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“Great Get-away” 5 of 5 stars
Review of North Beach

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North Beach
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Barbuda   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Barbuda
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great Get-away”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

Went for a week and stayed for two... says it all. The trip to North Beach via Antigua V C Bird Int, Norman Islander plane followed by a 20min boat ride across a lagoon and through mangrove swamps to this Paradise in the Caribbean was a great intro to an amazing holiday. Emerging out into open sea, North Beach shoreline was like something out of a Bond film and jumping ashore onto soft, clean sand didn't disappoint. The holiday bungalows, some on stilts, some at beach level make a perfect setting on this get-away-from-it-all northern corner of the beautiful island of Barbuda.
We had time to unpack and get settled in a lovely, well appointed, ensuite double room before an amazing sunset followed by an excellent dinner of local lobster; this was to prove the first of many.
Reuben, with very capable support from Sophie, was a perfect host... friendly, hospitable and an amazing cook. He seemed able to adapt to every culinary whim. We were very lucky, being early in the season, to be the only guests. As a result we had over a mile of stunning beach to ourselves. Whilst attentive to our every need, Reuben and Sophie and the occasional visiting fishermen, had the knack of knowing when to be on hand and when to leave us in glorious seclusion.
We had intended to return to Coddrington for the second week, but took little persuasion to stay on North Beach for the remainder of our stay. One of a kind!

  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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27 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
    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 (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bradford West Gwillimbury, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

This was the end to a trip that began in Dominica - in many ways it was the opposite to my experience in the other island. Barbuda is low and scrubby - you do not come here for shopping or landscapes. But the seascape is idyllic, as is the beach. Reuben was flexible and discussed each meal with me, adjusting to my request for conch on the final night rather than the fish I mentioned that morning. The Banks beer was a personal favourite and Tanya's good natured meal service was a great complement to Reuben's cooking. I loved the seclusion and beauty of North Beach, though being the only guest for my two-day stay was disappointing only inasmuch as I think this is such a gem that it deserves guests. You must, however, read the North Beach ad and realise what you opt for by choosing this resort - a real escape from technology and the 21st Century. Thanks, Reuben!

Room Tip: Don't leave your door open or you will spend time tracking down the odd fly; likewise, Muskol or...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012 via mobile

My friend and I stayed at north beach in may for a week and it's literally the best place I've ever been to in my life. The cottages are charming, really clean and tastefully done. The beaches are to die for, the food delicious (I had lobster 4 times) and reuben the owner and Joanne the chef were more than helpful, lovely and hilarious. It is a really special place, and really secluded, but with everything you could need. I cannot recommend it highly enough!! Phoebe.

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

We recently got married in Antigua and decided to take ourselves away for a private lttle mini-moon. We genuinely couldn't have picked a better location than North beach for this.
Someone was ready to collect us at the airport and then we were taken on a boat by Norman to our cottage. The journey there is stunning, travelling through the mangroves via the Frigate Bird Sanctuary.
We were greeted with a very friendly welcome by a smiling Reuben and Joanne.
For our entire 3 night stay we were so well looked after, 3 meals a day and as much of Reubens famous rum punch as we could manage. The food was fantastic, we took advantage of the fresh lobster and requested lobster for lunch and dinner on 2 of our 3 nights. The steak we got on the other night was delicious as well.
It really is a paradise Island and I have to say that i haven't felt as relaxed in years as I did during my stay there. Miles of beach with just the two of us there, perfect for a honeymoon getaway.
We met Douglas the Donkey and paddled with a stingray that ventured to within only a a few feet of the beach.
With no TV, Phone or internet reception it really is a chance for you to relax, enjoy each others company and be at one with nature. Although Reuben and Joanne really are great company and fun to be around.
I can't think of anything else to say other than it really is a little piece of Heaven on Earth, and we really hope to return one day.
Thanks Reuben and Joanne. x

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bury St. Edmunds, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2012

