Verandah Resort & Spa
Travel Blogs from Saint Philip
... night at the back bar somehow someone came up with a bet for the worst reggae gear to be judged by JoJo. So shopping should be interesting and tonight should be fun.
Spent the first couple of hours in St John’s trying to get internet access as the ship’s internet was down all day and we have to book flights and accommodation in Melbourne on grand final day for my nephew, Andrew’s wedding (we ...
... if we allowed him to skip his studies. But this is what he loves and we're in the perfect environment to do so. During his fishing trips, Tyler isn't shy about talking to the local fishermen and learning more about the native fish and how to catch them. He's learned quite a great deal and becoming more and more knowledgable about the various types of fish and their habitat. He's been reading books about fish in the Caribbean and that has ...
... here - cocoa, coffee, nutmeg, turmeric and a few others that I failed to remember. Onto Concord Falls, the island's best known waterfall. After visiting our beautiful Russell Falls in Mt Field National Park just a week before I left home, to say these falls were a bit underwhelming was an understatement. Still, the water was enticing enough on this hot day for me to enjoy a swim. With a bit of effort I managed to swim right under the falls and enjoy a ...
... quite good and there are several restaurants on board, however, we have noticed that unless you book the wait can be 30 minutes or more. After pre dinner drinks are enjoyed I do find that is not such a good thing. Drinking on an empty stomach effects sea legs, particularly when you are a power drinker like Stuart!
The pool area although large is very crowded. It is almost impossible to find a sun lounge prior to 2pm. I suspect a lot ...
... the bus back and luckily it was nearly full when I arrived. The bus will not leave unless its full so if your in a rush tough. Round up some other people is your only way of making it leave. Timetables forget it. What appeared to be a drunken,toothless lady who was sucking on a kebab then tried to reorganize the seating of everyone which is no mean feat as the narrow aisle is then filled with ...
How has this resort rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Verandah Resort & Spa Saint Philip
Loved the Spa
We returned last week from our wedding and honeymoon in Antigua. The first week we got married at the St James Club and chose the Verandah for our honeymoon week ( when the family had all returned home!).
The Verandah Resort was fine for what we wanted for our honeymoon, however there is still alot of construction work underway. There are still alot of rooms to finish, so when they are all complete you will definately have to get up very early to reserve your sunlounger in the shade, because there is very little either by the pool or on the very small beach.
The beach is obviously man made and needs alot more sand and a good tidy up!!. Most mornings by 8am there were no sunloungers left in the shade!.
They say it will be compete by Christmas, Christmas 2008 probably.
When it is all complete there will big queues for everything, as it was we had to book for the A la carte restaurants in the morning and it was only 50% complete.
The food was very good although the A la carte restaurants dont change their menus at all. Cocktails and drinks great (very strong). Staff lovely, thanks to Margaret on the tour desk. Rooms fantastic with great views. Entertainment every evening, hopefully not just because it was only just open. Spa lovely, lots of nice treatments in lovely surroundings.
You have to wait for a golf buggy to get to reception where the boutique, mini market and cinema will be. Second beach and tennis courts here as well all still under construction, although the beach has umbrellas and sun loungers already.
Keine Sorge, ein super Hotel, bin gerade hier...
Kamen vor ein paar Tagen an und hatten eine super Zeit. Das Wetter war super, der Strand klasse und die Angestellten spitze. Das AI-Angebot beinhaltet auch die Drinks an der Bar. Die Baustelle fängt bei Zimmer Nr. 138 an abwärts an, nicht dort, wo etwas los ist. Alle Bereiche im Restaurant und am Pool sind fertig und in Gebrauch. Werde später eine ausführlichere Bewertung schreiben, gehe jetzt segeln. Am Pool hat man auch eine WLAN-Verbindung.
No worry, great place, currently a guest at the resort
Arrived here a few days ago, having a great time. Weather great, beach great, staff great. The all inclusive plan also includes bar drinks. The construction of units is from room 138 down, away from where the action is. Everything in the area of the restaurant and pool is finished and running.
Will write a full review later, must go sailing now... and yes wifi is available by the pool.
