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“No Rose tinted Glasses for us” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hermitage Bay

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Hermitage Bay
5.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   PO Box 60, Bolans, Saint Mary's, Antigua   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
20% Off Christmas Week
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bolans
Folkestone, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“No Rose tinted Glasses for us”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2007

Having just returned from 2 weeks in Hermitage Bay I can only say that those who consider it to be "paradise" have just taken their first holiday,or are " easly impressed"
Without a doubt, the views are incredible and the staff ARE fantastic but what about being eaten alive by mosquitos and sandflies and being stung by jellyfish every time you enter the water.
Let's be realistic - it's great having a hillside cottage - the privacy, the plungepool - but to share it every morning for upto 2 hours with the maid service? - one day we had no fewer than 6 people in and out of the room/pool & patio area for one reason or another - then the phone rang about 4 times - not for us, for the "room ambassador". Ladies - don't bother to take nice clothes or high heel shoes - you would never be able to walk in them from the hillside cottages to the restaurant - in any case, there is no dress code in force at this hotel - regularly shorts and flipflops were worn in the evening - which is a shame, as I believe most people would like to dress up to go out for the evening - that's part of the holiday. Don't get me wrong - we quite enjoyed the walk to and from the room as, to be honest, although the bay is beautiful, it is small and you can walk from one end to the other in 5 minutes.
On a positive note, the meals were generally excellent (apart from one which was absolutely atrocious - must have been cook's day off) and the service of the waiters and waitresses and bar staff was faultless - but I must say, expect it to be a lot slower than you would normally be accustomed to at home - but then we are on holiday and have plenty of time,and actually there is nothing else to do.
The watersports staff are fantastic - friendly, helpful and always willing to assist a beginner - but the activities so limited. There is no waterskiing even though this is advertised as being inclusive in the Kuoni brochure. We must say the beach staff were really great and saved my sanity.

The concept of this hotel is excellent - small and personal - certainly no queuing for sunbeds/drinks/meals here. The accommodation is large but even in the early days is in desperate need of repair - the woodwork needs re staining, the vanity unit is dreadful not a good quality and already looks shoddy, paint coming off the walls, the wardrobe door practically fell off - but I must admit it was repaired promptly - again, the staff make this place - from the maintainance man to the gardener.
We would have liked some entertainment in the evening. It's all very well reading War and Peace during the day but in the evening, after a lovely meal, we would like to hear some music or be entertained - not just until 9.30 pm with, let's face it, on some occasions by what seemed to be some amateur from down the road. Surely with the amount being charged for this holiday they could have afforded some reasonable entertainment.

It is a shame, but I do not think that this hotel with survive without much improvement. I could put up with the biting/stinging wildlife and the occasional rain showerthru our roof, the hike up to the room, the long wait for the meals - but for the price paid for this holiday I expect luxury and Hermitage Bay is a long way off from achieving that. We paid for ultimate luxury but this is far from it.. Have loads of photos and any questions just E Mail us.

  • Liked — The space the views and plunge pool.
  • Disliked — The bugs Jellyfish and Quiet to the point of DEAD...
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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572 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (151)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London
1 review
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2007

We stayed in one of the hill suites (number 20) and from 6am until 11pm the sound of petrol golf buggies hauling up and down the hill kept us awake. In addition, we paid extra for privacy and had none, two pathways converged around our room and made our private pool a great view for all around. The rooms were beautiful except that every time it rained our bathroom would flood and mud would wash down the hillside onto our patio.

We asked to move rooms and the only other alternative was at the top of the hill with a team of 12 builders working on a road overlooking the pool and room. At the price this place was shocking and we didn't get the promised discount from the manager on leaving. We also met and spoke to one of the owners who seemed wholly disinterested in the experience.

On the up side, the staff were nice, the food was nice but for something this expensive it really lacked polish. Also, for our entire 10 day visit, the water was infested with jelly fish right up to shore, not something they tell you on their website.

We'll never go back, and it's a huge shame, the location is incredible and the rooms are beautiful - it's everything else that really lets it down.