We went to North Beach as part of our honeymoon and it was a unique experience. We knew it was isolated and unspoilt which is why we chose it, to truly get away. We were met at the airport and driven through Codrington, the locals are just lovely and very friendly. Norm picked us up on the boat and we got a 20 min ride through the lagoon, with the frigate bird sanctuary. Once upon Goat Island Rueben met us and helped us with our luggage to our cabin. It was like a postcard, pink white sand azure blue waters, conch shells and coral reefs. Our cabin was comfortable, clean and idyllic. Everyday our meals were cooked and prepared for us, we felt part of the family and spent our days swimming, sleeping, eating and waking along the amazing beaches. Never have we relaxed so much. Furthermore you get a sense of the realism of living in the Caribbean, on an isolated island you are so much more aware of your surroundings and nature, I am quite fond of the little crabs that pop up everywhere and Douglas the wild donkey. Thank you Rueben and Joanne for sharing with us the experience of Barbuda we hope to be back with you soon x

Room Tip: There are only 4 cottages all wonderful
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  • Stayed May 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2012

I just want to start by saying that I could not disagree more with the previous review. I think that the claims that were made were so far from my experience that I am very suspect of the motives of the reviewer.

My girlfriend and I stayed for were planning on a 7 day trip to Barbuda in April and had found that it was very difficult to deal with Kelcina at the Barbuda Cottages. She took weeks to return each message that I left and when she finally did, she had no idea what dates were available to be booked. Reuben, however, takes his business very seriously. He answered all of the questions that I had about the island on our first phone call and I booked a bungalow right away. When something came up for work and I had to move the trip a week back I was worried that our trip would be compromised, but Reuben laughed it off and told me it was no problem at all. I was very impressed with his level of understanding.

When we got to the island, we were escorted by George to the docks, where Norman was waiting to take us by boat to the resort. When we arrived at North Beach, Reuben was waiting on the beach to welcome us in person. The beaches were clean and the bungalows all looked nice from the boat. When Reuben led us to an extra large bungalow I was concerned because I had reserved a large, but he said that it was open and he didn't mind giving me an upgrade, which I appreciated.

The bungalow was clean and well decorated. There were seashells all around the room and a crab skeleton on one of the dressers, which my girlfriend did not like until I put my sunglasses on him. The bathroom did not have a door on it which I thought was kind of funny, but the shower was nicer than I expected a shower in a remote island bungalow to be. All of the windows had screens on them so we could let the breeze in and there was a fan above the bed as well.

There are 7 houses from what I could tell. 4 guest houses, Reuben's house, a dining house, and a generator house that I never actually saw but I remember someone mentioning. When we got settled, we went by the dining house to get the lay of the land. There we found Reuben and Joanne. Joanne apparently works with Reuben at the resort. While we were there Reuben explained the food situation - if you are hungry you an wander down to the dining house whenever you want and they will feed you whatever you feel like. Obviously if I asked for and ostrich burger they wouldn't have been able to make it, but every time we ate they offered several options for the next meal, and when we came back it was ready.

What surprised me the most about the food was that everything that Reuben cooked was surprisingly good. I expected the seafood to be good, but Reuben seemed to have a recipe for everything. My girlfriend really liked the chicken that he made, which he cooked with mango and tequila. The seafood was naturally very good - my favorite was the spiny lobster. Apparently they are native to Barbuda. We even saw fisherman diving for them several times off of the coast.

When Reuben told me I could just ask whenever I wanted a drink, I honestly thought that he did not understand how much of a vacation I needed. I fully expected to drink all of the liquor that was lying around the dining house and be stuck without a drink. As it turns out, they really did have enough for me (my favorite was the Cavalier rum, which is from Antigua). Whenever I wanted a drink Joanne would make it for me and there was nothing I could complain about.

Joanne and Reuben really did make a nice combination. Reuben really wants to make sure that everything about the stay is perfect. He took care of every issue that we had right away. He was a bit distant because he wanted to make sure that all of our concerns were taken care of professionally, but he was still very friendly. Joanne is a real sweetheart and very personable. I would walk over to get a drink and find myself talking to her for an hour. I wanted to take her back to the stated with me.

