It's a gorgeous property. Not just the locale - which is stunning on its own, but the level of service and attention to detail elevate this resort to truly admirable heights. There are two major reasons, however, why we would not be returning.
1. The beach is barely swimable. I've been so diligent about reading the reviews posted here, and not even one bothered to mention this: the water on the beach is full of seaweed, which makes it a huge dealbreaker for anyone who, like us, list swimming in the ocean as No. 1 activity of any beach vacation. Eventually, we found a spot where we could make a few steps without getting into all the grass, but it's literally several steps and a tiny spot of entry & exit. Yes, it's a pretty beach, but what's the use if you can't really enjoy swimming in the water?
2. Bugs! And I'm not talking mosquitos. Some tiny creatures that you don't even see - and got covered in red welts by the time we left the island. Yes, they provide Off! in every room - and, even better, I brought a very sophisticated portable bugs-defense system with me - all to no avail. Our first clue should have been the lush vegetation of the island -- wherever it's that green, they must get a lot of rain, and a lot of rain means bugs! Of course, bugs is something you have to deal with in every tropical climate, but some islands are better in this regard because they are relatively bare (Aruba, Turks & Caicos), and some are worse - and this one is probably the worst I've seen in my lifetime.
If these two points don't bother you too much, however, I will provide some other details, all of which are good. All the three restaurants serve up amasing cuisine (we liked Pool Grille the best for lunch, as it gets a little hot and humd at lunch time at the Veranda; as for dinner, we actually preferred the Veranda, since the Estate House dinners take forever and are not always consistent in their quality). The drinks are strong and plentiful -- there is alsways someone around willing to bring you another. They have a regular shuttle running to Antigua every hour like clockwork -- we made it to Antigua for dinner once (went to Sheer - not bad, but not as spectacular as the reviews would have you believe), and the hotel arranged all the transportation and went all out to make sure everything was as comfortable as could be.
We stayed at the courtside suites. They have stunning ocean views, but the terraces are not that private yet (you can see people staying next to you on their terrace), which, I guess, with time would get better once the vegetation kicks in. Just to show you the level of service -- once we complained about lack of privacy, we were offered a more expensive pool villa (which we did not take b/c it lacked the stunning ocean views we had in the courtyard suite), and the resort manager also offered to put some potted plants to get us some privacy. The rooms are well furnished, if not a little stark in the all white-decor. The fridge was always stocked with sodas. The walk to the beach is literally a couple of steps through the Pool Grille and its stunning infinity-pool-enhanced views. There are always golf carts available to drive you around the island, so getting tired is never an issue.
All and all, my bottom line is this: if you take this resort, and put it somewhere with a better beach & fewer bugs, I'd never leave.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A 300-acre private island located just two miles off the coast of Antigua, Jumby Bay Island casts a spell of serene enchantment. A naturalist's haven that plays host to a variety of wildlife amidst the tropical foliage and pristine, white sand beaches, this all-inclusive hideaway is recognized world-wide as a private island resort paradise. With 40 luxurious resort rooms and suites, and a host of privately owned residences, Jumby Bay's exemplary hospitality is something that has long been lauded by the Caribbean's most discerning travelers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Hotel St. John`s
- Jumby Bay Antigua
- Jumby Bay Island Antigua/Saint John Parish