Destination: Antigua

Destination Antigua! Do you like beautiful beaches? 

Coco Beach, Antigua
Are you looking for your next island getaway? Here are a few things to know about Antigua:
~ Antigua, along with Barbuda, is an independent Commonwealth nation that lies in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea at the southern end of the Leeward Island chain. Other islands close by are Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis.
~ The beautiful island of Antigua is approximately 108 sq. miles , has a population of about 80,000 and is fringed by gorgeous beaches. 365 of them to be exact. One for each day of the year!

View from Shirley Heights, Antigua
What to do on Antigua:
~ Enjoy a beach or two!
~ Take in the stunning view from the Shirley Heights overlook. If you visit Shirley Heights on a Sunday afternoon, you will be treated to the weekly Sunday BBQ with live music and a party that goes on into the evening!
~ Spend a day hiking and exploring the historic forts of Nelson’t Dockyard. Enjoy the views over lunch of the scenic harbor and beautiful boats!
~ Stop at a fruit stand in the southern part of the island and try an Antigua Black Pineapple – so sweet and delicious, or other locally grown produce!
~ Go shopping in St. John’s at the Public Market and the Arts & Craft Market for Antiguan products made by local artists.
~  Sample some delicious English Harbour Rum!

Black Pineapple on Antigua
Some of the Best Beaches & Beach Bars:
~ Jolly Beach (west) Beach Bar: Castaways
~ Dickenson Bay/Runaway Bay (northwest) Beach Bar: Anna’s on the Beach
~ Pigeon Point Beach (south) Beach Bar: Bumpkins
~ Ffrye’s Beach (west) Beach Bar: Dennis Cocktail Bar
~ Turner’s Beach (west) Beach Bar: Turner’s Beach Restaurant
~ Half Moon Bay (east) Beach Bar: Harry’s Bar
~ Long Bay Beach (east) Beach Bar: Barrow’s Chill-Out Bar

There are many ways to experience the beauty of Antigua, but here are a few featured properties and cruises. Rum Therapy Vacations would love to help you plan and book your Antigua vacation! Ready to start planning? Email [email protected] for more information on any of these hotels, resorts or cruises, or to find one that would suit your needs even better! 

Curtain Bluff Resort – 72 rooms on a dramatic bluff, this resort is surrounded by tropical gardens and two sandy beaches.
Carlisle Bay – this 5 star resort with a private beach is near St. John’s and will absolutely pamper you in tropical luxury.

All-Inclusive Resorts:
Jumby Bay Resort – this private island all-inclusive resort features two beaches, Jumby Bay Beach with pristine, white sand, and Pasture Bay Beach, an untouched wild beach set aside as a protected nesting site for the Hawksbill Turtle.

Hermitage Bay – surround yourself in all-inclusive luxury! With tropical gardens and a white-sand beach, this intimate hotel is located on Antigua’s west coast.

Galley Bay Resort & Spa – this adult only all-inclusive faces a secluded, long, tranquil beach, and offers peaceful holidays for adults in West Indian-style beachfront rooms and Tahitian-style lagoonside cottages.

Cruise Vacations that make a stop in Antigua:
Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, Princess, MSC, Disney, Crystal, Windstar

Are you ready to see Antigua? Email me at [email protected] to start planning your next vacation!

Long Bay Beach, Antigua
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9 Highlights of our Stay at St. James’s Club, Antigua

As soon as we were welcomed through the gates at the private, all-inclusive tropical hideaway, St. James’s Club on Mamora Bay, we knew we were going to enjoy our time at this charming Antiguan property.

St. James's Club - copyright Rum Therapy
We’d spent our first few days on Antigua relaxing in the tropical tranquility of the Verandah Resort & Spa – another Elite Island Resort and we had heard that St. James’s Club was equally as impressive, although each with their own appeal and personality.

In short – we had a wonderful, relaxing stay. There’s so much we could share (and hundreds of photos!) from our time there, but we’ll touch on some of our favorite memories of the resort through our list of  “9 Highlights of our Stay at St. James’s Club, Antigua.”

St. James's Club - copyright Rum Therapy
1. Location.
St. James’s Club is located on the south end of Antigua and sits on a large peninsula between the ocean and Mamora Bay. Because of it’s location, it’s very private, there’s little traffic and the beaches are uncrowded.

