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“Really...Do Not Go Here.”

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Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 15 Hotels in St. John's
Certificate of Excellence
Edison
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Really...Do Not Go Here.”
Reviewed 19 April 2012

I'm truly sorry I didn't pay more attention to these reviews when my husband and I first booked our honeymoon back in January. Our actual trip was from April 7-13, 2012. I'm not going to rehash our almost week long trip because I will essentially be repeating what so many other unsatisfied guests have already mentioned, apparently for years. I will cut right to the point. The overall feel from the resort staff varies from unfriendly to straight up rude. We encountered maybe 5 friendly staff the entire time we were there. They truly do not care. You will be a bother to them to ask them for something as simple as a napkin. Please keep this in mind everytime you plan to sit down for a meal, ask for a drink, or ask ANYTHING for that matter. This attitude was most definitely the rule, and not the exception, nor was it the only thing wrong with this place, but it certainly topped the list for us. We felt that the overall maintenance and cleanliness of the resort (rooms, pools, grounds, etc.) was substandard for the amount of money we paid for this trip. The food was average, and usually had gnats flying around it, even when we ate at any of the indoor restaurants. My husband found hair in his food on 3 different occasions, but we never bothered saying anything about it because we knew it wouldn't matter to them, and honestly, we didn't feel safe enough to say anything. We may have had 3 really good dishes during our stay. We had an issue with our air conditioner the first night there, and although we had maintenance come at about 10:30 at night, he only "fixed" the problem which caused a whole other problem. I did not get much sleep that night. We ended up switching rooms the next day because they told us the problem could not be fixed. I felt bad for whoever they put in that room after us.

Anything that we actually enjoyed; the fact that we were together, laying out in the sun, the nice weather, the sea water, we could have found somewhere else...somewhere closer to home, with friendlier staff, better overall quality, and a lot less expensive. We were willing to pay the price for a really nice time. This was NOT the place. The reality of this place is not decribed on the website, nor in any brochure. It was not as beautiful or impressive as we had expected. It was not geared towards couples the way I thought it would be. It was not romantic. It was definitely not peaceful. And most of all, we did not feel welcome. Forget about being "taken care of"; if you are looking for that, this is not the place. If you do go, do not feel surprised if you feel like you were dupped. We arrived on a Saturday evening...I wanted to leave by Tuesday.

My husband and I were recently married, but have been together for almost 13 years. In that time we have done a lot of traveling, but have only taken 3 vacations together. Neither one of us has ever gone to an all-inclusive resort and I've always wanted to try Sandals. I will never try another Sandals again because of this experience. Believe me, the word is being spread.

Room Tip: I have no helpful tips, as we, and other guests seem to be less than satisfied with the rooms for al...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
15 Thank katiewools
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SRICS, Manager at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 20 April 2012
Warm greetings from Sandals Resorts International! You are very important to us and we welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Please e-mail us at (customerservice@sandals.com). We look forward to hearing from you. Warm regards.
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2012

We stayed in Sandals Grande Antigua for five nights last month (March 8-12th). The trip was a surprise for my birthday March 10th. We booked the walk out beach front suite in the Caribbean Grove online, but when we arrived at the resort our room changed without authorization. Our room was “upgraded” to room 7029 on the 5th Floor of the Mediterranean Village. We did not consider the room an upgrade. We were extremely disappointed that we could not stay in the room we purchased online. Check-in time was at 3:30 p.m. March 8th. We arrived at the hotel at 5:30pm. The “upgraded” room was not ready. The room was not ready until 8:15p.m! We could not find anyone to help us carry our luggage so we were forced to carry our own... (REALLY SANDALS?!)

(Oh.. Let me go back)... Prior to arriving, the Sandals airport shuttle was not a licensed Sandals driver. We were subjected to ride in some individual’s personal van. The van was ran down, dirty, and needed some mechanical work. The diver insisted on stopping to chat with other locals on our drive to the resort. The commute from the airport to the resort was an extremely uncomfortable experience. (REALLY SANDALS?!)

(Okay, back to the room)...When FINALLY arrived to our room we noticed there was no running water! We were unable to flush the toilet OR shower. The front desk failed to mention to us that the water was down due to some pipe burst. For the next 2 days of our vacation we had no running water. So you can just imagine! For the duration when the water was "so called" working it ran rusty brown.

We demanded that a portion of our trip for the days without water be refunded immediately or a voucher to have a make-up trip at a different sandals location with management and by calling the 1(888) number... (Nothing) We stayed at many hotels/resorts around the Caribbean, but never experienced the type of inconvenience and uncomfortable living arrangements as we did at Sandals Antigua. Never…ever!

In addition, during our stay at Sandals we experience racism from both the resort employees and the guest because we are African American. I was harassed by the resort employees when entering the resort from the beach, even when I showed them my membership card they were nasty. The resort shares a public beach so anytime we left the gate it was hard to get back in. We were not shown the same level as customer service while dinning, or in general as the other guest. Most of the employees are black and I feel some had an issue with serving other backs. On top of that, I was approached by guest to get drinks, towels and even help with snorkeling gear even though I was wearing resort wear. Some lady asked my boyfriend to fetch her flipper for snorkling… REALLY SANDALS! The worst part is we were snorkling too!!! I never experienced such racism in my life. I felt like I needed to wear a shirt that said I’m on vacation just like you!

Also, I would not recommend this trip for young couples (20-35). We are in our 20's wanted some sort of night life. The guest seemed to be 45+. You’ve been warned. This place is like Sandals Assisted Living Retirement Home! Oh.. and avoid the casino at all cost! You've been warned again.

I feel that my birthday was ruined. There is no way to bring back that special day. We would like some compensation for the trip... Seriously SANDALS!!! We spent a lot of money for the vacation and expected to have a “vacation” or at least running water!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank K H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SRICS, Manager at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 20 April 2012
Warm greetings from Sandals Resorts International! You are very important to us and we welcome the opportunity to speak with you. Please e-mail us at (customerservice@sandals.com). We look forward to hearing from you. Warm regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
U.K
Level Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2012

We went a few months ago on a second honeymoon for a week. From the moment we arrived till we left we were treated well. We had a standard room (not a suite) in the Carribbean Grove. I think this is the old part of the resort and did look a bit tired but nevertheless lovely.

If you can afford a concierge/ butler room -BOOK IT. From speaking to other couples, it is well worth it. Also, we found people who stay in these rooms get more attention and more of a personalised service.

Staff are very friendly and know your names after a few days. I had lots of food allergies and informed them before I arrived so that they could cater food to my needs and that they did. I met with the head chef as soon as I arrived to the hotel and he made sure that every restaurant that I went to offered me a choice of meals that I could eat.

There are a great range of restaurants to choose from. The best place to have breakfast is Marios! Excellent range of hot and cold food for breakfast. We did go to Bayside for breakfast once but never again as its an open restaurant in that birds frequently come and peck on food and sit on tables etc. It is a shame as otherwise they serve good food.

Marios was overall the best restaurant with a variety of different pastas, soups, desserts. The cafe was great for afternoon tea and even serve english type sandwich (only at a particular time though). The cafe had miniature desserts which were delicious.

Pizzaeria was ok, did the job and even offer take away.

Drinks can be a problem if your a non-alcoholic drinker. They dont serve mineral water but in your room there is a fridge which is stocked with mineral water bottles. I just used them instead. Coke, lemonade and sugar filled fruit squashes are the closest thing you can get to soft drinks. That was a bit of let down but if you drink beer and cocktails then you will be fine.

Beach is patrolled around the clock so you do feel safe. In the daytime, there are agents trying to sell tours etc. But are polite when you refuse.

We went on a sunset day trip to a hill where locals were playing music and authetic food was being sold. It was ok but not worth the money we paid.

Overall, great resort, great location and great staff. Many couples are frequent visitors to Sandals so that must say something.

Room Tip: Get the best room you can afford! Well worth it!
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Cutey09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2012

My husband and I chose this gorgeous resort when deciding on our honeymoon spot. Our travel agent, Lisa Zwissler of Beach Bum Vacations, recommended several resorts, and we decided on Sandals Grande Antigua for its variety of restaurants and pools, amenities and proximity to the airport (about a 15 minute shuttle ride). We were not disappointed! This was our first trip to a Sandals resort, and it will probably not be our last, The staff we encountered was helpful and friendly, the food was delicious, and the weather was phenomenal. Truly a perfect honeymoon, and we couldn't have been happier with our choice.

Lisa was attentive and patient with my husband and I as we debated among a few resorts, asking her question after question via email, trying to determine the best pick for our honeymoon. We truly appreciated Lisa's knowledge and honesty about the resorts we were considering, and Antigua was the perfect fit. Not that we'll be planning as nice of a vacation as our honeymoon any time soon, but when we do decide to plan another big trip, we will be contacting Lisa.

Room Tip: We were on the 5th floor in the newer section of the resort, at the end of the corridor. It was ver...
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank CarlyM228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level Contributor
36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2012

We thought St Lucia was nice but the Antigua property was beautiful with so much garden and trees that you could not even see the other side of resort with the cottage style rooms.We were on the new tower side 7th floor topaz rm, nice room with over 600 sq ft and lovely view .We were thinking on the first day that maybe we should of went to St Lucia again but thanks to Steve our concierge things turned around almost immediately and any concerns we had were dealt with by food and beverage manager Shawn Davis who addressed our concerns . Marios Italian restaurant with its home made pasta and chicken parm that melted in your mouth was our favorite and seemed to have the best atmosphere.This is unusual for us the steak and seafood restaurants usually on top of our list but not here. The pizza for lunch was awesome at the pizzeria and the Barefoot by the sea was very nice spot to eat with special thanks to waitress Stacia and barman Denzel for there extra service.Elanors was good for the lobster which I like but my wife does not so she had pork tenderloin each time we went and I had lobster. The menu was limited so that's why she had same thing twice.We were at this resort for 2 weeks and with my love of lobster tails would of went more often if atmosphere and selection better.OK corral was tried for steak supper one night and steak was tough and that was last time there for supper but it was our breakfast spot because it was not buffet.Near the end of stay I was talking to chef Nigel and I happen to tell him I missed having any rack of lamb so he found out where we eating that night and had it for me (thanks Nigel) . The GM of this property is all over the place I seen him early morning late at night and he even came to airport shttle to say thanks for coming I do believe he runs a tight ship.

Room Tip: The new tower if you want grander style and view of water but the Caribbean side if you like the cot...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank LJOntario
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:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in St. John's
#3 On the Beach Hotel in St. John's
#3 Family Hotel in St. John's
#3 Luxury Hotel in St. John's
#4 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 
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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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