Hey there, lovebirds and wanderlust enthusiasts! Are you ready to dive into the tropical paradise that is Sandals Grande Antigua in St. John’s? Voted as the top honeymoon hotspot by TripSavvy, this place is the dream destination for newlyweds and anniversary celebrators alike. 🌴💕

My better half and I jetted off to this love-nest for our own honeymoon, and let me tell you, it’s every bit as enchanting as they say! Picture yourself in a postcard-perfect setting, hand-in-hand with your special someone – that’s Sandals Grande Antigua for you.

Sandals Grande Antigua Tips and Reviews

But wait, there’s more! A curious fellow Caribbean traveler popped the question: “What’s the real scoop on Sandals Antigua?” Well, ask and you shall receive! I’m dishing out my unfiltered thoughts on the top 10 pros and cons of this lovers’ retreat.

Quick heads-up: these tidbits aren’t ranked or anything, just my honest two cents. Oh, and a little FYI – if you spot some links in here, they’re affiliate ones. Clicking and purchasing through them might earn me a little commission (thanks for the support!), which helps keep my blog shining and sharing. So, let’s dive into the heart of Sandals Grande Antigua, shall we? 🏖️✨

Are you trying to decide between Sandals Grenada vs Antigua? Check out my blog outlining the unique differences between each all-inclusive property.

Pros of Sandals Antigua

1. 2 Resorts in 1

Since we have visited Sandals Grande Antigua twice, we have had the chance to stay in both the Caribbean Beachfront Village and the Mediterranean Oceanview Village. They are both completely different but each adds its unique design to the tropical, Caribbean landscape of the resort.

Caribbean Beachfront Village

Sandals Antigua Caribbean Honeymoon Grande Luxe Poolside Walkout Room
Sandals Antigua Caribbean Honeymoon Grande Luxe Poolside Walkout Room

We booked 10 nights for our honeymoon to Antigua. The staff upgraded us to a Caribbean Honeymoon Grande Luxe Poolside Walkout Room. I would categorize it as a garden view room with access to a small pool.

The Caribbean Village side of the property is romantic. You feel tucked away and private.

The majority of entertainment happens on the Mediterranean side.  Another plus for the “quiet-side” is the amount of restaurants. This means you won’t have to walk too far for your meals.

Mediterranean Oceanview Village

View From Our Club Level Suite
View From Our Club Level Suite

On our second visit to Antigua and Barbuda we stayed on the “party” side of the resort in a Mediterranean Club Level Suite with balcony. While the building was set far back from the ocean, it did have a view.

My favorite part of this Mediterranean Club Level room (as seen on Juggling Mid Life) was the huge soaking tub in the bathroom. It also had a lovely walk in shower large enough for two!

The Mediterranean Village contains the large party pool where you can indulge yourself at the swim up bar, take part in the daily games or play a game of table tennis or croquet with your spouse. It’s close to the beach too!

We spent most of our time at the party pool. The Mediterranean Village room was convenient for freshening up. Plus, a couple restaurants are close by. Marios Restaurant for breakfast, Bella Napoli for gluten free pizza and Cafe de Paris for an afternoon coffee.

main pool sandals antigua
View from the pool looking at Mario’s Restaurant and the Mediterranean Cypress Tower.

2. Long Beautiful Beach

As of 2023, we have 8 Sandals Resorts vacations stamped in our passports. Sandals Grande Antigua has the best  walkable beach we’ve seen so far. It is located on Antigua’s best beach, Dickenson Bay.  If you like to walk, it’s a little under 2 miles of gorgeous white sand.
Tip: Make sure to catch a sunset. This beach had breathtaking sunsets almost every night. 

Sunset at Sandals Grande Antigua

3. Swim-Ability

If you like water sports, this romantic, all-inclusive Sandals Resort location is great! The water is spectacular. It was always calm and perfect for swimming. We enjoyed lounging on the netted rafts. There are several water sports you can take part in. Sign up to use the canoes, kayaks, Hobie Cats, or paddle boards.

view of sandals antigua from water rafts

4. Expansive Property

One of the distinguishing features of this all-inclusive resort is how large it is. With 27 acres of lush, landscaped terrain, everywhere you look is “Instagram-worthy”. We have walked the property many, many times and there are still romantic nooks and crannies we’ve missed!

5. Your Choice Of Pools

On our honeymoon, there were times we wanted to be social and others we wanted to be alone. With 6 pools located all over the resort, you are bound to find one that’s empty. Most visitors go to 1 of the 2 main pools. We found the rest to be unoccupied most of the time.

