We recently visited Antigua the week of May 13 - 20. Upon our arrival at the Airport we located the Sandals booth and waited approx. 10-15 minutes for the bus to pick us up along with another couple to bring us to the resort, the ride I have to say from the Airport to the Resort was scary. First of all the do drive on the opposite side of the road in Antigua and pass cars constantly when they are driving a bit too slow, so that was scary when you are a passenger not in control driving head on towards another car.
Secondly when we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted with a cold towel to cool off and a glass of champagne and asked to sit along with other couples in the lobby while they checked us in. We were brought to our room approx. 1/2 hour later after we checked in and we were upgraded to the Flamboyant Building right by one of the best pools in the resort. Besides it being a bit loud in the morning with garbage carts being pushed by at 7 am, we liked the room, but not the dirty shower. We literally had to put our flip flops on to take a shower. The water smelled and we had to spray bug spray down both sink and tub drains because little sugar ants were always coming out of the drain.
I have never been to a resort before were I had to wear my flip flops to take a shower, and we have been to Maui, Cayman Islands, & St. Maarten and never encountered such a problem.
Also if you like animals watching you while you eat than you will love the cats that beg for food, or if you got to Il Palio they climb on the balcony and watch you eat, how unpleasant and unsanitary. They bring fleas and disease and I am not sure why Sandals would want such a thing at their resort in the first place. In the evening since the beach is a public beach you can hear the few dogs we saw barking at people trying to have a nice walk or teenagers walking on the beach and trying to get into the resort.
That brings up another issue, they have security guards at entrances, but it appears to just be a statement they try to make that it is a secure resort, they only asked us for our ID once and this was when we passed the security guard on the way out dressed up for the evening and than he asked our for our id card on the way back in. Than we saw three teenagers walk right past the guard and get in with no problem when they were not part of the resort.
All evening dinners require the gentleman to wear a collared shirt and dress pants (in 90 degree weather, no sandals), when they can have cats walk around while you eat, I don't think that is fair. You should be able to wear shorts at least. I mean come on.
We were not happy with a lot of thing we saw at this resort, and the attitude of some of the employees was not so pleasant, when you asked for three eggs at the buffet they questioned you, anything you asked for from a waiter or waitress seemed to be a bother to them it appeared to us.
Do not forget your bug spray for the beaches or at night because the mosquitos and sand fleas love to bite and you do not even see them. My legs were bitten up terrible and boy did they itch. Bring the spray with you to dinner and to the beach during the day.
During the day you will be tortured by vendors at the beach, because it is a public beach they ask you a million times to buy something or braid your hair, it is most annoying after your third day there. And if you want a beach umbrella get to the beach really early cause they only have a few and they are built in huts they do not have any portable umbrellas.
If you notice sometimes the vendors actually sit under the built in beach umbrellas with their dogs under the beach chairs, we found this most amusing, and no one from Sandals asked them to move.
Overall I would not go back to Sandals I was most disappointed as well as my husband was, we considered leaving the second day we were there, But stuck it out and lasted the week but would not go back. So consider going to St. Lucia Sandals, which we heard was much better.
- 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