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“Could have been better” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
cr
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Could have been better”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2007

My husband and I just returned from Sandals Grande Antigua. We had recently taken our children to Beaches and LOVED it, so our expection for Sandals in Antigua was pretty high. The look of the hotel is dated, there is loud construction going on ALL the time. The food is pretty boring and very much the same in all the restaurants. After our great trip to Beaches, with its friendly staff, again we were expecting much more. Not much need for friendliess, except from the Playmakers. Sandals needed to be very honest with all its customers about the New Mediterranean Village, which appears to be MONTHS away from being finished.
On the lighter side the off property excursions are really great, and the island is very beautiful.

Stayed June 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank mollyCr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,704)
Date | Rating
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  • Japanese first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Babylon, New York
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2007

We just returned from a wonderful vacation at Sandals Antigua. Our experience was terrific. Upon arrival, our luggage was tagged and brought to our room for us with no problem, we were given a glass of chilled champagne and were escorted to our room (This was a concierge service). The hotel is beautifully landscaped with lush gardens and is right on one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. The sand is powdery white and the water is so clean, turquiose and calm that you can go in and enjoy it all day long. I have been to other resort beaches where the water is so rough that you cannot go in. The choices for dining were fine. Each restaurant was clean, with good service and good food. At night, each restaurant and was lit with candles for the perfect carribean, romantic ambiance. The entertainment at night was very good with a live band and terrific dancers each evening. They do a "sing-a-long" in the piano bar on some evenings which was so much fun. The bartenders always make your drinks strong with top shelf liquor. There was liquor right in our room so we could mix our own drinks while in our room as well. As this is a couples-only resort, there were many, many lovely honeymoon couples, I did see some older couples too, but not as many as younger newlyweds. Sandals is adding an absolutely beautiful mediterranean village to its resort. It will be amazing once it is completed, however, it is no where near completion. If you have rooms booked there, make sure you know ahead of time, it will be at the very least six months before it will be ready! I know we will be going back to stay in the new section, it will be wonderful once it is open!! The island people that work at the hotel were very nice, very warm and friendly. There are hammocks and rocking wicker chairs to enjoy right on the beach under huts, which I loved to sit in and read my book each morning. For an added fee, you can arrange for a private candlelit lobster "dinner for two" right on the beach. The one negative comment I have is the fitness center is outdoors under a hut so it was too hot to work out there. You may want to keep that in mind if you like an "icy cold-air conditioned" fitness center on vacation, you won't find that here. The rooms that the resort offers are very spacious, clean, but keep in mind there are "older" rooms further away from the beach that may not be in such great condition, you may want to stay away from those rooms when booking your stay. There are plenty of excursions offered for daily activities. I would have enjoyed banana boats but they didn't have those. To leave the resort to go shopping was a disappointment, no great shopping in Antigua with any high-end shops, but you'll have to save that for another trip. We did not get butler service with our room, however, the guests we spoke to that did, said it was wonderful, the butlers were warm, friendly and added to the enjoyment of their vacation. The butler will make all your dinner reservations, unpack, press and pack your clothes, draw your bath, etc. One last note, it is very hot in Antigua, so no need to pack a light sweater for the evenings as the restaurants are all "open-air" restaurants. We enjoyed the pool that had a swim-up bar. It was a great place to cool-off and socialize and around 3:00 everyday, a staff member summoned willing participants for a beach volleyball game. I do recommend this resort, it offers everything you'll need for an active or relaxing vacation at a very, very beautiful tropical location. I also recommend the excursion to Shirley Heights. They will take you to the top of a mountain, the highest point of the island where you will see "the most beautiful" view, one of the most beautiful sites in the world at sunset. Cheers.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
19 Thank crusnwsusn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2007

We felt we had to write this having spent two wonderful weeks in the Sandals Antigua. I had read some of the other reviews and were were a bit worried however as soon as we arrived we knew we had nothing to worry about. This was our honeymoon and it had to be special. It was..... every minute was wonderful.

The staff were friendly and helpful. The key to enjoying a holiday here is to remember it is in the carribean and things move at a different pace... once you get that decide that you are on your holidays then you'll love it... Food was great in all the restaurants but the Japanese restaurant was our favourite followed very closely by the Bayside and OK Coral.

We visited the Red lane spa for several treatments... full body massage and exfoliation is a great start to any holiday and they really know how to accommodate couples. We've been to many Spa's and this is up there with the very best.. worth the indulgence. The hot stone massage was a real treat.

The island and people have so much to offer take some time to talk to them and learn more...

Enjoy the holiday I know you will.

  • Liked — Location, Spa and staff
  • Disliked — Nothing really
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank IrishBride07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2007

Well what can I say......... I have just recently come back from Antigua & stayed at the Sandals on Dickenson Bay. What an experience it was. I read many reviews on this site, many negative ones too which in turn put little niggling doubts in my head as to whether I should cancel or not, but I thought about it long & hard & thought well......you will hear mostly negative feedback from people as they take the time out & put the world to rights & they have the most to say & want to express it the best they can. I met many a people on this holiday who visit Sandals resorts all over the world & 90% of them said that the one in Antigua was in there top 2-3. Now considering the amount of Sandals resorts there are in the world I think that answers itself. Now I can go on about all the things there is to do, places to see & foods to eat but i'm not, as after this review there maybe a negative one & then you will be sat there yet again thinking shall I or shouldn't I. All I can say on this matter is if I hadn't of gone then I wouldn't have had the best wedding day of my life, meet the most wonderful people & live the lifestyle of a king. The only way you will ever know is by going.................................... & with what ever attitude you come back with at least you can say "AT LEAST I DID IT & I TRIED IT".

P.S. I would have given it a 6 rating (if I could).

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
15 Thank Chris9277
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, KY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 5, 2007

We chose this resort because of the new Mediterranean Village. However, we were bitterly disappointed when we were notified that the new section would not be ready due to construction delays. So we were booked in the old part-Honeymoon Luxury Concierge Room of the Anthurium Building.

THE ROOM: This building is at the very back of the resort, along a main road, so the loud and numerous cars/trucks zooming by were very audible. While the bed area of the room was nice, the bathroom was AWFUL! Old tile with stained grout, wimpy shower head, discolored sink, tarnished faucets, beat-up mirror, and rust on the wall all around the light fixture...And as an added bonus, when my husband removed a towel from the bar, the bar fell off the wall! I don't know if they are planning on renovating the baths in this building or if we just managed to get the one room that hasn't been re-done yet, but I would try and find out which rooms/buildings have nicer updated facilities.

THE POOLS: We could not get chairs at the main pool because we didn't get there early enough. We hung out at the small pool outside our building instead. It actually was nice and quiet there, very intimate and never more than 4 other couples there at any given time. No towels are available poolside, they could only be obtained at the water activities desk at the beach which was inconvenient.

THE BEACH: Being used to pounding surf and waves in the ocean in the Pacific, it was a shock to see calm water. It was so quiet and felt more like being at the lake. Walks along the beach were great due to soft sand and a decent stretch of beach from end to end.

THE FOOD: I think it was helpful to have concierge service so that reservations could be made, guaranteeing you get in somewhere each night. They only let us make reservations one day ahead though. Saturday evening Bayside had a wonderful buffet spread-delicious. There was another buffet spread at Monday night's Beach Party. Note: They close one of the main restaurants on these special nights so your options are a bit limited if you're not into the spreads. Bayside presents splendid breakfast and lunch buffets with MUCH to choose from. We also ate at OK Corral, Il Palio and Courtyard Bistro
-all was very good except the steak at OK which was tough (very low quality, disappointing). Lastly, we found it endearing to have a kitty cat or two roaming around the grounds. We watched a sunset with
a sweet calico one night, each in our lounge chair lined up on the beach!

Overall it was a nice vacation, just very different from the grand, over-the-top "glory" that other resorts we've stayed at offer. If you
want a quiet, quaint, intimate experience you'll get it here. If you want lots of bells and whistles you may want to look into a newer
Sandals property or a different resort chain altogether.

  • Liked — food, beach
  • Disliked — bathroom
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank kygirlLouisville_KY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pleasant View, TN
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2007

My wife and I went here for our anniversary and what a mistake we made. The resort is nice, but not nearly worth the money we paid. I have been to several all inclusive resorts and this was by far at the bottom of my list. The beach was nice, but there were too many vendors bugging everyone. The food at the resort was ok, but no where near what it should have been. My wife and I are avid scuba divers and one of the reasons we chose this resort is because of the daily dive trips. Sandals chooses the worst dive spots on the island. They don't even take you to the places they advertise on their website. The dive crews were nice and great divemasters. But, the dive boats were overcrowded and filled with lots of divers from the resort course. After this experience, we will never stay at a Sandals again.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank joshr502
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 28, 2007

We have just returned from a week at the Sandals Grande Anigua Resort for our Babymoon. The resort's landscaping and property is beautiful. Except, there were about 5 stray cats, which roamed the resort and restaurants throughout the day. They didn't bother much but did follow you at times.

We stayed in the Honeymoon Veranda Suite with its own concierge service. This suite was near the construction of the new addition being built. The constructions worked from 7:30a-7p. The noise level was low but at times peaked with the drills.

The beach was magnificent because of it's silky white sand and calm blue water. There are a few local sellers who are okay with a "no, thank you". The pools were all very small. The largest pool, which was by our suite, had a swim-up pool bar, which opened from 10:30-6:30 PM and rarely played any music. This pool was also pretty small. When we asked the staff why it was so small we were told because most guests enjoyed the beach more. The pool enterntainment staff were fun to be around. The towel hut didn't open until 8:30AM so if you're any early bird like we are, you would find it a little annoying when trying to enjoy the sun early.

The Spa facilities are very up-to-date with wonderful friendly staff. They're a liltle pricy but fabulous.

Breakfast is a lovely continental spread with cheeses, exotic fruit, pastries, omelets, french toast, etc and mimosas. We enjoyed breakfast very much every morning. For lunch you have the option of a buffet spread or a diner menu (burgers, fajitas, etc.). The diner menu was our preference since the lunch buffet spread wasn't appealing.

We only really enjoyed two of the restaurants - Kimono's (teppanyankki) and OK Corral (Southwestern). The food at Il Palio (Italian) was not up to par with our familiarity of Italian dishes. The Bayside Restaurant, which served an international buffet once a week and a la carte menu for the rest of the week, didn't have a great selection. We didn't enjoy the fact that the dress code for all of the restaurants, including the buffet night, was evening casual (no jeans, shorts or slippers). The only restaurant with a casual evening dress code is OK Corral. Be sure to pack comfortable clothing since all of the restaurants are located outside while Kimonos is indoor with air conditioning.

The entertainment staff were great in providing evening entertainment with different steel drum bands. Monday we enjoyed a beach party while listening to a steel drum band on the beach. The evening ended with a fire and limbo show. Friday we enjoyed cultural day with an evening of a steel drum band and beautiful dancers.

Overall I would say this is probably an average resort compared to the rest of the Sandals resorts.

P.s. The travel time from the airport to the resort is 15 minutes.

  • Liked — The beautiful beach!
  • Disliked — The small pools and lack of high quality service.
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank Lourdes R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#3 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#3 Family 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 
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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

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