We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Rip off”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 13 more sites!
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
Madrid Spain
Level 6 Contributor
302 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Rip off”
Reviewed December 24, 2008

After we had been disillusioned with our stay at Sandals in Jamaica 2 weeks before the management refused to let us cancel this vacation without a huge cancellation charge but promised us that this resort was better. Unfortunately once again the advertising, publicity and promises fell way short of the reality. We have attached photos of some of the things we will comment on.
We stayed in a very nice room in the Mediterranean Village which is a eight storey hotel type building.
The beach is quite narrow and the few umbrellas provided are reserved by the people who opt for the butler service. We were told that even if we got up at 6am and put our towels on a couple of beds the butlers would remove them if their guest wanted that umbrella. This means that unless you want to bask in the sun you cannot enjoy the beach. The same applies to the umbrellas just inside the perimeter fence and the main pool. The pool advertised as the biggest in the East Caribbean was actually less than 3 foot deep in all but the middle and therefore too shallow to swim more than a few meters.
We managed to find a shady spot just inside the perimeter fence, where you could see a little of the beach but we gave up on that eventually because the loungers were so old and uncomfortable.
The sun beds are completely different from the brochures, being old saggy, uncomfortable and many dirty.

We finally found a place by small pool-with a fountain- not for swimming- in the grounds overlooked by the accommodation. We were mostly on our own there but it meant we felt we were in a garden in a town rather than near the sea.

There are several restaurants but the food is poor. THe house wine was good. The outdoor restaurants have a selection of birds and cats to help you eat your food, sometimes even before you can select it from the buffet. The quality of most of the the food I would rate about the same as Dennys or the Happy Eater, lots of fast food occasionally disguised with fancy names. Even at breakfast most of the fruit was from cans and we are not sure where the juices came from. Often the table cloths were either stained, or downright dirty and frequently had holes.

There were very few activities- yoga and aqua aerobics just 4 times a week, some stuff in the gym and things like volley ball, table tennis etc. only once or twice a week .The kit was awful. For example the table tennis net had holes in and sagged, the rubber was hanging off the bats. They had no organised tennis either but they did offer to provide a coach, for a fee of course.

After a couple of days we just accepted that we had chosen badly and tried to make the most of it without grumbling. Shame when you spend so much money though.

Please tell all your friends to avoid Sandals. There are much better all inclusive chains in nicer locations. All the staff were great but unfortunately they cannot compensate for the many inadequacies.

We have always been happy with Iberostar and Sol Melias all inclusive resorts.

  • Liked — The friendliness of the staff
  • Disliked — [-] bore no resemblance to the advertising.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Kenshare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

6,836 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    3,948
    1,690
    607
    334
    257
See reviews for
162
5,659
22
63
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,797)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
119 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2008

I stayed in the Mediteranian Village. The rooms look practically new. They are clean and spacious. Absolutely fabulous.

We had butler service. Although I disagree with chairs being reserved first thing in the morning, it was certainly a nice advantage. The butlers give you a cellphone to reach them whenever you need something. They work as your personal assistant, conceirge, escort, server, etc. They are the only ones you can tip. However, they go so overboard to please you that it can also become quite intrusive. Their service can be great at times, and it can be disappointing at times.

The restaurants were very good. Ellenors was outstanding with a more upscale menu and service. It's a shame they're not in a more secluded area. OK Coral offered a nice small salad bar with your steak, potato and corn on the cob (or other choice). Marios had the the Italian Buffet. It seemed more American than Italian, but was still very good. They were also good for breakfast. Outside Pizza at lunch was also very good. Barefoot was nice for a burger and fries for lunch. Bayside was great for breakfast. The bird issue is very minor and actually better than other island resort buffets we've been to. Bayside was also a good buffet lunch spot to get in and get out. Kimonos was good. You sit with a total table of 10 people. The chef will make several different items and give you each a sampling. Vegetarian, no problem..let them know ahead of time and he'll make something special for you. Didn't get a chance to try Cricketers, but it looks good for Prime Rib and Mashed Potatoes. The Beach Bar B-Q was good, but a little too crowded and the tables were all slanted on the beach to be comfortable.
We were very pleased with the food!

The Beach Bar will make you whatever you want.