6. Amazing Weather

Both times we traveled to Sandals Grande Antigua were in March and April. We had fabulous weather each time. The island breeze was always blowing and the sun was out the majority of the time. If you are looking to visit, I highly recommend traveling during the spring season.

Sunset Dickenson Bay Antigua and Barbuda7. Loads of Entertainment

Sandals Grande Antigua has the most live entertainment offerings we’ve seen so far. Nightly dance lessons, live music from local bands, talent shows, chocolate parties, karaoke and more! Even our shy selves got out on the dance floor and learned a few moves to Reggae music. Often, there were multiple events happening across the resort at the same time.

8. Come Back Soon Event

If you are a returning Sandals Select Member, you are automatically invited to the weekly Come Back Soon Dinner. It’s a chance to get dressed up, eat a fantastic meal and get to know others that have traveled to Sandals Resort Locations. Tip: Make a list of questions for those sitting at your table. This event is the perfect way to get information on other Sandals Resorts when you are trying to decide on your next location.

The Come Back Soon Event was the most formal event at this Caribbean beach resort. The awards ceremony was held at the poolside piazza and dinner was served right beside the pool. It was a gorgeous evening to have dinner under the stars.

9. Best Breakfast Views

Sandals Antigua still has our favorite breakfast spot. Bayside Restaurant is located on the beach! It’s open-air seating, which means you do have the occasional bird or two that wants to drink your coffee. ha ha! Tip: Plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the restaurant opens to nab a beach side table. There will be others doing the same thing. We actually made a few friends this way.

woman eating breakfast at bayside restaurant sandals antigua

10. Beautiful Island Tours

During our honeymoon to Antigua and Barbuda we signed up for a half day island tour. The Jeep tour included two couples and brought us to Blockhouse ruins, Nelson’s Dockyard, Shirley’s Heights and Devil’s Bridge. Tip: Bring your camera is this tour will give you gorgeous landscape photography opportunities.

Cons of Sandals Grande Antigua

1. Beach Vendors

The beach is not private to Sandals Resort guests. Thankfully, there are Sandals guards at each entrance from the beach onto the all inclusive resort. While you are walking the beach or lounging on the beach, you will get harassed by local vendors selling their wares. For this reason, we did not relax on the beach. Unfortunately, even when we found lounge chairs behind the resort fence, vendors would lean on the fence and still try to get our attention.

2. Check-In Process

Unfortunately, this seems to be a problem at every Sandals Resort we’ve been to. We check-in online before we leave home and when we arrive at the couples resort, our information isn’t filled in on the electronic forms.

The iPads weren’t working correctly upon check-in. Every time we filled out the form, it would give us errors. Also, we arrived after check-in time and our suite wasn’t available. Even worse, we were a club level room and weren’t treated as such.

3. Hit or Miss Customer Service

Unfortunately, you never knew what you were going to get when approaching a Sandals Resort employee. We had some that were extremely helpful and courteous. Others were downright rude. One day I entered Marios Restaurant for breakfast with a kimono covering my bathing suit. I was asked to leave and come back in proper attire. I had worn the kimono the day prior without any trouble. The entire experience left me scarred. Every time I visit a Sandals Resort I’m extremely self-conscious of my beach coverups.

4. Mosquito Fogging

If you are sensitive to chemicals, be aware of the daily fogging at Sandals Antigua. I believe it was around 6 PM each night. One night we were in the open-air lobby and the fogger came through. It was something out of LOST (if you watched that show, think Smoke Monster). We ran to our room, stuffed a towel under the door and waited for it to clear. I’m certainly thankful for the lack of mosquitoes at Sandals Resort locations, but I’d rather not come into contact with chemicals on my vacation.

5. Pool Chairs

This is a common complaint at every Sandals Resort, saving of the pool chairs! The butlers are up early saving the cabanas and shaded pool chairs for their guests. If you want a shaded chair, be sure to get up early and save it. BUT, not too early. The staff will clear your things to make way for the butlers. It’s a fine dance, but you’ll figure it out after a few days.

mosquito fogging at sandals grande antigua

6. Quality of Restaurants

While there are 11 restaurants at Sandals Antigua, there are higher quality restaurants at other locations. We have found some of the best food served at Sandals LaSource Grenada. We are both gluten free and found Antigua to have fewer options for us.

7. Island Routes: Half Day Excursion

Since our excursion, I believe Sandals Resort has changed the vehicles you tour the island in. We were stuffed into a tiny SUV.

I sat in the front with the seat all the way up to the dash, my husband had to sit on the single seat in the way back and the other couple sat next to each other in the middle of the vehicle. The tour lasted an entire day even though we saw the best sites during the first half of the day.

