Experience the breathtaking beauty of Antigua at a vacation destination with something for everyone. An oasis of tranquility and amenity located on 30 beachfront acres, The Verandah is the perfect place for a romantic wedding, honeymoon or family getaway. Situated amongst a backdrop of lush green gardens, stunning tropical views and a shimmering turquoise sea, the incredible All-Inclusive blend of engaging activities, delectable cuisine and entertaining nightlife allows you the luxury to do it all, or nothing at all.
Willikies Indian Town Road Antigua Antigua & Barbuda
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We are an early forties couple who spent a week at the Verandah at the end of February. I will summarize my opinion of what the resort is, what it is not and tips I have then go into more detail about the rooms, beach, staff etc for those who want to read on. What this resort is: -Super safe, this was our first time in Antigua and were really impressed with how safe both the country and the resort felt -small 'cabin' like structures in a lush surrounding of beautifully manicured landscape -small shallow protected bay (with a mostly seaweed bottom after the first 15ft) -lots of young children. I dont know if we just happened on a week with a school break somewhere but wow we were a little surprised with the number of kids What this resort is not: -not a romantic spot for couples which was a little surprising since I had originally found this resort on a list of romantic resorts. There were a lot of crying babies, there was one ala carte restaurant included and it was on the side of the buffet restaurant with the same buffet vibe (no dimly lit ambiance). The bedroom walls are so thin you can hear the people cough next door. We listened to our neighbours blaring TV every night. There are also no sunsets to take in given the direction the resort faces on this side of the island. -not a party spot; other than the one night pool bbq night with a steel band there was no night entertainment (unless you count kids doing karaoke in the main bar or a guy with a keyboard one night) -not completely "all inclusive" One of the two ala carte restaurants is a 40USD per person charge if you want to book there. They also have reduced housekeeping to every other day and are charging you a $24/day resort fee for the 'increased' cost to cleaning due to covid. The every other day cleaning was absolutely fine but they should really remove added charge now or add it into the room rate. It leaves the vacation on a sour note to be given a $238 USD bill at the end of your one week "all inclusive" stay. I understand the additional $5 pp per day fee is not the hotel and is an antigua tax but a 70 vs 238 bill at the end of one week is a considerable difference. Tips: -Bring a water bottle to refill at the many refill stations -if the view is important to you, 165/166 looked to have the best view on the peak looking out the bay (127/128 might be next as they are also on a peak). We booked a superior waterfront and got 178 and it was directly facing the hammock cove resort, You had to get close up to the patio doors or go out on patio to look to the left to see the bay. I was not really impressed that they were still calling this a "superior" waterfront. Included a resort map and wrote where our room was for reference. Room- Our superior waterfront from was renovated so we were pleasantly surprised after seeing the retro pics on the website. There is coffee/tea provided in room and we really enjoyed coffee on our patio in the ams. They also provide dishes and an empty mini fridge which made no sense to me at an all inclusive. I have been to other resorts where they come put some drinks in daily but here they just give you an empty fridge. We had to shut ours off so we could hear the waves over the humming of the fridge at night. Staff- I can see why the reviews are mixed on service here as the staff are a real mixed bag. Some are very friendly and helpful (Steadroy shuttled us to our room with a such a positive vibe, the hostess at the buffet was lovely, Courtney at the beach grill was so quick on the ball, Rhea at Buccanneers was sweet as pie). However some staff were outright miserable. The main bar at night was painful as they would avoid eye contact with you at all possible, its like they hated serving and made you feel very unwelcome. Also the lady that runs the beach bar down on the beach bar seemed to hate her job too but then the guy next her (Kenny I think?) serving sandwiches and salad was a sweetheart. Food- We enjoyed the food and were impressed with how efficient the buffet was run. We never waited for a table or in line for anything. There was enough selection and my favourite of the week was the chai creme brûlée. Buccaneers was a night change to serving yourself buffet, but I didn't find the food a whole lot better. It all seemed on the same level. Beach-we spent most of our time at the sports beach and they did a good job clearing seaweed each day. The little beach was not really swimmable when we first got there due to the crazy amount of seaweed in the water (the staff told us the ocean "purged" itself a couple times of year and that happened to be one of them). As others mentioned they seem to have a beach towel shortage, some other guests warned us upon arrival and told us should we find some hang on to them! We used a day pass to go to the pineapple resort. Unfortunately they had massive tractors and trucks on the beach trying to remove piles of seaweed taller than us. The best part of the visit was climbing to the top of the hill to eat lunch at the Outhouse, the ladies were super sweet and the bbq chicken and ribs were delish, not to mention the amazing view! Summary: If you like long walks on a beach, beautiful sunsets and child free vacations do not choose this place. That being said, If you want a safe, clean, kid friendly location this would be a solid choice. Tips for the resort management if you are reading this: -Buy some more beach towels so you have enough for all your guests -Remove the resort fee, if you read the reviews here you can see you are leaving so many guests with a bad taste when they leave your resort this can not be good business practice. -Remove the empty mini fridges if you are not going to provide anything to put in them
Beautiful resort. Friendly staff. We were in room 248 across from the pool. Great location. Close to main area. Food was great. Steak at Buccaneer’s was amazing. When we were there, there was no seaweed on the beach until our last day when there was a lot. Depends on currents. Shout out to Rohan for entertainment. Made the trip. Also Nian tours and Murissa in the buffet area. Entertainment was quite good. 18 hole mini golf was challenging and fun. Only con was the many steps down to the beach and the mini golf was a walk. Had to take shuttle back to main area from mini golf as it was all up hill. Walking down was fine. Our age may been a factor lol. Lot of families with young kids. All kids were well behaved. Fun place but not an over the top party place. Overall a great vacation.
Despite reading many negative reviews before booking this trip, we decided to join our friends who had already booked and go away with our elementary school aged kids for February break. The pictures on Instagram looked nice and I went in with low expectations and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, the bad reviews are spot on. To be fair to the resort, it is not advertised as a luxury hotel, we typically do stay in 4 or 5 star hotels and this was also our first all inclusive experience, so perhaps my expectations were too high. But I kind of thought, it’s warm, I’m from New York, I’ll be happy in warm weather, how bad can it be? Pros: -The staff at this resort are so kind and friendly. I really debated even posting a negative review because I wouldn’t want to offend anyone who works here. Truly very lovely and very hardworking people. -The price, when you account for food and drinks, there was nothing else at this low price for the week that we went. -The food was way better than I expected. Particularly at Nicole’s which is worth paying the $40 pp charge to have a sit down meal. If you don’t go to Nicole’s go to Buccaneer’s, it was also very good and included in the all inclusive but is still a sit down experience. Make sure you make a reservation for both. While my family will not be returning, I actually believe with a few small changes this hotel could be significantly better. Small changes would go a long way, for instance: -Towels- this has been mentioned extensively on here so clearly the hotel doesn’t care to address the issue, but it’s just bizarre that you can never get a pool or beach towel. We were hoarding them in our room and the little towel huts where you are supposed to get towels from are really sad (particularly because they’re always empty). Maybe if everyone had pool towels issued to the room and then there was a place to trade them if you needed new ones, it would help? It sounds silly but the towel thing drove me crazy! It just really emphasized the fact that this isn’t a luxury resort. It’s such a basic thing and they don’t seem to care that no one can get a towel. -The beach- the beaches are man made not what you expect for a Caribbean sandy beach experience. They obviously cleared land to build these beaches and as a result there are little stubby root like things and spikey thorns all over. We pulled multiple thorns out of our kids feet at Rasta beach. Not sure why they don’t bring in more sand to make it more beachey. -Along with the thorns, the beaches are not cleaned as well as they could be. I saw the same fork in the sand the entire week we were at Rasta beach. The beaches have many empty cups, straw wrappers etc. It’s not hard to clean up trash on the beach and many times I found myself picking up other people’s cups, straw wrappers etc because I just couldn’t stand looking at it as I walked by the 5th time. -Kids Club- this was probably the biggest miss for us as we were never able to have relaxing adult time on the beach or at night and the kids were bored. I called before arriving and was told there was a kids club. When we arrived it was a full on construction zone. The first day it was open 10am-2pm or 2-4pm, all outdoor activities (due to construction) and there was no evening childcare. And the hotel will not provide babysitting. After complaining, I will say they did open longer hours. However, after the initial visit my kids had zero interest in returning. My husband thought “it can’t be that bad” and desperate for a break, he brought them back the second time and they all walked out! “We can’t leave them there” he said. The women who work there are kind but not particularly engaging with the kids. If your kid is cool playing alone on the playground they will enjoy this. If you’re looking for a real kids club experience where they play games, create talent shows, paint nails, watch movies etc this is not that. My kids started referring to it as “the jail” and we didn’t really blame them. -To-go/Take away food- Again, I’ve never stayed at an all inclusive property, but from my friends who have, explained that some kind of “to-go” or snack option is common at these type of resorts. Think grab and go, fresh fruit, granola bars, kids snacks etc. Thankfully we brought snacks, but without them my kids would have been starving during the day. -The “guest services” office is the only place on the resort to make reservations, it is a tiny room with 1-2 people working inside. It fills up and has a line out the door every morning. For a large resort, this tiny space makes no sense, why not have a larger more accessible area with more people working? But it feels in line with the lack out thought/service around the rest of the hotel. -The rooms have little fridges, microwaves and plates, so I suppose people bring in food? Not sure where we would have stopped on the way. The rooms are fine, very basic and housekeeping doesn’t come every day (and sometimes not even every other day). Overall, this place could be way better than it is! They have beautiful views, and lovely staff, it just feels poorly organized or lacking thought about the details that make vacation feel relaxing. I do think it could be drastically better with some small changes!