• Report: #896441

Complaint Review: Sandals Grande Antigua

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  • Submitted: Tue, June 12, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, October 19, 2012

  • Reported By: Not Intimidated — Abie Nebraska United States of America
Sandals Grande Antigua
Saint John's P.O. Box 147 Internet Antigua and Barbuda

Sandals Grande Antigua Sandals Resorts Beaches are NOT private and NOT relaxing - 100% PUBLIC, beach vendors are dangerous, aggressive and very rude. Dickensen Bay, Antigua Internet

*General Comment: Public Beaches

*Consumer Comment: He speaks the truth

*Consumer Comment: Now that is a good report

*Consumer Comment: Aw shucks

*Author of original report: Sandals Antigua - NOT FOR HONEYMOONERS

*Consumer Comment: You don't get it

*Consumer Comment: Who is gerald

*Author of original report: Sandals Antiguac Beaches ARE Dangerous

*Consumer Comment: Tell'm Ashlee

*Consumer Comment: hate to say it

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Here is a copy of the letter I have sent onwards to the Ministry of Tourism Antigua and Barbuda.

Dear Ministry of Tourism Antigua and Barbuda,
RE: Sandals Grande Antigua

It is with great displeasure that I contact you.  Your offices hold responsibility for the tourism product on Antigua and I thought you would be interested as to why my wife and I will never return to your Island, nor will we recommended your Island to any of our family members, friends or associates.  I truly wish we could say otherwise but unfortunately our experience detailed below compels us to warn others away from your shores rather than encourage their patronage.

On June 2nd I was married to my wonderful wife.  Travel arrangements for our Honeymoon were made well over 1 year in advance and were well thought out, or so we thought.  We decided on the Island of Antigua and specifically Sandals Grande Antigua.  We understand this resort operates privately however as their actions can and do influence tourism this matter should be of special interest to your offices.

I could spend quite some time listing all the countless faults of this facility, I will however be brief and discuss just the egregious.

Sandals was and remains very deceptive in their advertising, tourists are led us to believe that Sandals Antigua beaches are exclusive, inclusive and very private.  They are not private but in fact very public.  This is a fact I am sure you are well aware of.  Had we been made aware of this prior to booking we would have most certainly cancelled.  Public beaches throughout the Caribbean are well known for their aggressive vendors.  We have traveled extensively and avoid these beaches at all costs. 

Vendors use intimidation and persistence to wear down tourists into buying whatever it is they are selling, drug dealers take full advantage of traveling tourists illegally attempting to sell their poison.  There is absolutely no comparison between the increased crime levels on a public beach versus a private, it is ridiculous to even compare the two.  We are well aware of these facts and conduct ourselves accordingly, that is why we feel deceived and harmed by the Sandals Resort in Antigua.

On day #2 of our Honeymoon and on our very first visit to Dickenson Bay Beach we were harassed, heckled and bothered by the numerous vendors.  One particular vendor refused to leave even though I made more than 3 polite requests for him to do so, this vendor threw insults at us and even solicited other tourists as to how they felt about Americans.  He demanded a drink from our cooler and it was at this time I stood up and confronted the man. 

This entire incident occurred not more than 10 feet from a Sandals Beach Guard who did absolutely nothing in our defense.  Even our Sandals Butler, named Cecil ignored our plight and when I questioned him about his responsibilities to intervene he rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders.  Both the guard and our Butler stood with the heckling vendor as if they were long time friends, even as we gathered our things and left the beach insults continued to be spat out.

Again, this was day #2 of our Honeymoon and we were devastated, we came to your Island for the Beaches and beautiful weather, we were now facing confinement in our suite until the end of our trip.  Forced to stay off the beach to avoid another incident, the very beach we paid thousands of dollars to Honeymoon at. Needless to say we spoke with the management at Sandals, a Mr. Gerald Christ General Manager.  After listening to both my wife and I explain the details of our beach incident he stated he did not agree with our feelings, our feeling of being uncomfortable and unable to return to the beach. 