St. James's Club, Antigua copyright Rum Therapy
2. The Royal Suites.
The St. James’s Club offers a variety of accommodations from regular guest rooms to 3 bedroom villas. Our accommodations during our stay? A Royal Suite, which featured a beautiful overlook of Mamora Bay, a private balcony, a large, well appointed room and a bottle of chilled bubbly to enjoy upon arrival. Cheers to that!

St. James's Club - copyright Rum Therapy
St. James's Club - copyright Rum Therapy
St. James's Club - copyright Rum Therapy
 3. It’s All-Inclusive.
The all-inclusive plan allowed us to relax and enjoy all of the amenities (including non-motorized watersport equipment and lessons!), and all of the food and drinks we wanted without carrying around cash or worrying about the cost.

St. James's Club, Antigua copyright Rum Therapy
St. James's Club, Antigua copyright Rum Therapy
4. The Grounds.
The lush grounds are meticulously landscaped, tropical and great to wander through.

St. James's Club, Antigua copyright Rum Therapy

5. The Pools.
Although we normally gravitate to beaches, we found ourselves spending more time than usual soaking up the sunshine in and around one of the 6 beautiful pools on property.

St. James's Club, Antigua copyright Rum TherapyReef Deck Pool

St. James's Club, Antigua copyright Rum TherapyCoco’s Pool

St. James's Club, Antigua copyright Rum TherapyTiered Pool

6. Dining Options

There are 4 restaurants on site – Rainbow Garden, Coco Beach Restaurant & Bar, The Docksider Grill and Piccolo Mondo, where you can enjoy an evening of fine dining overlooking Mamora Bay (there’s a surcharge per person for dinner at Piccolo Mondo). Between the 4, we had no problem finding a variety of cuisines and settings and some delicious options. In addition, there are 5 lounges and bars – AND a beach cart that drives around serving up beverages to those so relaxed and sun-kissed that they can’t make it to the nearest bar!

St. James's Club - copyright Rum TherapyDinner by the water at The Docksider Grill

St. James's Club - copyright Rum TherapySteak Salad for lunch at Coco Beach Restaurant & Bar

St. James's Club - copyright Rum TherapyRainbow Garden

7. The Resort Was Not Crowded
Even though we visited during high season and the large resort was fairly full according to staff, it never felt crowded. We appreciated the opportunity to find quiet spaces to relax and unwind, the restaurants were never overly noisy and we never had to wait long to use the watersport equipment. The only time it seemed busy was at night in the lounges when there was live music playing – and that’s when we appreciate a lively crowd!

St. James's Club, Antigua copyright Rum TherapyBeach chairs on a dock overlooking Mamora Bay

St. James's Club, Antigua copyright Rum TherapyPlenty of space to play – or just relax

St James's Club - copyright Rum TherapyCoco Beach

St. James's Club, Antigua copyright Rum TherapyWatersports Equipment on Mamora Bay

8. The Staff
We had the chance to meet St. James’s Club General Manager Antoine Brown, an engaging man that has assembled a great staff that genuinely seems to care about making guests stay something special – and in our experience, the staff can make a huge difference in how you feel about your stay at a resort. Antoine sat with us and chatted about the history of the resort, the continued upgrades being made, amenities being added (a new 3,000 sq. ft. Fitness Center has opened since our visit) and an additional Antiguan resort that Elite Island Resorts has just taken over and are in the process of refurbishing! We saw Mr. Brown frequently during our visit, always greeting guests and staff and making sure everyone was satisfied.

St. James's Club, Antigua copyright Rum Therapy
9. Great Base
Although you never really need to leave St. James’s Club during your stay in Antigua because you literally have everything needed on property for a great and relaxing stay, the location is a great base for those, like us, who like to experience some of the island outside of the gates. You can rent a car at the resort for a day (or more) of exploration and we did just that, checking out the yachts in Great Harbour and Falmouth Harbour, sampling Antigua Black Pineapple at a roadside fruit stand and seeing some of the gorgeous beaches, such as Turner’s Beach, on the west side of the island.

Black-Pineapple3-(600)-OAntigua Black Pineapple

There you have it – just a taste of the time we enjoyed at St. James’s Club on beautiful Antigua. Have you stayed at St. James’s Club or another Elite Island Resort? Tell us about it!

