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“Disappointing” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Nonsuch Bay Resort

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Nonsuch Bay Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Hughes Point, Freetown po 2208, Antigua   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Freetown
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

A mixed review.we had booked a 3700sg foot villa but on arrival given a much smaller townhouse approx 2000sg ft with no real explanation.Simply told we could have a refund if not happy Not much use for 6people just arrived late afternoon. We stayed the one night which they did comp to be fair Dinner in the restaurant was truly appalling..Slow service cold steak tough pork.The resort itself whilst really remote was very attractive.The landscaping around the tiny pool at the townhouse was non existing just scrubland

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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220 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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English first
Scotland
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2012

Nonsuch is a condominium style resort on the Atlantic side of Antigua with a complex of purpose-built units all overlooking Nonsuch Bay. Our one bedroom unit was big and very well-equipped and furnished. For all its modern equipment and large size it lacked any individuality or Caribbean style or other local features. It is a fairly standardised architectural style and layout which could have been pretty much built anywhere. Maybe we were charmed by Cocobay on the other side of the island which couldn't have been more different in exuding more originality and Caribbean style. That said if you're looking for a good self-catering resort it has everything you need for a resort holiday.

Our stay was slightly marred by the unusually high winds in March which blew every day. Being on the Atlantic side of the island it's fairly exposed and the problem is there is nowhere to find shelter on the beach. That might be good for the sailors who are attracted to Nonsuch but not so good for sunbathers! Because of the wind the sea was full of floating seaweed and while the resort routinely cleaned the beach every morning it wasn't pleasant swimming. Fortunately we had hired a car and went to Half Moon Bay most days which is very close and one of the best beaches in Antigua.

We ate in the resort a few nights. The food was very good but the menu is quite limited and never changed the 5 nights we were there. It would have been nice to have had even one special each night to give a bit of variation and choice. Also breakfasts were to order with not even fruit juices and yoghurt on a buffet which was slightly annoying. Service was on the whole good if sometimes quite slow. They mix a mean cocktail. Their Mojitos were to die for!

A car is pretty much essential and meant we could explore which was fun. Half Moon Bay as I say is wonderful and very close and for lunch and dinner we went a few times to Harmony Hall which is only 10 Minutes by car. The food is exceptionally good and it's a popular spot.

Our highlight was a trip to Green Island which we did on our last day. We took a boat taxi from the resort which took about 20 mins and then we were collected a couple of hours later. We were dropped on a beach on the sheltered side which was just magical. We were told to expect one of the catamaran tours for lunch but as it turned out we had the beach to ourselves. We snorkeled in the bay and it was just fabulous.

The resort doesn't go out of its way to explain the options for trips and it just happened that our lonely planet guide gave it a mention and we then asked about getting there which was very straightforward.

All in all we enjoyed our stay but it just falls short in a few areas to give it 5/5.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Philadelphia, PA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2012

Our family stayed at Nonsuch Bay for one week during March. While the resort is located in a "remote" section of the island, we found that to be part of the charm. The staff was wonderful to me, my wife and six year old daughter and went out of their way to make us all feel at home. We stayed in a two bedroom unit and found it to be very well appointed, with excellent beds, well stocked kitchens and bathrooms. The rooms were very well maintained by the cleaning/maintenance staff. The views from all the 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units on the main portion of the resort are excellent and each of the three pools is quite nice.

Since we took this vacation to completely get away from it all, Nonsuch was perfect. The pace is very slow, with a relatively small beach that was kept clean by the tireless efforts of the staff each morning (bit of bad luck given that a good deal of seaweed came off the open ocean during the week we stayed there). The kids club is well run, with different activities each day including sailing, trips to Green Island, and less adventurous activities such as arts and crafts. If you are into sailing, the resort is perfect. Constant winds and a variety of options to rent will allow you to enjoy the bay. The resort also provides lessons to all levels of sailors. The on-site wind sports school (windsurfing and kite boarding) is also excellent. Finally, we, like many others, recommend a trip (or two, or three) to Green Island. It is a wonderful, and very convenient, trip for the family and depending on which beach you settle at, can feel like a deserted island. Snorkeling is fairly good right off the shore at a variety of locations.

The restaurant is very good, though we agree that the dinner menu could use a bit more variety (even a "special" every other day would help), especially for guests who stay at the resort the full week. The lunch menu has many options which are quite good. As for service, we agree that a bit more speed would be helpful. You are on vacation, in the islands, and should expect to slow down, but meals that take longer than 2 hours with a 6 year old are tough. Just a bit more speed in service and they will hit the sweet spot for a relaxing island dinner. The restaurant staff are all incredibly nice and were extremely kind to our daughter.

In sum, I highly recommend the resort for a relaxing island getaway. If you are looking for lots of nightlife or other activities, it is probably not the place for you. Those seeking sun, relaxing breezes and casual pampering will be very pleased. We will certainly return.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
stillwater
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

I took my family to Antigua for the first time in March, 2012. We discovered Nonsuch Bay Resort through Jetsetter.com. Although the reviews were quite good, I was still concerned about the location. Once we arrived however, all of my doubt went away. We were greeted by a friendly staff who simply made our stay perfect from start to finish. They arranged everything on our behlaf prior to our arrival, including groceries and a rental car that was waiting for us upon our arrival. The 2 bedroom condo was perfect for our family and had every ammenity we could have asked for. Although I wish they had provided robes in the rooms, the bathrooms were new and very clean. The grounds were well maintained as were the pools and beach. Even though there was quite bit of seaweed on the beach, they did an excellent job at keeping it clean. I loved our day trip to Green Island and would encourage anyone who visits this resort to take the short boat ride over. The hotel arranged for a lunch that was hand delivered by boat, piping hot! We ate at the restaraunt several times during our stay and enjoyed the cuisine, which I found to be rather innovative with an island flair. I wish they would add a fitness center, but the walk up and down the hill to and from our condo was a good way to start our day each morning. We definitely plan to return to Nonsuch Bay again, perhaps this year. Our 3 year old keeps asking, "When are we going back?" Although we had our own babysitter with us, the hotel staff doted on my daughter anyway. Thank you to the wonderful team of professionals who made our stay memorable and above all, relaxing!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
New York, NY
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

Our family spent a week at Nonsuch Bay over Easter. Overall, we were quite pleased with our selection. Here are some details on what we thought were the best and worst things about Nonsuch:

Pros:
(1) The setting is absolutely stunning. Sure, it's remote (30 minutes to closest restaurants, grocery stores, shops -- Pick up some snacks and provisions at the grocery store on your way in from the airport!), and this is NOT the place for you if you are interested in a resort with lots of pre-planned activities and places to easily walk to. But if you want serious relaxation, peace and quiet, Nonsuch Bay is a great choice. The almost constant trade winds make the area really pleasant with gorgeous breezes that do a good job (most of the time) of keeping the inevitable mosquitos away.
(2) The resort employees are very kind and helpful. They helped us to organize a car rental, which was very easy, and also provided maps, directions for our day trips out, etc. Our townhouse was cleaned very well by housekeeping every day. Even on particularly "sandy" days, they did a great job of picking up the sand from our dressing areas!
(3) The rooms/villas are very clean, modern, visually attractive and all have beautiful water views. We stayed in a 3 bed/3 bath townhouse and it was very well-appointed. The kitchen had every appliance/dish/pot/etc. and the staff even thoughtfully left us a carton of fresh milk upon arrival for our coffee and tea (and a bottle of wine, too). We also especially enjoyed having our own private plunge pool with total privacy - the townhouses overlook a beautiful inlet. So while it's not a full ocean view, you have a really lovely secluded water view to enjoy.
(4) Organized kids' program during holiday weeks - Our son participated in a program one day called Amazons and Swallows (ages 5+) where the kids were taken by boat to a deserted island to play, "build rafts," etc. and have a picnic lunch for several hours. What a special and unique offering for the little ones! There is also a kids club where you can drop your little ones for a few hours where some very caring and nice women looked after the kids, did face painting, took them swimming and generally let them play with each other.
(5) The kids' menu had about 7 or 8 choices and our son ate well at Nonsuch! He especially loved their bolognese sauce (which I tasted, and which was delicious!)
(6) We liked the small, uncrowded beach. Even during the busy Easter week, it never felt crowded. It's not a fabulous swimming beach because there is a lot of seaweed that begins quite close to the shore, but it's perfect if you've got small children (who can easily play independently there) or if you prefer to swim in one of the several infinity pools.

