We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Everything we expected”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Carlisle Bay Antigua
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Saint Mary's
Certificate of Excellence
Scotland, UK
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Everything we expected”
Reviewed May 19, 2007

Just spent 9 days at Carlisle Bay. Everything we expected.......and more! First of all it must be said that no matter what you may read to the contrary, this is a deluxe resort. To my husband and I, 5 star quality is much more than ornate room dressings and hotel staff that look you up and down to suss out whether they think you can afford to be at their domain. It is the sheer pleasure of having staff who you look after you from the moment you arrive till the moment you check out, who remember your name when they address you, and who make you feel nothing is too much trouble. Food that is absolutley delicious (particularly breakfasts!!!) beautiful, spacious and spotless suites along with a quiet and iddylic location. To us this is 5 star quality. This is the Carribean, it is not London or New York and you should expect a slower pace of life that befits the surrounding. So you have to wait a little for meals to be served and room service etc. So what!! You are on holiday so chill out!!!! We have travelled extensively and believe me we are critical and choosy. If you want the qualities we found below the surface,then Carlisle Bay will not fail you. If you are more interested in the outer packaging then stay away as you are probably not the type of clientele the hotel wants as customers anyway.

  • Liked — Simple elegance and impeccable quality
  • Disliked — Perhaps could offer more in house activity
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Linda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

969 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    693
    179
    49
    28
    20
See reviews for
375
390
12
20
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (279)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, England
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2007

We've just returned from a 7 night stay at Carlisle Bay and thoroughly enjoyed it, we have returned relaxed and refreshed.

We booked a 7 night chill out package in a Beach Suite which included breakfast, dinner and some yoga. Normally I wouldn't book on any other basis than B&B, however, on this occasion I was happy that we had, as the resort is quite isolated, taxis expensive and food perfectly nice. As a vegetarian there was welcome choices in both restaurants, although something other than pasta for dinner would have been nice. We mostly at at Indigo on the beach which was a lovely setting, particularly when they moved literally onto the beach for the BBQ on Friday. East was nice for a change and to cool down as it's indoors. Only negatives for dining were the sometimes overeager poring of drinks by multiple staff. Although the staff are not working for tips as the service charge is added on automatically, which makes service relaxed; they don't tend to stick to serving one group of tables, so service can be a bit chaotic (although always friendly).

In terms of the rooms we loved being right on the beach (which was calm and warm and seeweed - but not crab! - free), although more by luck than judgement; I would have been hacked off if we'd been put on the upper floor with no direct access to the beach. We saw the Ocean Suites which were larger but we felt outweighed by the access to the beach. The rooms were simple but luxurious and it was a relief not to be surrounded by the normal Carribbean decor themes of rattan and parrots.

The only incident that occured was that our bags got delayed in coming to the room when we arrived, since our apology was a nice bottle of champagne we were totally happy wih the outcome. Sure it's expensive, but on the whole you get what you pay for and we both thoroughly enjoyed Carlisle Bay. It would be an excellent place to come with kids (there were a lot of under 5's now we're outside school holidays) but we didn't feel them to be obtrusive in anyway - and a relaxed crowd of 30-40's in the main, no pressure to dress up etc The only gripe from my husband was the price of the local beer and rum given the cost outside the resort - we all expect a mark up but you could buy a bottle of local rum for the price of one rum in the hotel and the local beer was similarly extortionate (compared to the wine which we felt was very equitable).

I enjoyed the yoga, it was reasonably basic, but effective and enjoyable and made me want to start classes again now i'm back home. We used the gym a few times which was very well equipped - a rowing machine would be nice. We also used the spa several times and the treatments were all really nice (and no tennis noise issues - too hot to play!) and Made the therapist was great - tough thumbs!

So would we return - if we wanted a chilled out luxurious week of R&R then yes we probably would and if not only because we'd decided to rent a villa instead.

  • Liked — The day bed outside the room
  • Disliked — bath a bit small
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Kirstie-London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2007

After a 20 year absence from Antigua my husband and I along with our 2 teen daughters gave Carlisle Bay a try for a 7 night stay in mid April.
Being led to our beachfront room I was shocked to see we were on an upper floor. I did not know the BF rooms were on 2 levels. All the reviews and web site stated how great it was to walk right out onto the beach. Our second floor balcony looked into the leaves of many palm trees with a glimpse of the water. We did not come all this way for a view of the trees. We requested a room change to the ground floor and were told the hotel was full but the next day we could be moved. The GF room had a better view but not by much as there was still much vegetation in the way.
All in all the BF rooms themselves were also a little disappointing. First as mentioned before there is NO storage for your clothes. The main bedroom has a dresser with 4 small draws. The only closet is in the kids bedroom in the back. It is about 2 feet wide----hardly big enough for 2 people much less 4. The kids rooms has no other storage other than a few shelves in the closet. We packed light and only brought carryon and we had trouble storing our stuff. We had to leave piles of clothes on top of the dresser----bad planning.
There were 2 large couches in the main bedroom that have seen better days. They were ripped, soiled and the cushions did not fit them. Definately an eye sore.
The King bed was OK in the comfort department but the bed skirt was a sheet laid over the box spring????? Tacky!!!
The bathroom was the worst. The designer who put that together should be shot. Now I know the rooms are trying for a minimalist look but those bathrooms are downright industrial and ugly. Nothing charming or sexy about them. The floor and wall tiles were all the same drab tan. A tub stuck in a corner and a wc with a frosted glass door. Not a window in the room which got very hot and humid when trying to get ready.
Patio was the best part of the room with a big (soiled) daybed and small table and chairs leading to the beach.
With all the lovely white sand beaches on Antigua I would have to say that CB beach was the most unimpressive. The water was green turning murky by the end of the day (due to a salt pond at the end of the beach empting into the sea). Half way through our visit sea grass was churning up. It was like swimming in spinach soup. The grass accumulated on the beach so much so that by the end of the day you couldnt even walk on the beach.
When we couldnt swim in the sea we tried the pool but forget about that as it was over run with kids and too warm--YUK!
The best part of the resort was the food. We ate at Indigo on the beach for breakfast & lunch several times (very good) for dinner (very good) and the Beach BBQ (lovely setting but not worth the $85.00 pp----where was the lobster for that price?)
We ate at East one night on the patio overlooking the pool. The atmosphere was uninspiring ----we probley should have eaten inside but hate the thought of a/c in the Caribbean. Each night we would start with a drink in the lobby bar where there was always live entertainment. Watch out for the champaign (23$ a glass).
The highlight of the trip were 2 boat rides. One a sunset trip and the other an all day trip. Both were with HUGH and PRINCE--- What great guys!! They were professional, knowledgable and fun! We were the only ones on the sunset sail (amazing boat) where we had sandwiches (strange appetizer for 6:00) and any drinks you would like. The day trip took us out to the reef for decent snorkling and we went to Nelsons Dockyard to look at the mega yachts and then cruised up the west coast to see all the lovely beaches and coves. A great day. The hotel should double their pay---they are an asset!
All in all I would say that CB was not worth the money we paid. It was not a bad hotel but it just did not WOW us. If you are a family with young kids you would probley find it appealing. If not try Hermitage Bay (checked out the resort and rooms one day and they were awesome) or try Jumby Bay (where we spent 3 nights at the end of our trip---great).

  • Liked — The food and the spa
  • Disliked — The room, beach & pool
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Maryella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2007

Carlisle Bay is a nice hotel but especially for families. The Suites and Wellness Area are great. The beach is unfortunately not that carribbean... it's quite dirty because of the Mangroves in the back of the hotel area. The view is ok but not magnificent. The staff is not very friendly (especially the breakfast waiters)...For couples I only can suggest the Hermitage Bay!! Enjoy the Caribbean - it's magic!




  • Liked — Suite
  • Disliked — Charm of the whole resort, particularly the beach
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank hideaway_seeker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2007

We stayed at the Carlisle Bay Hotel from March 21 -April 4th, 2007. The property is beautiful, situated on Carlisle Bay about 30 minutes from the airport and St John's , the islands capital.
The suite we had was spacious and beautiful,overlooking the bay,but with the amount of trees the resort had the view was difficult to see.

We have traveled extensively,visiting five star resorts routinely and because of our experiences we write the following:
The resort is 3 years old and has some kinks yet to be worked out. The staff is friendly, food is very good and serivce
at the restaurant is attentive except when it is crowded. We encountered one problem in the room itself with a lightbulb being out and it taking 3 calls to the frontdesk over a period of 8 hours to get it resolved. In a 5 star hotel one would expect that all lights would be tested prior to the next guest checking in,or having to make only one call to get the problem resolved.

