SANDALS GRANDE ANTIGUA REVIEW
When Sandals Resorts invited us to stay in one of their Mediterranean Villas in Antigua last year, we expected an epic experience. After staying in one of their overwater bungalows in Jamaica, we were curious to see how this Sandals Grande Antigua room compared.
That’s why we took an in-depth look at exactly what you get when staying in a One Bedroom Villa Suite with Private Pool Sanctuary. Plus, we share details on the restaurants, red lane spa, property, and activities in this Sandals Grande Antigua Review.
WATCH A DETAILED VIDEO REVIEW OF A MEDITERRANEAN BUTLER VILLA.
Sandals Grande Antigua is an adults-only, all-inclusive luxury resort that’s located on the shores of Dickenson Bay, Antigua’s most famous beach.
The resort has 373 rooms and sits on a stunning twenty-seven-acre property that’s divided into two different sections, the Caribbean Beachside Village and the Mediterranean Beachfront Village.
The lush winding pathways and charming gardens of the Caribbean Beachside Village are a delight to explore. You’re likely to see a new cute and colorful corner each time you wander through the area.
The bright flora and fauna, hidden hammocks, and lush lounge areas brought the village to life. We would find excuses to take walks through the winding trails at all hours of the day.
Characterized by the orange tiled roofs and strong European design influences, the all-suite Mediterranean Beachfront Village is the epitome of luxury.
The suites in both the tower and below have Italian marble and tiling, beautiful four-poster mahogany king-size beds, and European fabrics.
The resort is a short 15-minute drive from the V. C. Bird International Airport and only 10 minutes from Antigua’s capital, St. John’s. And with only a four-hour flight from Toronto to Antigua, we wasted no time and got right to enjoying our vacation at Sandals Grande Antigua.
WHY YOU NEED TO STAY IN A SANDALS ANTIGUA VILLA SUITE
No matter which Sandals Antigua Room you choose, you’ll be a happy vacationer. But you may be thinking, “Why would I spend money on an upgraded room when I’m going to spend all day at the beach anyway?” Well, there’s much more to a room upgrade than you may think. To truly understand why a room upgrade is worth it, we’re sharing why you should stay in a Sandals Antigua Butler Villa.
YOU HAVE YOUR OWN BACKYARD
Let’s not waste any time and get straight to our favorite part of the Sandals Antigua Villa Suites, the private pool sanctuary. But we like to call it our dream backyard! The shaded patio table was the perfect place to enjoy our morning coffee while watching the sunrise. And I may have spent most of my time floating around the walk-in plunge pool or sprawled across a lounge chair.
These suites are found on the far side of the property and have raised walls that offer privacy from other guests and staff. And we all know how valuable privacy is during your resort vacation… priceless! Combine all of this with the soothing sounds of a waterfall, your own pool float, and an outdoor shower and say hello to vacation bliss. This backyard with both pool sanctuary and whirlpool isn’t available in other Sandals Antigua rooms and ended up being one of our favorite features.
*The Caribbean Honeymoon Butler Rondoval with Private Pool Sanctuary suites are similar but have no whirlpools and are in a central location on the resort.
Imagine laying in your cozy king-size bed, waking up to the sunrise (or from a vacation nap), and being able to just stand up and walk out and onto your patio. It can and will happen when you stay here.
The Mediterranean Butler Villa Suites allow for natural light to shine in and have privacy doors to separate the living room. Plus, to make sure you’re comfortable, you have access to a pillow menu, two plush robes, and slippers.
The layout of the suite has easy access from the bedroom to the patio, bathroom, and privacy doors that open to the living area. These doors were perfect for when Shadi needed a nap and I needed to order room service, have access to the bar, and watch television. It’s all in the details, the little daily pleasures, and thoughtfulness of staff that makes our Sandals Resorts experiences stand out from others.
The open-concept bathroom includes a grand entrance with an Italian tiled Roman whirlpool tub, separate walk-in overhead rain shower, and his & hers vanities.
