Antigua is justifiably famous for its superlative sands, but one of the island’s best-kept secrets, the Copper & Lumber Store Hotel, is tucked away from the beach in the yachtie haven of English Harbour. Dating from 1783, when Captain Horatio Nelson commissioned the warehouse to shore up his embattled fleet, the carefully restored Georgian waterfront inn now invites modern-day swashbucklers to drop anchor and experience a slice of the British Navy’s Caribbean. Inside the post-and-beam and whitewashed brick structure, aged plank floors lead outside through narrow, arched porticos and encircle a breeze-filled courtyard. Antique brass keys unlock 14 upper-floor guest quarters, each named after one of Nelson’s ships. All rooms feature elegant period furnishings in mahogany and leather, queen-size four-posters draped in mosquito netting, as well as thoughtful modern comforts, such as air conditioning and well-equipped kitchens.
In the bougainvillea-swathed courtyard, the Wardroom Restaurant and Mainbrace Pub serve up a fusion of traditional English and flavorful Caribbean fare. Treat yourself to the coconut French toast for breakfast, then wander out to the fortress lawn for pickup soccer with the yachties and crews, who are living proof that, centuries later, the inn retains its nautical authenticity.
From $135 in low season (195 high). (268) 460-1160; copperandlumberhotel.com