We always celebrate my Birthday with a trip of my choosing and October 2012 was Antigua. We chose to stay at the All Inclusive Resort Sandals Grande Antigua Resort; right on the famous Dickenson Bay. The Resort is Adults Only; hooray no children.The resort is amazing as is the beach. The resort is divided into two sections: Caribbean Village and Mediterranean Village. Each section had it's own distinctive decor, restaurants, bars, pools and activities. We chose to stay in the newer section; the Mediterranean.
Our room was what they call a Romeo and Juliet Penthouse Suite with Butler. I have to say this was a wonderful room. The views from our balcony were amazing especially at sunset. I loved the bedroom with the canopy bed and balcony right outside. The bathtub was my favorite feature; I love a nice relaxing bubble bath after a day in the sun with a glass of champagne.
Our butlers spoiled us terribly but I loved it. They made all the dinner and spa reservations for us. Reserved prime spots for our beach loungers and pool loungers. They brought us meals to the pool and room along with a cooler packed full of water, juices, beer and specialty drinks. Daily snacks awaited us in our room everyday for a little nosh before dinner. Our room was always decorated with flowers, candles, rose petals on the bed, bubble baths drawn and champagne of ice waiting for us every day.
They made my birthday very special by decorating the room and bed with flowers and candles. They drew a beautiful bubble bath with flower petals resting on the foaming bubbles along with a personalized card and Birthday Cake. It was a lovely birthday!
Our stay at the resort was filled with lazy days by the pool, enjoying some tropical drinks, trying some new Caribbean fare, meeting new people and just having fun. I love having a Beach Birthday Holiday!
**All Inclusive Means free drinks, food and non motorized water sports. You have to pay for spa treatments and gift shop items. There is no tipping at the resort except for the Spa and if you have a Butler.**
I love All Inclusive Resorts. No need to carry cash or worry about the cost of meals or drinks.
This hotel must have been around before all the all-inclusive monsters popped up. It is perched on a hill side, fashioned a la German mock castle and left to be discovered in the Antiguan countryside. Practically all the rooms have great views of the curvy shore line due to the elevation and the spacious restaurant area is no exception to this rule. The access by taxi from the airport is straight forward (20USD) and for the everyday chores (going to a beach that is) one can use minibus service just minutes away of a pleasant stroll. The closest beach is within five minutes walk, enclosed behind the fence of a grander property but access is unlimited and free. While the interior finish goes along the lines of functionality rather than luxury (reflected by the price of 50USD or so) the service is welcoming and efficient with fast response to possible draw backs fully living up to the motto one sees on his bill - "We Promise to Please You".
My wife and I enjoy the Sandals brand of properties throughout the Caribbean. We have stayed at this resort twice now; once in 2012 and recently in 2013. We first chose Antigua back in 2012 after visiting during a cruise. Location here is key; the resort is right on beautiful Dickenson's Bay with a great stretch of beach. I also like that the resort was an easy 10-15 minute ride from the airport via air conditioned shuttle or private car.
Sandals is an adults only all inclusive resort which meals all your drinks, food and watersports are included in the price. There are sevral room categories at this resort as well as two locations on the property; the Caribbean side and the Meditteranean side. The Caribbean side is older and some rooms have been refurbished. It is also closer to the beach in some areas. The Med section is newer and cromprised of the Almond Building, Cyprus Tower and the private rondovals. Personally we prefer the Med side. The style of decor and newness is quite appealing.
Both of our stays at this resort were in Romeo & Juliet suites that comes with Butler service. We previously had butler service in St. Lucia and loved that the Butlers arranged all the dinner reservations,handled the unpacking of luggage, reserved pool & beach chairs and basically were on call for our every need 24/7. The butlers are extremely attentive and make the trip extra special in my opinion.
Our room the first trip was in the newer section of the resort on the top floor of the Almond building; corner suite, room 5401. I loved being the corner room on the top floor; the balcony was much bigger and there was no worry about noise coming from above. Our top floor provided us with an unobstructed view of the beach and the resort property; which I liked.
