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“week away from it all” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #4 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“week away from it all”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

There wasn't a single negative about this locale. We have stayed here before and will be back. The staff is very friendly and helpful and Melville at check-in was great. The beach is beautiful and the food was very good Mario's is my favorite and Elanor's is second. Well worth the price.

Room Tip: Try the Oleander block.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank tuxch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Maine
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2012

We visited Sandals Grande Antigua in March 2012 and had a great time overall. We were in the Ixoria building on the Caribbean Grove side which was recently refurbished. It was set back from the beach and had a garden type view, but the ocean was also visible. We loved the Caribbean feel and beautiful foliage on this side – very quiet and relaxing. Health club was quite impressive for a “Caribbean resort” work out facility.
The beach is absolutely beautiful just as you see in everyone’s photos. It is a great spot to go running in the morning as well as walks during the day. Yes, there are vendors but a quick ‘no thank you’ and they are on their way. After a couple of days they will not even ask you to buy anything. We stayed at the beach each day with a trip to the pool bars after lunch. Grabbing beach chairs around 9 or 10:00 each morning was not a problem and the resort was 100% full.
Bayside –breakfast was fairly typical, but has a good variety each day.
OK Corral- does breakfast a la carte and is usually not crowded. There is a small snack/sandwich type spot – Courtyard Bistro just next to Bayside. It was fun to get nachos or other snacks to bring to the beach bar and watch the sunsets.
Marios – probably our best dinners, we went their twice. Great filet mignon one night and very nice salad/appetizer bar.
Eleanors – Good food, tables were fairly close together though. Definitely not as nice as we expected. We each had the lobster tail and it was nothing special.
Kimonos – Very fun night. I would suggest doing this early on your trip as you can meet other nice couples. Great show and good food – chef was very entertaining.
Bayside – Different dinner theme each night so pay attention to the daily news letter. We went on ‘spices’ night (I think…) and had very good sea food and chicken.
Café de Paris – Great place to grab a small desert and coffee after dinner – great cheese cake.
Cricketers – Never ate here, but went each night after dinner for beverages. Great time to sit and relax and chat with the bartenders – great people and great service.
Barefoot – We went for lunch each day and loved it. Great setting - feet in the sand, great views. Loved the jerk chicken and jerk pork.
Overall, this is a great place for a relaxing vacation with a beautiful beach and pools. The staff were great – just smile and treat them nicely and they will do the same. We will recommend this Sandals to all of our friends.
Tips: Try to avoid departing on a Sunday from the Antigua airport, especially on United. The airline check-in, immigration, wait areas, etc are just not large enough for the number of people leaving around 1 or 2:00 on a Sunday. It is a very slow and painful departure process.
Do the sunset cruise offered by Sandals. It is one of the yellow catamarans you will see in the mornings, but just for Sandals couples so the boat is not very crowded. It only happens on Fridays. There is a Sandals person taking a video of the cruise – very cheap, $30 or so. Let him know you will buy one and he will take more video of the two of you.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank acyork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albany
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2012

My wife and I shared our first Sandals experience in Antigua on April 9-16. We decided on Antigua because of an influx of very positive reviews at the time of us making our final decision on location, as well as wanting to experience the all-inclusive atmosphere. I speak for both of us when I say that there is not one element that could've made our week in "Paradise" more relaxing and enjoyable. Now knowing what the experience was like, it baffles us when we returned home to NY and read through a number of recently posted negative reviews. All we can testify to were very favorable interactions with the staff. They truly appeared to go "above and beyond" in order to make your Sandals experience a great one. The accommodations (we stayed in the Med. Village) were absolutely perfect. Very clean rooms that were made up/down twice every day and our mini-bar was stocked daily w/local beers, champagne, and wine. Transportation to/from the airport was approx. 15 minutes, very smooth and although upon checking in we had to wait an hour for our room to be ready, we were directed to multiple locations to grab some lunch and cocktails while we waited. The pool was indeed the hotspot for daily lounging. We made our way to the pool after breakfast a few days and had no issues grabbing lounge chairs. People do indeed snatch them up by reserving them w/towells fairly early but as long as you're not planning to stroll down to the pool expecting prime lounge chairs at Noon, you're fine. The beach was beautiful w/many different options for activities. The locals will indeed come to talk to you but if you are truly not interested, a simple "No thanks" sends them on their way. They are very friendly and simply trying to make a buck. Security is posted along the beach 24 hours which makes one feel very safe although I believe the primary reason is to keep non-Sandals guests from entering the grounds. Food! Food was good, by no means bad, by no means superb. Mario's and Eleanor's were the best, although I had what I deemed my "favorite" meal at OK Corral (a New York steak)-it was excellent. Kimono's was a lot of fun, and I was surprised that the sushi was as good as it was-for whatever reasons, my excpectations were not the highest but I was more than pleased! There was a lot of nightly entertainment, live music, dancing, etc.

