Antigua Hotels Update
The sister-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda
are known for luxury lodging at resorts like Curtain Bluff, Galley Bay, and Jumby Bay. So who would have ever thought clients would be able to vacation at a Best Western in Antigua?
The Best Western Premiere Hotel at St. Mary’s Court is currently under construction near the Jolly Harbour development, with its golf course and the restaurants of West Coast Village; Jolly Beach is also nearby. The hotel, currently slated to open in late 2019, will have 126 guest rooms with 40-inch TV sets, mini-fridges and free Wi-Fi, with amenities including a fitness center, two outdoor pools, a spa, meeting rooms, business center, and a beach bar called the Rum Bus. A full hot breakfast will be included in the price of a stay.
Hotel owner Adam Barrett promised guests “an exceptional, affordable stay.” Best Western describes Premiere as “our most exclusive collection of carefully-curated hotels.” There are about 150 Best Western Premiere hotels worldwide.
The Best Western is just one of several new hotel developments on Antigua and Barbuda, which is bouncing back from damage sustained in the 2017 hurricane season, which hit Barbuda especially hard.
Elite Island Resorts is adding to its roster of luxury properties on Antigua — which already includes the St. James’s Club, Galley Bay, The Verandah, and the Pineapple Beach Club — with the new Hammock Cove Resort & Spa. Scheduled to open on Dec. 1, 2019, the adults-only, all-inclusive resort promises five-star accommodations in freestanding villas with private infinity-edge plunge pools, butler service, and unlimited water sports, fine dining, top-shelf liquor, and live entertainment included. The resort will be located close to Devil’s Bridge National Park, a wave-carved natural arch on the east end of Antigua.
The 373-room Sandals Grande Antigua resort has built a reputation as a romantic Caribbean honeymoon destination — it was named the Caribbean’s Most Romantic Resort in the 2019 World Travel Awards — but the island now has another large all-inclusive resort for travelers to consider. Opened in May 2019, the Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa has 294 guest rooms on the island’s northwest coast, including overwater bungalows perched above the placid waters of Deep Bay.
Signature amenities include 24-hour room service and reservation-free dining, rain showers in bathrooms, and a wide range of classes and courses available to guests. The resort has a sports bar and casino and welcomes children in most rooms, although the Chairman Overwater Bungalows are adults-only. The butler-served bungalows all have infinity plunge pools, hammocks, king beds, ocean entry from a private deck, and glass floors.
Another highly anticipated project is the Rosewood Half Moon Bay Antigua. With a scheduled opening in 2022, the luxury all-inclusive development from Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will include both estate home (13 total) and oceanfront and oceanview villas, the latter with infinity plunge pools, hammocks, open-air baths, and showers lined with live orchids.
Antigua recently launched its first honeymoon registry, and one of the resorts where couples can register for romantic experiences is Carlisle Bay, which offers friends and family the opportunity to arrange for candlelight dinners on the resort’s jetty, sunset cocktail cruises, room upgrades, spa services, tours, and keepsakes like island artwork and robes and island essentials like sunglasses and flipflops.
Carlisle Bay, Jumby Bay, and other resorts also are participating in the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s ongoing #WhatCoolLooksLike summer campaign, with discounts on stays that extend well into fall — the end of October, to be precise.
Curtain Bluff will reopen at the end of its seasonal closure in late October with a dozen renovated bluff suites overlooking Surf Beach, along with a redesigned Seagrape restaurant (now serving lunch and dinner) and a new menu of Italian-Antiguan fare. The resort also has extended its Beach Concierge from Bay Beach to Surf Beach, and has added pickleball to its resort sports options.
After adding the Estate House lodgings in 2016, Jumby Bay completed the second of its three-phase renovation project last fall with updates to its beach pool, spa, verandah building, and watersports area. The resort also has added a pair of new private residences: the beachfront Allamanda, a 6,000-square-foot villa with a heated private pool that can accommodate up to eight guests, and the Lost Puffin, a family friendly villa with nearly 13,000 square feet of living space and room for up to 14 guests.
The resort’s kid-friendly amenities include Camp Jumby for 3- to-11-year-olds, a teen program, a hawksbill turtle encounter that runs from June to November and includes visits to a nesting site on Pasture Bay Beach, and spa services tailored to kids ages 12 and up.
Antigua connected a string of eco-friendly and culturally-aware resorts, restaurants, and attractions in a “Green Corridor” in 2017, and the island’s green tourism mantra has been embraced by the Blue Waters Resort and Spa, which recently installed refillable water stations and distributes complimentary, BPA-free water bottles to guests.
Best Western Premiere Hotel:
Elite Island Resorts:
Sandals Grande Antigua:
Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa:
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts:
Blue Waters Resort & Spa: