Antigua and Barbuda Await Your Winter Escape!
Antigua is a familiar Caribbean destination for many travel advisors;
its smaller sister island, Barbuda, less so. That’s partly due to Barbuda having far fewer hotels and resorts than Antigua, but also because the island has been spending the last few years recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, which blasted the island with 185-mph winds in 2017, leveling almost everything in sight.
Needless to say, then, it’s a big deal for both Barbuda and travel advisors looking to send clients to a less-traveled Caribbean destination that Rosewood Hotels and Resorts had announced plans to open a luxury beach resort on Barbuda in 2028.
Barbuda Boosted by Plans for New Rosewood Resort
The Rosewood Barbuda will have 50 resort suites and 35 residences set on 85 acres of beachfront property, the company announced in December. The resort would be the brand’s fourth Caribbean property, joining the luxury Rosewood Baha Mar in the Bahamas, Rosewood Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands, and the Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth.
Rosewood also had announced in 2018 plans to build a luxury resort on Half Moon Bay in Antigua, originally set to open in 2021 and then 2023. That project has apparently stalled, however.
Assuming the Rosewood Barbuda meets a better fate, the resort will be a real boost to a destination where 95 percent of all structures on the island were destroyed in the hurricane. Rosewood officials cited Barbuda’s “year-round warm weather, turquoise water, pink sand beaches, and authentic local culture” — where residents have shared communal control of the land on the island since the abolition of slavery in 1833 — as among the reasons that the island represented an ideal fit for the company.
“Rosewood Barbuda will effortlessly complement the existing natural wonders that have long made this intimate destination so captivating,” said Radha Arora, president of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. “It is an honor to work with all parties involved in the project to realize our shared vision of creating an ultra-luxury resort that exists in harmony with its surroundings, providing guests with an escape in the truest sense of the word.”
The Rosewood Barbuda will include a Asaya Spa with six treatment rooms, a fitness center, and two swimming pools, one designated for use by families. One of the three restaurants planned for the resort will be a farm-to-table concept utilizing produce grown on Barbuda, according to a press release.
Travel advisors and their clients who don’t want to wait until 2028 have several options for experiencing Barbuda now. The island has several guest houses available to rent as well as the Barbuda Belle, a luxury beach resort with eight one- and two-bedroom bungalows and a gourmet seafood restaurant called The Mangrove. The Barbuda Ocean Club, a development famously involving Hollywood actor Robert De Niro, could someday add more accommodations to the island; meanwhile, however, it is open as a posh beach and residence club with activities like kiteboarding and paddle boarding, golf on an 18-hole, Tom Fazio designed course, and upscale dining.
Curtain Bluff and Hawksbill Resorts Reopen After Renovations
Curtain Bluff, Antigua’s most famous resort, is back for a 62nd year of offering luxury lodging after closing for the summer of 2023 for a major renovation. The Hawksbill Resort, which took a similar hiatus for a refresh, is also once again welcoming guests.
Improvements at Curtain Bluff include complete refurbishment of the resort’s Hulford Collection Suites, Morris & Grace Bay Pool Suites, and some Junior Suites. The resort also doubled the size of its adults-only wellness area, adding a yoga pavilion, infinity pool, and waterfront jacuzzi. Further room improvements are slated for summer 2024.
A new infinity pool also is part of the refresh of Antigua’s Hawksbill Resort; the hillside pool overlooking Sea of Grapes Beach has multiple lounging levels and a new bar.
Verandah Antigua Goes Adults Only
Elite Island Resorts’ all-inclusive Verandah Antigua resort will emerge from a summer renovation sans kids: the resort is now adults-only, following in the footsteps of sister property Pineapple Beach Club.
Kids are still welcome at Elite Island Resorts’ St. James Club & Villas, however; in fact, the resort is offering free stays for one child ages 11 and under on bookings with two adults sharing a room between now and January 2025.
Improvements at the Verandah include a new restaurant, the addition of four pickleball courts, and a new 18-hole miniature golf course. Guests of the resort also will be allowed to dine at both the Pineapple Beach Club and St. James Club as part of their all-inclusive stay.
Bookings Available for Royalton Antigua
The Royalton CHIC Antigua is set to debut on the island’s northwest coast in April 2024, but travel advisors can already start booking rooms for clients at the soon-to-debut resort.
The resort will include 235 rooms and suites, seven restaurants, five bars, sports and fitness facilities, and The Royal Spa. All will be set once Dickinson Bay Beach about 20 miles from Antigua’s V.C. Bird International Airport.
Antigua Adds Air Service
American Airlines and Silver Airways have both added seasonal flights to V.C. Bird International Airport, making it easier for travelers to reach both the islands of Antigua and Barbuda.
Silver Airways launched four weekly nonstop flights to Antigua from San Juan, Puerto Rico, in November. American Airlines, meanwhile, is looking ahead to next summer, when it will double its daily nonstop service to Antigua by adding a second flight out of Miami on June 5, 2024.
For more information visit www.visitantiguabarbuda.com