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“Great escape!”

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great escape!”
Reviewed January 1, 2014

Stayed here with my boyfriend in March 2013. We both loved this hotel and have booked at the new hotel in Grenada for March 2014.

Pros
1. Restaurants and Drinks were delicious! Great selection and varieties to suit every taste. (I loved the Scotch Bonnet Martini at Barefoot by the Sea.)
2. Nice rooms. We stayed in a Club Level suite in the Mediterranean village. Room was very well equipped and fridge was stocked daily with our requests. (We liked the Mediterranean village as it was a lot newer than the Caribbean Grove.)
3. Staff were very friendly!
4. Book an island tour with “John”. We booked through the Island Routes excursion desk.
5. Amazing scuba diving!


A few notes to make sure that your stay is enjoyable and you are not disappointed.

1. Pool lounges. Guests get up at 6:30AM to run down to the pool and leave their towels out. They don’t return for hours so it is difficult to get a spot around the pool if you want to sleep in and enjoy your vacation. (There is a sign prohibiting this practice but I did not ever see it enforced.) My boyfriend and I are beach people, and we always found a space at the beach, however, if you love the pool and don’t want to get up super early, make sure you get a butler category room and they will reserve your chair by the pool.

2. The beach is public so be aware that people will try to sell you items multiple times. We found all vendors to be quite sweet, but if you are easily bothered by vendors repeatedly asking you to buy items, sit back behind the beach wall (there’s still lots of sand and lounges there.)


Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and will be returning to other Sandals properties in the future!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Caitlin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Wethersfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013

We recently traveled to Sandals Grande Antigua on the Mediterranean side arriving on Christmas afternoon, after a long day of traveling we were happy to be met promptly with a shuttle to the hotel. As we filed into the lobby we were greeted with Champagne, small snacks, and the concierge cocktail that was self serve (YUM). We asked about dinner reservations and were told only two needed reservations, Kimonos (Hibachi) and Eleanor's (the "dress up" restaurant). We easily made reservations for both, but we enjoy eatting later to enjoy the beach all day. I would recommend eatting later food is just as good, and you can easily get a reservation or find room at the other restaurants.

Our room wasn't quite ready so we were brought to the balcony overlooking the property and a few locations to eat were pointed out. We decided to start with lunch on the beach at Barefoot, good food, service was lovely, and by the time we were done our room was ready.

Our room was spotless with a mini fridge and several full size bottles to choose from, our balcony overlooked the property and was lovely. We headed straight for the pool where we were happy to find a few chairs and a pool bar staff that was more than willing to accommodate anything we wanted. Althea who is the creator of the Reggae Top was there for most of the week and was wonderful.

We enjoyed hibachi our first night meeting some great people, the table is in a private room and holds 5 couples. We had everything from shrimp to salmon to chicken to beef, the fried rice was great as well! We also ate at Mario's for dinner very good appetizer bar, but nothing spectacular in terms of main course. Eleanor's again good but I'm not sure what the hype was about. Ok Corral was delicious even has a signature margarita. The Drunken Duck has the best Chicken masala around if you like indian try it!

For Breakfast we ate at Mario's every morning, we were always greeted with a smile and a mimosa which how can you go wrong with that. Charmane I think was fabulous to us! And the gentlemen working the egg to order station cooked everything to perfection, I'm sorry I didn't get his name.

Lunch! Get the Pizza! We enjoyed the 4 cheese and pepperoni, but I ventured out at tried the Mexicana it was AWESOME! Depending on when you order their can be a bit of a wait but what fresh pizza don't you wait a little while for. It was worth it. And her name is escaping me but the 2 ladies who worked lunch the entire time were fabulous. Order head back to the pool, their time estimate is pretty fair.

Coalita and Althea....For our pool bar adventure our last afternoon at the pool thank you. We had so much fun and you guys made it a blast. The girls who were serving around the pool and came to your chair, you never waited for a drink, and they were always smiling! Snorkeling was a great free trip the staff were very nice. Walk the beach its public so you can head all the way down for a swim if the sandals area is busy. In terms of beach/pool chairs know if you're not up and about by 9ish you're probably going to be hard pressed, we're early risers so we didn't have a problem.

It was a fabulous vacation and I think you truly get what you pay for. This is top notch service and the people who work there truly care that you enjoy your time. I cannot thank them enough, always going above and beyond.

