Reviewers Rating: Great
Here is my review of this resort. My wife also plans to post a review and you will see how two people staying at the same resort can have somewhat differing reviews. We stayed at the Royal on the All Inclusive plan from Jan. 13 to the 20th, 2002.
Food:(4 out of 5)
I found the breakfast to be decent enough. It was the same buffet every morning, but you could have a different breakfast every day if you wanted to. Just have them make your eggs a different way.
We only had lunch at Andes (the poolside bar/grill). We never ate at the buffet for lunch. I found the lunches to be excellent at Andes. We would order it and then pick it up about 15 minutes later and take it down to the beach with us. I had the pizza, chicken in a pita sandwich, and another kind of sandwich. They were all good. The fries and coleslaw weren't the greatest but it was still better than most poolside grill lunches at all-inclusives. The pizza was the best.
We ate dinner at the Andes 3 times and had the buffet on the Italian night once. I found the dinner at Andes to be very good. The Italian buffet was mediocre at best.
We also had room service on a couple of occasions. The food was good, sometimes a bit cold, and you only had to pay for the delivery charge.
Overall I thought the food was pretty good at this resort. However the service is notoriously bad. If you are in a hurry, the buffet is your best bet! However, even there we often had to wait a long time to get our drinks!
Accomodation (2 out of 5)
We tried to get an Oceanview room as we heard they were the best and most recently renovated. We were unsuccessful at convincing the guy at the reception desk (even with a small 'bribe') to give us an upgraded room. The room we did get was spacious but looked like it needed some work.I did not particularly like the decor of our room. It looked like it needed a good coat of paint and some pictures on the walls. It was fairly sparse and cheaply furnished. I guess that's what you'd expect from a 3 star resort.It had several switches that did not control anything. We guessed that there was once a floor lamp in the room and that's what one of the switches controlled. Because there was no lamp it was fairly dark, but during the day, the large window allowed plenty of sunlight in.
The T.V. had no remote, we had no hand towels, and we waited three days before we got the extra pillow we asked for. Eventually we got the pillow and extra towels and they even replaced a bulb in one of the few lamps we had without us asking.
But overall the room was not that great. Although you don't spend most of your time in the room, it can still impact on your opinion of the resort!
Activities/Amenities (3 out of 5)
The beach at this resort was fabulous. This was probably the best part of the the Royal Antiguan. It did rain almost every day we were there, but it usually passed after a few minutes. At the beach there was usually a game of volleyball going on (scheduled daily at 4:pm) and there were non motorized sports you could participate in like kayaking. There were also several locals trying to get you to go on their boat tours and other beach vendors trying to sell you necklaces etc. If you politely told them you were not interested they would leave you be. They were not overly pushy.
The casino had mostly older slot machines and they almost never paid out. From what we heard, there are no laws in Antigua that their slot machines have to pay out. I'm used to Vegas and Ontario gaming which is strictly regulated. However we don't believe that this is the case in Antigua. I would not recommend gambling there. They also had Karaoke night and some bands playing at the little 'disco'. The karaoke was kind of fun.
Overall I think the Royal Antiguan has the potential to be a great resort. But as we learned from our inside source (whom we'd rather not mention) the owners of this resort own two others on the island and have decided to spend their time and money on the other two resorts. I believe one of them is the St. James club. However, if you are looking for a more modestly priced resort and are not too picky about the accomodations and service than the Royal is the place for you. If you are a discerning traveller and only expect the best in Accomodation, service and amenities, I would not recommend the Royal Antiguan.
Please feel free to e-mail me directly if you have any questions or comments!
Have a Great Day!
Wayne, from Canada, eh!