We recently visited every Sandals Resort, including Sandals Grande Antigua. In this review, we will be sharing with you our experience and thoughts on the food, pool, beach, activities, and more.
Overall, we really enjoyed our time at Sandals Grande Antigua and would go back. We think the staff was very attentive, the food and restaurant service was well high quality, and the beach and pools were wonderful.
We found the rooms to be a bit outdated, but they are starting renovations soon and this was not a problem for us. The only other negative is the beach has numerous vendors, but on the positive, they only approach you once and then leave you alone.
Sandals Grande Antigua Deals
Sandals has regular discounts on some rooms and resorts. It is best to check their website before booking or to work with a travel agent who can find you the best deal for you. I have seen great last-minute deals and they have an ongoing 777 deals that change each week.
Overview of Sandals Grande Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua has been voted “world’s most romantic resort,” and it provides couples with the perfect place to escape. Nestled amidst 27 acres of lush tropical landscaping, Sandals Antigua features a stunning beach, luxurious suites, and all sorts of complementary activities.
Sandals Grande Antigua is set on the most famous and best beach in Antigua, a long stretch of white sand along gorgeous Dickenson Bay. This beachfront adults-only all-inclusive resort in Antigua offers European elegance combined with barefoot luxury, with a Mediterranean Oceanview Village and a beachfront Caribbean Village.
Antigua is one of the two major islands that make up the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. This spectacular Caribbean paradise is very popular with honeymooners and beach lovers; it’s famous for having 365 beaches, so you could visit a different one every day for a year! Antigua also has a vibrant cultural scene and historic sites, so there’s plenty to do off the beach.
Arriving at Sandals Grande Antigua
To get to your couples’ vacation or honeymoon at Sandals Grande Antigua, you’ll fly into VC Bird International Airport.
After arriving at the airport you check in with the Sandals desk and then there is a 15-minute complimentary shuttle ride to the resort, so you can get your relaxing getaway started quickly.
Sandals Antigua Rooms and Suites
After arriving at the resort we were quickly shown to our suite. We arrived late at night so there was no wait and our bulter quickly escorted us.
We stayed at a Mediterranean Oceanview Penthouse with One Bedroom Butler Suite which had a great view of the resort and a separate living room and bedroom.
Sandals Antigua offers a variety of rooms and suites in either the Mediterranean or Caribbean Beachfront villages. A great honeymoon retreat is the Mediterranean Villa with Private Pool Sanctuary, which offers water views from the private patio with a pool and whirlpool, as well as a separate living room and a bathroom with a walk-in rain shower and Roman whirlpool tub. This villa comes with personal butler service.
There are plenty of other beachfront, oceanview, and garden view suites and room options, both with and without butler service.
Sandals Grande Antigua Food Review
There are 11 restaurants at Sandals Grande Antigua for guests to choose from, with several beachfront restaurants overlooking the gorgeous Caribbean. Cuisine choices include international, Caribbean, Italian, seafood, Asian, Tex-Mex, sushi, pizza, and Parisian-style pastries.
For breakfast, you can go to the buffet at Bayside or Marios or get served a la carte at Elanors. We also went to the Cafe de Paris for specialty coffee, crepes, and pastries.
For lunch, we really enjoyed the Courtyard Bistro where they have sandwiches, hot dogs, and burgers. Bayside has a lunch buffet with a rotating menu. We had Mexican and Antiguan there are loved it. My mouth is watering thinking about the pizza at Bella Napoli which is made to order in a brick oven.
For Dinner, our favorite spot is Soy where you can choose from all types of sushi. My favorites were Seared Tuna Tataki, the Rainbow Roll, and Crispy Spicy Tuna. Next door is Kimonos which is a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant.
Corral is a Tex-Mex kitchen where we enjoyed BBQ pulled pork tacos, Slow Cooked Pork Baby Back Ribs, and chicken fajitas.
Really, all the food we had in Antigua was good, but I have to recommend one more thing… the chicken wings at the Drunken Duck which is perfect for a late-night snack.
Sandals Grande Antigua Drink Review
There are 7 bars at Sandal Grande Antigua, including a swim-up bar and a tiki bar.
There are two pools that have swim-up bars that make getting a drink very convenient.
As at every Sandals resort, all of your meals, snacks, and beverages are included in your stay, so you can feast to your heart’s content! Room service is also included.
Sandals Grande Antigua Pools Review
There are several pools at Sandals Antigua. The main pool is large and in the middle of the property. There is a swim-up bar and regular entertainment throughout the day.
What we like about the main pool is that the seating area is large enough that there are a lot of chairs and you can sit where the speakers are not pointed directly at you. There were also a lot of Sandals floats in the pools for people to use.
Beyond the main pool, there are several small quieter pools, one of them with its own swim-up bar.
