My husband and I just came back from spending our honeymoon at the Sandals Antigua from August 27th till Sept 4th. (Ages 24 and 28)
I'll be completely honest about this resort....This is definetly not a five star resort as they advertise. I don't know where they even came up with the idea they were, maybe there other properties but not htis one. I have been to plenty five stars and below resorts and Sandals Antigua is no more than a three star property. We both arrived and left disappointed...I had read the reviews before leaving for Antigua and almost switched to the bahamas resort...At the time I didn't think a 1000 dollars more was worth it, but now looking back...I really wished we had just switched locations.
ROOMS: We were upgraded to a honeymoon suite lux (They upgrade everyone, I did not meet one person during our stay that was not upgraded) So yes this was a good thing......however our room was nothing spectacular. It had a very large four poster bed, which was indeed comfortable, but the only thing noteable in the room. The bathroom was very small, with only one sink, tub/shower and toilet so very basic. We didn't have any bugs however so that was a good thing. We did bring bug spray with us just in case. Make sure you pack some - the entire resort is basically set in the outdoors so there are plenty of mosiquitos. I was just very disappointed with the room.....our airconditioning also did not cool down our room very well, but I dont think other guests had that problem. FYI - They are doing construction on the property - they are adding ton of new rooms/pool so be sure to request a room away from the bulldozers and etc. We met a couple that was woken up every morning to the construction.
FOOD: The food is just ok, nothing fabulous but not terrible either. The only thing they lack is choices and variety. With only Five restaurants, only three are open a night, so you have a very limited choice. Make reservations 24 hours in advance in order to ensure you get the time you want and restuarant. The Japanese restaurant was very popular and we almost didnt' get a reservation there in the 8 days that we were there. Although the food was really nothing to write home about. So that was just ok.
POOLS: The pools were honestly pretty pathetic. Granted you go to the beach, for the beach and not the pools but this was just sad. They have five pools - four which are very small, and as I'm sure you have read in the other reviews - they are run down. This is completely true, and actually quite dirty - the tiles desperately need to be cleaned and in some cases re-tile the entire pool. The "main pool" which has a swim up bar is also very small. When activties such as pool volleyball take place, there is no where to swim/sit except at the bar. We spoke to several couples who had been to the st. Lucia property and said that there smallest pool there was still larger than our main pool. So that was disappointing.
BEACH: The beach was nice. The sand is nice white and powdery. The water wasn't as crystal clear as I had hopped. I went to cancun last year so maybe I was a bit spoiled, but I was expecting it to be as clear as that and it wasn't unfortunately. But it's clean and warm as bath water. There are vendors around and they can get a bit annoying, but just keep saying no thank you and they get the point.
SERVICE: I would go as far as saying that 75% of the staff was rude and just simply disgruntled employees. I'm not sure where these people are getting this wonderful service, because besides the playmakers -everyone else didn't care about the guests. The bartenders esp. were rude. ***They water down their liquor*** So be sure to request double shots in your drinks. Because these employees don't expect/work for tips they don't treat the guests as well as they should. I use to work in the hotel industry and I know what good service is, and for the most part the service was not good.
Entertainment/nightlife - This resort I would say is more catered to the mid 30's -50's crowd. Don't come here looking for a wild night. They have bands everynight in the evening which is very pleasant. They also have a "nightclub" which barely anyone goes to. I went there several nights and besides the other couples we were hanging out with - only employees went there to hangout, drink and hook up with each other. I'm not even exaggerating. There is a piano bar....it is one of the only few places that is airconditioned, so it's nice to go there for a relaxing night and for some sing along songs, but it's nothing spectacular either.
Bugs/cats: Yes there are about 6-7 cats roaming the resort. Honestly they are harmless and it's more sad than anything to see them because they are skin and bones. The reason they are there is well not only is it impossible to control the animals when the resort is wide open, but they keep away the rats/mice. Bugs, lots of mosquitoes as mentioned before.
Watersports: There are plenty of watersports to keep you busy from waterskiing, windsurfing, hobiecats and etc.. However keep in mind when you go snorkling during this season (which I was failed to have been informed untill I saw them myself) It is jellyfish season. THey are floating around everywhere around the coral reef. Apparently they don't sting, but there was no way I was going to jump into an ocean of jellyfish. My husband went and said they were more annoying than anything - I guess he's more brave than I am.
So take the good with the bad -that's my review of the resort. I felt that it was a rundown property and definetly not worth all the money we spent on the place. I'm sad to say that our honeymoon was just OK and not fabulous. However, we still made the best of it and tried to have a good time.
- 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