Carlisle Bay, Antigua

LOCATION: Set within a secluded bay on the unspoiled south coast of Antigua with a backdrop of rolling hills and rainforest, Gordon Campbell Gray’s contemporary resort spearheads Antigua’s luxury offering.

FIRST IMPRESSION: Any stress which finds its way onto the plane with a client will have trouble surviving the stroll into Carlisle Bay.

The sense of calm is immediate - even the business end of the resort, the reception, is serene and relaxing with plantation shutters and muted grey walls.

Flights from London handily arrive mid-afternoon allowing an immediate dip in the Caribbean Sea before supper.

No need to worry about orientation at this stage either as a beach attendant who knows where the bar is will find you before you can say pina colada.

While sticking to the finest tradition of the Caribbean – sand and sea – the design is far from the traditional, often tired, look of many of the islands accommodations.

The rooms don’t rely on the view or infrequent use – they are contemporary, stylish and blend with the location gently and without fanfare.

THE FACTS: Carlisle Bay’s 82 suites all face the sea, each with a private terrace or balcony.

The resort features two of the best restaurants on the island; Indigo on the Beach has a laid back, informal setting with views across to Monsterrat – the menu features light and healthy food, specializing in grills, fresh seafood, salads and homemade breads.

East specializes in authentic dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, India and Indonesia.
The Pavilion Bar has the most extensive rum list on the island.

Signature treatments at the Blue Spa include the Natura Bissé ‘Diamond Ice Lift Facial’ and an exotic ‘Honey & Mango’ scrub.

There are nine floodlit tennis courts, three complimentary kids clubs, a sublime library and a 45-seat luxury screening room.

 WHO’S IT FOR: The hotel is ideal for active families.The suites at Carlisle Bay are devised to accommodate families of all sizes, with the option of interconnecting, two or three bedroom suites.

On arrival at the hotel, families receive a weekly activity programme, welcome gifts for children and children’s bathrobes.

Complimentary guided tours through the protected rainforest next to the hotel are available, as are private boat trips around Antigua (at a supplementary charge).

There is also Pee Wee Tennis and Junior Tennis clinics available on the Carlisle Bay courts. Complimentary activities such a hobby cats, kayaking, sailing and snorkelling are available on a daily basis.

Carlisle Bay operates three complimentary children’s activity clubs: ‘Cool Kids Club’ for children aged four to seven, ‘Crew Blue’ for children aged seven to twelve and ‘Crush’ for children age thirteen to nineteen.

WOW: It’s a little clichéd but the beach  will bring a beaming smile to any guest. And having a rainforest on the doorstep is a truly spectacular and fascinating bonus.

HOW MUCH: From £450 per night for two  including all meals and a $50 drinks credit per suite per night.

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