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“Excellent Stay!”

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
Virginia Beach
Level 4 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Excellent Stay!”
Reviewed June 25, 2013

We stayed at our first Sandals in 2010 at Emerald Bay, Bahamas for our honeymoon and we have only heard excellent things about the Grande Antigua resort - so we were so excited to experience another Sandals Resort for my husbands birthday! We stayed on the Mediterranean side and everything was nice and new! We opted for a room with out a butler, as we didn't really use ours at the previous Sandals. I would recommend one for this resort however, as they can make your dinner reservations and you can order room service thru them (you cannot order room service unless you have a butler- however all of the restaurants will let you order "to go" so you can just bring it back to your room! :) ) The restaurants were fantastic, my favorite was Mario's- the owner is from Italy - pizzas for lunch are delicious and the Antipasto Bar at dinner is magnificent! You do not even need to order an entrée after you eat what is on that bar! Just like in Italy!!!! Service from EVERYONE was terrific- from the front desk staff, to the housekeeping services, bartenders, servers etc. There is so much to do and so many options- you could never get bored! The water is amazing and calm- but like previous reviewers stated, you are completely hassled on the beach. I realize that natives are trying to make a living, but when the same person comes up to you 5 times in the same day, after you politely say "no thank you" it does get annoying. Due to this reason, we were unable to enjoy the gorgeous beach like we would have liked to. But this is not Sandals fault- so you cannot blame them for it. They actually do a great job of putting security at each entrance/exit to the sand. The staff at the pool bar at The Mediterranean Village was excellent! Met some very nice people - I just cant say enough about this resort! We plan on going back soon! :)

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Luckygrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cassie C, Sandals & Beaches Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, responded to this review, June 29, 2013
Thank you for your review of Sandals Grande Antigua. We're all so happy to read that we were able to offer you such an amazing vacation. We strive to not only meet the expectations of our guests but to exceed them as well.

We can't wait to welcome you back for another wonderful experience in the near future!


Sincerely,
Cassie C.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Redondo Beach, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

Perfect mix of couples games, relaxation by the pool/beach with drink service, spa treatment option, and activities to choose from. Great food selection, excellent customer service (especially the Entertainment dept), and memorable resort. Would recommend this to any couples looking for an all-inclusive with plenty of things to do each day. The resort is like its own little town, you won't want to leave, especially if you make friends with the staff and other couples like we did.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tom H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marion, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We traveled here for our honeymoon. The resort was clean, staff was very friendly, as well as everyone else on the island. We did two excursions from the resort and had a blast. There were so many different restaurants to choose from and the food was very good. The pool wasn't too crowded and one of the main pools were even closed when we were there. Didn't see any children at this resort which made it very peaceful. We can't wait to go back!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank DestinationUnknown17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colchester, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Just spent 14 days on our second trip to the Antigua Grande and it was like returning home and welcomed back by our friends. I know this sounds corny but is very true . June is a good month to visit as not many cruise ships around so very quite. Weather not as sunny as last year but sun and with showers that quickly clear away. Temp 83/86.
We had such a relaxing holiday which was made special by all the staff and especially by Shernell, Diane and Donovon as we were celebrating our 40 years wedding anniversary and my husbands birthday.
We were welcomed at the airport by the lovely staff who congratulated on our anniversary and birthday such a nice touch and made us feel special and then to find we were upgraded to the same room in the Venetian Oceanview Suite (VS) as we had last year on the Mediterranean side of the hotel. We were overjoyed . Following a 20 minute transfer from the airport we arrived at reception to be welcomed with a glass of champagne, canapés and a fresh warm towel whist we waited for our room keys. The room was just as we remembered it from last year a large 4 poster bed and your own bar with bottles of spirit as well as champagne and soft drinks. The room has a walk in shower and a separate jacuzzi tub heaven!!! The balcony is not large, but has a rail for your wet beach wear and 2 chairs and a table. Who wants to spend time on the balcony when you have beautiful grounds and beach to explore.? More wow factor as awaiting us was a beautiful flower arrangement and a plate of wonderful fresh fruit for our celebration birthday and anniversary with a personal card.We were greeted by Diane who hugged us and made us feel very special.
I would say coming back a second time was more relaxing than the first time. Our stay was for 14 days and never once did we become bored with the fantastic grounds or restaurant choices.

We found our favourite restaurants were :-
Kimonos where Eric entertained 10 of us and served excellent food with much merriment. Dragons cocktails a plenty !! strong stuff. It gives you the chance to meet other couples. We like the mix of ages and nationalities. Do not miss this so book early in your stay.

Elenors was fantastic food. Dress code is dresses for ladies and long trousers and shirts for men. It is great to dress up on holiday to sit and enjoy a meal of Lobster and shrimp or lamb shank to name a few together with excellent wine. You do need to book in advance. We went 3 times in our stay and found the smaller lobster was more delicious than a large one.