Its time to wrap up this review, so I'll make a few last comments. There is a friendly wild donkey named Douglas that wanders around the resort once in a while and he's adorable. There are pink sand beaches all around the island, including North Beach. The sand isn't Day-Glo pink so don't expect it to be. On one side of the island the pink sand is cause by corral fragments and the other has a red kind of algae. If you want to find the cave carvings on the main island, you will need someone to show you. They're really cool and the caves are awesome, but I wouldn't have found them if I hadn't run into a tour guide that happened to be giving another couple a tour in the area. Check out Palmetto Point it's super creepy. This hotel is something right out of Scooby Doo. It's totally abandoned, but all the stuff is still there. There's a pool table in the foyer, books on the book shelves, and all of the beds are still made. There are even coffee makers and glasses still sitting on the desks in each room. Spooky stuff.

I'll be going back. I have already recommended this resort to several people and I wish the best for everyone that I met on Barbuda.

  • Stayed April 2012, 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012

We stayed at North Beach for 10 days in February. I wish I could say stellar things about our experience--considering all of the time and effort we put in to researching Barbuda, and North Beach Cottages in particular. But i can't. And I only wish that I knew what i know now, before venturing out to this very isolated spot....While the grounds are nice, and the seclusion was very welcomed, the "resort" was far from what was promised on line. First off, the food was poor. When reading about North Beach, the menu, as seen on the website, seemed amazing. When we arrived, there was no fresh fish, no fresh lobster (surprising, considering that a fresh caught lobster seems like an east feat, when ur in the middle of the sea), no fresh produce (we were told that the ferry broke down...) and the pickings were slim, to say the least. I have been all over the Caribbean--but something about this place, albeit beautiful, just didn't seem right. There is little, if any effort, to make the guests feel as comfortable and valued as the website indicated. Since you are so isolated, there is no other place to eat---and while the website also said you'd never go hungry, as snacks and drinks abound--that couldn't have been further from the truth. There was little alcohol, and the fruit punch had expired. There were no snacks (and we were there for 10 days...) We actually took a boat ride into town (which cost us a lot of $$$) to make our own drink/snack run--a necessity, since the food was so bad (4 of the nights I couldn't even eat the prepared dinner, and i am not picky...) Ur pretty stranded out there, and there is little room to complain about anything, as you are literally at the mercy of Reuben and one other staff member. While the beach on North Beach is fine (rocky, and a lot of seaweed)--you need to request a special boat ride to see the absolutely SPECTACULAR beaches on the main island of Barbuda --the pink sand beach and Diana's beach between Coco Point and the dilapidated K Club. We spent over 350.00 just getting shuttled to these beaches. Those beaches were so extraordinary, that the sacrifices made, by staying at North Beach, made it ALMOST worth it... Also, be strongly advised that the only airline which runs to Barbuda from Antigua is very spotty and will cancel flights on a whim.

The cottages were sparse, and several times a day the electricity was turned off, along with the water---both without notice. We stayed in the largest cottage, which had a beautiful view from the deck. The cottage, however, is carpeted (old, worn carpet), which was kind of a turn off.

Reuben is a great guy and extremely pleasant--but this place needs so much more work--not only to live up to the promises made on its website, but for me to recommend it to anyone. In my opinion, way over priced for what you get, and we have spent MUCH less on other amazingly beautiful islands, and have gotten MUCH more.

In closing, the North Beach cottage website specifically mentions a homemade chocolate cake served for dessert, which, reportedly, has been raved about by past guests...on our first night, for dessert, we were each given a slice frozen cake, straight from a Pepperidge Farm box. That was the first and last dessert offered during our lengthy stay, and this served as a metaphor of our trip. I wanted so much to love our time in Barbuda, but we feel like we were a bit duped.

Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
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 North Beach

Address: Barbuda
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Barbuda
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Barbuda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
If you dream of having your own secluded Caribbean hideaway, sharing it with family, or another couple, North Beach is for you! Set on a spectacular slice of land located at the northern tip of Barbuda, accessible only by small boat, all-inclusive North Beach allows you to enjoy your own private enclave. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
North Beach Hotel Barbuda
North Beach Barbuda, Caribbean

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