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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 Booking.com.

      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

      • Nonsuch Bay 42 rooms from £326


        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.

        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
        Check prices
      • Blue Waters 67 rooms from £309


        Splendid beachfront hotel. Enormous rooms feature Italian tiles, big beds and most with direct beach access or sea-facing balconies. Outdoor pool, tennis courts, spa and private beach area. Fresh, healthy cuisine in the choice of restaurants. A perfect stay for families.

        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.
        Recommended by  -  Fodors
        Check prices
      • Sugar Ridge 60 rooms from £261


        Stunning hillside hotel. The spacious rooms feature four-posters, private terraces and large bathrooms. Outdoor pool and some rooms with private plunge pools. Spa, gym and tropical gardens. Excellent local cuisine in the two restaurants. Secluded, intimate and lush.

        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
        Check prices
      • Verandah Hotel 200 rooms from £453


        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.

        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
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      • Hawksbill Hotel 111 rooms from £166


        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.

        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
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      • Galley Bay 98 rooms from £722


        Relaxed adults-only, all inclusive hotel on the beach. The rooms have antiques, colourful artworks and wooden verandas. Outdoor pool, lagoon, private beach area, spa, tennis court and gym. Choice of sublime cuisine. Romantic, quiet and idyllic.

        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
        Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
        Recommended by  -  Fodors
        Check prices
      • Anchorage Inn 40 rooms from £88

        St Johns, Antigua

        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.

        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.
        Check prices
      • Dickenson Bay Cottages 14 rooms from £76

        St Johns, Antigua

        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.

        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
        Check prices
      • Keyonna Beach Resort 20 rooms from £289


        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.

        Romantic Break  -  Designed for getting away from it all - namely the kids!
        Honeymoons  -  Couples only resort popular amongst honeymooners
        Restrictions on children  -  Children are not permitted at this hotel
        Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
        Check prices
      • Jumby Bay from £806

        St Johns, Antigua

        Sensational island resort. Rooms & villas are contemporary yet full of character with colourful prints, muslin draped four-posters and dark wood furniture. Outdoor pools, direct beach access, gym, tennis courts & spa. Superb fresh Antiguan cuisine; chic bar. Gorgeous, luxurious and family friendly.

        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
        Check prices
      • Carlisle Bay 82 rooms from £487

        St Mary's, Antigua

        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.

        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
        Check prices
      • Hermitage Bay 25 rooms from £797

        St Johns, Antigua

        Splendid all inclusive beachside resort in lush gardens. Large rooms feature darkwood floors, shuttered windows, outdoor rain showers and day beds. Outdoor pool, private beach area, spa and gym. Excellent Caribbean and European cuisine, laid-back bars. Ideal for foodies or a classic beach holiday.

        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  -  Outdoor cookery lessons with Caribbean chef included in the price
        Sights nearby  -  Visit English Harbour and Nelson's Dockyard
        Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
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      • Curtain Bluff 72 rooms from £606


        Secluded, luxury all inclusive beach resort with Caribbean and Atlantic facing beaches. Contemporary rooms feature funky furniture, private terraces and big marble bathrooms. Outstanding facilities for tennis and watersports. Fantastic Italian and Caribbean cuisine. Peaceful, stunning and chic.

        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
        Cooking classes  -  Caribbean-cooking and wine-appreciation classes
        Recommended by  -  Fodors
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      • The Inn at English Harbour 28 rooms from £379

        English Harbour

        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.

        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
        Check prices
      • Admiral's Inn 19 rooms from £111


        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.

        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
        Check prices