Relax, kick back, put your phone away and enjoy your vacation!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank KyleHun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013

During our stay at Sandals Grande Antigua on Dec 23, 2013, a propane cylinder blew up during a tye dye T-shirt event. My husband son and I were in front of the table as it exploded, thankfully no one was seriously injured. My son and I gave a statement to Andrea, manager at the hotel, I felt because we weren't burned the issue was kind of shrugged off. After a night filled with shock, I wanted to revise my statement, only to hear "It's ok no one was seriously hurt". I then asked for a copy of my statement, stating I would take this up with Sandals head office, to make sure fire extinguishers, supervision were implemented. Had I not called the desk for my statement, no one would have checked to see if we were fine. I feel Sandals management could have made an effort to come to my room and check to see if we were fine, regardless of burns. I received a bowl of fruit on a "I'm sorry note stating, "I hope you continue to enjoy your stay at Sandals", I called the front desk as I hadn't received my copy yet, manager Julianne came up after several hours, I voiced my concerns, and was offered a 2 day all inclusive package, I feel was a hush package to keep us quiet about the incident. Our main concern is that this doesn't happen to anyone else. This could have been far worse.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Monique C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
louisville
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2013

This was the 2nd sandals resort that I have stayed at and I must say that my original visit to Sandals in St. Lucia left a very bad taste in my mouth. Our stay at Sandals Antigua completely changed my mind about Sandals! We LOVED this property!

We stayed in the new Mediterranean Village in a Monte Carlo Honeymoon Suite and the room was perfect! From the moment we arrived we were catered to hand and foot. The check in process was easy and they greeted us with a cold washcloth and glass of champagne. We were taken to our room and given a complete overview of the property and events happening. The room was gorgeous and had a king size bed, large bathroom, sitting area, full bar that was restocked daily, and a balcony that had a beautiful view or the resort and ocean.

We were only at Sandals for 4 nights/5 days but while we were there we had dinner at the sushi restaurant which was OK but not the best, Eleanors and the lobster was excellent!, Ok Corral - pork tacos were amazing! these were an appitizer but we order extra of them and made a meal out of it, Marios - service was very slow but the anitpasta bar was good, Bayside by the sea - fish was very good but the steak wasnt. The french cafe and coffee shop, Cafe de Paris, had excellent after dinner drinks and desserts! Breakfast at Eleanors was excellent and the other mornings we just visited the other restaurants which had the standard breakfast that you would expect. You could never go wrong with having the Pizzeria for lunch. The Pizza was excellent! We end grabbed 2 pizzas to go the last day we were there and ate them on the plane :-)

We had a 80 minute couples massage while we were there and LOVED it. Make sure you watch for the spa specials. The grounds of this resort was very well maintained. Everything was perfectly manicured and in place. There were also very friendly cats that lived at the resort that I just feel in love with! They would greet you in the mornings and I always enjoyed petting them as we strolled throughout the resort.

Just as all of the other reviewers have said the pool was excellent! The drinks were good and I cannot say enough about how friendly the staff was! We had started our honeymoon at another resort where we spent our days on the beach so we only visited the beach at Sandals 1 day and it was nice but we chose to stay at the pool.

Our last night there we came back to our room to get ready for dinner and we found a hot bubble bath filled with fresh rose petals, bottle of champagne, and fresh rose petals on our bed along with a nice card from the sandals concereige team. This certaintly left a very positive lasting impression of Sandals.

My moto is I do not typically go back to the same place more than once because there are too many beautiful places in the world to see but I would certainly go back to Sandals Antigua. The food, employees, and grounds were 5 stars!!

Room Tip: Mediterranean Village is the only place I would stay. The other rooms seemed to be in need of a face...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank summer b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
115 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2013 via mobile

I am writing this review for my room @ Sandals. This is a Club concierge suite. 233 on the Caribbean side. It is medium rating. Nothing to write home about. Certainly not worth the big money we paid for New Year's week. Unfortunately this suite is also right across the maintenance building where workers go in and out all day till late at night. There is also a machine inside that goes 24/7. We tried to get a room change but management ignored us. Fortunately
We brought earplugs.
Otherwise the beach is beautiful. Food is ok. All drinks are free!!!
The servers and workers in the hotel
are all local people. They are all friendly and courteous. Five star for them but only three stars for the hotel. Will not come back!!!

