2/13/2013 11:54:16 AM
We just returned from the beautiful island of Antigua on Jan 28th after a week stay at Sandals Grande Antigua. This was our second stay at this resort. On our first stay (years ago) the staff seemed to have a less than pleasant attitude and service was rather slow and at times unfriendly. Since our last visit Sandals has built an entire new Mediterranean section and upgraded the entire resort. WOW, what an amazing change for the better. The entire staff, from management, servers, maids and even gardeners would greet us with a smile and hello. The restaurants overall were very good, with the exception of the OK Corral, which really needed some improvements! The beach is not the largest, but is soft white sand and the water is clear and Caribbean blue. The resort was full during our stay and getting the “perfect” palapa and beach chair location was tricky, but not impossible. Those with Butler service had reserved chairs daily. There is huge selection of pools throughout the resort, many guests chose to relax poolside instead of the beach. It is a public beach so there are vendors selling hats, beads, cigars, tee shirts, shells, etc. I personally found them to be quite friendly and not at all aggressive. If you said no thank-you, they would walk away. If you walk the beach, there are a few local bars that are fun, but you are at an all-inclusive so you will have no shortage of bars at the resort. There is also beach service for drinks which is a nice touch. Sandals has a no tipping policy which they really do adhere to which is great. You don’t have to have cash on you for tips. When considering staying at this resort, it is extremely important to select the perfect room category for your needs. There are 25 different room categories and rooms varying greatly in price, location and amenities. We checked out many room types to see firsthand the many differences. The airport in Antigua is an older small Caribbean airport (they are building a new one) which can get very congested if there are several flights arriving or departing at the same time. The good news is that the airport is minutes from the hotel. We decided we will definitely return.