Long Bay | (formerly Allegro/Occidental Resort Pineapple Beach), 33442, Antigua
All-inclusive - 180 rooms in one, two, and three story buildings
Occidental Grand Pineapple Beach formerly known as Allegro Resort Pineapple Beach, is located on a beautiful stretch of secluded white sand beach, overlooking the turquoise waters of Long Bay on Antigua's northeastern coast.
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"Some rooms are a long walk up a hill."
Don04 on Mar 1, 2004 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2004 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
156 people found this review helpful
I judge resorts on the following criteria; here's how Allegro measures up:
ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF TOWELS: Yes for the beach, but there was a major problem getting towels in the room. All towels were collected every morning, and not available til late afternoon. When I suggested to the manager that only dirty towels be collected, he said this was already done, but it never was.
ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF CHAIRS: Yes
ADEQUATE ALLOCATION OF SPACE TO NON-SMOKERS: Yes.
ENTERTAINMENT: The highlight was guest karaoke one night. Otherwise, the usual locals. There were a few slot machines.
TENNIS AVAILABILITY: We always found courts.
FOOD VARIETY: The resort is on the small side, so there wasn¹t great variety, but the quality was the best I¹ve experienced at a resort. Kudos also for breakfast, a hard meal to vary, where they had one different dish each day. Lunch also offered 4 excellent choices.
NON-HARRASSMENT: We were generally free from salespeople.
TV STATIONS: Major cable and network available.
NEWSPAPERS: Another major shortcoming. No US papers for sale. They printed a few copies of the online "NY Times" each day, but instead of posting them where all could see, a few copies were dumped in the bar, first-come.
QUIET: The resort seems to have been built in stages, and is sprawling. Some rooms are a long walk up a hill. Those close to the center are less quiet. There¹s the usual obnoxious music around the pool, and the staff tends to communicate by shouting at each other.
RESPONSIVENESS: Some dinners in the main dining room were served a la carte, and there was a wait for tables. Complaints to the front desk were not responded to. There could be another bartender at busy times.
We were invited to a special party for Allegro repeat guests, where we heard the resort has expanded too fast.
"You have a porch with two chairs and a table for quiet morning coffee"
Mike03 on Mar 1, 2004 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2004 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
144 people found this review helpful
We just returned from the Pineapple Beach Resort in Antigua. This resort was just wonderful. We had no stayed here before and we were seriously considering Sandals Antigua (which we had stayed at before) but their pricing had nearly doubled since last year, so we thought, what more could Sandals give us this year that they had'nt last year yet still charge us nearly double the price ?!? Our conclusion was they couldn't ! Not that Sandals wasn't great, it was, but at twice the price this year it was pretty much a no brainer to look at other resorts. We did our homework and throughly researched many different properties. Pineapple Beach was the one that stood out the most, and we couldn't have made a better choice.
We booked a standard room but when we arrived we were ungraded to a garden-ocean view at no additional cost! Our room number was 208. It looked over the gazebo and onto the ocean (view of ocean was somewhat obstructed, but you could easily see it). The rooms are somewhat small but very nicely decorated and ample room for all your luggage. Wicker furniture and brightly colored bedspreads and drapes. Bathroom was quite large and fully stocked with wonderful shampoos, conditioners, moistizers, and soaps. Lovely fresh flowers in the bathroom as well as on the dresser. You have a porch with two chairs and a table for quiet morning coffee. There is a coffeemaker in your room. Housekeeping does an outstanding job of keeping these rooms neat and clean
If I could think of better words that gorgeous, awesome, super, outstanding they still won't describe this beach. It is powder white sand and firm white sand in the water. The water is what I would call "swimming pool" blue, if you didn't know it you'd swear you were in a pool. It is that clear. Some people may be concerned about this property being on the "windy" side of the island. While it is on the Atlantic side, there is a large reef that protects this beach and makes for some very small, fun waves while you are in the water. It also has some of the best off shore snorkeling we've ever seen. You do not need a lifevest for the most part to snorkel, if you are not a good swimmer and wish to venture out in the deeper water you can get a lifevest from the watersport center. The area you can lay on the beach couldn't be better. There are plenty of chairs always available and many spots for sun worshipers and shady areas for those who prefer not to fry. Take it easy, the sun here is extense! Take it slow, don't spoil your vacation by getting a scorching sunburn.
Food and beverage:
Possibly the best we've had at any resort! I can't say that there was anything that I didn't like. From the buffets to the menu items the selection was plentiful and presented very nicely. There are 3 restaurants, 2 of which are only open on certain days and require reservations (which can only be made the day they are open, so go early to the tour desk to make them). There were no "up charges" for any menu items as we had heard from some other people who were staying at Jolly Beach when they order shrimp they had to pay extra and they also had to pay extra for premium liquor. The bar service at PBR was extraordinary! We happen to like Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey and one evening they ran out of it. A quick call to the manager and she made a special trip to their warehouse to get more. Not only did the bartender remember what we liked to drink, but how we liked our drinks mixed and as soon as she saw us coming towards the bar she was already making our cocktails! Now that's service! In the late mornings on the beach there is a waiter who will come around and ask if he/she can get you anything from the bar. Also from noon to 5 pm there is snack bar which serves hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, french fries, salads, nachos, ice cream, etc, even these typcial foods were quite tasty. A trip up the hill to the "Outhouse" and Ms. Mary's ribs and a cold Waldeli beer is not to be missed. Bring along your marker as you can write your personalized message on the "walls" The view from up here is amazing!
