Antigua and Barbuda is an independent Commonwealth country comprising its two namesake islands and several smaller ones, including the home of Jumby Bay. It is a yachting hub, and beyond the resorts is known for reef-lined beaches, and rainforests. The capital of St. John’s offers plentiful shops, bars, and restaurants. Antigua’s top suites are the subject of this week’s feature article.
1. Jumby Bay
Forbes Travel Guide writes of its 5-star pick, “Those traveling to Jumby Bay Island will have to venture two miles off the coast of Antigua to a 300-acre private island with crystalline waters and velvety white sand. Part of the esteemed Oetker Collection, the secluded Caribbean luxury resort is a sun-seeker paradise accessible only by boat, which adds to its exclusivity and charm. The former sugar plantation said to be discovered by Christopher Columbus, is now a haven for couples, families, and celebrities (Mariah Carey, Paul McCartney) looking for an elegant, quietly luxurious vacation with gracious service and breathtaking natural beauty.”
The Telegraph adds, “Not only does this tick all the boxes as an island hideaway, with visitors restricted to hotel guests or villa owners, but its no-car policy (every suite comes with bicycles) also ensures a carefree vibe, allowing children to roam safely. The island lies just 10 minutes or so off the northern coast of Antigua by boat, conveniently close to the airport, which you can reach door-to-door in less than 20 minutes with an additional 10-minute car ride from the dock.”
This 4,215 sq. ft. recently re-furbished villa is a beachfront retreat. Sandy Cove’s welcoming entrance hall leads to the large open-plan living room, which opens out onto the pool terrace, a modern kitchen, a choice of two dining areas seating up to 10 guests, and four air-conditioned double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms.
The 1,713 sq. ft. Estate Suite is the most expansive of the one-bedroom accommodations. An open seating area in the entrance courtyard leads you to a private pool with a spacious wrap-around patio. The tentry vestibule leads to a spacious living room furnished with all the amenities of home. The private master bedroom contains a spacious bathroom, and an outdoor garden arranged for seclusion, complete with a soaking tub and a blissful rain shower.
More suites and villas at Jumby Bay.
2. Carlisle Bay
Luxury travel agency network Virtuoso says, “Carlisle Bay offers a rare haven of seclusion and relaxation, overlooking dazzling white sands and turquoise waters tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the island. With a backdrop of emerald rain forest, this resort divides its 87 elegantly simple suites among family and adult-focused areas. Go kayaking and windsurfing, join a guided nature hike, practice backhands at the tennis clinic, or follow more meditative pursuits in the yoga pavilion. Organic spa treatments utilize locally sourced ingredients, as do four diverse restaurants.”
Conde Nast Traveler adds, “It’s a Cornwall/Dorset meets Nantucket crowd. The bulk of the property’s guests are British, and you’ll feel it in the politesse that abounds poolside to the beach. Overall, it’s a fit and healthy crowd who look confident in their swimwear despite perhaps needing some sun. They’re wearing Lily Pulitzer and Tory Burch and Vilebrequin swimwear, usually sporting a stylish cover-up by day and getting dressed up in the evenings.”
There are four of the 1,716 sq. ft. Carlisle Suites. There are two types of Carlisle Suite, each comprising two king-size bedded rooms and one twin-bedded room, all ensuite. Both also feature large sitting room areas extending onto the outdoor terraces, offering expanded living areas for your family or group. Carlisle Suite A also has a kitchen making it ideal for entertaining or preparing snacks and drinks. Carlisle Suite B has an L-shaped terrace giving you uninterrupted views in every direction.
More suites at Carlisle Bay.
3. Curtain Bluff
The Telegraph says, “A charming, refined resort running along a headland boasting a beach on either side – one with surf, one calm. The atmosphere is familial with a weekly cocktail party hosted at the home of Lady Hulford. Food is excellent and service is top-notch – little wonder the same guests return year after year.”
Virtuoso travel advisors add, “Encompassed by 20 acres of lush tropical gardens and overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the iconic Curtain Bluff is considered the best value for an all-inclusive luxury resort. Along with 72 intimate oceanfront rooms and suites, the signature Hulford Collection of suites features private infinity-edge pools and impeccable attention to detail and service. At this award-winning resort, visit the spa, wine cellar, gym, paddleboarding, tennis, squash, yoga, and Pilates. In 2017, the hotel completed a $13 million renovation of its lobby, Tamarind Restaurant & Bar, library, and terraces.”
Grace & Morris Bay Suites
This pair of 1,944 sq. ft. suites are located on the third floor of a Caribbean-style villa directly on the sands of the resort’s surf beach. Both suites are outfitted with blue-marble bathrooms, colonial furniture, richly colored fabrics, and lush palms. The bedroom and adjoining living room open onto a sweeping veranda with lounge chairs and a private plunge pool, the perfect site for private sunbathing or romantic cocktails under the stars. The Grace & Morris Bay suites can be linked to a junior suite to create a two-bedroom suite. Extended groups and families can reserve the entire floor of four bedrooms.
More suites at Curtain Bluff.
4. The Inn at English Harbour
The Telegraph says, “You arrive at a historic building with characterful bare brick walls high up the hillside, which was once one of the island’s forts. Here you will find the reception, bar, lounge, and restaurant. The stone terrace where you can dine al fresco while looking down onto the bay below feels very Italian, but perhaps that’s because there is Italian management and so thoughts drift east. Below, sprawling out from the bay, are attractive, white-washed weatherboard cottages housing the rooms and suites and a pretty pavilion beside the tennis courts where you’ll find a library decked out with comfortable sofas and antiques. Everything is immaculate.”
The 670 sq. ft. Deluxe Suites with their beautiful mahogany floors are the top accommodations at The Inn. They are located about 100 feet from the beach. Located on both the ground and upper floors, the lower floor suites offer a large veranda leading onto the gardens, while the upper floor suites offer a large terrace/balcony with vaulted ceilings.
More suites at The Inn at English Harbour.
5. Hermitage Bay
Conde Nast Traveler writes, “Down a long dirt road, this secluded resort stands between a steep slope and a small bay. Its 30 individual suites—each a spacious contemporary cottage of dark wood and white linens—stand in lush foliage rich with birdlife and come with an outdoor shower and day bed: ceiling fans twirl above mosquito-netted beds. All this is the ideal setting in which to decompress fully while lounging by your plunge pool with a glass of wine from the restaurant’s well-chosen cellar. The friendly staff ferry guests up and down the hillside in golf carts. A few antique Chinese tea chests, an exhibit of original black-and-white photographs of Bob Marley, and low-slung furnishings combine to give the reception area a laid-back chic.”
Hillside Pool Suites
The 1,550 sq. ft. Hillside Pool Suites feature dark woods and soft linens, each with its own private plunge pool. There is a roll-top bath, outdoor shower, and minibar which is restocked daily. A spacious private deck comes with sun loungers, a double day bed, and plantation chairs so you can spend your days soaking up the sounds of the ocean and your nights gazing at the stars.
More suites at Hermitage Bay.