The beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua is truly a year-round beach destination: It has 365 beaches — one for each day. And thanks to spectacular weather across the calendar, each of those days is likely to beach-worthy. Another thing: Antigua has won the World Travel Award for the Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination four years and counting. And it doesn’t end there. We’ve just released an awe-inspiring collection of villa rentals on the island, so you can now experience Antigua like never before.
What’s New in Antigua
New this winter, Luxury Retreats has expanded its reach to Antigua, opening an exciting new offering for its loyal travelers. While vacation rentals had been previously available at the private Long Island hideaway, Jumby Bay, this new collection gives many new guests the chance to check down on Antigua’s mainland. “By adding these properties, we’re opening up Antigua for the classic luxury traveler,” explains Luxury Retreats Market Manager, Michael Rollins. “Our new offering provides our guests a great selection of homes in different parts of the island. If you want something really private, go to Nonsuch. If you want something honeymoon-style, go to Tamarind Hills.” And the list goes on. Read on and find out which of these Antigua villa rentals is right for you.
Villa Sugar Mill (Galley Bay)
Galley Bay is a secluded seaside resort district near Five Islands Village on Antigua’s west coast. Villa Sugar Mill is a standalone 6-bedroom villa in a gated community removed from the resorts, offering top-notch amenities for a party of 12. Each bedroom has its own bathroom, so even large groups can maintain their privacy. Three main-level bedrooms open directly to the infinity pool, two others have a private terrace, and a sixth has a private cottage entrance and kitchenette. The home looks out over the Caribbean Ocean at Galley Bay, and guests are always just a few barefoot steps away from their very own private beach. From there, they can arrange to take out a motorboat, windsurf board, monoski, wakeboard, or three-person banana. To unwind, rather than tracking down a bar, hit up your personal wine fridge and pick out a favorite bottle or two.
Tamarind Hills Oasis (Jolly Harbour)
An oasis, indeed. Tamarind Hills is a brand new development, so the Oasis is among the most modern homes on the island. This vacation home for eight within the Tamarind Hills community — just a 5-minute drive from Jolly Harbour village — is a calming influence, from the all-white interiors to the daybed floating over top of the infinity pool, which seems to disappear into the Caribbean over the neon blue waters of Ffryes Beach. Guests here have their own outdoor living and dining space topped off with a stunning wraparound infinity pool. Our favorite feature of this new Antigua villa rental, though, may be that each of its four sophisticated bedrooms has its own balcony with ocean views. Talk about the perfect way to kick off and cap off each and every day at Tamarind Hills Oasis.
Pelican House (St. Johns)
When it comes to high-end resort accommodations in Antigua, look no further than Blue Waters Resort & Spa. The St. John’s Parish paradise has won the World Travel Awards prize for Antigua’s Leading Hotel five years running. On top of an elegant collection of luxury rooms and suites, Blue Waters has three villas (all of which appear in this article) for rent — the cream of the crop. Among the three villas is Pelican House, a majestic beachfront rental home sleeping 12 guests and delighting all. In addition to enjoying Blue Waters Resort amenities — including multiple freshwater swimming pools, secluded beach coves, and 17 acres of tropical gardens — Pelican has its share of luxuries on-hand. The property consists of two self-contained detached villas, each with three bedrooms and a separate entrance. The spacious pool terrace is where the whole group will gather for a morning coffee or to watch the sun go down in the evening.
Palm Point (Jolly Harbour)
If you love to spend your days on the water, this is your ideal Antigua villa rental. Palm Point is situated at water’s edge in a marina, at the tip of a small peninsula opposite Jolly Harbour. “Though the home is in the middle of the harbour,” says homeowner Guy Porritt, “it still feels totally secluded. Nobody comes near you — it’s just the ships going past, which is quite lovely to watch.” You can see the ocean and an array of sailboats and canoes from the pool deck and jacuzzi, the wraparound balcony with hammocks, the spectacular beachside main indoor pavilion, a shaded outdoor patio, and even the master bedroom’s balcony — you can also get out on the water yourself. Walk down to Palm Point’s private beach and grab a kayak, paddleboard, or pedalo, all included with your stay, to begin your water adventure. Better yet, take it one step further and rent (at extra cost) the villa’s 72-foot yacht. The dedicated captain can takes guests on a 4-hour excursion that includes stops at Bird Island, Green Island, English Harbour, and several bays for swimming.