Marios - Vittorio who welcomed us to Mario's always gave a great welcome and made time to find out where you were from in England as he knows the areas. Breakfast is the best as full aircon with a huge selection of food, hot or cold. You could spend all day just eating your way through the breakfast choices. Omelettes are fab and the bacon to die for. Fresh fruit, with special Black Pineapples grown in Antigua and Mangos picked of the local trees to name a few.
Evenings the menu is Italian so lots of pastas and fish of the day. Starters are help your self you will be spoilt for choice.

Barefoot - For informal nights it is great to spend time near the beach in barefoot with a choice of fresh fish with fish cooked to your choice.Grilled, poached ect. Lunchtime is great for Jerk pork or chicken or swordfish with salad is a brilliant choice.

The Bistro - take away service in the Caribbean side cooked fresh food each day. Where you can take away fresh salads, fruit or Quesildilers ( mexican chicken sandwich) sorry cant spell it. and pulled pork sandwich heaven !!with tacos with hot cheese sauce and dips.

The Cricketers pub is very friendly which served great pub grub, chicken wings, burgers and ribs all supplied with a smile. Good food any time of the day.

The Pizza bar is great for a snack in-between meals if you have been out on a trip or miss breakfast. Either take away or eat outside a great choice.

Bayside - French. Evening meals were lovely, friendly staff and great steak nights. Breakfast good choices as good as Marios but you are near the beach and the birds can be a problem if you leave your plate uncovered. Staff are on hand with a stick to scare the birds off.

OK Corral -Mexican - I left this until last as this was our last choice to eat. We found this not as friendly as all the other restaurants and my steak was overcooked and hard. It may have been a bad day but we did not return as too many good ones to sample.

We took time to review the restaurants as we notice some visitors have left bad reviews? You were spoilt for choice so we are sure you would find the majority excellent. You can't please everyone.

The Bar staff were fantastic and ready to make you any cocktail of your choice or sample premium brand Spirits or work your way through the cocktail menu hic hic!!!.

The large swim up pool in the Mediterranean side is a great place to meet other couples. Enjoy a cocktail in the pool laying on a float wow what more could you want. If you want to join in entertainment it is there or you can watch no pressure. The smaller swim up bar pool gets lively in the afternoon with music and fun. If you want a quieter area choose one of the smaller pools located around the Caribbean side of hotel . We chose to be near the beach outside the Frangipan block as it was quite with waitress service and a pool too.

The beach has lovely white sand and the sea warm and crystal blue.Plenty of sunbeds available and if you get there early you can bag yourself a cabana which gives you shade.

Trips - Ester at Island routes gave us plenty of choice. As we went on quite a few last year, we chose to attend the Reading Road Trip. This was a visit to the local primary school to read to the local children. It was great fun and very rewarding only a 2 hour trip but worth the time. Bring out some books and pencils with you from home as the children welcome them very much.

Excellence Catamaran around the island is an excellent trip.Tip.. Don't go to Barbuda via this trip if the sea is rough!!! Sea sick or what.....

We met lots of nationalities who were all out for a good time and all ages. The Americans are good fun people who are ready to pass the time of day with us us oldies. Lots of honeymooners and other guests celebrating 60th birthdays to wedding anniversaries so a good mix of ages. If you want exercise you can play Tennis, Gym, Volleyball, Water aerobics or water sports are available or like us watched the fun and had a great time sunbathing and relaxing with a cocktail.

To put in perspective some of the comments by other visitors which are outside Sandals control.!!

1) Yes the airport can be is a bit of a hassle. Improvements at the airport are already in planning stage to extend which will help in the future. Just remember to wheel your own cases to the Sandals desk which is just outside the airport doors, ignore men who try to carry out your case.
2) Remember you are in the Caribbean, take time to slow down and go with the flow.
3) Beach vendors are trying to make a living and we found by being friendly and just saying no thanks they quickly leave you alone. Not one beach vendor was rude to us.

To sum up ... A superb resort with friendly staff, Fantastic grounds and beaches. A romantic place to visit with lots of good food where you will never go hungry. Will we go back for 3rd time?? You try stopping us................ Cheers to next time...... Hope this helps you with your choice.

