October 6, 2022

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Just Do Travel

Best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua

9 min read

Take off from Britain and in just under nine hours you could be stepping into the very definition of a tropical paradise. Antigua has all the palm trees, white-sand beaches and turquoise waters you could hope for from a Caribbean island. Throw in the warmest welcome, an invigorating food scene and the chance to drink rum cocktails night and day and you’ve got the makings of a perfect holiday.

The country has also somewhat reinvented the all-inclusive — if you want a more traditional resort with kids’ clubs and evening entertainment, that’s all here. But there are also options if you’ve not previously considered this type of accommodation, each with as much character and refinement as a boutique hotel. What’s common to all on our list is that magical view out over the Caribbean Sea; there’s no such thing as a private beach on Antigua (all are open to the public) but the resorts we’ve chosen have direct access to the sand and the water.

Main photo: Carlisle Bay Resort, St Mary (Expedia)

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Galley Bay Resort & Spa (uk.hotels.com)

1. Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Five Islands Village

Best for a grown-up escape
All thoughts of regular life disappear the second you arrive at Galley Bay and have a reviving cocktail placed in your hand before checking in. Fronting onto a white-sand beach and backed by luxuriant tropical grounds and a lagoon, the adults-only all-inclusive resort is pure escapism. You’re only a few miles from the facilities of capital St John’s here, but you’ll find little reason to leave the hotel. There are four restaurants (three of which are open-air), four bars, a freshwater pool and three-quarters of a mile of beach at your disposal, as well as all manner of activities included in the rates, from yoga to paddle-boarding.

Number of restaurants 4
Pool Y
Price £655 per night (five-night minimum)

The Verandah Resort & Spa is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
The Verandah Resort & Spa (uk.hotels.com)

2. The Verandah Resort & Spa, Long Bay

Best for families
The Verandah is its own little universe on the east coast of Antigua and is so vast it has its own shuttle service to ferry you between its many facilities. Scattered over the 30-acre site are a cinema, spa, mini-golf course, gift shop, kids’ club and shuffleboard court — and that’s just for starters. There are also three swimming pools and two beaches between which to split your time and a whole host of water sports to choose from. Each of the 185 suites and villas has its own veranda and sleeps four to six people, making this a great option for families; you pay more the closer you are to the water. 

Number of restaurants 4
Pool Y
Price £972 per night (three-night minimum)

Best Caribbean resorts for families

Sandals Grande Antigua is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
Sandals Grande Antigua (uk.hotels.com)

3. Sandals Grande Antigua, St John’s

Best for endless choice
The first dilemma you’re likely to face at couples-only Sandals is whether to choose a sunbathing spot by the pool or on the beach. There are six of the former vying for your attention against almost two miles of white sand on Dickenson Bay. Plenty of on-site activities are available to pull you from a prone position, with more premium options such as scuba-diving included in the rates. Next decision is which of the 11 restaurants to plump for, with options ranging from casual beachside dining to more formal Italian. There’s also a vast array of accommodation to pick from, with suites in the upper price bracket including personal butlers and plunge pools.

Number of restaurants 11
Pool Y
Price £468 per night (three-night minimum)

Best all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean

Carlisle Bay Resort is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
Carlisle Bay Resort (Expedia)

4. Carlisle Bay Resort, St Mary

Best for ocean views
Location, location, location ⁠— the Carlisle Bay Resort certainly has this nailed. Set around a horseshoe bay, each of the 87 suites at the low-key beach resort has striking views over the ocean. You might find yourself in that water quite a bit, with water sports such as kayaking and sailing included in the price. There are plenty of land-based activities available, including tennis and yoga, and you’ve the chance to sign up for a personalised health retreat during your stay too. Dining here will likely be a highlight, with four highly regarded restaurants to choose from; cuisines range from Italian to Japanese.

Number of restaurants 4
Pool Y
Price £604 per night

Curtain Bluff Resort is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
Curtain Bluff Resort (uk.hotels.com)

5. Curtain Bluff Resort, Carlisle Bay

Best for a classic stay
Curtain Bluff Resort is built on a promontory that juts out into the Caribbean, with a beach on either side. You can choose to stay either in a Bluff Room, and look down at the sea and along the coast from on high, or in a Beach Front Room, just steps from the water. The all-inclusive rate covers plenty of activities such as water-skiing, scuba-diving, yoga and tennis, and you can add on extras such as cooking classes and island tours. Also included in the price are meals and drinks at the two restaurants — the more formal Tamarind and the open-air, beachside Sea Grape. 

Number of restaurants 2
Pool
Price £785 per night 

St James’s Club and Villas is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
St James’s Club and Villas (uk.hotels.com)

6. St James’s Club and Villas, St Paul’s

Best for an all-rounder
St James is a great choice if you’re looking to keep everyone happy on a multi-generation break. Close to English Harbour and its Unesco-listed dockyard, the beach resort has so many bars, restaurants, room categories and activities that it can’t fail to please everyone in your party. Younger children will enjoy the kids’ clubs and games, while teenagers can take advantage of tuition in a number of water sports. Adults might prefer lounging on one of two beaches or checking into the spa. Everything is included in the price, meaning no surprises at the end of your holiday.

Number of restaurants 5
Pool Y
Price £368 (three-night minimum)

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Jumby Bay Island is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
Jumby Bay Island (uk.hotels.com)

7. Jumby Bay Island, Long Island 

Best for secluded luxury
Jumby Bay feels more like the ultimate boutique hotel than a traditional all-inclusive resort. This is luxury at its most refined and discreet — a quality that no doubt appealed to the many famous names in its guest book, including Tom Cruise and Mariah Carey. The 40 enormous suites are spread across a private, car-free island off the northeast coast of the mainland. Exceptionally accommodating staff are on hand to cater to your every whim, whether that’s a rum tasting, details about the island’s turtle conservation programme or another glass of Moet with your dinner. This being Jumby Bay, the inclusions in the all-inclusive rate are a cut above, from Caribbean cooking lessons to sunset cruises.

Number of restaurants 3
Pool
Price £1,904 per night

8. Hermitage Bay, Hermitage Bay

Best for a tropical hideaway
Close your eyes and imagine your perfect Caribbean resort, and something resembling Hermitage Bay is likely to appear in your mind’s eye. Its 30 luxury suites occupy beautiful dark-wood cabins and these sit alongside a white-sand beach or on a hillside with terrific views around a horseshoe bay. Surrounded by tropical vegetation, each feels completely secluded, and some have their own private plunge pools. This is a place to just relax and enjoy your environment (and the fine dining on offer) but there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied over a stay, including farm tours and windsurfing.

Number of restaurants 1
Pool Y
Price £1,240 per night

Escape at Nonsuch Bay is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
Escape at Nonsuch Bay (uk.hotels.com)

9. Escape at Nonsuch Bay, St Philip

Best for romance
If you’ve ever dreamt of staying in a suite with its own private plunge pool, you’ll want to book into the Escape at Nonsuch Bay. Each of the 40 suites at the adults-only resort has its own pool, as well as an outdoor tub. The decor inside is more modern than many Antigua all-inclusive hotels, with plenty of light-wood accents and pops of bright colour. Service is very much geared to couples, with staff keen to help you plan romantic experiences, from sunset beach dinners with Champagne to full-blown, all-singing, all-dancing proposals.

Number of restaurants 1
Pool Y
Price £362 per night

Cocobay Resort is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
Cocobay Resort (uk.hotels.com)

10. Cocobay Resort, Valley Church

Best for the sunset 
You won’t want to be anywhere but in the grounds of this adults-only hotel come dusk — on the west side of the island, it gets some of the best sunsets on Antigua. A fine place to enjoy them is shoulder-deep in one of the infinity pools, cocktail in hand, or over a dinner of modern tapas in its multi-decked Sheer Rocks restaurant. Accommodation is in wooden, pastel-coloured cottages dotted around the site. Each is light and bright inside, with a balcony or veranda (complete with hammock); options in the higher-price range come with their own pools. Be sure to request a cottage facing towards the sea to guarantee your own prime sunset views. 

Number of restaurants 2
Pool Y
Price £520 per night (three-night minimum)

COCOS Hotel is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
COCOS Hotel (uk.hotels.com)

11. COCOS Hotel, St Mary

Best for recharging
Party animals should look elsewhere — COCOS Hotel is squarely aimed at couples looking for a bit of mellow escapism. It certainly delivers on that score. Accommodation is in pretty wooden cottages tucked amongst tropical foliage, each with an outdoor shower and a balcony; you might spend quite a bit of time dozing in a hammock here. The multi-tiered restaurant is an excellent place to try inventive Caribbean cuisine; all the dishes are organic and will likely introduce you to local produce such as soursop fruit. There are a number of interesting activities to try, including steel-drum lessons and cooking classes, but you might prefer to lounge on one of the resort’s two beaches.

Number of restaurants 1
Pool Y
Price £454 per night

Hammock Cove Resort & Spa is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
Hammock Cove Resort & Spa (Expedia)

12. Hammock Cove Resort & Spa, Long Bay

Best for infinity pools
Upping the ante for adult-only all-inclusives is new kid on the block Hammock Cove. Recently opened close to Devil’s Bridge National Park in eastern Antigua, the resort’s 41 villas have large decks facing the sea, each with sun loungers and plunge pools. The food included in the rate is second to none, with degustation dinners, afternoon tea, daytime snacks, a chef’s table and premium liqueurs as standard. When you’re not eating, join a guided walk, cool off in one of the four infinity pools or try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. 

Number of restaurants 2
Pool Y
Price £952 per night (five-night minimum)

Keyonna Beach Resort is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
Keyonna Beach Resort (uk.hotels.com)

13. Keyonna Beach Resort, Johnson’s Point

Best for an intimate feel
There are just 29 rooms and cottages at couples-only Keyonna Beach Resort, on the southwest coast of the island. The style is classic Caribbean, with plenty of dark-wood furnishings, large decks and places to lounge. It’s only a 45-second walk to the beach whichever room you choose and you can pay more for a high-end cottage if you’d like a private pool. There’s only one restaurant here, a lovely open-air space overlooking the water, but it caters to every diet and is the spot where you’ll want to watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand.

Number of restaurants 1
Pool
Price £399 per night

Blue Waters Resort & Spa is one of the best all-inclusive hotels in Antigua
Blue Waters Resort & Spa (uk.hotels.com)

14. Blue Waters Resort & Spa, St John’s

Best for polished luxury
Open for over 60 years, Blue Waters knows what it’s doing — everything here, from the nothing-is-too-much-trouble service to the immaculate accommodation, is polished to perfection. There’s a wide range of accommodation available — if you’re looking for a particularly memorable stay, book the seven-room Rock Cottage, which sits on its own private promontory. Families can take advantage of interconnecting rooms. You’re sure to keep busy at the resort, with 17 acres of tropical gardens to wander, multiple pools, and activities such as sailing and kayaking on offer. There are also plenty of options to explore further afield (at an extra charge), including private boat charters, trips to the neighbouring island of Barbuda and 4×4 island safaris.

Number of restaurants 3
Pool Y
Price £859 per night (three-night minimum)

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