The spa was new but not well laid out although the treatment rooms were more than adequate. The sounds from the tennis courts which are below the treatment rooms can be heard while you are having your treatments. The locker rooms were the smallest and most spartan we have ever experienced( no hairspray, deoderant,razors, mouthwash, cologne,toothpaste). The locker room also had a sauna but no steam only one shower on the women's side and 2 on the men's.

The gym was very well equipped but be aware any extra classes come at a cost (pilates, yoga etc). The salon is very overpriced, even adjusted for it being in the Caribbean, with a french manicure costing 90.00 US before a tip.

The tax and service charges total 20 percent on everything, including room, making our tax bill alone on a 4 night stay 1100.00 US. There is also a charge for any daily newspapers you would want,which was not mentioned at check -in when we were asked which we would like to receive daily. Never have been charged for newspapers, and especially wouldn't think you would be at a resort that is approx 1000.00 US per night.

The taxi fare anywhere you want to go on the island is a minimum 40.00 US,although the taxi will wait for you at no additional charge. We had taxis at night that took us various places and waited for 3 or more hours.

There is a library with 2 computers free of charge, so one can keep in contact with the ourside world.

Antigua is a poor but a beautiful island, the weather couldn't have been more perfect. You certainly will enjoy your vacation here.

  • Liked — The views
  • Disliked — Noisy children
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank diamondsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2007

It is the best of the best particularly if you have small children, however, it's not perfect. This review is to prepare you so that after you've booked your $1000/night suite, you're ready for the minor flaws and they don't drive you bonkers.

The management is omnipresent, friendly and very responsive. They are doing the best they can with local staff -- and the local staff is on the whole quite good. Not flawless, which is what you want for the price paid, but given it's the Caribbean they are very very good.

Setting is beautiful, adult guests are separated from guests with children by the restaurant, Indigo. There is a full choice of activities for adults and children and none are ever fully booked. The kids club is brilliant with attentive staff and differing activities for differing ages. However, do note with the kids club that parents need to provide snacks. No one told us and our children were miserably cranky at noon pickup the first day. When you book babysitting services, they work to give you the same sitter for your entire stay. Ask for Kathy or Suzette. both work at the kids club and are warm and lovely with the children.

The evening childrens tea, served from 5 - 6:30, is a special treat. The kids eat in a lovely covered outdoor setting, they can run about, make havoc, spill food and yell to each other all while mum and dad have a drink and don't have to worry about irritating fellow tables. Then, you put the kids in the bath, bed, hire a babysitter and have a blissful childless meal.

The food at Indigo is perfectly acceptable. The food at Thai influenced East excellent. Service at the Pavillion Bar wonderful but beware the US$22 champagne! Shocking, particularly give the very reasonable price of food and drink elsewhere.

Housekeeping could be more attentive. Each room is given an espresso machine which is perfect for heating a bottle, however, our milk nozzle was not cleaned once nor was the puddle of milk on the drain (we did do it). Rubbish was left about and the baby's cot linens were never changed. However, floors were scrubbed as were tub and shower.

Tennis is briliant, yoga is fine if not spectacular -- would be better if one weren't charged for it as it's not spectacular. Avoid the manicure/pedicure as it's horribly over-priced and doesn't last a day.

But truly over-all most worth it and a fantastic holiday for a family with young children. I believe once the kids are 7 or over, one may have to rethink but under that, we've not had a better experience in the Caribbean.

  • Liked — kids club, atmosphere
  • Disliked — spotty service,
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank bimmie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2007

We stayed for 8 nights during half term week with our daughters (aged 6 and 3) and on the whole would recommend Carlisle Bay as a high quality destination for families. This is our fourth stay in the Caribbean and we are seriously thinking about returning next year (praise indeed - we have never gone back to the same hotel before but Carlisle Bay really suits our needs).

I you are coming from the UK with children its well worth taking the Virgin flight rather than BA. Yes, you have to get up an hour earlier but the benefit is that you can be on the beach by 3.45pm and give the children a full 2 hours to expose themselves to sunshine and fully exhaust themsleves. The result - NO JET LAG or 4am starts to the day. Well worth it!

The key benefit of the setup here is that the room at the back of the suites serves as a perfectly good bedroom for the children which, combined with the living area in the main room gives a comfortable amount of space. The rooms are tastefully furnished with a great location looking straight out onto the beach. As humidity is low we turned of the A/C at night and slept with the ceiling fan running and the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. Very relaxing. Nice to be in a balcony suite if you want to do this with no worries about security.

