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Long Bay questions

New Jersey
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Long Bay questions

As I read through the reviews here this hotel seems to get high marks. Wondering if anybody as stayed there and can tell a little more about their experience? Also, most of the hotels that don't have AC have a long list of people complaining about how terrible it was. Why does nobody even mention the heat or bugs at Long Bay even though it has no AC? Would love feedback on this hotel, planning a possible trip for next summer.

Hatfield...
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1. Re: Long Bay questions

Hi, KAMS. I've been to Long Bay several times and in fact got married there in 2003 surrounded by family & friends. I'm clearly a huge fan of this hotel, so definitely keep that in mind when reading my raves.

I've stayed in a couple of the cottages and in the regular hotel rooms on the second floor. When staying at Long Bay, especially during the more humid summer months, you have to make the decision whether you want more privacy or better breezes. The hotel rooms hands-down have the best breezes and even in August I was comfortable sleeping in them--the rooms are definitely dated, but as one reviewer wrote, Long Bay does the important things well. The king sized beds are new and very comfortable, the rooms are spacious, and the view from the balcony is great. They also provide lounge chairs on the balcony for taking in the sunrise. The bathrooms are extremely cramped, but the water pressure is good. The downside is that in order to have the best breezes in the room the shades have to be up, which is a drawback for privacy as folks going to their rooms can walk right by. This is one reason we have learned to request the endcap room on the second floor when we choose to stay in the hotel wing.

The cottages are more spacious and far more private, but with the exception of the Harbour House, the bedrooms can get a little uncomfortable, especially if one has overindulged with the sun. Stayed a week in the View House one July and had trouble sleeping two nights because of the heat. All the same, it's the cottage I've booked for an upcoming visit for August 2005. This time, however, I will be sure to request an additional floor fan to aid in my sleeping. I love the privacy & view from thie View House -- sitting out on the private deck at sunset with a cocktail makes me feel as if I have my own private villa. I also like having the refrigerator on hand for keeping bottles of water, fruit, making ice, and keeping any leftovers from a bottle of wine from dinner.

But what keeps me going back to Long Bay is that wonderful staff and the special feeling I get as soon as I step foot on property--it's a feeling of arriving home after being away on a long trip. The folks there are warm & caring and it feels as if I'm at the comfortable but slightly shabby around the edges home of a dear friend. The food is good, the beach is lovely, the beds are comfortable, but when it comes right down to it, it's the feeling of home & friends that keeps me coming back.

Please let me know if you have more specific questions that I can address for you.

New Jersey
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2. Re: Long Bay questions

Thanks so much for the details. Did you eat all your meals at the hotel? Is it important to rent a car? We really like the idea of seeing the island and were considering starting out at The Inn at English Harbour for a few days and touring, trying restaurants, etc. and then moving to Long Bay to relax and stay right on the property enjoying the beaches. We have never split a trip like this and are not big all-inclusive people because we do like to try local places but maybe splitting will give us the best of both worlds. You said people walk by the hotel rooms, but they can't see in if you're on the upper floor can they? Were mosquitos a problem without the A/C? It seems like the beach is great and the staff must be fabulous because everyone seems to mention them...thanks for your help.

Hatfield...
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3. Re: Long Bay questions

I've never stayed at an all-inclusive and I very likely won't in the future--they're so bad for the local economy! Let me see if I can answer your questions.

First of all, only two visits to Long Bay were for a long stay (7 nights)--our first visit and the time we got married. During those two stays we didn't rent cars but we did take several taxi rides around the island for site seeing, trying restaurants, or making wedding arrangements. Our other trips were shorter -- usually only 3-4 nights -- so we tended to stay put more for those trips. I'd definitely recommend getting out to see the island and trying restaurants. Harmony Hall is my favorite place, but it's only open about 6 months of the year and only for lunch.

Mosquitos were never a problem in the rooms or cottages because of screens. However, I generally get eaten alive by bugs whether I'm at home or traveling, so I always spray my legs and ankles. The balconies on the hotel rooms are generally very breezy and bugs aren't a problem. Same thing with the dining room. But up near the bar and in the game room/library the breeze isn't quite as strong, so I'd reocmmend bug spray there, too.

The privacy issue wasn't from people just out on a stroll, it was for people returning to their own hotel rooms and walking along by the doors, so it woldn't matter if you were staying on the first floor or second floor. I always tried to be discreet when passing by an open window of someone's room, and tried to keep my voice down when talking to a companion, but...it's not the case with everyone, or even with me all the time. COming back from the bar at night, it's easy to forget that other people might be in bed already and that voices carry, you know?

I've never rented a car in Antigua because my husband and I have become friends with Kenneth Charles, the Long Bay taxi guy extraordinaire, and I wouldn't dream of hurting his feelings and renting a car of my own. Besides, I'd miss all of his wonderful stories! But I'd highly recommend renting a car of your own. With few exceptions, the roads on Antigua are pretty good and it's easy to get around the island. It's a lot easier to drive there than, say, Tortola, where I just returned from. Some of those roads feel more like a roller coaster ride!

Please let me know if you have additional questions.

Hatfield...
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4. Re: Long Bay questions

PS. The beach isn't always great, as certain times of year it erodes away to nearly nothing--I've visited in July when it was full and then again in November of the same year when it had practically vanished. I'm not sure what month(s) in spring that sand gets returned, but if a pretty beach is important, be sure to ask before you book your visit.

When the beach is full and water is calm, it really is a wonderfl beach. Great for swimming and snorkeling. But the last time I visited was November 2004 and there was some kind of ground swell and low pressure system covering the area. Water visibility was nil and not even very comfortable for swimming with the waves. Of my several visits, that was the only time the conditions were unpleasant like that. But we had just arrived at Long Bay from Nevis and in Nevis it was the same thing.

New Jersey
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5. Re: Long Bay questions

Thanks for answering my questions. How about great restaurants, must sees and favorite cottage?

Hatfield...
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6. Re: Long Bay questions

I think Harmony Hall is about the best experience on the island--go early to snorkel at Green Island, take 2 hours just to eat lunch, browse the gallery and gift shop before heading back home to your hotel. Great food, good service, nice view.

Check out Devil's Bridge, which is in walking distance of Long Bay (about 2 miles away)

English Harbour/Nelson's Dockyard are worth a view, but don't go on a cruise ship day. A day in St. John's is also good, but don't go on a cruise ship day. I like the cathedral, eating lunch at Hemingway's, seeing the little museum, and shopping at the local book & map shop. There's somewhat upscale shopping along the two quays where the ships dock, but the local shops are a few blocks off the harbour.

I like Le Bistro, Coconut Grove, The Home, and The Beach for different dining experiences, but none of them as much as I like Harmony Hall. There's a tiny beach bar on Long Bay beach that is worth going to while you're at Long Bay Hotel. There's one or two little joints in the village of Willikies near Long Bay, but they're more like snackettes and rum shops than cafes or restaurants.

I've heard great things about Eli's and Paddles eco-tours. I've had a good experience with Wadadli Cats for catamaran daysails.

HalfMoon, Darkwood, Ffryes and Jabberwocky are my favorite beaches for quiet times. I also like the clothing optional beach at Hawksbill.

I've never done the Sunday night bbq at Shirley's Heights, but most folks seem to like it.

New Jersey
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7. Re: Long Bay questions

Wow! You're so full of info. Thanks a bunch, I'll print this out to help with planning our trip.

UK
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8. Re: Long Bay questions

We tried Turtle Bay Villas:

UK
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9. Re: Long Bay questions

http://www.turtlebay-villas.com/

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