My Horrific Experience After Staying At 3 Resorts In Antigua and Tipping Over EC$19,000

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Disclaimer:

The views expressed in this article are based on the author’s personal experiences and opinions during their stay in Antigua and Barbuda from May 11 to May 18, 2024. These views do not necessarily reflect those of the publication or its affiliates. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and consider multiple perspectives.

Horrific service, food poisoning and nasty property from Royalton-chic Antigua and from Cocos-resort Antigua and my experience at Carlisle Bay hotel. Tipping a total of over $19,000ecd in 7 days in Antigua and Barbuda, I guess this was just my way of helping

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So, I went to Antigua and Barbuda for a funeral and booked Royalton-Chic in error. I meant to book the regular Royalton but online made it seems they are the same hotel, at the same place, just a different category on the same property. It is not, they are different 

However, I got there and the next day, at breakfast, later, I got diarrhoea, and minor stomach-ache. I did not eat breakfast the day after and was okay. I then ate breakfast again, the third morning, later on, had diarrhoea and minor belly ache.  

Then another morning, I had breakfast. This time, the diarrhoea was intense (I tipped the room cleaner lady $200), sorry how messy inside the toilet was (with watery splatter) and the belly ache was excruciating. I then picked up the pattern, it was something at the breakfast at Royalton—Chic that is poisoning me.  

My stay at this hotel was horrible. The food is horrible, like the food you find at the side of the road or in the US in the rundown restaurants is what they literally serve in this “luxury” hotel they called Royalton—Chic. The must inform you the side of the road food was numerous times better. 

The food poisonings weren’t the only problem I had there. 95% of staff were not from Antigua and Barbuda (there was 0 Barbudan) and nearly no Antiguans. Most managerial positions were held by foreigners and those who speak no form of English in a hotel in Antigua and Barbuda.  

The entertainment at night were Spanish-women who only dances to music that is Spanish. In fact, they have an international night, that only focuses on Cuba, Dominican Republic and Spain. No other country has a night, not even Antigua and Barbuda in the Antigua and Barbuda hotel. No entertainment or nights are dedicated to Antigua and Barbuda culture. 

All top positions are given to someone they imported recently into the country. I was using the restaurant on the property (I paid all inclusive), and I needed bottled water and asked for it, the server said there is none and I asked her to go downstairs and get me one while I eat, she did not. I got up, left the dining table and simply went to the bar and got the 2 bottles of water and went back to the table, this is what the server could not simply do for me. So, I continued tipping the property, employees I interacted with $100 (that was generally the least tip I have given). 

I must inform you I tipped the property a total of over $16,000ecd (most workers on property together, a total of $16,000ec dollars that I promise I would do for a particular reason, the reason was that I was fired from sandals-hotel in Antigua at the age of 18 for accepting tips and I promised I am going to go all out and tip no matter how unsatisfied I was from anything while staying in an Antigua and Barbuda hotel, for my first time, which happened while I was in Antigua in May 11 to May 18, 2024. I said I would tip no matter what and it is going to be a significant amount.  First, I said $10,000, then I went to $40,000 but I actually did about $19,000 in total at all the hotels I stayed in on that visit (May 11 to 18, 2024). I even offered $4000 (not included in the $16,000ecd tips at Royalton-chic) to pay a debt of an employee of Royalton-chic (please do not think I am saying this to be boastful and I promise I will not say who you are, this is only being said to establish credibility). It is up to this particular staff to corroborate, if you want too. My spirit told me to do it and I will follow that guidance that has always steered me right. 

I was horrifically dissatisfied but I sticked to my promise as some kind of kind-loving-revenge to those who fired me for accepting tips about 3 weeks into having my first and only job in Antigua at the age of 18, many years ago. I did this, even though Royalton-chic was the worse hotel on this planet that I have gone to, the food was horrible, and so was the poisoning of me and others, the last of the 3 food-poisoning was the worse, that tore me up. I must say I got the diarrhoea and stomach pain only when I had their breakfast, the days I did not, I had no belly pain or diarrhoea and I did not eat any place but on the property of Royalton-chic when I was on Royalton-chic.   

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I remember that night complaining about them (Royalton-chic) always saying sorry for horrible service and food, this was the restaurant manager saying sorry to my table (myself and a family of about 5 who I only met at the property) for the horrible food, and service. I got so upset that every day since I have been there, all they say is “sorry and try it again please, give us another chance. We will make it up to you”. When you do give them that chance, it is some other severe problem. The kind that makes you run to the toilet while taking a walk with a beautiful lady you meet on the property. Well, I met her at the airport first and said hello. 

But that night what was very upsetting was the property manager in uniform sitting there eating and ignoring our complaints and seeing us so frustrated and he did nothing. He spoke Spanish and English, and the man (Yankarlos Zapata) see us there suffering and did not intervene at all. I realized that day, I cannot take this anymore and I must switch hotels. The man right next to us was the property manager who allowed us to suffer and offered no form of empathy or care or anything, he sat there and continue doing what he was doing and did not even say he was the property manager or second in common, but property manager only speaks Spanish. 

I will say, this made me so angry with the Antigua and Barbuda current government (ABLP) for allowing a hotel (Royalton-chic) to be started in Antigua and Barbuda, where nearly all positions are filled by foreigners (mostly recently came to the country for the job in some cases) while I have family members in Antigua and Barbuda packing shelves who has relevant cxc passes and enough education to fulfil numerous positions on that property.  

I literally tell you, nearly no one at Royalton-chic is Antiguan and Barbudan. No food from Antigua and Barbuda is on the menu. I demanded they get some. No Entertainment on the property is Antiguan and Barbudan.  

I am not anti-foreigner; I love my Caribbean people. I am simply saying it is highly unfair to guest and the host country to exclude them from the tourism product and from positions that they qualify for, while they are badly in need of jobs and instead bringing in brand new people into the country for those positions that is highly needed and sought after by locals. So, instead of tourism directors and ministers in Antigua and Barbuda talk about crimes and crimes rate they are not trained to mentioned, focus on demanding local hotels are staffed at least 100% by locals. Focus dude. 

How could ABLP allow this to happen, and this is not about having any grudge against ABLP, because I would be tearing up DNA and UPP, if they were in office/power when this is allowed to occur.  Just like I was so upset when UPP increase taxes during the economic crises in about 2009, when we would be blogging and me posting my Antigua and Barbuda crime prevention strategies. Regular bloggers will remember these days.

I then left Royalton-chic and switch hotels, I was there heading to COCOS hotel, I went there 8am to check in, my stomach was killing me (Royalton-chic food-poisoning), they said that I cannot get my room until 3pm (nearly the end of day of the day I book it for), I still had diarrhoea and asked to use a bathroom. They steered me to the front desk on May 17, 2024, to the toilet near the front desk. I entered this restroom, there were literally feces, wet, recent feces all over the toilet seat and floor (there email apologizing to me confirmed this. I do respect them for acknowledging my claim to be the truth, hotels like Royalton Chic denies, denies and denies but they apologize and offered to explain how the feces were all over the toilet, floor and so forth. 

This is in the toilet right in front of the check-in lobby which is a public toilet that serves guest who are at the front desk and front restaurant and no employee check frequently enough to see this toilet right in front of the front desk is completely covered in feces. I was standing with them for over 30 minutes, and did not see anyone enter it, so it was there for about that time, minimum, and no staff frequently go into that toilet to check its status. This was at COCOS in Bolans village, Antigua, W.I.  

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Anyway, back to Royalton-Chic, I arrived there on May 11, 2024, and requested toothbrush and toothpaste, I ended up getting them on about May 16, 2024. It took that long for me to get such a product, after about 50 requests. Remember this is the property I was tipping employees $100s of dollars totaling over $16,000.00ecd at Royalton from May 11 until May 16, 2024, and at Carlisle Bay from May 16 to May 18, 2024, over $3000. I wonder who has ever tipped that much? The person with an axe to grind for being fired for accepting tips decided to do such a thing as some kind of justice for himself for being fired when this person was an 18-year-old bellman at sandals hotel in Antigua in about the year 2002. I want to take the time to thank that caucasian couple to say what the hotel did was wrong and invited me in their home in the US to visit. The rest is history and now is a present. List for me any hotels guest who have tipped in 7-days as much as me? I love healthy and fair competitions.  

So, in 7 days, I was at 3 hotels in Antigua and Barbuda, and Carlisle Bay hotel won in food, and service but they did have some issues too. Like when I went to the bar, as the only black person, I was asked if I am a guess on the property while the Caucasians-guest did not get asked that question. Is it because I am black, I cannot be at the hotel as a guest? Immediately they tried making that up to me, when I mentioned it. I do not want the guy to be fired but he needs to understand how that can make a guest feels around the other Caucasian-guest. So, as another revenge, I tipped that property for the 2 days I was there over $3000 in tips. I am weird, and the moralist and legalist.

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There was also a lady, who never looked my way, she only spoke and laughed with the Caucasian guest on property. Maybe she did not think I was a guest at the Carlisle Bay Hotel, but she always looks at the Caucasian guest, and smile and say hello but for me, the black guy, it is like I am non-existent. But if I had to go back to Antigua and Barbuda, and must pick from the 3 hotels, I am picking Carlisle Bay hotel.  The goat water was good, there was local entertainment (gorgeous ones too). My sister would say why on earth are you trying to find a wife in Antigua and Barbuda, and I do understand her point but I do believe a few decent ones are there. 

Travelocity.com, I am blaming you too, for the horrific experiences.

My point is my 7 days in Antigua were horrific. And there are more horrific things that I am leaving out like the feeling of being unsafe and lack of national security of the country that you can truly feel. My May 11, 2024 to May 18, 2024 stay was horrific in Antigua and Barbuda.  

I want to honestly know this, have there been any person in Antigua and Barbuda who have tipped that much in 7 days, while getting the most horrific service and food?

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As this is being submitted, the local bank manager stated yesterday, they are going to call me today or email me pertaining to the trust account to donate $1,000,000.00 to the village of Bolans, Antigua and Barbuda (I am literally questioning myself on whether to do this for people who have leaders that are abusive and would say, I cannot help you when you are over-qualified and doing honorable things). Like I said, I have no intent to enter into politics, I am in love with my current job and ownership of offices. But I still want/wanted to give/giveback to all people/groups/communities/countries that I care for but as previously written, I have and is encountering idiots, ignorance and folks that will do anything immoral and illegal for their political party, even victimize decent people.

Disclaimer: The resources being used to help others are mine and not those of the people’s taxes and opportunities being misappropriated/embezzled or converted into one’s personal money and being spent as if you are personally making such contributions.

I was not able to donate the equipments that arrived in Antigua and Barbuda for the police force and farmers’ security because the police force has a policy that no one should enter police headquarters in shorts and must stay outside in the burning heat and not wait in the Air conditioning until whenever, to donate lifesaving equipments to the same police headquarters. 

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