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Galley Bay Resort & Spa
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Reviews (3,454)
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2,147 - 2,152 of 3,454 reviews
Reviewed February 7, 2013

The beach at this resort is wonderful and the sea is great, lovely and warm but unfortunately the red flag flew for a couple of days. Plenty of water sports available but very few takers.

We had a lovely beach front room that we could not fault, comfortable bed, great storage but the lovely huge shower cubicle needed more power to the shower. Balconies with seating both at the front and back was very much appreciated.

The drinks served at the bars were of a high standard but more staff needed at the Tee Pee bar at busy times.

The food in the restaurants was a bit hit and miss and sometimes service at breakfast was a bit slow. Full marks go to the Barefoot Grill where you could go straight from the beach and enjoy a very tasty snack served with a smile. This was an inspired idea on behalf of the management.

Room Tip: The rooms at the extremities of the resort are a long way away from the bars and dining room.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank HandT19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2013

My wife and I just returned from a six day holiday vacation at Galley Bay Resort and Spa in Antigua. We were very satisfied. The place is billed as it should be, a five star, all inclusive, adults only, beach resort.
The positives:
The setting. Our room looked directly out to the Caribbean Sea. We could hear and see the sea from our king size bed. In the early am, i could step out on our patio and walk steps to the sea.
Magnificent, especially for a beach lover.
The room was large, the bathroom huge (the size of a standard hotel room). Maintenance was very good, except on Saturday, a transition day, when the room was not cleaned until 4 pm.
The beach is outstanding.
The help was very good. Unlike all inclusive resorts we have been to in Mexico, no one had his or her hand out seeking additional tips (given that gratuities were included in the all inclusive price).
There is beautifully set tennis court. We played morning and late afternoon.
Bikes are provided. We cycled and took two short road trips. We also took a Hobie cat joyride with one of the beachfront water sports staff. We also took out a kayak.
The negatives:
The food was so-so. Breakfast was particularly weak. Pretty much the same choices, day in and day out. There was a small buffet that never varied, scrambled eggs, juices, breads, bagels fruit. The fruit did not change. You can also order kitchen cooked omelettes, pancakes and the like. At other all inclusive resorts, there was a far greater variety at breakfast, and we got served coffee quickly.
Lunch at the Grill was the best meal. You placed your order, wait 10 minutes and get a piping hot, freshly cooked, grilled cajun fish, burger or chicken. The setting for the grill was great. You sit at tables with umbrellas with your feet in the sand and look at the sea. What could be better?
Dinner was iffy, depending upon where you chose to dine. There are three choices, but effectively only two because one, Ismay's, charges a $35 per person premium, a price we declined to pay. So, that leaves you with eating either at the main restaurant, the Sea Grape or the smaller (but better) auxiliary restaurant, Gaugain's.
The first night at the main restaurant, both of our dinners came out tepid warm. We told this to the waitress, who said the dishes would be freshly cooked again, not reheated in a microwave. 10 minutes later, she returned with two new dishes. And guess what, they were tepid a second time!
Our experience at Gaugain's was far better. Perhaps due to its smaller size, the food came out fresh and hot, and the service was far better. They also would customize the dishes for you. There was always something vegetarian on the menu, and frequently both of the soups would be vegetarian. There was always fresh fish, interestingly prepared.
Finally, in sum, it was a very nice stay. But i must mention that the resort is quiet. There is no nighttime entertainment. No planned activities. It's a great place for a break of pace from active city life. A beautiful setting, but if you are looking for action, look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank tennismannyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

Stayed in a premium beach front room in January for 10 nights. The room was beautiful...loved being on the beach, steps from the water. Staff was always friendly and any needs were met quickly. Very relaxing stay, like not having to deal with crowds. Food was always good, enjoyed the BBQ and the managers cocktail party. The managers made sure to speak with as many guests as possible. The property was beautifully maintained. Had to go to a nearby resort for a pick up for an excursion and the difference in the standards were immediately obvious...we had chosen well!! Views were amazing, from the room as well as while dining. Would love to go back.

Room Tip: Premium beach front suite well worth the cost
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Denise W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

We have just returned after two weeks at Galley Bay and this is one of the most difficult reviews that I have ever written. The reason for this is that there is so much to like at Galley Bay, but there are also issues with it.

Our arrival was the first problem. Before we left the UK I had used the form on their website to request a booking at Ismay’s for the Monday evening to celebrate my birthday. When we arrived, and upon asking about this, I was told that this wasn’t possible because Ismay’s is used for the repeaters dinner on Monday evenings. Black mark number one, not because of the situation, but because they didn't bother to let me know and therefore didn't manage my expectations. The second issue was the check-in procedure which was tortuous after travelling for about 16 hours. You are bombarded with bits of paper to sign about the vast array of rules and regulations when all you really want to do is get to your room and onto the beach and the bar. This could be improved enormously because it really didn’t create a good impression at all.

The next disappointment was our room – a superior beachfront. This turned out to be very small with a grotty bathroom – broken and rusty toilet fittings and a shower curtain. I haven’t seen one of these in a hotel for years. The wardrobe is in the bathroom and so when you shower, your clothes get damp. The shower itself lacked any water pressure so was just a dribble. No WiFi in the room either. We contacted Andre from Virgin Holidays to see about an upgrade but as the hotel was full this wasn’t possible. To be fair, we had booked this room, but it isn’t clear from either the hotel website or the VH brochure about the size. We spent 7 nights here before we did get an upgrade, free of charge, to a premium beachfront apartment which did have WiFi and was much better. Thanks to Andre for his efforts with this.

