Does anyone have any information on the new Royalton Antigua? Did the construction ever start? Is it on track to open this year? I can't seem to find any information about it anywhere.
Thank you feeling groovy that would be really good. I usually like to book my holiday in January as I usually find the prices are slightly better in the January sale. If the Royalton is open I'd like to try it but I don't know whether it is too much of a risk to book if it doesn't open. I realise that by booking with Virgin Holidays or a similar company in the UK the holiday is ATOL Protected and therefore they will probably be able to place us in a hotel of a similar calibre if it doesn't open but then you are placed in a hotel which is not somewhere of your own choice necessarily so I would be anxious about this.
Certainly everything I have read so far has suggested that the Royalton is due to open in February/March. If it is open sooner than that I would have no hesitation in booking for June.
Also, I should add that earlier this year we went to Barbados and we were faced with serious issues with Sargassum seaweed. The whole two weeks we were there we were unable to swim in the sea at our resort due to reddish brown thick seaweed washing up daily (sometimes you would wake up and look out of the balcony and around 4ft/5ft of seaweed had washed up overnight). I realise nobody can predict when and where this will happen but it does seem to have it's hotspots and I just wondered whether Deep Bay is affected in this way. I have seen in another topic that Antigua has had issues with this this year. I realise you can never be certain but we would ideally like to avoid the same situation next year as we paid quite a bit for the holiday and as beach lovers one of the main reasons we chose Barbados was for the beautiful beaches. It wasn't pleasant sunbathing with the smell of petrol fumes from tractors and rotten eggs from the Sargassum, especially when eating in the beach front restaurants. Not to mention the fact that we love to swim and snorkel and were only able to do this when we visited the hotel's sister hotel on the West Coast and on other excursions.
I therefore just wondered if it is similar in Antigua and whether there are certain hotspots for Sargassum.
The Royalton is on the west coast, and the entrance to Deep Bay faces due west, so there would have to be some pretty extraordinary weather/current patterns for it to be affected by Sargassum.
The places that are usually hit are St James's Club (has had to close on several occasions in recent years because of a weed influx. Pineapple Beach Club has been affected, and I'd be wary about the new Hodges Bay Club location at times as well.
As per my other post - stick to the west coast and you should be fine. Bear in mind also that the time of year makes a big difference, with the problem being far worse during the early summer months.
Thank you Mizgeorge. Yes we did travel in June so perhaps it was bad timing.
I had looked at Pineapple Beach too so it's good to know that this is on a side of the island which is affected by Sargassum at times.
Ideally we are hoping to book Royalton Antigua but all just depends on whether it opens or not. We could possibly travel in early July as opposed to June I guess but we try to avoid August - November due to the hurricane season. Whilst June and July are still technically hurricane season we have always had good weather at this time, albeit with some tropical rain at times.
It looks like all travel websites now only allow booking starting 05/01/2019. Is this an indication that the hotel will not be open before 05/01?
I have a reservation for mid April booked directly with Royalton Resorts. I have not received any cancellation email yet. I called Royalton reservation hotline to inquire about this. The rep confirmed that he couldn't make a reservation prior to 05/01 either, but said his system still says that it will be open on 02/15/19.
Can someone with connection to the resort please confirm the opening date? Just want a head-ups so I can re-plan my vacation.
Virgin Holidays in the UK are not taking bookings until June. I emailed their rep in Antigua having seen that the hotel was due to open in Feb/March and they said that it is on schedule to open as planned in June. It’s just all a bit misleading. I’d really like to book if it is open but maybe too risky that it may not be.
I also haven’t seen any photos that show any kind of swimming pool save for swim ups. There must be a swimming pool I guess but I haven’t seen any evidence of this. We prefer the beach but it is nice to have the option of a pool as last year we went to Barbados and the beach was hit with terrible Sargassum seaweed, we couldn’t swim at all and had there not been a pool we wouldn’t have had anywhere to swim or cool off.
On a related note, if I have to cancel my flights because the resort is not open on time, will the travel insurance companies considered this to be a covered reason for trip cancellation? I have IMG Travel SE travel insurance plan. Their customer service line is not open on the weekend. Thanks.
Hey John, try looking up your trip insurance website, it probably has info. Also, search your mail inbox for the documents you were probably sent when you booked your flights. If you pm me your email address, i will send you the pics I took. They're not great, I didn't take any as I was walking through the construction site as I didn't want to look like a spy. But I got some from the hilltop overlooking the area and the front gate. It looks like they are planning on building a waterpark there too. Absolutely crazy. It's such a beautiful. mostly unspoiled natural area right now. If you can cancel your reservation and get your money back, I would. It will surely still be a construction zone there. You can probably find a nice stand alone Villa on Airbnb and still have enough money to dine out. Pm me if you want any help doing that.
It looks like all the travel sites have taken down availability through April. Has anyone heard anything? We are booked for April and I feel like I should make alternate reservations.
@feelinggroovy Thank you. I am looking for an alternative all-inclusive resort right now. Our Royalton reservation is not prepaid, so I can cancel anytime. The only issue is with the airplane tickets if I decide not to go to Antigua.