Sandals Grande Antigua Beach Review
The beach is situated on Dickenson Bay, one of the most gorgeous beaches in the Caribbean. We really enjoyed our time swimming in the ocean. The only complaint some people have are the vendors on the beach. There are chairs on the Sandals side of the gate on the beach you can stay at. The vendors are also not very aggressive. On our first day on the beach, all the vendors stopped by, but after refusing them once, they did not bother us again.
What to Do at Sandals Grande Antigua
You won’t run out of things to do at Sandals Antigua during your stay. Relax on the nearly 2-mile-long stretch of soft white sand and gaze out at the vivid turquoise waters of Dickenson Bay.
The water at Sandals Antigua is calm and perfect for watersports; complimentary water sports available include snorkeling, paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving, windsurfing, and Hobie Cat sailing. Professional instruction in watersports is even included (except for scuba diving).
If you want to stay on land, you can play beach volleyball, basketball, day and night tennis, table tennis, and croquet, take a yoga class, or work out at the state-of-the-art fitness center.
Lounge by one of 6 pools or 4 whirlpools, indulge at the spa, or wander the beautiful grounds, which are dotted with romantic secluded spots.
Daily and nightly entertainment includes theme nights, talent shows, dance lessons, chocolate parties, karaoke, a piano bar, beach parties, and live music. Make sure to catch the sunset, as Sandals Antigua is perfectly situated for stunning sunsets over Dickenson Bay.
You can also get out and see Antigua. Book an excursion such as a Jeep tour around Antigua’s top sites, ziplining in the rainforest, hiking, deep sea fishing, a cultural tour, a sunset cruise, and more.
Excursions around Antigua
During our stay in Antigua, we had the chance to get off the resort twice and highly recommend it.
The highlight was going to a cooking class at Nicole’s Table. It was located about 15 minutes from the resort and we cooked some amazing food.
We started making Nicole’s Old Fashioned Rum Punch, then made Coconut Crisps to snack on as we made the main course, Abby’s West Indian Curry, Dhal Puri Roti, Roasted Pumpkin and Spinach Cooked in Coconut Milk.
The Roti was so good and was perfect with the curry. The island food is quite heavy and we left stuffed following the rum tasting.
We also went to Sheer Rocks, a restaurant that also has pools that you can reserve.
Another great option we wanted to do but did not have time for was going to see the stingrays at Stingray City.
The Spa at Sandals Grande Antigua
If you want the ultimate relaxation on your Antigua honeymoon or vacation, book a couples massage or other indulgent spa service. The Red Lane® Spa at Sandals Grande Antigua offers a full range of treatments (not included in your room rate) such as facials, massage services, body services, and a steam room.
What is included at Sandals Antigua?
At Sandals Resorts, when they say all-inclusive, they really mean it. You can arrive at the resort without having to worry about what is included and what is not. Here is what is included at Sandals Grande Antigua:
Unlimited Fine Dining
You can feast at any of the restaurants or in your room; all breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and beverages are included in your stay.
Unlimited Alcoholic Drinks
As part of the 5-Star Luxury Included® experience, Sandals only serves premium brand liquors. You can order whatever you would like, including specialties you would expect at a tropical resort, like a Pina Colada, Margarita, Blue Lagoon, or a Bahama Mama.
In all rooms, there is a mini-fridge stocked with water, juice, soda, Robert Mondavi Twin Oaks Wine, and local beer. Additionally, every room includes a coffeemaker with Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend coffee.
At Sandals Resorts, even tips, taxes, and gratuities are included for most services you would usually tip for! There is no need to worry about tipping the bartender, the bellman, or your server at one of the specialty restaurants.
If you are staying in a butler-level suite, your butler can and will accept tips. We recommend tipping a butler $20 a day, depending on how much you use their services.
Spa therapists and airport transport drivers should also be tipped.
Roundtrip Airport Transfers
Sandals Antigua provides complimentary transportation to and from the airport.
Included Activities at Sandals Antigua
You have access to unlimited water sports, and scuba diving is included! For certified divers, you can dive up to twice a day with two tanks a day. Scuba courses are not included but start at $120. You can also enjoy plenty of land-based activities, as well as a full fitness center.
Along with these amazing activities, there are plenty of entertainment options including theme nights, live music, performances, and more.
A Free Wedding at Sandals
Stay 3 nights or longer at any Sandals resort and your wedding is free! This makes Sandals Resorts perfect for destination weddings!
If you book a room that includes butler service, room service is available 24 hours a day. For all other accommodations, room service is available between 7 am -10 pm.
WiFi is included throughout the resort.
Honeymoon package at Sandals Grande Antigua
If you get married and then honeymoon at Sandals Antigua, or if you come here within 30 days of your wedding date, you’ll get Sandals’ complimentary honeymoon package. This includes a bottle of chilled sparkling wine, a special turndown service with flower petals on your bed the first evening of your honeymoon, and fresh flowers, and a decadent breakfast in bed one morning of your choice.
What is the best time of year to go to Antigua?
