Trip Report

Old Apr 25th, 2007, 03:27 AM
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Trip Report

Our Antigua/Sandals Trip report 14-20 April 2007:

Overall, we LOVED the Sandals resort. Our favorite waitress was Eleanor. Best activity by far was the island tour with Roger Roberts. Can’t choose a favorite restaurant, but tried them all. Calling home was frustrating, and we settled for e-mailing (details below). The resort was so relaxing and quiet (except maybe right before the bar closed in the main lobby). There were activities for everyone or you could just sit and relax and take in the views. The a/c wasn’t working in our room (it became obvious as the temperatures climbed), so they moved us to another room for our second-to-last night, then another for our last night—each time seemed like an upgrade to us. We have photos of all the rooms and LOTS of photos of the resort and the construction. We also have photos of the stops along the tour (detailed below). Feel free to e-mail us if you want to see them. ([email protected])

14 April, Saturday: Arrived Sandals late afternoon. Greeted in lobby to cool washcloths and glass of champagne. Unpacked, ate at Kimono’s (“Blackanese” [their term] restaurant); evening beachwalk. Stayed in room 612 in the Oleander building (amenity kit includes lotion, aloe gel, shampoo). Oleander could use a facelift, but we found its location very convenient to the lobby and all the restaurants. In-room fridge had sodas, juices, and water.

15 April, Sunday: Morning beachwalk. Lazed around. Ate dinner at OK Corral (Southwestern) restaurant, watched sunset. Tried to phone home with “global phone card” which we loaded with $20 before we left, but it doesn’t work on the island (argh). [Room phone charges are: $1 for local; long distance, $14 for 3 min and $5 for additional minutes; collect calls cost $4; 800 numbers are NOT free. Internet access on the computers in a room just off the lobby cost just $7 for 30 minutes which worked the best for us. Cell phone providers on the island that worked were (I think) Digicel and Cingular. For wi-fi connection, the charge is $1.50 for 3 minute and $0.25 for additional minutes.] Evening beachwalk.

16 April, Monday: Took taxi shuttle trip ($10 each) from hotel to St. John’s for 2.5-hour visit. Liked the shops in Redcliffe Quay best.

17 April, Tuesday: Rained just about all day. Evening beachwalk. Ate at Il Palio (Italian) restaurant. Phoned to complain that the a/c was not working.

18 April, Wednesday: *8-hour taxi tour w/ Roger Roberts. Moved to room 111 in the Frangipani building. Bigger and “nicer” room, closer to the beach (could hear the ocean but could also hear the evening crowd at the bar). Found the mold in the bathroom that I read about on someone’s previous post. To be fair, it was on the wooden part of the ceiling above the shower in a corner. Being as humid as it was, I can imagine it is quite a battle to keep that mildew away for long.

19 April, Thursday: Morning beachwalk. Relax, Bayside restaurant dinner. Moved to room 823 in the Anthurium building. This was a room on the concierge level and boy, could you tell a difference! The Anthurium building is quite a hike, though. Beach was crowded most of the day with folks that had been dropped off by the cruise ships. The beach vendors came out of nowhere to make it even more crowded, but if you wanted to buy tee shirts or other souvenirs, it was right at your door.

20 April, Friday: Enjoyed a manicure while my husband had his first pedicure at the Red Lane Spa. Said goodbye to our favorite waitress, Eleanor. Roger Roberts paid us a special visit at the hotel just to say goodbye and thanked us for visiting the island. Taxi to airport, where we didn’t expect the departure tax of $20 each, had to visit the ATM since they do NOT take AmEx and our other cards were debit cards!

*From Sandals in Dickenson Bay, headed south on Fort Road to St. John’s
Began in St. John’s with visit to St. John’s Cathedral
Headed southwest to Jolly Harbor Marina (tried to get cash but our credit cards weren’t signed so we couldn’t)
Drove south to Ffrye’s Point
Drove east to Carlisle Bay & the Curtain Bluff Hotel view
Drove up Fig Tree Drive (stopped at the first roadside stand for black pineapple, papaya, and finger banana treat--passed the Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour)
Took a right & headed south at Tyrells Catholic Church made of limestone
Lunched at Caribbean Taste**. Ate curried goat, ducana (made from grated sweet potato and coconut), and salt fish. Washed it down with a non-carbonated ginger drink.
Drove down to Falmouth & English Harbors and Nelson’s Dockyard (shopped)
Drove up to Shirley Heights and the Lookout
Next we drove north to Devil’s Bridge (Occidental Grand Pineapple Resort bought by Sandals, now housing displaced Med Village guests, to be converted to a “Beaches” resort when Med Village is finished).
Headed west on Collins Road to Betty’s Hope (abandoned sugar mill) which was closed already
Drove past the new cricket stadium and then back to Sandals.

**Caribbean Taste Behind Dockyard Drive, English Harbour 562-3049 Our menu brings the Caribbean under one roof. Specializing in Antiguan & Caribbean dishes made with fresh seafood, vegetables, fruits and spices of the Caribbean. Open for Breakfast, lunch & dinner. Also caters for any occasion.

Some photos:

lookn4adeal is offline  
Old Apr 25th, 2007, 04:39 AM
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Nice report. Too bad about the departure tax. Did your TA neglect to tell you that?

greenie is offline  
Old May 25th, 2007, 04:30 AM
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He sure did. It wasn't mentioned in the booklet the TA prepared for our trip either. Took us by surprise! Hope it will help someone else to be prepared.
lookn4adeal is offline  
Old May 25th, 2007, 06:15 AM
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Yeah, I remember the first time I heard about departure tax! We were in a similar predicament as they didn't take AmEx and our debit card didn't work in their ATMs.

Thanks for the trip report--Antigua is one of my favorite islands.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 09:45 AM
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Thanks for the trip report AND pictures. My husband and I love Antigua and people seldom do trip reports or post pictures, so it's always a pleasure when they do.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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Thanks for posting your trip report and photos. Enjoyed them. Antigua is on our long list of places to go.
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