Antigua

Fall in Love with Antigua

A week ago I was fortunate enough to travel to Antigua for ‘Work’… yes WORK! Feeling very blessed with the opportunity so soon after my birthday, I over packed my bags and prepared with anticipation for my ‘familiarisation trip’.

The trip was amazing! I got to meet 6 new people all in the travel, sports and entertainment industry, visit a new country and soak up some sun at the same time. We visited over 20 places from restaurants to boutique hotels as well as the town and cruise ship terminal.

So with all of the work and walking… why did I fall in love with Antigua?

Antigua is a popular day stop for cruise ships with its vibrant terminals, well known retail shops and also displays local crafts and decadent food.  It is a great destination for holiday makers looking for a quiet, tropical island destination in the Caribbean. We stayed at the St. James Club Resort and visited several other hotels in the Elite Island Resort group. However, the majority of resorts and villas in Antigua are very luxurious allowing you to enjoy the tropical sunshine and relish in the trade winds of the coast.

Apparently named by Christopher Columbus after the Spanish word for ‘ancient’, Antigua has a rich and cultural heritage with memorable ties with the British Navy and Lord Horatio Nelson at a time trading was prevalent in the Caribbean. Many resorts are built on old Sugar Mills so you frequently see deteriorating mills around the island. This Island has much to offer, so taking tours outside of the resorts is definitely worth it. We went to Stingray City to snorkel and feed the Stingrays and visited the Falmouth Harbour which is buzzing especially when Sailing week starts in April.

Antigua now thrives on tourism and with the opulent places I visited like Carlisle Bay, Sugar Ridge and Blue Waters I can see why many people choose Antigua for its beaches, food and hospitality. Jobs are created through staff positions at any resort in Antigua, so you can meet native islanders first hand and find out about the cultural and social aspects of the island more easily. Their advice is great for recommending local food and drinks and helps you to discover more about Antigua.

If you choose to stay in a resort, do not forget to explore the whole island. There are many places you can visit that are rife with history and culture and are very interesting – particularly if you do enjoy history. Antigua is famous for English Harbour Rum and during the Sailing and Yachting events that occur there are usually rum tasting experiences and other social activities. During my stay  I was privileged to visit Buckley’s Country Club as well as Road House, which is a popular ‘after hours’ hangout for the locals.

Overall, Antigua is definitely worth considering as a Caribbean holiday destination if you enjoy opulent surroundings, great food and relaxation. The perfect wedding destination due to its climate and sandy beaches. As holidays go, Antigua is definitely a 9/10.

TRAVEL DETAILS

Flight
My flight was organised by Sandra Dyer at SN Travel based in Stoke Newington, Trading for 40 years SN Travel is a leading authority on Caribbean & USA Travel and highly recommended.
Airline
I flew with British Airways from London Gatwick. British Airways is a great Airline especially because the fabulous Angie Greaves is on the in-flight entertainment.
Hotel
The St. James Club Resort by the Elite Island Resorts was my base for the 4 days. There are so many reasons as to why it is an amazing resort; from the complimentary non-motorised water sports, the choice of swimming pools, Atlantic Ocean Beach, Caribbean Sea Beach, food choices and friendly staff. I can not fault this all-inclusive resort.
Must See
Shirley Heights is an amazing venue where tourism meets local life. It’s great if you have been in a resort and want to take in a steel band as well as live music and great food. With stunning views of the island, it is the only place to be on a Sunday in Antigua. If you are a taking a cruise, ask about the Culinary Tours provided by Villa’s at Sunset Lane…. worth every penny!

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