Known for its rich sailing history, Antigua has become a mecca for those sensible people who decide to spend their winters sailing towards sunnier climes. So you can expect to find plenty of ex-pats with deep brown tans, rocking their pink shirts and boat shoes under the Caribbean sun of Antigua. What with Nelson’s Dockyard (Horatio Nelson’s former naval base) and historic English Harbour, it’s no wonder that Antigua is celebrated by sailing enthusiasts.
Making up one of the two major islands of ‘Antigua and Barbuda’, you can expect brightly coloured houses, sandy beaches and a laid-back lifestyle. Add to that a direct flight from London, fantastically luxurious hotels and a vibrant nightlife, and there’s little more we could ask for from a holiday in the sun.
Except perhaps some rum. But Antigua can definitely provide the best in piña coladas as well. You see? We told you it had it all.
Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imagination
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This beachfront 5* hotel is set on a secluded bay on the west coast of Antigua. Arguably one of the best hotels on the island, Hermitage Bay has only 25 suites. In fact if you’re taking the idea of ‘rest’ rather seriously, you can roll back to your room on the hotel’s golf buggy. The highlight being their freshwater infinity pool and sumptuous Garden Spa, which is set among the gardens on the hillside. Offering healing rituals that are designed to correspond with the Chakra systems of the body, expect holistic heaven. Children over the age of 14 are welcome but this is really an adults-only retreat. Spend your days at the organic kitchen gardens or underwater with a snorkel. Or head out on the 30-minute drive to the capital St John’s.
Jumby Bay Island is a secluded 300-acre private-island paradise of white sandy beaches, crystal blue waters and tropical luscious landscape. A short and scenic boat ride from the main land of Antigua, Jumby Bay offers an authentic experience of the magnificent Caribbean. Powder-white sand beaches and winding bicycle paths are the order of the day here. In fact, there are no cars on the island helping create that elusive feeling of ‘getting away from it all’. However guests choose to fill their days here, they will be spoilt for choice with the restaurants on offer. The Verandah, Pool Grille and The Estate House all create a taste of the Caribbean at each beautiful location. The resort’s Rose Buds programme is designed to keep 3-11 year olds entertained with water sports and cookery classes. There’s Cedar Valley Golf Course for Dad and tennis for Mum. Or indulge in their water sports, yoga and tennis before heading out by boat to explore the neighbouring islands.