Travel: Carlisle Bay, Antigua
In search of your next sunny adventure or desperately trying to think of a new place to go, why not try Carlisle Bay, located on the southern shore of the Caribbean island of Antigua? You can take a few days, a week or even three on the resort that lends you sun, sea, incredible food and more activities than you could possibly imagine – it is the perfect all year-round destination.
First impressions are everything and after visiting last November, Antigua most certainly left its mark from the get go. Met at the airport with the iconic sounds of a steel drum band to then driving along the dusty roads, taking in the fresh but warm breeze (the remnants of hurricane season) and looking out across bold greenery that floods every direction – you wonder what could make this trip any better when you already feel completely relaxed.
Then you arrive at Carlisle Bay, a luxurious beach and spa resort that opened in 2003 (and in recent years has had a design refresh), made up of 82 contemporary suites and overlooking a private bay, out to the bluest of seas and surrounded by a rocky outline – it is a view to appreciate whatever hour of the day but most beautiful at sunset.
The staff at the resort have a calm and warming presence that carries an infectious stress-free mood throughout the guests. Taken to your room as soon as you arrive (that is after you freshen up with a flannel and sup the cocktail provided) you make your way down the winding paths that are surrounded by the greenest of lawns and palm trees shading along the way. You can feel yourself start to unwind before you have even checked in, one of the many ways Carlisle Bay make everything so easy for their guests. You don’t have to think about any small details.
The suite that hosted the three-night stay was a huge open plan Bay Suite, a large four poster bed stepping down to a large living space, leading you out to the balcony with a view that reached out across the palm filled sandy beach, out to the open crystal sea and watching the sun set behind the hills in the distance. It truly is a place to make you leave all cares at home. The décor simple in design, cool and uncluttered with white and teal details works a treat to help guests clear their mind and take in the view.
Just across the way Carlisle Bay accommodates for families with a number of suites to select from. The resort caters for couples and friends on the one side and families on the other – allowing every guest to enjoy the holiday best suited to them. It goes out of its way to woo families with an extensive kid’s club, child-care options, and activities to entertain six months – 12 years and a separate teens club, as well as film screenings too!
Tennis – one of the premier tennis resorts in the Caribbean with five courts, three of which are floodlit. You can hone in on your already skilled ability or take lessons with the resident coach. Great competitive fun amongst families and friends alike.
Water sports – from paddle boarding to windsurfing and kayaks to sailing, the team at Carlisle bay can take you from inexperienced to intermediate. The resort also has its own 36-foot super sleek boat which guests can charter for private island tours.
Spa & Yoga – relax and take some time out, whether you settle down on the jetty for a morning yoga class or enjoy a full body massage at the spa, the resort has it covered whatever your unwinding needs.
Dine to suit your mood, from a romantic date sinking your toes into the sand while enjoying a quiet meal at the adults only Jetty Grill to a more casual setting at Ottimo!, enjoying Italian classics poolside. The resort has plenty on offer for taste and setting. Enjoy the usual breakfast, lunch and dinner with the small luxuries in-between you can treat yourself to afternoon tea on the beach – bringing a small part of home to the Caribbean.
Antigua definitely has much more to offer upon your visit, try one of the 365 beaches on the island or take a boat over to Antigua’s Naval Dockyard and take in some history of the island, or perhaps join in with other guests on a rainforest hike climbing high to see the beautiful scenes Antigua has. If you like to party or just enjoy a fantastic sunset with one of the best views of the island you must check out Shirley’s Heights. A scene where minute after minute you take in something more and a sunset that almost looks as good in pictures as it does in real life. Once the sun goes down, the BBQ and bar open up for the party.
One view from the hike
Stay in a Garden Suite at Carlisle Bay from $575 (approx. £424) per night, based on double occupancy including breakfast and afternoon tea. carlisle-bay.com