The best time to visit Antigua is from May to November, which is the island’s off-season. Rates are definitely cheaper and although there is a small threat of hurricanes, temperatures typically don’t get higher than 80 degrees. March and April also offer wonderful weather and are a great time to visit Antigua.
Is it safe to go to Antigua?
Yes, you can visit Antigua safely. Antigua is one of the safest Caribbean islands, but there are some parts of it that are less so. Certain areas of St. John’s can be dicey; if you feel uncomfortable anywhere, simply leave that area. But for the most part, you can have a safe vacation in Antigua, especially if you follow our tips below.
When you’re off the resort and exploring the island, just follow the usual safety precautions such as traveling in groups or with at least one other person; keeping your valuables out of sight and in a safe place, such as a hotel safe or locked suitcase; and staying aware of your surroundings.
Don’t carry a lot of cash on you, and keep what money you do have (along with credit cards and passports) in a zipped purse or travel pouch concealed under your clothes. Make sure you have a copy of your passport, driver’s license, and credit cards in a safe location in case any of these are stolen.
If you go out to bars or nightclubs in Antigua, keep yourself safe just as you would at home. Don’t go alone—always in pairs or groups; stick to main streets and brightly lit areas; and always keep your eyes on your drink. If you consume alcohol, do so responsibly so you can stay alert.
What to pack for Sandals Antigua
You can pack light when you stay at a Sandals Resort since so much is provided for you. For example, you don’t need to pack a hairdryer. A gift shop is available onsite in case you forget any necessities.
In terms of clothes, the dress code is casual during the day and resort elegant at night, which means a mix of shorts, t-shirts and tanks, lightweight short sleeve shirts, sundresses, casual slacks, and swimsuits, plus dressier outfits (including shoes) for dining in the nicer restaurants. If you’re planning on golfing, make sure to bring the appropriate clothing. Women may want to bring a scarf, shawl, or light jacket in case they get chilly in air-conditioned places.
Bring several swimsuits since you’ll likely be wearing one every day. Women can bring a cute cover-up to throw on for walking around the resort, and may also want to pack some shorts to pull on over their swimsuit if doing any watersports. A rash guard will come in handy during watersports as well.
The type of shoes you bring will depend on what activities you want to do while in Antigua. You will probably want to bring water shoes, flip-flops, and sandals; you may want to add tennis shoes if you’re going to do a lot of walking or playing sports.
You will, of course, need to bring your passport (make sure it’s more than 6 months away from expiring) and ID, including a valid driver’s license if you want to rent a car. (But remember that they drive on the left in Antigua!)
You will also want to bring a credit card (not that you’ll need it in the resort, since everything is covered, but in case you want to add extras like spa services or go exploring in Antigua) and some cash as well, for tips at the airport, taxis, and local shops that don’t take credit cards. You may need to pay a departure tax in cash at the airport if it’s not included in your plane ticket, so be sure to ask in advance.
Tip: Bring two cards and hide one in a safe place for emergency backup. Also, make sure you have a record of your credit card numbers, as well as the customer service contact information.
As with any trip, make sure you pack any medicine that you need. Put it in your carry-on bag so you don’t have to worry about your luggage getting lost. In addition to any prescription medication, you can bring over-the-counter drugs (like aspirin, ibuprofen, stomach remedies, seasickness medicine, and antihistamines) so you’ll have them on hand if you need them. But in case you forget, these types of remedies will be available at the gift shop.
Tip: Keep all prescription medications in the original bottles when flying to avoid any issues.
Pack all the usual beach necessities including a bag to carry everything in (choose one that can get wet and sandy). These include sunglasses, sun hats, and sunscreen—the higher the SPF, the better when you’re in the Caribbean! If you’re going to be diving or snorkeling, make sure your sunscreen is reef-safe. You won’t need to pack beach towels, however, as these are provided for free at every Sandals Resort.
You may also want to bring a camera—especially a waterproof camera if you plan on watersports; a waterproof case for your phone, and your phone charger.
A few more items to consider: insect repellant and bite relief cream, bandaids, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, prescription snorkeling goggles if you wear them, a backpack for day trips, and a waterproof bag if you’re going to go on a boat.
However, you don’t need to pack toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion unless you want to—these items are included in your room at Sandals Antigua, and they come from the onsite spa so they’re top quality!
Tip: Make sure all your luggage is labeled clearly with tags, and add something bright like a colorful ribbon to make your bags stand out at baggage claim.
Now that you know everything there is to know about Sandals Grande Antigua, are you ready to plan your honeymoon or romantic escape today?
TripAdvisor Rating: 4
Google Rating: 4.3
He is an expert travel advisor and enthusiast. He has traveled extensively in the USA, Central American, South America and Europe. He has visited every Sandals Resort and is one of a select few Diamond Elite members of the Sandals Chairman’s Royal Club.
Dan graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an associate degree in Culinary Arts. Later he graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a focus on people and culture.