The room itself was amazing; very spacious and well done. There was a living room area with fully stocked bar, couch, TV, chair and doors leading our to the terrace. The bedroom boasts a four poster king bed, couch, armoire, closet, dresser, TV and doors leading out to the terrace. The bathroom has a large circular jacuzzi tub, his and her sinks, seperate toliet area and walk in stone shower. Despite all this space we still spent a majority of time on the terrace enjoying the view, relaxing and having some champagne.
Our second visit in 2013; we were in the Cyrus Tower, sixth floor corner room 7601. The room has all of the wow factors of the previous year but an even better view. I couldn't belive how much better it was and we loved sitting on the terrace gazing at the view. This building was a little noisier than the Almond building as we could hear the room noise from above but we didn't let it bother us.
The resort itself is beautiful with lush foliage and flowers; the property is well maintained. The beach was gorgeous and the water was like bathwater. There are plenty of pools throughout the property but our favorite was the main pool due to its lively vibe and ample shaded spots. Some people complain that the beach is "public"; well sorry all beaches are public unless you own a private island. Security is at the beach entrances to ensure non-guests do not get on the property. I'm grateful there is no wrist bands" to identify resort guests; my wife finds it tacky as do I.
Food and drinks here are included and for the most part I'd rate the food a four across the board but some restaurants were incredibly good deserving a 5. For an all inclusive Caribbean resort it is very good; other simply do not compare. Drinks here are well made and there was no skimping on the liquor.
If you want alone time as a couple without worrying about the noise of kids or family; definitely try one of the Sandals properties. I definitely appreciate the lack of children around and so does my wife.
We arrived in Antigua via the Celebrity Cruise ship Silhouette. We had an aft balcony suite which was perfect for our twelve day cruise from Bayonne, New Jersey. I have become addicted to cruising. I find it an excellent way to visit some new islands and see if a longer exploration in the future should be had. After our exploration of Antigua we decided to book a week long trip to further explore this beautiful island paradise.
I know some feel that cruising is not travelling but I do enjoy the relaxation a cruise affords us. There is no worries about transportation, finding food, searching for accomodations or worrying about flights. It's really a no hassle vacation in my opinion.
Sandals in Antigua was all inclusive. The chain certainly does its best to live up to its reputation. The food was heavenly and the service second to none.
We were upgraded when we arrived and were pleased to find that the room was clean and made up twice a day!
The resort is catered to Honeymooners which can get annoying if you are not honeymooning...but the amenities allow for plenty of drinking and eating.
“Great Honeymoon but with better room accommodations our trip could have been FANTASTIC”
We just came back from our honeymoon at the Sandals resort Grande Antigua. We consider ourselves positive people and can find the silver lining in most situations and we hope our review will help out your vacation enquiries.
The quick summary is that w/ mold and leaking bathroom fixtures in our room and poor service upon our arrival we asked to be moved from the Caribbean side to the Mediterranean side. After many days we finally moved to a fabulous room (for an additional $100 a night) only to find out the A/C didn’t work and never got fixed in the 3 nights we stayed there. If you get a great room on the MEDITERRANEAN side you will have a blast but if you don’t you are risking additional stress over an old, poorly maintained room.
Here is the breakdown of our experience from Saturday to Saturday.
SATURDAY: We finally arrived (due to thunderstorms and delayed flights immigration at the airport was backed up and we stood in line for over 1.5 hours) at Sandals around 5:30 and became disappointed quickly. No one welcomed us as we came in to the openair lobby and we stood there with luggage in tow for 10 minutes with no instructions on how to check in or what to do next. Finally a waitress told us to take a seat and someone would be with us shortly. After 15 minutes a staff member gave us a cold washcloth and asked what we would like to drink. We waited another 10 minutes with no contact or check in. Many staff members were either standing around or whizzing by us with not even a hello. A staff member finally asked if we had been helped and took our names.
We had registered ahead online but when he came back we still had to fill out a registration form and give him our credit card info again. We waited about another 30 minutes as he processed our registration at which time we went to the desk to let him know we were on our honeymoon and were interested in an upgrade. He informed us that he did see that on registration and in fact we did receive a complimentary upgrade. We paid for a Garden of Eden Deluxe (DL) and upgraded to a Honeymoon Luxury Concierge (HL) room, which we were very excited about.
