This accommodation is a 2-minute walk from the beach. This adults-only resort is set in 14 hectares of tropical gardens and offers all-inclusive leisure options including sailing and snorkeling. Five Islands, Antigua resort offers on-site dining, 4 beaches and an outdoor pool.
Hawksbill Beach, Five Islands St. John's Antigua Antigua and Barbuda
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We very much enjoyed our stay at Hawksbill for our 20th anniversary. Definitely agree that the staff is very welcoming and friendly, and even went out of their way to make this a special trip for us. Dalston made us feel at home and always went above and beyond to make sure you had what you needed. The Grounds: highlights are the four choices of beaches to swim at, the hiking trails up the hillside and lots of wildlife, including resident cats. Beaches are not overly busy in comparison to Dickenson Bay or some of the other beaches, where travellers from the many cruise ships flock to. There is a bit of a drop at the shoreline of the main beach, requiring you to use some leg muscles to get back onto shore. I say this because I saw a few people struggle or require a hand getting out. One thing missing is a decent size pool for days when the sea is too rough to swim in. Also be careful walking around the shoreline in front of the grill restaurant and don’t adventure onto the rocks. We saw a woman get knocked down and injured by a sudden big wave, which could have ended very badly. Use your judgement and exercise caution when the red flags are up regardless of how strong of a swimmer you are. We used the hotel as a base and went on many day trips. We are active, and opted to walk to St John’s one day (1.5 hours ~7 km away). We took the public bus on the way back, which can be accessed at the bus terminal by the pier. It dropped us off in the village near the hotel (5-10 minute walk to hotel). We were able to arrange excursions departing from the hotel including the Discovery Jeep Tour around the island (English Harbour, Devil’s Bridge and Betty’s Hope) and Eco Tour on a cigar boat (Long Island, Bird Island, Hell’s Gate) both were very enjoyable). Taxis are available, $30 USD to get to St Johns and $20 USD to get to neighbouring hotel and beach, Galley Bay (Royalton). There is a nice view from Fort Barrington, as well from the top of the hill next to the entrance to the hotel. If you venture past Eden beach, there is a hiking trail up in the forest with a beautiful view (it is marked with ribbons). Rooms: beach view rooms are spacious. Small fridge, lots of storage area, couch and separate powder room from the washroom. Very comfortable pillows and bed. Yes, it is dated, but the view of the beach from the balcony is priceless. Balcony has two chairs and a table, and could access wifi from out there. We stayed in room #25 and were just steps away from the main beach and lobby area. There is a TV in the room with some English channels. Drinks: 2 variety of beers on tap and variety of hard alcohol, including lots of rum based drinks. Drinking water is available in water cooler at lobby, restaurants or at the bar, no need to buy it, just bring a water bottle. Food: I enjoyed the dinner selection of fish, chicken and rice, but could see how if you are a vegan or vegetarian, you might not be eating well for the week. The evening dishes were well flavoured and there was always lots available (replenished often) even though it was very busy. Examples include BBQ chicken, marlin, stir fried porc, roast beef, lasagna. I also enjoyed the lunch selection (delicious fish wraps, burgers, jerk chicken) and breakfast omelette station. We were a bit disappointed with the coffee, but are used to drinking strong coffee. Hotel served mostly instant. You could bring a bodum as each room has a kettle and you could just make coffee to your liking.
There are plenty of reviews so I’ll be brief. We stayed on the first floor of the main building. Don’t expect wifi in the room and the plumbing was rubbish with a shower that was a trickle at best with a lethal slippery floor and a wash basin that didn’t drain. Now we’ve got past that bit I can only praise the lovely friendly staff, plenty of sun beds and great choice of beaches. If you’re a veggie you’ll struggle at dinner time but breakfast and lunch are good so fill up then. We had a lovely time, we expected 3 star and that’s what we got. Yes, it’s all a bit tired but if you want Sandals pay the money and go there! And they were super helpful with keeping our room till checkout so a massive plus for that. Thank you !!
I was a little concerned about staying at this hotel, given some of the reviews but soon found it was so much better. We arrive somewhat later than expected due to headwinds across the Atlantic and I did wonder whether we would be too late for dinner. Fortunately dinner was still available so we soon availed ourselves to the buffet style servery where we found an excellent choice. Right from our arrival we were impressed by the friendliness of both the staff and the other guests, which continued throughout our stay. Due to the contour of the land, there are many steps in the reception/restaurant area of the site which some may find difficult, particularly where the steps are uneven. The hotel is spread out along the beaches with low rise accomodation. We had a room on the top floor of the main building with views out to sea. Our room was spacious with a good sized balcony and two chairs. I understand the work scheduled to take place this summer is mainly on these two buildings. On balance we like the help yourself buffet style in the restaurant. Being able to see what's on offer has many advantages over having waiter service. At dinner there was always a special where the chef would carve a joint of meat for you. All in all we had a very enjoyable stay at Hawksbill and were pleased with our choice. One point to watch is the Suntours rep who has little social skills and makes many mistakes. We were unfortunate enough to have to deal with her which was trying to say the least.