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“Fantastic Resort with Great Staff” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Carlisle Bay Antigua

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Carlisle Bay Antigua
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Old Rd, Saint Mary's 00000, Antigua   |  
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50% off room rate
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Saint Mary's
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
“Fantastic Resort with Great Staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

We have just returned from a 7 day holiday at Carlisle Bay. We have not had great experiences at previous Caribbean resorts so I was nervous and frankly was giving the area 1 last try - well I am very glad that we did. The Resort truely provided us with a fabulous holiday. From the Staff to the facilities I would highly recommend this venue for those that can afford it.

I have read other reviews mentioning that it was not good value for money - we went all inclusive and whilst it was expensive, our bill was simply for the package and no hidden extra's that one finds sometimes.

We had an Ocean suite - only a patio (ours!) between us and the beach and about 30 feet from the sea - stunning.

Its an intimate resort so don't expect a choice of 3-4 pools, loads of different menu's etc, but the flip side is that its really safe for the kids (between 5 and 9) to be independent and play with others - most of the time you will be able to see them.

We will go back again

Room Tip: Save up and get the Ocean room, 2 bedrooms, loads of space
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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683 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (196)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

We have recently returned for a 12 night stay at Carlisle Bay. We are really villa people at heart but, as this was our first trip to the Caribbean, we decided to play it safe and book a hotel (as it was a villa would have been fine). To stay at Carlisle Bay is fairly effortless. They have a very high staff to guest ratio and nothing is too much trouble. Our kids thought it was wonderful to be able to order food and cokes from our sun loungers. We stayed in a beach suite and, as there are five of us, we arranged to have an extra bed put into the second bedroom. We were told that this would make the second bedroom very cramped but it was fine. All three beds were full sized beds and placed alongside each other. There was plenty of room at the end of the beds and at the side to access the wardrobes and mini bar and coffee machine. Indeed, we put all our suitcases in the corner and there was still room to do this. I would not recommend the beach suite for 2 couples as the bathroom has no locks, no extractor and two doors (one of which is interconnecting from the second bedroom). For the same reasons it would not be great for families with older teenagers. Carlisle Bay did suggest we took two Ocean Suites but for us, with three boys happy to share a room (even though the eldest is 14), it was fine. I also saw no evidence of any litter or anything that I read in one review - the whole place was very well maintained and, after a few trips out, a refreshingly calm and clean place to return to. If we had one criticism, it would be that there is a bit to much emphasis on the aesthetics. There never seemed to be quite enough sunbeds out, certainly by the pool. The guy who showed us to our room on the first day suggested we go and put a book on beds we wanted every morning but I am sorry I am way past that point in my life. I don't know if it was just because they were busy as once it got towards the end of the English half term and many people had left, there were plenty (I would also suggest that anyone looking for a romantic couple visit avoid the school holidays!). The guys on the beach were happy to fetch a few more but it was a bit poor at times, surely a guest head count could be done in advance to make sure enough are in place without guests having to stand around whilst a suitable spot is created for them? Also, if you want decent beach toys, take your own. The same point on aesthetics applies to the beach suites. There isn't quite enough wardrobe space and the coffee machine and mini bar are in the second bedroom - not very convenient if you want a cuppa after the kids have gone to bed/before they get up in the morning. I have to say, though, that the Gaggia coffee machine was brilliant and once I got to grips with it was making cappuccinos and lattes no bother. It also does hot water and tea bags are provided. They leave you a large carton on milk in the mini bar so you can have as much as you want. The mini bar is topped up every day and my husband liked a bottle of wine in there to drink of an evening and the lady was happy to provide this with no fuss at all. You never feel like a request is too much at this resort. We all enjoyed the food. I loved the tempura starters at East and the boys like the simply grilled options at Indigo and also the pizzas at Optimo. If you are also like me and like a choccy bar now and then, take your own as there is nowhere at the hotel or nearby to buy any sweets. We hired a car a drove all over the Island and I would certainly recommend CB as a great base for this. I had two spa treatments which were excellent and the bay the hotel is in is also excellent - we visited a few and Carlisle Bay itself is one of the nicest. I would also strongly recommend a trip to Half Moon Bay. Finally a big thank you to Juliet, the concierge, who organised car, helicopter and boat charter for us. She was incredibly helpful and absolutely lovely. I have given CB 5 stars as is deserves them, our couple of niggles are just that and overall we had an very enjoyable holiday and both agreed we would return to the hotel in the future.

Room Tip: Beach suites fine with extra bed in for younger families. The lower numbers are the first block clo...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

Having heard about this hotel from several friends giving rave reviews we were really looking forward to this holiday and we did have a good holiday down to the lovely people we met, the stunning location and the fantastic food .. But boy was the service bad! The rooms were not big enough for the five of us to unpack ( we were travelling with 3 children ) and the service was poor to say the least. We felt like we almost had to apologise for asking for a drink ( particularly at the pool bar) and to say it was slow was an understatement! On the whole the staff were moody and surly ( there were the few odd exceptions of course) but mainly it was poor to average. The kids loved the cinema room but the one extra curricular thing we did was book in for the chargeable 'make your own pizza night' which was a total shambles .. Kids all got wrong pizza, no pizza at all and had to wait hours.. Not good and $20 a head ! Did not use the kids club but if you like to use them lots of parents did but not all were happy listening to people round the pool .. Towels were rarely picked up round the pool and one day the toilet was filthy all day .. The children refused to use it and went to the further away one.. Could not recommend this hotel to anyone .. Food was awesome to be fair though you but you would expect that for the price.. All in all would not rush back - cinema room next to the pool was a genius idea though and is one of the main reasons people come back am sure,as when the kids get bored they are visible and right next to you out of the sun.. Manager needs to be much more visible .. though again credit where due he did organise the fruit in the room i asked for as one day i asked for a pineapple and the staff said they didn't have any! No one wanted to take ownership of any 'problem' even as simple as that...shame as location is lovely and we had v high expectations . Does not compare to some other hotels of similar price...

