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“Could be a great hotel”

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Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in St. John's
Reviewed 22 September 2017

First of all we should have been at the Hawksbill resort. But arrived in Antigua the day of hurricane Irma and had to stay here. While here we had 3 hurricanes. But got through.
This hotel could be a great place to holiday. It needs some money spent on it to make it a top hotel. Just needs redecorating and updating. Also a few of the staff were a bit abrupt and miserable. Some in the restaurant and bar. The bar supervisor (small lady) was the worst she spent most of her time talking rather than serve but the rest were great. But most of the staff were really great. Our thanks go to Devon and Mario the assistant managers they were very helpful and pleasant people. Few others to mention are Heather ( try her coffee specials,she is a great lady) always got a smile on her face and very helpful. Thank you. Kai in the bar was also very nice as was Dave. He looked after us on the beach. A special thanks to Juleen in the restauarant couldn't do enough for you. But most of all a big thank you to Aretha , she was great during the hurricane. She looked after every ones safety and never left us. Special thank you to her. The local dj played some great tunes , there was not enough oh him in the evenings. But overall thank you every one who looked after us.
Now for my review.
The hotel is very nice just needs updating . The beach is great and looked after , they were a bit slow cleaning up after the hurricanes but that's the Caribbean. I feel the entertainment and bar finished too early . Some nights the bar shut earlier than stated. The steel band and reggae group were great should have started bit later so as to finish later. Already mentioned the dj.
Unfortunately the power kept going down after the 3 hurricanes so we had more cold showers than hot and the air conditioning was very rarely working. They had a generator but this didn't control those . You need the air conditioning in the evening it's bloody stifling in the rooms.
The rooms are ok and the cleaners do a great job. They need a lick of paint and there is some mould here and there. But you only sleep in your room.
There is a major problem with beach vendors. They were a pain. They will not leave you alone and when they did they hung around in groups and were very loud. They were always pestering you to get them drinks and food . As Sandels has shut for 3 months they all converge on the Halcyon.They always hung around the beach toilets with a few staff, smoking , drinking and swearing. As it's a public beach nothing can be done about this. Which is a shame . One member of staff in a green t shirt with project on the back was worst. He was supposed to be working but spent most of his time there. If you want peace and quiet stay around the pool . It's not only the vendors but the hotel also plays loud music next to beach . This is ok if your young but most of the guest were a little older.
If you fancy a trip out book through Tony . His service is great and a good price. Try not to use Sean his is not so good. Go to sting ray city great day out and excellent value. Will never forget it.
Just up around the corner from the hotel is restaurant called Paris pizza. If you wish to go out for the evening please go there the food is great. It's an old looking shack but the inside is brilliant and the the food tasty. Best steak ever.
Take a walk down the beach there is a lot to see and some lovely beaches to visit.
Overall even with 3 hurricanes we had great time and came home tanned.
One last thing , don't book this through Virgin. The rep was useless only saw her once and she never informed us about our flight being cancelled. We took taxi to airport and only found out once there. Also their customer service is rubbish. You will not pay what their web page states, they bump the price up and are very hard to get in touch with.
We made some great friends and met some lovely people.
Hope this helps

Stayed: September 2017
8  Thank kentishman76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 September 2017

We stayed at the Halcyon in Aug 2017 for 8 nights, then moved to another hotel. We've never had a worse holiday. Awful! I'll summarise quickly: -
* Bedbugs - we had the delight of finding them on our pillows during the night. Hotel didn't care. Tried to make out we were liars!
* Unclean pool - With a mobile filtration system & no proper use of chemicals. My daughter and partner both had painful ear infections and my partner is still suffering now upon return home.
* Generally unclean. Needs a massive refurbishment.
- Our room didn't look like it had been touched since the 1950's. Apart from numerous coats of paint, all which were peeling off.
* Cockroach infestation in outdoor eating area.
* 90% of the staff are rude and unhelpful. Trying to order a drink at the bar's makes you feel uncomfortable.

Room Tip: Don't bother, just find another hotel
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  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
7  Thank Letswanderoffthegrid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2017 via mobile

I was worried about going to halcyon because of the reviews and it was mainly about the rooms and I was right!
We had to carry our own cases to room as they didn't have a porter .
The room was awful. The door was tired you needed to barge it open with a shoulder at times
It was a dated tired looking room. The bathroom was my worst nightmare where you couldn't see the if it was just dirty and run down or just standard. We had a garden view and if I had know how awful it was we would of paid money for sea view just to get a decent room. I had to get my wipes out and anti bac to wipe it all down before we put our stuff down.
The resort Itself was lovely well maintained its shame the rooms did not reflect the same.
Good food was a bonus even though you had he same staple on the buffet you still got a fish dish chicken dish rice potatoes and vegetables. All just the same but nice to eat. Bar tender dolston was the friendliest guy there so lovely to speak you! And their drinks are served strong! Gin and tonic is gin with a splash of tonic!

