Located on the quiet northern end of Antigua, Blue Waters Resort feels like a private oasis, with acres of lush gardens strung along a low bluff overlooking two golden cove beaches. Though Blue Waters has grown from 16 rooms to just under a hundred and has added a spa and several restaurants since it opened in 1960, the resort continues to channel classic Caribbean, exuding the kind of languid energy that makes a quick dip in the ocean followed by poolside rosé sipping a full and satisfying day.
Most recently, Blue Waters has gotten serious about its eco-initiatives, instituting the Caribbean’s first reusable water bottle program, developing an exclusive line of locally inspired toiletries for guests that will utilize refillable containers and replacing rugs with those made from recycled plastic bottles.
The dining scene is changing as well: since taking over as executive chef in 2018, Lisa Sellers has been curing fish and olives for her gorgeous charcuterie plates; crafting handmade chocolate truffles and dreaming up creative dinner offerings like lemongrass-infused local snapper and vegan-friendly ravioli filled with pumpkin.
And that’s only the beginning. Read on for more reasons to check in.
Lodging Options Abound
Whether your perfect beach retreat is a private cottage, a chic balconied suite or a cozy hideaway just steps from the ocean, Blue Waters has you covered. Families covet the resort’s three residences, which have full kitchens, pools and beautifully decorated, expansive living areas.
The 21 spacious Cove Suites, which are housed in three buildings with private pools, have ultra-comfy king-sized beds, oversized soaking tubs and your choice of a balcony or terrace that opens onto the pool. Seclusion-seekers flock to the “100 Block”, a line of rooms strung directly over the sea.
You Can Choose Your Dining Plan
Rather than forcing you to conform to a specific dining plan, Blue Waters lets you decide between a la carte and all-inclusive, which includes three meals, afternoon tea, cocktails and wines by the glass, at any one of the resort’s four restaurants and cafes. Lunch can also be delivered to your chaise lounge with the push of the button conveniently located on your sun umbrella.
The Food is a High Point
Every morning, Blue Waters’ staff lays out a breakfast buffet so diverse—you’ll find everything from the full English to a kaleidoscope of fruits, fresh cheeses and guava-stuffed pastries—that even non-breakfast eaters will be tempted to dive in.
Take lunch at The Palm, where a bounty of salads, fish grilled to order and homemade mac and cheese await, or stroll over to the adult pool, where a tiny counter hides a pizza oven that turns out delectably crispy pies. Several times a week chefs pile charcoal grills with ribs, chicken, burgers and whatever the fishermen have brought in that day and serve lunch or dinner straight from the coals.
The most elegant dinners are served at The Cove, a stone-walled grotto that opens to the sea. Not only is the food fresh and delicious—salads are made with greens grown on property, fish is cured in-house and the ice cream is churned on site—but, even after multiple visits you won’t run out of yummy choices.
There is also Bartley’s, a Pan-Asian jewel box of a restaurant done up in velvet and carved wood.
There’s no Pressure to Participate
Activity-wise, here’s what you will find at Blue Waters: free use of Hobie Cats, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and other non-motorized water toys; a tennis court; a large fitness center filled with new, well-maintained equipment; story-filled walking tours of the grounds with a gardener; fitness classes like yoga and cardio boxing; rum tastings; and a weekly cocktail party. There’s a free Kids’ Club, too.
Here’s what you won’t: dance contests, loud music, theme nights or shot-drinking competitions.
There’s Room to Roam
Blue Waters’ 17-acre property is alive with tropical blooms, mature trees and manicured hedges, all connected by winding pathways. Feel free to slip into one the gingerbread-clad wooden gazebos that dot the property for morning coffee, a glass of wine or to hide from your kids while you finish the last chapter of your beach read.
Romantics take note: the gazebos can also be reserved for a private dinner. In a particularly thoughtful gesture, staff have tucked pairs of chaise lounges on some of the small overlooks that dot the property, providing a quiet place to take in the scene.
There’s No Stress at the Spa
The spa at Blue Waters may be small, but what it lacks in fancy amenities—there’s no ice room, hydrotherapy circuit or infrared sauna—it more than makes up for in serenity. Feel free to pad over in your robe, where you’ll be greeted by name before being led over cool stone floors to a quiet treatment room.
Services range from anything-but-basic massages to chakra balancing and an energizing therapy that utilizes marine minerals; even better, therapists focus on the task at hand rather than pushing products.