WINTER IS COMING. It’s that time of year again when those of us in cooler climes spend the morning commute negotiating slippery snow slush and dreaming of escaping to warm weather destinations.
There are a fair few hotels in the world to choose from, but few as fantastic as this. Nestled just two miles north of Antigua lays one of the most remarkable Caribbean resorts, Jumby Bay – a stunning 300-acre private enclave that goes above and beyond the call of luxury.
Not surprisingly then, it’s a favorite with the A-list elite – Paul McCartney, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey and Oprah have all sought sandy solitude here.
Paradise found: Jumby Bay is the last word in Caribbean luxury
After touching down in Antigua from New York I was whisked away on a five-minute car ride to the Jumby Bay dock where I boarded a boat bound for the idyllic island just a short and scenic ride away.
From the moment you arrive and take in the lush tropical lawns that roll down to the somewhat deserted, palm-dotted pristine beaches, you know you’ve found a remote hideaway, but with five-star services.
Instagram worthy: Lazy Lizard (above) is one of the privately owned Estate Homes available to rent
A-list clientele: Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey are just two of Jumby’s famous guests
There are no cars on the island – just bicycles and golf carts – it’s a self-contained haven and really does have everything you need. You don’t even need to carry cash, all daily rates are inclusive of breakfast, lunch and dinner, afternoon tea, beverages, cocktails and house wine by the glass. As are the fitness facilities.
Start your days with a yoga class and a fresh-fruit smoothie, followed by an afternoon snorkeling, playing tennis, or hitting the state-of-the-art gym.
And should you grow tired by all of that, you can unwind by exploring the extensive treatments on offer at the spa then retreating to a hammock with a book or take a gentle bike ride under the pink sunset sky before dinner.
All-inclusive: Indulge at one of the Rosewood resort’s many fine restaurants
There are five restaurants and bars to choose from on the island but for something truly special make sure you dine at The Estate House, which will re-open in December following a four-million-pound restoration led by acclaimed designer Dennis Irvine.
Returned to its former grandeur, the circa 1830 plantation house promises to be the centerpiece of Jumby.
The historical two-story building features a vaulted ceiling that will provide a dramatic entrance to the bar where you can sip on a Colonial Classic, a refined concoction of Tanqueray 10 and Cavalier White rum stirred with St. Germaine elderflower liqueur and grapefruit oils.
Cheers! Set alight your taste buds as your dine under the stars
Suite life: Make yourself at home in the Colonial-esque cottages
Robe life: Take a soak in your suite’s outdoor tub
Then work your way through the beautiful starlit courtyard connecting the main restaurant, three private dining rooms, and the Wine Room for plates or monkfish and black trumpet casserole with crispy jasmine rice pancake or indulge in spiny lobster with Armagnac flambe.
Jumby Bay is all about the attention to details, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the suites. In keeping with the peaceful ambiance of the resort you will find only 40 suites and a few multi-million dollar villas to rent.
Take in the views as you look back at the lights on the mainland of Antigua
Serene! Find perfect peace at Jumby Bay
Ensuring each guest feels like they almost have the island to themselves.
With an ornate carved four-poster bed, tasteful British colonial furnishings, a 42-inch screen TV, an outdoor tub in a private courtyard and a wraparound terrace that boasts stunning views of the Caribbean sea, my suite welcomed me with style and decadence.
Jumby Bay really is the ultimate luxury Caribbean hideaway. Along with the memories, take back a bottle of Antigua’s infamous Susie’s Hot Sauce. Like Jumby, once you’ve had a taste – it’s very hard to forget!
Rates at Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, Antigua start from £750 ($1095) based on two sharing a room.
All daily rates are inclusive of gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner, afternoon tea, beverages, cocktails and house wine by the glass, access to resort fitness and tennis facilities, yoga pavilion, use of water sports equipment (waterskiing, paddle boarding, kayaking, Sunfish sailing, windsurfing, snorkel equipment, twice weekly snorkel excursions and more) and daily children’s program.
To book visit jumbybayresort.com.