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.
- 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