These people have got it right! They genuinely care about how you are treated. They all seem to really like their work and are happy to do whatever they can to make your stay a pleasant and carefree one. Remember you only get back what you've given so be polite and courteous just as they are to you.
While there were some planned activities, aerobics in the pool, volleyball, etc, you are not pressured to join in. There is a watersport center which has hobie cats, kayacks, boogie boards, etc. Don't miss out on the Bird Island Tour with Captain Savage, this is more so a party trip than a snorkeling adventure, but it was a lot of fun. Just the ride over to the island is worth the price, I can bet you will never see water like this again!
Local entertainment provided from 9-11 pm each night and was fine. Limbo/fire eater, bands, singers, etc. You can then proceed onto the disco until 130 am, however, we are more laid back people and by 11 pm we were pretty tired out from a full day. If you are looking for the party 'til you puke type atmosphere, this is not the resort for you. I would suggest Cancun for that. There is also a small casino on the property, but we did not go in there, we've just not the gambling type.
We opted for the Kokomo Catamaran Triple Destination Tour. Cost was $100 pp. It is only offered on Sundays, but the ship offers other excursions on different days. This one stopped at Green Island, Nelson's Dockyard and then Shirley's Heights. You are on the ship for several hours and the ride on the Atlantic Side can get very rocky, but it's something you shouldn't miss! Once the captain put up the sails (rather than the engines) the sailing was peaceful and serene. The island takes on a whole new look from the water. We even saw whales jumping. Nelson's Dockyard is impressive, especially if you are really into sailing. And Shirley's Height's has one of the most breathtaking views in the world. The day can get a bit long so be prepared as there is a lot mixed into one day, but certainly worth every penny!
The resort does a wonderful job of keeping the grounds neat, clean and lush. Remember this island only gets 45 inches a rain a year! Yet everything was blossoming and green, manicured to perfection.
It did rain almost everyday, but for about 10 minutes. If you get up in the morning and see rain clouds - don't worry - be happy ! It will clear shortly after a brief rainshower, (which on some really hot days felt great)! The temperatures were always in the low to mid 80's.
I would not hesitate to stay at the paradise-type resort again, and will seriously consider doing so next year. Keep your mind open to other places that you may not have heard so much hype/advertising about (like Sandals) and you too will find a diamond in the rough such as we did at PBR! Thank you Antigua for providing us with another great experience! See you next year!
"We enjoyed the laid back atmosphere"
RigoMarie04 on Mar 1, 2004 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2004 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
132 people found this review helpful
With respect to Antigua, safety is not an issue anywhere you go. Antiguans are very friendly and helpful. You will definitely experience ‘island time’ when waiting for service, but the slow pace is exactly what we needed . It forces you to relax and gives you the opportunity to stop and take in the beauty of the island and its people.
The Pineapple Beach Resort is a wonderful. We enjoyed the laid back atmosphere, the good food, the snorkelling and the beach. My wife describes it as “A little paradise on earth, - surrounded by beauty – great place to recoup from life’s stresses”
Would we go back to this resort – definitely!
The resort is well run and management is attentive to the operations and to the needs of the guests. Resort staff is welcoming.
While we were there the guests were about 1/3 British, 1/3 American, and 1/3 English Canadian, plus a sprinkling of Italians and Swedes. A very friendly bunch. Most were in their 40’s and 50’s with some 30’s and 60’s.
The resort is very well laid out and everything is within close walking distance. The view from the Topaz restaurant is just amazing. Nothing like having breakfast beside the ocean! As mentioned in other reviews and comments, there were birds in the Topaz restaurant during the day, but they were never a bother. Management puts bowls of bread croutons outside the restaurant and it seems to satisfy most of the birds.
Following are ratings on the various aspects of the resort.
4.5/5 Mostly friendly and very helpful when in need of something. For example, when we went to close our suitcase on the last day, the zipper broke. The facilities manager (Paul, I believe) had the maintenance manager come up to our room in a matter of minutes. He repaired the zipper immediately – no charge. Reservations and excursions staff were also most helpful and friendly. Housekeeper - very nice.
4/5 I would recommend the 700, 800, and 900 blocks for location, newness and views from those rooms. I would avoid the 400 block of rooms as the two blocks of rooms face each other, no privacy on the walkway and balconies connecting the rooms and some of the rooms towards the back (i.e. 419, 421) have little light coming in and no view. If money is no object, “Terry’s” 500 block of rooms has unsurpassed views and the rooms didn’t seem that dated (from peering into them).