To find out more about St. James’s Club:

Visit their website: St. James’s Club
 Find them on Facebook
Check out their tweets on Twitter
 And see more photos on Instagram

Find St. James’s Club on our Antigua Map

To see more posts on Antigua and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort, Jamaica

When arranging accommodations for our recent trip to Jamaica, we wanted to stay part of the time in an area close to Ocho Rios and then move closer to Negril so we could explore more of the island.

We chose Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort as our accommodation on the north side of the island as it seemed to be close to, but not in the middle of Ocho AND included golf! Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort is a very nice mid-range all-inclusive resort and one of three Jewel resorts in Jamaica.

The resort is about an hour away from the airport in Montego Bay, and we used a shuttle service that we arranged prior to our arrival.

The entry to Jewel Runaway Bay is fairly unassuming, but once inside, we were welcomed by the friendly staff with a rum beverage – and the adventure began! The following are pictures taken during our visit.

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Welcome Drink

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View from our room – darn, should’ve reserved a room with a plunge pool!

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Our room. The rooms at the resort are in the process of being updated, but ours had not been yet. Despite that, it was clean, comfortable and quiet. Our room had a laptop sized safe, good sized TV and a coffeemaker (with Blue Mountain Coffee!)

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Well manicured grounds

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One of 5 on site restaurants

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Delicious Jerk Chicken Pizza from Court Jesters – one of the on site dining options

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Wonderful plated meal served at the Manager’s Dinner

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Drink of the day different every day. Served at one of three bars at the resort, or brought to you by a waiter at the pool or beach.

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Speaking of the beach…

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And did we mention three sparkling pools? One with a zero edge and a swim up pool bar.

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The all-inclusive price also includes evening entertainment and green fees at the golf course.

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And if you’re lucky, you might just catch one heck of a sunset over Runaway Bay…

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We enjoyed a very relaxing 5 nights at Jewel before heading over to Negril. Would we stay here again? Yes! The resort is not huge, but has a lot of amenities and activities, a great beach, very friendly staff and it’s a good base for exploring the northern part of Jamaica. Would we do anything differently? Just a few things, like upgrade to a plunge pool room, bring our own snorkel mask so we had one whenever we wanted it, bring a sleeve of golf balls, glove and tees for our golf rounds and order a lot more Jerk Chicken Pizza – SO good.

 Kudos to the staff and new General Manager, Scott Robbins. All were very friendly and accommodating and made our stay very enjoyable!

To find out more about Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort, visit their website:
Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort

Find Jewel Runaway Beach & Golf Resort on our Jamaica Map

To see more posts on Jamaica and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013

Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Palm Island, The Grenadines

Palm Island, a private island resort in the southern Grenadines makes today’s entry for our ever growing Caribbean Destination Wish List.

Although we were fortunate enough to spend an afternoon on Palm Island during a week long sail on a Lagoon 440 in the Grenadines in 2008, the short visit made us wish we had a week or more to explore, enjoy and relax on the gorgeous private island with 5 spectacular white sand beaches.

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Palm Island offers just 43 accommodations, ranging from guest rooms and suites to villas and the all-inclusive price includes three wonderful meals a day at two restaurants, lounges and bars and beach barbeques.

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Palm Island is accessible only by boat and, as they say on their website, getting to Palm Island is just part of the adventure! Guests fly to Barbados and then take an inter-island flight to nearby Union Island.

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In contrast to the striking white sand beaches, the water is some sort of magical blue hue that’s hard to look away from.  Palm Island makes getting out on the water easy with a wide variety of excursions such as a sail to beautiful Mopion Island,  Mayreau or the Tobago Cays, or take a Hobie Cat ride over to Happy Island.

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So, what would we do if we had a week to spend on Palm Island? Well, in addition to spending a LOT of time on those gorgeous beaches and in the almost too blue to be true water, we’d love to explore the hiking trails on foot and bike, check out every one of the many hammocks on the island, golf, sail a Hobie Cat, enjoy some private beach dining and definitely find out what the Palm Island specialty rum drinks are!

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Have you been to Palm Island yet? Tell us about it!

To find out more about Palm Island Resort, check out their website.

Find Palm Island on our St. Vincent and the Grenadines Map

To see more posts on The Grenadines and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory


Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC