Sandals Grande Antigua
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
We went to Sandals to get married, we were not disappointed! The wedding team were really friendly and helpful and everything was sorted within 2 hours. The day itself could not have gone better, we were married on the beach and had a fab photographer Delmore who took the best photos. Overall the resort is lovely, beach is outstandingly beautiful and breakfasts in the Bayside overlooking the beach were amazing. The omelettes were the best!! Lunches were fab, great choice everywhere. My 4 star rating is due to the lack of quality on the evening meals and some of the evening service was not great. It is also quite annoying that the butler service bags all the sun loungers on the beach with the umbrellas, even though these might not be used. You literally have to get your towels out at 6am if you wanted one. Luckily there was a bit more choice round the pool. We had a cabana for the day and would recommend this. Also all the waterspouts being included is also fantastic. The pool bar opened at 10.30 by which time most people are thirsty, there were some fantastic cocktails, chocolate monkey, dirty banana but the best drink was the iceberg, half a lager and magarita yuuummm!!!
We stayed here from Feb 11-18, I was kind of hesitant to book for Valentine's week thinking it would be too crowded, but I think others thought this as well and so we actually were able to get a late reservation booked in Dec. because of that ; ) I think they were full, but it never seemed overcrowded to us. Temps were mid 80s during the day, and low to mid 70s at night - Perfect. We had no rain while we were there. Our room wasn't ready at check in (we arrived at the airport at 3, went through the efficient, modern customs, and took an older van to the resort, then did a lobby check in --- so close to 530 pm when we got our room key.) We stayed in 409 in the Caribbean single story duplexes (no one walking around above your ceiling!), across from the smaller swim up bar pool. Latoya was an excellent bartender and always kept our drinks filled there. She also makes up some novel custom drinks - tell her what you like, and she will make something delicious. She was the stand-out person in a place full of good service personnel. The swim up bar area is shaded - and that comes in real handy at midday. Our room was the most basic level offered, and was just fine for us. Plenty of closet and dresser space, a coffee pot, a quiet mini fridge (no alcohol stocked in this room level, but there was Plenty available at the resort). The sink area was separate from the tub/shower (plenty of hot water always) and toilet room, and basically was in one end of the main room - which made for some light and noise for the later sleeper in the room (me - my husband is an early bird). The King bed was very firm (which is good with us) but the springs popped and made noises on the edges of the bed - probably time for some new mattresses..... I heard this a lot from other guests. Flat screen TV was about 40 inches and reception was good - but we came for the beach and wouldn't have cared if we had no TV at all. Wi-Fi was good for a twice daily check in on our email, etc. Otherwise, our phones were cameras only - we weren't tied to them. Housekeeping did a great job, and the room was always very clean. Service was as late as 4 pm one day, though - but the resort seemed to be full up and they can't get them all done at 11 a.m. Turn down service is generally something we passed on, unless they came by when we were away at dinner. I can pull the covers down myself ; ) We had a nice covered patio, with a table and chairs - and I read out there several mornings with my coffee, and it was shady until afternoon. Some patios are right on the walkways - but, this one was set back and had its own short pathway to it. We kept the windows open the first couple days (had to request some screens, and they were delivered and installed quickly) but there wasn't very good cross ventilation (only a little window on the opposite side, and it was inside the bathroom area) and we gave in and used A/C for the remainder of the trip. The A/C was quiet, and worked well. There were weddings on most days, so definitely some 20-30 something aged guests here, but I'd say most of the couples here were in their 40s to 60s, with a few older than that (and I hope to be visiting beautiful places like this when I am in my 70s!). Meals - We weren't able to get reservations at 2 days ahead to Soy or Eleanor's for dinner - so book as soon as you get there, if you don't have a butler. I don't know this for certain, but I presume butlers get preference on booking restaurants over non-butler rooms. Food was great everywhere we ate --- Barefoot at dinner has a really good surf and turf (Caribbean lobster tail and mini steak) and the lobster bisque is delicious. There ARE birds at Barefoot at lunchtime - go elsewhere if this will bother you. They are roosting elsewhere after dark, so no birds then and its nice to hear the surf as you eat. We generally were ready to eat at 6:30 when dinner started, and never had to wait anywhere. If you take longer to shower the sand and sunscreen off - there might be a small wait in a few places. Service was very good at all the restaurants we ate at. We loved Mario's - esp. the 'salad' bar - it had everything imaginable on it, from fried calamari, to cheeses and salami, to steamed mussels, etc. Its easy to get too full to eat your entrée if you aren't careful there! Save room for Lava Cake. We had a lamb and lobster special on Valentines night there - after skipping out on the Returning Customers dinner ... we waited around in the lobby there for what seemed a looong time, and finally decided we were hungry and didn't want to wait for a sales pitch with our dinner. Other's thought it was a wonderful dinner - so, make your own choices. Bayside was good - I had duck, my husband had shrimp. We never got around to trying OK Corral (we live in AL - so we have good BBQ at home) or Pizza, or Sushi (which we don't eat anyways). We ate at Eleanor's for breakfast a few times, and once at Mario's - both very good. The beach barbeque night was nice, and we enjoyed the steel band. Drunken Duck for lunch once - we ate some OK fish and chips. We went there more for the beverages than to eat.... Its just our preference, but we refuse to eat burgers or hot dogs while in the Caribbean. They were reportedly very good, per others - but the jerk chicken wraps were preferable for a quick lunch to us. Really, a late big breakfast around 10 a.m. held us until dinner most