In addition, the full-size red lane spa amenities and optimal bathroom lighting made us feel like straight-up movie stars.
BUTLER ELITE SERVICE
Whether it’s bringing you a personalized selection of snacks or getting you prime seating at restaurants, your butler is thinking of things you need before you do! You’re asked to share your personal preferences before arrival to ensure that your suite’s food and alcohol selection is customized. They ask your preference for premium spirits, wine, food restrictions, health considerations, activities you like, and if you’re celebrating a special occasion. Butlers here are trained to give you individual touches that can’t be found in any manual.
Additionally, at no extra cost, your butler will unpack and pack your luggage, prepare you breakfast in bed or dinner on your patio, bring you a daily afternoon cocktail, arrange tours, spa appointments, and restaurant reservations with prime seating.
Butler service is also available in other room categories and is worth the upgrade if you want all the details taken care of. You’ll also have dedicated beach service, your own cooler with your favorite drinks, and endless food and drink delivery right to your beach lounge chair. You may be thinking “But how will I get in touch with my butler while I’m sitting on the beach?” That brings us to our next reason to upgrade your room to a Mediterranean villa suite at Sandals Grande Antigua.
CALL ME ON MY CELLPHONE
Yes, that’s right, you get your very own cellphone with a direct line to your team of Butlers during your stay! When you book a Butler Elite suite you receive your own cell phone for your convenience. No more walking back to the room to use the phone! We suggest using it to order food, booking activities, and making reservations on the fly. Better yet, get your cooler restocked poolside, in your backyard, or at the beach.
ALL THE FOOD
Ordering room service from any restaurant menu and having it delivered to your room (with the exception of Kimono’s and Soy) is a posh butler feature. And you have the option of dining at a restaurant, in your own room, or even outside on your private patio.
Whether you have a butler or not, you always have the choice of grabbing a pizza from Bella Napoli or a hotdog from Doggies hotdog cart for lunch. Whether eating in an air-conditioned restaurant or out in the fresh tropical breeze, whatever your mood, you’ll be enjoying 5-star global gourmet dining at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort.
SANDALS ANTIGUA RESTAURANTS
The selection of Sandals Antigua restaurants ranges from Japanese, to British, French, American, Italian, and even Tex Mex – there are 11 restaurants and 7 bars in total. After spending a week here, we definitely developed some favorites including restaurants, buffets, and treats.
1. Get to Coco Café early and enjoy fresh chocolate chip cookies before they’re gone – you won’t regret it.
2. Hit up Mario’s Italian restaurant for the most delicious breakfast and lunch buffets. Themes changed daily and we loved the quality and variety at the Mexican, Asian, and Italian buffets. The breakfast buffets always had fresh bread, fruit, pastries, and most importantly, bacon. Among many other things that changed daily.
3. Enjoy the view and gourmet dishes from Mexico at the Ok Corral Tex Mex kitchen. Take in views of both your surroundings and the chefs no matter where you sit. As all tables surround the kitchen, you can watch them cook from the comfort of your table.
4. Devour fresh sushi in an intimate dining experience at Soy Sushi Bar. It’s a great alternative to Kimono’s Teppanyaki table, offering Japanese cuisine in a more private setting. Enjoy all you can eat, fresh gourmet sushi in a chic atmosphere. The high table seating gives you a firsthand look at the chefs creating your dishes.
5. For lunch, grab a hot dog at Doggies hot dog stand between noon and 3 pm for a treat. And you must get a Margharita pizza from Bella Napoli for the ultimate All-American (or Canadian) treat. They also customize your wood oven-fired pizzas here, so get creative.
SANDALS GRANDE ANTIGUA: TIPS FOR EVERYONE
There are lots of perks to staying at Sandals Grande Antigua that you can get without staying in a Villa.
RELAX ON THE BEACH
Need we say more? Dickenson Bay is the best and most famous beach in Antigua and clearly plays a part in making Sandals Grande Antigua Resort “World’s Most Romantic Resort” 15 Years overall.
