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“Wind, wind, go away, come back another day!!”

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Dutchman's Bay Cottages
Reviewed January 19, 2013

We have just returned from a 12 day stay at DBC (Jan 2013) booked through Planet Windsurf.
Agree with all the previous positive comments about David & the cottages. Most of the other cottages were unoccupied so David moved us into a 2 bed cottage right on the edge of the ocean to protect us from the howling wind (apparently the conditions the first week were unusual).
Although dissapointed initially by the weather and consequence that we couldn't windsurf straightaway, we found plenty to do on the non windy side of the Island and it was lovely to come back to our special cottage which we fell in love with more and more as we spent time there.
As the weather changed again to more typical for time of year, our windsurfing gear was delivered by Patrick from the local school at Jabberwock Beach (5 mins away) so that we could windsurf when we liked from right outside our cottage which was amazing..David is also an ex windsurfer and gave us some tips about places to windsurf to..our trip out to a neighbouring deserted Island was particularly memorable and bless him, David had been keeping a discreet eye on us in case we went off course!!
We were very sad to leave our lovely cottage and could have easily stayed longer enjoying the peace and the waves..
Some tips:
Don't bring a hairdryer as there's one there!
Don't put anything in your shopping basket that you've not checked price of as it'll probably cost a fortune..
Don't worry if you get a puncture as there's loads of cheap tyre places that will fix it for a fiver
The rainforest canopy tour was expensive for what it was..
Shirley Heights is full of posh yaughty rich kids but is worth the visit for the steel band and the reggae.
Don't get talked into giving extra money to the hire car company when you leave. I got into a big argument with Alamo but when I stood my ground, she eventually backed down and said 'oh yes actually you have paid already'
Get a direct flight (Virgin were brilliant)

Room Tip: cottage on beachfront has best view but can get very noisy with the wind
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank katesprl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 19, 2012

We stayed here for a week at the end of February 2012. The cottages are really, really nice. Quiet and very well set up and in a less-touristy corner of the island. Nice to have access to wifi too.Thanks David!

I'm writing this really for people who might be considering staying here without a car. We didn't hire a car (wanted to reduce holiday hassles) and managed fine with the local buses, apart from at the weekends when it was harder to get about - we did get a bit stuck on a Saturday, and when we arrived on a Sunday we ended up getting a lift to the supermarket to stock up on groceries as there were no buses running near the cottages that day. There is no grocery store within walking distance of the cottages which was a minor problem, but it just means you have to plan ahead a bit more or eat out! Monday to Friday the buses work fine, there were at least two an hour into St Johns where you can connect to buses running to all the other bits of the island. The buses are a super cheap and fun way of getting around the island although the Airport / Coolidge bus to the cottages stops about 6.30 / 7 (better check this with a driver unless you plan to get a taxi home). There is some very useful info about buses here http://www.antiguaforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=929 or once you are there, the St John's bus station has clear info about which buses go where and people there are very helpful to confused tourists! There's a bakery van at the St John's bus station in the afternoon, a nice friendly place to pick up some Antiguan cakes for tea or the next day's breakfast. It is definitely possible to explore the island and find some lovely quiet beaches using the buses although you might need to plan ahead a bit more than if you had a hire car.

Eating out nearby - the Tides was lovely, Cecilia's was also lovely - neither are particularly cheap though. Cecilia's is also very handy for a cold beer in the afternoon!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank GreenPea76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2012

This is the perfect place. Authentic, little, clean, friendly. Superb!!! No pool.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank domreust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2012

My fiancé and I spent a week at Dutchman's Bay and thought it was great. The cottages are comfortable and airy and well-equipped. There are screens on all the windows and the buildings are in very good shape. There is a hammock on every porch. The location is convenient too; we had rented a vehicle for the week so it was easy to get to the grocery store (Epicurean) and to the other points on the island we wanted to visit. The drive to the very opposite side of the island only took 30 minutes. Also, getting to the airport was a snap (although we certainly had no wish to leave!).

Dutchman's Bay is very quiet and rather secluded, which was just what we were looking for. We loved our slow mornings, drinking our tea/coffee on the porch facing the spectacular turquoise water. Watching the local pelicans dive for fish never got old! :-) One morning I woke up early and watched the sunrise, which was straight out in front of the cottage.And although the beach is not as spectacular as some of the others on the island, we loved our morning dips before moving on with our day. And some days we didn't even leave. We just read our novels on the beach.

David Fuller was very helpful in suggesting restaurants and he guided us toward other points of interest as well as reserving us a spot on the Antigua Adventures Eco-Tour (which was great). He was available on the grounds every morning so that we could chat with him if we wanted but he was never intrusive.

