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Reviewed 27 January 2012

I just returned from a 7 night stay at this resort in January 2012, after having read hundreds of reviews from previous visitors. For the most part, I agree with all the reviews I read, but I will include some extra suggestions I didn't read. I traveled in a group of 4 adults...this trip was meant to be a relaxing vacation from our children, and that's exactly what it was.

This is the perfect getaway for relaxation. The resort is GORGEOUS, and very clean. The staff is so wonderful...the most friendly and accommodating staff I have ever experienced.

The beaches are great....there are two. One major negative about the beaches/food service is the inability to eat food on the beach. I will discuss more about the restaurants after this, but not being able to order food/ consume food on the beaches was a bummer. There is also a lack of alcohol service on the beaches. The first beach (close to the front check-in area) does have a bar (Rasta Bar, which was great), however there is no service on the beach...you have to go to the bar to get your own drinks. The other beach is not close to any bar...you have to walk up 3 large flights of stairs to get from that beach to the closest restaurant/bar (called the Beach Bar & Grill). That was also a bummer...beach service would have been much appreciated.

Restaurants: Your options are the buffet (Seabreeze), the Buccaneer, the Beach Bar & Grill or Nicole's ($30 upcharge per person). Not every restaurant is open every night...they alternate. Not a lot of options. The Seabreeze was good, but its a buffet (which I'm generally not a fan of). The Buccaneer was very good, but choices were pretty limited. We didn't go to Nicole's because we felt that if we had to spend $30 extra per person, it made more sense to leave the resort and experience the island (which turned out to be such a good idea).

They only change the dinner menus once a week (Sunday night). So if you're there for a long time, the food can get boring. One major bummer was lunch...not a lot of options. The only places to eat are the Beach Bar & Grill and the buffet. The Beach Bar & Grill never changes its lunch menu, and although the food was good, its a limited menu consisting of one burger, a hot dog, one pizza, two salads, fish and chips, and few other items, all of which are served with french fries (no other options). Lunchtime got really old for my group. By the end of our trip, we thought we would never want to eat another french fry again.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND MAKING RESERVATIONS FOR EVERY NIGHT OF YOUR TRIP AS SOON AS YOU ARRIVE. You will NOT be served at any of the restaurants other than the buffet unless you have a reservation. Upon arrival, we were told to make reservations the day before in order to get what times we wanted. Two different times, I tried to make a reservation the day before at 9 am, and was told that they were already completely booked. That was very frustrating, as the only choice you are left with is the buffet.

Another major bummer...no food can leave the restaurants. All food must be eaten inside the restaurants, and its only available during specific meal times. This meant if we were hungry at 11 pm...too bad, there was no food available anywhere. They did make a few exceptions (let us bring food back to someone in the room who was sick) but they made a big deal about it and said we weren't supposed to.

The alcohol selection was not great. The "all inclusive" limits you to one type of beer (on tap) and liquor. The variety of liquor seemed good at first, but as a vodka drinker, I was somewhat disappointed that the best vodka they had to offer was Absolut. That wouldn't have been so bad except that they ran out of it on our second day, and I was left to drink Stoli (which I think is so cheap and terrible). I'm also a beer drinker...if you want any beer other than the one kind they have on tap, you have to pay for it. You also have to pay for EVERYTHING that comes in a can or bottle...so don't ask for a can of coke or a bottle of water. If you get it from their little gun behind the bar, its free. Otherwise, you have to pay for it.

The nightly entertainment was nice. Every night there was a different local band that performed, and dancing was always encouraged. I read numerous reviews that stated the entertainment was boring and monotonous. It wasn't the most exciting entertainment, but they were all really good, and it made for a nice evening every night. You should go into it knowing there isn't a lot of nightlife. The entertainment ends at about 11:00 pm nightly. If you're looking for a raging party, you'll have to make your own party in your room.

The bed is VERY firm, which I did not like. Fortunately, I called Guest Services and asked for a mattress pad, and they promptly brought me an egg crate and put it on the bed (which made it much softer).

If you are looking to do an excursion, I highly recommend the Zip Line Tour, booked through the resort. It was a great way to see the island, very fun and perfect for almost all ages. Well worth the money.

If you are interested in going into town, I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND that you eat dinner at Hemingway's Caribbean Cafe...the best dinner I have ever had!

One last recommendation...keep your pool/beach towels at the end of the day. They are generally pretty crazy about towels. You can only get a towel if you give them a towel card (each guest is given one card upon check in). You can only get one towel per person, unless you're lucky and get a lenient person (most would not allow more than one). No card, no towel, no exceptions. You get your towel card back when you return your towel, however the towel people always left before us. That meant we couldn't get our towel cards back, and it was a big hassle trying to get fresh towels the next day with no card.

