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“Cosy cottage retreat”

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Antigua's Yepton Estate Cottages
Certificate of Excellence
Milton, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Cosy cottage retreat”
Reviewed March 5, 2014

From the moment we met Gaby and Doug, we felt at home. Their hospitality was outstanding. We have travelled and stayed in some of the best places but nothing can measure up to the overall experience we had at Yepton Estate Cottages. The cottages are immaculate and tastefully decorated with a real cottage-like feel. If you like cooking, every utensil or appliance is at your finger tips. Us being Canadian, loved having the barbecue. The spacious verandah is where we spent most our time when we weren't out and about the island. Most importantly Gaby and Doug are a fantastic team who run an outstanding business. Their dedication to ensuring their guests are well looked after is above and beyond. They have the ability to make you feel like you are their favourite. We realize this is how they treat all of their guests. We hope to return next year, after all how will we find a place any better. If you like be treated well, get outstanding service, enjoy peace and quiet, this is the place for you.

Room Tip: 1 bedroom cottages closest to the water would be best Studio cottage was compact and also good
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pamela D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, England
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2014

We had a lovely time in a very peaceful and beautiful place. Every morning, we shared our breakfast with the birds. We had St Lucia bull finches, Bananaquits and once a pigeon was brave enough to join us. There was a King bird, but they are too canny to come on to the table!

There was a lake at the front of our little house, and we watched brown pelicans diving continuously. Beyond the lake, really close we could see ships! It was very odd to see the cruise ships and coasters coming by, dwarfing the trees.

Our hosts were marvellous. When we arrived, because we were so late Gabriella drove me to a nearby supermarket. She even lent me some money because I stupidly forgot mine.

Douglas is a fount of knowledge about where to go on the island and how to get around.

That was indicative of the whole experience of the booking process and our stay. They were great, really helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Catherine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Truro, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed February 26, 2014

Being in the hospitality business ourselves and in desperate need of some R&R, we set out to choose somewhere to chill out for two weeks and picked the perfect place. From the moment we booked and started the dialog with Gaby I knew we had made the right decision. I e-mailed Gaby directly, knowing she, like us, would prefer not to pay expensive commission to a booking agent and got a great rate for our two week stay in December. She made recommendations for car hire via e-mail before we set out and told us how to get to Yepton from the airport.

When we arrived we were met with an ice cold beer which was very welcome as the temperature was around the mid 20's, something we were not acclimatised for being December and freezing in the UK! Gaby then took us to the supermarket to get some provisions and patiently showed us where everything was. On the way home she also gave us a guided tour of St Johns and showed us the best places to eat and to park.

The accommodation was very cosy and had everything we needed. The hammock on the porch was used a great deal watching the sun go down (which it does very early in Antigua -6pm). The darker nights meant we ate, slept and got up earlier than we anticipated but that was fine.

The location was perfect for us as we wanted somewhere quiet to relax and catch up on some reading. We watched the pelicans dive for fish, the cruise boats going passed on their way into St Johns and the humming birds flitting around the porch on their way to their next feed. Paradise. The two beaches within walking distance were the icing on the cake. We did hire a car for a week and explored all around the island.

Our list of must sees would include Nelsons Dockyard and Shirley Heights. Half Moon Bay on the other side of the island, with its rather creepy derelict ex 5 star resort, hit by a hurricane and never re-built is apparently where they filmed some of the Pirates of the Caribbean.

We also had a fabulous lunch at Jacqui 'O's just passed Jolly Harbour which has the most idyllic setting right on the beach and fantastic seafood, where, after lunch, you are welcome to use their private beach and loungers to chill!

All in all we would not hesitate in recommending anyone to stay with Gaby and Douglas. They are perfect hosts and it was a pleasure to have met them.


Helen and Steve

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank CliftonsT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swanquarter, North Carolina
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed February 17, 2014

Hello Gabriella and Douglas,

I wanted to tell my fellow travelers from Trip Advisor how wonderful your place is and how well you treated us. All the great reviews I read still did not prepare me for the perfection of the Yepton Beach Cottages.
From the moment you greeted us till the time you said goodbye we felt like you had time for us and were willing to tell us all about Antigua. We spent lots of time sitting on the porch having our meals and relaxing by the pool. Being on the lake was really nice. I have some great pictures of all the birds and plants that were all around us.

I like to have a kitchen when I travel. The kitchen in our cottage was perfect. You spent lots of time making sure everything was there we needed. Nothing like a proper English Breakfast to start the day when on vacation. Made at the cottage it was a real value for us. Sorry I did not save any sausages for Douglas, we ate them all. From the lobster we bought at Epicurean to the red snappers, fruits and vegetables we bought at the St. Johns Market, we had all the equipment we needed to do it up right..

We took 5 day trips to the places/beaches you guys recommended and it was very helpful to have directions and insight on all the places to stop. I must say some of the best times were in St. John’s. It is a little intimidating at first but once we got used to it, it was a grand cultural experience. A good starting point is Roti King-fantastic Conch Roti and located in a part of town good for walking and taking pictures. People are a little camera shy but if you ask permission you can get some great shots. I loved seeing the school children with their big smiles and uniforms.

I wish you all the best with your place. We have it on our list of places we would love to come back to.

Alex and Darci

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank alexsilver56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Petersfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
108 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2014

It seems unnecessary to restate all the qualities that Gabriela and Douglas bring to a holiday staying with them at Yepton Estate Cottages! What it gives to the guest is a total confidence to just enjoy Antigua. The well kept, well appointed little houses are charming and the surroundings unusually idyllic. There are plenty of places to watch waves on a beach, but probably not many where you can while away an hour watching pelicans diving. They do make a big splash which I put down to braking hard to avoid hitting the bottom of the lake!
I take my hat off to our hosts who are running a superb establishment.

Room Tip: We had the smallest which was fine. The best ones are the 2 nearest the lake I think.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Janet P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Potter, Nebraska
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Paradise and relaxation await in Antigua. We have enjoyed two trips in as many years and wouldn't have loved our adventures near as much without staying at Yepton Estates Cottages. Douglas and Gabriela have created a wonderful oasis and provide excellent services to introduce you to the island. The private cottages offer a comfortable base as you enjoy time on the island. The kitchenette is well equipped and we loved grilling and eating on the porch. We spent our days exploring old forts, doing a bit of sailing and enjoying the many beaches Antigua has to offer. We are already planning our next trip and will be sure to book "our" cottage with Gabriela again.

Room Tip: We stayed in a studio cottage and loved the view. Other larger cottages are available but this one...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Valerie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ringwood, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2014

Firstly, a thank you to Gabi and Douglas for looking after us. They really did make us feel welcome and were always there for us but in the most unobtrusive way. Both have a fantastic knowledge and much experience of Antigua and are lovely people to talk with. Big hugs to you both.

The cottages are ideally situated: 2 beaches are within a short walking distance as are 2 hotels where you can dine if you don't feel like cooking (more of that later). The town of St John's is a 10 minute drive away. Yepton is an idyllic haven, which we found to be private, peaceful and beautiful. A small pool (think plunge pool to cool off, rather than swimming lengths) surrounded by decking and sun beds provides a quiet communal area overlooking the lagoon, where you can watch the many Pelicans diving from great heights and Great Egrets standing motionless by the water's edge. There is plenty of shade, if needed, and a public hammock.

There are currently 6 cottages with 5 in use. Cottages 1 and 6 are one bedroomed and face the brackish lagoon (which doesn't encourage mosquitoes). Cottage 3 also has a separate bedroom and provides disabled access in terms of a ramp and additional room to manoeuvre. Each cottage has a quality outside barbecue / grill and some have private hammocks. All cottages are well equipped for self catering including microwave, oven / hob, fridge freezer and all the cutlery and crockery you could wish for. We had the benefit of a toaster, blender, coffee percolator, cool box and food processor. I suspect these items are included as standard for all cottages but cannot confirm.

