Antigua

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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 still lively with sailors especially in the winter season, but you’ll find that many of the best places to stay on Antigua are right up against one, or more, of its beautiful beaches. There are plenty to choose from, clustered along the west and north coasts, near Dickenson Bay and Jolly Harbour, or around historic English Harbour in the south east. When the majority of us think about hotels on Antigua, the first thing that comes to mind are the large, expensive, beach resorts. But dig a little deeper and you'll discover a wealth of boutique properties, plus the odd guesthouse and a range of family friendly, great value self-catering options.

Antigua’s sleepier neighbour, Barbuda, makes up the other half of the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, and together they’re known for their incredible number of beaches and coves, some of them wonderfully hidden. But there’s a lot more to Antigua besides beaches and idyllic sailing waters, filled with reefs to dive and snorkel amidst. This is an historic island, with numerous forts, but also sugar plantations and colonial era buildings, set on and around green hills, and it’s a great Caribbean choice if you want to explore more than just a range of near-perfect beaches.

Some of our Antigua Collections:

Where to Stay on Antigua - Which Part of the Island?

  • If this is your first time to the island then it makes sense to consider staying in St John’s, the capital, and if you’re looking for somewhere with a great nightlife, and plenty of choice when it comes to cafes, bars and restaurants too. And it’s got the best shopping on the island. St John’s also makes sense if you want to do some sightseeing, as the capital this is where you’ll find some of the island’s largest and most important historic forts, its top museums, the impressive Baroque cathedral, and several old plantation houses turned museums and monuments. There are even some great beaches not too far from the centre of town. But it’s not particularly beautiful, and being host to the cruise port it can sometimes feel over-run with other visitors.
  • Above St John’s is Runaway Beach, two kilometres of sand, with wonderful views, good swimming conditions and a fun row of beach bars, cafes and restaurants along the sand. This is a good option if you’re looking for value for money, and there are some great apartments and villas here, as well as hotels.
  • If you keep heading along the northwest coastline you’ll get to Dickenson Bay, a long crescent of pale sand lined with big resorts. If you’re here to enjoy a beach break with no fuss then this is the perfect spot to come, with great swimming, plenty of access to watersports facilities, and a proper Caribbean-feeling vibe. The best places to eat, if you want to get away from the resorts, is to the east, where you’ll also find some of the fanciest residential neighbourhoods on Antigua.
  • If you head out of St John’s in the other direction, and keep to the coast, you’ll start to see some of Antigua’s best beaches, so if you’re looking for your own perfect vista of sea and sand then this part of the island, around Jolly Harbour, might be for you. The marina is busy and there are a few restaurants and bars, but the real appeal is that it’s fairly quiet of a weekday and you might even have your ideal beach to yourself.
  • Antigua has been a key base for sailing in the Caribbean since Nelson based his navy here at English Harbour. These days English Harbour is much beloved by yachties, lively, friendly and a bit ritzy, especially during the winter season, when this is a particularly appealing part of the world to be in. If you’re not travelling with your own yacht you’ll find most of the accommodation here leans towards the nautical and colonial in style. Even if you’re not a sailor there’s a lot to be said for staying here, it’s got one of Antigua’s most popular attractions, Nelson’s Dockyard, a beautifully preserved and restored Georgian marina, a couple of 18th century forts, some really beautiful secluded beaches with coral reefs just off shore, and Shirley Heights, which is known for its barbecues.
  • Falmouth is just along the cove from English Harbour, and it’s just as well located, but more hipster, less yachtie.
  • If you follow the coast road west along the south coast past Falmouth you’ll be in the parish of St Mary, which has a sheltered Caribbean coast, lined with safe, calm beaches that are good for families. The accommodation around this part of the island reflects that too. St Mary is also a good choice if you’re here to hike, with the tallest hills on the island, and some lush jungle to shade your paths, as well as the reward of incredible views.
  • Windsurfers and kitesurfers will probably prefer the less sheltered Atlantic beaches at Long Island and Nonsuch Bay on the island’s eastern side, which are buffeted by all sorts of winds. This is also where you’ll find the island’s very first sugar plantation at Betty’s Hope.