If you are going to do some water sports (Hobie, paddle boat, kayaks, etc), look for Carlos...he's the best!

The only pool that's near a bar is the Main Pool, so unfortunately, if you're looking to have some cocktails while relaxing, that's your only option.

There's an adult pool, but its not even close to the bar (such a bummer).

Overall, I had a very nice, very relaxing experience, and the staff are what made is so great. The food was ok, the beaches and pools are relaxing.

Room Tip: Room 317/318 was the perfect central location! Some rooms are very far from the restaurants and pools.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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15  Thank OClittlemo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2012

from the moment of arriving to the moment we left my wife and I found the friendly and relaxed atmosphere of the resort a real pleasure. It's layout is interesting spread over gently undulating terrain hugging the coast between two delightful beaches. Whilst walking around the resort is fine there is also a regular golf cart bus service between reception and the main pool dining area who's friendly drivers will go to where you need it too. ACCOMMODATION - Our room, a Waterview villa, was well proportioned with simple decor and furnishings with a wonderful un-overlooked west facing veranda. There is a small kitchen area with fridge (unstocked) microwave and Coffee machine. Coffee sugar, coffeemate and tea bags were provided but or tea lovers there was no milk (or ability to buy some to keep in the fridge) so you might want to take your own. . FOOD - Overall the meals wereup to the standard you would expect from a 4 star Carribean hotel. The Sea Breeze Buffet was well stocked for all three meals of the day with a wide range of hot and cold. There is in addition 3 bookable a la carte restaurants, Nicole's ($30 per head surcharge) a more formal restaurant environment, Buccaneers (no surcharge) a less formal environment and the Beach Bar and Grill (no surcharge) a much more relaxed environment all of which provided excellent food and service choices. Our opinion was that they were all very good although unless you really wanted Lobster we did not perceive the extra value in the surcharge at Nicole's over Buccaneers. GENERAL

Room Tip: Waterview Villas are fine. We were was pleased not to have paid the extra for one of the waterfront villas which are the same lay out and furnishing and do as the name suggests face directly onto the water but have no direct access to it.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Headofstuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2012

I stayed at the Verandah for one-week in early January 2012 with my wife and infant (7 months). We had a really great experience. I highly recommend the resort for a family vacation.

The Verandah is not a luxury or high-end resort. But, it has that intangible that makes you feel welcomed and feel comfortable.

Rooms
The rooms are a good size and are European beach-style. I loved that they had a small fridge. They were kept clean. Sound proofing is quite good. The couple next door had a young baby that cried loudly but we barely heard any noise. The mattress is rather hard, however. Talking to other couples, this seems to be the case throughout Antigua. We paid extra for the water-front. Nice, but not really worth the extra cost. Good to get a room near the dining area and pool, otherwise it's a bit of a walk but not bad.

Beach
There are two beaches on the resort and one just off. The beach by the Beach Bar and Grill is fantastic. In a cove, so there is calm water. Perfect for adults and children. Don't have to fight hard for a lawn chair.

Staff
Very friendly. Really nice people. Took an interest in our child and were helpful when needed.

Pool
Nice pool. Didn't use it much. Always lots of place. Recommend that they play some music there during the day.

Food and Restaurants
The food was ok. That's the only reason I didn't give it 5/5. The buffets are fine. It's not mouth watering food. Buccaneers was the best bet for dinner. The Beach Bar and Grill has a nice atmosphere to dine outdoors. There was a charge of $30 per person to dine at Nicoles. That is a lot for a specialty restaurant at an all-inclusive. The food was fine but wasn't worth the money. It would have been nice if there were a few more restaurants to choose from. Restaurants were spacious - appreciated when pushing baby stuff and strollers.

Alcohol
Good quality and great selection of drinks. Antigua has really good beer and rum. Be careful though, if you have the resort's speciality "Rum Punch" drink it will knock you out for the balance of the afternoon!

Other Guests
Very friendly. Mostly Canadians and British, with smattering of Italians and other Europeans and some Americans. I'd say 1/3 had kids from infant to 3 years, 1/3 had kids between 3 - 12 and the rest were couples. While the resort is family friendly, it's appropriate for couples without kids. They have an adults only area which is a super idea. The resort is not the best place for singles looking to "hook up".

Off the Resort
We took a day trip to English Harbour. I recommend this, but not necessary. Beautiful scenery and nice area. There is a lookout area nearby that is amazing. I heard from other travellers that Saint John's (the city in Antigua) is nothing special.

Other
I liked that they played live music in the evenings by the pool bar. There was always a good ambience in there. I've been to other resorts that went dead after 9pm unless you went to the club. So nice to enjoy a drink in the evening and listen to some live music.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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11  Thank JonasK155019
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2012

IIf you like pool party and just tan its fine,,,but if you like water sport this place sucks beach staff are idiot and selfish think they know everything, I ask is there anything to see in this bay beach staff says not much ..I took my gear am a diver instructor I live in Tortola virgin island. I went snorkling I came back with 4 conch 3 lobster. The staff were shock they dont even go smwimming there...I gave conch to some staff like maid they love it brought some to the chef he cooked for us....

Sailing I ask the beach staff to use the catamaran with the gibs he said no use the small hobby you need experience for that I provide my international sail instructor and copy of my certificate the beach staff most teenage did not care I whent to administration they took photocopy and back to beach same senario even after gave them 50.00 tips

the beach staff and administration were arrogant its Antigua mentality well know from all people who live south. I travel alot and sail all over carebean. I will rate this hotel and facilities 3 star Max....

it dosent worththe price they charge like a 5 star hotel.

for the same price you can have a five star in Montego bay like st-James hotel for me the best one in Montego Bay been there a few time


if you go with family not much to do for kids for the same price you can go bahamas jamaica st-thomas st-martin food is average people who wow that place probly dont travel alot . Again if you like pool party suntan drinks and social no problemo nice place but if you like sport and exploring not the place. we we walk all around the bay nice point call devil point and further there is nice lagoon for snorkling wtch for re sac

have a good one

Room Tip: take a room with a view of the bay
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jeff T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2012

The resort surely gives the tropical feeling and true to its name - Verandah!

What makes this resort different from many others is that the
a) cottages are proper tropical style cottages with verandah (balcony). Each cottage has 2 suites.
b) The resort is located in a natural forest reserve. So there resort is filled with different typesd of tropical trees and plants. You can hear birds chirping and crickets and other insects creeking at night. Its like being in a tropical forest. The noise don't bother you once you are inside the cottage though.
c) Some of the cottages are on a high ground facing the bay, so the view is spectacular.

We booked the resort through virgin holidays for a week-all inclusive. We were picked up from the airport and arrived at the front desk where we were served a strong rum punch before being taken by golf cart to our room.
We booked a water front room. We had made a request that the room be not very near the pool (which we heard might be noisy with children) and providing a view of the bay. Our request was granted. The room was a good sized room with a big bathroom and a verandah (balcony) facing the bay. Since the cottage was on a high ground, the view of the bay was awesome.

Near our cottage, the stairs lead down to the beach on the bay. The bay makes the water safer with hardly any big waves. Even children could swim or use the floats. A short walk from this beach out of the resort leads to the Devil's bridge, a natural rock formation on the cliffs.
There are 3 restaurants. The main one provides buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food is average, not bad, but I was expecting more variety and quality could be improved.
The Sea breeze is a la carte menu restaurant which you need to book a day in advance. The menu was better there. We did not go to the Nicole's as you need to pay $25 per person. Nicole has Air Conditioning, but we did not feel the need for a AC. The fans were sufficient.
There is a Bar & Grill facing the beach. Its a good place to enjoy fish & chips, or shrimp salad with pina-colada. Our fav was this bar & grill. We usually skip a heavy lunch and go to this bar & grill eating there while getting a beautiful view of the bay.
The three restaurants are located on the first floor of the main colonial style 2-storey bungalow. There is a drinks bar on the ground floor facing the main pool. In the evening they have music, songs and dance in front of the bar. I wish the shows were more lively but still they were not disappointing.

There is another beach near the front desk which is usually quieter, but the beach on the bay is best for a swim. We did not go to the pools-a small adults only pool and one bigger one for all (had many children) as we like the beach and sea. There is Wi-Fi near the pool and one computer for free internet use in the reception near the pool.

The staffs are polite. Some of them did not smile at you, but then that does not mean they are rude. Since the resort is all inclusive, the staff sometimes never bother about the quantity of drinks they put in the cocktail and a few cocktails were very strong that we had to reorder.

There is a beach called long bay beach walkable form the resort. Its a nice place for snorkeling.

We went for a Antigua Extreme Navigation- circumnavigating the island in a speed boat+snorkeling in different spot+ lunch on a deserted island. We went for a scuba dive in St. James Club. Both were booked through the resort reception which is located near the pool and bar. We got a free voucher to visit Shirley Height from Virgin.

We were given a farewell bottle of rum on the last night by the staff. Overall we enjoyed our stay in the resort.

Room Tip: Take a room with view of the bay- Waterfront room. They are worth the price hike. not the ones very near the pool
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank tanny_nau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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