days - there's only so much one can consume in a day, no matter how good it looks. I had a GI bug one day - likely I just picked up a virus, with lots of folks from all different places staying there. Take meds along with you for that, or I guess check in with the nurse if you are affected. I recovered quickly on my own.Beach - Gorgeous!! My husband took a refresher course for Scuba ($80) and then took 5 free included scuba trips afterwards. He enjoyed them all and had good things to say about the Dive staff. We took 3 snorkeling trips together - they also were very good, and we took a few Hobie sails. We ran out of time to take an excursion - too busy doing included activities, so Next Time. The resort is on the more sheltered side of the island, so you are more likely to get calmer seas here. We've stayed at resorts on the choppy, windy side of a different island and got red flagged from beach activities the whole week then. Much calmer here away from the Atlantic side : )Beach vendors were real low key, and they recalled who had said No, Thanks on an earlier pass - not an issue for us. Beaches are public, and a few families enjoyed them occasionally - but not ever a big crowd of locals and they should get to enjoy their own beaches anyways, I think. Cruise ship folks on day trips seemed to be crammed in to a small area of umbrellas on the beach off to the side of the Sandals frontage - to each their own, but that's not for me! Plenty of beach to take long walks on, and security folks made sure that guests were the only ones accessing the facility property. Sunsets were pretty and this time of year happened around 5:30. Sun Beds - on the beach or at the pools - as bazillions of reviewers have already said, Sandals could improve this considerably. Adding several more sun beds and Lots more big umbrellas would help, but mostly its the butlers and other guests reserving places early, and then NOT using them that drives everyone crazy. We generally made do, with whatever we could find on the beach. TIP- Sandals provides a regular umbrella in your room, and it fits into the webbing on the back of the sunbeds really well..... at least your head and shoulders will be in the shade with my improvisation. There are bars near the beach, and occasionally staff comes through and takes an order to bring you beverages, too. Not something to consider if you go the butler route, but there's plenty of easy access to refreshing beverages without a butler, too. We brought some big mugs, just in case - other resorts we've been to have long lines and sometimes run out of clean cups, but we never took them out of our luggage here. There are almost no shells on the beach, so if that's important to you ..... Staff - everyone we came in contact with was pleasant and helpful. Housekeeping, gardeners, etc all said hello in passing, and answered questions on directions (or stopped what they were doing and walked us to wherever). Grounds are beautiful - Hibiscus, bougainvillea, and so many other blooming plants are everywhere. The plantings make the resort seem even bigger than it is - as you can't see far past the lovely plantings on the path you are on. Hummingbirds and bananaquits (a little yellow finch sized bird) are about, as are some little reptiles. TIP - if your flight leaves later in the afternoon, showers are available in the Mediterranean building to get the sand and sunscreen off after you've officially checked out of your room. Also, grab a pizza, or a wrap, or some pastry, or whatever you'd like to take to the airport with you - most places here will pack up some food for your journey home. We flew direct from Antiqua to Atlanta (about 4 hrs, 20 min) and the airlines will Not feed you anything nowadays.Why am I at 4 stars instead of 5? The Caribbean side was pitched as 'Quiet' to us. Mostly it is - the main big pool in front of the Mediterranean building has the louder music and activities during the day. There was music at the smaller swim up pool, and it wasn't real loud, but the occasional rap selections weren't very welcome for us. There were some other light pop selections played, but I'd have preferred just quiet at this pool (like Sandals Bahamas does). Our first few nights, the evening entertainment was set up facing the Mediterranean building and we didn't hear it, even with our windows open. Mid week - that changed, and the entertainment speakers were aimed towards the Caribbean side. It was Loud in our room, with the windows closed; and even with me wearing ear plugs - I could still hear it. It goes till 11 p.m., which is not normally late for me - but after a full day of sun and beverages, we were ready to sleep well before then. I'd try to get a room farther away from the entertainment area if we return (which we will seriously consider). Bands set up in front of Mario's or in the courtyard area nearby, with the shops. The whole resort doesn't need to hear it, just the folks gathered at the stage..... We had no problems with any bugs, and the resort 'fogs' for bugs around 4-5 every afternoon. The fogger is LOUD, which is good, I guess - it gives you a heads up that its coming, so you can dart indoors. I never could get anyone to tell me what product they use to 'fog' for the bugs. The person fogging wore long pants and sleeves, gloves, and a respirator. Someone similarly dressed was spraying plants with a liquid in front of our duplex one morning. I really couldn't hear what he said he was spraying (respirator again) when I asked. I'm glad they try to keep their sprayers safe, but as an organic gardener - I'm wary of what I'M being exposed to. If you are very sensitive to these sorts of products, I'd advise you get some specifics before staying here.Orientation - its at 10 a.m., and we skipped it. We'd already figured out where most everything was by then - an overview of the resort when you check in would be more appropriate than waiting until the next day.We'd only been to one other Sandals before this one, but we 'accidently' got invited to the Returning Guests dinner while on the beach, talking to a rep. Also, was told then to stop in and get free T-shirts during our stay. No big deal - but if this is being offered, it should be brought to the attention of the returning guest and not something to discover on their own. Maybe that was at orientation and we missed it, but a simple notice in the room or at check in would have been nice.Overall, a Beautiful Beach, with very good food, excellent service and very nice accommodations. A few tweaks would be good, but nothings perfect I guess. Close enough to perfect, and we'll definitely consider a return visit.