  • Liked — The room designs, spacious and beautifully appointed.
  • Disliked — Very noisy, up a steep hill, room flooded
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, England
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2007

We have just arrived back from our honeymoon at HB. Simply a fantastic place. The reports on this site were our main reason for going and we were not dissappointed. The ambience, staff, food and indeed everything was beyond what we expected, and we expected a lot !! We stayed in suite 26 - it is, I think, the best one; not overlooked at all, no cottage to the right (as you look out across the bay) and not too far up the hill but far enough to get fantastic views.

All the staff will do anything for you, just ask, and the watersports team will all go that extra mile, for example, to take you out on the speedboat if they can...ask Janice for a tour of the coast; if she can, she will.

The road to the hotel isn't that bad and doesn't take too long, we have worse roads in Southampton, it adds to the seclusion of the place !!

If I was being really picky I would have to say that some of the wooden finishes in the cottages isn't particularly good, the gates and shutters do not fit well...but that would be picky !

Go, chill out, enjoy the food but do so before it gets sold out which I am sure it will on a regular basis.

  • Liked — the uniqueness of the hotel
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island , NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2007

Before booking Hermitage Bay for our Honeymoon we watched the reviews on trip advisor. The resort has progessively grown throughout its first year. This a real treasure to have found a place so relaxing and magical. The pictures on the website do not compare to the breath taking views and wonderful service you enjoy while staying there.

My husband and I stayed at Hermitage Bay for three nights knowing this resort only has 25 rooms we thought we may need a variety / more activity so we finished our honeymoon with a few nights at Sandals. Turns out we just started to adapt to beauty of Hermitage Bay when we left. Hermitage Bay has a service and ambiance that is so wonderful and special.

We stayed in room #38 the second to the top of the hillside suites. The hill is an intense walk but I enjoyed the shot of excersise after relaxing all day. Plus the privacy and view was well worth the walk.

We would take the buggy every once in a while but we hung out at the bar after it stopped running. I had spoken with one of the owners for a bit and he had mentioned that he needs to test different electrical buggies (they are quiter) so maybe in the future the buggies will continue to run later. I don't mind that they stopped running though because the evening stroll back to the room was very nice, and I wouldn't want to disturb other guests.

I can't wait to book a return visit. While there we met some other couples and we had joked that we'd go back in 5 yrs. I hope those couples read this and contact us... We have some pictures to send you!! ;) and who knows... a return a visit is a must!!!

Hermitage Bay is a hidden treasure!

  • Liked — Pure relaxation and Luxury
  • Disliked — There is nothing I could complain about.
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2007

My wife and I are regular visitors to Antigua and have stayed at all of the "luxury" hotels and some of the smaller places. Needing to be on island during October to attend to business and without the children we decided to give Hermitage Bay a go especially since its reviews on Trip Advisor were almost uniform in their top marks. Without doubt the hotel setting is its best feature. A hillside villa with plunge pool overlooking both Hermitage Bay and Jolly Harbour is a must, they are mainly very private much more so than those on the beach. Beware though that a walk back up the hill if you are at the top can be heavy going. After dinner I know of few ladies who would want to traipse up a steep hill especially if they have dressed up a little for the evening. The golf buggies are useful but due to complaints from guests about the noise (they do not use electric power vehicles!) they cease working after ten at night. The footpath lighting is very poor and we needed to be escorted back to our room at a slow pace more than once since high powered torches are not available for guest use.

This brings me to the hotel's biggest fault, noise. The welcome note from management sets out a wish for your stay to be "tranquil" well we agree especially with the setting. Unfortunately the service staff frequently forget about this point. There is a generator room and laundry at the bottom of the hill and almost everyday the doors were left open permitting significant noise pollution to travel up the hillside and into the room, destroying our tranquility. This really impacted negatively on our impression and on our stay epecially given we had to remind the hotel to close the doors almost daily. When the electricity generator kicked in the noise was at such a high level we thought construction work was going on. Anyone who knows Antigua will be aware that the Island's power infrastructure can be erratic and most of the good quality hotels will have their own generators and provide candles and torches in the rooms. On our last night the Island sufferred a power black out which lasted for about 5 hours. The hotel generator failed and there were no torches or candles in the room. The windows do not have glass so any cooling by the air con unit up to that point dissipated very quickly after the power was cut. There we were lying on the bed slowly melting with the temperature soaring to an indecent level and no cooling breeze (too sheltered on the hillside). Eventually we had to leave the room and using the glow from a mobile telephone to make our way down to reception, given the terrain and tiny pathways quite a treacherous trip (of course the in-house phones went down, no power). When we arrived there was no one around so we tried every door we could find in search of water. Eventually someone turned up with a torch and secured us a couple of bottles whereupon we struggled back up the hill having "borrowed" his torch!

These things happen and its best to make light of the situation but power outs in Antigua are not unusual and most of the hotels cater for the eventuality perfectly well. HB failed and given where they have pitched the hotel this was a really bad service failure indeed. At least they sprayed most nights for mosquitos. This is important because the bay's original name is mosquito bay and its true there are plenty of them around the hotel. Given the way the resort is designed, in particular the pathways and steps to villas, the run off from rain tends to pool and stagnate creating great breeding grounds for fresh mosquitos, we saw plenty of lavae!

The food was by and large pretty good and the chef is to be commended. The staff are without doubt one of the hotel's great assets. It can be tough to get a good team thing going with caribbean staff but they have done a good job at HB. We felt staff were genuine and on the whole very helpful. Management/owners are always around and up for a chat which is nice if you like that kind of thing, we really value anonymity and peace on our holidays so it was not a plus point for us.

They'll need to be careful about repairs and maintenance since some of the furniture they've chosen simply won't stand the test of time, especially in the public ares where it is already showing too much wear for a hotel of this "class". The dining room is pleasant but beware of being on a table in the mid section. Here you will be seated at opposite sides rather than side by side. The tables are too large so you cannot have an intimate dinner for two chatting away about personal matters because you are too far from each other and need to speak in a raised voice! Given it has so few rooms we wonder if in fact it will survive without adding more guest accommodation at some point. It is costly to maintain a place to the standard billed with the price point of HB and so more guests will be needed to generate the revenues needed.

On the whole an OK stay but not without problems. I doubt we would go back although the view from our suite is very tempting. All I would say to those thinking of staying at this resort is go with your eyes wide open (add a pinch of salt to the nearly universal glowing reports on TA) and expect some noise, mosquitos and at times too intimate an atmosphere and you'll be fine. It is certainly a step up from Carlisle Bay which has become a little bit pretentious London by the sea.

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
england
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2007

Well what can i say apart from paradise ,we went too antigua for me to take time out after having leaukemia last year ,i feel like a new woman ,hermitage bay was more than i could have wished for ,the rooms were outstanding and the staff were brilliant ,ziggy,kempton,carlton and of course micheal who we all loved.
We had a wounderfull day out on a yacht called jabberwocky which is a must it was fantastic.

  • Liked — friendliness
  • Disliked — mozzys
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2007

Just got back from 6 days at Hermitage Bay Resort for our honeymoon and we couldn't have been happier with the choice to go here!
The entire "feel" of the place is classy and simple and clean and very zen. You relax immediately upon arrival and stay that way the whole time. We got massages on day three and joked that we didn't even need them, as we were both so relaxed and happy. Never have I felt so removed from the craziness of life and in the moment and relaxed. The resort is nestled in this cozy beautiful bay which makes you feel like the only people on the island!
We have traveled a lot and stayed in many nice places and this place we truly one of the best.

I also love love food and enjoy fine dining and I have to say that each meal at Hermitage was fabulous. Some items were better then others (Always go with the Mahi Mahi or whatever fresh fish they have...simply delicious!) but everything we ate had fresh ingredients and beautiful presentation as well as a wonderful selection that caters to almost every taste. (some faves: wadadli fish fritters, molten chocolate cake, scallop citrus salad, tenderloin with truffle mashed potatoes...yum!) The desserts were out of this world! Oh also...the drinks!! Amazing cocktails. Best pina colda and mojito that I have ever had. Don't miss out!
Plus the whole dining experience was just very lovely with great atmosphere and first class service.
Speaking of service, the staff here is amazing. Everyone is friendly but not in your face. I don't like too much interaction when on vacation and they hit the perfect balance of being there for you but letting you feel very secluded and private. Room service was easy and prompt and the mini bar was always stocked to our tastes.

We stayed in hillside room 33. One of the best views there I think. The terrace was particularly private and the plunge pool looked right onto the ocean with no rooms or trees to block the view. The hike up the hill was certainly a work out but since we didn't leave our room that much... it was NOT a big deal at all. And if you didn't mind waiting, they will happily drive you up in a hilarious little golf cart. The ride was fun!

The outdoor shower and beautiful bathtub in the room were luxurious. The room stayed very cool at night with ample air conditioning. The only negatives to the room was that the bed wasn't the most comfortable bed ever (not bad, but not like a five star hotel) and at night the noise from the bugs/birds got fairly loud. I only say this as a heads up. If you are a light sleeper (like me) bring ear plugs and you will be fine.

The mosquitoes were a very small issue. I get eaten alive typically yet only came away from it all with 7-8 bites. We just made sure to spray ourselves when we laid out (mostly at night, the morning had no bugs). Nothing different from outdoor summers in the US. Maybe it was because our terrace wasn't surrounded by too much vegetation, but I really didn't notice this that much.

Room had a plasma TV with full cable and DVD player. They have a DVD library for you too. We brought some movies and loved watching them in the late afternoon when we got sick of the sun and needed down time. Oh and bring your ipod! Great touch to have your own mellow music on while hanging out (they also have some you can use I think). And also bring a watch or something too as the room has no clock. Not that you care about time on vacation, but it helps when figuring out when to go eat!

All in all it was simply amazing. We felt relaxed and bonded and completely luxurious. The resort has one purpose and that is to make you happy! Also the guests there are generally very quiet and happy and couples. No loud partying or obnoxious pool parties. With the plunge pools and the fabulous rooms, the main areas were never crowded. You don't have to worry about "saving" beach chairs like at other resorts.

We also did the dinner on the beach one night and it was wonderful. The breeze and seclusion and romance was perfect for honeymooners. Splurge and do it and also get spa treatments too! Another fun thing was that we got a little boat trip around the island. You can book pricey excursions if you want, but we enjoyed a simple hour long speed boat tour given free by resort staff. They will also pack a lunch for you and drop you off on a private beach nearby. How amazing is that?!!

Ok, I could go on and on about this place. It was THAT good. I am recommending it to all my friends and we are ABSOLUTELY coming back as soon as we can. Don't even think about it...come here now!

  • Liked — Food, Zen-like atmosphere, beautiful views/location
  • Disliked — MINOR complaints: bed not comfortable, a few bug issues (mosquitos and nightime noise)
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hermitage Bay

Address: PO Box 60, Bolans, Saint Mary's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary's > Bolans
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Bolans
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hermitage Bay 5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The quiet, independently owned Hermitage Bay is comprised of just 27 luxury cottages so that "even at its busiest, the place seems remote and quaint." Whether visiting for the first time or returning as a friend, you'll enjoy a welcome familiarity and "sensation of belonging" from the moment you arrive. Tucked into a beautiful bay in one of the most secluded corners of Antigua, it is perfect for those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Spanning 16 acres of lush tropical gardens, our eco-chic, luxury hotel provides all the comforts of a 5 star resort without compromising the natural habitat that thrives around it. Our open-air facilities, extensive beach and detached rooms allow you to unwind in isolated luxury. Each of the 7 Beachfront and 3 Garden Suites features a spacious split level lounge and patio, while the large wrap-around decks and private plunge pools of the 17 Hillside Pool Suites afford the added luxury of soaking up the Caribbean sun from the privacy of your own sun bathing deck. Whether enjoying lunch by the pool, dining in the beachfront restaurant, or having breakfast in bed, every meal feels privately catered. The menus change daily and feature freshly squeezed local juices, locally grown produce, and organic ingredients. At Hermitage Bay, all dishes are prepared to order, special requests are encouraged, and we are always happy to help with dietary requirements. Non-motorised water sports are included and a shuttle service to and from town and Shirley Heights is available for an additional charge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hermitage Bay Hotel St. John`s
Hermitage Bay St Johns
Hermitage Bay Antigua/Bolans

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