He just could not understand why we couldnt stroll back out onto the sandy beach and forget the whole thing.  I have never experienced such a high level of disregard or lack of concern for our well being as I did with Mr. Christ.  I told him that Sandals practices were very misleading and that had we known their beaches were littered with con men, drug dealers and over bearing vendors we would never have agreed to come.  Within 45 minutes we were at the airport awaiting a flight off your Island.

Although we received less than a full credit from Sandals I intend to pursue every last cent, regardless of our one nights accommodations their misleading actions caused my wife and I to incur serious inconvenience and hardship, we traveled for 8 hours unexpectedly and had to make rush plans at the last minute to go elsewhere.  Not only am I entitled to nothing less than a FULL credit but I feel they owe me beyond this.

Sincerely,

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/12/2012 12:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Sandals-Grande-Antigua/internet/Sandals-Grande-Antigua-Sandals-Resorts-Beaches-are-NOT-private-and-NOT-relaxing-100-PU-896441. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 8Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

Public Beaches

AUTHOR: ZERO2OSCAR - (Antigua and Barbuda)

Let me just say this.

By Law...all beaches in Antigua and Barbuda are public. Even those beaches on Jumby Bay are public.

If you, as a company came and met the beach there..it's public. Before government existed, the beaches were there. It's public.

The only way, the beach can be private is if the company made a capital investment and makes it's own beach, as in the case with the British Company, Sunsail. They made a beach where there was none. This was private and you had to have permission to use the beach if you were not a guest at the facility.



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#2 Consumer Comment

He speaks the truth

AUTHOR: Stay away from Antigua - (United States of America)

To the gentlemen  who had trouble at sandals at Antigua , we were there on June 8th 2012 we stayed at jolly beach
resort and it was a joke bar none and I we had things stolen from us, scammers on the beach selling drugs shirts
anything they can to steal your money.  They wont leave you alone and ruined our trip, among many other things about
this hole in the wall resort. Now on to sandals, our daughter was married there and we had a day pass for the wedding,
and let me tell you the beach was the same  Just horrible with poverty stricken men and women trying everything they can to get free drinks and food and take your money. I was never so glad to leave that island and in fact we even had to pay cash 28 us dollars to just leave, one big  rip off from start to finish. I just fill lucky to be alive after the experiences my wife and I had. They should close that island down; the crime is really getting too bad

For tourism and they lie none stop to just take your money. A horrible place to go. And so glad to never be returning there, rude black men, trying to sell you anything, drugs shirts cheap jewelry, there Really needs to be a full investigation on jolly beach resort and sandals. Even their own government Knows there are problems but does nothing.  Dont say I didnt  warn you. Stay far away from this place Unless you want ripped off and maybe not return at all. A scary unsafe place.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Now that is a good report

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

See? I knew you were capable of stringing together sentances that made more sense! Your original letter only rants about Public versus Private beaches. Your addendum clearly indicated there are further problems not addressed in the original complaint.

Why didn't you addres all these other much larger problems in your original complaint? You were so focused on a private/public beach where one vendor was harassing you. You didn't think any of that other stuff was important?

I do love your storytelling style though. You embellish quite well, and your over exaggerations are simply exquisite. If you don't work in some sort of PR field, you should!
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#4 Consumer Comment

Aw shucks

AUTHOR: The Outlaw Josey Wales - (United States of America)

 That means that Ashlee and me won't be going
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#5 Author of original report

Sandals Antigua - NOT FOR HONEYMOONERS

AUTHOR: Not Intimidated - (United States of America)

We recently traveled to Sandals Antigua and without a doubt this is the very worst experience we have ever had at any resort anywhere in the world.  We are extensive travelers and have experienced less than par service before however this place takes the award for WORST EVER.

Here is our direct experience from staying there (NOT just visiting a website like Ashley)

Arrival At Airport - Airport is dilapidated and run down, smelled like mildew.  The "Sandals Desk or Lounge Area" was a complete joke.  There was a paper sign on a mall kiosk like structure out in the parking lot.  The staff there were clearly confused and unsure of their duties.  We did not feel welcome nor did we feel appreciated as guests.  They ignored us for over 30 minutes while new arrivals were swept away in dirty cabs, finally after complaining about the wait we were thrown into a cab with 8-10 other guests.  We were smothered together in a hot cab with windows that would not open and no air conditioning. We hoped for the best upon arrival at the resort and trusted things would improve, boy were we wrong.

Front Desk- No drink upon arrival (this is their signature).  We arrived in a group with other travelers and stood about in the lobby, there was only one person attending to about 10 arriving guests, other resort employees stepped around us without even a simple greeting.  After some time we were taken to our room.  Gee thanks, I know we are asking alot already :) sorry for being an inconvenience.

The Room -  AS THIS WAS OUR HONEYMOON we spared no expense, we had the best room on the resort.  We were not impressed to say the least.  The room was dirty, there was an odor in the room and it did not smell fresh.  The bed appeared as though somebody had just taken a nap on top of the covers.  The bathroom was stifling hot and the fixtures were literally falling apart.  Our private pool smelled like someone had dumped 5 gallons of chlorine into it just moments before we arrived, it was enough to make you cringe.  Our patio had not been swept and well....let's stop there as I can go on all day about the poor quality of this room.

The Kimono Restaurant - The restaurant had a pleasant decor however the staff were disrespectful and outright rude.  Our meal was served table side with 4 other couples present.  During the preparation our "chef" made numerous sexual jokes, comments and gestures, to be honest it was a bit absurd and I wondered why he thought this was appropriate.  Another couple at our table was visibly disturbed and even had an awkward moment when the chef demanded they kiss for a picture, they clearly did not show affection in public and were very uncomfortable with this.  This made us and others at the table uncomfortable as well, looks were exchanged by all.  I am not at all intimidated by others, especially those who intend to use others for their own entertainment.  We stood up mid meal and simply walked out.  Goodbye..

The Butlers - I can only speak to the service we received from our Butlers, we had (2), one for the day and another for the evening.  Our day Butler who we met only briefly upon our arrival was pleasant.  The evening Butler named "Cecil" was a JERK.  He made it very obvious he did not like me and I even questioned his attitude regarding this.  He had no reply, just the usual roll of the eyes and shrugging of the shoulders. I wonder why he did not like me, we had only just met and I am polite to all unless there is a reason not to be....hmmmm I wonder... I am sure it will come to me.  He was not at all professional and I question his "Butler" credentials entirely.  By the time we experienced the negative attitude of Mr. Cecil I was at a breaking point with this resort.  I promptly fired him on the spot, YES ...fired him...remember we paid $$$$$ Thousands for this trip and I was not going to pay to be insulted.

Finally The Beach -  The beach was the worst of all.  The vendors on the beach are downright merciless in their pursuit of a buck.  They patrol the beach like sharks scooping up helpless guppies.  My wife and I escaped into the waters hoping that would keep them away.  To my shock and surprise one vendor that kept trying to get my attention took off his shoes and shirt and actually swam out to speak with me.  I could not believe this guy, it took several polite "No Thank you's" until he left us.  When we returned to our beach chairs the vendors pounced, over and over I repeated "No, Thank you"....this repeated until one particular vendor decided he was not going to leave.  For the record, I am 6'2 and weigh about 250 lbs, I am prior military, run several marathons a year and I can absolutely handle myself if need be.  The vendor refused to leave and started making demands for a drink from our cooler, I promptly stood up.  He decided at that point he should probably leave (good choice).  He left but continued to insult us like the coward he was. he knew as foreigners we were out of place and highly outnumbered.  The same guy would have never even talked to me in the states, not a chance :)

We have every right to be upset with Sandals Antigua, they failed our expectations at every turn, we were on our Honeymoon and had high hopes for this trip.  This WAS NOT our first Sandals experience either so as returning guests from another Sandals we expected more. I guess we were wrong, geez what were we thinking expecting SO very much after spending thousands.  We should be happy they even let us land and drink the water on their beautiful Island.  I will reply to each and every single comment made, you were NOT there, you have NO idea what you are talking about.

Looking forward to your next reply.

Sandals Grande Antigua has dangerous beaches and the staff treated us very rudely we do not encourage anyone to go there, this is our opinion and we are not afraid to tell others of our PERSONAL experience.
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#6 Consumer Comment

You don't get it

AUTHOR: The Outlaw Josey Wales - (United States of America)

 Ashlie, the person who responded did not want your useless advice
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#7 Consumer Comment

Who is gerald

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

I have no idea who this gerald person is you think I am. I am in no way related to this resort, and outside of the information on their website I dont know anything about the beach and the resort.

What I did learn, from reading their website, is that the beach is public. I can't verify what they told you, but the website clearly indicates that they are adjacent to a very large public beach. As such, what did you want the hotel to do? Their "gaurds" are not police officers, they could be I suppose but I am going to go off the assumption that most security is not. This person was harassing you, but did they violate any local laws? If there was no violation of the law, and you were on public property there isnt anything security could have done. Now, I don't know thw laws of that island you were visiting so I can't comment on the legality of it.

It just seems to me that you are being overly sensitive about the whole thing. You went on a huge tirade of people selling drugs on the beaches, but nothing in your story indicates that anyone tried to sell you any drugs. You talk about one isolated incident involving a vendor harassing you. Now, you have a valid complaint with the island's tourism board but I fail to see how this is the problem of the hotel. If indeed the hotel did lie to you about the beach, then they do owe you some sort of compensation. I can only go off the website that YOU linked in the report which does not indicate any sort of private beach at this facility. A little more research on your part would have discovered this quite readily.
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#8 Author of original report

Sandals Antiguac Beaches ARE Dangerous

AUTHOR: Not Intimidated - (United States of America)

Hello Ashley,

So glad you decided to come to the aid of Sandals, hmmmm wonder why you would even care to reply on their behalf.  Regardless I would be happy to enlighten you Gerald, woops I mean Ashley. 

Sandals is well aware of the complaints against them, this specific complaint about their dangerous beaches and the homeless criminals trolling them has been churning up the internet for years.  I regret my own failure for not discovering this, too bad I didn't look past the lollip and gumdrop reviews from traveling newbies when we were researching this resort. It is for that exact reason that I am making my issues known so that others may be forewarned. 

Ask anyone if Sandals beaches are private and they will say. "Of course", agreed they would be wrong in assuming this but Sandals Antigua is allowing this to go on and on even with thousands of complaints regarding their beaches, they need to publish the fact that their beaches are PUBLIC, a fact they fail to mention on their inclusive, exclusive everything resort website and promotional materials.....

With that said, is that all you got out of my prior post??? Come on really?  Give me a break...

Sandals has an absolute responsibility to protect and ensure the well being of their guests and yes this includes the beach, especially when the beach is THE FOCAL POINT OF the resort, it is all over their website and on every piece of promotional material.  They tell everyone about the great fantastic beach and fail to mention it is public, they fail to mention the drug dealers (yes they are there, the staff admitted this directly to us.

Would have been nice to been warned ahead of time but then we would have cancelled....exactly  !!) They fail to mention the aggressive jerks trolling for your money and refusing to give you a moments rest while you are trying to relax !!! They fail to mention that if something does happen, oh well, heck it's a public beach right? what can the resort do?? It's shameful.

Too be honest I don't care if you disagree, doesn't change things one single bit.  For the record your reply to this post actually helped me get the word out about this terrible resort.  Yup, every time you reply it encourages this post to be found and it will be found even more often because of it, thank you for helping others "Ashley".

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, prior to traveling there we called and
THEY TOLD US THE BEACHES WERE PRIVATE - HATE TO SAY IT BUT THEY LIED !!!!!!!!!!!!

Stay away from Sandals Antigua - The beaches are dangerous and covered with rude aggressive sales people.  This was our personal experience and we are not afraid to tell others.

Looking forward to getting this out to more people, please reply back soon :)
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#9 Consumer Comment

Tell'm Ashlee

AUTHOR: The Outlaw Josey Wales - (United States of America)

 Now Ashlee is an expert on beaches and hotel
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#10 Consumer Comment

hate to say it

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

But there's nothing at that website you linked indicating that this resort offers a private beach. All it states is that they are on dickinson beach, which a quick google search shows is a very public beach. The only private accomodations they advertise are the pools on their property. I looked through multiple pages, maybe you could enlighten us as to where you read the beach was private?

As is, the hotel cannot control what happens on a public beach. I dont see where they were responsible for this incident.
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