Room Tip: High rooms on Mediterranean side have good views and walk in showers with jacuzzi tubs.Higher rise b...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Linda A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

More umbrellas are needed on the beach and around the pool. Booking restaurants could be a problem if you do not have concierge service, otherwise it is a good hotel but very expensive unless you get a special deal.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank AngelaCEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2013

My husband and I travelled to Sandals earlier this year in March (only just managing to grab time to write a review). It was fantastic. We were spoilt and pampered within an inch of our lives. I remember the first morning we woke up, we were a little dazed and jet lagged and a lovely lady (I didn't get her name unfortunately but she had a peach blouse) in the French restaurant offered us a table next to the beach so that we could take in the beautiful views. Every part of the holiday was amazing, I've never been so relaxed in my life. Big thank you to Gem from Island Routes for booking our tours and putting on an extra tour (and working extra to fill the other places) for us to see the Stingrays. Rodney and Althea at the Med Bar are fantastic. Althea's cocktails are the best (I need to know how to make a strawberry cheesecake!). Marcus was on the Med Bar when we visited, and my husband spent many days sampling his latest cocktail creations and chatting away (where else do you get such lovely service?) Really recommend Kimonos, Chef Sugar was fantastic, the food was amazing and he made it into a show. The resort is breathtaking and our room (Sunset Bluff Honeymoon Concierge Suite) was lovely, but the staff really did make it perfect for us. I know reading some reviews before we left England that people found them to be rude, but that absolutely wasn't the case for us. We did witness some guests barking orders at staff though, which was embarrassing to watch. Last of all, thank you so much to Vittorio who always welcomed us to Mario's with a huge smile and asked us about our day and how things were back home (he used to live in London). Can't write enough praise for this place, we will be coming back for an anniversary in the future :)

Room Tip: The Sunset Bluff Honeymoon suites were amazing with their own shared pool just outside of the rooms...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank MrsSarahE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2013

We absolutely loved our stay at Sandals Grande Antigua and would highly recommend it to anyone.

We stayed in the Portofino Walkout Suite in the Almond Tower of the Mediterranean Village. It came with concierge service, which was worth it for us since we booked during a sale where the price differential was small. They restock your room daily with bottled water, soda, juice, coffee, tea, and alcohol. I enjoyed having the pinot grigio and sparkling wine on hand, but we didn't get a chance to bust in to the other bottles. The concierge gave us advice on where else to go on the island and set up our taxi service to downtown St John's. They were very nice and eager to help. They handled our dinner reservations, too with just a quick phone call. Our housekeeper, Jennifer is the sweetest person ever. She introduced herself when she saw us going to our room in the afternoon and called to say goodbye before we left. It's those touches that made us feel special and like this could be a place to visit year after year.

The resort is just stunning. The grounds are immaculate. I even felt comfortable walking around barefoot on the sidewalks after dinner when my heels hurt my feet. We had easy access to Mario's Italian for breakfast and dinner, Bella Napoli for fresh brick oven pizza for snacks or lunch during the day, the Cricketer's Pub for drinks, fun, and damn good curry, and Cafe de Paris for sweet things. We didn't eat at the sushi restaurant, or Kimono's, but we really enjoyed the food everywhere we went. We didn't find the reservation required restaurants to be any better than the others, they were all great.

We basically stuck to the beach in lieu of the pool when we weren't doing activities. We spent a lot of time with the watersports team. Furlene, Maurice, and Sherman really made our trip memorable. They are fun people who love their jobs and just want to show you a good time. We snorkeled the ship wreck and dove it twice. I wouldn't recommend snorkeling the shipwreck just because the waters were so choppy every time we went out there and you couldn't see much from the surface. The diving was good though. We saw a lobster, giant puffer fish, a trumpet fish, and your other typical reef fish. We went kayaking, sailing, and did a half hour of jet skiing with one of the beach vendors, too. We also did a private beach dinner that was pretty amazing. I wouldn't say that it was worth the cost for a similar dinner in the states, but I liked that we had such a nice set up and a little slice of the beach all to ourselves as the sun went down. It's definitely something to consider if you're on your honeymoon or anniversary. We also did a couple's massage at Red Lane spa that I really enjoyed. It was as good as any spa I've been to in the states. Yes, it's pricey, but when you consider that gratuity is included in the price, it all makes a little more sense. We booked a photo session with Snap Shots and ended up purchasing a few photos because the beach pictures were just so beautiful. They tend to take lots of pictures throughout your trip if you let them, but if you don't want them to, just say no thanks and they'll leave you alone.

There are only a few potential downsides that others have already mentioned. One: cats. I love them, but I can see how it might bother others. They generally stay out of the way and they're friendly if you call them over to you. Two: Birds. They're there. Many of the facilities are open air... it's going to happen. No big. Three: Beach vendors. This is the only thing that might stop you from going if you're unconformable with being kind, but firm. A few of the beach vendors are persistent to the point of being relentless and it could be a nuisance. I wouldn't do an afternoon wedding on the beach because there's a shell man that likes to blow his conch shells and call people over even if there's a wedding going on. We learned after a few days that a simple, firm "No Thanks" does the trick. Don't give them hope that you'll buy something unless you're sincere. On the plus side, the painters are awesome, and I did buy a painting.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank dlw2285
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

Property: 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 Family 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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