Set the bar for future hotels I'll stay at.
Brillant, really was. It's still being built, currently only 90 rooms are open of the proposed 200 were open. I can see the point in an earier review about the place being over crowded if at full capacity but this place will have a 2 private beaches and a massive pool area. 3 resturants and enough activitys to keep you and any kids busy all day.
Staff are great, really friendly and welcoming, always willing to help. They have loads of beach equipment available to borrow (for free) including, pendle boats, rowing boats and sailing boats.
Eco friendly, all apartments are solar powered with electric golf carts taking you from the central part to the entrance. I would query the location but it only takes about 30/40 mins to get to St Johns and the airports, also non of the excursion companys pickup from the hotel so you might spend a bit on taxis.
Rooms are massive and all the rooms have what I can see are a fantastic view, I was in one of the bay facing ones.
It sounds like the price might sky rocket when it's finished in Feb but I would really recommend this place. Book now to get a good deal like I did.
The Verandah - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
My wife and I checked into the Verandah on 21st October 07 so we were amongst the first guests ever to stay there. We'll liken our stay to a spaghetti western -
The Good - Our room was probably one of the best there and overlooked one of two beaches. All mod cons available (including satellite TV) and a very spacious bathroom. The weather. All inclusive drinks package which included premium brand spirits and beer. Most of the staff - a happy, cheerful bunch.
The Bad - The resort was NOT fully up and running when we arrived. Wander outside of the area where the completed 50 rooms are and you will be presented with a building site. You are STONGLY recommended to check what facilities are available before you go. Whilst we were there the facilities we did not have included - one entire beach with bar, Jacuzzi (currently a hole in the ground), room service (???), one restaurant, tennis courts, cinema, mini market, gift shop. Erratic service from the management downwards. We had concerns about the facilities available, spoke directly to the manager and then...nothing. Had to chase the management for an answer and still it wasn't sorted to our satisfaction. Occasionally got forgotten about before and during our meals in the main restaurant. Wouldn't describe the food as fantastic but just OK. The a La Carte restaurant had the same menu every night. There was one night whereby we had to make do with a salad as the spread was really not good at all. Not nearly enough shaded areas around the pool and on the beach, so god knows what will happen when this resort is full (only 50 rooms up and running when we got there with another 150 to go...) We got drawn into the 'towels on sunlounger at 0630' battle. You may expect this on a southern spanish holiday but not in the Caribbean. We think the resort will struggle to cope in some areas, not least around the pool and both beaches, when, potentially, up to 800 guests could be fighting for loungers with some shade. Some guests turned up and within 24 hours were transferred to other resorts as they were not happy. We tried and failed.
The Ugly - had a mobile phone stolen from our room. Whilst perhaps the hotel Guest Services manager took it seriously got the impression the hotel security services officer that took a statement did not.
In summary - Make sure you get what you are paying for. This hotel is at present billed as a four/four and half star. With what is available at present two stars would be more appropriate. We were told everything would be finished by Xmas 07. Personally, don't believe a word of it. We paid full whack for our stay, were unaware of the situation with the resort (as we were told by the company itself everything was finished) and so will be demanding some sort of a refund.
A Wonderful Secure Family Resort
We recenty returned from our half term vacation at this well designed wonderful resort. Our family consisted of 2 adults and 4 children under the age of 8.
The hotel is 70% completed as at 31st October 2007, but the 30% not completed is mainly hotel accomodation at the entrance of the resort and has no real bearing on the main facilities. The resort is a good 4 star with excellent spacious bedrooms with an interconnecting door via the patio (ideal for the childrens room in our case).
The resort has 2 small beaches (compared to Antiguan standards), but is protected by a reef so calm shallow waters are guaranteed for the children. The beach staff are extraordinary helpful and ensure that you are well equiped to use the many different sailing equipment., along with the occasional beach cricket match.
The kids club is a large building with an huge outdoor playhouse that helps the kids with the entertainment. There is due to be a kids pool attached to the club that will open over the next few months.
The main pool was large and had a maximum depth of 5ft so good for all the family to play. The hotel provided the additional armbands and lifejackets for our 3 year old.