We did the Extreme Circumnav around the island. That was pretty cool. It takes you to Stingray City and some secluded beaches. Also, take an island tour with a local cabbie.

Downtown shopping offered a lot of shops, although you have to fight through the cruise ship crowds. They also have a twin cinema downtown if you want to go to the movies at night.

A few cats on the property are very friendly and add a nice homey touch.

We were on the beach a couple times. The vendors are polite and leave you alone with a pleasant "no thank you". Although security stands at every entrance to the beach. They'll question you when you try to get back on the property.

All of the employees gave a friendly greeting morning, noon and night. The hospitality was excellent.

Internet cafe was still down, but expected to be put back in service this week.

You can't go wrong with this property. It's outstanding. I had read the earlier postings for the past 5 months and can't believe some of the ridiculous things some of the people had posted. Granted, the resort wasn't at full capacity so I may have benefited from that. But overall, go there! Antigua is lovely and so are its people. Just don't get frustrated over the slow airport immigration and customs!

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank mahiman03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 5 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2008

My husband actually won this trip through his work along with others. I think we had a trip of 24? Not one person was unhappy with the outcome. I highly recommend going here if you get the chance.

Pro's
Rooms
Drinks (Ask for a Monkey Brain Shot!)
Salon - (Hair, Nails, massaages, etc.) I had my hair braided which was costly and I don't think the quality was worth what I paid. I had my braids and beads falling out constantly which I have never encountered like this before. I usually pay $30 in Mexico and paid $140 here. Once I was getting my hair braided someone came along the beach to braid hair much cheaper. if you are interested, make sure that you check everyone on the beach first. Everyone is the salon were extremely nice. The massage and pedicure were just lovely!
Beach/Ocean - Again just wonderful. There were no waves at all here. It was nice to actually go out and stand neck deep in the ocean and not think twice about it.
Entertainment Folks - They did a great job
Food - Many Choices (Be sure to try the Italian/Japanese Restaraunts.)
Beautiful Weddings
Grounds
Activities
Many Others that I can't think of at the moment

Cons:
Not sure that I can think of any that would be at the fault of the resort

You will not be sorry if you chose to stay at this resort.

Please email me with any questions.

~B

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Loved it all
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank BandDKlund
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2008

Second trip to this hotel, previous visits to their properties in St.Lucia ,Antigua and Jamaica were amazing especially our Wedding at Sandals Whitehouse Jamaica Nov 2007. I thought I was a dedicated Sandals customer, but the trip to Grande Antigua this November has completely changed my opinion of this chain of Hotels. I will not be spending my hard earned savings with this company again. On arrival we were met by a less than amenable member of the Concierge team who are the "meeters and greeters" and our first impression of the staff who seemed to only be interested in my credit card details. Maybe the management could re-think their staff training in customer relations because it went downhill from there!! As returning guests we had been upgraded which is normal practice and a nice touch to show they appreciate your custom, but we had been placed in one of the caribbean villages oldest and tired areas at the back of the resort, (we had booked for the new Mediterranean village complex, but were told we hadn't and there were no rooms there anyway. A point I will raise with Sandals UK when I am suitably less wound up. the cistern on the toilet was broken and the room badly in need of renovation. On complaining the concierge told me I would have to wait till morning to ask for a room change which I did and after being kept waiting for over one hour i was seen by the Housekeeper who, after some discussion about the poor treatment we had received,begrudgingly offered to move us to a renovated room but in two days time. We eventually unpacked and began our much needed holiday. I have never complained about Sandals I have always been treated so well and have bored all my friends with tales of wonderful food and attentive staff. Never again.the standard of food in all restaurants was poor and the selection was about half it has been before. People on their first Sandals experience wouldn't know how poor it was, but some of them had paid double that I had paid for a smaller room with less facilities, how does that work ?? The cost of Sandals holidays seems to be a lottery no-one pays the same price. CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK BEFORE YOU BOOK,Cutbacks at the customers expense were apparent everywhere. The staff were, for the most part, rude and ignorant with a few exceptions, management was non existent. Could this be because the staff had been told of 120 job losses at the resort. On our previous trip there the manager Franklin was always at breakfast serving champagne to the guests and making himself available to the customers. During the second week door locks were changed in certain parts of the complex, guests were told this was routine maintenance, but after finding all our american dollars missing ($340) from our room safe the night before we left for home i'm not convinced the change was routine. We were subject to a room search by Sandals security staff with an attitude problem. If i was going to steal my own money I wouldn't stash it in my room now would I !! 4 other guests had also had property stolen over the two weeks but the guests were not informed of this. Sandals acknowledged full responsibility for the loss without argument !! Wierd, they must know they have a major problem there. I am left with the time consuming problem of claiming from my insurance company and having to pay off my bill from my credit card company for the priviledge of using it in lieu of my missing dollars !!! As a Sandals Select guest I was due a weeks free accommodation for accumulating signature guest points. I wont risk being so disappointed again. I have yet to write to Sandals in the UK, i have to calm down somewhat yet !!!