4/5 We went to the resort with another couple so we were able to try pretty well everything between the four of us. Most of the food was excellent. Food and water safety are not a concern. We ate everything, drank the tap water and were fine. I have a delicate stomach, but never had any problems at this resort. Another guest in the buffet line told us “you can at least recognize the food here and get to try Caribbean food if you’re adventurous”. Salads were always fresh and crisp with excellent dressings. Desserts were wonderful. For coffee lovers, you will find that because the milk flavour is different from what we are used to in North American, that it changes the flavour of the coffee. Nothing that you don’t get used to after a couple of days. We found the coffee in our room to be very good. The shrimp in the cocktails were the best that we have ever had, and we often eat shrimp back home.
Pietro’s 3/5 (Italian a la carte, veal – tough, lasagna – small portion but delicious). Reservations required.
Pineapple Grill 4.5/5 Excellent fajitas, good steak – bit tough, excellent ‘Combo grill’ platter. A la carte - reservations required.
Topaz 4/5 Breakfast: Excellent waffles, eggs, omelettes to order, bacon, etc. Excellent at lunch (although we often skipped lunch). Dinner: Good on buffet nights and very good on a la carte nights
Outhouse 5/5 If you like bbq chicken and ribs, salad and cold beer, head up the hill for lunch and a great view! Mary is a sweetheart.
Pool snack bar 5/5 Excellent snacks by the pool. Close to beach as well. Excellent jumbo dogs, chicken fingers and tuna sandwiches; fries were good. There were other items on menu such as seafood sandwiches and ice cream which we did not try.
Food Service 3.5/5 The service was fine most times but inconsistent. Some workers were cheerful, others were not. This might be due to the fact that some were there from early morning until closing at around 11:00 PM and then they were back early the next morning.
Wine service was hit and miss depending on who was assigned that night. For example they would top up the red wine, but if the white wine bottle in their hand was empty, they would most likely forget to come back to top up the white. One night they forgot about our food order. It took well over two hours before we were served our entrée and only after we had asked if they had forgotten about us. Not too bad though as we had fine conversation and decent wine to occupy us. Apart from this one episode, the ladies who served the food were efficient. The open air concept at the Topaz and Pietro’s tended to cool down the food quickly. (Topaz and Pietro’s are in the same large area, with some dividers used to cordon off Pietro’s – same kitchen used for both).
3.5/5 Getting a drink did not normally involve much of a wait. There was enough choice in premium brands – for my tastes anyway. At times had to tell them to go easy on the liquor portion of the drink – very generous with the rum! Bartenders were efficient but not very cheerful. It is one of the busiest jobs on the resort so this may account for the ‘lack of smiles’. Felt as if one was imposing on them when getting a drink. Towards the end of our stay, I started asking the fellows who picked up the glasses (bartenders in waiting) to get my drinks and I would tip them each time.
5/5 “Peaceful and total relaxation”. A nice crescent shaped beach with fine, off white sand. The water is calm enough for swimming, even if one is not a strong swimmer - and it gets deeper gradually. The far right side of the beach has a coral reef . The water is calm and ideal for snorkelling. Some snorkellers said that the water was not as clear as at some other islands, but we thought it was amazing. This was my wife’s first time snorkelling and she enjoyed it so much that she went out several times. Lots of nice fish - some days better than others.
4.5/5 Very pleasant surroundings - always maintained. One negative - some of the interlocking stones in the main walkway have disintegrated for some reason, making it tricky to walk from the restaurant and bar areas to the rooms in the evening. One lady stumbled on the uneven interlocking, fell and cut her knee.
Staff came by trying to drum up support for various activities. We did not participate so can’t comment. We were glued to the beach and water.
Different entertainment every night for the first week and then repeated during the second week. We enjoyed it. It is geared to the 40’s and 50’s crowd, but can be enjoyed by all, especially karaoke night.
St. John’s Shopping at St. John’s (the capital) is a must if you need to bring back presents. Even if you are not into shopping, it is interesting to see the activity in town and meet the inhabitants. For me, the ride there and back is worth the price of admission ($10 US return). Fairly scenic, lots of wandering goats, cows, donkeys, and the taxi driver’s ability to navigate the potholes, oncoming traffic on narrow roads and ability to avoid the animals creates excitement and laughs for the passengers.
Shirley’s Heights Overrated - Excellent steel band(s), beautiful sunset, very crowded – standing room only and line-ups for drinks and toilets. Not much to do up there except stand in one spot, listen to the music and watch the sunset. Again, the scenic drive there was the highlight for me.
Devil’s Bridge: It is about two miles from PBR. We walked there and back one morning. We are in our 50s (my wife turned 50 while there) and it was a comfortable walk. Wear sunscreen. The location is breathtaking. The Atlantic waves come thundering in along the rocky shore. The bridge itself is interesting and can make for some great wave action and spraying if you get too close. We sat there for a long time taking in the view – beautiful. Saw the Wadadli and Kokomo catamaran excursions go by while we were there. They seemed crowded.
Golf: I would highly recommend the Jolly Harbour golf course. Great vistas, interesting holes and well maintained fairways and greens. While the course is not long (just under 6000 yards), it is still challenging in that it puts a premium on accuracy.