If I was asked to provide a "warning" regarding any aspect, I'd mention that on one day, we decided to take a cab into town (Heritage Quay) to walk around, shop, eat local, etc. Although we eventaully did make it to the downtown area, it was not before we were coerced into taking a "mini-tour" of the island by our cabbie. This tour at first was great (always nice to see the island off resort) but soon became long, well off the beaten path, and what eventaully became far more expensive than we thought. Suggestion: if you're taking a cab to a specific area, be very specific that THAT is the only area you'd like to go and have no desire to go on a 2+ hour, $75+ adventure around the perimeter of the island!

I would undoubtedly recommend Sandals Antigua to anyone considering an all-inclusive in the Caribbean. It was ideal for us, in our early 30's looking to relax, tun off all electronics, forget about time, and soak in the Caribbean sun.

Room Tip: Med. Village was much more hotel feel while the Caribbean side was more relaxed and "beachy&quo...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank strangefolk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2012

This was our second trip to a Sandals property, the first being to Negril last spring. We are beach people and choose our destination largely based on its beach. The beach at Antigua is absolutely stunning. Throughout our stay we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the water and the striking contrasts between sand, water, and sky. So, needless to say we loved the location. You can take long walks in either direction, something we did each day. Turning left from the resort leads to a long uninhabited stretch that may be the most pristine beach we've ever seen. The beach and water made this trip truly worthwhile for us. So, a large portion of each day we spent just taking it in.

Beach loungers were never a problem, despite what I'd read. You might not get a shade or shelter but we found we moved outside of every one we started with anyway. We had no problem at all with mosquitos, even in the evening. The beach vendors were a little too constant but always polite. A simple "no, thanks" was enough to send them on their way. On the positive side, we had some great conversations with many of them, talking with them was time well spent. They are a beautiful people.

We stayed in a Honeymoon Hibiscus Veranda Suite, which was what we'd specified. Though we are Select members, we got no upgrade which didn't really disappoint us. The bed was probably the most comfortable ever. We really wanted to be in the Caribbean Grove area as that vibe is what it's all about for us. My wife loved the room for it's functionality. The vanity area worked well, and I liked the large balcony. We spend very little time in the room and don't go to the Caribbean to be wowed by the room, so we felt it perfect. The Mediterranean side is very beautiful and very different, many of our new friends were staying there and loved it so I think it's important to know what suits you when you reserve a room. I couldn't tell that any of the rooms really had an "on the beach" location with the type of view we had in Negril, so I'm not sure the more expensive rooms would be worth it.

Our first trip, to Negril, we had butlers so I was a little apprehensive about changing to a lower level of service. Our room this year was "concierge" which seems to only mean that we had a bar and refrigerator in our room, both of which we used daily (and extensively). At the time we made the reservation it was one of the cheapest rooms available, but I'm not sure I'd pay extra for "concierge". You may get checked in a little faster but that's about it. The biggest change for us was the process of restaurant reservations. While at Negril, we simply had our butlers make our reservations, so it was a considerably more difficult process here. Restaurant reservations are accepted 48 hours in advance so your options are limited to the non reservation restaurants your first few nights (not really a problem). It was a bit of an imposition to have to schedule time in your morning to be at the Concierge office right at 8:30 for a reservation several nights away. I'd love for Sandals to come up with a better process.

The service was typical Caribbean - leisurely, which we have learned to love. The resort was fully booked the week we were there, so waits were not uncommon. The more we looked at it though the more we concluded that the slow service was not the fault of the servers. All of the workers we encountered were wonderful. We found the Antiguan people to be kind, cheerful, friendly, and very accommodating. Very different from the Jamaicans we met in Negril, yes, but that's why we travel, right? The problem we saw was that the resort was understaffed to handle to number of guests. That falls on the management. There were far too few servers in each of the restaurants for the number of tables, and too few bartenders to meet the constant demand. Come on Sandals, pony up or you'll lose your luster.

Our room was well-located. A short walk to the beach, right next to the Caribbean pool w/bar, and very close to the main pool. Again we never had trouble finding loungers at either pool. You probably won't get a shaded one unless you arrive very early in the morning and stay (or have a butler) but we would show up later on and find loungers every time. Floats required a keen eye but there were almost always a few free ones around the pool. We found it was better to just not worry about any of that and go with the flow, taking each day in stride, and they were all great.

We didn't have a bad meal during our stay. Our favorite breakfast spot was OK Corral, which seemed to be undiscovered by almost everyone since it was upstairs, The view each morning, the food, and the service, was one of the best parts of our trip. Lunch each day was good anywhere, with our favorite being Barefoot by the Sea. We also sampled the pizza (very good) and the snack bar in the afternoons. We skipped Kimonos but ate everywhere else for dinner. Eleanor's was spectacular, Mario's we visited twice (yum!), and also had great meals at Barefoot and Bayside. OK Corral was our least favorite, but we are from Texas so it just didn't measure up to home for us.