The Caribbean is a hugely popular destination over Christmas and New Year (though it's pretty busy in the other months too), so if you want to guarantee a room in one of the best places to stay in Antigua during peak season, we recommend you book well ahead.

The Best Places to Stay on Antigua

For a honeymoon hotel

  • If you’re looking for the sort of hotel you’d want to spend all your time in consider Hermitage Bay: a 30 suite all-inclusive beachside resort where all of the suites are individually gorgeous, the views are everything you could imagine of the Caribbean, and the food, and drinks, are really something, daily-changing-menu special. Hermitage Bay is situated on the island's West Coast not far from St John’s, so it’s easy to get to, and it really offers everything you could dream of, from infinity pools — private if that’s what you want, to rain showers to a cocktail party atmosphere of an evening if you want to partake.
  • What Hermitage Bay doesn’t have is its own private island. Which is what Jumby Bay Island does have; it’s a small island just off the north coast with just 40 elegant suites and villas, and 300 acres of private land, which the hotels bicycles and golf carts are on hand to help you navigate. There’s full beach service on the main beach, and the dining is superb, whether you opt for a private candlelit dinner on the beach or a sociable Caribbean barbecue at the farm. The villas are well and truly large enough for you to bring your family too, and there’s an impressive kid’s club.
  • If you’d prefer your fellow guests didn’t have their kids with them then try Galley Bay, a relaxed adults-only, all-inclusive beach resort on a gorgeous tropical lagoon in the island’s west coast. There are 98 rooms and suites, but the beach they’re arranged against is long, so there’s still a feeling of peace and privacy, and if you want your own private plunge pool that’s no problem at all. The size of the resort means the facilities are plentiful, and include cooking classes, scuba lessons and catamaran cruises. There’s also an excellent spa.

For a Beach Resort

  • Curtain Bluff is in a great spot on the tip of a peninsula, so it has both Caribbean and Atlantic facing beaches, and incredible views of both from its 72 rooms and suites. This is an in-inclusive resort with all the trimmings, including tennis courts, sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, windsurfing, cooking classes, and an excellent daily-changing menu. And the surrounds are luxurious too.
  • Carlisle Bay is a versatile resort on the island's South Coast, which is a great size, with great facilities, and an atmosphere that’s idea for both honeymooners and families. Its 82 rooms and suites are stylish and contemporary, with hammocks and day beds, large bathrooms and sea views. The resort has direct beach access, and a beautiful pool, tennis courts, a spa, a choice of restaurants ranging from super romantic to fun, and kid’s clubs for both young children and teenagers, a cinema room, bike tours and parts of the beach dedicated to families and adults only.

Antigua’s Most Romantic Hotels

  • If you thought English Harbour sounded like the best place to stay on Antigua for you, try the The Inn at English Harbour, a 28 room and suite beachfront hotel with a colonial era feel and charming rooms with mahogany four-poster beds. There’s a private beach, tennis courts, a heated pool, a spa and gym and a superb Italian restaurant with a chic bar. The romance comes with the views, elegant surrounds and old fashioned service.
  • Hammock Cove is a chic, five-star resort close to Wilkies and the Devil’s Bridge National Park. Arranged so that all of its villas face out to sea around a promontory, there’s plenty of privacy as well as beautiful interiors, with vaulted ceilings, local hardwood furnishings and sea views from their private, infinity plunge pools. There’s a private beach too, with great watersports facilities, and there’s a spa and gym too. And the restaurant has incredible water views too.
  • The Hawksbill Hotel is another hotel it’s difficult to categorise. It has four secluded private beaches, so it’s a pretty special beach resort, and it’s on a stretch of coastline all to itself, with its 111 rooms, villas and chalets dotted in amongst the lush tropical forest, so it certainly feels like an escape too, and one that’s great for families. And considering its facilities it’s very good value too. But we think there’s something so romantic about the idea of watching the ocean off your private villa’s large, private balcony, that we included it here. Click through and enjoy the photos if you need convincing.

