Reviewers Rating: Fair
We have just come back from spending a week at the Royal Antiguan. Overall we had a good time, but we felt there were a few deficiencies in the Hotel:
ROOM- 2.5 stars
The Bayview room we got was quite dingy (banged up walls, furniture, old sagging bed, a lot of mildew in the bathroom) and was already occupied by a large number of ants. We asked what they could do about the ants at the guest services desk and they graciously offered to give us a new room and in the process of doing so upgraded us to an Oceanview room.
The Oceanview room was identical in layout and furnishings to the Bayview room except it was on a higher floor and was in better condition - the bed had a new mattress, and the furniture was less banged up. Even then I would still describe it as dingy when compared to hotels in Canada/US like Holiday Inn or Days Inn.
GROUNDS / BEACH - 3 stars
The grounds and beach exceeded our expectations. They were very well kept and are quite beautiful.
However, the frequent harassment by the vendors, not affiliated with the hotel (all Antiguan beaches are public), to buy something or book a tour and their shouting back and forth to each other does diminish the peace and quiet. There was also an apparent drug dealer on the beach who informed us that this was his beach and to see him if we needed any ganja.
FOOD / DRINK - 3.75 stars
Overall we felt that the food was quite good at each of the three restaurants that they have and it exceeded our expectations. We give it 3.5 to 4 stars depending on which restaurant you go to.
SERVICE - 2 stars
Most of the staff (~80%) at the restaurants (except for Barringtons) seemed quite disenchanted with their job, walk around like automatons and are quite abrupt. They were not friendly or attentive in the least and seemed to be doing to the minimum amount of work they could.
This was then topped off by a waiter spilling a glass of red wine in my lap one evening. Accidents do happen, but at no point did I get an apology from the waiter, the manager on duty in the restaurant, or the manager I spoke to at the guest services desk.
I had to pursue them to attempt to remove the stain in my shorts and then compensate me when they did not come out. They were clearly not interested in trying to make amends.
OVERALL - 2.75 stars
Despite all my criticisms above, we did enjoy our trip to Antigua, but I think this had more to do with the rest of the island than the hotel we stayed at. We didn't shop around for a hotel too much so maybe this is a good value for the money. But if you are looking to book a dream vacation I don't recommend looking at the Royal Antiguan.