The wifi was better on the beach that the rooms! Imagine that! The beach bar food was only hot dogs or burgers and chips which didn't cater to vegetarians. We could of done with having the fish burger to switch it up!

Hurricane Irma
We were all briefed by the hotels accountant no resort manager available at all! No one in charge but the accountant who worked so hard to get us all preparared with the rest of the staff! They boarded up where they needed to and even took people from other hotels. We had to sleep in the conference room on our sunbeds during the storm! The island power was turned off and the halcyon generator was turned on. With the amount of bodies all in this room and limited air con units the room was hot and uncomfortable and unbearable. We were packed like sardines and it was too hot.
The hotel staff failed to take a full register of the people in resort. This meant they didn't know who was in the room and who wasn't which was very bad as they had a duty of care to make sure everyone was there and safe. They had began to take names but never finished . Very poor.

After the storm had passed people began leaving to go back to their rooms as we were tired and fed up. The Halcyon Cove generator then blew out meaning no power for us and we had to wait like the rest of the island to get power back . The san aka next door was up and running and lit up like a Christmas tree. We were in darkness and some people were given torches at reception by the time we got there we got given candles ! To help us navigate our way back to our rooms! No lighting anywhere else. Another issue Rex needs to address because there was debris and fallen branches from storm which were not cleared in the day so that was a health and safety issue . Communication wasbad you had to go up and ask about the progress about the power and candles to get back to your room. If you didn't ask you wouldn't get.

Best points from this holiday
Air con in rooms
Showers were hot and powerful
Beach was lovely
Food was good

After the storm the water in ocean was brown and lots of debris has washed up on the shore. Our poool was filled with sand and leaves and without power no one could filter it out. At that point we felt this wasn't holiday anymore. We cut our holiday short and came home earlier because Hurricane Jose was on his way and we couldn't endure what we did with Irma especially without a generator to get things back up and running .

Rex resorts need to spend the money to improve and refurb the rooms on the resort . They were the downfall of the resort without Irma! Spend money on training staff on how to give good customer service as the rudeness of some people was was unbelievable. I wouldn't return to halcyon personally

Good tip the island tours are good and Shirley heights on a Sunday is a must .

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Stuey1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2017 via mobile

Arrived at the hotel by a friendly reception, threw our bags into our room (Very nice , aircon etc) and admired the fantastic beach the best ! Hotel is above average for the 3star rating the staff were so friendly and helpful , my friend Dave junior (see pic) went above and beyond to make myself and my family so welcome, he would make a great manager!
Just so sad that we were here to see the hurricane Irma damage to the island , my heart goes out to you all.
Will definitely be coming to see you all again very soon.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
11  Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2017

We arrived back last Sunday after a 12 night stay at Halcyon Cove. We have been thinking of you all and watching the news to track Irma's path of destruction. We hope that you and your families are all safe and well. We had the most enjoyable family holiday to date. Thank you so much to all the staff for going the extra mile.

1. The rooms
Our room was in fact two rooms with a connecting door. We were situated down from the reception area and our two patio doors led out onto a small terrace with chairs and a table and backed onto open gardens where our children 7&5 enjoyed playing Frisbee and running down the grassy hill. The aircon was fantastic, easy to operate, very efficient and quiet. Half way through our holiday our fuse went on the aircon in the bedroom area. Devon very kindly arranged for us to have a fan immediately and the aircon was fixed first thing the next morning. The mattresses were obviously new and were very comfy. We had two double beds in one room and the other served as a living room with dining table and chairs and a wicker sofa and chair. There was also a kitchenette and a fridge. There were two wardrobes with ample hanging space. There were also plenty of drawers for folded clothing. A safe was wall mounted in the open wardrobe area. We had a little trouble operating it at first but the manager came and sorted it out immediately. She also explained that when you first run the water it has a brown residue but runs clear after a short while and it did. The maid came every day and made our beds and changed bedding and towels every other day. In all honesty, we had read the reviews and weren't expecting a 5* hotel. You get what you pay for. Yes, our room needed a lick of paint and a bit of TLC but who cares. We didn't travel 8 hours to a beautiful Caribbean Island to sit in our room all day long. It served us well. Cool, clean and no complaints. Improvements were being made to the rooms during our stay. It wouldn't take much to make the hotel something really special and I am sure it will get there.

2. The food
I have stayed many times in the Caribbean and can hand on heart say this was absolutely the best AI food I have ever had. There was something new every single day and my husband and I never got bored. My husband particularly enjoyed the fresh fish. My Son has food allergies and the staff were extremely accommodating. I also have a very fussy 5 year old and we were able to contact reception every day before 3 and put in a meal request for dinner. You could write anything you liked and if they were unable to do it they would let you know. We found this very helpful.

Breakfast was always at the Arrawak Terrace which had a lovely view over the hotel and out to sea. It has a bird net to stop any unwelcome visitors stealing your pancakes! Typical breakfast with lots of choice. continental meats, cheese, pastries. Sausages, bacon, eggs, omelette chef. Fruit, yogurt and cereal. Pancakes and maple syrup. And other local dishes. We particularly enjoyed Johnny cakes and banana bread. All delicious.

