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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I must say it’s a beautiful resort and I love the atmosphere, however it is very disappointing that the resort on a Saturday morning decided to close the Mediterranean Pool which is the main pool and can’t provide a time frame when it’s going to open. Almost 1000 guest are being pushed out to smaller pools that are crowded and taken up by butler service and most guest all placed on the beach! Not to mention 1/2 of the beach is closed by the resort as well. This is completely unacceptable that no one on the staff are providing any communication to its guess. Not a good stay for me so far!

Stayed: October 2018, traveled as a couple
10  Thank Arvin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shawn R, Online Review Coordinator at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Hello Arvin,

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us via TripAdvisor. It is truly disheartening to read that you may not be fully enjoying your stay with us thus far. We understand just how eagerly our guests look forward to sharing wonderful moments with their loved one on vacation and we want to make things as perfect as we possibly can for you. Our Guest Services team has been alerted to your concerns and will do all they reasonably can to see that you are comfortable for the remainder of your stay. You may also reach out to them via our Loop Service if you have any other requests, concerns or queries, as they are happy to help in any way possible and I have also sent you a private message for a few additional details. Thank you again for bringing this to our attention and for allowing our team the opportunity to turn things around so that your stay ends on a more positive note.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We have been to Sandals BARBADOS a couple of times but Antigua is to die for, as a review I checked out on Tripadvisor the sand is like talcum powder. We stayed 1wk 9th Oct yes it did rain for maybe 15 to 20 mins then brilliant sunshine don’t be put off.
The Restaurants are all lovely Marios lovely also for breakfast, barefoot lovely, there is so much to choose we didn’t get a chance to visit all. Staff are amazing and cannot do enough for you. Rooms perfect, safe easy to use, tv easy to use, fridges top up daily. Lots to see so big and spacious always plenty of beds round pool and beach. The beach vendors are lovely some may drive you a bit mad but you just sa6 no thank you, they have nothing so they try and sell what they can. Every night something to do great entertainment, if you wanna do the Stingray Trip you have to book Denroy he is brilliant he also is a photographer he worked for Sandals for 7yrs but now on his own, took us all round Island to sights on way to Stingrays. Drunken Duck is brilliant pub for late night drinks and food and twice a week Karaoke. So many things were perfect cannot think of all but this has been the best holiday we have ever been on in the Caribbean - also the best vendor on the beach is Darryl he is a Rasta and is humble for anything you give him - we always got him a coffee and breakfast and gave him all toiletries he is so humble - please mention Paul and Karen to him for us we will always remember him what a special person - enjoy every minute you are there we did

Stayed: October 2018, traveled as a couple
3  Thank 780KAREN1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This was our 2nd visit to a Sandals resort. Our first was Montego Bay, Jamaica and we loved our first Sandals experience, so we booked Sandals Grande Antigua (travel dates were Oct. 5-Oct. 12th, 2018) while in MB. I want to start by saying that this resort is absolutely beautiful! It's much larger than Montego Bay, which we really enjoyed having much more space. The grounds are impressive, stunning, gorgeous, I could go on and on. The water equally all of those adjectives and more. After being home for a week now (sigh!), I thought I'd write a helpful review for varying parts of our trip/this resort and hope it will help anyone who is expecting to travel here in the near future or is even thinking about it.

ROOM: We stayed in room 7709 in the Mediterranean Village (high-rise) and loved it. I highly recommend getting a room on the top floor if possible since you'll have an unobstructed view of the sea and that end of the resort. It was amazing! The room was pretty spacious with a small foyer with a dresser to the right as you walked in, ample closet space, nice large bed, Jacuzzi tub (although we never used it), shower with rain showerhead (we loved that feature!), dual vanities on separate sides of the bathroom and separate toilet area. There was a separate sitting area as well in the room. CON: Bed wasn't very comfortable nor were the pillows and the bathroom area was open concept; the only door was to the toilet area.