  • Liked — no kids allowed
  • Disliked — valu for money, staff, fod
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nic_280359
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2008

I don't even know where to start. We were there for 10 days. This was by far the worse trip one could possibly imagine. First, we rented a bungalow with a butler by the name of Kevin and he was totally useless. We paid good money for this room and to have a butler and the service could not have been worse. On our third day there, we booked a tour and left the room at 8:30 am and did not return until about 3:30 pm. Upon arriving in our room, we noticed that the closet door was open and we know we didn't leave it open. After going through our things to see if anything was missing, one of my husband's white silk shirts was missing and his $400 iPod. After reporting this to the butler, we basically just got the runaround. They call themselves taking a report, but never told us what they discovered in their investigation. While going to dinner, I stopped one of the managers and he took us to take another report, and again nothing was done. About 4 days later, we received an apology letter with no explanation and no offer of any kind to make up for what was stolen from us. THEY OFFERED ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!

  • Liked — The beach
  • Disliked — The butler
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Hosed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedfordshire
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2008

I was very worried before our stay because of the terrible reviews, however, it was not nearly as bad as expected. Not the best hotel we have ever stayed in, but certainly not the worst.

We were upgraded to the Mediterranean Village, which although a nice modern room, this section of the hotel does not feel Caribean at all and looked like a bit of a monstrosity really. But it was quiet and on the whole we were looked after well. Some of the staff were lazy (especially the receptionists in the Med Village who had a real attitude problem), but most were really lovely.

The best restaurant is Mario's, which serves great breakfasts and italian cuisine in the evenings. We had no prolbem getting dinner reservations.

The pool/ towels situation however, is true - with the butlers being the worst culprits. I also did not like their attitude of looking down on all the other guests who did not have a butler.

it is definately worth reading all the reviews on this hotel to get everyones tips. The pool by the volleyball court is horrendously noisy with loud music being played - mostly for the staff's behalf.

One plea to anyone reading this who likes cats, there is a mother cat in the bushes area near the volleyball area, who has 3 beautiful kittens - please give them some food if you can!

Thanks!

  • Liked — location and value for money
  • Disliked — too big and impersonal
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Catwoman23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisiana, USA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2008

My wife and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in the Med. Village at the Grand in Antigua. The resort was beautiful. The room was very nice with a wonderful view. The whole 8 day experience was one of the best times in our lives. We will be planning a similar trip every anniversary in an attempt to capture the same bliss. Every couple owes it to themselves to make this destination at least once.

  • Liked — Resort and view were both beautiful and relaxing.
  • Disliked — Did not have private beach.
  • Stayed December 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank rekindled
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near St. John's
1.3 mi away
Blue Waters Antigua
Blue Waters Antigua
#2 of 15 in St. John's
1,862 reviews
5.8 mi away
Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort
Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort
#1 of 15 in St. John's
630 reviews
5.8 mi away
Hermitage Bay
Hermitage Bay
#1 of 7 in Saint Mary's
1,013 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
3.8 mi away
Galley Bay Resort
Galley Bay Resort
#1 of 1 in Five Islands Village
3,333 reviews
7.7 mi away
Cocobay Resort
Cocobay Resort
#1 of 3 in Bolans
2,296 reviews
11.1 mi away
Pineapple Beach Club Antigua
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 Family Hotel in St. John's
#3 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#3 Luxury 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline, BookIt.com, TravelUp, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Cancelon, TripOnline SA, Travelocity, HotelsClick, Cheap Tickets, Evoline ltd and getaroom.com so you can book your Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing