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Reviewed March 10, 2004

I almost cancelled my trip to Sandals Antigua after reading some of the reviews on various websites. I suppose with anything in life, people are more likely to take the time to complain about something than to compliment. We went 2/27/04-3/5/04 and had a wonderful time. The grounds of this resort are lush and beautiful. They were continuously maintained by a very friendly staff. The beach was awesome. Not the clear water to snorkel in because the sand is so fine it churns in the water, but the color! We had a few days that was rather windy so we couldn't do water sports a few of the days. I don't think it was ever below 82 while we were there. Nights were breezy. I hate air conditioning anyway, so we never used it. If you like it absolutely quiet at night, it won't happen. They do have very loud "peepers" little frogs that "sing" most of the night, only to be followed by the birds early in the morning. I found it relaxing though.

We stayed in one of the Roundovals. A small round hut all to ourselves.
I loved it. There are a few rows of them on the resort. I would have been disappointed with the ones directly on the beach. You literally walk out of your door and 10 feet away is a lounge chair that is occupied all day. There is a fenced in portion of beach, that none of the vendors are allowed on so the chairs fill up fast there with those who don't want to be bothered. This is also the only area that has any shade unless you go to a pool. There was definitely a variety in styles and locations of rooms. If you know of someone who has been there before, it would be a good idea to get there opinion of your room location. There would be a few places on the resort I would not want to stay in.

The restaurants were very good. One buffet style which had anything you could want. If people complain with this one, then they are quite picky. My favorite was Kimonos. Food was fabulous. Wasn't thrilled with the Italian restaurant, but only because I like more pasta style dishes which they really didn't have many of. Steakhouse was good. You do need a reservation every night except for the buffet restaurant and you can't make them more than a day in advance. They have 3 seatings and the middle one fills up fast, so call early in the day to get your seating. The bar service can be slow sometimes, but where are you going? The wine selection was not in my taste, but I did find out after 5 days, there is a wine list that you can get at dinner if you want to purchase another variety. I wish I had been told about that option earlier in the week.

They do theme nights every night, so if you want to get into it, find out in advance what they might be doing. (example: Antigua night you needed clothing of Antigua flag colors) They award you "points" every time you do a game or activity and at the end of your stay, you get prizes if you have enough points (little leather sandals necklace, rum).

The Spa gets a 10 from me. (not included in your price) We had a couples massage, then I went back and got a second one later in the week. Olivia (the massuse I had was great!) The steam room and other facilities there were very nice and a relaxing atmosphere. Definitely worth the $.

All in all I would go back today if I could. I would recommend the trip.

  • Stayed: March 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank ZB17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2004

We stayed at Sandals Antigua from 2/28/04-3/6/04. My wife and I had a great time at Sandals Antigua. The weather was phenomenal. The food was great and there was a good variety to choose from. Our room was clean, although the bathroom was a little questionable. The grounds were well kept and the beach was terrific. The only bad thing about the resort were the wait staff at the Bayside restaurant and some of the bar tenders. They had a bit of an attitude when you asked for something. If you go to this resort expecting to be pampered then don't go. I found it much easier to just get up and get what I wanted rather than deal with the slow service or the attitude from the wait staff. The management was very friendly and the entertainment staff ( The Playmakers) were great. There was always an organized sport or activity that kept the week interesting. A couple of quick tips if you are going to this resort- If you want a spot at the main pool with the bar then you had better get up @ 7am and save a spot. I generally got up around 7am and put my 2 towels down and went back to bed. The showers at the resort are horrible. The water pressure is very low and the water would switch from scalding hot to cold without warning. All in all, my wife and I are pretty hard to please and we had a great time. There are alot of complainers at the resort who just btch about how bad it is. Just smile and walk away from them. I would definately go back.

5  Thank Mike P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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