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Reviewed April 17, 2018

My wife and I have traveled to many Caribbean all inclusive destinations. This was our third visit to a Sandals property. The others were Sandals Grande St. Lucia and Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica. The Antigua property is just lovely, easily as nice as the St. Lucia resort and just so much closer to the airport. When we stayed at the St. Lucia property the drive seemed endless and I would say it took 2 1/2 hours. Our plane landed at the Antigua airport at 2:00 p.m. and we were in the resort at 3:00 p.m. Considering we had to de-plane, walk to Immigration, be processed, get our luggage, locate the Sandals representative and drive to the resort it was fantastic.

We stayed in the Caribbean Village. It is the quieter of the two venues. The other is newer and called the Mediterrean Village. We stayed in the Frangipani building on the 1st floor. The pool was about 30 feet away and the sea was no more than 60 feet to the beach and maybe another 60 feet to the water. We had heard on other Trip Advisor comments that is was difficult to get a chaise lounge at the pool or at the sea. We never had a problem getting lounges at the pool. In the five days we were there I doubt if more than six couples used the pool area. There are about a dozen palapas on the beach and as long as you put some towels and a magazine on the loungers by 8:00 a.m. you were okay. If you waited longer than that it is likely you couldn't get a lounger in our specific area. Don't forget though that the actual beach is hundreds of feet long and there are many other lounge chairs spread out along the beach.

There are many ages of couples represented at this resort. We didn't see any very young (early 20's) but we saw late 20's, many early to late 30's, plenty of couples in their 40's, and lots of gray hairs like me who won't ever see 60 again. Everyone should come to this wonderful resort, no matter what age, and just love it.

Our room was very nice. It was clean and we had maid service every day and an optional turn down every evening. The mini fridge is fully stocked with spring water, soda, OJ, at least half a dozen cans/bottles of beer, a bottle of white wine and a bottle of champagne. The liquor cabinet has fifths of rum, gin, vodka, and scotch. No whiskies though.

There are many restaurants on the property. Kimono's a typical hibachi style Japanese dinner, Mario's an eclectic Italian eatery, Eleanor's the only restaurant where resort evening attire is required. There is also the Bayside which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style while dinner is ala carte off of a menu. There is also an English pub and Barefoot by the Sea. Add to that Café Paris for sweet treats, a pizza place, and a sandwich place right next door to the Bayside and you can eat pretty much anyway you like.

I would say the breakfasts and lunches were very good and the buffet options were excellent. I am a fussy diner and have eaten in dozens of great, and not so great, restaurants. The dinners were okay but not especially exciting or memorable. My best meal was at the Bayside on our first night when I had Tiger Prawns. Five big shrimp (maybe six) with a mildly spicy sauce with mashed potatoes and local veggies. No fancy presentations like in most of the Riviera Maya resorts. Two disappointments were the crab cake and the Chicken Cordon Bleu. Both were deep fried with thick coverings of hard bread crumbs. Yuck. I cut the crab cake in half and scooped out the mostly back fin crab meat. The chicken was tough and stringy. Some of the desserts are very good while others will leave you wanting to ask for something else. Which you surely may do.

The entire staff from the lady you does your room to the guy who waters the flowers to the maintenance man you might see walking around are just fantastic. Everyone is smiling and saying "Hello Sir" "Hello Madam". I never once saw a long face or a grumpy server. My wife and I are older and no longer want to partake in the loud music or boisterous pool activities. The Caribbean Village is perfect if you just want to hang out and either mind your own business or maybe strike up a chat with your neighbor at the pool or beach. The Mediterrean Village is much livelier and there was an on-going pool volleyball game going on and a swim up bar in one pool. There is also a main pool with dozens of chaise lounges.

There are many levels of rooms at this resort from out of the way rooms with views of the lush gardens to private villas (Rondovals) with your own plunge pool, total privacy, and private butler. I strong no tipping policy is apparent. We adhered to it. We would go to this resort again in a heart beat although our next Sandals trip might be to Emerald Bay on Long Island in the Bahamas.

If anyone has any further questions please feel free to contact me through Trip Advisor.

Room Tip: Basically the entire resort, except dinner at Eleanor's, is resort casual. There are off resort activities if you desire.
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank Climber809510
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 17, 2018

This was our 4th Sandals trip (Turks, Grenada, Nassau). We had a club level honeymoon walkout room in the Caribbean Village. Very tranquil and relaxing atmosphere, beautiful view. Always able to get a chair at the pool and beach; chairs were not very comfy. A special shout out to Joy and Marcia, Tekwan, Alex, Stefania, Vivian and concierge staff, who were wonderful. I wanted to take Joy home with us :-).

