We stayed at Galley Bay for our fantastic 3 week honeymoon from Wens 16th July - Wens 6th Aug 2008.
It really is the most beautiful hotel, it's well thought out, excellently maintained, clean, quiet and ALL staff were friendly and helpful. It gave a wonderful air of relaxation and luxury.
All the previous great reviews are correct, I will say no amount of what I can say will give Galley Bay the justice it deserves you really have to go there to experience just how amazing it really is.
So I will try to make this review as useful as possible to anyone who is reading, with tips we have found useful from reading reviews on this site to tips we think may be useful to others.
We flew with Virgin, TIP - highly recommed the Premium Ecomomy and request the upper cabin. The extra room is fantastic and you are spoilt all throughout the flight if you can afford the extra it's well worth it.
TIP - when you land try to be one of the first to leave the plane, we were one of the first 10 off the plane as I had read this was advisable, and it was a good move! It is very hot when you first get off and there is a bit of a walk to the air conditioned airport. We were in and through passport control in no time. When we looked behind us there was a very long queue of hot people!
TIP - try to get a porter ASAP and tip him for a trolley, we did not do this as advised, this was a mistake! we couldn't get a trolley and had 4 bags with us! Although the luggage came through fairly quickly and we were through to departure in no time.
ARRIVAL TO HOTEL
Our taxi did not have air-con but was great fun and it was nice to feel the warmth from the open windows, (ALL other taxi's associated with the hotel were air-conditioned) we were going to hire a car to drive but decided not to having seen the state of the roads! but this did not deter other holidaymakers we met and they really enjoyed driving around, it really is a personal choice.
We entered the big metal gates to the beautiful Galley Bay reception, we had a welcolme cold flannel and cool drink, then we were taken by golf buggy to our room, while Javid the driver gave us a fantastic intro, he told us it was paradise there and any thing was possible. He wasn't lying either!
We booked the Ground Floor Premium Suite, we had number 29 one of the new suites which were finished this year in April. It was stunning. The bathroom is enourmous! with the twin showers and basins.
The king size bed was so comfortable we even looked up the make of the mattress! The lounge was lovely and the superb flat screen tv we used on a few nights when the sun had gone down to watch a movie or two.
There is a fridge, but the only stock we had in it was 2 cans of sprite, 2 cans of coke and 2 cans of Wadadlhi beer! No water.
We had to buy our water from the Galley Bay shop which cost $1 per bottle. A little disappointed that an all inclusive site did not put water in the fridge for arriving guests.
There was a digital safe - fantastic as didn't have to carry a key around.
The porch was wonderful and the loungers just amazing we spent many hours relaxing listening to the waves and watching the birds.
The door had an interior bolt lock and all doors and windows had locks for anyone concerened about security, although you really don't need to be worried we felt safe and secure our entire holiday this site is extreemley well run.
Seagrape - we ate here more often than not, the food is superb and varied it arrived quickly and the service was fantastic, water was plentiful and they will get any drinks you request from the bar. Heather is brilliant and nothing is too much trouble another of our favourites was Stuart he was great we loved having him to take our order he always made us laugh, he's a great guy.
Again all staff were professional and friendly.
The Gaugin - a lovely restaurant you book for this one for an evening meal, the menu stays the same here but is also varied definately try the fried plantain it's fantastic. You have more privicy here and it's very romantic.
Isamays - Great for what we would call snack meals, burgers, chips, salads etc it opens from 12 - 5 definately try this one out the views are amazing.
Low key and lovely, nice steel bands and singers and on every second Monday there is a magician, Zorran, you really must see him he is brilliant, unfortunately the Hotel doesn't advertise him and we nearly missed him, we are glad we didn't. We had a private lesson with him a couple of days later which we recommend it was only £30 and you get far more than you pay for he is a top guy and shows you some amazing tricks to try on your friends and family.
Gorgeous, clean, larger than it looks and great for relaxing.
Wonderful, I cannot understand people not liking the sound of the waves?! It was clear and does have a small verge in, but I had no problem swimming, getting in or out of the water and I'm only 5"2! Only saw 1 jelly fish but they are not harmful, they only give a sting like a nettle and this year there were more than usual. I swam every day with no problem.
This is a small shop for such a big site, but it does stock alot of useful items, the only things we missed were snacks like crisps and nuts which were in short supply on the site but were easily found in the supermarkets.
The site was maintained daily and looked amazing, we always said hello to all staff and they always greeted us back, genuinely ALL staff were brilliant.
I loved this place it's so beautiful and peaceful, we both had the Hot Stone massage, Tropical scrub and facials - lovely. I also had my nails and hair done, you have to visit here at least once.
TIP - this one I cannot stress enough Avon Skin So Soft Dry Replenishing Oil. I did not get bitten once I promise you this is true, whereas all other holidaymakers we spoke to had been bitten many times (have to add this is not a fault of the hotel you get this anyhwere) try this you won't be disappointed.
The hotel has taxi's you can book it's an excellent service, TIP -ask for JO-JO he made our holiday really special, he took us to some wonderful sights and places and we got to try some wonderful local Antiguan food. He took us anywhere we asked he is a top guy we highly recommend you travel with JO-JO.
Lots of lovely duty free shopping, ALL shops will ask you the same questions
TIP - we recommend you write the details on a piece of card to show each time you want to purchase something we found this very useful, Your departure date, Your flight number and the airline you are flying with. You also need your passport as ID.
We certainly recommend the ones we tried
Extreme Circumnavigation - you get to see the whole island and it's a small group of between 20 - 25 of you, the tour guys are very knowlegeable and we had a great time, we swam with sting rays - We both enjoyed this it's a great experience. Had the best BBQ lunch we have ever had and learnt a lot about the island.
Helicopter to Monserrat - you fligh over what was Plymouth and see just how much of the Island the volcano affected, very moving. This took about 45 minutes. Expensive but worth it.
Island Safari - Great for seeing the Island from the inside again you learn so much about the history and see some amazing sites, lunch was superb, a great tour.
Shirley Heights - We went twice it's got a great atmosphere, wonderful views tasty BBQ and we met a lot of people there, if you go to Antigua we recommend you experience it. Our shuttle from Galley Bay left at 4 and had us back by 8.30, the party goes on a lot longer but you would have to sort your own transport for this.
Honeymoon romance package - we had a sunset cruise which was lovely Sean who took us out made sure it was perfect we had great music and some wonderful local cuisine, chicken roti's these were probably one of the best meals I've ever eaten even now I am craving them!
We took US$ and EC$ but we found more often that not we were using US$ it got very confusing with 2 different currencies! We made a conversion table to take with us to see the differences.
I promise you this guy is amazing, he is an Antiguan jewellery maker and makes the most beautiful silver and gold ID bracelets, you will see many of the Antiguans wear these and Henry is the BEST on the island don't fall for imitations. He can make them within a few days and can incorporate old gold and silver jewellery if you have some, if not he will make it from scratch. He only charges in EC$ and I had the most amazing handmade original bracelet made for £40 in silver and gold. Ask JO JO to take you there, for something of quality and typically antiguan you must go here.
Our Honeymoon was just wonderful and we loved every minute, we booked Galley Bay as a result of reading reviews on this site and we know we made the best decision, we are definately going back and are saving already! We can't wait, and we wouldn't stay anywhere else.
If you want quality, peace and quiet, luxury and the best time of your life book Galley Bay.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.