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jjonathanreynolds, General Manager at Carlisle Bay Antigua, responded to this review, November 8, 2013
Dear Theduchessofw

Thank you for contributing to Trip Advisor.

We were concerned to read that you received less than perfect service. Service is unequivocally key to what we do at Carlisle Bay, and we strive to provide it consistently every single day. I very much regret therefore if this was not always the case in your experience.
As you know your stay coincided with a series of events hosted by the children’s food expert Fiona Faulkner. The pizza making evening was just one of the scheduled activities and indeed the first time Carlisle Bay had arranged a cookery class in this format. Its popularity however led to significantly more attending than planned. Whilst we were delighted to receive many lovely comments from the children participating, we certainly felt that in hindsight the number of places should have been further restricted.

Your comments about the pool bathrooms are indeed well received. Whilst they were refreshed regularly by our attendants, we have looked at ways to address the effects on the floor from guests with wet swimwear.

Thank you also for your generous comments about our food, we were really delighted that you enjoyed this important element of the stay. You maybe interested to know that we are planning a fourth restaurant, which will serve simply grilled food and wonderful salads in a casual environment allowing guests to step straight from the beach.

Ultimately we are incredibly sorry that Carlisle Bay failed to meet all of your expectations as we would never wish any guest to leave having not enjoyed a perfect stay. Do please contact me directly so that we can discuss your experience further and, I trust, ensure you have the confidence to give Carlisle Bay another try.

Kind regards,
Jonathan Reynolds
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

Mostly excellent. We went on an all inclusive deal for 10 nights over half term. Stunning location, beautiful rooms, friendly service, good choice of 3 restaurants. Non-motorised water sports included in the price including sailing, kayaking, paddleboards, etc. Anything involving a boat is a very expensive extra however. Wine selection also very restricted on this package.

Very family oriented in the weeks we went; customer-base aspirant, confident and highly successful families with mostly young kids.

Hotel separates the vast beach into those with young kids and the rest. Great activity clubs for a range of ages.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

My girlfriend and I stayed at this hotel for a week during October 2013. From our arrival, where we were served refreshing watermelon juice whilst our bags were carried to our room, to our dreaded departure, where the porters handed us bottles of chilled water for our journey to the airport, we were treated like kings (as you should be in this type of hotel!). Attention to detail is what makes this place stand out - bottles of water in ice boxes next to each sun lounger, beach attendants walking up and down the beach providing you with cool towels, fruit smoothies and fresh fruit kebabs... The food at the two main restaurants, Indigo and East, was delectable and of very high quality. The stand out meal, in my opinion, was breakfast. The french toast with roasted almonds and bacon on the side smothered in maple syrup is hyper-seductive devil's work which I could happily eat every day for the rest of my life. However, I don't think my girlfriend will let me. Be sure to order toast too as the selection of home made conserves are superb, particularly the mango jam. The facilities were great - we made use of the gym, kayaks, paddle boards, hobie cats and snorkelling equipment. The whole staff at the hotel, headed by the fantastic manager, Jonathan, were always willing to help and their helpful and accommodating attitude around the place made our stay particularly pleasant.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

A beautiful resort in an excellent location, on a really nice beach. Rooms are so nice and the service is second to none. Really friendly staff who can't do enough to help you. Would recommend this resort to anyone.....

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

If your planning a trip to Antigua, The Carlisle Bay is the place to stay. Nothing's too much trouble for the staff. The suites are fantastic, light cool and airy. Attention to detail throughout the hotel is apparent everywhere, even on the beach where you will be provided with a cool box filled with ice and bottled water. We loved everything about Carlise Bay and will certainly be returning.

Room Tip: You can walk out onto the beach from groundfloor rooms
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carlisle Bay Antigua

Address: Old Rd, Saint Mary's 00000, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Saint Mary's
#2 Spa Hotel in Saint Mary's
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Saint Mary's
#3 Luxury Hotel in Saint Mary's
#3 Family Hotel in Saint Mary's
#4 Romantic Hotel in Saint Mary's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Carlisle Bay Antigua 5*
Number of rooms: 82
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Carlisle Bay on Antigua is one of the leading luxury Caribbean resorts, its accommodation designed to allow for both families and couples to holiday in peace. Both kinds of traveler have a dedicated end of the resort, which allows for everyone the tranquility of the spectacular beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Carlisle Bay Antigua Hotel Saint Mary`s
Carlisle Bay Hotel Antigua
Carlisle Bay Resort Antigua
Carlisle Bay Antigua Antigua And Barbuda

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