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Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

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Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

Hi is there someone who's been to both that can help. My husband is booking a trip for my 50th birthday. I want to do a twin centre Sandals with a week at Sandals Grande Saint Lucia but can't decide between Barbados and Antigua. We like snorkelling, good food, some evening entertainment and being able to get out of the resort to explore the Island. Can anyone give me any pros and cons of both to help me decide please. It's a very expensive holiday for us so I want to get it right. Thanks in advance.

Helen X

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1. Re: Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

Expect your post in the Barbados forum to generate a bit of negativity towards Sandals as the locals and TA " experts " are not a fan of the chain.

I think with Sandals in general the food is fairly predictable and all locations should be similar. Barbados does have more selections because of 2 resorts side by side but comparing restaurants, should be the same if they have the same options. Antigua wins hands down for beach. Barbados beach is nice but the water can be rough and red flagged depending on time of year. Wouldn't be able to snorkel except off site ( based on our visit Feb 2014 ). Both will offer some unique off site out and about excursions depending on what you want to do or see. Both are fairly close to airport with about 20min transfer. Not knowing for sure but I think Barbados might be a slight bit cheaper on excursions.

Keep in mind that Barbados is struggling with a sewage overflow problems for some time. Sandals is NOT in the overflow zone but again depending on time of year, streets get flooded and transportation drives thru these areas and " could " transfer some pleasantries to your location.

Since Barbados ( the new resort ) hasn't been open that long hopefully you will get some good comparisons on either forums.

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2. Re: Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

I answered your post on the Barbados forum so won't repeat here. But lagerbeer raises a good point about the sewage issue in Barbados. We are heading back to Barbados in November and not sure how often we will leave the resort especially if the sewage problem has not been rectified. Not too concerned though as we've done island touring on our previous stays. We really enjoyed Sandals Barbados the two times we've been and are looking forward to staying at Sandals Royal and taking advantage of both resorts.

We were just at SGA in February and totally loved our stay there. If asked right now to make a choice between going to the Sandals resorts in Barbados or in Antigua, I would have to say that we would choose Antigua. We still have more exploring of the island to do and we just loved the beach there.

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Milford...
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3. Re: Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

Hello Helen and all,

I have been to all the Sandals and Beaches resorts and a big advocate for Sandals just so you know upfront. We have been twice to Sandals Barbados and are heading there again in a few weeks. We have also been to Sandals Antigua twice. Between the two properties I would absolutely do Barbados first. Sandals Antigua is a beautiful more expansive resort with a better beach but the vendors on the beach along with the poor management there are large concerns. Our last trip to Sandals Antigua two years ago was horrible with rooms that needed repairs, management not addressing our concerns, and most impacting was that I got food poisoning there and ended up in the hospital. I was on IVs and meds for 2 days and came back just in time to get my camera stolen from my restaurant table.

Sandals Barbados and the new Sandals Royal Barbados offer a great option to try two resorts at once. You have new rooms and recently updated ones along with many new food choices. Only concern right now is the seaweed problem there but you can't blame that on Sandals. The beach is small and the undertow and waves are pretty intense even with the barrier wall they added. I would also check to see if there is any planned construction going on.

Honestly I would stay in St. Lucia. The Grande is my favorite of all the Sandals and the option to go to the other Sandals resorts in St. Lucia is great. There will be construction going on in St. Lucia so also check on this.

What is most important for your trip? Beaches, food, room, etc. This will help give the best advice for what is most important.

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Scotland
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4. Re: Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

Thanks everyone for your replies. You have all given me lots to consider

Helen x

Dorset, United...
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5. Re: Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

I second #3's advice. Sandals are pretty much interchangeable, right down to the patter of the teppanyaki chefs, so you aren't going to get much variation from island to island. It's a cheesy homogenised product so you might as well choose the location that suits you best.

I've been to Antigua (crowded, dirty beach with lots of vendors and no snorkelling), and I've been to the Grande in St Lucia where there is snorkelling and some walks and history around nearby Pigeon Island, and I'd say there's more to do on St Lucia. I'm not sure why you'd want to change down to the Sandals in Antigua (never been to the Barbados one - only been to Barbados once and that was enough) for the sake of change in the second week.

Much as I love Antigua, I thought the Sandals there was in (for me) a poor location. If you want a twin centre, why not spend a week at the Grande in St Lucia and another week in the south of the same island, maybe somewhere like Anse Chastanet near the Pitons, where you've got quiet romantic quirky rooms, great food and service, very good snorkelling off the beach, and views to die for.

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6. Re: Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

Manet.herbe out of curiosity, why do you say once was enough for Barbados? We’ve never been, and don’t have plans to in the near future. But in my experience it’s rare to hear someone say they wouldn’t go back. Just wondering what you didn’t like about it.

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7. Re: Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

gotta say...I totally disagree with manet herbe's assessment of Sandals being a "cheesy homogenized product". We've been to all and find each to have their own personality and island flavour. We did not find the beach at Antigua to be dirty at all, nor was it crowded. But everyone has their own opinion based on their own experiences.

Jessie B....totally enjoyed Barbados....been twice, are returning again this year.

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Dorset, United...
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8. Re: Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

Jessie B ... I won't hijack the thread so I've sent you a PM. No big deal - Barbados just wasn't my cup of tea.

Travelpair ... I've been to 5 different Sandalses (is that the correct plural?) on 3 different islands and yes, while there was a flavour to some of them, that was, in my experience, an accident of geography. In other words, some had better amenities, more spectacular views, more to do locally, or more isolated locations that suited my preferences.

However, for me, the overall product was, as I said before, cheesily homogenised. In fact, I'd say that, although Antigua is probably my favourite place in the Caribbean, the Sandals there was the worst, in terms of beach, tranquillity, rooms and things to do locally, of the 5 I've stayed at. That's why I was querying the OP's need to move hotel for the sake of moving - I found the Grande in SL was (for me) a better resort with a lot more to do and see locally.

Don't get me wrong - I appreciated the food, the diving, the slick taxi transfers and (in pre-9/11 days anyway) checking into your flight home in the hotel lobby. But the rest of the Sandals ethos is not my thing any more. Romance is a dish that can be served with or without cheese and I now happen to like mine without. But each to their own topping.

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9. Re: Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

manet herbe...I get what you are saying and I truly believe it comes down to personal preferences....not all Sandals check the boxes for me either. But I love the things which are consistent across the board...service, food (totally subjective), inclusions, staff interaction. What I find different in each, aside of footprint and location, are the island culture which is not only apparent by getting outside the resort but also by interacting and getting to know the local island staff. They are so proud and reflective of their roots that they ARE the personality of the various resorts...thus I don't think of Sandals as being cheesy nor homogenized.

I'm totally encouraging of the OP wishing to do an inter-island stay especially if they have the time and budget to do so. We've split Grenada and Barbados...one of our best vacations ever! Also should mention that we've stayed at both Sandals Grande St. Lucia and Anse Chastanet, but the Sandals product is more fitting of our personalities.

It is so terrific that we can all find our own pieces of paradise based on our preferences...otherwise it would be a boring life if we all loved the same things! :)

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10. Re: Sandals Grande Antigua or Sandals Barbados 😎

Thanks manet herbe, I got the message and sent you a reply πŸ™‚

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