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Great place for BabyMoon!
We stayed at the Sandals Grande Antigua from 8/21 - 8/24. We booked through a travel agent, Travel Tom and he did a great job making it an easy booking for us. He has first hand knowledge of the...
We stayed at the Sandals Grande Antigua from 8/21 - 8/24. We booked through a travel agent, Travel Tom and he did a great job making it an easy booking for us. He has first hand knowledge of the property and he even knew the GM, Mr. Guarav who we were able to meet. The resort itself was beautiful. We stayed on the Mediterranean side and were at the pool all day. The resort is right on the beach also if you want to go into the water. Plenty of dining options and a great spa that my wife enjoyed. They even do a complimentary photo session if you want and you can purchase the pictures, but there is no obligation. One thing specifically I wanted to point out was that many of the guests including my wife and I were concerned because Hurricane Danny was supposed to hit the island during our Stay. I want to commend the GM, Mr. Guarav and his staff for handling this in a very organized fashion and kept all of the guests in the loop. His calm demeanor went a long way and I truly felt he had the best interests of the guests and staff in mind. Thank you Travel Tom and thank you Mr. G for all you did!
Our top honeymoon choice
Once getting off the plane onto the tarmac we stood in a line to get through customs and get our luggage. We knew to keep our hands on our luggage at all times to not let any locals try and help us...
Once getting off the plane onto the tarmac we stood in a line to get through customs and get our luggage. We knew to keep our hands on our luggage at all times to not let any locals try and help us to a taxi. We then located the Sandals sign and stood in a line there. After waiting about 10-15 min we loaded into a van with 2 other couples and headed for the resort. A scenic 15 min drive through the winding roads and we arrived. We were given cold washcloths and lead to the concierge office. We were then checked in there and greeted by a spa rep. We already had our complimentary massages booked and the lady was very nice about us telling her no to any other services. We also booked our 2 dinner reservations now as we heard they fill up fast. We were told that our room wasn’t quite ready yet and walked over to a quick lunch spot (the grill). The philly sandwich wasn’t the best, but the fries and nachos were very good. When we were finished eating we walked back to the concierge office and were then guided to our room (213). Totally not what we expected. I requested a "Caribbean walkout pool view room" based on pictures I saw. The walkout of the front door was to bushes and the pool on the other side of those, and the patio was a walkout to grass, a sidewalk and palm trees. The patio view was beautiful, but you could only sit out there in the early morning due to the sun beating down on the metal furniture. There was a screen window in the bathroom that we are pretty sure you can see into from balconies across the way, and there is another screen window with shutters that don't close all the way right near the front door that looks into your room. This makes for a very noisy night as well from the tree frogs. After unpacking my husband and I spoke and we really wanted to move rooms to a more private setting. We walked around the grounds and found the Mediterranean side more upscale and most of those rooms have an ocean view. We headed back to the concierge and asked to be moved. We were told nothing was available due to construction and low season, but to check back tomorrow. We then headed to the main pool. We hung out at the main pool every single day from 10-5. We knew to get chairs early, and made sure to get an umbrella and side table as well. (Basically every morning we had chairs saved by 8am. We noticed the butlers come down around 7am.) The next day we headed back to the concierge to see if we could get a different room. We waited in there for a good 30 min and were told someone would call us later to let us know. We did receive a voicemail from Onica and called her back but she was not available since it was around 7pm. We were told someone would call us back within 10 min with details. We waited a total of 2 hours while getting ready for dinner and never received a call back. So back to the concierge the next day at 9am when they opened. Waited again for about 30 min to be told that Rondall was working on something and we should come back at 2:30. Headed to the pool, and back to see Rondall at 2:30. FINALLY, success! We were then transferred to room 7511. There's a palm tree in the view of the sunset, but the room is spectacular. Just what we wanted for our honeymoon since the walkout pool room was nothing like the pictures. Privacy, a nice balcony to enjoy drinks and meals on with a great view of the ocean, and a large shower. Food- *Eleanor's is not all it's cracked up to be. The coconut soup and crab cakes are the best things on the menu in our opinion. *Kimono's is great if you have awesome couples to dine with. We ate with an Italian couple that was very quiet and another couple from Iowa that weren't very talkative either. *Soy is pretty slow paced, but very good sushi. We ended up ordering probably every roll on the menu and didn't really have a bad one. *Barefoot was good as well, but the chairs are very uncomfortable. They offer lunch and dinner. *Mario's for breakfast and dinner is just awesome! Michele, the maître D, is very pleasant as is all the wait staff there. My husband was stunned with dinner- antipasto bar in the back for appetizers and then you order your main course from a waitress. For dessert they offer tiramisu and chocolate lava cake. The lava cake is so delicious! *Drunken Duck offers snacks and dinner. The fish and chips is pretty tasty at 1am after karaoke! *Bella Napoleon Pizza is the easiest choice for lunch we found. It is right near the main pool and is fairly quick. There was one day that we went right after all the butlers placed their orders and ended up waiting 45 minutes for a pizza and calzone. You can eat at the outdoor tables or take it back to the pool. *Café de Paris we stopped in for lattes, pastries and crepes. There is a little buffet of items set up to make the crepes (Nutella & PB was great!) *We didn't have a chance to eat at OK Corral as they were closed on Friday and that was our last night in Antigua. *We also had a chance to order room service as a late lunch / early dinner since our resi's at Kimono's were not until 9pm. It seems to take on an average 40 min from the time you place the order until you receive it at your room. The wait staff will also take it anywhere you'd like- we chose to sit outside as the sun was setting. Red Lane Spa- Nickel and Gwendolyn were fabulous! My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our raindrop dreams massage. 