The Inn at English Harbour

LOCATION: As the name suggests it’s in English Harbour.

LOCATION: As the name suggests it’s in English Harbour. Super close to Nelson’s Dockyard, Shirley Heights and on a calm beach alongside water peppered with beautiful boats.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Firmly at the boutique end of the market the Inn is a quiet and simple spot for a minimum fuss luxury break. On arrival it’s impossible to check in immediately. Not because reception isn't handily placed or staff aren't helpful it’s just difficult to imagine anyone stopping to do the paperwork when such a glorious terrace sits in eye line just yards away. This top section, which houses two restaurants, spa and tennis courts is high on a hill, your room is low by the beach. It works well and you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere that offers such tranquility. 

THE FACTS: Upgraded three years ago the rooms are tip top modern with flatscreens, ipod docking stations and wifi but so gentle are these touches that you don’t notice until you need them. The striking aspects of my room were the mahogany floors, canopy bed and large balcony. It’s was seriously pretty room that even the most well travelled won’t feel they’ve been in before. Of the 28, 24 rooms face out to a lawn that rolls all the way to the pond-like sea of the harbour save a strip of daily raked sand.And for those who want to literally roll out of bed into the warm waters four beach cabanas are 20 steps from bed to sea.The aesthetics continue to impress outside and of everywhere in Antigua this offered the most serene sitting still. Tectonic timescale sitting still like the kind you imagine getting in a quiet square in Tuscany with a just a glass of red wine, a book and fresh air for company. And yet the bustle of Nelson’s Dockyard is a two minute water taxi away if you want to down your wine and find some hubbub. (free of charge for guests.) Complimentary activities include tennis, fitness centre, kayaking and snorkelling and laser sailing.Others, like spa treatments, water-skiing, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing are available nearby at a charge.Without a car there is very slight potential of becoming irritated by the walk or need to call for a lift but with emphasis on the word slight. Like the slight irritation of someone giving you a gold bar but dropping it on your foot during the handover.

A GOOD BASE FOR: Antigua is not enormous so wherever you are a rental car will open up the whole island. This hotel is just about the calmest base one could imagine so for those who want  a place to stay that offers simple seclusion, fine food and gentle attentiveness.

WOW: The terrace. There are few finer places to sit on the island.

HOW MUCH:Stay 7 nights and pay for 6. Offer valid from May 1 to August 12 2012.Half board from £1326 per