This time we had the rooms (huts) with splash pools which were fabulous. This second visit did not disappoint. We had front line views of the bay and beach.
We also arranged with the resort to have an evening meal on the beach which we paid an extra £100 for the four of us. We were the only ones on the beach and had two staff to ourselves. A fantastic evening and would recommend it to everyone.
Although there is little entertainment that in itself makes this hotel very relaxing. The bar and restaurant are small but intimate.
We were all inclusive and, although that often means poor food and low quality drinks, that was not the case here. Beer and spirits were all fine and there was a good selection of cocktails to be had.
The food was fine, though seldom excellent. Breakfast was self-service with a wide variety of choices, including omeletes and fried or poached eggs to order.
Lunch was also self-service and there was always something in the choice list to suit most tastes.
The evening meal was a-la-carte and was fine most nights. However, the menu each night was very limited and if you didn't like any of the choices, you could opt to pay a litlte extra and order steak. My wife and I both ordered the steak one particular evening and it was very disappointing. Both our steaks were tough and, when I asked for steak knives to cut them, the waitress didn't know what I meant. It turned out they have no steak knives in the restaurant.
Wine is served with lunch and evening meal and the red was fine.
One other alternative dining option is to book at the Sheer restaurant, which is part of the complex, but not included in the package. I booked it for a special night and the food was excellent, as was the location, the ambience, the view and the service. However, it doesn't come cheap, (my bill for two people was $225 US - which is quite expensive at current exchange rates), so ask to see the menu before considering booking. And booking is necessary most nights, as people come from around the island to dine at Sheer.
The hotel location could not be better if you are looking for a relaxed holiday in a beautiful setting. The sea was azure blue for as far as the eye could see and the beach was very nice and private. There are one or two local touts selling catamaran trips and etc., but they were not pushy and I actually regret not taking up the catamaran trip offer.
The pool are is beautiful, with a fabulous view over the infinity pool to the sea. However, the pool and surrounding sun deck area are quite small and can get busy quickly if you have people getting down before breakfast to book the best beds.
We found most of the staff to be very friendly, with the reception staff the most helpful of all. One or two of the bar staff could do with smiling a bit more, but on the whole we had no complaints.
Entertainment was only provided twice a week, with a calypso act on a Wednesday and a stell band on a Sunday. Unfortunately, Sunday night also happens to be the best night to visit Shirley Heights, so as we were there for only one week, we never saw the steel band on the Sunday, as they had finished by the time we returned.
Lastly, the cottages are not new and could probably do with a lick of paint. The bed was comfortable, but the rest of the furniture was basic. The rooms have both ceiling fans and air-conditioning. However, we had to pay extra for the air-con, (you pay at reception and they give you a remote control), but it was worth it.
My wife and I have both agreed that we would visit this hotel again.
Travel operator: Trailfinders
The resort is fantastic for a 'getaway' type holiday, with individual cottages laid out across the property, all facing the sea. We had an oceanfront cottage, which was definitely worthwhile for the fantastic sea views, hammock on the balcony, and the shower which had doors opening out onto the sea - stand in the shower and look out over the ocean - beautiful!
As stated in the brochure, there is no air con, but the ceiling fan was enough to keep us comfortably cool. Rooms are cleaned every day, and you'll see staff painting, cutting grass, strimming, weeding etc outside the properties every day - it really is very well maintained.
Food was great, with the option of four meals a day if you really needed to pig out! Breakfast and lunch were buffet style, with a number of options to cater for everyone. Afternoon tea was sandwiches and cakes / cookies, but those who weren't there at 4pm on the dot didn't always get any. Not so much that there wasn't enough food provided, just that some guests seemed incredibly greedy and determined to eat everything put in front of them as soon as possible. We gave up on afternoon tea after the first day - with three 3-course meals a day, you really don't need a fourth anyway! There is the option of the Sheer restaurant on the property (which isn't included in the all-inclusive option), but we didn't feel the need to visit this - the food in the standard restaurant was fantastic.
The hotel was right on the beach, with a small rocky strip of beach right below the cottages, and a long wider stretch to the side of the hotel, with free non-motorised watersports. People who operated jet ski hire out of the next beach would frequently pop over to check if anyone wanted to hire a jet ski - no need to move from your sunbed!
Beaches are plentiful, and although the hotel beach did get a little more populated at weekends (all beaches on Antigua are public beaches - no one can stop you from going on any of the 365 beaches on the island), we never struggled for a sunbed or one of the parasols. The sea is magnificently warm and clear - its very rich in minerals, which means you can float without waggling any limbs - kind of like the Dead Sea.
The single down point of the whole holiday were the Fire Ants. They came over to Antigua in the 1985 hurricane, and have populated the island. On our first couple of days my partner and I explored the island off the beaten track a little, and I was bitten to pieces by these ants - their bites come up as little blisters, and I had a lot on my legs by the end of day 2. The answer is that if you're going walking, wear decent footwear (trainers, not open toed sandals or flip-flops) and watch where you're standing so you don't disturb their nests.
Other than that - fantastic holiday - I'd go back tomorrow!
Travel operator: Virgin
The scenery is beautiful and the atmosphere relaxed- ideal for a perfect getaway.
There was little/no entertainment except for the odd musical accompaniment in the evenings- obviously this would be a disadvantage if you were expecting a lively holiday as it can become a little boring unless you find something to do yourself. There were activities on the beach during the day (kayaking, snorkelling etc) but if you walked to a nearby bay you could also do some motorized water sports.
The food was wonderful with a different menu to choose from every night- just don't expect chips or anything traditional! Drinks were plentiful- definitely no short measures served.
Everywhere was spotless including the poolside.
Took a bit of getting used to walking down to dinner from the room- although well lit it was a novelty for us having to walk the albeit short distance down the paths. Try to get a room over looking the sea as hammocks are provided on the room terraces and the views are lovely any time of the day. Although there was no air con the fan in our room was more than adequate.
Excursions are advisable- we booked with rep at welcome meeting and we were not disappointed with any of them.
We had a spider in our room (no one else did during our stay though!) And although I am completely petrified I believe it to be rare occurrence and it certainly didn't put me off.
Ideal if you want peace and quiet, beautiful scenery and have slightly adventurous taste buds. It made our special day and honeymoon perfect.
Travel operator: T.Cook Signature
We chose a beachfront room which was great as there was no noise then from other cottages. The food is excellent. Breakfast is self serve with drinks and toast served at the tables, (Eggs any way you want them), lunch was also self serve and dinner from a menu.
Staff are laid back as you would expect but helpful. It rained one day on our stay which brought out the swarms of small flies - nightmare - in your rooms. The only thing that may have helped was air-con.
There was plenty to do if you wanted to ie. kayaking, on the beach, by the pool, trips.
If you are looking for a great couples holiday or a wedding location this is great for the price.
Travel operator: Virgin
Ask a Question
Got a question? Ask our community of over 1.5 million users.