90 minutes of different scented oils, hot stones and relaxation! Almost all of the staff we encountered were very pleasant. It's so nice to be greeted with a "good morning/afternoon/evening" as you are walking the grounds. We met Steve, the food and beverage manager, the first night we were at dinner. He was so helpful! We saw him a few other times throughout our trip too and he always made sure to stop by and say hi. Be aware if you head to the beach to take your room key with you. Sandals does not make you wear any type of bracelet, and the room key is your way back into the resort through the security guards blocking the gates. We didn't have our key one time and it took the girl about 5 min to go through the guest list to verify our room number and names. My one last tip – VERIFY all room charges before and after check out. We ordered 2 bottles of wine while dining at Eleanor’s and noticed at checkout that the waitress wrote down the wrong code for one bottle and they were trying to charge us $70 for a $40 bottle of wine. We got that all squared away and paid cash at checkout. I logged on yesterday to double check my credit card statement and see there is a $20 charge from Sandals 3 days after our checkout with no explanation as to what it’s for. I have since emailed Sandals for an explanation and also filed a claim with the credit card company.
Black Mold, Construction noise, and broken air conditioner
We just returned from a week long trip to Sandals. I've been to many all inclusive resorts, and this was by far the worst experience I've had. We arrived at the airport, went through immigration...
We just returned from a week long trip to Sandals. I've been to many all inclusive resorts, and this was by far the worst experience I've had. We arrived at the airport, went through immigration, grabbed our bags, and went to the Sandals desk with relative ease. We waited approximately 10 minutes and was whisked off to the resort. It was a quick ride, and we were greeted with a cool cloth and we signed ourselves in on an ipad. The room was not ready, so they invited us to go have lunch. Since it was a long day already, we just wanted to go to room and unpack, so we told them we would wait. Five minutes later, our room was ready. We were taken to our room on the Mediterranean side, 7411 which I believe was the room we reserved. I was a bit worried because I've read that they switch room categories, but this did not happen. The room appeared to be nice. The room had a king size bed, tv/dresser, chair with ottoman, and a small balcony with two chairs and a table. The bathroom was larger with two double sinks, soaking tub, and the closet was located at the entrance of the bathroom. As we began to unpack, I notice a very large stain on the bedding(very off putting and unnerving since I have to sleep in it for a week) and the safe did not work. We called down, and they sent someone to change the bedding and to fix the safe. After unpacking, we took a walk around the resort. The grounds are well kept, and there are flowering trees and bushes everywhere. They have many people working the property to keep it looking lovely. We went back to the room to take a quick nap and get ready for dinner. While getting ready, we notice the shower door did not line up and the glass did not close properly, the shower floor was not clean, and there was a chunk taken out of the wall by the mirror. We did not wish to complain about these smaller things, so we just let them go. Dinner at Mario's was great. Food was tasty, but they do not have any premium vodka. My husband and I both drink vodka on the rocks, and Grey Goose is our vodka of choice The best the hotel had to offer was Absolut. This has been the only all-inclusive I've been to that did not have either Kettle one, Grey Goose, or Belvidere. This was going to be a challenging drinking week. We woke up early and my husband dropped off a bag at the pool on his way to the gym. I went down 15 minutes later, and could not locate the bag. When my husband came back from the gym, he showed me where the bag was left, and it no longer could be found. There was a guest swimming in the pool, and he assured us that there was no possible way the bag was stolen. He told us we should check the lost and found. Unfortunately, he was wrong and the bag was indeed stolen. Thankfully, it only contained a few things so the loss was not too great. Needless to say, we were much more careful with our things from that day forward. We spent a glorious day by the pool, trying to find our new drink, but never did. On the way back we stopped at the desk to inquire about securing some Grey Goose The cost for this was $95.00 a bottle. Since we were going to be there another 6 days, we were not quite sure whether or not to invest $200 in additional liquor for the trip, since we had already spent so much for what was supposed to be a luxurious trip. We went to dinner at Kimono's and it was good. It was nice to meet up with other couples and talk about the trip, the resort, and our lives. We went back to the room and noticed that there was a puddle on the floor. We looked up and noticed that there was black mold around the air conditioner and surrounding walls. Obviously, this had been leaking for some time and the mold was throughout the walls.