Carlisle Bay, Antigua: A Review

Sophie Cahill | 22 Jan, 2018

As a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group, and a resort frequented by the top A-list celebrities including Oprah, Cameron Diaz and John Travolta, Carlisle Bay is a hotel which certainly lives up to it’s clientele’s justifiably high expectations.

On entering the resort via a torch-lit drawbridge set over a pool of tropical fish, the chilled, luxurious vibe of the resort is instantly upon you. From the moment you are greeted with a warm welcome, a refreshing tropical cocktail and a swift, effortless check-in, the wow-factor remains present at Carlisle Bay right throughout your holiday. Even the laid-back reception area is something special, with white wash shutters and chic, comfy couches to kick back on with your arrival cocktail; this is just what you want after a long-haul flight.

Our tour of Carlisle Bay began with a stroll through its lush tropical gardens to the beach. The resort can truly boast an absolutely stunning location, within a secluded cove; you’ll soon feel a million miles away from the stresses of everyday life. Surrounded by mountainous greenery, dazzling turquoise waters and the calm sound of the waves means wherever you go on the resort, the tranquil atmosphere is all around. The beautiful scenery doesn’t end there; we arrived just in time to glimpse a spectacular sunset, sure to leave even the most well travelled jetsetters speechless.

Next up we were guided to our accommodation; the Carlisle Suite. The creme-de-la-crème of Carlisle Bay’s luxury accommodation, the whitewashed, understated and delightfully-Caribbean Carlisle Suite boasts three en suite bedrooms, making it a spacious option for families or groups of up to six. With a large sitting area for chilling out, a kitchen and a double-width terrace set over the beachfront, the Suite caters to all tastes. With a double day bed to crash out on, you’ll find the terrace is the perfect place to relax and take in the serene, sun-kissed surroundings with a spot of afternoon tea, which is included in the bed and breakfast rate (and can be delivered to you wherever you are in the resort!).

When it comes to dining at the resort, foodies will not be disappointed. Guests at Carlisle Bay enjoy four distinctive restaurants, all serving equally delectable cuisine, meaning you could easily spend a week at the resort and not feel the need to leave.

Catering for all, from couples basking in romance to families taking it easy with young children, there are restaurants to suit all guests and all tastes. Enjoy a relaxed lunch with your toes in the sand at Coconut Grove or opt for Ottimo!, a casual yet authentically tasty Italian with a rustic wood-burning pizza oven and a Little Ottimo! menu especially for younger guests.

In the evening head to East, one of Antigua’s finest restaurants, and sample some of the best Japanese, Thai and Indonesian dishes the Caribbean can offer. The fuchsia and dark wood interior means this is a wonderful option for an elegant, romantic evening. Ask our concierge team to make a reservation for you in advance and you’ll soon see what all the fuss is about.

The latest addition to the dining scene at Carlisle Bay is The Jetty Grill. An adults only restaurant catering solely to couples, the grill serves up the juiciest grilled meats, the freshest seafood and the finest wines you’ll find on the island.

After an evening of fine dining bliss, start the next day with sunrise yoga on the jetty; the exquisite views of the gentle Caribbean waters and the luscious green hills in the distance guarantee a surreal experience that means you’ll almost forget you’re exercising! Take in even more beautiful views by enjoying a relaxing walk along the beach over to Indigo for breakfast. A beachfront restaurant at the heart of the resort, Indigo offers breakfast a la carte, with fresh and healthy options as well as the classic full-English breakfast. For the more adventurous guests there’s also the boldly traditional Caribbean breakfast, consisting of saltfish, cucumber and plantain!

Continuing into the afternoon, the expanse of activities and amenities at Carlisle Bay means you can do just as much or as little as you like. Escape the heat and relax in the library, a contemporary space with comfortable couches. Alternatively book a private session at the yoga pavilion, or for the more energetic, improve your back-hand on one of the five tennis courts, it’ll be the most scenic game of tennis you ever play!

Those in touch with their aquatic side will relish the complimentary non-motorised watersports, which include sailing, kayaking, snorkelling, windsurfing and paddle boarding. You can also take part in water-skiing, wakeboarding and tubing for an additional fee, all set within a neighbouring cove, to ensure guests relaxing on the beach are not disturbed.

Any review of Carlisle Bay would be incomplete without a special mention of Blue Spa, the on-resort spa. With an extensive menu of treatments, you really can’t make a wrong choice, however, I highly recommend the ‘Pepperpot of Massages’; two hours of sheer indulgence during which you experience four different massages within one treatment. You’ll leave the spa feeling like a new, re-energized person even more in love the Caribbean than before you walked in.

My time at Carlisle Bay was full of spectacular scenery, wonderful culinary delights and the sheer bliss that comes from a week of relaxing in paradise, all memories I will cherish for a long time. If you, too, would like to experience the delights of this luxury Antiguan resort, call our Travel Specialists today or make an enquiry here.


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