More about Blue Heron by Rex Resorts
Depending on why you came to the Rex Blue Heron for
After booking the hotel on Orbitz, I was kind of worried by all the reviews I had read on this website before my boyfriend and I got there from the 13th til the 21st of March. Eventhough the first contact with the hotel by email when I had tried to get some information alerted me since it sounded harsh and a bit impolite to me, I must say I had worried for nothing since we had an excellent time there. The beach is of course beautifull and since we were not in an All Inclusive formula, we did not try the food overthere. But I could see it and it looked and smelt great, people were really kind and welcoming to us; we even got upgraded from a standard to a superior when we arrived without asking.
The room faced the swimming pool, no issues with air cooler and the fact hot water was sometimes limited never lasted long and was mre related to a generator transition when power got down (the hotel is not responsible for this). As for location, it is a bit far from everything but a bus (the 22) will pick you up from 6am to 7pm to drive you to St John where main bus stations are located. Even on Sunday if you might be lucky and look for one in the morning : some pass in front of the hotel until 7.30 am when none was meant to come over. Otherwise, hitch hiking might also be a good solution which worked out perfectly for us all week long to go anywhere ! As for surroundings, a little superette is located in Johnson Point 5 minutes walking from the hotel and you might definitely stop by the Blue Hawai pub to taste the local beer, play pool and enjoy a cheap still good meal since OJ's and 3 Martini's located on the other side of the Hotel are good but quite expensive and lack of local experience. That is my final point, if you feel like laying on the beach all week long and live in the hotel you might get bored but the hotel is not responsible for this; if you feel like discovering Antigua, its nice people, beaches, etc...this is the perfect place to take a rest when you are back from a long day spent in the island. I want to thank the hotel staff (Josephine), the security guard for her kindness ........and recommend at last Carlo's Antigua Scuba Dive center located in English Harbour, a great guy and beautiful corals on the south east coast where the visibility might be better than in Cade's reef.
Vacation from hell
My husband and I were terribly disappointed with the Rex Blue Heron Hotel in Antigua. The food was absolutely awful. They would recycle the dinners into the next day's lunch, etc. It was tasteless, bland and stale. I opened up a packet of marmalade during breakfast and it had mold on it! Even ants made their way over to the outdoor buffet table at lunch one of the days...it was just disgusting...The staff was unfriendly (esp. the kitchen staff - they need to learn how to smile), not helpful, forgetful and painfully slow....it was a huge deal to buy the $10 water bottle (it took forever to get it with several reminders). The towel service was also unreliable although the rooms were relatively clean. Our only consolation on this disasterous vacation was the beach, which was picture perfect.
the food was'nt that bad, he had eaten far worse during his national service!!!!!
The food at the Rex Blue Heron can be likened to a Carvery on a bad day. Breakfast of the cold variety was readily available if you like unripened melon and sour oranges. Toast had to go through the machine four times to be lightly done so this was a long process! Cooked breakfast was available to order and try as they might the order never came up as requested. Fried eggs (sunny side up), bacon and beans could arrive as scrambled egg lettuce and tomato's! The last egg delivered to our table was so undercooked that it would have been dangerous to eat.
Our last lunch had to be a green salad as the choice was so poor, toasted sanwiches on a bain Marie!!!! Our last evening meal was 2 slices of roast lamb and lettuce as vegetables were lukewarm and potaptos so greasy they were inedible. They try to hard to cater for what they consider an English pallete and get it horribly wrong. There were lots of 'returners' all old and cliquey. One man commented that the food was'nt that bad, he had eaten far worse during his national service!!!!! We have been to the Carribean many times and have always had a great time and always come home rested and a few pounds overweight - not this time! The location is outstanding, standard room OK, although lacking a fridge which is unusual in the Carribean, the ice bucket supplied could be filled only when the bar was open and as there was only ever one barman he was always busy.