I snuck in a beach walk every chance I could get. It’s such a large beach that you don’t ever feel cramped, and it offers powder-soft white-sand and bright turquoise waters.
DINNER AND A SHOW
Each Monday you can have dinner and a show at the Beach Buffet opposite of the Barefoot by the Sea Restaurant. OR, opt to dine in any other restaurant that night for the utmost privacy (as most guests will be indulging on the beach!).
Looking for nighttime romance? Head to the courtyard for intimate music, mood lighting, and all the vacation ambiance imaginable.
Sandals Grande Antigua has pools for every mood in all areas of the resort. There are swim-up pools, intimate pools, shaded pools, and of course the grand main walk-in pool. The main pool is close to the beach, most restaurants, and courtyards which make it a prime spot to relax. It also holds a swim-up bar, whirlpool, fountain jets, and an elevated lounge area with lookout.
FRIDAY IS WHITE NIGHT
Each Friday they hold the iconic “White Night” at all Sandals Resorts. Everyone dresses up in white, enjoys live entertainment and cocktails, meets new friends, and digs into the infamous chocolate buffet. It seems that Sandals like to keep you on your toes having to wear white at a chocolate buffet – challenge accepted!
We loved returning home from dinners to the pleasure of turndown service. You’ll find your bed sheets turned down, cold waters and slippers placed bedside, and an inspirational quote on your pillow.
PRO TIP: Having a butler has added luxuries like personalized late-night treats, and romantic bath and bed set-ups.
Enjoy unlimited Wi-Fi in your room and around the common areas of the resort. You can check-in with family and share your vacation pictures on social media, inducing FOMO from everyone at home.
BEST SANDALS UPGRADES
Sometimes you just want to treat yourself. All tips, transfers, food, alcohol, and activities are included in your Sandals Resorts stay. However, there are extra perks you can purchase (and they’re really worth it!).
SANDALS ANTIGUA SPA
Pamper yourself by having your butler arrange some time at the Red Lane Spa for you. Shadi and I had an intimate 60-minute Neroli Jasmine Candle Massage treatment that included a take-home massage oil candle. I love souvenirs and these oil candles are a great way to continue the spa experience at home. The staff ensures a relaxing experience with subtle mood lighting, customized scents, and upscale changing and waiting areas.
When you book a treatment you also get access to the chic outdoor water therapies. Make sure to arrange a time with the spa to attend to ensure that you have some privacy.
SANDALS GRANDE ANTIGUA EXCURSIONS
We always recommend getting off the resort and exploring the destination you’re visiting with an excursion. Antigua is a gorgeous island and it was tough narrowing down an excursion. The debate was between walking through town to Shirley Heights, visiting more beaches, or even going on a party boat.
Our excursion of choice was the Xtreme Circumnavigation tour with Island Routes on a 45-foot offshore racing boat. We were picked up directly from the beach and whisked away on a tour of the island.
While racing down the beach-dotted coastline we learned more about the history of Antigua and its current development. After seeing some iconic sights we continued with more activities. Including spotted and swam with stingrays, going snorkeling, and enjoying a Caribbean lunch on a secluded island.
WHEN THE VACATION’S OVER
Before leaving, your butler can schedule your return transportation, baggage pick-up, and escort you to the lounge for check-out. And grab some Sandals Resorts merchandise in the gift shop to remind you of your travels, until your next visit. We made such incredible memories here and hope you found some useful tips in our Sandals Grande Antigua review. We can’t wait to embark on our next Sandals resort adventure!
Our first Sandals Resort experience at Sandals Royal Barbados was unforgettable, especially our suite. We loved our experience in Saint Lucia at Sandals Regency La Toc. And being able to stay in an overwater bungalow at Sandals South Coast in Jamaica was an experience we won’t soon forget. We can’t help but look forward to making more warm Caribbean memories with Sandals in the future.
This post was sponsored by Sandals Resorts. As always, all opinions are our own.
Did you enjoy this review? PIN IT to revisit later on Pinterest!