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank drlau99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren B, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 4, 2014
Hello and thank you for your review.
We regret to hear that we were unable to meet your expectations. Because of that, please accept my apologies. As hoteliers we realize that there is always room for improvement and feedback is crucial in this process. Therefore, your comments have been passed on to the relevant departments for immediate evaluation and action as needed. I have also sent you a private message so that we can discuss your concerns further.
I hope this message finds you well and I look forward to making contact with you soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2013

Check-In - EASY! We were escorted to the Concierge Suites check-in station and an intern named Isabelle assisted us and walked us to our room. All was a breeze. As we got settled and were walking around, a nice Sandals staffer named David escorted us through the property and showed us all of the highlights. It was quite a treat to have found him to walk us through as he went out of his way to help us!

Room - We had a walk-out room on the Caribbean side and had another small pool right outside our door. Just past the pool was the beach! In the room, we were happy to find LARGE shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion bottles and they even replaced them after 3 days. I really didn't even need to bring my own! We could hear the tree frogs and crickets all night long which was annoying! The locals say that they are making noises to pray for rain. They were quite annoying! The shower was very euro-inspired with a half-wall window that made it very easy to splash water outside of the tub.

Restaurants - Eleanors is supposed to be the best restaurant on the property however we found the service to be lacking. Everyone insisted that we try the Coconut soup which was decent but too thick for my taste. The lobster and shrimp was good but only came with 2 shrimp. Be sure to order extra and don't be afraid to order multiple dishes at one sitting. Overall, we found most of the portions were small so that you could order multiple things. The other favorite restaurant was Marios (Italian). They had a great anti-pasta bar and both the lasagna and chicken parm were great.

Pool - Poolside cabanas were EXCELLENT! We had especially good service by Briana. From 9-5, you can eat, drink and be merry in the poolside cabana. Swim-up bar was great and the hot tub was close by. I wished that the hot tub had bubbles. There were jets but nothing bubbling. The zero-entry was nice as well - you could put your chair in the water and relax. Foam rafts were nice and were available on a first-come-first-served basis. When we were there, there wasn't any issue getting one. Also, note that there are LOTS of pools throughout the property. The main pool is good but our preferred is the pool that is closest to the big pool and has its own swim-up bar and a sand volleyball court nearby. At this pool, there was a hot tub with jets and it is more private and seemed to have more people out and about!

Beach - Beach is more shallow than I expected; only about 3 beach chairs deep. You cannot reserve a beach cabana as they are first-come-first-served. Plenty of beach chairs that are comfortable. I will say that the peddlers will come by every 15 minutes or so asking if you want to buy jewelry or motor sports, etc. We did the jet skis and paid $40 for 40 minutes. I think it was a GREAT price as compared to what they were offering at the beginning. There are Sandals cocktail waitresses that will bring you drinks on the beach which was great!

Spa - We had 3 different days at the spa. Facials, Massages, Mani/Pedi. ALL of the staff was EXTREMELY ATTENTIVE AND HELPFUL!!! Facials were top notch and the Dermalogica products they used were perfect. The recommended products for us based on our skin types, etc. The massage was fantastic as well. Just as firm as I like it and really relaxing. The room for both was a couples room and was quite a treat. The Mani/Pedi was FANTASTIC! Andrea and Michelle did our services and both were EXCELLENT. Few other staffers that we loved were Esay, Carissa, Dolly & Reesa.

Favorites:
Down the beach a little bit to the left is an EXCELLENT little restaurant and bar called COCONUT GROVE. We had the privilege of meeting the owner who was from Copenhagen and his girlfriend. LOVED the coconut shrimp and the seafood chowder. We went back day after day (even though we were staying at an all-inclusive resort) because it was that good. Everything from seafood to a hamburger was fantastic. Both the waitresses and bartenders were FANTASTIC and we would go back there anytime!!!

The Circumnavigation excursion was a great treat. We paid $100 per person for the Wadadli Cats tour but I would recommend the Excellence tour instead. It is on a bigger and better boat and the lunch is better. I believe it's available through the hotel activities desk for $165 per person.

