Antigua open for business!

Antigua – open for business!


I was recently lucky enough to be taken for my first visit to Antigua, courtesy of the Antigua & Barbuda Tourist Board and Advantage.  We had two nights at the adult-only Pineapple Beach Club, and two nights at family friendly St James’s Club – both fantastic All-Inclusive properties from Elite Island Resorts.  After a luxurious start with an upgrade to Club World on our British Airways flights we were ready to begin . . .


Our first full day was action packed, our incredible hosts from the tourist board were keen to show off as much of the island as possible in our short trip.  The morning was spentzip-liningon a Rainforest Canopy Tour – a first for me and an amazing experience!  A quick visit to Keyonna Beach to see a very different style of hotel, a rustic retreat right on the beach, before heading to the capital St Johns for lunch in a local restaurant, and some shopping time for the number one souvenir – Old English Harbour rum!


Day two was more leisurely, with the morning spent at Pineapple’s beautiful beach, one of the best on the island, before lunch at their unique Outhouse BBQ shack.  Worth a trip on anyone’s visit to Antigua – great food, outstanding views and the chance to leave your mark with a personalised plaque to remember your visit!  Then another hotel tour to the stunning 5* Blue Waters, newly refurbished and looking beautiful, before moving on to our second home at St James’s Club.  This evening was a highlight of the trip for me, with a visit to Shirley heights Sunset party and BBQ - yet more delicious Caribbean food, great music and a real party atmosphere.


The next day was another day of adventure, getting off the beaten track to see the real Antigua on a jeep safari tour.  The island is beautiful, lush and green and dotted with gorgeous multi coloured houses.  This was the perfect opportunity to see just how lucky Antigua had been to escape damage from the recent hurricanes, and the great work the locals and tourists alike are doing to support the sister island of Barbuda, sadly devastated in the storms.  With the spirit and determination we saw in the islanders I’m sure it won’t be long before Barbuda is back on its feet.


The afternoon was another highlight and once-in-a-lifetime experience, as we went to Stingray City to swim with the rays!  I was very nervous at first but the expert guides soon put me at ease, and I could have stayed with them all day – beautiful and intelligent creatures, it was a privilege to see them so close in their natural habitat, and a day I will never forget.


Our final day was all about enjoying our lovely hotel – a full day to relax on the beach, try our hand at paddle-boarding and other water-sports (or just watch with a cocktail!), and of course enjoy even more delicious food!  In a whirlwind tour we saw so many aspects to Antigua, it really has something for everyone no matter how active or laid back you’d like to be.  And the range of hotels we saw really showcased the huge appeal of the island, whatever your tastes.  Antigua  should definitely be on anyone’s holiday bucket list!

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