For lunch, we were taken to an unknown area at someone’s house where we served local cuisine. We had mentioned our food allergies before booking; however, no care was taken for our gluten free dining needs. To say we were hungry and carsick at the end of the day would be an understatement.

8. Local Pests

Make sure to spray your feet with insect repellent. While dining at Eleanor’s my feet were bit by sand fleas. There is a wood floor in the restaurant, but sand underneath. My toe swelled up for several days, which made walking difficult.

If you like stray cats, you will love Antigua. Cats everywhere. While I don’t mind them taking care of other pest issues on the island, I prefer them to stay at a safe distance from me. Many guests feed them and pet them. I personally would be worried about diseases, fleas, etc.

9. Older Amenities

As I mentioned, Sandals Antigua is about 27 years old and it shows. The Mediterranean Oceanview Village is the newer side of the resort. We enjoyed our room there much more than the Caribbean room (which was dark, damp and dated). The resort itself is starting to look tired. I’m hoping to hear news of renovations!

cat sitting on beach chair sandals antigua

10. Attention to Detail

We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary at Sandals Antigua. The resort is great about doing little things for your anniversary. After dinner that night, we arrived in our room to flour petals on the bed, a bottle of champagne and a piece of chocolate cake.

That cake looked soooo good! When you have Celiac Disease, you trust nothing and assume everything is unsafe. Thankfully, we made a few phone calls and finally found out it wasn’t gluten free. What a let down! Not to mention, if I had trusted Sandals I would have been sick the rest of my stay. A big thumbs down from me on that one.

TripAdvisor Rating: 4

Google Review Rating: 4.3

5th wedding anniversary sandals antigua

Sandals Grande Antigua Summary Review

Nick, my husband, and I are quite loyal customers of Sandals Resorts. We chose our first location to be Antigua for our honeymoon destination due to Sandals policies on food allergies (and the fact that it was gorgeous). Since that time, we’ve had 8 Sandals all inclusive vacations. Here is a list in order of preference of our favorite locations:

While Sandals Antigua has our heart since it is where our love story began, Grenada Resort and Spa is our new favorite destination.

Book online now

If you found my information helpful, please click the “Book Online Now” link. It will take you to the Sandals Resort website where you can book your travel. A small commission amount will be sent to me from Sandals at no cost to you. It helps me keep my website running! Thanks so much. Enjoy your vacation/holiday.

This review of the Sandals Grande Antigua resort is not a sponsored article. All opinions are my own.


Diagnosed with Celiac Disease eleven years ago, I've been on a journey discovering what it means to be truly healthy. Join me as I share my personal fitness goals, gluten free recipes I've tried, travel tips, curly hair product reviews and all things creative.


  1. We have been to sandals 9 times. This year is our free trip.We’re going back to Antigua Barbados was great last year we’re going back there next year. I would have to agree that the best food is definitely in Grenada The nutmeg ice cream at cafe Paris is to die for

    • Jennifer Leigh Reply

      Hi Paul! Nice to meet another Sandals Select Member. ha ha! We have plans to visit Barbados this year. Fill me in on all the tips and tricks for the resort! Cafe Paris is one of our favorite spots on each Sandals Resort. Coffee ALL. DAY. LONG. 🙂 Enjoy your free trip. We’re almost there!

    • Thanks Jennifer for taking time to write about your experience at the sandals resort, I was glad this was here thanks to my co worker, who is also big on traveling, he sent this page to me. this was very helpful to read before choosing one of the sandals resort, maybe I will also post after my first visit in October
      Sincerely Linda.

      • Jennifer Leigh Reply

        Hello Linda and thank you for reading my experience at Sandals Grande Antigua. Choosing Antigua for your first Sandals Resort vacation was a perfect choice. It was our first Sandals Resort experience as well. Let me know how your October visit to Antigua goes and if they have made any updates to the resort.

        Happy Travels!
        Shine with Jennifer Leigh

  2. Hi. I enjoyed your review. We have in past 5 yrs vlbeen to Sandals Ochi & St Lucia. We are planning a last minute April trip to either Antigua or Barbados. I’m concerned on a few thoughts on Sandals Antigua.. regarding the beaches being public, I understand some solicitors, are they in great force? Also did you see other obvious nonguest on the resort beach? Also.. regarding bay location… are there like no waves at the beach? Other input is appreciated. Still researching Barbados, seeing additional resort next door, but also read very high winds, limiting water sports is common almost daily. Thanks, Tanja

    • Jennifer Leigh Reply

      Hi Tanja!

