10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Loved being one of the first at the resort!
"Sure it's new, but what a great time! Plenty to do, eat and drink! Staff was friendly and helpful, the rooms were big and clean, and the food was diverse and delicious. We had fun at the large pool as well as at the beach. One day was kayaks, the next was sailing. Even got some snorkeling in. Can't wait to go back..."
- Travel date: 2nd December 2007
thought the Verandah was a beautiful resort
"i just wanted to say that I have read a lot of reviews on this property and was unsure of how my trip was going to go and what to expect. The resort was gorgeous! The property was so beautifully landscaped and the entire pool area/restaurant area was amazing. It is a brand new resort and that being said the landscaping hasn't fully evolved. The food at the restaurant was delicious and the service was excellent. They must have had twenty people passing through out the restaurant. There was no sign of waiting 15 minutes for drinks like I had read. I ordered my food and my drink was always promptly refilled. The kids club was also amazing. I had never been to a resort that had such a large area dedicated to children. The playground was a dream land for my daughter. The rooms were so beautiful inside and large enough that a family of four is very comfortable. I especially loved the large bathroom and tub area. The only additional thing I could say is the view was so gorgeous when the sun went down I did not want to leave. I will definitely go back next summer when I have some more vacation time. I can not wait to see how everything looks the next time I go."
- Travel date: 2nd December 2007
Very Good Going To Get Better
"Firstly it is true that some parts of the resort are under construction, however this is no way impacts your stay. From the reception you travel through the under construction area and then in to the part of the resort that is completed it really feels like you have arrived somewhere else. The suites are simply furnished by are around 700SQ foot in size which is quite substantial. Each suite has a large wrap around verandah giving beautiful views. The large swimming pool area is soon to have some additional umberellas installed which will improve the area, the pool is great and there is a plan to construct at least one more pool on the site. The beaches although relatively small are significantly enhanced by very warm clear water which slopes gradually, ideal for children or poor swimmers. The watersports team are very helpful and I enjoyed sailing the Hobbie's. If you are very keen on beaches Long Bay is less than 100m from the resport and it is generally agreed that this is one of the best beaches in Antigua, good for snorkling. Waitress service was better around the pool than the beach, however I am sure this will improve. The AI drinks are named brands such as Jack Daniel and Absolute Vodka which makes a nice change for an AI resort. I found the food to be good and above average for this type/level of resort. My daughter loved the milkshakes and smoothies. The kids club staff are excellent as are the facilities, there is a huge out door climbing frame and a nice pool area. The club is open until 10PM so the kids can go and watch a DVD in the evening if they get bored after dinner. The SPA is excellent I have had massages all over the world and I have to say this is as good as it gets, the treatments were excellent. Overall I feel for a new resort they have done very well, often resorts open and have a series of disasters, this appears to have been avoided. The staff are very well mannered and attended to all my needs sometime slower than I would have liked, but this is the Carribean. The planting looks very well planned around the resort I am sure when it is established it will further enhance the resort. I will definatley return next year. I think you will find it difficult to get this level of resort for the same price anywhere else in Antigua and I have stayed in several of them."
- Travel date: 30th November 2007
I enjoyed my stay but it's going to have problems
"I stayed at the Verandah for a week in mid November and I have to say I enjoyed the holiday but the hotel has problems. Firstly the construction of the rooms was poor and I doubt they would survive even a mild hurricane, especially as it's so exposed and the rooms are elevated on stilts! The resort only had 50 rooms open and when it's fully open with 150+ there will be problems. Lack of sun beds, queues at the bar and crowding of the restaurants etc. It's also meant to be an eco-resort but that's rubbish. They've basically managed to fit as many rooms on the resort as possible with no regard for the countryside and some of the "bay views" are mainly of roof tops of other rooms. I spoke to some locals and they said they never wanted the resort to be built and didn't have many kind words for the developer. The beaches were small and again only a few sun beds. The sun beds themselves were very uncomfortable and look very cheap. Not what you'd expect from a 4* resort. The food was good and waiting saff friendly but I would re-iterate that the "fine dining" was the same menu every night and not worth the extra $25 you'll be expected to pay in the future. They are also building 60 villas opposite the resort called Verandah Estates and that will add to the amount of people using the resort and in my opinion it will be too many. On a positive note the staff were very pleasant and was the main reason I enjoyed my stay. My view is to go now before it gets too crowed and don't pay full price."
- Travel date: 28th November 2007
Nice resort and it should mature nicely
"We arrived back from the Verandah resort on Saturday 24 after our 2 week stay. After reading some of the reviews I agree with some points but not other but I guess what people want and expect from a holiday do vary, although in my experience the Caribbean is much the same. We were met by very friendly reception staff and offered a nice drink, we were then driven off in an electric buggy to the rooms. They have made great progress on the resort over the last 2 weeks before we arrived and more so whilst we were there. There seems to only be 2 villa shells left, shame they are on route to the available room, bad planning there even the green shielding around the bases would be a quick win. Our room was great 176, we paid for an oceanfront room and it was great with a nice view, highly recommend rooms 162 onwards if you are on the front row. In typical Caribbean style the rooms are clean and practical but they certainly look very plain compared to the offerings in say Mauritius or Maldives etc. During our stay we found the staff very friendly and helpful with good manners and what seemed like a genuine attitude. Some of the restaurant staff need more experience which I am sure will come with time but they need to ensure it is soon as it seems to be getting busier each day. We were lucky enough that all 3 restaurants were open when we were there and the food standard was above average for an all-inclusive resort. The fine dinning restaurant that currently is included on AI was good but not worth the planned $25 surcharge they plan on charging. The weather was great with only 1 morning and 2 hours 1 afternoon lost to the rain. The pool is very nice, clean and had plenty of sun beds, as did the beach once they moved 20 from the other beach near reception. During the managers evening he announced the kids pool was open along with the kids play area, also the tennis courts would be complete on the 1/11/07. They are all working very hard to get this place ready, we were advised that completion by end of December was now unlikely and end of Feb 2008 was more the case. Overall and enjoyable stay in a nice resort that in 6 months time when it is all complete the dust has settled and the plants have grown a bit will be a genuine 4 star resort. Paul"
- Travel date: 25th November 2007
Mobile phone thefts
"Just returned from the Veranda. Pleasant enough resort. I generally agree with previous reviews. However, PLEASE BE AWARE: My mobile phone was stolen from my room. Someone with a master key entered the room as it was impossible to get in any other way. The hotel staff were ok but I had to insist that they allow me to make a free phone call from the room and also I had to pressure them to call the police. All these arrangements were carried out begrudgingly. Having read previous reviews, it seems this has happened before. This is not a good sign for a newly constructed resort!!!! I will NOT be going back to the Verandah"
- Travel date: 23rd November 2007
The Verandah low down
"Just got back from the Verandah resort. Spent a week celebrating my mothers 70th birthday. The resort is nice, but most resorts/vacations away from the cold weather are nice. Yes, the resort is still under construction. However constuction noise is not an issue. Landscaping is new so you are still going to see some areas were plants/trees have not grown in. The food is O.K. Typical resort food in my opinion. If you are use to fine dining this is not a resort for you. I did have a fresh tuna starter that I thought was excellent, but besides that I was just O.K. with the food/dining. Staff was very plesant, but still green. I tipped most of my servers, but I did not see a lot of tipping in general. Needless to say they were very appreciative when you gave them a few bucks. The beach was o.k.. However there are 42 stairs (I counted) to get onto the beach. Which means there are 42 stairs to climb to get off the beach. Not an easy task for an older person or a person with disibilities.You better not be a smoker. In addition there is no bathroom in the beach area. You have to climb those 42 stairs and then a steep hill to use the bathroom at the pool. The beach bar is also located at the top of those 42 stairs. We only had a server on the beach 1 day out of seven. I was very disappointed about this. The water is nice, but the beach area could have been raked more often. If you want more of a surf beach this is not the resort for you,Stay at Coco Bay. We had no problem getting a lounger or a spot in the shade, but we were usually on the beach by 9 a.m. The pool area is nice and they do have servers coming around on a regular basis. Plenty of loungers as well. The rooms are beautiful. We stayed in villa 155 and the view was great. Beds are comfortable and the bathrooms are big. They never stocked the frig, but I'm sure if I made a phone call to the front desk they would have. This is not a resort for pre teens/teens. My children 14 & 11 would have been bored to tears. Maybe in a few years they will add some activities to draw this age group. Entertainment is minimal. Don't expect to see big shows. Each night they had a different band/singer in the bar area. Just o.k. nothing special. They do have a casino, but it has not opened yet. Looks small. We took a day trip around the island which was good but expensive. If you want to book trips do so early because they don't run daily. Over all I enjoyed myself. It was a very relaxing trip (read 4 books).If your looking for lots of excitment do not go to this resort. As it matures it may be better."
- Travel date: 18th November 2007
Give it a little time
"We stayed at The Verandah Resort and Spa November 9th â 13th for a girlâs weekend away. When we arrived we were greeted by managers (who told us that they were formerly with The St. James Club) and received a cool beverage â a tasty rum punch. The customer service at this point seemed spectacular, although we quickly learned how wrong we were. Back in August when we made our reservations for the resort, we requested 2 rooms side by side with an adjoining verandah. We were told that this would not be a problem. When we arrived this was not the case, after multiple phone calls and a day later, we were finally accommodated. Restaurants and food: 2 weeks prior to our arrival we had made reservations for Nicoleâs Restaurant for dinner for 2 of the nights that we were going to be at the resort. When we attempted to confirm our reservations prior to dinner our 1st evening there, they claimed to have no record of our reservation. Just a side note â there is nothing on the menu for Nicoleâs that warrants a $25.00 surcharge. We had the surcharge removed because there was nothing about a surcharge when we made reservations back in August. On Friday they told us that there would be a Seafood Buffet on Sunday, but on Sunday afternoon they changed the Sunday buffet to a carving night with ham, turkey, etc. Needless to say we were very disappointed because we were all looking forward to some fresh Caribbean seafood. Speaking of fresh, the size of the fresh pineapple kept getting smaller and smaller each day until the day that we left we were served canned pineapple. As far as the food choices â no major complaints for the breakfast buffet, yet nothing to brag about. Although there are no real complaints about the taste of the food for lunch and dinner, there were very few choices. It was a bit disappointing to realize that the best desert we had all weekend was what appeared to be store bought cookies, which were however very good. They only had 2 restaurants open to choose from. We were under the impression that there would be 3 with 1 being a buffet option every night. Alcohol: All alcoholic drinks were excellent and made with top shelf liquor. Our only complaint would have been that they should have had fresh fruit for their frozen drinks. We had asked for bananas and were told that one of the managers was going to get some mix, but in the five days that we were there, there was none available. Entertainment: The nightly entertainment was pretty lame. They need to offer more entertainment to get the guests involved. Rooms: The rooms are spacious and clean, but we felt that they needed both interior and exterior color to add character to the resort. Housekeeping did a phenomenal job. Telephone service: Unfortunately we all have Verizon cell phone service and we didnât have any reception making international calls quite expensive using the phones in the rooms. The telephones in the rooms had no identifying markers. We had to call the reception area to find out how to make room to room calls and to inquire about the number to contact guest services. We did not know until checkout that all local calls were75 cents per call. We made a number of calls (17 to be exact) trying to find a number for scooter rentals because guest services could not help us out, saying that they didnât have a phone number or a phone book. One of the girls in our group called a random restaurant in Antigua to ask for a phone number for the scooter rentals. Guest Services: Whenever we called guest services, they would have to get back to us, which always took over an hour. The Beach: If youâre looking for a beach front resort â this is not the resort for you. It was a small man made beach with a lot of sea weed, sea grass and coral â not the ideal place to float in the ocean all day. If you like a raft to float in the ocean, bring your own like we did as there are none available at the resort. The water activities employees were excellent. As stated in previous reviews, there was a swampy area next to the beach, but it didnât really bother us. Excursions: The zip line with the rainforest canopy tour is a must. We had an awesome time. Over all we had a great time because we made the best of it. The place is brand new and Iâm sure things will improve with time. Special thanks to Lionel, Lionel, Cedric and Noelle Peter (the guys in the magical navy blue shirts) who went above and beyond to make our stay an enjoyable one."
- Travel date: 18th November 2007
"Hello, back for the final review. My recommendation for the Verandah remains very high following our two weeks there. There is much to reccommend and very little to complain about. While there is construction ongoing at the Verandah there is very little impact on paying guests to my knowledge. Granted our particular room was located well away from any current construction so had no impact on our stay. In fact we would not even know that construction was happening except that we had to pass unfinished rooms when entering or leaving the resort. I would admit though that there may be some rooms closer to the construction area which may be subject to building noise. My suggestion to potential guests is to contact them directly and ask to be placed by the pool or beach bar. The food was excellent for the duration. In particular the breakfast buffet gets special commendation. The only minor complaint is that the A la carte dinner menus could do with some variety as mentioned by other reviewers. It does get a little tired particular if staying for two weeks. Service at all points is supreme - restaurants (all 3), the bars, pool service, guest services, housekeeping. Staff are friendly and helpful at all levels. Suitability - Beautiful for those seeking to relax and unwind for a week or two. Great for couples and a fantastic Honeymoon location. There were two weddings while we were there and while I cannot comment on the service those couples received, the location is fabulous. For families with small kids I think this would be great too. The beaches are compact with little surf and so very safe. There are snorkels, pedalos, kayaks and Hobie Cats available free to guests which can make for good diversions. Also the Kids Club has kicked off and operates from 9am to 10pm (to the best of my knowledge) so mum & dad can have some lone time too. My only concern would be for middle teens as I think they may get a bit bored if your stay is more than a week long. I base that comment on the fact that we didn't see too many teens while there. Once the resort is up to full capacity and there are more teens around then there will be benifit in numbers. An additional comment on the snorkeling mentioned above - the snorkeling from the two beaches of the resort is quite poor with little to see. However take your snorkle with you and you will find great snorkeling about 150 metres from the entrance to the resort on another beach called Long Bay. Lots to see nad safe swimming with low surf. Another reccomendation on the same subject is Stingray City where you will get to swin with and handle stingrays. The main bar has some entertainment everynight of the week and this was generally to a very high standard. BAnds varied between stell, reggae and more contemporary music but all good. The entertainment manager and his second in command are excellent and work hard to try to make sure guests enjoy themselves. Overall, if the resort keeps its standards to current levels I would be happy to go back and enjoy it all over again."
- Travel date: 15th November 2007
Very disappointed, not as advertised!
"Having recently visited the Veranda Resort I would like to warn future travelers that, although this resort claims to be an eco-resort this is not the case. To make matters worse the resort is only half finished and even at a discount, is not worth the money spent. Upon arrival one is greeted by a construction site, which is highlighted in other reviews here, which one is whisked through, I imagine out of sight out of mind is the thought process. With this in mind a construction site is still not a welcome state of affairs, for the start of ones long awaited relaxing, quiet and unassuming much needed break. Next and probably a more serious concern, is that one quickly realizes that the staff have yet to get their sea legs and are still for the most part, learning, their jobs. This is of course to be expected but when management seems to be as clueless as the staff, I have to wonder how long it will take this resort to find itself. While I was there one of the most disturbing events, which actually prompted me to write this review, was the 4:00AM truck noisily spraying diesel all around the property to combat the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes, I did not find them to be the real problem but the smell of the diesel, and noise of the spraying is unacceptable. In this case, all I can say is, the cure is worse then the disease. Personally, I cannot understand how the management can think, that because they spray at 4:00AM no one will notice. I for one, was woken up and could not go back to sleep, so instead I was forced to breath in the awful smell of vaporized diesel until it dissipated several hours later. This policy should change unless they want to offend more of their guests. My suggestion to those looking for a vacation in Antigua is to choose another resort. Antigua, the island is a very desirable destination and the Long Bay area as a whole is very attractive, quiet, surrounded by beautiful water and beaches, I just think that the Veranda resort has a lot of maturing to do before it is ready to receive travelers."
- Travel date: 15th November 2007
The Verandah Resort & Spa - All Inclusive is also called
- The Verandah Suites Hotel
- verandah hotel st johns
- verandah resort all inclusive