The all inclusive was a genuine AI and we enjoyed plenty of Strrawberry Crushes from the helpful bar staff. There are 3 restaurants that served a good balance and variety over our 10 day stay. The restaurants feature a Buffett, Fine Dining and family restaurant.
The managment team headed up by Alex de Brito e Cunha and Cedric Henry were 1st class in ensuring that their team provided excellent customer service and an enthusiasm to ensure our holiday was successful.
We treated ourselves to the Spa and the level of service was of the highest order, in a lovely professional setting.
I would strongly recommend this resort if your looking for an excellent 4 star hotel, with excellent family facilities. We look forward to our next visit next year!!!
Amazing resort just give it time!
Hi everyone just returned from antigua last night! Verandah is an amazing resort! When you arrive you are given a cocktail immediately(rum punch, champagne) that was a nice treat. check-in was quick and thorough and then you were brought through the resort by a six to eight person electric manual golf cart( yes manual i was astonished too!) Your first glimpses are an unfinished beach looks nice though, then up to a top of a bluff good photo op here ask to stop we did! This area is mostly under construction until you get to the kidz club. kidz club was fully operational except for the pool. Our room was a bay view room 243 which had a descent view then about an hour later they switched the room because they coudnt find the keys. to my surprise it was closer to the pool and beach room 266 right above the wedding gazebo by the beach bar. wonderful views of both the beach, bay, ocean and devils bridge! Our first meal, all that was open when we arrived, round 4:00 pm was the beach bar. We had a fried fish platter and a broiled fish platter some of the best fish i have ever had! We than had dinner at the buffet around 800pm because nicoles their fine dining was booked. The buffet was better than both cozumel all inclusives and dominican republic's as well. Book your reservations for nicoles as soon as you arrive if thats your fancy. Menu never changes though gets a little boring. Buffet changes for both lunch and dinner breakfast never changes but is delicious! The pool was operational but we never went in it except to rinse your feet from the beach.( there are no water spikets to rinse your feet off from the beach) The beach is small if 25 people are on the beach there will probably be no chairs and shade is limited. One day there was six of us and we had to get a porter to help us carry six chaise loungers down the fifty stairs to the beach. If you want a prime spot get up for the amazing sunrise and get some chairs. There are no activities i.e. yoga, volleyball, soccer, table tennis, pool. I think the only activities are the snorkeling, kayaking, sailfish on the beach. There is suppose to be a library but no books so bring loads your gonna need them. There are board games, but you will have to ask. Entertainment wise they did have some good music every night starting at 730pm down by the pool bar. reggae and other top hits. No steel drums though kind of dissapointed. Lots of bob marley you would think you were in jamaica! Service at the resort was immpecable could not thank them enough! have heard on other posts that they are from the St. James. Who cares because when im sitting drinking and talking with friends and i think to myself wow i need another drink and before i have a chance to get up and get it I have a waiter or waitress asking me if i need anything thats amazing! God bless the verandah staff! On other posts people are talking all about this long bay beach by pineapple beach resort! Yes it is about a half mile long about ten times the size of verandah's, but it is maybe 10 yards deep(from the water to the grass) and you have to deal with antiguan vendors trying to sell shirts and drugs to you. Also if you want to go anywhere near the pineapple beach you have to purchase a day pass for 85$ us dollars. wouldn't recommend this beach. I would rather stay on a secluded beach then have to deal with vendors talking to me all day. As for the amenties of the verandah the spa was also amazing got an hour massage for my girlfriend an I ,which they accomodated for us they did us both in the same room at the same time. What a wonderful experience, the ambience and smell of the spa was envigorating they had beautiful waterfalls and lemon water for all guests. WOW! The rooms i thought were some of the cleanest I have ever been in flat screens were good for the football game, but who is watching the t.v. anyway. The verandah was probably the best part of the room the views are breathtaking! The solar hot water could be a problem. we didn't have it for one day and they fixed it right away. Another couple we met didn't have it for four days. Some nice excursions are renting a car and definitely going to english harbour and jolley beach. St johns is a must for shopping. THE CANOPY ZIP LINE is the best thing I have ever done totally safe and exciting. Devils bridge is a 10 min walk from the resort amazing pic oppurtunities. I would definitely recommend this hotel to someone who wants to have a relaxing vacation! thankx,
p.s. Have lots of photos will upload asap trying to relax before going back to work :(
I arrived on 19th October. We drove in through pristine gates to a new lobby reception area, all surrounded by a building site! Long beach is about 200 meters from the reception but quite a way from the completed rooms (to answer some other queries). The reception team was enthusiastic and we were quickly on our way on an electric buggy to our rooms. We passed the 'new beach' (apparently, according to internet reports, created from destruction of mangroves). This is not a large area and otherwise seems relatively sympathetic to the surroundings. It is made to look 'open' with sun loungers but nobody is using it yet and the beach and reception bar is not open. We drove on through the building site, past the unfinished tennis courts and rooms, winding up the resort roads. Things started looking a bit more complete when we passed the (as yet) un-opened kids club; this is interesting as it has a very fancy climbing area (which may get a bit hot in the sun). No kids pool as yet.