If you're there on a Sunday, I would recommend going up to Shirley's Heights. It's a great lookout point and a total tourist spot but I would still say to do it once! There's a steel drum band that's excellent that plays from 3-7 and then a Caribbean cover-band plays from 7-11(?). There's food and plenty of entertainment for the whole family. The Rum Punch sure does pack a punch though! Costs $8 to get in. Drinks were reasonably priced too. The sunset from up there is picturesque.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Becca B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2013

We stayed from Dec. 1 to Dec. 15th, 2013. This was our third Sandals resort, having stayed at the Sandals Le Toc (St. Lucia) and the Royal Bahamian in the Bahamas.

Pros:
calm beach water but not completely clear. Very murky unlike Bahamas, but incredibly warm. Like slipping into a bath. Narrow beach but very clean and well-maintained (sweeping for seaweed) but not long enough for jogging or long walks. Note: Antiguan beaches are public so you will encounter vendors but they are very polite. Some of them are quite funny too if you talk to them. They aren't pushy. And if you don't want to speak to them, just say no thanks and they walk away. There are security guards at each beach access point to ensure locals or people from other resorts don't wander onto the property (don't forget to carry your room card for verification). Drink service on the beach is sporadic around peak meal times but you are never too far from one of their many bars.

Friendly staff, eager to please.

Food was decent but not 5 star. Hint: ask for no salt on entrees when possible. Big bonus: this resort has a wonderful sushi bar with fresh fish and no reservation required! For sushi lovers, this was heaven. Not open every night so ensure you check its hours. They have a great cappuccino bar that has french pastries and all kinds of desserts and special coffees fresh made on the premises, a big hit, given the lineups. So go at non-peak hours.

Rooms were very clean, spacious, great ocean views. Staff kept room stocked with beer and wine and water. We stayed on Mediterranean almond tower side of resort. Caribbean side was older but has more character (low-rise).

Entertainment was similar to other resorts with theme nights, contests, live jazz (fabulous) and newlywed type game shows.

Grounds were well kept and full of colourful flowers and two resident parrots.

Nice pools but we spent all of our time at the beach as you can visit a nice pool anywhere.

Accessible pool tables in 2 locations and two lit tennis courts, + a book exchange and board game/library in the entertainment office on the Caribbean side.

We did a horseback ride through Everett at Caribbean Riding. He's a Rasta guy on the beach. Had a spectacular beach side gallop in the sunset for a decent price. Horses were very spirited and western trained/neck rein. Very responsive!

The shuttle ride from airport is only 15 minutes or so, much appreciated after a long travel day.

Check-in was easy.

Watersports is well-equipped with hobbies, standup paddle boards and kayaks etc. They also have a free snorkel tour daily which we didn't try. We did a side tour of sailing and snorkelling (Adventure Antigua-Classic Sail). The sailing was excellent but the snorkelling clearly showed the bleaching of the coral reefs that is persistent throughout the Caribbean. You'll see some fish but not a lot of colourful coral.

Cons: Some supply chain issues in their food and beverage. Second day they ran out of Beringer pinot grigio which never got replaced during our two week stay They substituted with a locally purchased wine that didn't measure up. Sometimes they'd have fresh fruit in abundance and other days it was not as plentiful or it was unripe.

On several occasions throughout our stay, we were excited to see a bountiful buffet of fresh seafood, prawns etc. far superior to what our daily fare was, only to find it was catering to visiting travel agents and not available to guests. A bit off-putting to say the least. I guess Sandals knows where their bread is buttered.

Fitness room had a lot of machinery but it was a sauna inside. The air conditioning was barely noticeable and no windows for breeze or view. So you're working out against a wall of blaring tvs with sports playing non-stop and sweating bullets before you even start your workout. That's dehydration and heart attack waiting to happen.

The other two Sandals properties we visited had more choices of higher end formal restaurants. This one had only one Eleanors, which was ok, or the Kimonos. Eleanors was not worth the reservation or wait. Kimonos though allowed you to meet and chat with a number of other guests in a fun setting where chef cooks Japanese style in front of you. The French one was fine and it had no reservation required. The jerk chicken at Le Toc in St. Lucia was to die for but the Antigua one was hard and seemed to be deep fried.

Above all, the people were friendly, very safe community and I'd go back after I've experienced other Caribbean locations. Antigua was on the bucket list.

Room Tip: Med side if you want a more modern room, Caribbean side if you want character.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Cheryl032
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 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#3 Family 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 Hotel St. John`s
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort And Spa
Sandals Antigua
Hotel Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grand Antigua
Antigua Sandals
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa Saint John Parish

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