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Destination I Do

Antigua Beach Honeymoon In The Caribbean

Words by Susan Moynihan
Photos courtesy of Carlisle Bay

Some beach resorts have a flaw; they’re often set on popular beaches, which means that you share the sand with other guests from neighboring hotels and condos or strolling vendors selling tchotchkes. But, you won’t find that issue at Carlisle Bay on Antigua.

First of all, there’s the island itself; Antigua claims to have 365 beaches (“one for every day of the year,” as the popular saying goes), so there are plenty of strands for everyone. Secondly, the resort has a great location, tucked in a cove that’s bookended by bluffs for maximum privacy. This means, chances are you won’t see anyone but fellow resort guests and a few yachts looking for a mellow mooring.

The resort takes full advantage of this fact. The 82 suites are set in three-story cottages along a white-sand beach and include chic interiors featuring crisp white-and-aqua hues with sea-facing terraces. Smaller weddings take place on the beach, followed by a four-course private dinner on their postcard-perfect jetty. For something larger, take over the pool deck, which is surrounded by lush foliage for privacy and surprise your guests with a fireworks show; Carlisle Bay can arrange it all. 

For a honeymoon, we recommend the Ocean Suites; they’re set on the quieter, east end of the beach, while families are grouped on the opposite end.

This is the Caribbean, so of course you’ll find watersports from paddleboarding to snorkeling. But that’s not all. The resort began as a private tennis club, so there are nine courts and an on-site pro to help you with your game. The screening room shows nightly movies (you can also rent it out) and private yoga classes take place in an open-air pavilion set in a garden.

We suggest taking advantage of the resort’s private boat. They can ferry you for a sightseeing tour of Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, a 1700s English boatyard-turned-open-air-museum that’s the pride of the island. Or, skip the history and beach-hop around the island. Antigua’s water has to be seen to be believed, in shades of aqua and teal that look more like the South Pacific than the Caribbean.

If you get the urge to hit the town, the Sunday evening barbecue brings live bands and fun to Shirley Heights, overlooking English Harbour. You can enjoy fresh grilled seafood at Indigo on the Beach, wood-fired pizzas at Ottimo! or exceptional Asian at East. Nightlife means nightcaps and live piano music at the airy Pavilion Bar, followed by a stroll home along the quiet beach under a sky full of stars – which is really all the entertainment you need on a honeymoon.

This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Spring/Summer 2016 issue. You can order a copy here.
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