The other main issue with Galley Bay is the inconsistency of the food, mainly in the Sea Grape restaurant. Ismay’s (which we tried for 3 nights) and the Barefoot Grill, were both fine. We tried the Gaugin once for lunch and it was OK. I wouldn’t have gone there in the evening because I suspect you would be bitten to death. The Sea Grape was the main restaurant for breakfast and dinner.

The food for breakfast was OK and as expected – good fresh fruit and reasonable choice if you wanted anything hot. The big issue concerned the tea and coffee which is brought in plastic thermo-jugs. If you want tea, you get hot water and use the teabags in a mug. The trouble is that they use the same jugs for both tea and coffee and so the tea tasted of coffee most of the time, making it undrinkable. We tried the coffee one morning and it was very bitter and not to our liking at all.

Dinner could be a very hit and miss affair, ranging from good (the lobster is worth the extra charge), just OK to pretty awful. The Thursday BBQ night is the worst – a complete waste of time. We love fish and found that sometimes the fish dishes were alright, but often it was over-cooked and had gone cold by the time it reached us. Desserts were mostly disappointing – coconut ice cream that had no taste and lime sorbet which was bright green and also tasteless. Compared to our holiday at Colony Club Barbados last year the food and drinks at Galley Bay were disappointing.

Service was another issue at the Sea Grape. Some evenings the water was virtually thrown at us so that it spilt everywhere. Sometimes we were in and out in under an hour (20 minutes on BBQ night) and sometimes we were nearly 2 hours. All in all, dinner was not up to scratch for the price we paid.

Access to WiFi, or rather the lack of it, was a big issue for us as business owners. It was supposed to be available in the TeePee Bar but we never found that it was. Our first room didn’t have it at all and so we had to use the library. However, even in here, the access was ‘flakey’ at best. Our second room did have WiFi but again, it was ‘flakey’.

However, as I said, there is much to like about Galley Bay. The setting is superb – I doubt you’d find a better beach anywhere. We had some red flag days but that didn’t spoil things. You aren’t bothered by beach vendors much, unlike some other resorts we have been to. The wildlife is also great with interesting birds and tree lizards to watch. The gardens were also nice. The lagoon is full of fish and they will supply fishing gear if you want to have a go. There were several dedicated anglers there during our stay and so it’s clearly quite an attraction.

In addition, the majority of the staff really do want you to have a good holiday – some can be a little surly, but mostly they were very good. We were extremely happy with our upgraded room, and when we had a problem with a leaking pipe in the second room we were given a free spa treatment to make up for the inconvenience. The housekeeping team were very good.

That’s why this is a difficult review to write – there is good, but then not so good with Galley Bay. All of the issues we found are pretty easy to fix and so Galley Bay could easily go from average to excellent with very little effort. We certainly did have a very relaxing time and enjoyed our holiday, but it could have been better for us, and I doubt that we will return. Galley Bay clearly does have a lot of fans and a lot of repeat visitors, so maybe it’s just us.

Room Tip: Avoid the superior beachfront rooms.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank SpaldingOxon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

We went back to the Caribbean after a gap of several years with the hope that our holiday would be far better than the some of the "average" Caribbean holidays of the past. We did some research and soon sorted out that Galley Bay looked on paper that it would be ideal for a couple of quietly ageing Lotus eaters.........and so it proved.

From the moment the car came through the gates and dropped us off at the busy reception area
I thought this is different. The reception staff cooly helped arrivng and departing guests simultanously with a calm ease of staff who know what they are doing and have everything under control. This was repeated all the way to our beachfront room by helpful and interesting staff who talked about Antigua and Galley Bay with obvious pride.......it gets better

A comfortable, well furnished and large beach facing room awaited us. Even better everything worked and continued to work faultlessly for the whole holiday, something of a first for us on a Caribbean holiday. After a long flight it was a joy to walk along the long curve of the beach and walk in the grounds which were well tended and amazing for their diversity of plants and animals.

We arrived at the bar before supper and were delighted to find it well stocked and well staffed by smiling people who know how to look after a parched traveller. On to the restaurant and more happiness awaited. A proper restaurant with full service and a menu of choice put together by a chef who understood the diverse tastes of the guests. The quality of the food both in prepararion and presentation was much appreciated by all. The wines offered both red and white were of a good quality and a fair choice.

We woke the following morning to see the first of the daily ration of cruise liners steaming through the heads into St Johns, it became a morning ritual for the holiday sitting on the beach with the camera, as were my attempts to photgraph the humming birds in the bougainvillea bushes....a wonderful time waster.

After a calorie fueled breakfast (not to be missed) and a swim in the pool and a morning lazing on a lounger it was time for lunch. Slip away along the beach to the little rustic restuarant at the southern edge of the grounds, The food there has more than a nod to local produce and cooking style, the locally caught fish is particalaly good.

If you want escape the cold and the snow as we did in January and have your mind untangled by
a combination of sun, beaches, good food and wine, comfortable rooms at a well run and managed hotel with smiling, well trained and helpful staff, Galley Bay should be well to the top of your choice of hotels. Having found it we are certainly going back.

Room Tip: Go for a room towards the north end of the beach, quieter end and the walk to the bar will be part of your exercise for the day
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank SandyBeach76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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