We left our luggage and headed to our room with another couple. As we walked the staff member oriented us to the resort, which we really appreciated. As we arrived at the other couples building the staff member realized he didn’t bring the keys so we had to wait for him to go back and grab them from the front desk. We arrived at our building Anthurium Building room 802. The staff member struggled to open our patio entrance because it was stuck and we struggled with the door all week (had to put a hip or shoulder action into the door several times to get in or out).
The room initially seemed very nice and looked just like the pictures we saw at the Sandals website. The staff member explained the concierge service and then realized we didn’t have beach towels. He said he would send housekeeping up w/ the towels. (we also realized later that we were missing hand towels and wash clothes).
We looked over our room more and started to notice MOLD above our bed, in the vanity area, as well as the bathroom. The toilet was leaking all over the floor along with the faucet in the bathtub was dripping. The first 1.5 hours at Sandals definitely didn’t meet up to our expectations and we were deeply disappointed.
As we headed to dinner we stopped by the front lobby where the staff member who helped out earlier was working and we let him know about our problems and we would like to switch rooms. He stated that the resort was booked solid, but the manager might be able to help us in the morning and to come back around 10:30 the next day.
We ate at the Bayside Restaurant and really enjoyed our dinner along w/ our spectacular view of the beach. Unfortunately our night ended with us looking up above our bed at mold on the ceiling and not being able to take a proper shower since we didn’t have wash clothes or hand towels.
SUNDAY/MONDAY: After making reservations for dinner with concierge at Kimono’s and Eleanor’s (and picking up beach towels) we headed to breakfast at Bayside, which was pretty good. We toured the rest of the resort and realized quickly what we were missing out on at the Caribbean side. We stopped by the front desk at the Caribbean side and encountered a staff member who was rude and not empathetic about our room concerns. We asked for the manager, Christine came out and was very empathetic and listened to our concerns which carried through out during this whole process. She said they again were booked for the next couple of nights but would keep trying to find something for us and to check in with her in a couple of hours.
We went to the beach, enjoyed some cocktails, and ate some lunch at Barefoot, which was amazing. We checked back in w/ Christine and she let us know she checked out our room and understood our concerns but the resort is booked, but she would meet w/ the reservations manager on Monday to see what she could find out.
We ate at Kimono’s and were disappointed but many couples enjoyed it. Monday was very similar to Sunday but w/ breakfast at Marios, lunch at Bella Napoli, and dinner at Eleanor’s we were amazed w/ the quality of food, presentation (at Eleanor’s), and service.
TUESDAY: Christine let us know that we could move Wednesday afternoon with a $100 charge per night. Again we enjoyed the beach, pools, bars, and nice couples we met throughout the day, had a fabulous dinner at Mario’s that night, enjoyed the resort games and chocolate buffet, and finished off our night with playing pool at Cricketers.
WEDNESDAY: We had a great time snorkeling in the morning (free) and beach time. We went to talk to Christine in the afternoon and she let us know our room was ready and that the bellman was leaving now to grab our luggage (that was already packed) from our old room and move it to our new room. We were taken to our new room 7116 a Portofina Suite (PF) in the Cyrpress Building. We LOVED the new room with its fresh clean look, gigantic bathroom w/ whirlpool tub, and fabulous patio w/ lounge chairs. We stayed in the room for a bit to check it out and wait for our luggage, but quickly realized it was stuffy and the A/C wasn’t working. We called the lobby to let them know and they said they would send someone up. An hour had past and we had no luggage and no maintenance man. Finally after 2.5 hours we went to the lobby in the Cypress Building where they found our luggage in the holding room and said they would send someone up about the A/C. It was so hot in the room so getting ready for dinner was miserable and a process that included many breaks to go outside to cool off.
We ate at the OK Corral and it was okay. At the end of the night we went back to our room in hopes to enjoy a romantic bath, but quickly realized the A/C hadn’t been fixed and it was too hot to take a bath. We made one last phone call that night and the operator said she would send maintenance who of course never came.
THURSDAY/FRIDAY: We called about the A/C first thing in the morning and a maintenance man came and said he had to check with something and would be back and he never came back. This continued for the rest of our trip and the A/C never was fixed.
