I went to Sandals Grande Antigua with my wife in early April 2014 as part of a Sales Award of Excellence. Having said that, I can't comment on the value since the trip was free and therefore I have to give it a 5 star rating on that aspect.
The resort is very nice with 2 distinct areas (Caribbean and Mediterranean). We stayed in the newer Mediterranean village with a nice room overlooking a lot of the resort. All of the details regarding the room were top notch (fully stocked mini bar, very clean, great sleep each night, etc).
The food was also very good. For breakfast we went to the Bayside each morning except for the last when we went to Mario's. Basically there is no point going to Mario's for breakfast since both places have nearly identical buffets to choose from but Bayside gives the addition of the ocean view. For lunch and snacks we mostly went to either the bistro or the pizza place because it was fast and easy. For dinner we went to Barefoot, the Drunken duck and Eleanor's and we enjoyed them all. We also got a take out lava cake from Mario's as this had been recommended in prior reviews. That dessert did not disappoint! I would say though that the cafe de Paris was only okay and didn't have quite the sweetness that people in North America might be used to in their desserts.
The beach is very nice and it does have the white sand with turquoise water. However there is one main downfall. There are annoying vendors that you will have to put up with each morning. They will leave you alone when you say no but you have to expect this each morning and none of them seem to communicate with each other so you can expect each and every one of them to bother you. Having said this, it is more of a constant bother for a short while but the vendors come fast and most of them will have come by within the first 20 mins of when you set up for the day. There is also a limited amount of shade so you will want to try and go early. People tend to take up a lot of spots closer to the Mediterranean side. So, here is my big tip... Go directly to the Caribbean side and grab one of the shade huts near the end of the resort. People tend to ignore these until it is a last resort but if you go here it is less crowded and there is still a great area to swim nearby with access to the nearby bistro and a regular bar nearby.
Finally, the pools were nice but I can't say too much about them since we spent most of our time at the beach instead. There are a few much more secluded pools that you might want to seek out in the Caribbean rather than the super busy main pool in the Mediterranean. One of hem is near kimonos and is very quiet with a nice little hot tub. That was my favourite of the pools to be honest since I didn't feel the need to be at a swim up bar.
One final negative that I should mention is that they will fumigate each day in the afternoon to keep the bugs away. While it is nice to not have many bugs, it is a bit of a shocking experience to see smoke everywhere. The first time I saw it I thought a bunch of buildings had caught fire, lol! Nevertheless, I suppose this is a necessary evil and it is more of a shock to the system the first time you see it than anything else (you will have to get out of the area temporarily when this happens).
Overall, while I had a few negatives, the experience was still amazing and I would recommend the resort to anyone going to Antigua.
- 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