agent of some sort. There are 3 options for breakfast...bayside (buffet), mario's (buffet) n ok corral (a la carte). Mario's was by far my favourite, the restaurant was roomy cool and the choice of food is amazing (had about 4-5 courses most mornings!, n i'm not normally a big eater!), ok corral was ok but it's more or less the same as the others but being waited on for your brekkie, if ur too lazy to grt up n pick ur own food 20 yards away...then this is the one for u. Then there is a buffet at bayside... same choice as mario's but with the added entertainment/annoyance of birds watchin like hawks for an opportunity to lunge for ur plate!! Lunch again was a pleasure...plenty of choice the bistro courtyard for hurgers, snacks etc, pizza made for u on the spot...same as omlettes for breakfast both at mario's or the other restaurants, where u can have a 3 course. Then finally...dinner. 3 places need a reservation ok corral, kimono's and eleanors. I would recommend bringing a few smart pair of trousers to accompany ur shirts as you'll probably be ending up at these restaurants a few nights n need to comply with the dress code of smart pants and collared shirt. Kimono's was a great experience with 4 couples in a room with a chef and big hot plate surface for the chef to cook all ur food before ur eyes. Great experience n food was delecious, it might be a good idea to do this early on in the hols as it's a good way of socialising n mixin with the other couples as you'll undoubtedly be seein them regularly throughout the rest of the hols. Eleanor's was good...lobster overated in my uncultured opinion n the wait can be long if busy there. Also if ur on a late bookin they might be out of lobster as it's the signature dish n obviously popular as they ran out on one of our visits there at 8.30pm. Crab cakes and coconut soup are a must for starters at eleanors by the way!! Ok corral was spicy as expected but a lovely steak n portions are lovely. Enough about the food... sorry to go on but it's partly what this sort of place is about..fine dinning of a high standard for every meal. The weather is great, days with showers forecast never last long and i enjoyed the freshness of the place afterwards. The beach is lovely n just a few yards away n the non-motorised water sports included are a great option although u need to make sure ur comfortable with what ur about to do cos there's no briefing apart from "stay within sight of the resort". Vendors on the beach are the same as anywhere, a firm but pleasant no or we're fine gets rid even though there are plenty of them. Photo shop staff are repetitive..asking u to do the same poses n askin if u've got a sunset session booked yet, which is slightly annoying n the pictures at $16 each unless u get a bulk deal is a rip off. Swim up pools are great way to keep cool during sunbathing hours n there are lilo's aplenty as this is a pretty quiet time of year to visit.There's a daily newsletter which is delivered to ur room n tells u what's going on... there's pool n beach volleyball again good to socialize n other events to keep u tickin over. We went to shirley heights on sunday via hotel minibus, 45mins drive to top of mountain, nice to see the island on the way but $45 each return n $8 entrance to the viewing area for maintence are steep n i think u could do it much cheaper off ur own back. Music there wa good, u had to pay 4 food n drink there n we were a bit bored if honest. We also did a trip to st john's $12 each way in minibus, stayed for 2 hrs n got some duty free but was just a run down port with some jewellery shops n overpriced clothes. At the end of the day...This Sandals resort in my eyes is as advertised, a luxury included resort where the food, location and readiness of the staff to serve n please makes leaving the resort an anti-climax. Any cocktail u want made up, quality sunloungers n housekeeping visiting 3-4 times daily to ensure all is well throughout the day. This is a highly recommended vacation, a week is probably enough time to enjoy all the delights of the resort n the discounted offers given to u close to departure are very tempting to get u to come back again. If it's a luxury, chill out honeymoon with great food ur after, look no further! (that sounded lime an advert! ha!). Hope this review was useful...YA MAN!!!

  • Stayed: May 2013
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10  Thank caerwynroberts
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 Family Hotel in St. John's
#3 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#3 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#4 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#5 Business Hotel in St. John's
Price Range: $507 - $1,148 (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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