The rooms were big, clean and comfortable. They were cleaned daily. The AC worked fine and the views were amazing - we had a waterfront room. It was incredible to wake up every morning and have our coffee on the outside patio listening to the water and the view. Bathrooms are large with soaker tubs/showers. I was a little bothered by the lack of a shower curtain. Water tends to get all over the flower with the glass divider which does a poor jobs of keeping water in. We had a problem with the hot water twice and it took the 24 hours to fix it each time (water is solar heated). Also, my biggest complaint is the TV - it's a flat screen mounted flush on the wall and could not be swiveled. This means you cannot watch in the bed or any other angle instead of in front - it's a shame and cheap design of the room. There is no room service. There is a safe in the room and I recommend it be used. Again, a waterfront view is the way to go, simply breath taking.
The grounds were beautiful and very well maintained. I enjoyed walking around the resort. The beach is immaculate and there are things to do when not relaxing such as the two bars, shuffleboard, ping pong, water sports... I particularly enjoyed kayaking around the bay. The two beaches have calm water. There is a shuttle that goes around every ten minutes if you choose not to walk. There’s also a small fitness center with the essentials. The grounds have lush tropical vegetation – banana and coconut plants/trees. Lot so of beautiful flowers and well maintained. It was wonderful walking down the log winding pathways all over the resort.
At the beginning of our stay, I found the staff to be sometimes indifferent and sometimes completely unfriendly. Once I had the chance to tip each one of them during our stay, they waited hand and foot on us and became friendly. The unfriendliness could be the way they are to everyone or because we were a gay couple and this is not accepted in the Carib. Who knows? It was unfortunate that a few dollars changed this and turned it around. There were exceptions such as Carrie but friendliness was far and few between.
This is a definitely a relaxing and quiet vacation spot. The resort is miles away from anything - it's in a rural location. So to go anywhere you had to request a cab (or rent a car) and that gets very expensive (about $100US to go into town for a couple). Cab fees can be split if you get more people to go though. We are in our late 20's early 30's and found everyone went to bed by midnight and the bar close at 1AM. Majority of the people were 45 and over and English (not American). There were no activities in the evening at all (we stayed 7 nights) except the bar and drinking. So as the week went on, we did find it a bit boring. But, if you stay up late you miss the wonderful breakfast buffet and beach/pool. There was no problem getting chairs by the pool as this resort is not a crowded one. There’s a main pool which is large and accommodates children. There’s also a smaller adult only pool. Again, there really is no nightlife. They had singers come in some nights but nothing to rave about. If you get here, it’s all about relaxation.
Food was good and generally you have to reserve a table where you eat each night (which was a pain) at guest services. The exception being the buffet which was offered two nights during our stay. Observe their dress codes because they will turn you away (slacks and collared shirt for guys)! Nicole’s is the high end restaurant and the food was excellent. Buccaneer was the middle of the road restaurant and Sea breeze the main restaurant. Food was good at all but not amazing overall. We were all inclusive and you’d be crazy not to be as the prices were insincere. As an American, I thought the portions were pretty small on many of the dishes. There is also a beach bar restaurant where they do burgers and chicken - it was decent. The biggest complaint I had was food was NOT always available - they serve lunch, dinner etc at select times. For example breakfast is over at 10 and lunch is served from 12-4 and dinner is 6 to 10. So if you don't scramble out in the morning for breakfast or get back from an excursion before 4, you wind up staying hungry until the next serving. Very annoying. Reservations were annoying too because you could only book 24 hours in advance for dinner. I was on vacation and didn’t want to be bothered whether or not I would have a seating for food that night. Nicole’s books up right away so it was very difficult to get a seating there. Also if you got hungry after dinner say at 10 or 11 pm, you are screwed. Rooms are not stocked with food and there is no room service. You can buy snacks at the gift shop but be prepared to pay300% the ordinary value.
Spa was excellent (100US for full massage). It's worth a few hours of pampering.
The island itself is very poor. We saw 90% of it. You can probably go around and see the major sights in a day’s time. Shirley Heights was fine for about an hour but got boring after that - somewhat of a major tourist trap. Worth going to though – has live music, BBQ food and breath taking views as it’s the highest point on the island. Nelson's Dockyard was great sightseeing, it’s the only colonial dock yard still in the Carib. St John's (main city) was decent as it had duty free shopping. Price were what you would pay anywhere else without tax though, so no big deals but a small break on tax. I did not feel comfortable leaving the tourist zone and walking around the city. Very impoverished and I am sure Americans and Europeans stick out like a sore thumb. We also did the zip lining which was fun. I did enjoying driving around the island though - the culture was interesting to me. Devil's Bridge is a five min walk from the resort and a must see (national monument). We did not go to long bay (due to rain) but I would recommend it.
I would not go back only because I would like to try new places but I would highly recommend this resort to someone looking to relax – probably to the older couples.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Verandah Resort & Spa is a world-class all-inclusive resort overlooking the crystal blue Caribbean waters of Antigua. Perfect for couples, friends, families, honeymoons, and weddings. Guests love the resort's friendly, romantic atmosphere, with lots of activities for adults, teens, and children--not to mention our Two White Sand Beaches!The Verandah's four restaurants, four bars, four swimming, including the largest freeform freshwater swimming pool in Antigua. Activities include hobie cat sailing, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, pedal boats, supervised Kids Club, 18-hole miniature golf course, and much more.Indulge at our Spa Tranquility, featuring a wide array of massage and beauty treatments, or enjoy a workout in our air-conditioned fitness center.We look forward to having you as our guest, and thank for your choosing The Verandah Resort & Spa, Antigua. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Verandah Hotel Saint Philip
- Verandah Resort And Spa
- Verandah Hotel St Johns
- Verandah Resort All Inclusive
- The Verandah Resort & Spa Antigua/Saint Philips