We had cottage number 2, which is a studio (along with number 5). It suited our needs perfectly. It was light and airy with plenty of ventilation and a quiet air conditioning unit that worked well. The bathroom included a walk in shower with a lovely 'deluge' shower head. The Super King sized bed was so comfortable and would have been a struggle to emerge from if the surroundings hadn't been so lovely. The cottage was cleaned and the bed sheets changed every 4th day by Sharon, the friendly maid.

Although we went out often, some days were spent sitting on the cottage veranda reading, in between feeding birds crumbs from the palm of my hand and sneaking Freddy the dog a sausage from the fridge (the dogs aren't usually allowed in the cottage area but we are dog lovers and liked the odd visit from Freddy, Emma and Polly). Some evenings we used the BBQ and enjoyed watching the fireflies light up as they flew amongst the bushes.

Shortly after our arrival Gabi took us to the Epicurean supermarket. This was a great help as we did not have a car, initially; this took the pressure off somewhat as we could gather some supplies after our journey. We like to try new things but I appreciate that people like their home comforts; if you need your Waitrose or Sainsbury's fix, Epicurean is the place for you. The trip was much appreciated as it gave us the chance to get to know the lie of the land and to find out about some quirks of St John's, including where to dine, shop and park, amongst other things. This is just one example of the thought that Gabi and Douglas put into your stay and how they go out of their way to ensure that you can relax while on holiday.

The setting, quality of the cottages and the help we received from Gabi and Douglas made for a perfect holiday. We felt so relaxed with the only issue being the fact that we had to leave. I suspect at some point we will struggle with the guilt associated with wanting to return to the same place when there are so many other places in the world to see. Thank you again Gabi and Douglas.

Some additional info:

Weather
We visited in late January 2014. The temperature ranged from around 26-30c during the day and rarely reached below 23 at night. Be prepared for the occasional sea squall, which may produce a deluge of epic proportions, only to blow away within 5 minutes or so.

Local Vicinity
The Coconut Grove Hotel is a 5 minute walk away and they do not mind Yepton guests accessing their beach or bar (drinks are $6 for a 330ml beer or strong cocktail); however, this should not be taken for granted - asking permission at reception is polite. The beach is slightly less sheltered as it faces North but was calm when we were there. You can dine for $45 per person. This is very reasonable as it includes pre/post dinner drinks at the beach bar and wine with your meal. There doesn't appear to be a start / end time to this arrangement so one might have to be careful not to abuse the privilege. Sunday is BBQ/buffet night with a steel band for entertainment. The BBQ was enjoyable but don't set your expectations too high. We went for dinner on another occasion and selected from the menu. the food quality was very good but with small portions. Still, well worth the money.

The Grand Royal Antiguan Hotel gate is a 2 minute walk from the cottage; however, it's a 10 minute brisk walk through the grounds to the lovely, sheltered, deserted, half mile long Deep Bay beach.
This hotel is strange - although manned by security, and with an oppulent reception / restaurant area, the hotel is in need of some attention. There are very few guests populating the 200+ rooms and the stand alone apartments have been left unattended, as have some of the grounds. There is evidence of maintenance but with a 'skeleton crew' air. Previous references to this hotel and similarities to the one in the film 'The Shining' are not far wrong. Don't be put off by security at the gate; just walk on through and if questioned either say that you are going to have a drink with Patsy at the beach bar (lovely lady, been there 18 years) and talk to Papa Sel about going out in a boat. Either that or say you are considering staying there and would like to see the hotel. It was worth going just to walk through a massive complex without meeting another guest.

Fort Barrington
Is at the end of Deep Bay beach and can be reached through the Grand Royal Antiguan (10 minute walk along the length of the beach) or via a road that leads to a bridge across to Deep Bay.

St John's
Is a 10 minute drive away and is a hustle and bustle of intersting sights and sounds, as you would imagine of a capital. There are some nice shops but for the main, especially in the cruise liner docking area, there are a lot of shops selling cheap goods. If you want to buy the tat, venture out of the port area to the local stalls where the same goods are dollars cheaper. Roti King is rated #1 restaurant on TripAdvisor. In reality, it is a rustic shop with room for 5 plastic tables and a regular flow of takeaway customers. Don't let that put you off - the roti we had was lovely and very, very filling. I had chicken and my partner had conch. The conch was more expensive at EC$23, bringing our bill to all of 10GBP. We went to the Big Banana Pizza Company one night and had a lovely pizza, while watching up and coming songstress Asher Otto and Itchy Feet. We also went to the C&C Wine Bar and had nibbles and a bottle of lovely wine during the day. I would heartily recommend all of the above. The museum is also worth a look.

Attractions
We went on the Stingray City trip. Like most trips, this can be booked through Gabi and Douglas at no extra cost to you. It was a little cold and choppy when we went but we still had a great time feeding and holding the Stingrays. It's great to be so close to nature. They certainly know it's feeding time when the boat arrives. Don't expect to see anything much other than the Stingrays while snorkelling though; the area is serviced by a floating platform in shallow (3-4ft) sea and is mostly sand bottom. If you go, avoid times when cruise ships are in otherwise it will be crowded. There are birds and a couple of monkeys in cages in the waiting area. I'm not a fan of cages but enjoyed stroking Ruffles' (cockatoo) head. Ruffles shares his cage with a colourful large parrot. If the parrot starts gently grabbing at the bars with his claws when you put your fingers near, it's because he wants to perch on your fingers. Although initially wary, when I put my fingers through he climbed right on and wanted to stay there - this pulled at my hearstrings.

We also went on the sailing trip to Bird Island with Treasure Island Cruises. We were excitingly picked up from the Coconut Hotel Grove beach. The catamaran came right up to the beach and we walked up the folding stairs. At US$100 per person it felt worth the money. The sail to bird island takes over an hour but is extended as you pick people up along the way. Much sure you take sun cream and something to cover up with. When anchored at the island you are given the opportunity to snorkel to the beach, with gear provided, or can elect to be taken by boat. The meal on the island is usually chicken or lobster - we should have paid the extra US$10 for the lobster, it looked lovely; however, our chicken was delicious too. Watch out for the strong rum punch. I have happy memories of being whisked through blue seas, sharing time with some nice people who were similarly pleasantly intoxicated. There have been some reviews of this being a noisy 'booze cruise' but that wasn't our experience. I guess it depends on the crowd for that day.

Directions / Roads
I downloaded the free GPS / Satnav app 'OsmAnd' to my phone before we left the UK. This worked very well for us and gave confidence in knowing where we were at all times. The only issue of note was when we trusted it to take us to the airport; it took us down some strange gravel track route which, although looked familiar, we gave up on and returned to the main road to follow the signs.
The Antiguan roads aren't the best but are easily navigated with care. Watch out for pot holes and don't think you can take the larger speed bumps at anything but a crawl. Drivers are courteous and will often give way but take care at intersections as the right of way is often ignored, even when signposted. Just take it more slowly that you would normally.

Transport
You can use the local and frequent buses for little cost but they are often full or crowded, meaning that you might need to wait. Gabi and Douglas kindly ordered our car for us, which was delivered to the Yepton Estate and the paperwork sorted on our veranda. The car cost USD390 per week for the smallest available. We only had the car for a week; prices may go down if you have for longer.
Doug often offers to sit down with guests to look at the island map. He is an Antiguan oracle and can guide you through roads, attractions, geography, places to eat and more - very useful!

I'm sure that I had more to say but that's probably enough for now...

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Antigua's Yepton Estate Cottages

Property: Antigua's Yepton Estate Cottages
Address: Yepton Estates | Five Islands, St. John's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 19 Specialty Lodging in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Antigua's Yepton Estate Cottages 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yepton Estate Cottages is an award-winning private property on a bird sanctuary that hosts the rare West Indian Whistling Duck and other birds from many continents. Yepton Beach is within a 6-minute walk. All cottages have king beds, fully equipped kitchenettes, Cable TV, DVD player with free movies, electronic safe, FREE WIFI and much more. The cottages are ideal for the all-inclusive-weary and nature lovers who like to explore the island and all her wonderful beaches and restaurants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Antigua`s Yepton Estate Cottages Hotel St. John`s
Antigua's Yepton Estate Cottages Saint John Parish

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