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Advice on different parts of the island

New Jersey
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41 posts
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Advice on different parts of the island

Hi Everyone!

We will be traveling to Antigua in 3 weeks with our 4 year old daughter. We will be on the island for 8 days, so I thought that it would be fun to stay in two different parts of the island to experience the differences of this beautiful place. Maybe one part that's more busy; closer to shops, restaurants, etc.. and one area that is more quiet. I would appreciate any advice on which locations would give us this experience. We will be looking for budget accommodations but hopefully very near the beach, since we'll have the little one with us.

Thank you very much

connecticut
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1. Re: Advice on different parts of the island

What is your budget? Are you looking for a villa or an all inclusive resort? The island of Antigua is approximately 11 miles x 14 miles (108 sq. miles). As you are traveling with a young child, and the island is so small you may want to choose one location to stay and rent a car for a couple of days. The roads are pretty easy to navigate and you can easily go and see the entire island in a very short time, don't forget to drive on the left side. With that said i would choose the Caribbean side of the island as a "home base" the waters are warmer, clearer, and calmer than the Atlantic side.

New Jersey
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2. Re: Advice on different parts of the island

Thanks so much for your input. We are on a pretty tight budget, $150 per night or under. I was hoping that I could possible rent a bungalow at that price.

Coventry, United...
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3. Re: Advice on different parts of the island

On Jolly Beach, there is Jolly Castle (recently opened) Tranquility Bay, and a number of Jolly Harbour Villas for under $150 US per night, self catering. You could also try South Coast Horizons, which has very nice facilities including paddle boats, as well as a "private" beach. There is a number of other available accommodation on the South West Coast where these are located, which covers the Ffryes/Jolly Beach/Darkwood/Turners area.

There is a supermarket and shopping Centre at Jolly Beach, and if you're located at Tranquility Bay/Jolly Castle, or have a villa on the South Finger, you are in easy walking distance to the beach and the shopping centre in most instances.

Up at the north-western coast, at Dickenson Bay/Runaway Bay Area, there is Paradise Beach Cottages on Runaway Bay, as well as Barrymore Beach Club which receives excellent reviews (it's VRBO Listing #385283).

On neighbouring Dickenson Bay, there's Antigua Village, as well as Halcyon, which may be a bit over $150, but not much.

There are a number of restaurants in the area and a small grocery store, although if you really want to stock up you will have to do so at 1st choice or Epicurean supermarket, which are both about 5 minutes drive away.

Have a look at the listed accommodations and see which one suits you best.

Cheers,

Daryl

New Jersey
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4. Re: Advice on different parts of the island

Thanks for sharing all of this awesome knowledge with me! That gives me much more direction.

UK/Antigua
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for St. John's, Antigua
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5. Re: Advice on different parts of the island

You definitely want to be on the West Coast. Much of the southern part of the island (English Harbour/Falmouth is extremely quiet at this time of year, with many businesses closed and very little going on.

You can't beat Jolly Harbour with small children. For around US$100 a night you can have a 2 bed 2 bath villa with a fully equipped kitchen, good size dining/living room and your own gallery /deck right on the water. Check that any villa you look at has a properly fenced deck - some are open and this isn't a good idea with smaller children. For the same reason, I wouldn't recommend Jolly Castle - the balconies aren't safe enough and you get a lot less space for your money. Their little restaurant is great for local food and snacks though.

The South Finger is more convenient, and within walking distance of everything - look for villa numbers in the 200 series.

There's an excellent supermarket, choice of bars and restaurants, pharmacy, banks and other shops as well as a large, child friendly pool and one of the nicest beaches you could ask for. There's even a small playground at Castaways bar, right as you head onto the beach. It's also on a great bus route - going into the city in one direction, and along the fabulous west coast chain of beaches in the other.

As an example of what you can get:

typicallytropicalvillas.com/l_239f.html

typicallytropicalvillas.com/l_235c.html

typicallytropicalvillas.com/l_villa221b.html

Amongst many others. I'd highly recommend Typically Tropical for villa rentals - all the properties they represent are in great shape (there are some unmodernised villas on the complex that are not as nice), and they're located right on site if you need them.

I'd also agree with the advice not to bother with a two centre stay - you can't take more than 45 minutes to get anywhere on the island, so you really won't gain anything other than having to pack twice!

If you're planning to rent a car, I'd very much recommend bringing your own car seat with you - airlines carry these free of charge and it's always a better option than hoping your rental company has one available (or what it's history is if they do).

Happy to help with any other questions - my daughter's a bit older now, but we've been through just about everything you could imagine on island with her at that age!

New Jersey
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6. Re: Advice on different parts of the island

mizgeorge, thank you for that awesome advice! I have one more question- we also considered Buccaneer's Club in St. John's. What should I expect from that area vs. Jolly Harbour? Thank you

UK/Antigua
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for St. John's, Antigua
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7. Re: Advice on different parts of the island

BBC is a lovely little spot. More expensive, and less space than a villa, but beautifully looked after and almost right on the beach. Not quite as close to the nearest big supermarket (though it's not that far) and there is a small superette at Antigua Village, which is also fairly close. There are a couple of reasonably priced places to eat nearby. To explore the island a bit, you'd have to have a car - there are no buses. No shops, no bank, no pharmacy, but not a terribly long way to either town or to Wood's Mall for these.

You've got the busiest beach (Dickenson Bay) to one side, and one of the quietest (Runaway) on the other, and between them, a huge length of beach to walk.

New Jersey
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8. Re: Advice on different parts of the island

Thank you again for your input.

One last question, I promise :)

I think that we are going to break our stay between a rental and a resort hotel. I have narrowed the hotels down to Jolly Beach Resort and Siboney Beach Club. I would appreciate an opinion as to which would be a better choice for us, since we are traveling with our 4 year old. I should add that we would go with the room-only option at Jolly Beach, since I would much rather try local restaurants, so close distance to restaurants is important to us. I should also add that Siboney is $50 more per night than Jolly Beach.

Thank you all again for your help

UK/Antigua
Destination Expert
for St. John's, Antigua
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9. Re: Advice on different parts of the island

Jolly Beach on a r/o option is more expensive for one room than it is to rent a whole 2br villa, so I wouldn't ever recommend that - unless the kids club there is very important to you.

Siboney has the advantage of having kitchenettes within the suites, which means you're not having to eat out for every meal. I don't know why, but breakfast is always disproportionately expensive to eat out, so being able to have this at 'home' helps a lot. It's only steps to a nice part of Dickenson, which has a particularly good swimming area for children and (I'm reliably informed) some of the best sand castle building sand around.

10. Re: Advice on different parts of the island

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