This was our first time in Antigua, and we were enchanted with the island and with Blue Waters in particular. We can well believe the experienced Antigua visitors who told us this was the best place to stay on the island. The ambience and gardens are delightful, and, crucially, the hotel has good, friendly staff with a great attitude. They seem to take genuine pleasure in giving visitors happy memories.
One example: the day after a conversation with a waitress about herbal teas, she brought us fresh lemon grass to try, cut from her own garden. Very different to Barbados, our last Caribbean holiday, where felt like dollars on the hoof.
Food & drink: The 'all inclusive' package is good if you don't mind drinking house wine (acceptable, Chilean). Palms restaurant is optimised for buffet meals; great breakfasts and lunches, but we preferred the a la carte Cove Restaurant in the evenings. The $50 allowance for all inclusive guests stretches to 2 good courses. Lobster at the Cove is $38. Book early.
The beaches are sandy and private, so you aren't hassled by vendors. The Water Sports crew (Owen, Robert, Ryan) are great characters who enjoy their jobs. On request, they'll take you out in a Hobie Cat to a reef about 1200 yards offshore, where you can snorkel over coral.
It seems that hiring a car is a bad idea. We didn't, but heard the tales of those who did. The roads are heavily pot-holed, resulting in some 'creative' driving, and are almost devoid of signs. For the cost of a day's car hire, a taxi took us to the other end of the island and brought us back 3 hours later. Ask the excursions desk for Lewis as driver, and let him take a scenic route. For us, being offered fresh coconut and pineapple at the roadside by one of Lewis's friends was a more enduring memory than the historic attractions of English Harbour.
Great Bird Island is worth a visit. Excellent coral, clear water, and a stunning display of fish for snorkelers . It was also quiet when we were there, and there's something romantic about strolling along a tropical beach where the only footprints are your own. Hotel hospitality (Sandy) will organise the trip and arrange a lunchtime BBQ, but it's probably best to find 2 or 3 like-minded couples to share the cost unless, like us, you are celebrating a significant birthday/anniversary.
Beware excursion on days when cruise ships are in port; attractions will be swamped.
Shirley Heights on a Sunday night (45 mins by taxi) offers stunning views of the sunset and great steel bands. We're told the evening livens up after dark and it's worth sampling the BBQ and reggae there rather than hurrying back to the hotel's dinner.
Overall, although there's still scope for improvement (Bartley's Restaurant, for example, seemed slow and disorganised), we've rarely finished a holiday so unwilling to leave or so determined to go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in the North West Corner of Antigua where crystal clear waters lap onto secluded white sand beaches, Blue Waters Resort offers an island paradise. From your personal welcome, complete with cooled scented towel and rum punch, you will realise you are our valued guest. Featuring small secluded beach coves, seven freshwater pools and 17 acres of lush tropical gardens, Blue Waters provides the ideal setting for relaxing days by the pool or on the beach, cocktail in hand, or for reading a good book in the shade of the swaying palm trees. Having gently evolved and constantly improved over 50 years we offer a range of luxuriously appointed rooms to meet the needs of our guests, from hillside rooms in a garden setting to beachside rooms with renowned spectacular ocean views. For the more active guest we offer complimentary watersports, tennis and a newly refurbished gym. Our recently opened Elemis Spa and Hair Salon with its stunning ocean views provides a perfect setting for a pampering treatment or as part of a wedding package. Finish the day off dining at one of our 3 restaurants, each with a different ambience to suit your mood. Our staff is ready and waiting to welcome you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Blue Waters Antigua Hotel St. John`s
- Blue Waters St Johns
- Hotel Blue Waters
- Blue Waters Hotel Antigua
- Blue Waters Antigua Saint John Parish