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“Fabulous week in February”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Nonsuch Bay Resort

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Nonsuch Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Freetown
Certificate of Excellence
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fabulous week in February”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

We loved NON SUCH.
All the staff were very friendly , attentive, fun, and could not have been more helpful.
We were a family of 5, three daughters aged 18 to 23, the Villa at Ayres Creek, was fabulous, very well equipped, spotless, and the kitchen had every appliance on the market. It is a short but hilly walk from the main resort, we hired a car, but the hotel will take you back and forth if required. Some reviews say the Villas are remote, we actually loved the fact they were exclusive, with a good sized plunge pool, looking on to the lovely mangroves, watching pelicans, and hearing fish rise, very special. The kitchen was so well equipped that I was sad we had gone for the half board option, not for long, as the restaurant and staff were exceptional. Breakfasts to die for, delicious dinners, with good portions, we rarely needed lunch ( you can swap the evening meal for lunch) and the superb chef very kindly cooked our fish that we caught, beautifully, on a bed of delicious vegetables with great presentation, really thoughtfully done.
We hired our car from Vernon's as advised by the resort, really efficient and friendly service, delivered to resort and returned, easier than hiring at the airport. We loved the sailing staff, and it was great to be able to use the boats when we wanted to. We also took paddle boards to Green Island, which was good fun. Although we did not need it, I watched the kids club in progress, and the staff looked as if they were having as much fun as the kids, very child friendly. We have travelled quite extensively; and I would thoroughly recommend Non Such Bay, we had a blissful week, with amazing food, made lots of friends, felt totally relaxed and safe, and are desperate to return!

Room Tip: NO 18 Ayres Creek is gorgeous
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Gillie610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (160)
Date | Rating
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English first
Grand Island, NY
Level Contributor
127 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2013

We just spent 10 days in Nonsuch Bay Resort with our teenage daughter. I’ll warn you, I can’t say hello in less than 500 words…. So here goes verbosity on display.

All I can say is “FANTASTIC”

What a great resort and a great trip…. but here’s the skinny. A place like Nonsuch (or Antigua for that matter) is not for everyone, so as many others have done, I’ll also try to give some useful overviews to help folks evaluate. I find that some of the “less grand” reviews on places like this have a lot of mismatched expectations as a root.

AREA:

First, it is in a relatively remote section of the island, which I consider a positive – a very charming area. So unless your goal is to stay on a single property, you will need a car and you’ll want a car… a 4x4 jeep-style is fun and practical, but not an absolute requirement, drive what you like. We have driven all over the Caribbean, and the roads here were in good shape and very easy to navigate. We saw the entire island, and I can now drive the majority of it in my sleep. You will make a few wrong turns here and there, but you will never get truly “lost”.

Most places that you would go to on a single excursion (English Harbor, St Johns, Devils Bridge, Fig Tree Drive) are about 20-25 minutes away, but nothing on the island is prohibitively far. We did a lot of partial circumnavigations (with stops along the way for swimming, drinks/food, roadside pineapple stands, etc.) and it was well worth the time spent tooling around.

The big dirt road leading up to the resort that so may folks complain about really isn’t bad at all in your own car – in fact it’s kind of fun. We took the road at full speed without issue. It is, however, downright painful in a taxi/minibus, which I think is really why most people complain.

Most restaurants are in fact a good distance away, so odds are that you will have most of your meals (dinners) onsite at the resort or at Harmony Hall down the road. And both are absolutely outstanding restaurants! We did have dinner in English Harbor and drove home in the dark without a problem, so venturing out to dinner is perfectly fine at night, but we like to imbibe when we dine, so we stayed close most of the trip.

At least as far as the places we “hung out” all week, we were never approached by obnoxious hawkers or panhandlers, even at English Harbor, nor did we ever feel in any way unsafe. I hear that it can happen in some places on the island, but I suspect that it has more frequency where the cruise ship excursions tend to be. The vendors we did encounter, some we purchased from, were fixed (i.e. not trolling the beach), very friendly and respectful and appreciative of your business.

ROOMS/PROPERTY:

Modern, clean, villas. Tastefully decorated – Caribbean chic. Fully equipped kitchens. We cooked breakfast and packed lunch most days, and cooked dinner once. Daily housekeeping was thorough and friendly. The washer-dryer took some time to figure out, though, but a great addition to the room once we got it working for us – an incentive to pack light. The dryer does in fact work when set correctly.

The units have a series of double-doors that latch fully open, allowing the trade winds to blow through and keep it cool. Other than locking up for overnight, we preferred the open doors to air conditioning the whole time we were in-room. Maybe it was the time of year or the trades blowing, but we did not get a single insect bite or even spot a pest. We did, however, have a very charming little gecko as a room guest. He kept watch over our valuables all week.

3 Infinity pools, all really nice….one is pretty small up at the front of the property next to the bar.

BEACH:

We thought it was an awesome little private beach. Caveat: It is not like the beaches you see on Antigua postcards - but as far as a relaxing place to sun and swim under palm trees, and partake in water activities (and there were many), it was perfect: Soft white sand, palm trees and umbrellas, bathwater warm waters, calm surf, chairs, tables and chaises, etc. There is SOME vegetation underfoot about 20-30 ft from shore, but it is not seaweed as some have reported – i.e.: it’s not loose garbage floating around, it’s a natural part of the beach floor, and soft under the feet and easy to swim over if you wanted to…. It is not a problem nor is it unattractive, but it’s the main reason this beach isn’t “postcard” perfect (that and the color - it is a little more muted seafoam rather than the super vibrant saturated teal).

With the car you NEED to rent, you will be driving to any of those 365 postcard beaches. Half Moon Bay is a very short drive and is one of the best. But for just trotting down to shore and hanging for the morning or afternoon, we loved the little resort beach.

ACTIVITIES:

We didn’t really do much formally with the water sports group, but what little we did we found to be done very well. I highly recommend you have them dinghy you to Green Island: Secluded, protected, fair snorkeling. Being a windward island, Antigua sits amid a constant wind…. But Green Island is protected from the wind as well as the surf…. This was a giant bathtub. They’ll drop you off and pick you up when you tell them. We were there all alone for 4 hours with our lunch, some drinks, some snorkeling gear, and some reading material. Talk about a postcard beach, this was it - definitely our favorite.


RESTAURANT:

I’ll review the restaurant separately, but I will say that (without hyperbole) this was one of the most consistently amazing restaurants we have ever eaten at. You truly want to eat here, rather than feel you have to.


SERVICE:

This is really the clincher. We’ve seen places with more elegant accommodations, more pristine beaches, more lavish grounds, more pretentious appointments, easier access to the facilities, etc. – most of you probably have as well - but what makes a place somewhere where you want to be, is how you feel when you are there, which is largely based on how you are treated: Before, during, and after your stay.

Everybody knew your name. People went out of their way for us. From booking, to help with reservations, arranging a car rental, to local travel advice, to check-out. Helpful but not obtrusive; reserved but friendly. TOP NOTCH staff: A few call-outs: Terita at the front desk was amazing, Darian in the office, David and Kenny at the bar, and Chef Husbands. Sorry, there were others, but I can't recall all the names (like our restaurant hostess and wait staff).

CONS:

Nothing is perfect. Internet access was virtually unusable a lot of the time (this could be an island problem as opposed to a resort problem) - not that I needed it a lot, but I do need to stay somewhat plugged into the business.

Although we didn’t stay there, the 3-bedroom villas with the plunge pools really are in a horrible location, you really cannot go anywhere on your own feet from there…. I would not want to be so disconnected, so beware if you want to book there.

I don’t consider this as a CON at all, but some people might (particularly if they have physical limitations) so I’ll mention it… depending on where you are, you’ll be doing a lot of walking up and down hills to get around the property.


FINAL WORDS:

If you are looking for the Sandals-style vacation, or swim-up bars, casinos, endless shopping, or nightly shows, etc… don’t book here. You will be disappointed. But for those who want to feel at home while abroad, and have quiet peace, and search out your adventures on your own… this is THE place. Five stars, but not the five star price tag.

Room Tip: 3rd tier units have the best view.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank island-time-ny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2013

I traveled to Nonsuch in February 2013 for a long weekend with a 1 year old. I would definitely consider going there again (especially for a larger family trip where I might need a 3 bedroom suite). Here is my review for families with small children:

Pros
*nice apartments that are well maintained - Good decor, clean, and modern/good condition appliances
*upgraded to a two bedroom from a one-bedroom reservation - very much appreciated for a couple traveling with a toddler
*very quiet (we were told it is a low season) - So perfect if you want to relax
*low key beach - Not very crowded

Cons
*lack of service / inconsistent service at the beach for drinks, towels - You have to carry your towels up a hill to exchange them for clean ones & the wait staff came sporadically or not at all to take orders
*not so stroller friendly near the beach / restaurant -You have to carry it up & down stairs to access the beach from the restaurant
*beach quality - It's a small beach that is kind of swampy inside. So good for a very small child who's only going to go in a little bit where it's still smooth sand or someone like me who is going to swim laps across the bay and doesn't really care what's underneath. It's also rocky under the sand on the beach, and it can be windy and overcast a lot.
*crib rental fee - Seemed like they applied a nightly crib charge of $15 and the crib was nothing special
*combo washer/dryer that actually does not work as a dryer at all - You have to request a clothing rack to dry your clothing
*no gym - I don't understand this for a $20M resort
*sexist staff - I prepaid for the reservation from jetsetter, and when i got there, they asked my boyfriend to provide his card for the incidentals. He handed the form to me, which I filled out and signed with my information, and then they handed it back to my him to sign as well. WTF??

Tips:
*Dish washer - If you are planning to use the kitchen, I recommend running as many dishes as possible when you get there as it did not appear that all the dishes/pots/pans/utensils had recently been cleaned.
*Supermarket - As some recommended, we asked the hotel to arrange for us to be taken to the supermarket on the way from the airport. They took us to a very nice supermarket called Epicurean or something like that, and coming from NYC, I was a bit overwhelmed by how big it was an all of my choices (felt like I was in a supermarket in Florida). You can many baby products including american organic brands, which was great.

Also, the "Kids Club" appears to be a suite that they converted for this purpose with 1 or 2 baby sitters taking kids to the beach for activities. We did not use it, so cannot speak to quality, just that it appeared to be more of a glorified babysitting service rather than a full fledged "Kids Club" that you might find at a large resort.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JF_NYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2013

what an idyllic spot to relax in. Accommodation was first class - 2 great pools as well as beach. Did not partake of sailing but seemed to be a good variety of options, Restaurant is really first class but villas also offer self catering so great to be able to eat out or in, Staff very friendly. You do need a car as good to get out and explore beautiful island, beaches and restaurants as well as getting to supermarket. Vernon was great- you need a 4x4 as road rather rough in places. Will return! Harmony hall next door a good option for food but Catherine s in English Harbour also gets a heasd up

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LondonGipsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weybridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2013

Leaving a cold and miserable UK for a little sun and relaxation was the top of our list when choosing a destination and Nonsuch Bay proved to be the perfect choice.
We were fortunate enough to have prior knowledge of the isolated location so had shopped on our way from the airport, providing enough supplies for the odd breakfast / supper, and for our drinks on the blacony, if we did not wish to venture further. As luck would have it the apartment we had was in the best position, overlooking the beach and sea, one of the pools, and over the bay to the main buiding which houses the bar and restaurant. The apartment was superb, well fitted with one of the best beds I have slept in,rooms are light, large and airy with a huge balcony. We are walkers and found the hill over to the other side of the development which houses the larger villas, challenging. There is nothing on that side so we would have been disappointed had we been placed there.
Although we ventured out for lunches and to explore the island, it being our first visit to Antiqua, we did use the bar / restaurant several times - the staff were fabulous and the food adequate
We are not sailors but the added benefit of these facilities cannot be underestimated as they provide much fun for young and old, and it's a great spectator sport!
The two main swimming pools, with comfortable loungers and plenty of parasols, are enough for the size of the resort - the water refreshing but not cold.
We'll be in Barbados in May but how I wish it were another trip to Antiqua.

Room Tip: Unless you are a very large group stay in the main bay. There are plans to improve the 'other si...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AndyR17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uk
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

Overall we had a good time, but there were a few things that had we known before booking would have chosen another resort.....

We booked a 3 bed apt with plunge pool, only because the rest of the resort was full, and my partner wanted a holiday that had sailing available.

To our surprise we were put back in the taxi that collected us from the airport and taken out of the main resort over the very steep hill to the other side of the bay where there are a number of 'town houses'. The houses are very well equipped etc, all you could want but we rattled around in it as it was very large and un necessary for two people. The plunge pool was off the bedroom on the ground floor and was freezing, only getting about 1-2 hours of sun each day.

We didn't have a hire car so had to call the main desk for someone to pick us up and take us to breakfast, and the beach so felt we had to pack a bag for the day. Then after a day on the beach we would have to get a lift back to the house then book another ride for supper in the evening....
All in all was a bit of a pain, although we were very rarely kept waiting. Modes of transport varied from the mini bus, to the gardeners pick up truck, to the security guards car..... In the end became a bit of a guessing game as to what would be sent and what member of staff it would be......

We were on a half board basis, so included breakfast and dinner. The restaurant staff were excellent, service most days was very good considering there were two large parties at the resort...
However, we did get a bit fed up of the evening menu, but the chef was happy for us to choose from the lighter lunch menu which helped so can't complain.

My partner has been a sailing man since a kid so was delighted to try the RS Elites, but was just as happy to mess about on the Q'ba's and cats. The sailing staff were excellent. However the sailing is not included in the price. $45 per day per person.....not mentioned until I had confirmed the booking....

Tips
double check the location of your accommodation.
If you want provisions advise the hotel directly that you want your taxi driver to stop at the supermarket on the way from the airport to the resort. The cost direct to driver is $25 he will wait whilst you shop. Otherwise it will be $70 for a round trip to the supermarket.

To sum it up, we had a very good holiday, refreshed and relaxed, but if we had accommodation in the main resort we would have felt much happier, and would have given 5stars.

Nonsuch bay will be on our short list for next year....

Room Tip: Town houses good for large groups but not couples
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank justine01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2013

We booked this holiday for my husband and I to develop our sailing experience and we were not disappointed. The resort is superb. Isolated but very little you need to move off site for with one of the best restaurants we have eaten at. The sailing school staff are highly experienced and instilled confidence in us immediately. The accomodation is of a high standard with comfy beds and pillows and well equipped although with the quality of the restaurant we barely cooked! Book half board as great value!

Room Tip: Ask for a room near the restaurant especially if you are not good on hills!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jacko2305
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nonsuch Bay Resort

Property: Nonsuch Bay Resort
Address: Hughes Point, Freetown po 2208, Antigua
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Phillip Parish > Freetown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Freetown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Nonsuch Bay Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 60
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

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