Photo of Antigua

About Antigua

Antigua is a classic Caribbean destination, lined with superb, soft, white, palm fringed beaches and adored by sailors since the days of Horatio Nelson. Nelson's English Harbour is lively with sailors especially in the winter season. The best places to stay on Antigua tend also to be right on the island's best beaches. There are lots clustered along the west and north coasts, near Jolly Harbour or historic English Harbour in the South East.

If you're fascinated by Antigua's history, and especially the island's links with the British navy and Nelson, then you'll want to break from the perfect beaches and myriad of watersports on offer to visit Shirley Heights, an 18th Century fort perched on a hill (definitely go here on a Sunday afternoon/evening - they host a legendary BBQ with steel band and plenty of rum punch!), and Nelson's Dockyard, a beautifully restored Georgian era marina, once home to the British Royal Navy.

For local colour head into the capital, St. John on a Friday or Saturday for the public market.

If you're looking for an Antiguan hideaway try the breezy east coast, which is rockier, through there are still a number of pretty coves.

What not to miss:

  • Explore the coral reefs on a snorkelling or scuba diving expidition.
  • Visit museum and view the fortifications and working harbour at Nelson's Dockyard, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Take a zip wire across the rain forest canopy.
  • Unwind on the beautiful stretches of white sand beach.

As you can imagine the best places to stay in Antigua get booked up well ahead, so if you're travelling during peak dates, it's best to plan early!

For a special occasion

  • Hermitage Bay just outside St. Johns is a lush, beachside resort - think direct beach access, day beds and outdoor rain showers. The excellent food - both European and Caribbean style - complimentary facilities (including snorkelling kit and Caribbean cooking lessons), and top notch luxury make this a perfect romantic hideaway.
  • Jumby Bay has its own island, just off the coast. It offers contemporary, yet colourful rooms and suites, many with direct beach access. There's great local cuisine and a chic bar.
  • Galley Bay is a relaxed, adults only, all-inclusive resort right on the beach. As well as the beach and a pool, there's also a lagoon, private plunge pools and an excellent spa. Romantic, quiet and idyllic.

For luxury

  • Curtain Bluff is a secluded, luxury all inclusive beach resort with Caribbean and Atlantic facing beaches. Contemporary rooms feature funky furniture, private terraces and big marble bathrooms.

For an island escape

  • Nonsuch Bay on Antigua's eastern coast is a small modern beachfront hotel offering all sorts of watersports - including sailing lessons, keel boating, snorkelling and raft building.
  • The Inn at English Harbour is another excellent beachfront hotel this time with a colonial feel and an Italian restaurant. And you're a stone's throw from Nelson's Dockyard and Shirley Heights.
  • Sugar Ridge is on the western coast, built into the hillside with spectacular views and fragrant gardens. There's a good range of rooms, some of which have their own private plunge pools and terraces, and there are two excellent restaurants.
  • The Hawksbill Hotel is a large hotel, but it is spread along four beaches, so it still feels quite private. As well as great facilities and large, comfortable rooms, this resort has an excellent seafood BBQ restaurant and a buzzy bar area.

For romantic getaways

  • Keyonna Beach Resort is set on Turners Beach close to the amazing blue waters of Valley Church Bay. Rustic beach cabins are a perfect couples hideaway. No children permitted.

For families

  • Blue Waters has a great spot, right on the beach on Antigua's northern tip. It's got generous sized rooms, many with direct beach access or sea-facing balconies, and there's excellent watersports facilities.
  • The Verandah Hotel is a family friendly all-inclusive right on the beach, with a tropical vibe, several fantastic Caribbean restaurants, and great watersports facilities.
  • Dickenson Bay Cottages are a collection of 14 pleasant, self catering villas just outside St. Johns. Expect fun tropical decor, fragrant gardens and a laid-back atmosphere. Plus there's a beach nearby.
  • The Anchorage Inn is north of St. Johns, just a couple of minutes from one of Antigua's nicest beaches. Here you'll find large, colourful, fun and friendly accommodation, with a reasonable price tag.
  • If you want an easy resort choice close to English Harbour one of the best places to stay in Antigua is Carlisle Bay. This is a larger resort with direct beach access, a huge spa, tennis courts and a yoga space. There's a wide range of choice when it comes to dining and there are clubs for both younger children and teenagers.
  • Admiral's Inn is also perfect if you're looking for a cheaper option. Rooms here start at just £89 per night and it's right in Nelson's Dockyard!

For an apartment or villa

  • If you're travelling with family or a group of friends it may be a better option to book a villa or apartment. For a wide range of properties for all tastes and budgets we recommend you visit our online partner

Travel information

  • Fly to VC Bird International in Antigua which has good connections across the USA, Canada and Europe.
  • The best time to visit is the winter season, between mid-December and mid-April when the weather has cooled off a little and its dry.
  • If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Antigua

  • Dickenson Bay Cottages St Johns, Antigua 14 rooms from £76

    Families  -  Villas with small kitchens are ideal family size, plenty of activities for all
    Sailing  -  Boat available to explore other neighbouring islands, including our sister island of Barbuda, Montserrat, Bird Island
    Local markets  -  St John's market is nearby
    Sights nearby  -  Just outside St John's
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Pleasant self-catering villas near the St Johns. The rooms are spacious and filled with tropical prints, bamboo furniture and living areas. Outdoor pool, fragrant gardens and spa treatments available. Family friendly and laid back. See More

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  • Anchorage Inn St Johns, Antigua 40 rooms from £90

    Families  -  Family-run hotel, and family friendly ambience with low key restaurants, and close to island's best beaches
    Local markets  -  St John's is five minutes drive away
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.

    Relaxed family-run hotel just two minutes drive from some of Antigua's best beaches. Large rooms have colourful fabrics and balconies. Outdoor pool and spa treatments available. Breakfast is served in the sunny gardens. Casual, friendly, pretty and perfect for those on a budget. See More

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  • Admiral's Inn Antigua 19 rooms from £113

    Sights nearby  -  Right inside Nelson's Dockyard. Close to Shirley Heights & St Paul's Anglican Church, the island's oldest
    Views  -  Most rooms have great views of Nelson's Dockyard and the bay
    Sailing  -  Several sailing events held annually
    Diving  -  Soul Immersion Diving Centre
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Characterful hotel by the harbour. The elegant rooms feature exposed beams, four-poster beds and wooden floors. Sun drenched terrace with large parasols overlooking Nelson's Dockyard, and charming restaurant serving local seafood. A wonderful spot to soak up the island's history & great for sailors. See More

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  • Hawksbill Hotel Antigua 111 rooms from £169

    Romantic Break  -  Four secluded beaches to choose from, snorkelling and sailing trips, quiet villas and large balconies
    On the beach  -  Four beaches including Antigua's only "clothing optional" beach
    Sailing  -  Complimentary sailing excursions
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Charming hotel with four secluded private beaches. Large rooms have vaulted ceilings, hand painted tiles and big balconies. Outdoor pool, spa, tennis courts and gardens. Excellent seafood bbq cuisine, buzzy bar area. A great all inclusive choice for couples. See More

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  • Sugar Ridge Antigua 60 rooms from £195

    Hideaway  -  Super private ambience, with private terraces with day beds and plunge pools surrounded by tropical flowers
    Romantic Break  -  Four poster beds, breathtaking views, couples spa treatments and trips to local rum makers
    Sights nearby  -  Nelson Dockyard and Shirley Heights
    Sailing  -  Set sail from Jolly Harbour marina
    Recommended by  -  Kiwi Collection

    A sophisticated and secluded resort tucked away on a hillside above Jolly Beach on Antigua’s west coast. Enjoy fine dining with tremendous sunset views at the elevated Carmichael’s restaurant and relax in the island’s only Aveda concept spa. Secluded, intimate and lush. See More

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  • Keyonna Beach Resort Antigua 20 rooms from £289

    Romantic Break  -  Designed for getting away from it all - namely the kids!
    Honeymoons  -  Couples only resort popular amongst honeymooners
    Adult Only  -  Does not accept children.
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool

    Set on Turners Beach close to the amazing blue waters of Valley Church Bay. Rustic beach cabins are a perfect couples hideaway. With no children permitted - the entire property lends itself to just that! There is a spa, all inclusive dining, outdoor pool (some cottages have their own). Charming. See More

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  • Nonsuch Bay Antigua 42 rooms from £326

    Families  -  Daytime kids club and creche is included for hotel guests. Babysitting can be arranged.
    Active Holiday  -  Specialises in sailing activities with dinghy and keelboats plus races and courses
    Sights nearby  -  Harmony Hall restaurant and art gallery (open seasonally) and Half Moon Bay beach.
    Sailing  -  Hotel has extensive fleet of sail boats and offers lessons from beginners to pro
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Contemporary beachfront hotel. Bedrooms have large French windows, wooden floors and ipod docks. All come with fully equipped kitchens and spacious living areas. Outdoor pool, private beach and spa. Great fresh international cuisine. Plethora of watersports available. Ideal for families. See More

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  • Blue Waters Antigua 67 rooms from £307

    Families  -  Suites have plenty of space for the whole family, and cottages with kitchens are perfect for preparing pre-beach picnics
    Great walks  -  1.5km route through the grounds
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Splendid beachfront hotel. Enormous rooms feature Italian tiles, big beds and most with sea-facing balconies. A range of outdoor pools, tennis court, spa and private beach area. Fresh, healthy cuisine in the choice of restaurants. A perfect stay for families. See More

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  • The Inn at English Harbour English Harbour 28 rooms from £386

    Romantic Break  -  Private terrace to take in the view of boats into the harbour, old fashioned style service and romantic ambience
    Sights nearby  -  A stone's throw from Nelson's Dockyard and Shirley Heights
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over ten welcome
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Fodors, Mr & Mrs Smith, Small Luxury Hotels, Kiwi Collection

