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Hotel & Resort Reviews: Antigua & Barbuda
Rex Halcyon Cove 11/15/01
Reviewers Rating: Fair
Returned from 2 weeks at the Rex Halcyon. Loved the island, truly disappointed in the resort which our travel brochure rated a 4 star. Spoke with others who were enjoying their stay at other hotels.

The grounds are the best feature, the flowers beautiful, the hummingbirds plentiful. The beach is excellent.

The only dinning room is located on the 2nd floor and the back of the resort (mostly closed in) overlooking the parking lot and front lobby. It is hot and stuffy with a strong buffet aroma .... We, and all the other guests we spoke with, found the food poorly laid out and unimaginative. Prices for the Arawak Terrace Restaurant buffet were listed and ran just over 90 EC each(plus 18.5% tax) for dinner, yet our allowance for dinner in the Warri Pier Restaurant was 100EC per couple, so a dinner cost us about $35US steak and lobster) .... (plus 18.5% tax) must say the food on the pier was excellent, however there were only 2 or 3 couples there anytime we visited.

As I read from my guest activity program: 7:30 to 10:30 am Breakfast

12:00 to 3:00 pm lunch at Carib Bar Barbecue. 7:00 to 9:30 buffet dinners

if it wasn't for Frosties (which is only included on the all inclusive from noon to 5) you could go hungry at an all inclusive resort.

Breakfast is the best meal of the day, there is an omelet bar (although it is hot and odorous standing around waiting for it) and fresh fruit. Disappointed that there were only packages of jams, nothing local like passion fruit jelly, and no antiguan pineapple on the buffet.

Lunch was really not to be believed ..... hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken leg, fish, spare ribs, baked potatoe, fruit salad and green salad, set up exactually the same every day. You went to the bar and ordered your lunch and were given a receipt which you took over to the barbeque. Your requested entree (which had been parcooked previously) was put on the grill and you waited in front of a smokey grill .... requests for an extra rib were not acknowledged, nor well done or rare (I was nervous about the meat .. as it sat out half cooked for hours before it was served), but my husband claimed the burgers were good). Prices were high, $7. US for a hot dog, and from 12 to 20 US for the rest. Potatoe and salads ran from 7 to 10. Don't try to sneak a piece of fruit when you ordered the green salad .... or it was back to the bar for a receipt. The allowance for lunch on the pier was $30 US a couple for lunch ..

Dinner was always a disappointment .... same vegetables and lack of imagination or display. Meat was hospital cafeteria quality. For some reason they didn't have the proper serving utencils, and getting potatoe salad with small tongs and a slice of pie with a fork created an opportunity to discuss food with other guests (a big mac was starting to sound real good).

The bars were also a bit of a mystery ... Carib beach bar opens at 10:30 and closes at 6:30, unless dinner is at the beach barbeque (again, line up to order your meal and get a ticket) Lobby bar opens from 6 to 11:45.

They have a list of drinks available without surcharge for the inclusive guests. Unfortunately neither of the bottled beers listed are available, draft only. I don't drink beer, but I sure heard a lot of comments from those who did (or wanted to). Most of the bar staff are not trained (actually, my big complaint is that very few staff seemed to be trained), often didn't know how to make the drink on the menu and most couldn't make a drink that wasn't listed. Asking for less alchol was not effective. There was no measuring so the same drink never tasted the same twice.

The entertainment, in the closed-in Ciboney Lounge on the 2nd floor, ran from poor to dismal, all 10 or 15 people in the lounge at 10pm agreed. We never figured out where the guests went after dinner. There was one good performer and a not bad limbo dancer/fire eater (both at the beach bar so it stayed opened those evenings and seemed to draw a bigger crowd. Even the crab races were a disappointment.

The pool closes at dusk.

Even after all our disappointments, we did manage to have a great vacation. So, if you do go to the Rex Halcyon Cove make sure you upgrade to a superior room as you will need the TV. The air conditioning did work fine. Pack your own soap and shampoo. Dirty towels that were left on the floor were hung back up by housekeeping, yet somedays towels that we hung up to use again were taken away and replaced with clean (on different housekeeping visits, so we often returned to our room for a shower after lunch and found we had no towels at all). We were not able to get faceclothes. The rooms were small (we knew that when we booked), neat and clean and more than met our needs.

The beach is really nice, although the locals say it isn't as nice as it used to be. The hotel is well located for tours or just relaxing.

We have stayed in 3 and 6 star resorts, and have always found them to be very much as we expected .. this is the first time we were disappointed by the food, entertainment and staff. Found this to be a common theme with the other guests.

We were aware of other guests who had problems with their expected accomadations and made it very clear that the reservation staff were not helpful.Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 11:46:45 -0800

(Review originally submitted on March 24, 2001)

J. Martin

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