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Reviewed February 5, 2012

Okay......so here is the TRUTH about Sandals Grande Antigua....it is AMAZING!! We cannot say enough about this gorgeous resort on this splendid island. The resort looks exactly like the pictures on the Sandals site. It is immaculately clean and well groomed. The staff, almost without exception (there's bound to be one in every bunch who is having a bad day) is so pleasant and eager to make your stay the best it can possibly be, and they do! If you want to go somewhere to relax, be guaranteed awesome weather, wake up to birds singing through your bathroom window every morning (they don't wake you up, but when you get up, you hear them) and be totally pampered and just have a blast, then this is the resort for you. Don't believe ANY of the negative reviews. I read a lot of reviews before booking and my travel agent assured me that there will always be negative nellies who have nothing better to do than complain. If you can't be totally happy and satisfied with a week or two at this resort, then you have a REAL problem. There is so much choice in what to do....you can be as busy or as lazy as you please. There is always something to do and at the same time, there are always lots of great little nooks to escape to with your partner to just be alone. Sandals does not cheap out, on anything. Upon arrival, you are greeted with cool and awesome smelling towels to cool down after your long travel day. It starts out with a bang, and it just keeps getting better and better!

There will always be little things that don't go exactly as planned, but our experience was that if something was not right, Sandals quickly rectified it. I had been looking forward to perhaps being treated to some flowers or something special for our 25th, but they have lots of people celebrating milestones and they can't get to them all. We did meet couples (not in butler suites either) who had been treated to drawn baths surrounded by flowers. We heard of some people receiving upgrades to their rooms without even asking too, but we loved our room and there was no need to complain. We loved the Mediterranean side, but the Caribbean Grove oozes Antiguan charm and there are pluses to both areas. The Med pool is soooo much fun. The only thing that could be improved upon would be to have more pool mats available or for someone to tell guests who take the mats out of the pool to save for their own use throughout the day, not to. This of course is not even the resort's fault....it is just a few rude people who think they should just keep them for themselves....but no biggie. A butler level suite is good in that then you have your spots reserved for the day at the beach and/or the pool and that would be a really nice perk. We loved the beach and the pool areas equally. The pools are spotlessly clean and so is the beach! It's just pure white sand and turqoise blue water.

The food at Sandals is outstanding! So much choice. It is very flavourful and there is a lot of variety. The breakfasts are amazing. If you go, make sure to have one of the omelette ladies make you one.....to die for! The pizzas are delicious too. Eleanor's and Kimono's were fabulous. But we also loved Mario's, Barefoot by the Sea and Bayside. Service was wonderful in Mario's. It is extremely well run and efficient.

Our 25th trip was amazing and we would recommend this resort to anyone. If we could afford to, we would go back in a heartbeat! Sandals exceeded our expecations and our expectations were high! From start to finish, it was simply the vacation of a lifetime. Some memorable employees were Althea and Gavin at the main pool bar, Matara at the front desk (Med side) and Christina, the manager of the Caribbean side. But all of the employees were great and they really make your experience spectacular. You are treated like royalty. Well done Sanals Grande Antigua!!

Room Tip: The view is awesome from higher floors in the Cypress Tower. We had asked to be as high up as possible at booking time, but we ended up on only the 4th floor, but it was still great. We would have loved to have been up higher to get an even better view. There are no mosquitos when you are out on your patio in the tower.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank ssk2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 5, 2012

I work overseas and my wife has been working hard taking care of our 1 Yr. Old. It was time to get out and take a proper vacation. Sandals was just what we both needed. From when we arrived to when we departed it was nothing but relax and enjoy yourself. The staff was friendly and the grounds were maticulously maintained. The food was excellent. Slightly repetative, but hey...it's all-inclusive. The activities made available were numerous and fun. The resort did a great job at trying to get people involved with games and other entertainment. The assortment of liquor and beer was also great for an all-inclusive. The only thing I would change is...WHEN we go back to a Sandals (or Beaches with our son), I would spend less on the nicer room and get something less fancy to save some money. For the amount of time we spent in the room, it was not worth the extra money we spent for it.