We ate at Bayside for “Steak Night” Thursday and at Mario’s Friday night and enjoyed the dinners very much. We saw Christine at the resort and she had just left us a voicemail on our room phone. She was inquiring about our room so we let her know about the A/C and she said she would take care of it for us before she left. She also informed us she had Friday and Saturday off and was very friendly and accommodating.
When we retuned to our room Friday night we had our next day departure information waiting for us, and a note that Christine had left for us. The times were wrong for our departure and the note was from Thursday afternoon.
Needless to say our room situation was a nightmare. We are very disappointed that we had to pay an additional $100 for a room with a broken A/C, which left us unable to get a good nights rest or enjoy the whirlpool tub. The only bright point of the room situation was Christine. She not only was professional, friendly, and empathetic, but also constantly kept us updated and always asked if there was anything else she could take care of for us. We saw Christine several times through out the resort and she always stopped to talk to us.
We hope our review will help you make your choices for your honeymoon or next vacation.
We will not return to Sandals Antigua and will deeply hesitate to ever visit any of the other Sandal/Beach resorts in the future.
While doing a little research before heading to JBR, most comments were the rooms are small.
That didn't really bother us because we did not plan on spending on vacation in the room. I think maybe it is an illusion of being small because of the king size beds..??
Rooms are clean, nice patio/deck with chairs, table and lounge. Hair drier and safe-ask for a key if your going to use the safe (US deposit & daily charge) Also, ask for a beach towel card ($10.00 us deposit per-towel) I recommend this rather than bring towels w/ the airlines charging extra for over wt luggage. You can exchange a dirty towel for a fresh one during open hours 9 a.m.- 4? (don't plan on them opening on time) Same with the Gift shop. Usually about 15-20 minutes late.
You will be refunded when you return the towel at the end of your stay.
Water Sport Center opens at 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.- free non-motorized activities. Sailing lessons daily at 10:30 am
Recommend using the kayaks, for the experienced or inexperienced -very easy to paddle and nice cool ocean breeze.
Great beach, beautiful sunsets, good/fun evening entertainment
I am used to low-cost accomodation, so Cityview was not my first choice. I opted for a more a simple place called “Capuccino Lounge”, but unfortunately, this placed closed – after I had my reservation confirmed. Finding a hotel at the beginning of the high season, for the same bargain price I got Cappuccino Lounge was impossible. I tried to get offers from other places, but most hotels and B&Bs did not reply. Finally, I ended up paying almost twice as much as I wanted to and made a reservation for Cityview Hotel. At least, I got a better rate than on their price list.
Cityview is popular with tourists as well as with local businesspeople. Also, caribbean airline crews book this hotel for their stay in Antigua. This mixed audience is a good sign for this local-managed, middle-class hotel. I can just confirm this and recommend it to anyone looking for a good accomodation in St. John’s. If I come back to Antigua on a future ocassion, I will think about booking it – although it is surely not my price class.
Cityview’s rooms are very spacious and well-equipped: Air conditioning, TV, a bathroom with shoer and a small bathtub, fridge and water boiler. A safe is available for rent (3 US$ per day + deposit). The king size bed was more than enough for myself. Perhaps the only disturbing thing were the big air conditioning machines used for the hotel which were just in front of my balcony. And perhaps this has something to with the reduced rate…. Staff is very friendly and helpful, a good example for the warm-hearted friendlyness of the Caribbean. Continental breakfast is included, which is good. Warm dishes and extras are available upon request (and for cash).
