Antigua: Relax and Recharge in Luxury

February 1, 2016
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Hermitage Bay redefines the all-inclusive experience with its 5-star cuisine, pristine views, and understated yet effective approach to high-end service.

 

Nestled amongst beachfront tropical gardens on a secluded hill overlooking a natural bay on the west coast of Antigua is Hermitage Bay. Its staff excels at making guests feel welcomed and took joy in making us feel comfortable. As the privately-owned boutique hotel has just 27 suites, the property always feels peaceful and private.

 

Beach Hermitage Long

 

We stayed in a Hillside Pool Suite, an elegant but simple cottage at ease with its natural surroundings without sacrificing any modern comforts. We immediately noted how intimate it felt. The panoramic views of the gardens and sea seemed to belong just to us. Lush trees served as a natural barrier for our very private wrap-around terrace and plunge pool. That the hotel could deliver such white glove, reliable service in such a secluded atmosphere was particularly impressive.

 

Beach Hermitage

 

It is easy to quickly fall into a pleasant routine, inspired by the ethos of the resort, which encourages well-being of the mind, body, and soul. Each morning, the staff carefully set up our personal breakfast beside our private pool. We’d open our door and smile at the breathtaking view—the sea as our horizon, the sparkling, limitless sky. We’d lounge by the pool, alternating between the shade of the canopy and the warm, Caribbean sun. After a few hours of reading and relaxation, we’d head to the hotel’s restaurant for lunch. Then we’d spend the afternoon at the beach, relaxing, swimming, or indulging in a cocktail. After freshening up for dinner, usually in the outdoor shower that overlooked the sea, we’d make a drink to enjoy in our villa. The minibar was restocked daily with an impressive array of beverages and snacks, all covered in the all-inclusive experience.

 

Room Hermitage

 

At dinner, we’d choose between the restaurant’s five-star signature dishes and its always impressive daily specials. The kitchen conjures European, American, and Caribbean influences and draws on local, fresh ingredients, using as many elements as possible from its on-site organic garden. The chef often left his post in the kitchen to introduce himself to guests and chat about the cuisine. We were particularly taken with a crab salad appetizer, light and fresh on the tongue, as well as a fried brie special that had us talking for days. A live band performed every night. We could hear the music as we dined and often retreated to the bar for a closer listen after we completed our meal. One night we swayed to the island jams of a Caribbean band; the next we hummed along to top 40 hits, reimagined by a talented cover band. Our fellow travelers tended to be couples enjoying some time away, perhaps in celebration of an anniversary, a honeymoon, or even just because.

 

Hermitage at Night

 

 

We appreciated Hermitage Bay’s understated elegance and the staff’s ability to pamper and care without overwhelming. Everyone went above and beyond to make us feel at home, and the twice-daily housekeeping service kept our room immaculate and inviting—so much so that one afternoon we opted to just hole up in the beautiful solitude of our suite. When we called down for a bottle of wine, the gentleman recommended an exemplary house white that was included in our package, rather than upselling us on a bottle from their fine wines list. It’s a rarity to find such a high caliber of drinking and dining delicacies included in all-inclusive experience.

 

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We returned from our Caribbean sojourn sun-kissed and recharged, reconnected to each other and to ourselves.

 

 

Looking to plan an unforgettable travel experience? Contact The Accomplished Traveler today at 212.586.2020.

 

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