Whether you’re looking for a family vacation with little ones or a romantic escape for two, Antigua’s many all-inclusives have you covered. Spread among every coast, each has it’s own flavor, from quiet, nature-focused serenity to indulgent pampering with epic views. Here are our top 10 picks.
St. James Club
Choose the St. James Club for its two beaches—Coco Beach facing the Atlantic allows sun worshippers to play in the small waves in between sipping beer and cocktails provided by a bartender operating out of a golf cart, and the more protected Mamora Bay beach where a slew of watersports are offered, including paddle boarding and Hobie cat sailing.
When it comes time to eat, guests have their choice of seven restaurants, including a few buffet options as well as the a la carte Eleven/11 beachside restaurant. There’s also the upscale Piccolo Mondo, well worth the upcharge for dishes such as the ahi tuna tagliata, served with Sicilian eggplant and potato caponata with mint pesto and toasted pine nuts.
This adults-only, 373-room resort specializes in romance, and in providing everything you need to stay on site for a week of relaxation—and a bit of adventure, if you so choose. Sandals Grande offers 28 room categories, including the top-of-the-line Rondoval suites with private plunge pools—and 24/7 butler service so you can enjoy the sanctuary of your room along with champagne, cocktails, nibbles and more. Several other categories of rooms also include the service of a butler who brings you in-room dining, makes dinner reservations and sets up a romantic bath, among other romantic features.
Another highlight of a bigger property is variety: Sandals Grande offers seven bars and 11 restaurants serving up sushi, Caribbean fusion, French pastries and crepes, teppanyaki-style dining and more.
Pineapple Beach Club
The Pineapple Beach Club, a 180-room, adults-only resort spread along a choice white-sand beach on the northeast side of Antigua, is known for an almost two-thirds rate of repeat guests. The atmosphere is social, making it a good pick for groups, as well as solo travelers looking to make friends.
In addition to the beach—which has excellent snorkeling just 40 yards offshore—one of the highlights is The Outhouse, an open-air barbecue joint perched on the hillside overlooking the resort’s beach on Long Bay.
The Verandah Resort and Spa
The biggest perks of The Verandah Resort and Spa are that every room delivers an ocean view, and that the resort is home to the island’s largest swimming pool with ample seating. The beaches are on the smaller side, but Verandah more than makes up for that with amenities, including an 18-hole miniature golf course, a games area with billiards and ping-pong and a fleet of Hobie cat sailboats, kayaks and paddle boards available to all guests.
The Kids Club is also one of the best on island, with a zero-entry splash pool plus arts and crafts, and nature walks, all for kids ages 2 to 11. It’s open from 9 am until 10 pm, allowing parents to steal away for a spa treatment or romantic dinner during their getaway.
On the southern coast of Antigua, Carlisle Bay offers timeless elegance. The 87 suites have a white and neutral, clean, sleek aesthetic, each with a living area, espresso maker and sea view. Here, the white-sand beach is postcard perfect.
During and after a day on the beach, you’ll refuel on fresh, inspired dishes, starting with fresh papaya, pineapple and watermelon juices at Indigo Restaurant, with elevated dinner experiences at restaurants such as East, serving Japanese, Thai and Indonesia dishes. The only way to make the experience even better? All guests have the option of upgrading to include butler service.
Jumby Bay Resort
Set on Long Island, a satellite isle off Antigua’s northeast coast, Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Resort, offers 40 rooms and villas, all with a white, bright and airy feel. This is one of Antigua’s most expensive stays, but Jumby delivers a level of customer service that surpasses expectation. Here, everything is upgraded. Watersports offerings include waterskiing, wakeboarding and tubing, plus guided snorkeling tours and island boat trips.
Guests also have access to kayaks, paddleboards, windsurfers and an array of sailboats. Or simply relax on the three pristine white-sand beaches. We love that this resort offers a range of accommodation, from the starting category of room—a cottage with a private terrace and outdoor shower—all the way to nine-bedroom estates.
Galley Bay Resort and Spa
The serenity of Galley Bay, an eco-resort set on a one-mile beach on the northwest side of Antigua, is unparalleled. No motorsports are allowed on this area, and the resort has switched to amber lights at night—all to support the sea turtles that nest here June through October.
Of the four room categories, one that stands out is the premium beachfront suites with sliding glass doors opening to white sand and turquoise water. We also like the Gauguin suites, with a more rustic feel inside and with vegetation and fencing outside to create utter privacy surrounding each room’s private plunge pool. We’re also smitten with the resort’s commitment to sanctuary: On the nights they screen outdoor movies, guests are provided with their own cordless headphones so as not to disturb the overall serene vibe.
One more standout element is the food, including the menu at the open-air beachside restaurant Gauguin, which changes daily and includes local seafood with French flair. We love that couples can take lunch or dinner right by the water under thatched-roof gazebos.
Hermitage Bay, a 30-suite boutique resort on the west side of Antigua, places an emphasis on wellbeing and serenity. Each room is either set oceanside, or on the hilltop with ocean views—and all provide ample privacy. In between meals with organic, locally grown fare, guests can take advantage of regular yoga, meditation and pilates classes, as well as cooking courses, farm tour, historic tours, ecotours and scuba diving, all offered on site.
Hammock Cove Resort
So luxurious, it’s hard to believe that this amazing 18-and-older property is an all-inclusive. Book a stay at Hammock Cove Resort and take advantage of the fact that every one of the 42 villas has its own private plunge pool. Plus, butlers cater to guests’ wishes, whether it’s a chilled rose and nibbles at 11 a.m. or a late-night snack to enjoy while night swimming.
Every butler attends to no more than eight villas, so you’ll for sure feel spoiled during your stay. If that’s not enough, add in the fact that Hammock Cove redefines all-inclusive dining, bringing in a Michelin-star-trained chef and an in-house sommelier, helping you find your favorites among their list of 200 wines.
Curtain Bluff excels in helping guests disconnect and recharge. Two white-sand beaches help with that, as do the fact that the resort deliberately excludes TVs in the 72 rooms. We also love how much is included in a stay at Curtain Bluff: scuba diving, waterskiing, paddle boarding, yoga and pilates classes are all free of charge. The only surcharges are for spa treatments, Caribbean-cooking and wine-appreciation classes or tennis and squash lessons.