Carlisle Bay – Antigua
Hotel Type: A 5* luxury family friendly beach retreat.
Location: On a stunning horseshoe beach on the south west of Antigua, overlooking tranquil turquoise waters and surrounded by rainforest, just 45 minutes from the airport and a boat ride away from English Harbour.
Style: Relaxed, modern Caribbean luxe.
Rooms: 87 spacious ocean facing suites with balconies and private terraces.
Favourite Room: Vicky loves the Beach Terrace Suites. The suite is located directly on the beach so you walk from your terrace directly on to the sand, which then leads to a gradual slope into the beautiful Caribbean sea. The bed is positioned so that when you wake in the mornings you are looking straight out over the Caribbean sea. Heaven!
Ideal For: Family fun and sun.
Swimming: In the Caribbean’s azure waters or the hotel’s swimming pool.
Dining: Options range from casual, on-the-beach dining to more formal, all with locally sourced produce and ingredients from the chef’s own garden. Head to Indigo on the Beach on the beachfront for Mediterranean Style cuisine with a Caribbean twist or try East a taste of the orient with Japanese, Thai and Indonesian inspired dishes, located in the Pavilion. Head poolside to Ottimo and try their authentic Italian cusine, with pizzas frest from the wood-burning oven. Then Jetty Grill showcases Caribbean cooking at its finest with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, adult-only dining at the end of the beach.
Children: Carlisle Bay couldn’t be more family friendly.
Activities: There is a superb choice of activities here including: 9 tennis courts; a yoga pavilion; a water sports centre with complimentary non-motorised watersports on site, including kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, raft-building and snorkeling; library, private screening room and luxury yacht to take for a day’s cruise. Nearby you can go partake in motorized watersports, try scuba diving, go deep sea fishing, go hiking or horse riding, follow the Antigua Art Trail, or try the Rainforest Zipline Tour.
Spa: A tranquil Cara Organic Beauty Spa with an excellent treatment list to soothe those cares away. There is also a Beauty Bar, hair salon, plunge pools and well equipped fitness centre.
Accessibility: For disabled access the best suite options are the Garden, Ocean and Bay suite on the ground floor level. Here the shower and toilet doors are wide enough for wheel chair access and arm rails can be put into the suites. All restaurants are wheel chair accessible
Low season Price From: £367 for a Garden Suite including breakfast. All-inclusive rate also available.
High Season Price From: £856 for a Garden Suite including breakfast. All-inclusive rate also available.
Open From: October – August
With a white crescent beach in front, and tropical rainforest behind, Carlisle Bay has one of the loveliest spots in Antigua. In fact, its location is so idyllic, that many guests don’t even venture foot outside the grounds. Extensive gardens, palatial colonial style architecture, minimalist interiors, it’s chic and discrete, yet unpretentious. The vibe is relaxed and service is most definitely with a smile. From every angle, your eyes are drawn out to the views of the turquoise bay, with Montserrat on the horizon. We love how there’s something for everyone here, with one end of the beach for families and the other for couples; no end of water sports and a simply fabulous Spa.
Airy, minimalist and supremely comfortable, all the suites at Carlisle Bay have views of the ocean, with balconies and covered terraces and double daybeds just beckoning out for you. Interiors are simple and contemporary in style, and all are supremely comfortable. The split level Garden Suites are exceptionally spacious, with a living area and a vast bathroom. Two of these suites can interconnect for a family. For uninterrupted views out to sea, the generous, open plan Ocean Suites are rather fabulous, and their balconies and terraces are the perfect place for sundowners! If romance is at the top of your list, then we suggest a Bay Suite. Located at the quieter end of the bay, these are intimate and very luxurious – and come with a butler. Families love the large, two bedroomed, Beach Balcony Suites. Really close to the beach, they have fabulous ocean views. The Beach Terrace Suites are identical, just on the ground floor – so you can walk straight out onto the sand. The Carlisle Suites can sleep up to six, with ample space for families, and look straight out onto the beach.
There’s something for every palate here and a good choice of restaurants that will definitely keep you going for at least a week. The open-sided Indigo on the Beach has a wonderfully relaxed feel, serving delicious food from breakfast through til dinner. Fresh, local seafood is always on the menu. The more formal East has an island wide reputation for Thai and Indonesian dishes, whilst the selection of sushi is seriously impressive. At Ottimo, you’ll find pizza straight from a wood-fired oven and a great selection of Italian dishes. For grown-ups only, the Jetty Grill focuses on local dishes, and grilled meats and seafood. And for a rum punch or two, head to Coconut Grove, the resort’s beach bar.
Carlisle Bay is one of our favourite Caribbean family destinations. The beach and bay are the perfect playground for children, and couple this with the endless activities on offer, there’s plenty to keep the entire family occupied. There’s a kids’ club for six month to six year olds, and organised activities for children from age seven to twelve during the school holidays. Caribbean Cool Kids Club is open 7 days a week.
The restaurants have kids’ menus; there’s a babysitting service and family films are shown in the movie theatre every afternoon.
Not many resorts can boast nine tennis courts – so if you want to practise your backhand, this is the place to do it. And of course, there are plenty of water sports on tap too. Sailing, kayaking, snorkeling, windsurfing and paddleboarding are all available and all complimentary. There’s scuba diving on offer and you should definitely take a boat trip around the coast or out to sea for some fishing. Wakeboarding, waterskiing and tubing are also available, just round the corner in another cove. Rent a car and explore a bit of the island, or hire a guide to explore some of the local rainforest. The Spa is a complete haven of peace and relaxation, tucked away in the gardens, and with only six treatment rooms. With a plunge pool, sauna, juice bar and yoga pavilion, it’s very easy to pass several easy hours here.
Carlisle Bay proudly holds an EarthCheck silver certification. Guests are encouraged to leave a green sash on the bed, instructing housekeeping not to wash their sheets, thus saving water. This is aided by low-flow showerheads, taps, and loos, whilst some water is sourced from rainwater catchments. Additionally, food is grown sustainably, and sourced from local providers wherever possible. Energy-saving CFL lighting has been implemented across the hotel too, equipped with motion-sensors to reduce energy expenditure. Bottles, plastics, and kitchen supplies are also recycled to further reduce waste, whilst pesticides and insecticides have also been completely phased out. The surrounding community is also supported, by hiring locally and directing funds into local outreach programmes.