Antigua is known as the 365 beaches islands. Actually I didn’t discover so many but those I did were wonderful. On one of the best beach of the island is located the Jolly Beach Resort. I think is among the worst place I stayed in the Caribbean and one of the oldest resort born there. For this reason, the beach chosen is so beautiful!!! Anyway, the Jolly Beach Resort is a 3 stars all inclusive resort. It offers more or less 400 rooms and the white 2 floors building stretches widely on the beach, surrounded by a tropical garden. The rooms are extremely basic and you can get a discount if you are willing to get a smaller room. The are two restaurants, one is a buffet of everything but, unfortunately, everything is of medium-law quality. I would have preferred less quantity and loss opportunity of choosing but a better quality. Unfortunately I didn’t visit the second a-la-carte restaurant, because man were allowed there only wearing a shirt with collar (so no T-shirts admitted for man). My husband had only t-shirts so we couldn’t eat there. What an idiot rule, isn’t it? But we were told it was not so good. The only thing that Jolly Beach offers (besides an affordable price, considering you are in the Caribbean) is the beach, so long and so uncrowned. The swimming pool is also nice but the sea is much better. Obviously, if you are interested in taking advantage of the all inclusive drinks, it can be a sort of paradise. I would recommend it only if you are REALLY interested in Antigua without spending so much like other higher quality resorts cost. on Jan 19, 2008 I saw a quotation for this place, 7 days all inclusive, flight from and to Milan Malpensa for 1340 euros/person.
YEPTON ESTATE COTTAGES WAS OUR HOME FOR A WEEK WHILE WE STAYED ON THE CARIBBEAN ISLAND OF ANTIGUA.
AFTER A SHORT 15 MIN TAXI RIDE FROM THE AIRPORT WE WERE MET BY THE ESTATES OWNERS GABRIELA AND DOUGLAS.. AND NOT FORGETTING THEIR THREE LOVELY DOGS EMMA, POLLY AND PENNY.
WHILE GABRIELA GOES THROUGH CHECK-IN WITH YOU, DOUGLAS IS MAKING SURE YOUR HOLIDAY STARTS ON THE RIGHT NOTE WITH AN ICE COLD BEER AND A GLASS OF WINE.
OUR COTTAGE WAS ONE OF ONLY FOUR ON THIS LITTLE OASIS OF CALM.
WHEN WE WALKED IN FOR THE FIRST TIME ALL WE COULD SAY WAS WOW..
EVERYTHING ABOUT THE COTTAGE WAS PERFECT, FROM THE LOVELY KITCHEN TO THE WELL KITTED OUT BATHROOM. AND IT WAS ALL SO NEW AND SO SO CLEAN.
THE COTTAGE ALSO COMES WITH SATELITE TV. DVD. AND HI-FI SYSTEM.
BUT THE REAL STAR OF THE SHOW WAS THE QUEEN SIZE BED.. THIS WAS TO DIE FOR,
THE COTTAGE EVEN COMES WITH A COOL BOX FOR TAKING TO THE BEACH PLUS THERE IS EVEN A COUPLE OF SUN CHAIRS TO TAKE WITH IT. GABRIELA AND DOUGLAS HAVE REALLY THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING.
ALL THE COTTAGES ARE SET BESIDE A LARGE LAKE, AND IF THE MOOD TAKES YOU THERE IS EVEN A ROWING BOAT YOU CAN TAKE OUT FOR A SPOT OF FISHING.
THE ESTATE ALSO BOASTS A SWIMMING POOL WHERE YOU CAN LAZE AWAY THE DAY UNDER THE CARIBBEAN SUN..BLISS.
WE FOUND THIS A GREAT SPOT TO JUST CHILL OUT WITH OUR BOOKS AND READ IN PERFECT PEACE. AND WITH THE BEACH ONLY A FIVE MINUTE WALK AWAY EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS RIGHT HERE.
IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO SEE MORE OF ANTIGUA THEN I WOULD SUGGEST YOU GET A HIRE CAR. THIS WAY YOU GET TO SEE MORE OF THIS LOVELY ISLAND AND HAVE YOU OWN COTTAGE TO COME HOME TO AT THE END OF THE DAY..
FOR CAR HIRE OR ANY OTHER TRIPS OR TOURS GABRIELA AND DOUGLAS WILL BE ONLY TO HAPPY TO GIVE ADVICE ON WHICH COMPANIES ARE BEST. ALL PART OF THE SERVICE.
GABRIELA AND DOUGLAS HAVE PUT HEART AND SOUL INTO THIS LITTLE OASIS OF CALM AND IT SHOWS.
WE HAD A LOVELY WEEKS STAY AT THE YEPTON ESTATE COTTAGES AND WOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM RECOMMENDING THIS LITTLE GEM TO ANYONE LOOKING A PEACEFUL HOLIDAY IN A LOVELY LOCATION.