My husband, myself and our two children stayed at the Rex Blue Heron for 3 weeks in Feb. We had been there before and we love it. We had a fantastic time. The staff were all lovely and wer so kind to our children. One of the receptionists even bought our daughter a doll. We found nothing was too much trouble for any of them. The staff in the restaurant, are perhaps sometimes a bit sullen looking (as a few other reviews have menitoned), however we found if you spoke to them instead of just moaning at them, they were all very nice indeed. We found the food lovely, infact we just could not eat any more and had trouble squeezing our clothes back on when we got home. Our children had a lovely time. Having a beach front room, enabled us to sit on the beach whilst the children either came on the beach with us, or they could stay and play on the patio or in the room if they fancied staying out if the heat for a while. The only down sides we felt we had, were that there is no childrens menu and also the evening entertainment has gone down hill or disappeared to when we stayed there 5 years ago. It would be nice to have some music to dance to in the evenings. We simply can not understand some of the reviews put on here and are amazed at some of the comments as we did not find this hotel to be like some people have put. We love it there. It is worth remembering that this hotel is in the Caribbean and there is a relaced way of life there....isnt that why we all want to go there? To escape the fast pace we have at home?
We loved it and will definately go back there.
Whatever you do, don't go all-inclusive!
Where to start on our stay at the Rex Blue Heron...? Let's begin on the few positives. The location is absolutely fantastic. If you are looking for a complete getaway from your daily stress this is the place. The RBH is located on a fabulous, long sandy beach with aqua-marine water perfect for swimming. There are four beach bars (I shall come onto these later) dotted at various points along the beach which are genuinely local offering great food. Regarding the rooms in the hotel, they are clean and adequate, if a little small. I would recommend that you go for a superior room at least, as these have air conditioning.Right then, the positives are over I'm sorry to say. Let's begin with the food and drink. My advice is do not, under any circumstances, go all-inclusive. The food is best described in two words - school dinners. It is atrocious. Also, people I spoke to on the all-inclusive said that the food regularly ran out and the birds that fly around the dining room use the fruit salad as a bird-bath. The alcohol offered in the bars is of the cheapest, generic kind. You will find no bottled beers or brand-name spirits here, just Wadadli beer (which has a formaldehyde after-taste) and cheapo spirits. If, like us, you are room only, they absolutely sting you for food and drink. On our first evening we were too tired to go exploring so we decided to eat in the "restaurant". We were charged the equivalent of ?45 (US$80) for two of us to eat their muck, and that's with no alcohol. Breakfast was the equivalent of ?35 (US$65). The prices were absolutely outrageous.The beers are the equivalent of ?1.50 (US$2) for less than half a pint. Even if you are all-inclusive, you still have to pay the equivalent of ?2.50 (US$4.50) for a 1.5l bottle of water. My advice is do not ever eat or drink in the hotel!There are four beach bars in easy walking distance to choose from instead. The best is OJ's, which is about a quarter of a mile up the beach (turn right as you get onto the beach at the hotel). The setting is superb (being everything you would expect from a Caribbean beach bar) the food is great (their red snapper is well worth checking out) and the average prices range from ?7 (US$13) each for lunch (including a couple of beers) up ?25 each for dinner (that's for lobster and a bottle of wine!). For a bit more haut cuisine, just up from OJ's is Gibsons which is a bit more pricey but the food is excellent. Heading back towards the hotel is the 3 Martinis. This is set just back off the beach and has a great atmosphere, with a mix of locals and tourists. Their music on a Thursday night is great fun. They also have apartments which I am reliably informed are cheaper and better than the RBH. One note of caution - one of their staff is the resident bar bore if she is off work sat at the bar. Avoid her at all costs!! Finally, if you come onto the beach at the hotel and turn left, Turners is just a short walk. The food here is very good but slightly more expensive than OJ's.Back to the RBH, unfortunately. The default attitude of the staff is surly, which becomes downright rude and unhelpful if you have a problem. We had no hot water or air-con for two days and the maintainence guy had mysteriously just left very time I asked them to fix our room. Nothing happened until I demanded they move us and even then I had to really give the manager a hard time to get them to do that. To say their approach is lacadaisical is flattering. The RBH is third world in its lack of customer service. Don't even try to change traveller's cheques - they will only allow you to change US$100 in any one time. We had to take a cab ride to Jolly Harbour to use the bank. (BTW don't use the cabs if you can avoid it. A 2 mile trip to Jolly Harbour cost US$11, whereas the bus back cost US$0.50 for both of us!). In terms of currency, it is best to bring East Caribbean dollars. The local bars do have menus with prices in both EC$ and US dollars, but they tend to round up on the US dollars.Overall, the RBH is fine for somewhere to sleep but for everything else it is absolutely rubbish. I would only recommend the RBH on the basis that a location this good will not last long before a multi-national organisation sees its potential and ruins it with a big hotel and formulaic bars (like they have done at Jolly Harbour). Stay at the 3 Martinis instead.
