Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua
Review 2016

*To View Photo Galleries of Sandals Grande
Antigua, scroll down this page

Sandals Grande Antigua is a gorgeous resort! All the staff member we encountered during our 9-night stay were friendly, knowledgeable, and tried their best to make us feel at home.

Upon our on-time arrival that there was no Sandals Lounge... just a booth set up across the street from the airport where the busses and taxis are located. At first I was disappointed, but this actually worked well because our room number was attached to the luggage and there was no waiting to board one of several busses available.Rhw drive to Sandals Grande Antigua was easy and took about 30 minutes.

We were then directed to the concierge office nearest our room. We signed on electronically with a tablet, and as mentioned on the Sandals forum, we were asked if we wanted to donate to the Sandals Foundation.I am in agreement with others that this is not the proper time for this promotion as we are all very anxious to get to our room.

Most everything we heard or read during the Sandals check-in was white noise to us... just a barrier imposed by Sandals to prevent us from getting to our room and unpacking. Not only that, we are Diamond Level members, and I thought we were supposed to have in-room check-in service. Has that gone by the wayside?

We have discovered our Sandals comfort zone with Club Level which is the old concierge designation, including wine-tastings, martini experiences, cocktail parties and a chance to meet new people including staff members. The events are held early in the evening, leaving plenty of time for dinner later.

For the first time at any Sandals, we were not assigned a specific concierge, but there are always several to be found in the concierge building or on the grounds. They are all extremely friendly and it didn't take them long to remember our room number and name. We had to smile at one of the staff members who we would often see on the Sandal's property and always greeted us by our room number.

We did notice a few changes from out last several Sandals vacations. For instance, the 'Soon Come Back' desk has been re-branded as 'Loyalty and Travel.' We also learned that Sandals is planning to open 4 new locations in Mexico. The OK Corral (at Sandals Grande Antigua) will become a steakhouse (Butch's Chophouse?) and the new steakhouse will soon be added to other resorts in the Sandal's chain.

We attended the returning guest dinner which included about 200+ people. Many awards were given, plus a lot of Sandals self- promotion. It is always a long evening, but without exception we meet a lot of mew people which we always enjoy. We were also given a t-shirt and a bottle of Appleton Rum. Speaking of t-shirts, I wonder why Sandals never has size L. We have signed up for a size L at more than one Sandals, adding our names to the long list of requests, but they never seem to be in stock. Additionally the designs are often duplicate except for the wording on the sleeve - "Sandals Grande St. Lucian"

While we liked the idea of breakfast room delivery we never used it due to the timing of the snorkeling boat. We found it easier to have breakfast at Bayside or Eleanor

Review of our room: Caribbean Honeymoon Beachfront Grande Luxe Club Level. There are two levels in this building, and we were on level 2, room 118. We had a beautiful view of the ocean from our patio. The room photos are about halfway down this page, highlighted in red. There is plenty of space for storage. Per our request, a bottle of Pino Grigio was delivered daily and the refrigerator was well-stocked with beer, a variety of juices, soft drinks and even a bottle of champagne. Plenty of bottles of rum, vodka and other liquor were provided at the bar in the room. The location of this building is a disaster to anyone expecing a true Sandals couples-only experience. More on that below.)

Review of Housekeeping: Housekeeping came around twice every day and did an excellent job of keeping the towels and linens fresh as well as sweeping out the room, includinh the patio. Well done, housekeeping staff!

We attended the Returning Guest Dinner. 200+ people. Many awards were given out...silver sandals, gold sandals, free weeks, Diamond-level recognition (although we were not invited to sit at this table - no idea why not) and lots of other awards plus some Sandals self- promotion. It is what it is, and we usually meet a lot of new people which we enjoy. We discovered that this resort never recognized up as Diamond Level guests.

Review: Chocolate Night - White Night. You will find the photos for this event in` the "Food and Drink" photo gallery below. This event is always a lot of fun, and if you're a chocolate lover you will be in heaven.

Review Red Lane - Couple's One Hour Massage. In a word, perfect. If you enjoy a massage with your partner, you will want to do this one again. And again. After the massage we were "presented" with an array of products. It was not a pushy sale and as soon as we said no, the products disappeared.

Possibly because we were using a smaller pool this year, we never saw anyone from Red Lane pimping their products. We have never been comfortable with this sort of solicitation, and maybe Sandals has stopped the practice. I've always said that if you advertise yourself as a true 5 or 6 star resort, you don't see this sort of solicitation going on.

Restaurant Review - Eleanor's. We ate at Elenor's twice and enjoyed the lobster both times. It was huge and absolutely mouth-watering. This is a white glove restaurant and requires dinner reservations. We also ate breakfast there a couple times. You order from the menu, and I guarantee you will find dishes you love.

Restaurant Review - Kimonos Japanese "Teppanayki" . This restaurant also requires reservations, and provides seating every hour on the hour. We loved the fun dining experience, although we heard some comments about feeling rushed when it came time to leave. But that's OK...I worked a a newspaper for 23 years and I totally understand deadlines.