YEPTON ESTATE'S QUALITIES WOULD HAVE TO BE THE HOSTS GABRIELA AND DOUGLAS. THEY MAKE SURE YOUR STAY WITH THEM AT YEPTON LIVES UP TO EVERYTHING YOU HOPE YOUR HOLIDAY WILL BE.
THEIR PERSONAL SERVICE AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL WOULD PUT MANY BIG NAME HOTELS TO SHAME. THANK YOU FOR A LOVELY STAY.
Small, family run and right on the beach - Fiona is extremely welcoming without smothering you. The rooms are self catering but when you have the marina next door with a super bar and restaurant who wants to cook?
Lean over the balcony (or walk out one pace on teh ground floor) and you are on the beach.
We arrived from England and that night our friend arrived at midnight from LA. They had moved the barrier uipsstairs between our balconies and set it up as a big family space.
For my birthday there were flowers all over the bed, champagne and a cake with my name on it - that's service and friendlyness!
We stayed in this hotel five nights and could have stayed forever. This was our first experience at an all inclusive resort, and we loved it.
They met us on arrival with a glass of champagne and a cold cloth. Then they immediately gave us a free upgrade.
The rooms were beautiful; the grounds were beautiful also.
The complex is divided up into clusters and each cluster has a swimming pool. Some of the most prime spots even have their own private splash pools.
The pools were nice. There was a very nice workout facility with a cold water pool and a warm water pool.
There is a Japanese restaurant, an Itallian restaurant, and a Steak House restarurant. All were open air restaurants except the Japanese; they were all very good. There is another restaurant that has absolutely everything to eat and, it's all good.
There was food and drinks at all times.
There was always something entertaining going on in the open air lobby--bands with steel drums, dancing etc.
One day venders came and set up tables at the hotel, so you wouldn't even have to leave the hotel to go shopping.
Also local islands came onto the beach crafting baskets and such.
The Grand Royal Antiguan resort has a fancy name, but it's a down to earth place with generous all inclusive options (certainly for the British holiday maker, but some guests paid for meals and drinks).
The staff were lively and friendly, and the resort has enough on offer - watersports on the beach, a lovely pool with swim up bar, a kid's small pool, 3 nice restaurants on site (one posh a la carte, one "over the water" a la carte specialising in seafood and a buffet restaurant).
The resort is close to St Johns for trips out, and the hotel offer a variety of entertainment, such as nature walks and live music.
There is an old fort on the cliff top along the end of the Royal Antiguan's private beach and the hotel runs guided walks up there a few times a week. My leg muscles didn't forgive me for days after climbing the steep paths up there though!
This is also the only hotel on the island built over two storeys high, but it's also withstood every hurricane so far!
Set in the hillside on the western side of Antigua, Galley Bay Hill.
Breath-taking views of the Caribbean Sea and Tropical Gardens sets the tone of this beautiful estate. Located at Galley Bay Antigua near to 5 major hotels (Galley Bay, Hawksbill, Grand Royal Antigua, Coconut Beach Resort and Pillar Rock), and only 2 minutes walk from Galley Bay (which is incredibly beautiful beach). Chez Pascal offers fine French Cuisine, 4 Deluxe Master Suites and professional service.
Lyon native Chef Pascal Milliat and his wife Florence (whom were extremely nice to me), famous for their exquisite French cuisine and gracious hospitality.
cute clean pool with beautiful view of surrounding hills, where goats and horses roam and scenic vista of the blue carribbean sea
This place is heaven on earth!... gorgeous beach, lovely bay, nice room with all the mod cons, cinama, cool library, yoga, tennis, spa, fresh juice bar...the list goes on.
I would highly recommend this place but perhaps not for young honeymooners trying to get away from it all. It is pretty family oriented now and the beach front suites is where they put them all. For us it was perfect though. Expensive but worth it!
Suite opens onto the beach, very nice.
There is a separate room for you little ones which give grown ups some privacy.
The gym is state of the art with very high end equipment. Yoga class happends 5 mornings a week in a gazebo outside. 9 tennis courts, personal trainers, beauty therapists etc...
An amazing spa on site that carries natutal products from New Zealand.
Sort by: Most recent | Most helpful