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“Excellent holiday”

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Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Resort
Ranked #14 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
A TripAdvisor Member
West Midlands, England
15
Reviewed November 25, 2003

We flew out to the Royal Antiguan on Sat 15 Nov 2003 for a one week stay. I had booked the trip as a surprise for my wifes birthday and must say that when I read the reviews on this site I was tempted to rearrange the accomodation. Needless to say we didn't and below is what we found from arrival to departure;

Arrived 7pm Sat a warm welcome, friendly staff and a fruit/rum punch on the house from a well dressed waiter whilst we waited in line to check in.

Arrived in our room and within 5 minutes our cases arrived from the bellhop downstairs, friendly smile and a wish for a pleasant stay.

The room was very clean, tidy and spacious.The T.V was new and the views were breathtaking.We had paid on booking to upgrade to a bay view and I would strongly reccomend that you do this.It provided the family with a balcony with a view over the bay and sea and it was fantastic to see the cruise ships come in early morning as the sun rose and even better to watch them sail out at night with all there lights a glow.

We were not all inclusive so used the room service menu on more than one occasion and found the quality of food superb, the service fast and efficient and the price was reasonable.

The beach is very nice with all the non motorised watersports free to ALL hotel guests this includes kayaks,paddle boats,snorkelling gear ,sail boats etc.

The beach touts are a friendly bunch and we did not find any of them to be overbearing just friendly. They obviously have a job to do and familys to feed but a lot of the negative feedback on this site is totally unjustified by my experience.

Taxis are expensive if you travel from the Hotel. Do what we did and walk to the end of the Hotel bearing right at the barrier and along the tennis courts. After a short walk up the hill you will see a blue brick shelter. Catch the bus from this point all the way into St Johns the town centre for the cost of $1.00 dollar U.S. You will meet Charlotte there who sells ice cold drinks,pass the time of day with her while you wait for the bus she is a really nice lady.

There is a KFC in the town which pleased my eight year old son no end.
Food is also reasonably priced here and if you are room only like us it pays to take the short trip out for lunch.

In closing we all had a fantastic holiday at the Royal Antiguan. It is a clean,friendly hotel set in fantastic surroundings. You will find a lot of negative comments on this site about this hotel along with a few good ones. Just remember that some people will always try and find fault with a holiday that has cost them thousands of pounds. Perhaps that is why we were so pleased overall, with the late getaway it cost less than a thousand pounds for the whole family for a week. If I had paid the same as some of the guests in the hotel perhaps my opinion would be different.

PLEASE REMEMBER THIS.

Antigua is a third world country, the people that live, there in their shanty huts for houses, do not have a very good standard of living but what they do have is a fantastic smile, a pleasantness that is very addictive and a FANTASTIC way of life.

Enjoy your stay there!!!

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348 - 354 of 396 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, Ontario
26
Reviewed November 12, 2003

This hotel is so close to being a good deal and a reasonable place to stay but it seems like they just don't get it or care. The rooms are a good size and clean but you spend a lot of time fighting to get bath towels. There aren't enough to go around so they take them away in the morning to wash them and you never know when or if you'll get them back. One night we didn't get them until after 7:00 PM and then we only got them because I called the duty manager!

The Andes restaurant is nice and right on the water, I would eat there even if I wasn't staying at the hotel. If you are on the all inclusive eat at Barringtons when Andes is closed, except for two dishes it doesn't cost anything extra.

I would never recommend eating the main restaurant. The flies are disgusting. You spend most of your time trying to keep them away so you can eat and try not to think about the fact that they were on your food before you got there.

if the hotel invested in new towels, got rid of the flies and reopened the swim up bar it wouldn't be a bad place but as it is I wouldn't stay there again.

  • Stayed: November 2003
    • Value
    • Rooms
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A TripAdvisor Member
London, UK
1
Reviewed October 29, 2003

This is such a shame. I went to the Royal Antiguan back in 1994 when it was a 5* hotel and had the most wonderful trip. I'm going there for a week next year and I can only hope things will have improved by then.
It's a pity that such a wonderful hotel (as it was then) appears to have deteriorated so badly.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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    • Rooms
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A TripAdvisor Member
wokigham, england
1
Reviewed October 29, 2003

well i read the reports thought it cant be that bad but BOY was i wrong booked in on 8/10/2003 booked out 9/10/2003 it looks like a old version of Butlins we tryied to check in but all they where doing was answering the phones when we got to the room it was dirty, water on floor fron a/c, no lock on balcony door bathroom was dirty and rust and hair in bath At the welcoming meeting they used the nightclub room well what a STINK smelled of bad damp also water running on floor in reception The staff dont know what they are doing they even as I checked out gave me someone else Cridit Card reciept This hotel is past it sell bv date would not recommend it to any one

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A TripAdvisor Member
435
Reviewed October 24, 2003

