If you’re a beach-lover, you should know about Antigua; the island claims to have 365 (“one for every day of the year”). Carlisle Bay sits one a beautiful one, small and tucked inside a deep cove that’s bookended by bluffs. The limited access means you don’t encounter people from other hotels — the vibe is private and serene, which is different from so many beachfront hotels.
Guestrooms sit in three-story, cottage-style buildings along the beach. Interiors are the same size and style whatever category you’re in: all junior suites with airy living areas, private patios, and extra-deep soaking tubs. That said, the best for honeymooners are the Ocean Suites, set at the far end of the property; this section is adult-only, ensuring privacy and quiet away from families who stay at the other end of the beach, near the kids club. Book a ground-floor suite and you can walk out your patio door to the beach — sweet!
Dining options include a casual beach bar with Caribbean buffet (think grilled fish, curries and such), a fantastic Asian restaurant called East, and a poolside Italian spot with wood-burning oven. But our favorite was open-air Indigo, which faces the beach; at night, a bonfire adds to the ambiance.
For special occasions, book a private dining experience on their jetty — totally romantic!
Most all-inclusives try to keep you on property, but not Carlisle Bay. Set up a boat trip from their dock to English Harbor, a circa-1700s dockyard that’s also a UNESCO Heritage Site. Or do an island driving tour with a stop at Shirley Heights, home to killer views and a hopping Sunday afternoon barbecue with live music.
The property started off as a private tennis club before it became a hotel. So in addition to sailing, paddle boards and snorkeling, there are nine tennis courts (four lit for night play) and an onsite pro to help with your game.
And they do destination weddings, of course! The most popular spot is the beach, followed by a reception at Indigo. The property is small enough that you could do a takeover, inviting 150-180 guests and having the entire resort to yourselves.
Of course, you may not want to do anything but chill out and watch the sunset. With a view like this, who can blame you?