Extras such as the coffee machine are a nice touch (so good infact my wife almost bought one when we returned home). On the negative side we thought the bathroom was a bit cheaply done and would agree with other comments that the shower doesn't work well. Wardrobe space is pretty limited but really only because we completely overpacked. Would totally agree with previous comments about the relaxed setup - a real plus to come somewhere like this and not feel the need to dress up.

We thought the food was a pretty good standard when you consider you are in the Carribbean where haute cuisine isn't really on the agenda. Indigo has a great feel. We thought the breakfasts were great and the evening menus very consistent. The Friday BBQ is outstanding both in terms of atmosphere and quality (great lobster, shrimp etc). We thought service was also very good for the location and people were incredibly friendly. We thought East was OK in that it had a alternative feel, but was ultimately let down by rather average food which was a long way from the standard of the names it tries to emulate. Tea on the beach is a great idea - we aren't big lunch eaters so would snack and then have have the sandwiches etc that come with the tea at 4pm which was a great way of carrying the children through to dinner time.

Would agree that the beach is not outstanding from the perspective of the water etc but still its a beautiful spot with enough space to stop it feeling crowded and with the added benefit of no hawkers or motorsports to spoil the tranquility. The pool was also well designed and suprisingly uncrowded, although we used this less. During our stay the weather was somewhat patchy with the odd rainy spell. The cinema seemed a bit of an odd idea to us but actually came in handy during one major downpour. As a result we can confirm that ET retains its appeal to 6 year olds some 25 years after its release! The Kids Club looked OK but we disn't use it - the children preferred to just play on the beach all day.

In terms of other facilities the gym is well equipped and barely used. Didn't try the spa but it looked pretty relaxing and the tennis facilities are good. The library is a nice touch, particularly if you want to chill out early evening. Computers with broadband access are also handy if, like me, your can't ever completely escape from the office as it saves you having to hunt down faxes etc.

Only major gripe was the hot water failing in our suite on 2 evenings (due, it turned out, to the hairdryer blowing the fuse - beware!!). This was incredibly annoying at the time (had to go to dinner one night unshowered) and wasn't really met with the level of urgency from the maintenance staff that we would expect. Ultimately however management redeemed themselves with an apology and a discount to our bill which was well received.

So conclusion is that this is a great place if you have a young family and what to avoid the hassle of connecting flights to go to some of the more far flung parts of the Caribbean. I would say its fully priced for what it is, but the room setup is ideal and and when you compare it to the alternative of two adjoining standard rooms at any other comparable hotel the cost isn't that different. If you are without children then, yes, its a very high quality destination but is competing in a much wider field which I think is reflected in the reviews from those without families which seem less positive.

I am pretty sure we will be coming back.

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank RDH1London
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Saint Mary's
10.8 mi away
Blue Waters Antigua
Blue Waters Antigua
#2 of 16 in St. John's
1,865 reviews
6.3 mi away
Hermitage Bay
Hermitage Bay
#1 of 7 in Saint Mary's
1,015 reviews
10.8 mi away
Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort
Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort
#1 of 16 in St. John's
630 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
4.9 mi away
Cocobay Resort
Cocobay Resort
#1 of 3 in Bolans
2,297 reviews
8.4 mi away
Galley Bay Resort
Galley Bay Resort
#1 of 1 in Five Islands Village
3,333 reviews
0.7 mi away
Curtain Bluff Resort
Curtain Bluff Resort
#2 of 7 in Saint Mary's
441 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Carlisle Bay Antigua? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Carlisle Bay Antigua

Property: Carlisle Bay Antigua
Address: Old Rd, Saint Mary's 00000, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Mary's
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Saint Mary's
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Saint Mary's
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Saint Mary's
#3 Family Hotel in Saint Mary's
#4 Romantic Hotel in Saint Mary's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Carlisle Bay Antigua 5*
Number of rooms: 82
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Carlisle Bay on Antigua is one of the leading luxury Caribbean resorts, its accommodation designed to allow for both families and couples to holiday in peace. Both kinds of traveler have a dedicated end of the resort, which allows for everyone the tranquility of the spectacular beach. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, DerbySoft Ltd Shanghai HQ, Hotels.com, Expedia, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Agoda, Hotwire, Cheap Tickets, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Carlisle Bay Antigua reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Carlisle Bay Antigua Hotel Saint Mary`s
Carlisle Bay Hotel Antigua
Carlisle Bay Resort Antigua
Carlisle Bay Antigua Antigua And Barbuda

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing