Not all beaches are created equal. And with 365 famed crystalline beaches – one for each day of the year – Antigua’s battle of the beach is a rather intense one.
In its north-easternmost reaches, Antigua’s seaward bays and beaches are pure Caribbean bliss and the country’s finest. To facilitate appreciation of these superlative slices of sugarloaf heaven in haute style, two upscale resorts recently completed major upgrades, elevating the Antigua beachfront experience.
Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort
Re-envisioning the concept of a private island haven, Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, successfully completed a three-year head-to-toe overhaul that merges timeless elegance with the latest trends in modern luxury. The island’s stunning landscapes remain - unspoiled Pasture Bay to the north, which serves as a sanctuary for nesting sea turtles; and sparkling Jumby Bay to the south, which serves as a focal point of all things luxe and leisure. However, outside of its natural beauty, those who’ve previously visited Jumby Bay would hardly recognize it nowadays.
The beach has been outfitted with full service palapas and a beachfront infinity pool. The beach bar, pool bar, and main bar serve everything from creamy to dreamy to liquid diet staples, but you’ll never have to go up to the bars to order. Staff are so attentive that the moment water comes into view, they’re greeting you with water bottles, ready to serve, aiming to please. Jumby Bay is all-inclusive, so there’s no excuse to pass on another “Cool Me Off” (passion fruit, gin, and soda water) or scrumptous bite in between meals at Jumby’s three al fresco restaurants.
Valuing privacy, the 300-acre island still hosts but 40 guest suites alongside 56 private homes. Eighteen of the lavish homes participate in Jumby’s villa rental program. The fabulous courtyard suites are new single-story construction clustered near the pool area and the far end of Jumby Bay Beach, taking shape as sizeable private studio homes with colossal indoor and outdoor bathrooms (think: full outdoor Roman bath tub). The interiors boast tropical elegance, flanked by an al fresco patio.
Fabulous design, gastronomy and beachfront amenities not withstanding, Jumby’s service oriented staff is what makes this island such a treasured experience. No matter the request, anything seems possible. The personalities are unforgettable. The charm remarkable. And most importantly, they sport an uncanny ability to make this little Caribbean island feel like your very own. jumbybayresort.com
Galley Bay Resort & Spa
Back on the mainland, Galley Bay Resort & Spa, 20 short minutes from Antigua’s international airport, delivers an ambience and experience of unpretentious eco-luxury. The adults-only resort hugs a three-quarter-mile-long stretch of Antigua’s most downy sands, further encompassing over 40 private inland acres. Taking full advantage of its prime location, the resort provides complimentary non motorized watersports such as sea kayaks, as well as bicycles and fishing poles.
The resort boasts 46 premium suites with floor-to- ceiling panoramic windows, relaxing terraces, and the latest in technology. Whereas Jumby went under the knife completely in recent years, Galley Bay opted for a lighter nip and tuck. Galley’s interior upgrades included new Mahogany furnishings and accessories, excellent 400-thread-count sheets, and design tweaks to create an understated rustic flair with pops of tropical colors.
During its renovation, Galley Bay also added a third restaurant on property called Ismay, which serves ocean-to-table Antiguan delights like conch and cilantro fritters. As such, the all-inclusive resort now offers three diverse restaurants, helmed by award-winning Executive Chef Andrew “Stan” Baxter. galleybayresort.com