Cons:
(1) The restaurant has some issues that were very evident to us during our stay. First off, as other reviewers have mentioned, service is incredibly slow. There just does not appear to be emphasis placed on efficient service. I think to a certain extent when you go on vacation, especially to the Caribbean, you need to adjust your expectations and understand that pace is slower than it is elsewhere. But I find it unacceptable that after sitting in the restaurant for 90 minutes, our main courses had not yet arrived. This happened on multiple occasions and honestly made us come to dread our meals at The Bay, which is a shame because the setting is gorgeous and the food is pretty good. It is especially difficult when you're dining with children, who don't often have the patience to sit quietly for such a long meal. The chef and servers did do a good job of bringing out childrens' food first, but overall, the slowness of the service really wound up frustrating us.
(2) Second bit about the restaurant: While the food was good, the dinner menu was quite limited with only 5 entrees offered each night - with no specials. When most people are staying on a week-long holiday and when the closest restaurant is ~30 minutes away, such a small menu to me, is a mistake. My husband does not eat meat and ate the same snapper for dinner four times...
(3) Parts of the resort still feel unfinished. It seems kind of clear that the owners ran out of money partway through construction, especially over in the townhouse section of the resort. The main section of the resort feels very complete, with lovely landscaping and everything is neat and clean and polished. We stayed in the townhouse section because we got a great deal on it through a travel auction site and while we don't regret our choice (so much space for the money!), the townhouse section left a lot to be desired visually. Several of the townhouses are not complete (wiring sticking out where there should be lights, and peeling paint etc.) Off a few hundred feet in the distance, you can see chain link fence, construction materials and detritus. The electrical meters for your unit are the first thing you see as you approach the pathway to your unit - Nothing has been landscaped or covered up. That said, you really only see these things as you are entering your townhouse, since once you're inside, you're oriented back toward the beautiful water views. But it feels scrubby, unfinished and not really "ready for prime time" when you're standing out there. The other potential down side of the townhouses is that they're not an easy walk to the main part of the resort. This was not an issue for us - We called Reception whenever we needed a ride over, and they always came promptly and with a smile on their face for the 1-minute drive up the very steep hill to the main part of the resort! No big deal to us...

Overall, I think our general feeling is that we really want Nonsuch Bay to succeed and be a great resort for a long time to come, but I do think they have some kinks to work through. We're very glad to have spent our holiday there and it was a great introduction to Antigua for us! We wish all the best to the owners.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2012

What a great place, beautiful scenery, great place and great watersports
The only bad thing was the service at the restaurant The food was very very slow arriving and we waited at least an hour for 1 course the waiters were ok
The management was also inflexible about halfboard

  • Stayed March 2012, 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2012

My husband and I stayed here for 5 nights at the beginning of a 2-1/2 week island-hopping Caribbean vacation in late February. This was the perfect place to completely decompress and get into vacation mode. The site is picturesque and the resort is extremely peaceful and quiet.

The room we stayed in was a fully appointed one-bedroom apartment with a wrap-around porch overlooking Nonsuch Bay. It had a full kitchen so we could prepare snacks and cook our own meals, which we did a few times when we wanted a break from restaurant food. It had a living room with comfortable sofas and chairs and cable TV. The bedroom was large with two huge closets and the bed was the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in while traveling (seriously, we slept 12 hours the first night and then took a 3 hour nap the next day!!). The bathroom was also huge, modern and nice.

One of the resort’s infinity pools was just steps away from our door, but there were never more than 2 people using it at a time, so in a way, it felt like our private pool.

As others have said, this is definitely off the beaten path. It’s about a 45-minute drive from the airport, the last 10 minutes of which are on a dirt road. It’s at least 30 minutes to the nearest grocery store or amenity of any size. Therefore, I would absolutely recommend renting a car while you are staying here so you can take independent day trips to other areas of the island (I recommend driving 15 minutes to half-moon bay!). Don’t let the remoteness discourage you from staying here. It is a beautiful, secluded resort and you’ll be glad once you’ve arrived.

Overall, the service here was good. In particular, the maid service in our room was outstanding. The service in the restaurant, however, could use a little more finessing. While the food was very good (although not the best one can find on the island), the servers seemed unfamiliar with the menu. My husband and I would order from the menu while pointing to the item we were ordering and the servers would often look confused and on more than one occasion brought the wrong item. There was a miscommunication one night about the cost of the entrée I ordered and when I brought it up to our server she got very defensive and basically said it was my misunderstanding, end of story. I wish she would have at least said something like, “I’m sorry for the confusion, let me look into that.” I think simply providing more training to the servers would help. For example, the resort could train them to repeat all orders back to the customer so there is no confusion about the order and make sure they are all familiar with the menu when they arrive for their shift each day.

Overall, we loved our time at the resort and would stay here again.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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Additional Information about Nonsuch Bay Resort

Address: Hughes Point, Freetown po 2208, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Phillip Parish > Freetown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Freetown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Nonsuch Bay Resort 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nonsuch Bay Resort nestles in forty exotic acres of the stunning bay carved out of the southeast of Antigua; embraced by lush tropical hills, a uniquely private and serene setting, a tranquil haven and home to wildlife including dolphins and turtles. Pure relaxation is blended with out-an-out adrenalin, and the finest luxuries with the simplest of pleasures. Resort facilities comprise a dramatically positioned restaurant, 3 infinity swimming pools, seclude sandy beach, 20 sailboats and tuition, kitesurfing, windsurfing, SUPs and spa treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nonsuch Bay Hotel Freetown
Nonsuch Bay Resort Antigua/Freetown

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