Idyllic, carefree and easygoing – life moves at its own pace in Antigua. Although it may be small in size, Antigua, along with its dashing sister island Barbuda, boasts a grand total of 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. Across this tropical island you’ll find bobbing yachts in calm waters, honeymooners frolicking in the sand and scuba divers exploring vibrant reefs teeming with life. However, you’d be remiss to mistake these exceptional beaches and underwater activities for a typical cookie-cutter vacation. Beyond pleasant days packed with sand and sun, Antigua never fails to enchant visitors with its candy-colored villages, proud maritime heritage, exquisite restaurants and smiling island hospitality.
Where to Stay
Situated on a remarkable 300-acre private island two miles off the coast of the Antigua, Jumby Bay Island never fails to stimulate the imagination. Accessible only via boat, this secluded luxury resort feels worlds away from the congested cruise ship crowds of the Caribbean, making it the perfect choice for those in search for an elegantly serene getaway. The chic hotel is housed within a former sugar plantation and surrounded by three superb white-sand beaches with azure waters that stretch far into the distance – meaning gorgeous panoramic views aren’t exactly hard to come by around here.
The 40 guest rooms and suites are scattered across the island, which is said to have been discovered by Christopher Columbus himself, and each is a bastion of tranquility that embraces both the unspoiled natural beauty and stylish tropical design. Expect large wrap-around terraces, outdoor showers and vaulted ceilings, while rich woods, pristine walls and soft linens deliver a cozy ambiance. In addition to the luscious beaches, the property features three separate pools, each with their own personality, and a sumptuous outdoor spa with a list of treatments inspired by the traditional healing remedies of the West Indies and African cultures.
Our Antigua Destination Guide also includes a comprehensive Luxury Hotel Guide with an expanded list of accommodation.
Blessed with secluded anchorages, lively marinas and a benevolent climate with typical daytime temperatures of 81°F during winter, Antigua makes for an excellent destination for relaxed charter cruising. Boasting a gorgeous swimming platform, deck jacuzzi, al fresco dining area and generous selection of water toys, the 163-foot (50m) Home allows guests to truly soak in the breathtaking natural beauty of Antigua. Launched by Heesen in 2017, the custom-built Home boasts gorgeous minimalist interior styling by Sinot Yacht Design and slick modern exterior lines courtesy of Omega Architects. This motor yacht can accommodate up to 12 overnight charter guests in 6 bright and breezy cabins.
Take a peek through our Antigua and Barbuda Winter Cruising Guide for a detailed breakdown of your yacht charter options.
Where to Dine
Perched atop a magical clifftop and looking out to the deep blue sea, the Cove Restaurant puts forth the most romantic setting in all of Antigua. Once you make your way through a candlelit hallway and dramatic flaming torches, the heart-stopping panoramic views of the Caribbean steal the show and take al fresco dining to new heights completely. When it comes to the fare, the Cove delightfully blends traditional French cuisine with a signature Caribbean flair. This results in an elegant menu of mouthwatering dishes that include their signature Mahi-Mahi, lobster thermidor, roast duck a’l’orange and rib eye steak.
Our Antigua Destination Guide also features a Restaurant Guide with a selection of the island’s top culinary experiences.
What to Do
When it comes to beaches in Antigua, visitors are spoiled for choice. Located on the northwestern coast of the island, the popular Dickenson Bay is your quintessential Caribbean paradise with gentle sloping sands and impossibly blue waters, protected by the reef. For a quieter experience, head to Darkwood Beach, an undeveloped stretch of pristine coastline which doesn’t even have a single building present. Elsewhere, St. John’s, the bustling capital of Antigua, is certainly worth a visit during your stay. The vibrant streets are lined with quaint cafes, family-run restaurants and artisanal shops, whereas the buzzing Saturday market is where you can pick up everything from fresh fruit to local handicrafts.
Antigua also curious visitors a wealth of fascinating historic sites, none of which are greater than the UNESCO-protected Nelson’s Dockyard National Park. Dating back to 1745, the Georgian-era marina continues to function as a working dockyard for numerous yachts and ships, whereas its historic buildings house various restaurants, museums and shops. In addition to its longstanding maritime heritage, Antigua’s pristine marine environment takes center stage each year as the host of several different regattas, such as the Antigua Classic and Antigua Sailing Week.
What to Pack
Antigua boasts tropical, hot and humid weather year-round, so casual outfits with lightweight and breathable fabrics tend to work best. Make an island-inspired beach statement with this Johanna Ortiz Bikini Top and matching Bikini Briefs. Covered in an artful abstract print, the bikini set features chic touches such as the flattering tie-front silhouette and low-rise fit. For the guys, opt for this Marni Striped Cotton Poplin Shirt for alfresco meals on the beach. Equipped to take you from day to night with ease, the crisp cotton poplin and relaxed fit keep you cool during the day, while it’s also smart enough for a breezy and romantic dinner at sunset.
There seems to be an embarrassment of riches when it comes to men’s sunglasses this year. When you filter through everything, however, it’s clear that sleek round frames are a sure-fire way to put forth an elegant style in a modern way. These Mr. Leight Round-Frame Sunglasses will have you looking stylish and well-equipped for the number of activities under the sun that are sure to be throw your way.
To complement our Antigua Destination Guide, check out our Caribbean Fashion Guide to ensure your wardrobe is up-to-date ahead of your trip.