Overall, we loved it and will definately return. If not to a sandals by ourselves, then to a Beaches with our son!

Room Tip: If you want Ocean view, get ABOVE the second floor in the Med. Village. Otherwise, save money and get a ordinary room.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank William M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 5, 2012

We spent a week at Sandals Antigua in Jan 2012. It was our second Sandals vacation - our first being our honeymoon 16 years ago to Sandals St. Lucia. Our goal in going on this vacation was to do nothing other than relax. We came on the trip well equipped - with several books to read and the expectation that we would have to do absolutely nothing for a week. Sandals Antigua was the perfect destination for meeting our expectations. From the moment we entered the resort we did not have to think about a thing. We spent most of the week not knowing what time it was.....truely relaxing in a beautiful paradise.
We choose to stay on the Caribbean side since we prefer the quaint, lush garden setting to the more hotel feel of the Mediterranean side. We were politely upgraded to a room in the 100 block which had a pretty view of the ocean from a small balcony. Our maid service was great, the room was bright and the birds singing woke us up each morning.
Dining at Sandals Antigua was great as well. Sushi at Kimono's was great (and you don't need a reservation for just sushi), pork tenderloin at Eleanor's was delicious, antipasto buffet at Mario's could be a meal itself, OK Corral was just ok (skip it if you are short on nights). Ate lunch at Barefoot by the Sea and were actually barefoot! Recommend Cricketers if you have a craving for wings or anything fried. Pizza is fabulous and if you ask nicely they will use special toppings if they are available. We found the breakfast buffet wonderful with lots of fresh fruit, great oatmeal and fresh eggs. We preferred the Bayside restaurant because we could get a table right on the beach - what a way to start the day! Cafe Paris was good for a quick drop in sweet fix anytime of day.
Drinks at Sandals are second to none. Bartenders will honestly pour you any amount and any combination of beverage you can imagine - all with a smile on their face.
We did get up early each morning to secure chairs either on the beach or at one of the pools. The Carribbean pool provides a quieter atmosphere than the main pool, but we enjoyed a few days at both. The beach is beautiful, with soft white sand and gorgeous turquoise water.
We did snorkel one day and took a Hobie cat on a short trip, however, most of our trip was spent reading, eating, drinking, and relaxing. In other words, our trip was perfect.
In response to other reviews I read before our trip I can say the following: Sandals resort staff were very pleasant and accommodating, beach vendors are not a big hassle, didn't get bit by one bug, cats on the property are no bother to guests (unless you choose to play with them as we did).
Sandals Antigua was a wonderful choice of destinations for our much needed relaxing vacation. We have vowed to not wait 16 years to return to paradise.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Christina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 5, 2012

Great resort. Usual complaints about limited seating at main pool but there are many small pools. Many people leave towels on seats for hours. Ask staff and they will remove. Great staff and food. However, be sure to book restaurants early as some close on specific days. If you ask when you get there you won't be disappointed. I have no complaints with this resort and the staff are the best. I have one complaint about the wines. Not much selection in the all inclusive but if you pay for a bottle you have more options.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Richard F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed February 5, 2012

Everything was just what we wanted and expected. A real paradise with great food.
Although every resort has people getting up early and reserving chairs with their towels I have never seen it as bad as here. We walked around the pool deck one night and chairs were already reserserved for the next morning. I had accidentally left behind a bottle of sunscreen one day and it reappeared a few days later in the butlers "bag of props". They put out towels for their guests and add something personal. Except it is not!
My one peace of advice is to stay on the Mediterranean side or make sure your caribbean side room has been renovated. We did hear on couple talking about the state of heir room on the car side. Not at all like our wonderful one on the med side.

Room Tip: Stay med side or renovated Caribbean side.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank vickip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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