This review is for our stay from 24 August to 7th September 2013
Firstly let me start by saying we have a very special place in hearts for sandals Antigua, we stayed here 10 years ago as our first experience of Sandals, we have stayed at a couple of other sandals and beaches resorts since but always wanted to return to Antigua. We were concerned that the beautiful resort would be ruined by the more modern Mediterranean village. Our fears were put to rest the moment we entered the resort, we had requested to stay in the Caribbean grove and in the same buildings we had before and they did not disappoint, it was as if we had been here only yesterday, the gardens are lush and beautiful the staff are welcoming and friendly. Although the rooms are now a little tired and maybe in need of a further refurbishment they are clean and tidy and we were very happy with our room. Our room was a second floor concierge room in block 8
We had read reviews that mention problems at the airport and check in at the resort, but we found this no problem at all. After landing and clearing immigration we went straight to the sandals desk and were immediately put into a car for just the two of us, when we arrived at the resort we were greeted with cold towels and champagne and after a simple uncomplicated check in we were shown to our room where our case were waiting for us
The newer Mediterranean side has been blended in very well with the old resort, although in our opinion the large building is not what we would expect in the Caribbean it is well designed and does not look too overpowering. We were shown the rooms in the Mediterranean building and although they are more modern we feel that there was more charm and character in the Caribbean grove.
We were worried after reading some reviews that the resort was extremely large and getting to the restaurants and other pools would be a long walk, let me say that the resort is not very big and that getting around it takes no time at all. We have stayed in St Lucia were you have to get a shuttle to some of the restaurants so compared to that this is a tiny resort
We stayed here in August and the occupancy was only 50% so it was easy to get a bed by the pool with shade, reservation at restaurants and a drink at the bar I should imagine that at full occupancy this would not be the case and finding a bed around the pool or getting a reservation at one of the restaurants could be a problem. On problems, I would suggest to the management that they monitor the pool more closely, the pool floats that are for everybody are sometimes taken from the pool and kept by selfish people who seem to think that they have the sole use of them, also I have no objection to people smoking around the pool but do they really have to float around in the pool puffing on their cigars with no consideration for other putting ah into glasses that are then used to serve drinks This is not the fault of the hotel but should be monitored and stopped
Food is a very personal thing everybody had different tastes so what one person likes another may not, so this is our opinion as people who like to eat out a lot at home and like nice food
We ate at most of the restaurants and overall the quality is good. We had no big problem with the service or the wait time for the food but I suspect this is down to the low occupancy levels
Welcome back Dinner. Food was nice and it was nice to meet the staff on a more informal basis, one thing I would like to suggest would be the general manager perhaps go round to all the tables during the evening and try and speak to all the guests, also round tables may be better, we were at the end of table of 10 and were not able to speak to the department manager at the end of our table.
KIMONOS is good fun and Eric did a brilliant job at the table entertaining us with his knife skills and his singing,
OK Corral, food is probably the tastiest of all the restaurants, its not necessarily the best but by far the tastiest. The service is very good, the pulled pork Tacos are by far the best thing on the menu, but all the starters are great, the chilli beef melts in your mouth and the shrimps are beautiful. Tiwana and Nakisha are lovely they served us every time we went there and were always wonderful they made our last meal very specials by making a special arrangement on the table and had a special dessert made to wish us a safe journey.
Mario’s, wasn't overly impressed although the food was tasty the service good but was expecting more after reading previous reviews
Bayside, food was good had a little wait for the food, found it strange the way orders were processed, people who were there before us were still waiting for food after we had left and a couple who came in after us who ordered the same time and the same food as us were enjoying their entrees while we were still waiting for our starters.
Bella Napoli Pizzeria. Pizzas are very good and the service was quick
Cafe de Paris, lovely pastries and coffee, all the staff are very friendly and polite
Drunken Duck, the food is good pub food, I would suggest anyone who is reading this tries the Sunday Roast (Sunday 12:30 to 2:30) it's not very busy as it appears only the Brits are in there but the David the chef works hard to prepare the food and his Yorkshire puddings are home made and lovely.We would like to give a special mention to Claudine and Laura , they were so welcoming and friendly and were there to serve us as soon as we walked in
Eleanor's, we ate here 3 times, first time was brilliant, second time my fish was undercooked and my wife’s lobster was not good, the chef Kevin, Was on top of it and as soon as we told them the food was not good he was at our table apologising and asking if he could prepare us something else, we declined as we were put off by the food but promised to return another night and he told us he would make it up to us. We returned a couple of nights later, we were told they were out of Lobster so we asked if we could have steak, this was not on the menu this evening but we had the fillet the first time we were there and it was delicious, Kevin came to the table and told us he only had New York Strip and would prepare it for us, we were served the steak and all I can say is that after the first bite we got up from the table left the restaurant and didn't return for the rest of the holiday.
Barefoot by the sea, lunch was not good but the evening meals were very nice
Make sure you look at all the wood carvings on the property, they are wonderful and make use of the dead trees, rather than cutting them down they are carved into birds, dolphins and a variety of other creatures, all this is done by the extremely talented wood daddy who once worked on the beach but now works for sandals. Sandals should do this on every property, not only does it add to the beauty of the gardens but makes use of the damaged or dying tress rather than just cut them down and leave them.
Check out Ricky the artist in the courtyard, he is very talented and always happy to chat and show is artwork
All the staff we came across were friendly and helpful, always saying hello with a smile and always polite and helpful
Overall the resort is fantastic, so much choice that if you’re not happy with one place there are plenty of alternatives, I don't think there is a lot to complain about. A few little niggles but ultimately the main problems seem to be down to some of the guests, some are just downright rude to the staff and wonder why the staff aren't polite back, what's wrong with a please and thank you when you ask for something, or taking towels from the sun beds and putting them in the used towel bins provided or putting glasses back on the table or counter after you have finished them. The staff work very hard and are always polite and helpful and always willing to try and make your holiday very special
We would like to say a big thank you to all the staff for making our holiday a fantastic and memorable 14 days and very much look forward to returning in the not distant future
- 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