My wife and I stayed at this resort for 2 weeks from 26 January 2004.
We found the rooms to be plain but clean, the food was nothing fancy but adequate, the staff where very friendly and helpful. The beach was beautiful, the only trouble being that for about an hour every night the mosquitoes came out so take plenty of Off. We would definitely stay there again.
We wanted a week of sun, sea, chill out time and got a last minute deal.feb 2-9th 2004. No regrets, it was the best choice we made this year. The food was great, staff were so sweet and we mingled wth locals and guests alike. I never felt unsafe. The taxi drivers were upset if we made alternative arrangements but that is because they over charge.
Accomodation is 3 star, but clean and really comfy. Great memories. Do not go if you want done things yesterday, you have to go at Carribean pace!!!
Horrible place, wonderful island
I stayed at the blue heron 2/29/04 thru 3/6/04 and was horrified at the place and food. Whatever you do be well warned: the food was horrible as nauseating. The staff friendly but all the men tried to pick you up.
But the taxi cab drivers was mean and greedy people; one taxi cab driver insisted that I pay him (although he was paid to take five other people to the airport) and threw my bags to the roads and cursed at me in front of the airport. The people are nasty mean and greedy people and will take you for all that you have (empty your pockets if you allow them). I believe I would have had a more pleasant time if I stayed at a more upscale place. You get what you pay for, believe me.
Relaxation is the Key
The Hotel Room Basic, limited satellite T.V channels, ceiling fans and a rather old and noisy ceiling fan, no fridge, beds not great, but is clean, if you want luxury this is NOT the place, but it is more than adequate.The Hotel Food Breakfast was repetitive but adequate; lunch and dinner sounds yucky, my advice is not to get all-inclusive (unless you don't want to leave the limited facilities and entertainment of the hotel!) otherwise hire a car and eat out, obviously its going to cost you more!The Hotel Facilities The pool small (full stop), a very small shop, and that pretty much it. There's a convenience store 7 minutes walk away turn right from the hotel up the hill.The Beach Located on probably the finest beach on the Island. If you want a busy beach where you can snorkel nearby, jets skis etc I suggest you DON'T stay here, its not that type of beach. If you want to relax in the sun, read a book or play scrabble or beach volleyball (around 5pm ish) its ideal. Oh and don't be afraid of the odd stray cow!. The hawkers who work here are a friendly bunch, if you're not interested then a thank you – but no thanks will be adequate.Recommendations…….Don't forget your driving licence, get the phone book and call Avis, Hertz etc 45 USD a day plus 10USD collision waiver, even though you have to pay the first 1,000USD, the roads are hazardous in terms of pot holes, especially the scenic drive of Fig Tree Drive, no drink drive laws but little road markings, pavements etc, so don't D&D.You got to eat out…… Near RBH, Reckon Oj's is a little overrated, 3 Martinis is more local (even though its owned by an American), Turners is not worth the money.Heading out of RBH Jolly Harbour avoid this tourist trap, unless you've travelled all that way for burger and chips and it will cost you much more then back home.Next Village after Jolly Harbour is Dennis, it's a local place that serves local food. Don't ask for the menu as he only cooks 1 thing a day, we had salt fish, plantain, sweet potato you wont get these back at the hotel.Roadside Cafes On the way to St Johns just after a cricket ground look out the Chinese Restaurant, well it's a little wooden hut but the foods good.A little further on from here stop off at International something best food on the island served up by out Texas Haitian, best food on the island, if you don't mind eating on the side of the road outside a caravan.St Johns Forget the tourist joints, go to Roti King in New Street sells the finest Roti outside Guyana, check out the lady killer behind the counter ……lolDickensons Bay-Quite a trek but close to the nicer sister to RBH Rather pricey but Coconut grove is a romantic setting for that one off holiday meal I recommend the lobsterEntertainment In terms of nightlife Antigua is quiet, it has 1 nightclub, a few casinos and not much else except sun, sand and relaxation. Enjoy.
