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Mediterranean Joins the Caribbean
The Mediterranean Joins the Caribbean in Antigua by Charles L. Mitsakos Christopher Columbus would be surprised if he sailed to Antigua again more than 500 years later to see that he could enjoy the...
The Mediterranean Joins the Caribbean in Antigua by Charles L. Mitsakos Christopher Columbus would be surprised if he sailed to Antigua again more than 500 years later to see that he could enjoy the comforts of the Mediterranean and especially his home town of Genoa in the Italian Riviera on this island in the Caribbean. The mixture of West Indian, African and European cultures is seen in many ways on the island through its art, music, architecture, cuisine, and culture. That blend of cultures and Antiguan and Barbudan hospitality to others encourages return visits. Having spent time in Greece, Italy, and Monaco and on the French and Italian Riviera, Stella, my interior designer spouse, and I became even more aware of the Mediterranean influence throughout the island while guests recently at the all-inclusive Sandals Grande Antigua, an American Academy of Hospitality Sciences Five Star Diamond Resort and Spa. Although we had vacationed on this Caribbean island since 1970 and at this resort since 1993, we weren't prepared for the dramatic changes that had been made. Perched on a hilltop overlooking Dickenson Bay, the new addition includes 180 luxurious concierge suites with a Mediterranean flair; Mario’s, an exceptional Italian restaurant, along with three other restaurants and the largest freshwater pool in the Eastern Caribbean. It complemented well the Caribbean Village accommodations and four restaurants that made up the original resort. Stella, my interior designer spouse, was delighted by the Mediterranean style accents in our room such as the full height marble columns, mosaic tiles, art work, custom designed hand-turned mahogany furniture with leather trunks and fabrics from Italy and Turkey, Italian Giallo marble bath fixtures, and Jacuzzi tub for two. I experienced the personal Mediterranean "touch" during a spa treatment my first morning on the island at the resort's Red Lane Spa. I thought I was back on the French Riviera. But the European influence in Antigua is not limited to Sandals. A trip to historic Nelson's Dockyard across the island with J. J., our personable taxi driver and guide, gave us a chance to see more of Antigua's beauty and Mediterranean connections. After visiting the museum and other historic buildings at Nelson's Dockyard, J. J. drove us up to Shirley Heights Lookout. Overlooking the island's south coast and the bay at English Harbor It was a perfect spot at which to sip a Planter's Punch made of course with Antigua's English Harbor rum while awaiting a dramatic green flash at sunset. We joined many folks from France and Italy who had sailed to Antigua on their yachts before heading back to Sandals Grande Antigua. The Mediterranean has indeed become part of the Caribbean. Plan your trip by going to Sandals Antigua.com or Antigua.com. A freelance travel writer, Charles L. Mitsakos is Professor Emeritus of Education at Rivier University in Nashua, New Hampshire.
A perfect winter sunshine destination
I have just returned from 8 nights at the Grande and we have had a wonderful week. The Beach is absolutely stunning and you can walk barefoot along it for a mile - end to end. The resort was...
I have just returned from 8 nights at the Grande and we have had a wonderful week. The Beach is absolutely stunning and you can walk barefoot along it for a mile - end to end. The resort was beautiful with the gardens and grounds well kept and all the facilities excellent. We enjoyed all the dining expericences, it offers a great choice for everyone so could not fault these. The Barefoot was great for lunch and also in the evening if you wanted to be outside, Eleanors has great lobster and the Italian Marios had an excellent buffet of starters, we tried to avoid the patisserie but sucumbed to the ice cream eventually! There are plenty of bars and nice places to sit especially the fire pits in the evening and there was frequent service on the beach of people bringing you drinks. We used alot of the watersports and all the hobbie cats, paddle boards and snorkeling was excellent and well organised, We used the gym everyday which was a very good size and well equipped for a hotel. I enjoyed the beach volleyball on my last day and wish I had found that earlier. The staff were all very friendly and welcoming, whoever you passed in the grounds always said good morning/afternoon to you. Only a couple of minor moans! - we came for the beach and only managed to secure the beds and umbrella by getting up v early and reserving them, not sure how they can overcome this problem as all the butlers reserve beds at 6am and by 6.30 they are all gone - I think they need some more beds and umbrellas on the beach and to explain to people that aren't paying for the butler service( which is unneccessary in my opinion) that you do have to go and reserve sunbeds early!! Also the free wifi is ok but not great, it's a little patchy and slow but we did manage to get good wifi on the beach and pick up our emails etc. The room was large and pleasant and we enjoyed being in the Caribbean area which is much closer to the beach and the restaurants so easy to nip back during the day, the bed is huge and plenty of storage although our chest of drawers was a bit broken. Good tea/coffee making facilities and a well stocked mini bar. The indoor restaurants had air conditioning so I found them a bit chilly in the evening and a good idea to take a wrap or something with you. Being an all inclusive there is no need to spend any extra money unless you want to do outside trips - having been to the island before and only having a week we didn't need to do any tours and so we came home only having spent a dollar on a couple of postcards! In general it was a very good quaility resort which we hope to return to and I would give it 4.5 stars out of 5.
Sandals all inclusive Resort...Antigua
Wonderful Resort and Island. Highly recommment it. Incredible service, politeness, amenities, and more. It is Adults only which is nice for mature adults wanting peace and quiet and the nightlife...
Wonderful Resort and Island. Highly recommment it. Incredible service, politeness, amenities, and more. It is Adults only which is nice for mature adults wanting peace and quiet and the nightlife with bands..excellent every nite. Beach dinners for all provided on the beach. Can't beat it. :--). Rooms were a bit dated where we stayed.
Mishs Review of Sandals Antigua!
Sandals Antigua is awesome because of so many things, - It offers an adults only, couples environment - On a great beach - Resort is big enough that it feels private, but not big enough hat you are...
Sandals Antigua is awesome because of so many things, - It offers an adults only, couples environment - On a great beach - Resort is big enough that it feels private, but not big enough hat you are walking forever - Great elegant rooms, with many different room categories. - Amazing taste and quality food, with many dining options for different tastes. - Close to airport - Large pool - Spa on site Antigua in general is a beautiful Island, recommend doing the horseback riding if you get a chance, had an amazing time!
What a great place. Couldn't have been happier. Everything was first class and one of the best vacations my wife and I ever had. Everyone we met were repeat customers which shows what a great...
What a great place. Couldn't have been happier. Everything was first class and one of the best vacations my wife and I ever had. Everyone we met were repeat customers which shows what a great place it is
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