The old Antigua claim of having “a beach for every day of the year” is not unfounded. While this Caribbean island is quite small in size, few places in the world match its ravishing beauty and soft white-sand beaches. You can bet to be treated to magic whether looking to be part of one of Antigua’s many carnivals, relax and get away from life, or enjoy some delightful seafood. These five top-tier hotels in Antigua will make your tropical visit all the more enjoyable.
Jumby Bay Resort
The island of Jumby Bay is the true definition of luxury. Quite tiny itself – all of 300 acres – you can cycle around this car-free island in just 20 minutes. It’s also close to the airport, so one moment you are getting off the plane and, 30 minutes later, you’re swimming in the clear turquoise waters of the Atlantic. Does it get any better than that?
If the island is a beauty to behold, you can only expect the same – or better from Jumby Bay Resort, right? Right. The 40-room all-inclusive resort is tastefully decorated and designed to give you access to the ocean right away. Among these residences are 14 villas, each equipped with their own infinity pools that overlook the sea, and over 21 private residences crafted to feel just like home. Have tons of ideas on what to do in Jumby Bay? You may want to cancel them because this island has a mind of its own. It’s purely for off-the-grid relaxation – snorkeling in coral-fringed islands barefoot walks across a long golden sand bar, and lounging in a hammock all afternoon. Check out any of the three restaurants and four lounges for some Caribbean hospitality.
Surrounded by 140 acres of undeveloped land, Hermitage Bay has the look and feel of property built on a private beach. 30 cottages either overlooking the shore or the scenic bay offer the perfect retreat from the everyday chaos of life. Each room has an outdoor shower and shutters that open all the way to let in plenty of natural light and views. This is a place where you can really feel at peace with yourself and loved ones. Enjoy morning yoga and pilates from a certified instructor and a session of healing with Dorissima rituals to balance chakras, followed by a fresh fruit breakfast and some time in the sun.
The entire property is decorated in contemporary Caribbean style, with dark woods and comfy mattresses on the beds as well as plush sofas and loungers. Large green and purple pillows add color on rattan furniture in the bar area. An open-sided design of the restaurant gives you a great view of the Caribbean Sea from any angle. Itching for some fun? Non-motorized water sports, speedboat rides, and cookery demonstrations are just some of the activities available at the Hermitage Bay.
Galley Bay Resort and Spa
Galley Bay Resort and Spa has a rustic charm with high ceilings, wooden floors and colorful furnishing that blends perfectly with the sea. The public area is a long stretch of decking that overlooks the sea, with rocking chairs facing inwards so that guests can relax and enjoy live entertainment at night. Tropical plants surround the 53-acre property, giving it a secluded village feel and creating a gentle breeze during the day. Expect for the secluded Gauguin suites, nearly all of the 98 guest rooms are located directly on the beach.
Due to its wooded location, this bird sanctuary boasts 25 species of birds that you can watch in the morning while sipping your tea. Every week, the hotel’s management holds a repeaters’ dinner to find out from guests how they can serve them better. They implement ideas raised in these forums, some including the introduction of reusable water bottles that are handed to each guest during check-in, and snorkels in rooms to reduce waiting time at the watersports station. In need of some pampering? Enjoy facials, lemongrass and ginger body scrubs, and beauty treatment in the thatch-roofed outdoor spa.
Hodges Bay Resort and Spa
The Hodges Bay Resort and Spa can be summarized as a dash of elegance with dramatic views of the ocean. Low-lying white-washed buildings gracefully spread out to meet the Atlantic Ocean, ensuring that you never get sticky while here. The entryway into the hotel, dubbed the “great house,” features a neutral palette, wicker sofas with hessian cushions and cream floor tiles. The restaurant downstairs has hand-painted Cuban tiles on the floor while the bar upstairs is all of the white metro tiles and shiny brass bar stools.
Each of the resort’s 79 guest rooms has a decked patio and, like many hotels in Antigua, a magnificent ocean view. Grey-paneled headboards, cream tiled floors, and marble bathrooms make up part of the interior décor of the rooms. You can choose either a standard room, a one- or two-bed apartment, a suite, or a villa, depending on the amenities you want. Catch a meal at NaCI where US celebrity chef Edward Lee does his magic with local ingredients. Later, relax in the adults-only infinity pool as you watch the sunset.
The Inn at English Harbor
The Inn at English Harbor lies on a stretch of sand on Galleon Beach and enjoys some of the best views of the sea. The historic building that houses this hotel was once one of the island’s most imposing forts – and so its bare brick high walls give it a classic look and feel. The Inn at English Harbor has 28 smoke-free guestrooms on 19 acres of land, which makes it quite serene for those looking for a quiet get-away. Each of the cottages opens onto the sand from a small patio, offering guests privacy and access to the ocean.
Many hotels in Antigua offer opportunities for guests to enjoy the island’s natural riches – and the Inn at English Harbor is no different. The reception offers access to hydro bikes, catamarans, see-through kayaks and paddleboards for guests to use freely on the beach. The friendly staff also remember your preferences if you are a repeat guest, making you feel at home as soon as you walk in.