Restaurant Review - Cafe de Paris known on several Sandals properties for its fine Parisian pastries and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also serve an excellent cup of coffee anytime. The staff at Sandals Grande Antigua is above and above friendly and helpful at this resort.

Restaurant Review - We also enjoyed lunch and/or dinner at Barefoot by the Sea, OK Corral, Bayside, Drunkin' Duck and Marios. Each of the restaurants provides a different flavor and represents a different culture. Even the pizza at Bella Napoli was quite good. We never had a bad meal at Sandals Grande Antiqua...and many meals were outstanding!

The Power 360 Excellence Catamaran travels around the island. We boarded it at 9 AM and returned to Sandals Grande Antigua around 3:30 PM Excellence Catamaran Cruise around Antigua:
The Excellence cruise in ludes a full bar, lunch, beach time, snorkeling and beautiful views of Antigua.

Click for photos! Food and drink from the restaurants mentioned above.

Click for photos! Everything that didn't fit in the other galleries. at Sandals Grande Antigua

Click for photos! Staff members, Guests, and other people at Sandals Grande Antigua

Click for photos! Photos of the Beach at Sandals Grande Antigua

Click for photos! Sunsets Sandals Grande Antigua

View the Farewell on YouTube Song from the staff at Sandals Grande Antigua (assisted bt the parrots, Samson and Delilah)

Thanks to Sandals Staff and Management! A special thanks to the staff and managers at Sandals Grande Antigua. Mr. G., it was good to finally meet you after hearing such good things about your management at SGA. Wally and I were often reminded of Jeremy Mutton by your hands-on participation at this resort. Mr. G. seemed to be everywhere at once, and no job was too big or too small. Frank we are sure you will go far with Sandals. Thank you for you attention to details, your friendliness and for answering all our questions. Big John, you may not have always remembered our names, but we got the biggest smile when you called out "Hey. Room 113!" Nodine, thank you for being such a fantastic security guard. Wally and I always enjoyed chatting with you. Dowana thanks for taking good care of us at Barefoot! Rachelle at Watersports, thanks for remembering Wally whenever he snorkeled. (Glad you got the photo!) Hersilla, dear, you made the best Chocolate Martinis ever. You need to enter them in a contrest. You would win hands down. Thanks for your always-friendly welcome the Piano Bar. We always looked forwartd to seeing your smiling face. Lorraine, it was a pleasure getting to know you! For our new friends from the UK and from Iowa....we loved meeting and spending time with all of you! I know I've missed some people I should have mentioned.

Areas for Improvement and Considerations

A small pool lay beneath our room (on the left as you look at the (Sandals Grande Antiqua map) and we had a good view of it along with the beautiful beach from our patio. There were 24 chairs, 1 table, 4 umbrellas and 3 floaties. Wally needed to get up early every day to put a towel on the chairs while we ate breakfast, but there was always someone who was there before us...and the early bird got the only table. One table for 24 chairs? 4 umbrellas? Come on Sandals, you can do better than that. There should be umbrellas between each set of seats for those of us who do not want to get too much sun. And please toss in a few more floaties while you're at it. We were in a Club Level (concierge) Caribbean Beachfront Village room named Caribbean Honeymoon Beachfront Grande Luxe Club Level Room which is quite a nouthfull, even without the extra letter "e" tacked on the end.

Even though we are "Diamond Level" Sandals members we were treated like first-time visitors. And what happened to our "Welcome Back Gift Basket" which is supposed to to welcome you "back to your home away from home." Upon entering our room, we found three (3) golf-ball sized round donut-looking circles coated with coconut and presented on a small plate that said "Welcome Home." I took one bite, realized they were stale and tossed them in the trash. Very unappetizing and certainly not up to Sandal's standards. Yes, I totally realize the Cafe de Paris with its wonderful French Pastries and fragrant aromas was just down the path, but I was really looking forward to something more to welcome us "home."

We've all heard about the obnoxious vendors on the public beach. But nobody mentioned that they come right up to the Sandals propery line (which is a wall or wood fence) and lay out their wares just as if they are part of the Sandals staff! Why on earth does Sandals allow this?

* Vendors use Sandal's property as a place to showcase their wares!

That was not the worst of it. The vendors usually go on their way once you say "no thank you." But since the end of the Sandals property was just beyond our room, we noticed right away that large boats often dock and deposit many non-Sandals visitors and their children. Many times when I was in our room I could hear children yelling next door. We have grown children and grandchildren who we love to death, but I don't expect them to show up at a couples-only Sandals Resort. For instance, from our Bayside lunch one day, we looked on the beach and saw a family with kids sitting very close to us. Wally glances at the family and says "Looks a lot like home in Mtyrtle Beach!" And just like Myrtle Beach, this beach is public. I rolled my eyes, because unfortunately, it was true. *The kids at lunch! This location should be one of Sandals lowest priced entry-level rooms rooms, not a concierge level bulidingl.

Overall, this is a gorgeous resort. However, we were extremely disappointed with our room and with not being recognized as Diamond Level members. We will not return to this resort/

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