Planning a delightful and warm family getaway for year-end holidays? We might have the perfect place.
Blue Waters Antigua is a gorgeous 17-acre property located just 15 minutes from V.C. Bird International. Quiet and luxurious, this little piece of bliss sits on the northwestern corner of Antigua, where the Caribbean Sea laps serenely against the shore.
The beaches are small, but offer plenty of room for guests of the resort’s 116 rooms, suites and cottages. Rather than huge expanses of sand, expect intimate beachfronts dotted with hideaways where only two loungers fit, perfect for blissful moments for just the two of you.
The resort welcomes families with kids (there is a kids’ club, nanny services and plenty of watersports), but overall the property has a very polished, adult vibe, so don’t expect loud events or costumed characters prancing about.
The Draw of Turtle Cottage
Families will adore the Turtle Cottage accommodation: a sleekly modern 4,200-square-foot freestanding structure that offers four en-suite bedrooms, a full kitchen, a private pool overlooking the sea, access to a small, almost-private beach, and a secluded sunbathing area that stretches around the villa on two sides. No other properties are close by, so all you see from the balcony is the glistening sea.
Enjoy holiday drinks and dining on the private patio, or entertain around the indoor dining table that seats eight. Guests can have the kitchen stocked with whatever they please for an additional fee, and a private chef is available by request.
If extended family is joining, book an entire Cove Suite Villa (our favorite is Villa 1, a five-minute walk from beach access and closest to the main guest building), which includes six suites and a three-bedroom penthouse. Private to the villa is a breathtaking saltwater infinity pool. Poolside drink servers stroll by every 30 minutes or so (more often on request).
The Cove Suites measure more than 730 square feet each, with an open-plan living area, large bedroom, balcony and oversized bathroom.
The Cove Penthouses are truly something to behold: Spanning more than 2,690 square feet, with an individual living area, dining area, kitchen and three en-suite bedrooms. The beautiful sky and sea are invited into many of the rooms via an expansive 500-square-foot private balcony that affords 220-degree views of only the best nature has to offer.
No Boredom Here
If the family wants to spread out, the property has nine pools, three restaurants, and a spa, so no one will ever feel crowded. The gardens and grounds are impeccable, and guests may see a heron or two fishing for their meals as they admire the bougainvillea, which is everywhere and home to clouds of tiny white butterflies that dance all day long.
While there is plenty of relaxing to do at Blue Waters, you can be fantastically active as well. On-property there is a full gym (one room cardio, one room weights), a host of watersports (including snorkeling, windsurfing, and kayaking), tennis, sightseeing walks and many off-property excursions. We took a speedboat to Pinching Bay, home to a gorgeous water-approach only beach. We felt like castaways in the best way possible.
In need of some pampering? Be sure to book some time at the outdoor/indoor Elemis Spa. Effortlessly comforting, the treatments are done with a gentle touch and softly spoken words. The variety of massages are on the menu, but all are more rub-a-dub than Rolfing. There is also a couple of detox wraps and a salon that offers hair, makeup and nail services by appointment. The Elemis products add the perfect trace of scent to everything offered.
After enjoying the spa be sure to spend some time in the private plunge pool located just in front. The pool is perched on a cliff that overlooks the ocean, and we were told it was one of the most underutilized pools on property. True to form, the 30 minutes we were there were spent alone, with just the sounds of the ocean, the scent of jasmine and the dancing butterflies to keep us company.
Indulge in Caribbean Flavors
There are three restaurants on property, each right for a different occasion.
For that special evening meal, whether it be romantic or family oriented, book at the Cove Restaurant, which is situated on the cliff top next to the spa, and offers wonderful Caribbean and French cuisine. Expect flaming torches and a dramatic entrance leading onto a candlelit hall. Once inside, the views of the sea will charm you. Book at sunset for extra drama and bask in the glory Antigua’s unrelenting beauty.
For that romantic meal for two, Bartley’s Restaurant, located in the lobby building, is perfect. You can dress to the nines, because Bartley’s is one of the only restaurants in Antigua offering air-conditioned dining. This spot is so romantic that we were told there are couples that have been coming to Blue Waters for 40 years and book their anniversary dinner there every year. The menu highlights fresh fish, mild jerks and a “Curry Corner” that is highly praised.
Morning meals and lunches are served buffet-style at the Palm Restaurant, located in the lobby building. Expect Caribbean offering with a British flair. Lunches also have menu options available to order: try the fish and chips…a perfect midday meal.
Each one of the three bars on property has their own specialty drink, so there is already a reason to visit. The upscale watering holes, much as the rest of the resort, tend to be quiet and low key, so don’t expect servers to be dancing on the bar or balancing bottles on their head. In addition, evenings are quiet on property and the bar closes down by 11 p.m., so night owls will need to find their scene elsewhere.
What’s close by? Well, mostly everything, since it only takes about 30 minutes to drive from one side of the island to the other. Every Sunday, there is a BBQ and music festival in Shirley Heights, just 20 minutes away (a great way to soak up local culture). For amazing Asian-Style seafood and tapas, book a table at Papa Zouk. There are also ferries and day excursions to nearby Barbuda and Montserrat. So much more is available, just ask the concierge in the lobby.
No matter what kind of family getaway imagine, if it involves luxurious relaxation and crystal-clear serene seas, Blue Waters is worth looking at. We will see you there.