For an island escape

  • Situated above Jolly Beach on Antigua’s western coast, Sugar Ridge is a sophisticated resort tucked into the hillside, surrounded by fragrant gardens and looking out over an incredible Caribbean vista. There are 60 rooms and suites, in a good range of sizes, some with their own private plunge pools and terraces, and there’s an Aveda spa and two excellent restaurants.
  • Keyonna Beach Resort is a collection of rustic looking buildings and beach cabins right against the white sands of Turners Beach on Valley Church Bay. There are just 20 rooms and cabins, and the cabins have their own plunge pools, but there’s also a private beach and a resort pool. Not forgetting the Balinese spa, and beachside restaurant. This is an adults only hideaway.

For Families

  • Nonsuch Bay, on Antigua's eastern coast, is a contemporary beachfront hotel with just 42 rooms and suites, including some generously proportioned family suites. There’s an elegant pool, a private beach and a spa, but it’s the watersports facilities that this hotel does especially well, offering sailing lessons, keel boating, snorkelling and raft building, among others. And there’s a kid’s club.
  • The Verandah Hotel is family-friendly all-inclusive beach resort near the Devil’s Bridge National Park. It’s big, with 200 rooms, suites and villas, but that equates to a lot of choice when it comes to facilities and activities, including a cinema, tennis and mini-golf, and marine life excursions, as well as a huge range of watersports and lots to do for your kids at the kid’s club.
  • Just along the sand from Dickenson Bay, Blue Waters is a welcoming beachfront hotel with 67 rooms and suites in a collection of white, villa-type buildings overlooking the water. The rooms are good sized, decorated in a traditional, beach-y manner, with Italian tiles and sea-facing balconies. The best options for families are probably the cottages, which have plenty of space as well as their own kitchens. There are three beach areas, multiple pools, tennis courts, yoga classes and plenty of watersports facilities.

For great value

  • Dickenson Bay Cottages are a collection of 14 pleasant, self-catering villas — not really cottages, just outside St. Johns. Expect fun tropical decor, fragrant gardens with a pretty pool terrace with a view, and a laid-back atmosphere. Plus there's a beach nearby, and a good choice of restaurants within walking distance too.
  • The Anchorage Inn is north of St. Johns, just a couple of minutes from one of Antigua's nicest beaches. The accommodation is in colourful, low-rise buildings, and features a fun, tropical theme. The atmosphere is friendly and there’s plenty of space. There’s an outdoor pool and breakfast is served in the sunny gardens.
  • The Admiral's Inn is a 19 room hotel overlooking Nelson’s Dockyard. The accommodation is historic, in elegant rooms with exposed beams, wooden floors and four-poster beds. There’s a sunny terrace overlooking the dockyard and a charming seafood restaurant. This is one of the best places to stay on Antigua for sailors and ideal for history lovers too.

Prefer 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

  • VC Bird International on Antigua is a major Caribbean airport and many people visiting other islands will have to pass through, but conveniently for you, this is your stop. It has good connections across the USA, Canada and Europe. If you arrange it in advance your hotel will probably have a transfer service, otherwise there are taxis and car hire services at the airport. There’s also a local bus service, but it’s designed for local people, not hotel guests, and its routes go ‘round the houses’. Cruise ships dock at St John’s.
  • If you’re thinking about hiring a car we recommend checking what our online partners, Rentalcars have to offer.
  • Antigua is pretty close to the equator, so there’s not a real seasonal change, but it isn’t as humid as most of the Caribbean islands, which makes the tropical conditions a lot more palatable for many of us. Antigua is also quite dry compared to its Caribbean neighbours. So that’s even more hours of sunshine. Vaguely between June and October it’s the Hot Season, and between December and March it’s the Marginally Less Hot Season. The most important thing about planning a trip to Antigua is avoiding hurricanes (hurricane season broadly runs from June to November).

Still not sure?

Weather

Monthly Weather in Antigua

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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