It's very easy to meet people at Sandals resorts and we made many new friends again during our visit. There were quite a few Canadians at the resort, and also many Brits and Americans. We were there for St. Patrick's Day at the Cricketer's - a great time. One of our favorite parts of staying at Sandals is the scheduled activities, which for us means beach volleyball everyday. We didn't participate in as many of the other activities this trip, though we did play pool volleyball a few times. but the fun is definitely there if you want to take part. Thanks especially to Valentina and Antonio for working so hard to keep the games going, both of you were bright spots at the resort.

We chose this trip to stay on the resort almost exclusively, and only went off-site one day. Our trip was with Elmo's Luxury Safari, and was outstanding! The day spent with Elmo took us all around the island and got a much clearer picture of the island, it's history, and it's people from our experience with Elmo. Check out his website, we heartily recommend. Other than that, we jet-skied on the beach one day, which was fun and reasonable.

On other notes: The fitness room was very adequate and well maintained. Check-in/check-out was smooth. The distance from the airport was a major plus, very short drive.

Overall, we had a fantastic trip and are glad we chose Sandals Antigua. Once we slowed down to "island time" it was perfect in every regard.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Doug M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
leonardo j
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2012

Just a few words to share with travelers, we just came home from a wonderful vacation to Sandals Grand Antigua, we were shocked to see there was no seperate room at the airport to be greeted in , we have always been welcomed at the airport with a cold drink with breezes and other resorts. we were welcomed once we got to sandals after dropping other people off at 2 other resorts 30 mins later in a very hot car, sorry!!! Not for the money we spent , there should be a seperate car or van for sandals only. just saying . once we arrived there we were greeted with a cold drink and wet wash cloth and check -in we had to wait 3-4 hours to get our room... Not fun..., we arrived at the resort at 3pm the room should of been ready..... Once in our room we had a beautiful time, the staff we found very friendly and helpful , we found travelers nice , the beach was beautiful and as we say Delishous!!! lol and basically we stayed out from 9am till 4 pm every day on the beach. I had to set the house keeper straight tho if i am out everday from 9am till 4pm , you better have my room clean and clean towels please!!!! No it took three days to get that right , after a small tip of 15.oo We had a dog named Rosco hang with us and others all day long , he was very friendly and cool, he knew how to work the people on the beach just like the vendors who bother you all day and night to purchase anything from them , its a public beach people!!! once u say no tho, they do walk away , must of said the word no over a thousand times ....we didnt do much night fun , we went to bed earlie due to the sun makes you very tired , we did a romantic night dinner on the beach , amazing , thats all i can say , just perfect!!!! yes its 170.00 extra , but when you spend 6,000 for the week whats another 200 , we found the trips were expensive, we did do a catamaran trip around the island and it stopped on green island to swim and snorkle , had some beers , was a great trip , it was 130 per person , and a 8 hr long tour, a whole day, lots of fun and worth the money , wouldnt see the island any other way but by water...very cool must do.......all and all we have been to better places , but we had a very nice time at Sandals , it was our first Sandals , and we would go back , just when there is a better sale you def dont get what you pay for , i did expect alot more, food was good , drinks were ok no Bacardi Rum tho, and we do recomend this to others it was very romantic...

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank roseann b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salisbury, Maryland
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2012

Ninth trip to a Sandals resort and first to Antigua. Not of the same quality for service and friendliness of staff. They were accommodating but not overly so. had to change first room immediately because it was well under par for the online picture we booked.

Food was good, not great but good. Grounds were immaculate as usual for Sandals. Airport transfers were a little disorganized for Sandals but got us there in good time.

Overall a 4 on the resort. The airport on departure however is another story. Be prepared to experience fighting for a space on the last evacuation helicopter out of the US embassy in Saigon in 1975. Should be a poster-child for world's worst airport.

Room Tip: Stay in Mediterranean Village...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank burns44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lapeer, Michigan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2012

I have not one complaint about our stay at the Sandals in Antigua. The people there make your stay SO special. We didn't have one bad meal, we were pampered beyond our expectations, I really couldn't have asked for more. Thanks Sandals!!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Frangipani building and wouldn't stay anywhere else on the resort. Loved being...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank pderoo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

Property: Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Address: Dickenson Bay, St. John's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#3 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#4 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#4 Family Hotel in St. John's
#5 Romantic Hotel in St. John's
#5 Business Hotel in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 373
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
•A European Hotel in the Six-Star, all-suite Mediterranean Village •Exotic Rondoval with private plunge pool and butler service •1,400 square foot Mediterranean villa with private plunge pool and butler service•Houses the East Caribbean's largest pool (1 of 6) •Offers 9 dining options and 8 bars including an English pub •Voted "World's Most Romantic Resort" 14 years in a row ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sandals Grande Antigua Hotel St. John`s
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort And Spa
Sandals Antigua
Hotel Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grand Antigua
Antigua Sandals
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa Saint John Parish

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