Lunch was served outside by the bar area next to the beach. Everyday they made beef or fish burgers with the usual pizza, chips and salad (not to my taste but the children loved it). Plenty of choice for non burger fans, rice dishes, meat and a sandwich station with lots of fresh salad varieties. Ice-cream available too.

Afternoon tea on the pier... we were so full after lunch we never quite managed that one!

Dinner was served between three places. On the pier was lovely as you got to see the fish swimming below in the floodlit water. Evening meals were fabulous. I can't even begin to name the foods we ate but not once did I not enjoy a meal. The puddings were fab too. Loved it.

Drinks... we were unsure about what the AI drinks would be like but they were fab. You could even have cocktails on AI and some of the specials were yummy (but very strong!!) There is a big orange tank of cold water that you can use to fill up your bottles from on the bar and if it's empty staff will fill up bottles for you from their soda tap. You only have to buy sealed branded bottles of water. We did not feel the need.

3. Staff
They made the holiday exceptional. All the staff we spoke to were lovely. Polite, accommodating, helpful and interesting. We could not fault anything. Meal times were a delight with Roxanne and Keema and many other waitresses. Reception staff and managers were just lovely especially Devon and Sherry-Anne (staff please excuse my spelling!). Dave by the pool made my children laugh every day and his water aerobics looked like fab fun (although he never quite managed to get me to participate. Staff would always say hello as they walked passed my sun lounger by the pool but I never felt my privacy was encroached.

4. The pool
On first arrival I thought the pool would be packed as there were so many sun loungers. But I can pretty much say it was nearly always empty with no more than 2 or 3 families using it at a time (we were out of season of course in August). It was a lovely size and was cleaned very regularly. It had a shallow part with steps that was perfect for my children and deeper parts to the pool but at 5ft 4 I was never out of my depth. Aqua aerobics happened every morning at the pool, but there was still plenty of room for us to play.

5. The beach
WOW!! Absolutely lovely. The beach is shared with Sandals further down. Our part of the beach was gently shelving with some pebbles in piles that the tide brings in. Hardly any waves. Everyday we would walk out to the rocks at the end of the beach and feed the fish with bread crumbs we had collected from breakfast. Saw some lovely fish and lots of crabs. The limestone (I think) is really interesting as it is full of shell fossils. My children found it fascinating. Kayaks are free to take out as is snorkelling equipment. We hired a jet ski for approx. 20 mins for 30 USD. Quite a few vendors walk up and down the beach. This was quite frustrating at times but we learnt just to say no thank you, and this was fine.

5. Clouds
Take a walk up the very steep road on the left by the exit and it will take you up to a disused restaurant with the most amazing views. We walked up and watched the sun set on a few occasions. Beautiful.

6. Nelson's Dockyard was our favourite visit. It was really interesting and only 8USD p.p. entry and children were free as was the guided tour. Cost 80USD taxi to get there but we asked him to take us on a little tour of the island with photo stops so I am sure it would normally be cheaper than this. We also stopped off at a supermarket on route which was enormous and had everything you could possibly wish for including lots of items down the British aisle of Waitrose brand (should you so desire).

7. Weather
We went the last two weeks of the summer hols in August. Most days were very hot and very sunny. Some cloud at times, that soon lifted. A few torrential showers. On our last day the weather turned, but, Irma was on her way.

8. Wlidlife
We saw a mongoose, lots of lizards and some beautiful fish. Lots of lovely birds too. We enjoyed looking them all up.

9. kids club
My daughter was desperate to go and she went for the morning and loved it. Lovely staff and lots to do. You can even borrow buckets and spades etc for the beach.

I would without hesitation recommend this friendly little 3* hotel to anyone. If you want a 4 or 5 * room this isn't the place for you. We loved it and will definitely return one day without a doubt. Thank you so much for having us. Catherine, Colin, Ben and Martha. xx

Room Tip: Pool rooms seemed to have coffee making facilities, paintings on walls and a fresh paint job.
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  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
11  Thank catcollins24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts

Address: Dickenson Bay | PO Box 251, St. John's, Antigua
Region: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#5 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
Price Range: €130 - €284 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Halcyon Cove by Rex Resorts 3*
Number of rooms: 181
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoying a pristine picture postcard beach front location, the Halcyon Cove by rex resorts offers the very essence of a perfect Caribbean setting. Beautiful glistening waters gently lap at the palm-fringed white sands of Dickenson Bay where guests can recline beneath the palm-frond parasols or exert some energy on a variety of water sports. International buffet breakfast and dinner cuisine is served at the Arawak Terrace restaurant or treat yourself at the Warri Pier a-la-carte restaurant featuring speciality grills and lobster in its unique setting over the sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Halcyon Cove By Rex Hotel St. John`s
Halcyon Cove Antigua
Halcyon Cove By Rex Resorts Antigua/Saint John Parish
Rex Halcyon Cove Resort
Rex Halcyon Antigua

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