We stayed at ReefView July 7-14, 2010.
We went to Antigua during the “off” season – the middle of summer – knowing full well that it would be hot. But we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! The traffic was light and the beaches were not crowded.
ReefView is located on the south coast of Antigua, away from the main tourist area. Staying there gave us a chance to be among the local people – who, incidentally, we found to be happy and friendly. This made for a very relaxing holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of big city life or of tourist trap destinations. A nice place to go to have no worries and feel safe!
We bought produce from the small fruit and vegetable stands found along the roads – especially mangoes. We bought goat water for lunch one day at another stand within easy walking distance from ReefView (“water” is the local name for soup). We had planned to get conch water, but the ocean was too rough that day and they hadn’t been able to collect any conch, so we had goat water instead – which was surprisingly not bad at all! Pepperpot and fungi (dumplings) at a local café made for another good lunch. And huge servings of lobster for dinner at O.J.’s was also memorable.
They say that Antigua has 365 beaches and you can go to a different beach every day of the year. We certainly did exactly that for the week that we were there: we went swimming at a different beach every day! In fact, on our last day we actually swam at three different beaches. Definitely plan on spending time in the water – that’s the way to cool off from the summer heat! Tip: We froze bottles of water in the freezer overnight to take with us to the beach the next day.
The beaches are gorgeous: beautiful sandy beaches, with each beach being different from the others (some on the east coast have fine, powdery, white sand). Great places for swimming if you are a swimmer like me, or for playing in the water near shore if you are a non-swimmer like my wife. There are small coral reefs near shore at several beaches and rocks at others with lots of colourful fish to see swimming around them. Even my wife put on a facemask and saw a few fish. (My wife was so inspired she signed up for swimming lessons immediately upon our return home.) Some beaches that we particularly liked are: Hawksbill, Ffryes Bay, Hermitage, Half Moon Bay, Long Bay, Jolly Harbour, and Turner’s beach. Nearby Morris Bay isn’t bad, either.
The local beach, Cades Bay, just a block or so down the road from ReefView is a good walking beach – not so good for swimming, although in a pinch if you need to cool off you could go in the water there. We went for a walk along the beach several mornings and had a hard time deciding which conch shells to leave behind – my wife wanted to bring them all home! We recommend bringing a pair of shoes or sandals suitable for walking in the water, since there are places where the water comes up to the shore and you will want to walk out into the water to get around. These will also protect your feet from the sharp needles that fall off some of the bushes in places along this sandy beach.
Since I am fair-complexioned, one concern I had before coming was how to avoid too much sun. We used lots of sunscreen (went through three bottles in one week!), and I brought along a couple of pairs of light-weight, quick-drying, long-sleeved shirts specifically designed to block the sun (you can buy these in sporting goods stores). I wore these when the sun was high in the sky; short sleeves the rest of the time. I even wore a shirt while swimming much of the time to keep the sun off my back, especially at times I spent with face mask or goggles floating around watching the fish. With these precautions, we did not get sunburned at all.
It rained just about every day we were there, but usually just for a minute or two, often accompanied by wind, and then the sun would rapidly reappear. Most days it only rained at night, but even when it rained during the daytime we didn’t ever wear a raincoat and we soon dried off afterwards.
We definitely enjoyed our visit there. ReefView owners Karoll and Nick Williams are very friendly, as are their two dogs Jabba and Ozzie, their macaw Keeshie, and their cat Spooky (of YouTube fame: see “Spooky the cat - learns to swim, Antigua, Caribbean”). This is one of the most memorable holidays we have ever had.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Three uniquely decorated, fully equipped holiday/vacation homes set in lush tropical gardens - affording spectacular panoramic views of Antigua's famous Cades Reef and neighbouring islands. Located within a stone's throw of a long sandy shoreline fringed with coconut palms on the outskirts of a small fishing village. Owned and operated by long time residents Karoll and Nick Williams - always on hand to help you get to know THE REAL ANTIGUA!!! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Reefview Apartments Hotel Cades Bay
- Reef View Apartments Antigua
- Reef View Apartments Hotel Antigua
- ReefView Apartments Antigua/Cades Bay