Cons: 1) food was lacking in quality, especially the steaks. Not up to Sandals standards. 2) Cats were all over the property; on 3 occasions, they ran into our room. They also roam in the mostly outdoor restaurants and brush up against you and beg for food, which did not make for pleasant dining. The "do not feed the cats " rule was not enforced. 3) hotel property was not easy to navigate if you are physically challenged; 4) many of the staff were annoyed if you asked for anything, like a drink; 5) the resort shop, cafe de Paris were at the other end of the resort and there should have had a prescience in the Caribbean village. 6)management was invisible 7) several restaurants had long flights of stairs to climb up.

Pros: Very clean. Beautiful beach. Located close to the airport (not noisy). Entertainment was average. Drinks were great.

I may return to Antigua again, but maybe not to Sandals, as it now exists. After all, there are 364 other beautiful beaches in Antigua and other hotel choices. Very, very overpriced for what we received.

Room Tip: Caribbean side, Frangipani building, the 100 series rooms
Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
Thank claramike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 16, 2018

Just got back from a one week stay here. We had an excellent time and really enjoyed Sandals. It is all you would expect from a five star resort and more. The more is the staff. "G" the general manager is very present on property. He is very friendly and helpful. Tequan at the front desk is the best. Cassandra in wedding services is sweet and terrific at her job. Claudine is hostess at the Drunken Dunk and makes you feel like family. Had to hug her every time I saw her. Alan is with the activities folks and is such a delight. We found all the staff to be friendly and professional.

Do: Try the Hobie Cat. We had never done any sailing of any sort before. Took the class and headed out and no problems....really cool. If you do get stuck or have any problems, the staff will boat out to you and help you. Try it!

Do: Tell the gift shop if you are a sandals select member. You can get a discount based on your loyalty membership status. I didn't know, wasn't asked and didn't get a discount on my first purchase. I was asked each purchase after that and got a discount.

Do: Sign up for the loyalty program. It is free to do so and you get nice little extra perks.

Do: Buy your water camera at the aqua center ..$21 vs. $25 if the gift shop. Who knows why.

We participated in a few of the activities and watched the parade and a fire limbo show. That dude was fantastic!

Contrary to what some reviews have said, we found no problem getting a lounge chair by the pools or the beach.

We stayed in the Caribbean side...it "feels" more laid back, but the entire property is clean, maintained and beautiful. Don't hesitate to book this resort.

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
10  Thank qpackerfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 16, 2018

First time to this location but our second trip to a Sandals resort and it did not disappoint. The food is amazing in all of the restaurants, Kimono's is a must. The 6 swimming pools gives you the choice to be entertained by music all day or have a bit of peace and quiet at one of the smaller pools. The staff must be the happiest employees i have ever met and it tends to rub off on you. Added bonus of a direct flight from London Gatwick. One word of warning, if you want a bit of tranquility you need to stay in the Caribbean side of the resort, the Meditarrean side is more of a party side

Room Tip: Definitely quieter in the Caribbean side of the resort
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank leeg1965
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 15, 2018

We came to Sandals Grande Antigua in March for a delayed honeymoon. We originally were suppose to visit the island after our wedding in September (2017) but this was when the hurricanes were in full force. We were able to rebook our honeymoon since the resort had closed....we had the MOST amazing time.

We stayed in the Mediterranean Honeymoon Oceanview Club Level Suite and we loved our room! We had the most beautiful view of the pool and the ocean, the bed was comfortable, the room was clean and it was just a relaxing place to be after a long day in the sun.

We truly enjoyed every minute here. One thing we noticed was how clean the resort was. We would see the workers cleaning the pool and grounds every AM and PM. Our housekeepers always made sure our room was perfect before we returned back at the end of the day.

We spent most of our time by the 'big' pool. There are fun activities, drinks etc. all day long. People do save their seats first thing in the morning just something to be aware of....but there is plenty of room in and out of the sun. There are lots of floats for everyone and its just a great vibe in general.

We loved all the food we ate. We said many times how impressed we were with the food. The pizza at Bella Napoli is delicious and a fun lunch/snack option. We had breakfast every day at Mario's and dinner there is super delicious as well-the only downside is at Mario's for dinner they only offer wine as a beverage and other alcoholic drinks they say "cost extra" which is confusing because you could bring a drink in from next door and have something you may prefer. Otherwise its a delicious restaurant. The only place we didn't absolutely love was at Ok Corral, the food wasn't horrible by any means but we went there our last night and everywhere else had been so great that it was a bit of a disappointment. Try it, but don't save it for a special meal.

The entertainment every night was fun, there are very talented singers, fire actors, magicians and so on. We had a blast watching and participating in all these events. The Drunken Duck has pool, darts and a fun atmosphere for a post dinner thing to do.

One heads up-the beach is beautiful but as other people have said you really cant relax completely there as there are many vendors trying to get you to do excursions. Once you told them you were all set they respected you but it happens so often in such a short amount of time it makes laying on the beach not enjoyable.

We would 100% come back to Sandals Grande Antigua. It is a beautiful, clean, fun resort. Everyone is friendly and they all work incredibly hard to make sure you have the best possible time.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Bridget L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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