Perfect 'Get Away From It All'
I just got back from 9 days at the RBH. I disagree with the extremely negative reviews about this resort that have been previously posted. The hotel is a perfect "get away from it all" place and it certainly is a smaller and less-expensive alternative to some of the other massive resorts on the island. Since the hotel is small, you really get an opportunity to get to know the other guests and the hotel staff -- the bartenders and watersports staff are extremely friendly and popular with all the guests. We all knew them by name after a few days. Also, the hotel is on one of the best beaches on the island. Often, you have the entire beach to yourself!I had a great oceanfront room on the second floor (which was better for privacy). The view of the sunset and ocean from the balcony is breathtaking. While it was not fancy, the room was a good size and clean; it had air conditioning that worked just fine and a TV with CNN, HBO, Showtime and a few local stations (although why would you stay in your room to watch TV on this gorgeous beach??). I would recommend getting either an oceanfront or superior room. I heard that the standard rooms were quite small and didn't have much of a view.While I will agree that the food on the AI plan for lunch and dinner is not the greatest, it certainly is adequate if you are not looking for gourmet food on your vacation. (The breakfast was great-- they will cook you anything you want, and there is also a selection of cereal, breads, pastries, fruit salad. The little birds that fly through the open-air dining room are harmless and actually add to the "tropical" environment. They are usually only around during breakfast.) The hotel serves a buffet at lunch and dinner, usually consisting of a selection of chicken, fish, veggies and potatos (also with various kinds of salad and soup). The desserts are excellent. The wait staff at the restaurant are very friendly and courteous -- if of course you make the slightest effort to smile and be friendly to them as well! Though they are not the most attentive, you will find that the guests just attribute it to "Caribbean time" and simply exercise a little patience. Also, as other posters have mentioned, there are several great restaurants close to the hotel-- Turners and OJs are great.As for the bar drinks, I don't think anyone expected that they would be getting top-shelf liquor on the AI plan. The local brand of rum that they serve-- Cavalier-- is pretty popular and standard around the island. Same with the local beer, Wadadli. And, the bartenders are very good at mixing up imaginative cocktails to your liking. We all thought that the house wine they serve with dinner (and is included on the AI plan) is really good. I never had any trouble getting a bottle of water from the bar or at the restaurant -- the bottles are HUGE, and are only $10EC (approximately $3-4US).The only other negative I had about the hotel was the nightly entertainment in the area by the bar. Some of the acts appeared to be kind of "cheap" and silly, but the atmosphere is nevertheless relaxed and fun. Again, while it is nice to relax at the hotel bar in the evening, Jolly Harbour is a 5-minute ride away and has a casino, a sports bar and a nightclub. Also, the big party in town is on Sunday night at Shirley Heights-- approximately 20 minute drive and $20US per person, round trip for the cab.We learned that you will not have any problem with taxi drivers as long as you agree with the driver UP FRONT about the price. And you should expect that the taxi driver will charge per person for the ride, even if the taxi is filled with several people. Again, just negotiate with the driver up front, and you won't have any problems. Most of the taxi drivers are great sources of information about the island, and are extremely helpful and friendly.All in all, I thought the RBH was a great place for a laid-back vacation on a budget. It may not be the appropriate place for people looking for gourmet food and planning on spending their vacation in their room--- it is perfect for people whose primary interests are a great beach, friendly people and a smaller atmosphere. Of course, you should definitely go outside the hotel to check out other restaurants and other sites around the island-- there is much to see and do in Antigua.
Subway sign on left bottome of pink building
Street looking up toward the Cathedral
Prince Klaas Stone
Blue Heron Hotel
i am off to Antigua and will be staying in Blue Heron hotel - any one stayed there , is it OK?
Re: Blue Heron Hotel
Although I have not actually stayed there I have been inside the hotel and it looks quite nice. I would say it rates at a 3 star level. There are some details including photos at: