Antigua was an amazing place to visit and Blue Moon villa was a home away from home! We were so comfortable there! Shonnie and Micheal were such gracious hosts, helping us find a car, fabulous restaurants, beaches and even offering to stock our fridge upon arrival of which we were so thankful. The snorkeling, kayaking and hiking were steps (literally!) from their property and the view was spectacular! We enjoyed watching the boats come and go from our perch every day. This was an experience that we will certainly treasure.
Alexia and Rick
In November 2013 (this is an overdue review) we REALLY needed a break. Our usual chaotic busy life was wearing us down and we sought an escape to a Caribbean island.
We trawled TripAdvisor for something a bit different; we didn't want a resort or a big hotel, we wanted a "hideaway", somewhere that we could chill out and recharge.
We found the Blue Moon villas in Antigua and it seemed to tick all the boxes; peaceful, comfortable, good reviews, good location, things to do etc. We contacted the owners by email and easily booked.
Everything you will read in the other reviews about this place is true. This is an idyllic setting, the views are stunning, everything is convenient and Shonnie is a delight to deal with.
There is a TV advert for a UK holiday website on at present with a tag line of "don't just stay there, live there" and that is what being at Blue Moon feels like, you feel like you live there and that really helps you truly relax on holiday.
We stayed for 11 days, spent lots of time relaxing on the beach, ate in some fantastic restaurants (rum baba, hideout, abracadabra, sun-ra) all helpfully booked for us by Shonnie. We didn't bother hiring a car, we just made friends with the coolest taxi driver (Sharp-boy) who picked us up in his characterful bus each night and with the soft sounds of Motown from his stereo, would take us to our restaurant choice and back.
We zip wired, we took a helicopter ride to the Montserrat volcano, we went to a rifle range and we hired a tour guide to see the island, so we were quite busy but we just felt so completely relaxed. Probably the most relaxed we have ever felt on a holiday.
We would give this place 6 stars if we could as it really is that special. It is highly recommended for anyone that trusts their own ability in building a holiday away from a resort and wants a fantastic experience.
If you are reading this Shonnie and Michael we got married last summer and we would like to thank you for providing us with such fond memories of Antigua and for looking after us so well.
James and Claire
We recently returned from 12 fantastic days staying at the excellently appointed Blue Moon villas. The previous reviews are all entirely accurate. Shonnie and Michael are so helpful and friendly and give great recommendations and advice on restaurants, car hire,places to visit etc- all spot on so no disappointments in your valuable time on vacation!
We cannot recommend Blue Moon highly enough!
We stayed in one villa while friends stayed in the other. Both have fantastic views, are comfortable and clean, and have super-easy access to the beach, bar, watershuttle, and other amenities. But what really made our stay so great was the hospitality of the Blue Moon owners -- they recommended the perfect restaurants, pointed us to the most idyllic walks, and took a genuine (but unintrusive) interest in making our vacation a complete success. This place truly is paradise!
The Blue Moon Villa at Galleon Bay, English Harbour, is every bit as wonderful as all the previous reviews describe. We spent two special weeks staying at Shonnie and Michael’s upper villa in January 2016.
Key highlights for us:
- Fantastic elevated location on a hillside above Galleon Bay with stunning views over the bay and English Harbour (note, access only by steps)
- Very well appointed villa, really comfortable, great decor, everything you need in the kitchen, fantastic patio for the sunsets and chilling out, large bed with mosquito net
- Amazing hosts. Shonnie and Michael live below the villa and are wonderful. They will help you with anything you need and are great for local knowledge and tips
- The bay just below the villa is only a 5 minute walk and is a lovely spot for swimming, sunbathing and snorkelling
- Great choice of restaurants in English Harbour
Couple of tips for guests:
- Be sure to bring mosquito repellent wristbands for dining out. We were quite badly bitten during our stay and found that the mosquito sprays we took with us did not deter the little pests
- Recommend car hire as the villa is a good 10 minute drive to English Harbour for evenings out (the free water taxi stops at 17.00). Local taxis are however readily available at around $10 US per single trip. Also if you wish to explore the island having access to a car for at least part of your stay would be beneficial.
We stayed for a week 4/4 to 4/11 in the upper villa. Shonnie and Michael (owners of the villas) are wonderful, friendly people who know Antigua well and made our stay so relaxing. They gave us good suggestions and recommendations, and were great at getting us off to a good start and with explaining the local culture. The villas are beautiful inside and have a wonderful kitchen which was perfect for breakfast most every morning, making some frozen drinks in the afternoon, and cooking a meal or two when we decided to stay in for the night. There are markets close by and we especially enjoyed the fruit they have on the island. There is a mid size refrigerator with plenty of ice, and a cooler in the villa that we would use to bring drinks down to the beach. There is also a beach bar at the beach and we would get a few drinks from them too. They also have food but we did not try it. During the morning and afternoon there is a free boat ride from the beach to English Harbour anytime you are ready to go. This is about a five minute ride on a small boat and the friendly guys at the beach will take you and pick you up. It is so easy and allowed us to pop over for breakfast and lunch at one of the many restaurants when we did not cook. There really are a lot of restaurants to choose from. If you stay out for dinner and nightlife, it is easy and inexpensive to get a taxi back to the villa. Thursday, Friday and Saturday seem to be the big nights for live music (much Reggae style) and some fun dance spots.
We really enjoyed the peace and quiet of the villa, and the nice breeze that consistently blows thru the windows and doors. The sleeping to fresh air was so wonderful and the bed was nice and comfortable. We are big coffee drinkers and were really happy about the coffee maker in the villa. It was nice to have some breakfast and go walk the beach in the mornings with a cup of coffee. The beach here was not crowded and is peaceful. I did go look into the lower villa and it is really the same as the upper, just a slightly different view that allows you to see further in one direction. The villas also have a nice sounding Internet radio that allowed us to pick up all kinds of good music to listen to throughout the week. We avoided the tv, but there is one with plenty of channels if you need to keep up with a show or some sports. We enjoyed catching the sunset most every night from the deck, and getting in the hot tub some of the nights to see all the stars and to loosen up the legs after a good hike.
At the beach, there are several huts you can sit under and many Palm trees too. This was nice to be able to get both sun and shade. Sitting under a palm tree and looking out at beautiful turquoise water with a tropical drink in hand is the way to go. There are chairs and lounge chairs you can use for free. You just pick your spot and then go grab a few. The villa had plenty of beach towels and even a beach bag to use. When in doubt or in need of something, Shonnie and Michael were always there to help out. It's also comforting to know that Shonnie is a retired physician's assistant and is well connected to the local medical clinic she volunteers at.
There are some amazing hikes starting from the beach (and just over at English Harbour) that take you along the cliffs that overlook the water and also through some of the forest areas. You will find incredible views of the island as you hike further up. There are Old British forts and ruins on the hillsides and just across from the villa. The history of the island is quite interesting. We brought a waist pack and a rock sack to carry water and snacks on the hikes and would suggest this for you if interested in a hike. The hikes are not technical, but some shoes (as opposed to flips) are recommended as you will be climbing over some rocks and stepping around some cactus.
We enjoyed the snorkeling down at the beach. There are some great rock and coral formations right there and around the corner of the bay where we saw some very pretty fish and even swam above a sea turtle two of the days. There is some snorkeling equipment at the villas, but we did bring our own masks, as masks can be very particular to the person. The villas did have masks and a good selection of fins that we used that fit both myself and my wife. At the beach there are also several sea kayaks you can use for free to go exploring around Freeman's Bay and English Harbour. This next week is the Classics sailboat week, so we were able to see some amazingly beautiful sailboats around Nelsons Dockyard and over at Falmouth Bay (where you will find the restaurants and beautiful big sail boats).
Shonnie and Michael know many of the restaurant owners and helped with reservations. Every meal we had out was wonderful thanks to their suggestions. From our experience, our favorite restaurants were Sun Ra and Rumbaba. The owners seem to always be there and are very nice. Both restaurants have creative tastes and changing menus. At Rumbaba, we lucked into a fresh Mahi Mahi being brought in on Thursday night just as we were finishing a few drinks and appetizers. The place is small so we were able to watch the chef cut it up and then cook up a few Mahi steaks for us. A tip for the restaurants is to not be in a hurry, be friendly and they will be friendly back, and it is always best to get reservations unless you plan to eat when they open around seven. Restaurants can get booked at eight and after.
My wife and I agreed that we will be coming back to Blue Moon one day. She already misses the wonderful outdoor shower, and I miss waking up to an incredible view. It was a week in paradise for us. We wanted a relaxing, fun, romantic and stress free vacation, and that is exactly what we found here.
I have had the gift of being at many luxury vacation rentals, and I can honestly say Blue Moon is now my favorite.
The private, beautifully appointed villas overlooking the turquoise water of the English Harbor, combined with Mike and Shonnie's generous, gracious hosting, made the six days I spent in Antigua the best vacation I've ever had.
The villas are a part of Galleon Bay resort and perched above the English Harbor - which means one can walk down to the quiet beach, swim and snorkel in the clear and warm sea, have lunch at Roxy's (a casual, open air restaurant), then walk back and enjoy the comforts of home. (At the end of the dock there is a water taxi to take you on a five minute ride into town, with delicious restaurants and a bit of shopping.) The villas themselves are elegant and comfortable, with an outdoor shower and long patio to enjoy the view. If that weren't enough, there is a hot tub and a small, open to the air yoga studio. Several mornings I was able to practice yoga facing the harbor with a warm breeze and hummingbirds for company.
Finally, Mike and Shonnie are perfect hosts - somehow knowing just the balance between making sure you have everything you might need, while also allowing total privacy.
One small suggestion: If you think you will want to cook while there, consider picking up groceries on your way from the airport. Once you have supplies, you may never want to leave!