My husband and I visited GBR end of March 2012 and had a wonderful relaxing vacation. The BEST part about this resort is that it's private; the resort takes up the whole stretch of 3/4mi beach. No neighboring resorts! Most of the rooms are beachfront and you do not have to worry about fighting over beach chairs. It's not crowded and is adults-only. Just be aware that the resort attracts mostly older crowd... we would say the avg age of couples we saw here were in their 50s+ and all the way up to elders in walkers/oxygen tanks!! We're in our early 30s, and we maybe saw 4 others couple who were young as us. This didn't both us, but may be helpful for you if you're looking to meet other couples in your age range. No rowdy young people here. People come here to relax and is definitely not a party scene. However, there are a lot of activities you can take advantage of: tennis, table tennis, fishing, water sports, exercise rm, walking trail, pool, crockett, and more!
1. No need to reserve in advance ground transportation b/w airport and resort. When you walk out of the airport, right across the street is a "Taxi Dispatch" stand where you can catch a taxi right away. No wait! Taxi fare in Antigua is fixed. It's $20 USD one way to get to the resort from the airport. We paid $23 USD which included the tip. Expect to pay the same on the way back to the airport from the resort.
2. Be sure to check out the watersport activities stand and borrow snorkeling gear. Snorkeling in front of the resort (near Ismay restaurant) is awesome! We saw a lot of fishes and snorkeled for hours. No need to pay extra money to go on snorkeling excursion. You can do it here for free!
3. During the day time, a lot of birds fly around the dining area and walk all over the tables. Be sure to just wipe down your plates, utensils, and S&P shakers w/ the napkin before you use them if you're concerns about hygiene.
4. We stayed at the Premium Beachfront suite. We specifically requested for a newly renovated room on the 2nd floor in advance and we got it! But unfortunately, our room was near the Ismay restaurant and most of our ocean view was blocked by the palm trees. We spoke up and asked the front desk if something can be done about this. They had a grounds keeper trim the tree leaves in front of our bldg so the view became much better. Don't be afraid to speak up! Resort will try their best to accommodate you. Be aware that the suites near Ismay seem to have a lot more trees in general compared to suites by the Gauguin restaurant.
5. If you're torn whether you should request 1st floor or 2nd floor PREMIUM suite; here are some things you may want to consider. 1st floor PRO: can walk right onto the beach from the balcony. CON: not as private since sometimes vendors come up and bug you to buy things. 2nd floor PRO: more private and has high exposed wooden beam ceiling; looks rustic. CON: partial ocean view due to trees. We thought spending the extra money for the PREMIUM suite was worth it. It had over 100+ TV channels, good wifi, flat screen TV, quiet remote control operated A/C, his/hers shower heads, and tasteful decor. We had to spend one day indoors due to rain and we really appreciated being indoors w/ all these amenities. A few reviewers complained the position of the TV on the wall which makes it difficult to watch TV from bed. We found out that TV mount can be pulled out and turned so to make it easy to watch TV from bed!!
6. Ocean indeed was clean, blue, and wavey. I thought it was fun swimming in the waves and didn't bother me one bit that the water wasn't calm. Last couple of days we were at the resort, the weather wasn't too great. It was cloudy and rained on/off most of the day. The ocean was quite turbulent and waves were 5-10ft high!! Don't expect water to be calm.
7. Weather here is fabulous. Warm in the sun but breezy so you never feel like you're burning to a crisp in the sun. Be careful though; sun is strong. Be sure to pack a thin throw-on for night time. It can get a bit cool for shorts and tank.
8. For dinner service, men are require to wear long pants and collar sleeved shirt for dinner service (ok to wear open toe shoes). No exceptions! Women can wear anything that looks nice and put together.
9. We have been to many Caribbean resorts on different islands and I would say the food on this resort was about average. Menu changed daily, however, many of the dishes recycled and menu b/w restaurant were similar, which was disappointing. Everything is ordered a la cart and is a sit-down 3-course meal. We personally prefer buffets (especially for lunch) and having access to fresh salad bars. Salad choices here weren't that impressive w/ the exception of BBQ buffet night on Thurs. This was fantastic! By far the best meal of the week. Don't miss out!!!
10. Staff here are professional, courteous, and work hard. We made it a point to leave tips for dinner service and for housekeeping. A few dollars goes a long way. Servers do not expect tips, but we thought it was a nice gesture to show our appreciation for their service. Be sure to take a stack of $1 bills.
11. Finally, we would like to warn other travelers how chaotic the airport can be returning home. We arrived at the airport 3 hrs before our departure time. Yes, that's super early but it was well worth it. We beat the rush of people and cleared security w/o having to wait in line. An hour after we arrived at the airport, lines got insanely long with only 1 x-ray machine working. An airport worker told me that some employees went on strike b/c they haven't gotten paid for months. Apparently this happens quite often here so expect delays. Lastly, be sure you have $28 USD per person in CASH to pay the departure tax before you get in line to clear passport control.
I hope you found this review helpful. Enjoy your trip to GBR!!
Indulge yourself and go with the PREMIUM BEACHFRONT SUITE. It is worth the extra money. If you'r...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC