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Choosing the right area and hotel - All advice sought please

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Choosing the right area and hotel - All advice sought please

HI - again

I posted yesterday but fear the length of my post / question put all you knowledgable antiguans and holidayer off?? Hope not - so I'll try again and hope some responses and advice pours in - please!

My wife, daughter (22yrs) and I had a great holiday last Jan / Feb at the Southern Palms, on the edge of St Laurence Gap in Barbados.

We are planning to go to the Carrib again this Jan/Feb and ideally would like to repeat the Southern Palms experience on Antigua…you know see the world, try new places… but we are struggling… and would appreciate all advice, guidance and help.

What we liked about Southern Palms :-

Enough quality at the right cost

We had a junior suite (2nd floor, balcony, ocean view, small kitchen if needed).

Right on a lovely beach.

2/300 yards walk to plenty of restaurants, few shops, deli, few bars and perhaps a the odd bit of easy entertainment.

Not All-In (not really us) but Hotel facilities there on a self selection basis – we had breakfast, the occasional meal, used bar and of course pools etc.

Mainly private bookings – not plane loads of tours in from one country or package.

Ideally we like that sort of set up an experience on Antigua - is it easily possible?? -as I say we are struggling.

Currently all our research guides, net, TA, brochures etc is not giving us either the area feel or accommodation.

A lot seem All-in but we like the variety of dining out when we fancy. And we seem to get the picture that a lot of the accommodation we sort of short list is not really near anywhere much (we think?)or needs a taxi.

Our short list (to give you some clues where our meandering has lead so far was (we seem to not have convinced ourselves of any of them? - hence this) seemed to give us the choice of area as either St Johns/Dickinson Bay or English Harbour (is there anywhere else to consider?)

Accommodation on the short list was

Antigua Village – but seemed a collection of not inspiring condos with no hotel centre and ? near anywhere?

Blue Water - all in (not for us ideally) - mainly (else dear?) and location/ beach?

Inn on English Harbour – seemed to be a $10 taxi ride from anything else.

Apologies this is rather lengthy but as you can see struggling is the word.

We would very much appreciate any help, descriptions, advice, guidance from those of you who know or have experienced Antigua, whether or not you can compare it to our Barbados let alone Southern Palms experience.

We look forward to all your advice views and recommendations.

Wynrow

NB we are getting a bit perturbed by all the references to mozzies – my wife attracts bites – only got one or two in Barbados – is it as bad as some make

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alberta
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11. Re: Choosing the right area and hotel - All advice sought please

wynrow, glad you are narrowing down your hotel choices, it can be a daunting task!

We are doing some flying when in Antigua to Montserrat and Barbuda. For our Montserrat trip, we booked with WinAir, which was suggested by David from Montserrat who will be showing us around when we land. Believe you can also get a custom helicopter tour to Montserrat that will land on the isalnd. For our trip to Barbuda we are flying with Carib-Aviation. You can also get to Barbuda by helicopter or ferry. I believe there are also some catamaran tours that go to Barbuda. I guess I will find out if they are 'good' flights after we land safely on our return flight!

Good luck with all your planning

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12. Re: Choosing the right area and hotel - All advice sought please

Wynrow,

Jolly Harbour is just about as Jolly as you want it. If like us, you pretty much keep yourself to yourself then it is not as Jolly. In any case, it's not as Jolly as an AI with activities etc.

Also, we tend to go in Feb- a busy time. The beach or pool never seemed to be crowded. The only time there was a lot of people around was the manager's coctail party on the beach at Castaways on Thursday pm. If they still do it, it's not too large a price to pay for a few free rum punches each and a spectacular sunset.

The restaurants can be busy in the evenings so to avoid a wait it's best to book your fav, or eat in your villa after a few drinks at the various bars.

As for the air trips, we took a helicoptor tour and they pick you up right there at Jolly H. Let us know about your trip to Monseratt if you go. At over $1000 for the 5 of us it was too dear. the boys are interested in the zip line tour this time and am waiting to hear trip reports on that. We also thought about going to Prickly pear Island. Can recommend Eli's ecotour which we took last time. We also did a snorkling trip that went to Cades reef right there from the marina. We also hired a car for 3 days and did the town thing, the shirley heights thing, darkwood beach, and english Harbour.

A

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13. Re: Choosing the right area and hotel - All advice sought please

Hi again

Boat trips -

I would suggest a catmaran tour, either circumnavigation or snorkelling, my personal preference is Wadadli cats. Antigua Adventure Xtrene - fast power boat circumnav with stops at Stingray city, Green Island Nelsons Dockyard, deep water snorkeling at the Pillars of Hercules and a stop at Rendevouz Beach (deserted only accessable by a 45min hike)

Helicopter -

Trips around the island or over the active Soufriere Volcano Monserrat, from Jolly Harbour

Barbuda -

By ferry from St John or Jolly

Fly with Winair, go early 8.00am back 6pm, the most beautiful deserted beaches

Tour fast cat on the Excellence

Sea can be very rough if you take the ferry or fast cat so also take your 'sea legs'

Montserrat

Fly with Carrib. Get a taxi tour Look over the devistation caused by the volcano. Go on Tues or Thursday and visit the Volcano Observatory.

Hope this helps

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14. Re: Choosing the right area and hotel - All advice sought please

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