Perfect Honeymoon Destination: Sandals Grande Antigua
Posted 16 August 2009 - 05:24 PM
The first thing we saw once we got to the hotel was our room in the Mediterranean Village and I was completely blown away. With a four poster mahogany king size bed, a mini bar and a patio facing the ocean I was in love. The bathroom had separate vanities, a marble countertop and a jacuzzi bathtub. What more could I ask for? There was maid service every morning and a turndown service every evening. In addition, the concierge desk was open twenty-four hours a day and ready to assist with any questions. Edward, who is a new intern at the hotel, was the utmost helpful one afternoon. I had to mail some paperwork off to medical school in Dominica as soon as possible and Edward ran all the way over to the Caribbean side to make me copies, find a stamp, and then delivered it to our room before mailing it off for us. I really appreciated it and he was more than willing to help again if I needed it in the future. The concierge was also very helpful in making reservations for dinner on the nights we wanted and at the times we preferred.
With having nine restaurants to eat at, my husband and I knew that we would sure find a favorite. However, the problem was that all the restaurants were amazing and we have nothing but good things to say about all of them. The majority of the restaurants were open every night and there was a variety for everyone. There was Kimonoâ€™s which was Japanese, Marioâ€™s which was Italian, Eleanorâ€™s which was Caribbean, and Ok Corral which was American. In addition, there was a buffet that changed the type of food it served every night ranging from seafood to Asian to International night. The only problem with any of these restaurants is that by the time we left we needed to be rolled out because we ate too much. We always had to order an appetizer, entr©e, and dessert because they all looked so delicious. Sometimes my husband even ordered two entrees because he could not decide what to choose. In addition to the diversity of the cuisine, the presentation at each restaurant was different. At Kimonoâ€™s the chef cooked the food right in front of you and made a show out of it. At Barefoot by the Sea we literally ate with our feet in the sand and had an amazing view of the sea immediately in front of us. Lastly, at Cricketerâ€™s Pub there was a more laidback vibe with televisions of ESPN being broadcasted. Not only was the food and atmosphere remarkable at each restaurant, but the servers were very friendly and hospitable. At Ok Corral we had a fun server named Lois who always added personal touches such as our names in chocolate syrup to our desserts. At the pizzeria which my husband and I ate at every afternoon for a midday snack we met the nicest bunch of employees such as Shannon and Kimberly, but we have one favorite that always comes to mind. Violet worked the pizzeria every afternoon and because my husband is not a picky eater and always wants a new combination, Violet came up with the â€œViolet Specialâ€ specifically for him and his taste buds. With a little bit of everything on his pizza, my husband was in heaven and ordered that every day of our honeymoon. He even had other people ordering it by the end of our stay. We did not even have to wait in line; Violet would see us and immediately put our order in to the chef. She is one person my husband and I will miss dearly, but hope to see again if we are lucky enough to make it back to Sandals.
In between our food breaks and lounging at the pool or beach my husband and I were eager to try all the water sport activities Sandals had to offer. We rode water tricycles and sailed for the first time. In order to sail alone, we had to have a lesson on how to sail properly. The lesson took only twenty minutes and then for the rest of the trip we were allowed to sail whenever we wanted. We also kayaked and went snorkeling multiple times. We had initially thought that we would just be snorkeling along the shore and stay close to the resort. However, we took a boat out to multiple reefs away from the resort and had a great time. For snorkeling there was always plenty of room for whoever wanted to go because four different times a day were offered to go snorkeling off the boat. For the rest of the water sports there were so many kayaks, sailing boats, and tricycles that we never had to wait to use any of them. There was always something available to do and there were no time restraints as to how long we could use them.
Besides the water sports, there was also different entertainment for each day of the week. The people in charge of the entertainment and who are supposed to get the guests involved are called playmakers and our favorite one was Jesse. He was always out and about and always making us laugh. We would see him over by the pool, by the bar, or in the Caribbean Village talking to everyone and making sure we were having a great stay. A lot of the entertainment was done in the pool area and this was nice because even if we did not want to participate we could watch and have a good laugh. There were such games as name that tune, how well do you know your spouse, beer pong, beach volleyball, and pool Olympics. In the evening there were always different bands playing all night in both the Caribbean and Mediterranean Villages and on some nights there was karaoke in Cricketerâ€™s Pub. Sandals did a great job making sure there was entertainment all throughout each day and it was never repetitive.
In order to capture these entertaining moments as well as the relaxing moments by the pool there were plenty of photographers that were happy to snap a picture if we so desired. My husband and I loved the idea of this because as a couples only resort it is hard to get pictures of the two of us together. We have pictures of us from every restaurant and every water sports activity we participated in because all the photographers walk around throughout the day capturing all the memories. Our favorite photographer was Sanders because he had a great personality and was always running everywhere to get pictures. Out of all the photographers he was the one we saw in the pool and at the bar almost every day taking creative pictures. He would have my husband and me each on rafts, me on top of my husbandâ€™s shoulders, or him holding me in his arms in the middle of the pool. We thought Sanders was such a great photographer that we called the photo shop and schedule for him to take sunset pictures of us one evening. Once again he exceeded our expectations and took a variety of poses for us to choose from. By the end of the honeymoon we had pictures from restaurants, the pool, kayaking, cycling, and sunset. Because we had such an array of photographs and they all turned out so well we bought a CD in order to savor our memories of our first experience in the Caribbean.
Since I was very busy planning a wedding and heading off to medical school, my husband took the initiative to plan this amazing honeymoon. My husband and I have no complaints at all about Sandals and really hope that while we are on the island of Dominica for school we will be able to island hop over to Antigua for our first anniversary during a school break. We had such a remarkable time and we were thoroughly sad when our stay ended. I am counting the days down to when we will hopefully be able to return to our favorite vacation location.
Posted 13 May 2010 - 03:27 PM
My fiance and I are looking at this resort for our honeymoon next April. I know it's early to be searching airfares, but it seems like it's a difficult island to reach? How did you get to the resort and from where did you fly? How much were the plane tickets?
Posted 13 May 2010 - 03:52 PM
doubt this person is still around...this was posted back in 2009...this is their only post.
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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:58 AM
Posted 23 June 2010 - 12:53 PM
Thanks for your help! We decided it was too hard to get there, I'm afraid. We're restricted on our first day because we're getting off a cruise boat, so if we'd picked Antigua it would have been a whole day lost waiting for a flight. We picked an AI in Playa del Carmen instead!
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