As for the local restaurants, we ended up eating at both Le Bistro (five-minute drive) and The Tides (right next door to the cottages). Both were great. We loved eating at The Tides and ended up going twice. The service and view were wonderful, as was the food. We would have tried Cecelia's too (at the far end of the beach), but her hours were a bit tricky to keep track of and the times we tried to go it was closed. Looked like a cute place though.

All in all, we really had a great time. The breeze was so nice and made for very pleasant sleeping at night. The gardens around the cottages were really pretty. We felt very safe all the time. We have been telling friends about it and are hoping we'll be back someday!

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Patanli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2012

As other reviewers have said, Dutchman’s Bay Cottages (DBC) are an excellent, comfortable, very affordable place to stay. The cottages are right on Dutchman's Bay beach - we fell asleep every night to the relaxing sound of the waves. Temperature was not a problem at all, and I'm someone who can't sleep when it's even a little hot, but the breeze off the ocean kept the rooms very comfortable. There are screens on all windows - probably not needed as the wind on that side of the island keeps all the bugs away, but made me feel better, plus heavy wooden shutters to keep the wind, sound and light out, if you want that.

The cottages are very well equipped - plates, glasses, cooking implements, even salt and pepper, plus of course a gas stove and oven, fridge and microwave. So if you want to cook, you've got everything you need.

If you don't want to cook, the big grocery store (The Epicurean) is about 20 minutes drive away, and they have a good takeout selection. There's also a very good restaurant right near the Epicurean called The Larder, which has a very good takeout menu as well.

I would definitely recommend renting a car, though if you have a phone and are willing to call taxis, they're certainly an option as well. There are 2 restaurants very nearby, but one was only open 2 nights a week (at least when we were there; it may be different other times), so if you want to eat out more casually, or with more variety, you do need to drive or take cab.

David is very helpful and friendly, and will recommend restaurants and beaches to go to.

Dutchman’s Bay Cottages are a really comfortable and relaxing place to stay. I could easily have spent more time right at the cottage, just sitting on the lounge chairs watching the waves, or relaxing on the veranda. Many thanks to David for making our trip so enjoyable.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank eek_19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2011

First off, I have to say I agree with the previous reviews. Dutchman’s Bay Cottages (DBC) are excellent, and an amazing place to stay. I won’t go over all the points listed by previous reviewers but I have a few things to add.

Transportation: we did not rent a car. We didn’t intend to go touring every day - we were there to relax. If you are only going out a few days a week, hire a taxi, and you won’t have the stress of driving. Another bonus - DBC are well served by buses - Mon-Sat , every hour on the hour, 20 minutes to St. John’s. Once there, you can easily catch buses to other locations. We took the bus several times and plan to use the buses even more next time.

We loved falling asleep to the sound of the ocean. You won’t miss not having AC - you don’t need it with the island breezes. (Bonus: a good breeze keeps the bugs away ! Hardly any bug bites and we were there for 3 weeks ! )

My favourite time of day at DBC: sunrise --- sit on the veranda and watch the sun come up -- or the evening - watch the moon glistening on the ocean -- priceless.

The cottages are very well set up, and very comfortable, (love the double sink in the Kitchen ! Smart !)

We enjoyed the Tides restaurant next door. Our favourites were some of their appetizers so we would order a couple of those rather than a meal for lunch. My husband liked their coconut shrimp, we both really liked the spring rolls. We also really enjoyed their Sunday Brunch - their chef makes an Onion Soup that takes onion soup to a new level. They should serve that every Sunday.

If you look at my profile on TA you will notice I wrote a review of Buccaneer Beach Club on Dickenson Bay back in January of this year. I still stand by everything I wrote in that review. They are both great places to stay --- it just depends what you are looking for. Dickenson Beach is busier (crowded) - great spot for grabbing boat tours , whereas Dutchmans is a quieter, laid back place, and the large verandas (big table for eating outside and hammock if you feel like relaxing) are really great.

I spent hours one day in a lounger by the ocean in front of our cottage just reading a book….. I loved it.

If it is a little to windy for you to enjoy your meal outside, lots of room in the cottage living room at DBC - just move your table and chairs inside, but if you have a direct ocean view (we did) leave the doors to the cottage open and enjoy the view!

I have never watched so little TV (though there are lots of channels ! ).

David is a great host: not intrusive, but always there to help you with whatever you need.
Already planning our stay for next winter ! DBC is our home away from home.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank hopetogo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2011

A few facts about myself to give proper context to my review:
1. I'm very picky and research everything
2. I'm clean to the point that my wife claims I'm obsessive compulsive (probably true)
3. I dislike crowds and touristic places, e.g. - Disneyland, Herald Square in Manhattan (intersection of 34th & Broadway - if you've ever been there then you know what I'm talking about), any place listed as Top 10 Spring Break destinations with drunk college kids
4. I like to travel independently and explore a place - to experience the local life and cuisine

David Fuller's Dutchman's Bay Cottages are the best kept secret in Antigua. My wife and I (who was 5 months pregnant during our stay there) researched for months before deciding to take a vacation in Antigua. Our decision to come to Antigua was based 75% on the numerous factors that made the Dutchman's Cottages so perfect, and the other 25% based on a short travel time from New York with access to beautiful beaches. We actually adjusted our travel date to be able to stay at the beachfront cottage unit at Dutchman's Bay.

Before going further, let me also state that the Cottages' website really understates the beauty of the Cottages. I have posted my own pictures up, so take a look and judge for yourself. It might be the only establishment where the actual place looks better than the pictures on its website.

There are 7 cottages at David's Dutchman's Bay Cottages: 2 units right in front of the beach (stone throw's away) - 1 unit is bigger than the other (we stayed in the smaller unit: 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, kitchen and a living room). 3 units right behind the first row of the 2 units about 20 feet behind with partial view of the ocean. And 2 units in the last row about 20 feet behind the second row. There is a laundry cottage that guests can use - the machines are free but you have to supply your own detergent.

Amenities - free high-speed wireless internet (great connection), TV with satellite cable, full size refrigerator, full size kitchen with all cooking utensils, ceiling fans (but you won't need them because there is an amazing breeze from the ocean - no need for AC either, thus no AC units - in fact, when we were there, it was so windy that we had to close all the shades to keep out the chilly wind), comfortable sofa, and a really comfortable bed (my pregnant wife said it was as comfortable as our $3,000 mattress at home). They provide you with towels, linens, and bar soaps. You have to bring your own shampoo, toothpaste, and other personal stuff.

Cleanliness - damn clean! Marlene, the house keeper keeps the place spic and span! The units are cleaned 3 times a week, Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Linens and towels are changed. She sweeps the floors - they're so clean that people walk barefoot in their units. David told me that they bleach all the surfaces and change everything between guests, even the sofa covers!

Location - after a long day of exploring and navigating through some really narrow and bumpy roads and crazy drivers (be prepared for some very aggressive drivers), when my wife and I would finally pull into the road that leads up to the cottages, we would both breathe a sigh of relief for coming home (and it really felt like home) away from the bustling local life and the crowds of tourists we sometimes encountered. It was like taking a vacation from other vacationers. It's located on the northern side of the island, 3 minutes away by car from the airport (yet it's serenely quiet and we hardly ever noticed any noise from the airport). It's not near any touristic places (unless you consider the Antiguan military base a destination - the locals call the pelicans the Antiguan Air Force - the military base which flanks the western side of the Cottages mostly consists of homes for their officers). Immediately to the right of the Cottages is the Tides, a very good restaurant - excellent salad Nicoise and great rotis. At the end of the beach is Cecilia's, another great restaurant, although we didn't get a chance to eat there. The only other place nearby is the Antigua and Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute.
In sum, the cottages are isolated from both the hectic local life and the stifling bustle of touristic destinations.
On a separate but related note, I would highly recommend a car rental - it allows you to explore the island and go shopping for groceries at your convenience. The supermarket that we frequented (frequently) was the Epicurean, a gigantic supermarket to rival any in America. David told us it was one of the largest in the Caribbean. You should try their hot food counter if you get a chance - good local cuisine for great prices.
We used Thrifty.com car rental and paid $300.00 for a week for a late model Toyota Rav 4, automatic with AC. It was without insurance and not a true 4 wheel drive. 2 things I would do differently: 1. Pay insurance because some of the roads are narrow dirt roads and your car is prone to scratches from brush and tree branches, not to mention huge potholes and crazy drivers. 2. Make sure your vehicle is a true 4 wheel drive if you want to get to some hard to reach places, like Rendezvous Bay, which requires true off-roading skills or take a gruelling 1 hour inclined hike, which we could not do due to my wife's pregnancy.

Rooms - fantastic! Look at my photos and judge for yourself. Home away from home. The entire cottage fills with sunlight in the morning. There was absolutely no need for an AC or for the fans. In fact, it was a bit cold at times (it was unusually windy when we were there). Usually, however, the amount of wind is perfect - not too cold.
The bathroom was immaculately clean and very well ventilated. The standing shower has great water pressure! It was like taking one of those expensive jet water massages. You can, of course, adjust the water to any level you like.

