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Reviewed December 20, 2010

Paradise on earth. This location has no flaws. Okay - it rained most of one day and I liked that the least. Fabulous weather, beautiful scenery, clear and warm water. Not crowded like other resorts closer to the USA. No reason to leave the resort. I've been to several Caribbean resorts which are all good, but Grande Antigua beats them all for location, beauty, and romance. The massage was overrated, but the private dinner on the beach was well worth the extra cost. All of the food was top-notch.

This resort is CLEAN. You can drink the water. They clean up daily and take immaculate care of the rooms and linen. The pools, hot tubs, and whirlpools are cleaner than any others I've seen in the Caribbean. The water around the swim-up bars was clean and free of debris. Self serve options are available for soft drinks, water, and coffee, but the barstaff are very happy and fast about getting drinks for you.

Go to the orientation in the morning because it will answer many questions and save you a lot of time during your stay. The evening activities are great, and you can sail/kayak/wind surf all day long without any charges. The watersports crew gave great lessons and fantastic fun was had by all. There are several large hammocks around the resort for relaxation. The palm fronds holding our hammock looked like soft feathers ruffling in the breeze as we watched from gently rocking comfort.

This resort is a little costlier for travel because of location but is well worth it. My only caution is that you book your own air travel. Check for flights that go directly from a US airport to Antigua. The extra cost is worth avoiding problems with small airlines like Windward Island Airlines. Winair lost our reservation and stranded us in St Maarten where we had to go through customs unnecessarily and had a long delay.

BEST VACATION EVER!!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank medicmaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2010

Just got back from an eight day stay where we celebrated our weddingmoon. Our wedding went smoothly and was a lot classier than I had expected. We were very impressed with the wedding setup, especially the photographer. If you are getting pictures taken for your wedding or beach shoot request Sokoto George…he is the best photographer and takes very creative pictures.

If you are getting married in Antigua you do have to go to the courthouse one day to get your license, but don’t worry it is coordinated by Sandals and they arrange transportation for you with the couples from the resort who are also are getting married. It only took about 90 minutes for the entire trip. I didn’t find out until I met with the wedding planner in Antigua that when you (women) go to the courthouse you have to dress a little more conservatively than your “resort clothes.” We were told to cover our shoulders-no tank tops and no shorts, etc. FYI-A conservative sundress or pants and a t-shirt is acceptable.

Overall, the food at Sandals was very good and the scenery was beautiful. Definitely use bug spray even when you think you don’t need it-day and night. I didn’t use any and left with at least 20 bites that turned into huge welts. As some of the other reviews mentioned there are vendors on the beach selling anything you can imagine. On a typical day, we’d be approached 10-15 times even if we already said “no.” They will even approach you if you are reading or sleeping. It got annoying after a while and we ended up staying at the pool.
T
he few complaints I have-Sandals is definitely very overpriced. You would expect when paying the extra money to stay at an all-inclusive that you would be “nickel and dimed.” We heard this from several couples during our stay. For example, Internet access was $7 for 30 minutes, at every meal they would offer you wine for an additional charge even though that was included…they would still try and sell you different options and were pushy about it. Also a late check-out (an extra 90 minutes) is $50 (even though the resort had less than 50% occupancy). Not to mention, there is no room service in Antigua. As other reviews mentioned, If you have a problem in your room they are very slow to fix it or unresponsive…as we experienced.

I would highly recommend the candlelight beach dinner. It was very romantic and the food was phenomenal-better than any of the restaurants on site.

Overall, it was a nice vacation, but I don’t think I will go back to Sandals.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Relax00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2010

We arrived at sandals on November the 10th to champagne and to be told we were going to be upgraded to "The Honeymoon Suite" if that was ok? Can't tell you what our original room would have been like but fellow guests were more than pleased with the rooms in the Caribbean section of the complex. We had a very pleasant swimming pool right outside our room where there were usually only 3 couples sunbathing and we loved it. The nearest bar was 2 minutes walk away in the "courtyard" and off the same courtyard were 3 restaurants. A fourth restaurant (Japanese) was just behind our accommodation. The day of my wife's birthday the staff just couldn't have been more pleasant and their attention to detail made for a wonderful birthday for her. We had lobster for our dinner on a table next to the beach with a live band playing in the courtyard( there was a different live band every night in the courtyard). They even brought in a birthday cake to finish the occasion. When we went back to our beautiful room there was a bottle of wine, 2 wine glasses and a birthday card waiting for her. I cannot fault Sandals, Antigua and if I could afford it I would most definitely go again. You will find the staff very friendly and accommodating and cannot accept any tips. For 3 of the restaurants you need to reserve a table but it's done through the concierge who is based just down from the caribbean accommodation so there wasn't a problem.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank wagmanWorcestershire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2010

I had my wedding at the Sandals Grande Antigua. The staff were so awesome. They attended to all my needs and even made suggestions for things I may have forgotten. The wedding coordinator was excellent. She made sure my day was wonderful. The food was great and you had many choices. There were many activities on the grounds as well as tours outside of the resort. The spa was so relaxing and therapeutic. I would go to another Sandals resort after my experience there. I would recommend it to anyone. Even my husband felt the trip was well worth it.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LHamilton1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2010

This place is brilliant. Far better than I expected. The service is fantastic, but not too stiff, while the venue itself is so large it never feels crowded. 9 restaurants to choose from, blue sea, white sandy beach, endless cocktails, sunshine and relaxation.
We went all inclusive, and that meant even the mini-bar, which was restocked every day with rum, vodka, gin, champagne, beers and soft drinks.
Four poster bed, lots of entertainment and a great, friendly atmosphere. Inevitably, the place is mainly full of couples (no kids allowed).
Best restaurant was Eleanors, though Mario's was surprisingly good Italian.
We went out to Shirley Heights on Sunday, where you can watch the sun set overlooking a bay to the sound of a steel band. Brilliant.
The island is great and the hotel doesn't dilute any of the beauty or atmosphere.
I had no complaints about this place. Fantastic.

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank rudi44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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