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Reviewed February 22, 2004

I am just now posting this review because I only recently learned of this site. I felt I had to respond especially after seeing some negative responses. My husband and I honeymooned at Sandals in Antigua September 28-October 5, 2003. We had one of the best experiences of our lives (I am sure being on our honeymoon helped TREMENDOUSLY but still, our expectations were very high). After a long day of traveling it was a bit hard at the airport where things were a little chaotic and the ride to the resort was a tad rough...but this is what you come to expect when outside of the US. We thought the property was beautiful!!
It may be an older one but to us it was a beautiful beach property, only enhanced by it's "beachy" feel! From the beginning the staff was lovely to us. We did not arrive to the property till about 9:30pm and we were starving. The restaurant served us as if it were 6pm and were very accomodating to us! We also had a Grand Luxe Beachfront Room with Concirege Service. Our room was small but very cozy and clean! We were five steps from a pool and then five more steps to the GORGEOUS beach (never seen one more lovely)! Our room was cleaned every day and our mini bar was constantly stocked! Anytime we needed anything they responded immediately. Back to the beach. Not a peice of trash or even seaweed (how you can even complain about seaweed?) to be seen! Water was stunning. We did not mind the merchants.I would have preferred not to have them but at the same time they were very pleasnt and would easily take no for an answer. We spent the days at the pool (since we were right on the beach anyways) and would go to the beach about 4:30.
They are practically deserted by that time of the day which was perfect. No vendors and really no guests. we were able to watch the sun set by ourselves every night. We were advised to only book a horseback venture through the resort. We did and were VERY dissapointed (well I was, my husband just talked sports with our tour guide the whole time).
We spent a total of 3 minutes on the beach and the rest of the time walking through the villages. Not pretty, unfortunately. I heard of several couples who used a beach vendor named Joe and they were thrilled). I do HIGHLY recommend swimming with the dolphins! The staff there were highly knowledgeable and friendly. This was one of the best experiences of my life! The food was good. I would not exactly rave about it but it was still good! I was dissapointed in Kimonos but LOVED the Mexican restaurant. Again, the staff was great to us...loved having the concierge service (they did everything for us). Another highlight was most certainly the spa. We had a couples massage and enjoyed every second thouroughly! no one tried to "upsell" us at any time on the trip. Other recommendations would be the private Gazebo dinner (you may have to ask about this as we did not see it advertised but heard about it from another couple). We also loved the pictures you can have made inexpensively (I think it was $10-$15 for a 5x7)...what wonderful souvenirs!We would go back there in a minute and hope to celebrate an anniversary there soon!

2  Thank Expedition7821
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2004

Like many aspects of life, the glass is either half full or half empty.
Apply this to Sandals Antigua and you have two pictures. The negative views are: 12 year old property, caribbean slower service, some refurbishment needed, 5 minute wait for drinks and a table, noisy aircon and animal life, small pool with loud music, average wine with indifferent delivery from suppliers, too many hawkers on a crowded beach.below expectations.

Our vacation was something more positive:

A wonderful clean beach, interesting hawkers who didn't pester, great company, food variety and standards beyond expectations, proactive management, good watersport equipment, an excellent spa, well stocked and replenished room bar, clean linen and towels, good evening turn-down service, good choice of dining experiences, value for money(compare 5* in Barbados at $900per night for room only).

We had a great time, but then sometimes you get out of life what you put in. Regards to anybody we met, Roger and Sue.

4  Thank Safari14860
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2004

Our very best holiday we've experienced - wonderful atmosphere - sunshine - service 'out of this world' - food fantastic - This is WHAT and HOW Life should be - the management excellent - accommodation set in such beautiful grounds - our eldest son and daughter-in-law presented us with this Holiday in a Lifetime as an Anniversary Gift which we will never ever forget - thank you Sandals Antigua Management - it was simply breath-taking including the Wedding we were witnesses at - and we never even knew the Couple. If everyone in the world could visit Sandals Antigua, the entire WORLD could be a better place!
Frances and Ronald Colman UK

4  Thank Camper34089
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2004

The honeymoon of our dreams. We went on our honeymoon in the middle of November, and the weather in Antigua could not have been better. It was about 85 degrees or higher and sunny every day we were there. The ride from the airport was short, which was nice after traveling by plane for almost 5 hours. The thing to remember is that you are visiting the Caribbean, and nothing is going to be like it is in the United States.
The staff were very accomodating and nicer than hotel staff we have encountered in the United States. Our room was upgraded because we were on our honeymoon. There is nothing to complain about, you get all of the food and drinks you could possibly want. There were so many things to do. We do advise sticking with the resort to plan activities as opposed to the random people coming up to you on the beach. Try the Sip Sop, and try to get as many points as you can to get your sandals...we recommend pool volleybowl.

Thank Fearless22447
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2004

We visited Sandals Antigua from 18-25 Jan 04, and while we had a relatively enjoyable and relaxing vacation, this Sandals resort fell far short of expectations. It was our third stay with a Sandals (Dunns River Falls in Jamaica and the Halcyon in St. Lucia were the others); we ve also visited two other Sandals resorts as part of the resort exchange privileges. Unfortunately, Sandals Antigua did not live up to its, or the overall Sandals, reputation.Just like the couple from Chicago who wrote their review on 25 Jan 04, we also were in a Grande Luxe Beachfront room. Ironically, we were in room 104 for a few days, i.e., the room right next to theirs, although we never met. Since the Chicagoans wrote a review that hit our thoughts almost exactly, I won t rehash the good points of the resort (and they were some), but did want to provide a couple examples of why we were disappointed and also rate the resort as average. The problem at Sandals Antigua was the staff, and it s lack of attention to detail and almost indifferent attitude to customer service.While we were generally pleased with the grounds, we did note there seemed to be an inordinate amount of broken light fixtures that left some part of the grounds extremely dark. For example every ground light at the far end of the Frangipani block was not working. On the second floor of the block, lights were also out at various points. Likewise, there were several light fixtures in the main courtyard and by the Bayside Grill that were out and/or broken. While a light out here and there wouldn t normally have made an impact on us, we were surprised that they stayed that way the whole week! Additionally, it seemed these grounds had more glasses, plates, etc., left around then normal. We noticed that two bar glasses were left in one of the two person hammocks by our room for over five days. They only were removed after I picked them up and took them back to the bar. These are just small examples of lack of attention to detail.Our main disappointment, however, was with the Sandals Antigua staff. Just as most of the negative reviews tend to note problems with the staff, we experienced the same, often indifferent attitude. We ve been to several Sandals and become Signature Guest Club members because of how pleased we were with the service and pampering the staffs provided. The Antiguan staff, however, often seemed to not really care.Despite being Sandals Signature Guest Club members and traveling with another couple, we arrived to find the resort had no knowledge of our reservation. (Sandals notes that being a Sandals Signature Guest makes you a part of an exclusive family and brings you a world of benefits, including ongoing discounts, promotions not available to others, free gifts, special handling and more.) Our friends reservation was in their reservations system, although the Sandals rep at the airport did not have them on their incoming guest list either. (Again, lack of attention to detail?) Several times per day we inquired with the Concierge and Reservations staffs to inquire about our status, yet they were unable to provide answers, nor provided the follow-up they promised. We arrived on Sunday, but it took until Wednesday night and our having to get our travel agent involved to get things straightened out. One of the promotions we received by being a Signature Guest was a $250 credit for use in the Spa. Again, despite our requests, this issue was also only rectified after getting our travel agent involved. We also experienced problems when requesting extra water and orange juice for our in-room bar. We made the same requests at the other resorts we went to and the request was promptly and efficiently completed each day. At Sandals Antigua we never received the OJ, and only once received extra water. We eventually gave up asking. Similar things occurred with the amenities kit and robes that were supposed to be in our room.While some of these issues are relatively minor, they aren t when one considers Sandals website touts you'll get to be pampered like royalty . , and when you have a room with Suite Concierge Service (as we did and as have had with our other stays at a Sandals) that you have a Concierge who is devoted to fulfilling all your needs, from guaranteeing dinner reservations to arranging tours . Unfortunately they did not fulfill our needs or requests, nor did they arrange tours. Their solution to arranging tours was to say, talk to the Tour Desk.The bar staffs were generally good, meeting guests with a smile and a greeting. I say generally good, however, because more than once we encountered bar staff that made it seem like a chore for them to make a drink for you. The restaurant staffs were hit or miss. The grill staff was particularly bad, often making you wait until they finished talking among each other, and then not even saying any greeting. (We also noticed the grill would often put their closed sign out around 5:20 pm, even though they were supposed to be open until 5:30 pm.) As another example, we started out having lunch in the Bayside because they had a sandwich bar. However, the Sandals employee working the sandwich bar rarely said a say a single word during the process, and more than once did not even acknowledge our greeting or to comment when we made our selections. We stopped having sandwiches, and then stopped going to the Bayside altogether because of similar problems. In general we found that many employees did not greet you with a smile, even when you smiled and said hello . Quite honestly, I often felt I was being served by a teenager at a fast food restaurant, being provided that same air of great, now I have to work because you are here.I could go on at length about the trip, but the bottom line is Sandals Antigua does not pamper you like royalty, and does not live up to its reputation. The room and service provided with the Suite Concierge rooms was not up to par, nor worth the cost. For a resort rated 5s or more depending on the scale used, you will not feel like you got what you paid for. If you ve been to other Sandals, you will most likely be disappointed. If you decide to go to Sandals Antigua, save your money and go with a garden room, and lower your expectations. The great weather, ocean, and beautiful sunsets will make up for much of the other disappointments.

7  Thank Seaside10427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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