Service - superb! David is an amazing host. He told us, "Yeah, this is the life. Taking it easy by the ocean, away from the rat race." But don't let his easygoing facade fool you - he is one of the hardest working people I've met. He is constantly maintaining the property and keeps it in amazing condition. He actually hand built the entire property himself, including his home next to the Cottages. He has the perfect balance between caring for his guests and respecting their privacy, making you feel comfortable and at home. He is one of those rare people who are highly intelligent yet superbly modest. What a great guy. You should talk to him before setting off anywhere, for he has great advice. I don't know if he would like for me to write this here, but his family is really established in the island and the Fuller name pops up everywhere - you may connect the dots with some digging of your own. His knowledge of the island is vast and he gave us many invaluable tips to make our daily outings optimal.

Value - ha! One of the factors that made us choose the Dutchman's Bay Cottages and as a result, Antigua, as our vacation destination. Can't get a better deal for such a beautiful place. A peaceful paradise away from other vacationers.

Sleep Quality - At night, the stars are so bright that you can literally see the variations in their light intensity, making them twinkle as if they're computer generated images on a movie screen. There's always a gentle breeze flowing in from the ocean and the sound of waves rolling onto the shore an arm's length away from you makes for the perfect recipe for sleep. And in the morning, the sunlight wakes you from your peaceful slumber, so you can explore some more beaches.

Final tips:
- Bring your own GPS and download a map for Antigua & Barbuda on it (maps that they give you here are really undetailed)
- Rent a four wheel drive jeep
- Get insurance on it
- Drive carefully
- They drive on the left side of the road here - took me about 2 days to get used to it
- Shop at Epicurean - they have a good bakery and a great selection. They also have this really great Italian brand ice-cream (the one with a screw-on top) and a French brand yogurt that was SO good. They don't always have fresh fish, but when they do, buy some and make it at home - yummy.
- Use plenty of sunscreen
- Don't expect much in the interior of the island, all the beauty, sadly, is on the coast.
- All beaches are public in Antigua

Places to avoid like the plague:
- Shirley Heights on Sunday evenings - think Spring Break at Cancun with smoky BBQ
- English Harbour - hectic, non-relaxing, touristic, and uninteresting - we actually saw a bar-fight like scene while driving to Pigeon Point, the beach from hell that was recommended to us by a local because we couldn't get to Rendezvous Bay.
- Pigeon Point - I've been to better beaches in City Island, Bronx, New York, than this - loud loud music playing over a tiny beach littered with smoking college kids overlooking a bay filled with boat fuel
- Nelson's Dockyard - maybe because we're from New England, but it was like a tiny tiny tiny version of the Southstreet Seaport or the Boston Harbor but not that interesting - also right next to English Harbour and very touristic

Places to go:
- Hermitage Bay - beautiful isolated beach, a bit hard to get to but worth it. A really fancy schmanzy resort is in front of the beach - the day my wife and I went, we were the only people on the beach. It was a bit windy, so the guests at the resort didn't bother with the beach.
- Half-moon Bay - go to the left side (the northern side) of the bay when you enter the beach. Really calm waters, crystal clear, and plenty of sea-life right on the shore - we had fish swimming at our feet. Walk on the rocks - great spray from the waves against the rocks - but be careful!
- Darkwood Beach and Turner's Beach - great view of sunset from these Western shore beaches
- Devil's Bridge - extremely hard to find, but interesting geological formations
- The fish and chips restaurant at Long Bay - great fried fish
- One of the best fish and chips at Copper and Lumber Inn at Nelson's Dockyard (although Nelson's Dockyard is not that great but we had to eat there).
- Tides for lunch or pre-dinner food. One of the best Nicoise sald we've tried (similar to how we make it at home) and great rotis (one of delicious local dishes). Their dinner is not that great and overpriced.
We wanted to go to Deep Bay and Rendezvous Bay as well but our time and our pregnancy didn't allow.

In conclusion, David Fuller is one of the best hosts we've encountered in our numerous travels around the world. His Dutchman's Bay Cottages were home away from home for us and provided a truly relaxing haven from an island that otherwise might've been too touristic and hectic for our tastes. The Cottages made our vacation a great memorable experience that we will forever treasure.

Note: Previous guests have posted a picture of the kitchen, so I've only included a close-up and different angle of the kitchen. The kitchen and livingroom is one large open contiguous space.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank IndieWorldExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dutchman's Bay Cottages

Address: Dutchmans Bay | Coolidge, St. John's, Antigua
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 22 Specialty Lodging in St. John's
Price Range: $125 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dutchman's Bay Cottages is a brand new development located on the NE coast of Antigua. All cottages are seperate units, including a fully furnished kitchen, seperate bedrooms and spacious verandah. The cottages are all situated right on the beach and perfct for a family and the independent traveler. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Dutchman`s Bay Cottages Hotel St. John`s
Dutchman's Bay Cottages Antigua/Saint John Parish

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