Turtle Cottage (St. Johns)
Another of the dominant Blue Waters Resort & Spa villas is Turtle Cottage. Since Blue Waters sits at one of Antigua’s northernmost points, the ocean views from the waterfront Turtle Cottage seem to carry for miles and miles. Just steps away, the resort boasts several secluded beach coves where guests can pull up a lounger, sip a cocktail, and fix their gaze upon the — ahem — blue waters in front of the resort. If sitting and sipping aren’t your things, then grab some gear from the Blue Waters facility and enjoy an afternoon of snorkelling, windsurfing, and kayaking. Introductory lessons are available for beginners. A garden-enclosed tennis hard court, four-times weekly yoga sessions, and the par-69 Cedar Valley Golf Club are all available to resorts guests as well. For those not traveling with kids but looking to socialize, an adults-only pool is a nice option. Turtle Cottage, meanwhile, has its own swimming pool and spacious terrace with those same sparkling views.
Villa Nonsuch Heights (Nonsuch Bay)
Nonsuch Bay is a luxury all-inclusive resort on the east coast of Antigua. The resort’s most high-end accommodation options are its spacious villas, of which there are only three. Villa Nonsuch Heights is perched on the hillside, 150 feet above the water at Ayers Creek. Guests of the resort enjoy access to its restaurant and bar, standup paddleboards and kayaks, and Nonsuch’s sailing school with a fleet of 30 boats. Meanwhile, Nonsuch Heights has its own ocean-facing terrace where guests can lounge around the pool in privacy. Its fully-equipped kitchen, complemented with an outdoor barbecue, will excite those with cooking prowess. Dinners served alfresco benefit from stunning views of Nonsuch Bay, with the small Saint Philip Parish settlement of Willikies to the north and the privately-owned, uninhabited Green Island to the east.
Cove Penthouse (St. Johns)
This three-story gem is one of the Blue Waters Resort penthouses. The Cove encourages its guests to take things slow. Each of its three bedrooms has its own terrace, allowing mornings to begin slowly, perhaps with a warm cup of coffee. On the main floor, the oversized terrace provides several different spaces to relax, whether in private, in small groups, or as a whole party. The L-shaped pool is huge, and surrounded by a grass space, all that separates it from the ocean. For meals, guests choose between the clifftop Caribbean-French Cove Restaurant, the intimate, even romantic Bartley’s, and the relaxed, alfresco Palm Restaurant. The Pelican Bar serves up cocktails and features a nightly steel band, Carolyn’s is where you should enjoy a daytime daiquiri or margarita, and Veronica’s is poolside so you can taste locally-crafted cocktails before or after a refreshing swim.
Turtle Point (Nonsuch Bay)
When you’re used to top-end, island-style resort amenities, yet you want seclusion and privacy, Turtle Point offers “the best of both worlds,” according to Rental Sales Manager, Danielle Panagou. As part of Nonsuch Bay Resort, you’ll have access to the resort’s private beach, plus their top-of-the-line fleet of dinghies, keelboats, catamarans, and kayaks to sail the short ride toward nearby Green Island and settle in at one of its five deserted beaches. And within the friendly confines of the two-story Turtle Point villa, you feel just as well taken care of. That begins with the private cook that prepares your party two meals a day, and the convenient daily maid service. The main level balcony has a large swimming pool with lounge seating and an alfresco dining area, not to mention spectacular ocean views. The top deck has a second dining table and even better views off Antigua’s east coast.
Rock Cottage (St. Johns)
The third and final villa from the world-class Blue Waters collection, Rock Cottage is without question one of the top vacation rental homes on the entire island. For starters, it’s set on its own small rock peninsula. To one side, you can look back toward the mainland and see the resort, its pool, and the beach — on the other side you see nothing but a secluded beach across the water. These views, according to Rollins, give you a sense of living in two worlds at once. “It feels like you’re on a private island, miles from civilization,” he says. Rock Cottage enjoys Blue Waters Resort amenities, but this villa makes it easy to skip all that and just “stay home.” You could, after all, spend a day choosing between the dreamy infinity pool on the main terrace, surrounded with bistro seating on a wide veranda, and the plunge pool on the separate terrace, nestled beside the main living area. An easier decision would be to walk the descending staircase leading to a private dock below. Standing there, the feeling of being all by yourself — on the island and in the world — once again engulfs you. All that is what makes Rock Cottage one of the top Antigua villa rentals.