Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: Sandals Grande Antigua (4 Star)

Overview: 
15 mins from airport
10 mins from St. John’s
West side of island (Caribbean side)
 6 pools
4 a la cartes, 7 others (buffets, cafes, pizzerias, sushi bar etc.)
7 bars
373 Rooms in 25 Categories (some in 5 storey Mediterranean Village, 3 stories, some in small private garden rondovals)
All Inclusive


Overall impression is that like most Sandals, this is perfect for couples. The restaurants, rooms, pools, music, and everything is catered for romance. There`s lots of music, entertainment, so it’s always lively, even during the day.
There are endless room types, so it’s perfect for the client who is very specific about what they want their room to be like, but at the same time it can also difficult to choose a room type. The beach is beautiful with white sand and blue waters – one of the best on the island.
















Accommodations: 
 


The rooms were very luxurious, clean, modern and sophisticated, with mini bars and big flat-screened tv’s. Most of the bathrooms are beautiful, with unique bathtubs, marble floors/walls, mosaics, his and her washbasins, and lots of little details. With the luxury of these rooms you feel like royalty. All rooms have King size beds. There really is a room type for every liking!  If you`d like something in a high rise, there is the main building, if you`d like something private, there are the little rondovals throughout the village. For those who like 2 or 3 storey buildings, there`s even a few of these for those who would like a pool nearby that`s not shared with quite so many people.

All rooms in the Mediterranean Village offer Concierge Service, whirlpools and walk-in ceiling showers. Rooms in the Med Village have 7 room types. 3 of these offer Butler Service: LV, GA and PO room types. (which are in the Poinsettia block)  Rooms in the Caribbean Grove have 14 room types. Four of these offer Butler service: RP, RD, OHS, HS. The garden rondovals are beautiful and are the small circular buildings with the cone-shaped ceilings, patios and private plunge pools. They have the beautiful ceiling showers and exquisite marble bathrooms. You can choose to have one Beachfront or Gardenview. (2 different room types) The other room types in the Caribbean Village are in 2 or 3 storey buildings, there are Hibiscus Verandas which are in the Cottages, Ixoria, Paton and Hibiscus II blocks. The Concierge rooms are in either the Frangipani, or Anthurium blocks. The other rooms in the two-three storey buildings can be found in Flamboyant, and Oleander blocks. Lastly, there are one storey cottages in the Hibiscus block which are room types: HP, PR, HD, DL. These rooms offer a patio and are the closest rooms to the main pool.

Pools: 

The main Sandals pool is considered the largest in the eastern Caribbean. It has a beautiful view of the beach/water, and a nice view of the main building. There are also other smaller pools which offer quieter options. Some of the pools have swim up bars, but most are quieter pools.

Beach: 

There is one main beach. It has amazing white sand and bright blue waters. It’s in a slight bay, so the water is fairly calm. There are lots of options available for water sports, and all are included for free, including scuba diving. Lots of tours and excursions pick up right at the resort. Some boat tours even park right up to the beach in front of the resort so you can join.

Facilities: 

There are so many dining options, so it’s great for those who like different food for every meal. We had a dinner there and the food was really good. There were lots of seafood options on the menu. There are lots of bars and it seemed like there was always music playing, and a little bit lively. I wasn’t really impressed by the service from what I experienced in our two visits. The service at the restaurant was average – the staff weren`t very friendly, and didn’t go out of their way to help when our group was missing items from our table. It seems like management has the attitude that they don’t need to go out of their way because the resort is beautiful and speaks for itself, Sandals has a reputation as a brand. I think I expected more from Sandals though. There is a fitness centre, tour desk, weddings, internet/wi-fi, and a “No Tipping” policy unless you have a butler.

Overall, this resort is perfect for couples and honeymooners. It does cater to romance, and some little features you can`t get anywhere else. I think that this Sandals resort is beautifully maintained, and the main improvement it could see is customer service, friendliness. Sandals can be pricey because of it`s reputation, and I`m not sure it`s worth it because I know there are other adult-only resorts out there for less with better service. If you are wanting to specifically go to Antigua though, there are not many other resort options that cater to couples quite as much as Sandals Grande Antigua does. See more information about the resort below:

http://www.sandals.com/main/antigua/an-home.cfm