Welcome to Paradise
Situated just off mainland Antigua on Long Island, Jumby Bay is renowned as an island paradise of understated, idyllic luxury living. I’d heard that Jumby possessed magic surpassing even the highest of luxury travel standards and, needless to say, I could not wait for my visit. Phase two of the island resort’s multi-million-dollar refurbishment had completed just days before I arrived; the perfect time to see if Jumby lived up to its impeccable reputation.
After being fast-tracked through airport security by a Jumby representative my partner and I were whisked to Jumby’s private mainland dock in one of the resort’s luxury Chrysler vehicles. Following a smooth 5-minute transfer in the resort’s private catamaran, we were given the warmest of greetings at the island’s dock and led to The Veranda lounge for a short private check-in, all while sipping on a chilled rum-punch, naturally!
Thereafter, a short golf-cart ride to our Estate Suite demonstrated the vastness and beauty of the 300-acre island; think manicured, spacious, golf-course-style grounds with stunning views of the azure sea. Entering our suite via a private courtyard, the warm Jumby welcome continued with a fresh platter of meats, Mediterranean cheeses and bread.
With a spacious living area, walk-in wardrobe and a large dual-sink bathroom, complete with outdoor rain shower and bathtub surrounded by tropical foliage, the Estate Suite is much like the island on which it is located: simply and utterly breath-taking. The suite even included a heavy-duty telescope for those interested in an evening of star-gazing.
For our first evening, the concierge team kindly reserved us a table at the Estate House & Bar. An 1830s plantation house and once the centrepiece of the island’s sugar plantation, the restaurant was re-opened in 2016 following a six-million-dollar restoration. A bellman whizzed us across the island and we arrived to find the most stunningly lit colonial building, the epitome of the word ‘inviting’, with a fresh contemporary twist.
We began with cocktails in the bar, soaking up the relaxed and sophisticated atmosphere and sipping a Market Bellini, as recommended by the friendly bartender. We were then led to the terrace for a tantalisingly delicious 3-course dinner, from a menu mixing classic fare with Caribbean island flavours: watermelon and mozzarella gazpacho, followed by succulent steak and the softest chocolate soufflé, washed down with rosé champagne. It was safe to say this was one of the most romantic evenings we’d ever experienced. Without any hesitation, we booked the same table in the restaurant for the following evening.
However, at Jumby the treats don’t end with the evening meal. We returned to our room to find that the turn-down service included two freshly baked madeleines alongside a hand-painted Jumby Bay shell. Each evening we returned to find another unique shell, the loveliest souvenir by which to remember the most exquisite island getaway.
The next day began with breakfast at The Veranda, set in the heart of the resort. Part of the extensive renovation and consisting of a restaurant, bar and lounge, the Veranda’s new interior vibe is casual elegance mixed with a laidback tropical style. Created by renowned Brazilian interior designer Patricia Anastassiadis, this area is light, beautiful and open; a place we felt thoroughly relaxed in.
Jumby Bay’s breakfast offering, featuring an à la carte complemented by a continental selection of fresh breads, pastries and fruit, is as delightful as the rest of the island. The French toast is a must, as are the miniature pains au chocolat, washed down with a freshly made apple, carrot and ginger juice. Each morning we were also offered The Jumby Journal; a short newspaper featuring the day’s current affairs and sports from the UK or US. Breakfast was always a very relaxing affair, setting the tone for the rest of the day in paradise. We often returned for a light lunch, admiring the Caribbean Sea over a chilled glass of wine and a bottle of Wadadli – the local Antiguan beer.
The Veranda area also played host to our favourite and undoubtedly most romantic evening at Jumby Bay: the White Party on the beach. We arrived to find the beach decorated with fairy lights, a barbecue sizzling and a live band playing, creating a real party atmosphere for all of the guests, who took to the occasion by dressing all in white. We enjoyed a pre-dinner drink in the bar, before checking-in our shoes and heading to our private table on the beach and enjoying an absolutely sumptuous range of culinary barbecue delights, including pork belly, honey and lime chicken, lobster and steak. Seasoned vegetables and salad, grown on-island at the Jumby farm, were also something special. The highlight, however, was without doubt the array of tapas-style desserts. Struggling to choose from a wonderful selection, I opted for a fresh Nutella crepe.
During our stay, we found that Jumby really was a place that catered for all: we could be just as relaxed or active as we liked. Shortly after our arrival, and with a view to banishing any lingering jetlag, we jumped on our bikes (included for all guests) and took a chilled ride around the whole island, taking in Jumby’s spellbinding scenery and wildlife. There are no cars on the island, so the paths are open for just you and passing golf buggies. Cycling past the villas and estate homes spread throughout the island, our journey on two wheels took just under an hour and was, without doubt, the most relaxing and serene bike ride we had ever enjoyed. We didn’t see a single other guest, despite the island being at full capacity during our stay. 300-acres really does guarantee plenty of space for all.
Keeping with the active theme, we also took full advantage of the watersports activities on, hosted from the new watersports centre, 22 Knots. Offering complimentary paddle-boarding, snorkelling, kayaking, sailing and much more, there was plenty for us to get involved in. One day we ventured out on a kayaking tour to a nearby island, the next we opted for a personal sailing lesson on board a Hobie-Cat. The team were excellent and worked with all levels of experience, from beginners such as ourselves, to the more experienced watersports enthusiasts. They even hosted competitions for guests looking for a real challenge!
For those looking to fully embrace the island’s chilled vibes, the pilates and yoga lessons will equally appeal, while the long and pristine white sand beach offers plenty of space for those hoping to lap up the calm sound of the waves while enjoying some Caribbean sun. The Poole Grille, meanwhile, is also a superb option for those who just want to chill out, with an infinity pool overlooking the spectacular turquoise ocean and a bar (also offering pool snacks), meaning the next glass of champagne was never too far off. The romantics out there can also enjoy the option of a champagne picnic dinner on a private beach beneath the stars, or a private yacht charter or sunset cruise to take in the island’s pink and orange sunsets alongside the most delectable gourmet canapés.
Our time at Jumby Bay Island was just as incredible as we hoped, and more. With the friendliest and warmest staff who will treat you like royalty, the most beautiful and inviting island, and the best culinary offering in the East Caribbean, Jumby Bay is a truly special place and second to none. Words cannot do it justice, and we cannot wait to return!;