Suddenly we take a bend and it all changes, landscaped gardens surrounding the main buildings and a wonderful pool (but no view from the pool which is a shame). Our room, an ocean view villa, was fantastic, large, amazing balcony and room, huge bath. The view was stunning, a lovely place to have a slice of toast in the morning or a glass of wine later.
The main beach still has the natural salt water pool (swamp) which adds character. There is no evidence of tampering too much with the environment here. Using the public access you can walk to Devil's bridge easily. I think this beach is really nice.
Eating: Beach bar grill: Essentially 'xxx' and chips, needs slightly better organization and a faster 'fast order' cook, but this will come. Good views if you get one of the few seats. This will be a problem when the place is full.
Sea breeze; buffet, breakfast, lunch and dinner all of high standard, wine not bad too, (unusual for this level of resort). Buccaneers: not open.
Nicole's; no supplement as yet but they haven't got this quite right yet. The food was OK but not excellent, the lighting was too bright, and when they had live music it was good but too loud and not right for this type of restaurant. On balance OK but not yet worth a supplement, which they did not ask of us. Although a previous review comments on an unchanging menu It is a large menu which I think they should shrink it, improve the quality and use this as a way of changing the menu.
However I never expect much of food in hotels that do not cater to the general public. If you are a 'foodie' do not go to an all inclusive hotel, go room only to a busy place and go to reataurants that have to compete for you custom every night!
On the level I expect for 'all inclusive' including Sandals this wassn't too bad!
Service was nice but a little naïve at times as one might expect in a new resort. Will even take trays of drinks to the room for you! I imaging this will stop when it is busy!
There where a few snags. Too much chlorine in tap water for 2 days but on complaint bottles of water were delivered to the room. A lot of the rooms were relying only on solar power for hot water for the first days. I complained on the first morning and it was immediately fixed and was fine. Some thought it was supposed to be just solar as an eco thing so didn't complain (and got no hot water in the morning!) (it is actually solar assisted heating).
No proper shops open yet. Can arrange to walk over to GPR (ask at reception to ring ahead first). I advise you stock your own fridge. Get a taxi to a local supermarket or better still on the way in.
Spa and gym are open.
I think there are nearly 50 completed rooms now. The kids club is nearly ready. The reception area, bar, tennis courts and new beach looks almost ready but I cannot see this working until the rooms at this end of the resort are ready which could take some time. The place will probably be up to 100 rooms relatively soon but I cannot see it being completely finished until October next year.
Overall felt like a king in his kingdom, it's no bad thing being the first guests in a new place, but will I still feel like that when the hotel is full, time will tell.
Essentially it is a beautiful resort, but are the pool and beaches big enough when it is full? Very few hotels are. I preferred it to the St James club. It is in a different league to the Jolly Beach but if you want excitement and activities go to these other places. If you want Caribbean tranquility and a beautiful setting this may be your place.
Don't go for another year. Not ready to be open yet! Just OK
We knew when we booked it was going to be a soft opening. With that said, save your money and don't go back for another year. Unlike the above poster, I will give you a 360 degree report. For sure don't pay full rack rate, so not worth it. We paid 242.00 for both of us per night. So, we got a great value. Won't go back though. Reception area done, but when you leave that area to go towards the back, get ready! This resort is not ready yet.-6-12 months to get this thing full functioning. When you leave the main check in area, the landscaping is only 10% done and tons, I mean tons of villas are being worked on and are only shells. The beach upfront (long bay) is not ready for visitors yet either, unless you want to hear construction noise etc. We stayed in room 155 (booked an ocean view, this was a bay view with a peek of ocean). All the guest while we were there were placed in the back part. I did hear construction noise, as the villa next to us was being worked on at 8am. Rooms are average and the pictures on the website make them look much better. Bring your own pillows as theirs are super fluffy and many of us had neck aches from them. Their is a flatscreen, but who travels 2500 miles to watch tv. Microwave and unstocked (I even asked 3 times) refrigerator. So if you get thirsty at 11pm, too bad for you! No roomservice either, which made me mad. The one beach that is open (that they cut down trees and imported sand for) is nice but very tiny. Only 4-5 tiki huts and lots of sandflies. Bring your OFF! Activities don't exist. If my husband and did not bring books and really like being with each other-we would have died from boredom. One family from England left after day 6 to go to St James due to the boredom. The activities lady was nice, but was not prepared she was asking us about What we knew about Scuba on the island. Because of the location of the resort, expect to pay 40-45.00 each way to get to the activities. There is nothing around but Devils Bridge (which is only a 10 min walk). They did have 1-2 pattle boats, some kayaks and sailboats. But after day 3, these get old. There is not much to look at snorkeling off the tiny beach as it is a bay. 2 of the 3 restaurants were open. The tiny beach has a beach bar that serves a few items, they close at 4pm. Handicapped beware: There are lots of steps going to that beach, we wondered how anyone not fully walking could get down there. Nicoles Restaurant (we did not pay this dumb surcharge) was the best. But the menu was the same every night. That got old. I WOULD NOT have paid 25.00 per person surcharge for this, that is a bunch of bunk. We had a lobster barbeque at Palm Island Resort- no surcharge there. The buffet was ok, I have had better at the Royal Palace in Rivera Maya. Lots of pasta, pizza, not so great fish. Out of 5 I would give the buffet a 3, just average. Breakfast was much better, I would give that a 4.5. What I found odd was that we were oceanfront but I did not see one shrimp or crab offering for the entire week. Thats what I was wanting the most. There were lots of families there (only about 20 rooms taken during our stay). The kids were bored out of their minds. One group turned over pool chaise's and played table tennis. We felt so bad for them. They are starting up some kind of timeshare program 10-26K membership. No thanks. GOOD POINTS: Service was excellent. Many are from the St James Club. Very nice, polite. Best Service in a long while. Close to the airport. Good Value for <300.00 a night. Water in Antigua is beautiful. Very nice. If we go back to Antigua, we will go to Galley Bay or Blue Wates. For Verandah-they are nice but I would wait though till its fully functioning. Couples and Families only, I think the singles would die! Feel free to email me if you would like more information.
I just returned from Antigua with my wife who is a travel consultant. She was invited to go over and visit this hotel with a group sponsored by the tourist board and I was able to tag along. The Manager took us around the entire hotel and grounds and was quite eager to show us everything (even the kitchen!) and we were pretty impressed with the facilities. The rooms are really large and each have an oceanview with a private varandah really was nice. It has a large centrally located pool, children's facility and BEAUTIFUL spa. It overlooks two really beaches and the water looked really very calm and shallow. Our guide explained it is in a bay and even though on the Atlantic side, a large reef breaks the rough waters, so it is very calm. He insisted it would be open by mid-October, but it did look a little barren with not much vegetation, but workmen were bringing in trees and plantings, so I would expect it will be ready to open next month.
I really couldn't comment on much more obviously not having not stayed there or even eaten there, etc. but it is furnished and looks ready to open.