FOOD: ONE WORD: AMAZING!!! Our absolute favorite was Mario's. We ate there 3 times! They have an appetizer bar that has everything you could dream of on it-you could literally make a meal off that thing! The hot dog stand by the main pool area was also a hit. Definitely try it out.

POOL: The main pool was awesome! It's so big! We were there everyday. TIP: Put towels/hats, etc. (something to hold your chairs) out on chairs before going to breakfast to secure a decent spot. Although the resort didn't seem that crowded during the time we were there, we noticed after the first couple of days people doing that and decided to do the same and it worked perfectly. The pool bar was fine-never had a long wait to get drinks (and we drank quite a lot! :))

WATER SPORTS: If you haven't ever tried it, definitely try the Hobie Cats. We tried them for the first time here and had a blast!

FITNESS ROOM: Perfect! Very spacious with a separate weight room area and fitness machine room area.

EXCURSIONS (EXTRA): Book the Land excursion that takes you into the City/town of Antigua-we made stops at Shirley Heights, Nelson's Dockyard, Betty's Hope, etc. It was so worth the $125 each (and get the one with the air-conditioned vehicle for sure!).

*The only reason I did not give this resort 5 stars is due to the lack of nightlife. We were very disappointed. I guess after being at MB (where each night it was "hopping" with excitement and entertainment), we expected the same here. But, we were sorely surprised. They say this is more of a "romantic" resort, and I got that feel from it, but they could still offer better nightlife.....HINT: Not to offend anyone, but the crowd at this resort was older. Now, I'm not a "Spring Chicken" being in my early 40's, but I like to have a fun time and stay active/busy and my husband and I both noticed a lot of the crowd was in their mid-late 50's and up.

Hope this review helps and feel free to reach out with any questions! Have a great time!

Room Tip: Mediterranean Village, top (7th floor) is best!
  • Stayed: October 2018, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank MrsVP76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Sandals Grande Antigua 4th – 13th September 2018

We previously visited Sandals Grande Antigua in September 2014 and did say that we wouldn’t return, however, we got a good deal and there were lots of aspects from the previous holiday we did enjoy so we decided to return.

We arrived and were greeted by the friendly staff, already an improvement on our last visit, who made the checking in process, using an iPad, pretty seamless and quick. Whilst we were completing the online forms they were getting our room keys and packs ready and these were available by the time we had finished. We had booked a Mediterranean Club Level Suite, the same that we had stayed in on our first visit. To our dismay, the rooms had not been updated in any way since our visit in 2014 and the whole room looked tired and dated. The bathroom had a light cover missing and it just didn’t have that feel of luxury. The ocean view was blocked by some trees and I did go to concierge to ask if we could be moved or pay for an upgrade, however, the alternative room they offered us had no better view and they didn’t entertain my request to upgrade our room. I thought this might have been because they were quite full but it turned out that they were only at 51% occupancy so they really missed an opportunity to upsell.

BEACH

The beach was stunning and unlike other areas within the Caribbean that we had been to, there was no seaweed to speak of. We spent every day at the beach and never had an issue finding beach beds. There are a lot of sellers on the beach and they can be quite persistent but they are only trying to make a living and if you were polite to them they weren’t any bother and moved along. We read about Dr Sunshine before we arrived who offers fresh Aloe Vera and more importantly, to us anyway, massages on the beach. My husband and I both had a massage and it was good value at $45 per person for 30 minutes (which ended up being nearer 45 minutes). He listened to what we both preferred and I really enjoyed my sports massage, it definitely worked out a few knots!

RESTAURANTS

We didn't visit all the restaurants, so I can only comment on the following;

Bayside – we ate breakfast here each morning pretty much and there was always a nice selection of food. The buffet area itself is quite small, especially in comparison to other Caribbean all-inclusives we have visited, however, overall, with the exception of the poached eggs being either overcooked or undercooked some days, it was good. In the evening (well some evenings) Bayside becomes the French restaurant and we dined there twice. The food, service and overall ambience was brilliant, we couldn’t fault anything. A big thank you to Blondina who was our waitress, she was lovely.

Courtyard Bistro – we went here for lunch most days and had their amazing buffalo chicken sandwich and always enjoyed chatting with two of the chefs, Allyssa & Wavel, they were lovely and got to know our order so we didn’t even have to ask!

Mario's – we ate at Mario’s for dinner once and I have to say that I am not a fan of the anti-pasti buffet, I’d rather order a starter than get a selection, but that’s personal preference. We had to ask for the wine menu at Marios, and every other restaurant with the exception of Bayside, which seemed a bit strange but were able to order a bottle of wine from their selection which was very nice. They also gave us fresh glasses so we could take the remaining wine and sit around the fire pit to enjoy. The main meal itself was good, not our favourite but definitely cooked and presented nicely. I must recommend the famed chocolate lava cake, it was just as good as the last time we were there and a naughty but delicious indulgence!

Drunken Duck – we ate here quite a few times, we love their Buffalo chicken wings and all of the food, albeit taking a while to appear, was delicious and we couldn’t fault it. The waiters were all friendly and fun and we enjoyed chatting with them and having a few games of pool and darts.

OK Corral – we ate here quite a few times, my husband loved the pulled pork tacos and the burger (served medium) and would recommend that everyone go there at least once. The waiters again were really friendly and fun and we want to say a big thank you to Marshall Dillon, he was fab!

Soy – Last time we visited we didn’t go to Soy, my husband doesn’t like sushi, however, we went here twice during our stay for appetisers, well I say we, I ate and my husband had hot sake! The sushi selection was incredible and I can safely say I haven’t had better sushi anywhere! On top of that we had two brilliant chefs, George and Jessica. Jessica is training and was so much fun, George is meticulous in the way he prepares and presents the sushi and I was so grateful. Our servers Nix and Carol also deserve a mention, they were really lovely and took good care of us. I also had a sake based cocktail called sake cruise and it was delicious, something everyone should try. The whole ambience of Soy is great and being able to eat at the bar so you can watch what the chefs are doing and chat to them was great.

Barefoot by the Sea – we ate here for lunch on our day of arrival and it was ok but we didn’t choose to eat there again. Our waitress, I apologise that I can’t recall her name, was lovely and we had a great chat to her. What might have put us off slightly about eating here again was when some of the birds started pretty much dancing on the hot grill in the open kitchen and one of the chefs hit one with a pan and killed it!

Café de Paris – we enjoyed going here to get something sweet and get our caffeine hit. The staff were always friendly and we were impressed with the selection of cakes and pastries that were available on a daily basis.

We didn’t attend any of the theme nights or the Sandals Select Members dinner but did catch the Reggae performance by the Mediterranean pool which was great fun.

ACTIVITIES

We went to the gym most days and were happy with the number and selection of machines and free weights. We used the steam and sauna rooms, they are separated into male and female, on one occasion, however, we had to tell the spa in advance so they could turn them on (?!?!) and the sauna was ok, albeit not too hot, however, the steam room was cold, damp and disappointing so we didn’t bother doing that again. We used the cold and hot pools outside the spa which is next to the gym most days and were pleased that this was available.

SUMMARY

Overall we had a wonderful time in Antigua and we were so relieved that the people were so much friendlier this time, which always makes the stay more enjoyable. The weather we couldn’t fault, we had one 15 minute rain shower and then that broke and we had glorious sunshine again. Overall the holiday was exactly what we wanted it to be, relaxing and beautiful. I do think Sandals needs to think about refurbing the hotel rooms to bring them up to date with other Sandals resorts but that’s a minor observation.

Thank you again to all the staff who made our stay so good.



Stayed: September 2018, traveled as a couple
8  Thank Alison C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Superb accommodation. Excellent staff. Nothing is to much trouble. Will make up anything you request.
Only 15 minutes from airport. Transfers are free.
Numerous restaurants. First class quality of food. Match to top rated restaurants.
Great entertainment every night and various activities during day.
Free water sports including scuba diving.
Adults only.

Room Tip: Join their Rewards scheme.
Stayed: October 2018, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Anthony S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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