      There are certainly solicitors on the beach in Antigua. The beach is not private and is accessed by the locals. I can’t say I saw guests from other resorts using the Sandals side of the beach. There are several resorts on that beach with plenty of lounge chairs for their guests. The ocean was not choppy or wavy there which makes for easy swimming and tons of water sports. We are planning on visiting Barbados this fall and are excited to try a new resort!

      Let me know if you have any additional questions about Sandals Grande Antigua. I’m happy to help.


  3. Hi Jennifer,

    I was just looking for your opinion on the beach at Antigua. I see that you’ve also been to South Coast (Whitehouse)…wondered how you thought they compared? I loved the long beach and extensive water activities at South Coast. I do understand that some islands allow beaches to be private (Jamaica) and others allow public use (Antigua, St.Lucia).

    • Jennifer Leigh Reply

      Hello Lynn,

      Out of all the Sandals Resorts we have visited, the beach at Sandals Grande Antigua was our favorite. You do share it with other resorts, but it’s not overcrowded. There are peddlers on the entire beach but they seem to spend more time selling to guests sitting or lounging. In both our trips to Sandals Antigua, the water has never been rough or dirtied by seaweed. It’s a gorgeous location and one of our top picks when visiting Sandals Resorts.

      I hope this helps with your all-inclusive resort decision! Let me know what you think of Antigua.

      Safe Travels,
      Jennifer (ShinewithJL)

  4. Louise Brown Reply

    Hi Jennifer,

    We’re in the UK and have just booked our first Sandals holiday to Antigua (we’ve booked way ahead for the end of 2021 but really need something to look forward to in these COVID times!)

    We found all your info really helpful in making our choice. Thank you!

    Best regards,


    • Jennifer Leigh Reply

      Hello Louise,

      Congratulations on booking your first Sandals Resort vacation/holiday! Antigua is a beautiful location. Which side of the all-inclusive resort did you book? 🙂 Start counting the days until your trip! It will be here before you know it.

      Thanks for stopping by to let me know about your travel plans.

      Best Regards,

      • Louise Brown Reply

        Hi Jennifer,

        We wanted to be right by the ocean so have booked a Caribbean Honeymoon Beachfront Grande Luxe Club Level Room (HGB) – hopefully we’ve made a good choice. It’s really difficult to sort your way through all the different room types they have – there’s so many!

        Best wishes,


        • Jennifer Leigh Reply


          I checked out your room type and it looks beautiful! Views of the pool, beach and ocean. Plus, you are close to Bayside Restaurant. Our favorite spot to have breakfast right on the beach! Make sure to get there early for the best tables.

          There are so many room types to choose from. Please let me know your experience at Sandals Grande Antigua and your first Sandals vacation!

          Best Regards,

  5. Theresa Lapanne Reply

    Hello Jennifer,
    We have booked Sandals Antigua for June 2022 for our 40th anniversary. This is our 1st time booking with Sandals we have been booking with Secrets for the past 7 years and decided to try Sandals for this special occasion. We are in the Caribbean Honeymoon Beachfront Grande Luxe Walkout Club Level Room 10. Can you tell us if we will be in front of the pool and beach? We really wanted the Caribbean Beachfront Butler Rondoval RD but ended up trying the above room. I’ve read so many negative comments and I’m worried about the location of our room I was just hoping you could give me some positive feed back we are so looking forward to this trip but I am so nervous. The web site is beautiful and it sounds perfect. Maybe I should have researched a bit more first before I booked but I have also read wonderful reviews as well. Thank you for any thoughts and info on the room choice that you may be able to provide.

    • Jennifer Leigh Reply

      Hi Theresa,

      First of all, congrats on booking your first Sandals Resort all inclusive vacation and your 40th anniversary! We’ve been to Sandals Grande Antigua twice and love it there.

      The Club Level room will give you access to the Club Sandals Lounge, Club Sandals Concierge, Preferred check-in (which is awesome when the property is busy. think, skip the line bonus!), special activities, room service and more. Those are great perks!

      As far as the location, the Caribbean Honeymoon Beachfront or Frangipani building was a newly acquired section when we traveled there in 2016. Meaning, the building had been there on our first trip in 2011 but was owned by a different hotel. We have not stayed in that building so I can’t speak to the condition of the interior. I will say, that it is on the farthest side of the property which may give you a feeling of “being away from it all”. If you want to feel like you are in the heart of the resort, I would suggest something further inside the property.

      The Frangipani building is close to the beach, which comes with its own benefits. Such as, claiming your shaded beach chairs before the other guests. ha ha! It’s also closest to Bayside Restaurant, which is perfect for having breakfast on the beach.

      I hope this helps you feel better about your vacation reservations! Let me know if you have any further questions. I’m happy to help!

      Jennifer Leigh

Write A Comment

Pin It