    Excellent beachfront hotel. Charming rooms feature mahogany four poster beds, ipod docks and colonial style furniture. Tennis courts, heated outdoor pool, spa and gym. Superb Italian dishes at the restaurant, chic bar area. Elegant, exclusive and spacious. See More

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  • Verandah Hotel Antigua 200 rooms from £460

    Active Holiday  -  Plethora of watersports available, as well as interesting boat trips with local marine experts
    Families  -  Superb kids club, children's pool, tennis and family size suites with mini kitchens
    Great walks  -  Hiking trails in the 30 acre grounds
    Sights nearby  -  Devil’s Bridge
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Family friendly all inclusive hotel on the beach. Rooms have vaulted ceilings, bamboo furniture and big balconies. Outdoor pools, spa, tennis courts and vast gardens. Fantastic Caribbean cuisine in the choice of restaurants. Ideal for families and watersport adventurers. See More

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  • Carlisle Bay St Mary's, Antigua 82 rooms from £496

    Families  -  Clubs for both younger children and teenagers, cinema room, fishing trips and bicycle tours of the island
    Honeymoons  -  Immersive spa, private boat charters, fine dining and indulgent interiors - what more could you want
    Diving  -  A top spot for diving with manta rays and sea turtles - you can even get ceritified
    Fishing  -  Deep sea fishing for marlin, king fish, wahoo and barracuda
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Tablet, Kiwi Collection

    Sublime beach resort close to English harbour. Rooms and suites feature silk furnishings, contemporary colours, hammocks and large bathrooms. Outdoor pool, direct beach access, spa, yoga space and tennis courts. Superb fresh cuisine in choice of restaurants; chilled bar areas. Effortless indulgence. See More

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  • Galley Bay Antigua 98 rooms from £539

    Romantic Break  -  Enjoy the lagoon, private plunge pools, excellent spa and sounds of the surf from your elegant room
    Great walks  -  Three-quarter mile long beachfront
    Restrictions on children  -  No children please
    Fishing  -  Lagoon fishing
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    A super friendly adult-only resort in a spectacular lagoon setting on Antigua’s west coast. Enjoy the beach-front cottages, the rambling grounds filled with tropical plants, and the nightly entertainment. Choice of sublime cuisine. Romantic, quiet and idyllic. See More

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  • Curtain Bluff Antigua 72 rooms from £574

    Watersports  -  All watersports including waterskiing and scuba diving are included in the price!
    Hideaway  -  Relatively secluded location, access to quiet white beaches and waterfront spa
    Fishing  -  Deep sea fishing excursions (included in the room rate)
    Sailing  -  Cruises aboard the Sentio, a 50-foot sailing ketch
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Secluded, family friendly, luxury all inclusive beach resort with Caribbean and Atlantic facing beaches. Spacious rooms & suites feature private terraces with sea views and big marble bathrooms. Outstanding facilities for tennis and watersports. Fantastic food. Peaceful, stunning and chic. See More

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  • Jumby Bay Island St Johns, Antigua from £820

    Families  -  Wide variety of activities for children, as well kid's club for snorkelling, learning about turtles and children's spa
    Total relaxation  -  An island resort, meaning miles of beaches for your enjoyment, watersports, excellent spa and tennis
    All inclusive
    Sights nearby  -  Monserrat volcano tour
    Recommended by  -  Fodors

    Perhaps one of the most exclusive places to stay in the world, this small island off the north coast of Antigua hosts the rich and famous who come to unwind on the sandy beaches and lounge in the lavish villas. Superb fresh Antiguan cuisine; chic bar. Gorgeous, luxurious and family friendly. See More

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  • Hammock Cove Willikies, Antigua 42 rooms from £859

    Beach Life  -  Set on the waterfront on Antigua, steps from the verdant national park, book this hotel for a beautiful beach break
    Romantic Break  -  With discreet, boutique guest villas, oceanfront dining and lots of romantic activities
    Great walks  -  Take a guided nature walk to Devil’s Bridge and learn about the local flora and fauna from a hotel expert
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.

    This chic, five-star resort is located on Antigua’s northeast coast, next to Devil’s Bridge National Park. Beautifully appointed villas have vaulted ceilings, local hardwood furnishings and sea views from infinity-edge plunge pools. Complete with its own private beach, this is an exclusive stay. See More

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  • Hermitage Bay St Johns, Antigua 30 rooms from £937

    Honeymoons  -  Hermitage Bay is the perfect destination for a luxury honeymoon with stunning accommodation and service to match.
    Foodies  -  Caribbean cookery lessons and farm tour to see where the fresh produce is sourced on the island
    Total relaxation  -  Infinity pool, 16 acres of lush gardens, white beaches and sailing trips
    Cooking classes  -  Every week chef puts on a cookery demonstration for guests to get involved, on the deck by the pool
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    Superlative all inclusive beachside resort in lush gardens. Huge suites feature darkwood floors, shuttered windows, outdoor rain showers and day beds. Infinity pool, sandy beach, spa and gym. Excellent Caribbean and European cuisine, laid-back bar. Ideal for a sophisticated, relaxed beach holiday. See More

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