(pix attached). We immediately went downstairs and asked for a manager. The guest relations person arrived(I have forgotten her name) and asked to see the room. While walking up, she said we should expect some mold as this is the tropics. Uh, no, mold is toxic. She takes a look at the mold, and we then show her the filthy shower floor, the broken shower door, and the broken wall and asked to be moved. She said she will see what is available in the morning. I told her no, I want a new room tonight. The resort was only 60 percent occupied, so I was sure she could find us a suitable room. After about 15 minutes or so, she calls and notifies us that we will be moving to room 7501. John the awesome bellman, came up to move us over at around 10:00 pm. This room was at the end and had a great view of the beach. However, this was not to last. The next day we started our vacation routine, gym, pool, breakfast, pool, lunch, pool, back to the room. I had a spa appointment and my husband was going to nap. We get to the room, and there was tremendous construction noise. While we understand that things need repairing, do they have to repair at prime naptime? I went downstairs to find out how much longer it would be(I have video). They said soon. After 45 minutes of continual, nerve wracking noise, we went downstairs and asked for the manager. We were met by Kevin--Mr G's right hand. He apologized for our experience and that he would move our room. He gave us a resort credit, a coveted bottle of Grey Goose, and said he upgraded the room. I did not want to be on the Carribean side, and he said we wouldn't be. I went to my spa appointment, and my husband managed the 2nd move. It turns out we were on the Carribean side, in a butler suite without butler services(which we don't need). Upon review back home, it really was only one grade up from our original suite and without the actual butler service, really not an upgrade. I don't care that we weren't upgraded, just don't say that we were when in fact it was a lateral move. We were told it was several grades up from what we had paid for. the room was bigger, but we no longer had an ocean view. At this point, we have moved three times in three days, and had our bag stolen. Sandals has lost all appeal. We went to Drunkin duck, had a drink, went to dinner, milled around, then went to bed. Sometime during the night, the air conditioning died. The room was hot. We fiddled with the remote to get it to work, but to no avail. At some point, it decided to kick back on, and by morning, the room was cool. We called maintenance first thing to have it repaired. We went to the pool and upon entering the room called to make sure it had been repaired. They assured us it was fixed. Since it normally worked during the day, we had no way to know for sure. We went to dinner's at Eleanors and it was very nice. We went to bed joking that this has been our worst vacation ever. No one should have to endure as much as we have at a resort marketed to be so great. At around 12:30 am, the air conditioner died once more. At this point, my husband lost his temper, and called down to maintenance. They sent someone over, and he told us the board was fried and needed to be replaced, but this could not happen until the morning. As a patch, he was able to get the air conditioner on once more, but could not promise it would not go out. The night manager came to our room and promised that it would be fixed and if it happened again that night, he would find us a room to sleep in. Thankfully, this did not have to happen. The following night the power went out three times, but once restored the air conditioning worked. The power to the unit then went out the next two nights as well but went back on after a few hours. I believe that the units are programmed to go off to save on electricity. They called every day to ask after our stay and we informed them that the air went out every night but came back on but nothing was done about this. At this point we were just trying to salvage a small part of the vacation and just decided to live with whatever else came our way. Sad that what we thought would be a lovely vacation, turned out so awful. Sandals caters to honeymooners and Sandals devotees. Their hook is luxury and romance, but provides neither. If you have ever traveled to a quality resort, you would be disappointed. The beach is small, and the vendors calling out to you is a bit annoying. The food is acceptable, not gourmet, but we weren't expecting that. Inexpensive alcohol, no bottled water at the pool, and shabby beach towels. Just little things they did, to save a few dollars that diminish the overall experience. I have attached pictures to substantiate my claims of all but the stain on the bed which I thought was an isolated incident. My recommendation if you are looking for a quality vacation is to go somewhere else. There are many other all-inclusive resorts that offer a much better value and overall experience. It won't be hard to find better. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
I could go on and write all the good things people have written but that would be just repeating same things over and over again. This is by far one of the best resort I have been to.My first...
I could go on and write all the good things people have written but that would be just repeating same things over and over again. This is by far one of the best resort I have been to.My first Sandals. Was I bowled over completely, probably I expected a little more wow factor due to brand sandals. But this was a very enjoyable and relaxing vacation with a great beach, restaurants, excellent people including Antonio, David and Latoya. If you want to try Sandals, I would say this is the place as we met many repeat sandalars. I dnt know if there is such term but I mean people who were on second free 7 nights stay. ( To put in context, you get 7 night free stay after 70 nights at any sandals) Yes, go and enjoy. N
A really beautiful place
We have been going to Antigua for a number of years and the Sandals resort has to be the best place to stay right from walking in to the reception (concierge),we were impressed with the devotion of...
We have been going to Antigua for a number of years and the Sandals resort has to be the best place to stay right from walking in to the reception (concierge),we were impressed with the devotion of the staff that looked after our needs. The resort has several areas and each area is surrounded by beautiful and well kept gardens, there are several restaurants on site appealing to all. We had an absolutely fabulous time, the Management and Staff were always friendly and smiling, Kevin Clarke Mr G and his team are a credit to the resort. Every one of them we spoke to we're passionate about the resort and provided and excellent experience for the customer. We are hoping and planning to return next year if it's possible thank you to all
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