Antigua & Barbuda
Jumby Bay Island
The first thing you’ll notice on this private island (accessible only by boat): white sand beaches as soft as talc and water so blue it looks like it’s been plugged in. Golf carts or bicycles bring you to one of the private villas that dot the circumference of the island, and accommodations run the gamut. There’s Mariposa, a nine-bedroom home, complete with personal tennis and basketball courts, and also more-modest one-bedroom suites, each with its own living room, private garden, plunge pool, and wraparound terrace. It’s impossible to make the wrong choice. Memorable touches include personalized stationery and a fleet of sailboats for guests (for both beginner and experienced sailors).
Ffryes Beach, St. Mary
A blinding sea-blue view from the top of a cliff provides the ideal backdrop for an afternoon dipping in and out of infinity pools, lounging on day beds, and dining on delicious small plates. Everything at Sheer Rocks is prepared in-house, and the seafood is either line- or hand-caught. Quick bites include broccoli in ponzu yogurt and steak tartare, but if you have time, the seven-course tasting menu with wine pairings is worth it. Top off the day with a tropical dessert option: coconut-rum-soaked watermelon slices and pineapple tossed in passion fruit.
Frigate Bird Sanctuary
Frigate Bird Sanctuary
Even if you’re not a bird-watcher, the sight of one of the largest frigate bird populations—known for the balloon-like red jowl of its male species—is well worth the trip. Frigate is home to an estimated 100,000 birds that migrate between the Galapagos and the Caribbean, with the male population appearing from November to February, and the baby nestlings popping up from March to July. A boat ride through the mangroves of the lagoon brings you as close as five feet to the awe-inspiring creatures—since there are no predators on the island, they remain undisturbed by your presence. The population temporarily dispersed after 2017’s Hurricane Irma, but the birds have since returned, first slowly and now, happily, in droves.
Carlisle Bay, St. Mary
This all-inclusive tennis retreat is designed to help you break a sweat with four championship tennis courts, a squash court, a basketball court, and a seventy-five-foot swimming pool, plus bocce and shuffleboard courts. There are even two beaches: one for water sports like Jet-Skiing, snorkeling, and scuba diving and another for lazing about. Active-minded visitors will be spoiled for choice, but if you want to take it slow, turn to the spa and wellness center for deep-tissue massages, yoga, and Pilates. Then retreat to your blue-and-white room, where you’ll find floor-to-ceiling glass doors, marble bathrooms—but no televisions, to ensure you’re taking advantage of the peace and quiet. We loved the attention to detail, like cold, scented towels poolside. At night, drop by Tamarind Tree for dinner and dancing and make a night of it—the fantastically fresh seafood is paired with wines from the property’s 25,000-bottle cellar.
Pigeon Point Beach, English Harbour
The (blissfully) underpopulated shores of Pigeon Beach have just a handful of bars and restaurants, including Catherine’s, an unassuming beach café preparing classical French cuisine with Provençal charm. Head chef Jack brings his years of experience in Michelin-starred restaurants to a seasonal menu featuring dishes such as lobster soup, fish carpaccio, stuffed calamari, and duck leg confit. The open dining area is accommodating enough for a walk-in off the beach, but since seats fill fast, it’s best to call ahead to reserve a table. You can make a day of it, too—between the allure of the Pigeon Beach’s crystal-clear waters, two cocktail menus (one dedicated entirely to gin and tonics), and nighttime entertainment from local jazz bands, Catherine’s is the best place to spend a lazy day.
The Inn at English Harbour
People rave about the service at this twenty-eight-room resort on Antigua, which feels like you are being personally hosted. With just twenty-eight rooms and no kids under ten allowed, it’s an intimate and peaceful getaway, as everything you might need is on the property. There's a large heated pool, tennis courts, a beachside restaurant, a private white sand beach, hammocks, snorkeling, a rum bar, plus an on-site a library. The look is England meets the Caribbean, with grand colonial style architecture—standout features are the strong mahogany four-post beds with contrasting airy white linens. Apparently, the old–fashioned rum punch at The Reef Bar is not to be missed.
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