My boyfriend and I arrived last Wednesday and stayed for four nights. It was my first time to Antigua so I did not know what to expect. We rented a car after reading various reviews that the hotel was 30 minutes from town, and we are glad we did! We drove in from the airport after stopping at a local grocery store to stock up on a few snack, lunch and drink items. First of all, the grocery store was one of the nicest I have ever been in- States included! It had everything you could possibly need. After a quick trip to the store, we made our way to the hotel via the directions they provided. The roads aren't marked as well as in the States, but the directions were good and we didn't get lost :) When we arrived, we were greeted with rum punch and extremely friendly service. We were taken to our 1 bedroom villa which blew my mind!
Our villa was complete with a/c, wrap around balcony, kitchen with stainless steel appliances, wifi, ipod/iphone dock to play music from, first class decorations and furniture (including a large dining room table), king sized bed, separate bath and shower, walk in closet and in room safe. It was great!
The first night we ate at the hotel and it was superb! The chef was actually voted 2011 Caribbean chef of the year. Nice food choices, great wine, and loved the little surprise snack they brought out before each dinner. They offer dinner every half hour from 6:30-8:30. We always chose the 8:30 dinner because we like later dinners. We usually finished around 10pm, enough time to have one more drink at the bar before it closed at 10:30! The restaurant is open every day and every night (not sure what other reviewers were talking about when they said it wasn't. Maybe this is a new thing)
We spent our first day snorkeling at Green Island. The hotel gives you a dingy ride over there (about 5-10 minutes) and comes back to pick you up when you want. They also give you a walkie talkie to radio over if you want an earlier/later pick up. It was BEAUTIFUL! We had the beach to ourselves for the first part and during the second part, a booze cruise came stopped at the beach. It was actually really fun! They invited us on their boat and gave us free drinks and a free lunch. (I forgot to mention that the hotel will pack you a lunch if you want to take a picnic.) We had so much fun, we asked to picked up later. The snorkeling was nice and the water was perfect.
The second night we took a taxi to Shirley Heights for sunset (great photo opportunity!), dinner and the steel drum band. It was nice to get such a great view, but I heard Sundays are the best night to go because that is their "big" night. Unfortunately, we were leaving Sunday, so Thursday it was. Dinner was bbq....yum! Our taxi driver then took us to English Harbor where we explored a little bit of the night life. The town is really cute and everyone is SO friendly! It was a mix between locals and yachters/sailors who were docking for the weekend in English Harbor. We returned to our hotel later in the night after the 30 minute drive back from town. The cab fare is $70 US roundtrip, but worth it, I thought. *Note: cabs only take cash and the closes ATM is in English Harbor. Make sure you have cash before getting to the resort (although at the resort everything is charged to the room) but just in case you want to venture out).
The next day we drove 15 minutes in our rental car to Half Moon Bay beach which is beautiful! It can get windy on some days, but our day was just perfect. We did some body surfing on the waves, sunbathing and walked the beach. Great afternoon! For afternoon lunch and drinks, we went to Smiling Harry's beach bar (right by Half Moon Bay beach). In the future, I think I'd pack a lunch and just go for the drinks. It was delicious, but there were some flies around the food that kind of grossed me out. (This didn't happen any where else).
Dinner was done at the hotel the rest of the nights (and it was great every night)
Our last full day we drove our rental car to the southwest side of the island to explore more beaches, and do more snorkeling. We drove down Fig Tree drive (beautiful scenery) to Darkwood Beach. It was about a 1 hour drive from the hotel. The beach was very pretty, although the snorkeling was about a mile to two out and we didn't feel comfortable going that far with out life jackets (which we forgot!) so, we swam and sunbathed. Then, went down the road to Gibsons beach restaurant. It is a very nice (and kind of expensive) restaurant RIGHT on the beach. It was a GREAT view and is everything I dream of when I think of a beach restaurant! After, we headed to Jolly Beach to see what a more touristy area of Antigua looks like. Just as you'd expect, lots of people selling trinkets on the beach, as well as jet ski rides, fishing excursions, etc. Not bad, but I liked the simplicity of Nonsuch better :)
Everything about this trip was just perfect! I'd have to say the friendliness of everyone on the island really stood out. The views were spectacular from almost every point on the island and the weather was perfect (it rained one evening for about 10 minutes, then was back to being great)
I highly recommend Nonsuch Bay Resort!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nonsuch Bay Resort nestles in forty exotic acres of the stunning bay carved out of the southeast of Antigua; embraced by lush tropical hills, a uniquely private and serene setting, a tranquil haven and home to wildlife including dolphins and turtles. Pure relaxation is blended with out-an-out adrenalin, and the finest luxuries with the simplest of pleasures. Resort facilities comprise a dramatically positioned restaurant, 3 infinity swimming pools, seclude sandy beach, 30 sailboats and tuition, kitesurfing, windsurfing, SUPs and spa treatments. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Nonsuch Bay Hotel Freetown
- Nonsuch Bay Resort Antigua/Freetown