I stayed at the Royal Antiguan in October 2003 and had read the negative reviews on this site before I went so was prepared for the worst. I was however, very happy with the room only stay there and will certainly be going back. I spent one night in a standard room facing the boring looking (unless you are a goat) hill out back, but a water leak meant I was transferred to an Oceanview room at the front (as were two other people I bumped into). Both the rooms I stayed in were very clean, large and comfortable and we of course preferred the front room!
The rooms were not completely perfect and both had one or two broken away tiles in the bathrooms, one TV was a bit old, and my fridge had seen better days, but frankly I didn't care about those things. It was all spotlessly clean, in working order and those were the main things.
If I had wanted perfection I would have been prepared to spend four or five star money (as I have done in the past) and then would have been justifiably annoyed if my fridge wobbled! I found (with one exception - and is that exception not to be expected any place, anywhere in the world) the staff to be pleasant, friendly, chatty and very helpful indeed. The staff in fact helped to make my stay as enjoyable as it was (no I am not being paid for this review!). The beach was generally clean and fun. A couple of the local hawkers were a bit overly persistent (hence the strong security presence on the beach as everywhere else) but they did get the message when told politely but firmly not to bother. I enjoyed talking with some other of the hawkers and vendors who were very pleasant and did buy some of their stuff (including a great value day trip from a guy called Joseph). In fact the assortment of various people on the hotel end of the beach (many local vendors and watersport people) made it more fun and stopped any beach-boredom setting in. The other end of the beach was empty if you wanted a bit of solitude. The hotel was a bit remote from town but there is a local bus service from a nearby village and St John is not so far away. I enjoyed the food at Andes and ate at Barringtons once. I would prefer to do room only again as personally don't eat or drink enough to make all inclusive worthwhile. Also it was nice to go 'off resort' into town to eat sometimes. With the execption of the live musical acts (all excellent) the evening entertainment was a bit limited and I didn't really like the dark casino setting. When the entertainment was in the lobby there was more atmosphere and people. A bit more open-air seating for drinking in the evening wouldn't have gone amiss either. However in summary, I considered the hotel to be good value for money, friendly and providing nearly all we needed for that type of holiday, hence we enjoyed ourselves there very much and shall be returning.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Devon,England
11
Reviewed October 21, 2003

We spent a whole year saving for what should have been a dream holiday only to spend the entire 2 weeks falling out with the staff and management of this hotel.We had a group of 14 on an all inclusive package. All 5 of our rooms had to be changed on arrival because they were disgusting. There is no entertainment to speak of at night just one inside bar where you sit(If you are lucky enough to get a seat) Hot because the air conditioning does not work. And waiting sometimes 1/2 hour to get a drink because they dont have enough staff. The swim up poll bar (Shown in the brochure) is shut,I have photos to prove it even though Virgin deny it. The staff will not serve you in the pool, you have to get out. We went end of July 2003 and have just recieved compensation of £600 per family from Virgin because it was so disappointing. 99% of people staying at that hotel that we spoke to(Mostly english but some Americans)where also unhappy. So if you are thinking of booking to go here dont. The staff are rude and ignorent. You cant get a booking at Barringtons(the posh restaurant) unless you are willing to bribe the staff.There is nothing to do of an evening and during the day there are no kids activities.All you do is sunbathe by the pool or on the beach. BORING BORING BORING.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Cheltenham, UK
12
Reviewed October 15, 2003

Myself and partner have just returned from a 2 week stay at this resort. After reading previous reviews, we went with an open mind but expected the worst!. On arrival, the first thing you notice is that the complex is on it's own and fairly remote. There is also a big emphasis on security which was unexpected. The room was a decent size, and we had upgraded to a Bay View Room. I would recommend upgrading the room just for the view alone. The bog standard rooms do look directly at a hill which is only metres away and does give you a claustrophobic feeling!. The rooms could do with updating even if just with a lick of paint. The Air con was very noisy and even made a constant noise when not being used - very annoying during the night!. The fridge also liked to make a rather loud noise at regular intervals, but overall the room was easily liveable for 2 weeks. Nothing special but then nothing to ruin your holiday with. The food was excellent. Breakfast (buffet)- there was something for everyone. Lunch - lovely setting at Andes on the beach. Andes has a set menu but the food was excellent. Evening (buffet) - again excellent and with a lovely candlelight setting.
Optional evening choice of either Andes (set menu again) or A la Carte Barringtons was available. We went to Barringtons once - which gives you a set menu 5 course dinner which was fantastic. Again lovely candlelight setting with music!. Pool - excellent. A nice size pool with sunshine all day. Swim up bar and daily pool activities for those interested. The beach - again lovely. Clear sea in a calm bay, excellent for snorkelling etc. Only problem we had with this - and SHOULD BE POINTED OUT - all water sports are run by locals who don't work directly for the hotel!. And they were only interested if you were willing to pay them to do additional (non all inclusive)activities.
Some were fine and happy if you just say a "no thankyou" but there were others that were very rude, especially to females. One guy was arrested 4 times during our stay but still managed to keep getting back into the complex and he seemed to walk around the hotel most afternoons swearing and abusing anyone!. We did participate in couple of free activities as mentioned but they did make it known to us that we were wasting their time!. Entertainment - this could do with some development. There was live entertainment but apart from the excellent steel band, and bands that played in the club - other entertainers didn't seem interested in being there in the first place!. Some nights were a bit dead because of this, but that doesn't stop you enjoying the casino or even taking drinks back to your room!

OVERALL - You pay for what you get. It isn't a five star resort and your not paying for one. Refurbishments are required quickly to improve its image. Apart from the beach workers we found all members of staff to be very friendly as long as your not rude to them and the complex is in a fabulous location. If your looking for a lively holiday this isn't it. The food is excellent although the holiday will also get expensive if your not All Inclusive as it is pricey if on a Room Only basis as you have no other restaurants etc within a reasonable distance. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a cheap caribbean holiday, All Inclusive is a must with at least a bay view room. It is an excellent place to just go and chill.

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Additional Information about Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Resort

Address: Five Islands, Deep Bay, St. John's, St. John's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Price Range: $150 - $600 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 250
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Also Known As:
Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Hotel St. John`s
Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Resort Antigua/Saint John Parish

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