Sandals Antigua is our third different Sandals Resort. Mr. G. The Resort manager runs a tight ship and it shows. The food was great all over the Resort, the staff so friendly, and the facilities were great. Combine all of that with the sun and sand along with a few different tours, and it has been a great week of vacation!
You can't go wrong here. All the food and service was fantastic, not a bad meal in 12 days. We made great friends and had a lot of fun. Get up early if you want to reserve a beach hut (if not using a butler). Towel chair clips are handy for this. We stayed in the Caribbean pool walkout room and it was nice, but I don't understand why anyone used those pools when you had the awesome beach and main pool. The power 360 cruise/snorkel was excellent, we saw several sea turtles. The second half turns into a booze cruise for sure and the bbq was on point. We also went to Shirley heights which has a beautiful view. Definitely a tourist trap but the food there looked really good but the drink lines were long. I'd still go again just for the view. Horseback riding was ok, they took too long to pick us up after it was over. There is a really small fort they take you to, and you do go briefly into the water on the horses. The beach vendors are regular and it's the same people every day, they'll move along with a simple no thanks. We did get annoyed one day sitting too close to the jet ski guy, he just would never shut up talking to his friends/phone while we were trying to relax, better to sit away from him. It is definitely a honeymoon crowd so there is opportunity to socialize with others if you want to. I've been to other adults only all inclusives that might as well be retirement homes. Shout out to Delmore (photographer) and Geoffrey (butler), they were both seriously the best.
Love the mediterainin village. It had a gorgeous view. The manager of the italian restaurant is the best, I think his name is Ken! Celestine was the greatest at the pool bar, making sure our drinks were perfect!! We did not want to leave!! If you are planning a trip of the island, ask for GG at the check in information desk to take you to visit all the tourist stops and even a few that are off the usual tourist path. He had so much island information and made our 5 hour tour go by way too fast!!
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- 3 meals daily
- 24-hour room service
- All drinks (International brands, Domestic beer, House Wine, 10:30am - 2am)
- Non-motorized water sports: Sailing, Hobie Cats, Sunfish Sailing, Windsurfing, Kayaking, Pedal Boat
- Boogie Boards
- Scuba diving for certified divers
- Tennis with instruction
- Exercise classes (Aerobics, Step aerobics, Water aerobics )
- Language lessons
- Dance lessons
- Daily activities
- Evening entertainment
- Christmas and New Year's Gala Dinners
- Manager's cocktail party
- 193 rooms in thirteen 2-storey buildings & 17 cottages
- 1 buffet restaurant
- 3 a la carte restaurants (International, Grill/BBQ, Japanese, Italian)
- 4 bars including Swim up bar, Piano bar, Main bar
- Shuttle to nearby Casino
- 5 outdoor pools
- 18-hole golf course 5 minutes away
- Meeting facilities
- 2 tennis courts (2 lit) on-site
- Souvenir gift shop
- Complimentary property-wide WiFi
- 5 Jacuzzis
- Fitness facilities
- Exercise classes
- Scuba diving on-site (fee)
- Dive shop on-site
- A range of watersports available
- Beauty salon (fee)
- Spa (fee)
- Outdoor Wedding Location
- King-size bed
- Amenity kit (shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, aloe vera and liquid soap)
- Private bath and shower
- In-room safe
- Clock radio
- Satellite TV
- Coffee maker
- Iron & ironing board
- Patio with garden view
- Max occ. 2 persons
- Same as above but larger with sitting area
- Mahogany four-poster bed
- In-room bar
- View of gardens and pool
Special Bonus - Guests booking a Luxury Beachfront Rondoval, Oceanview Honeymoon Suite, or a Garden Honeymoon Rondoval receive personalized butler service.
Wedding Bonus - Wedding packages available, please inquire for details.
Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.
Resort Location Map
Sandals Grande AntiguaAntigua,Antigua And Barbuda
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Dickenson Bay, St. John's Antigua
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
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Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
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