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Our little black book of enchanting places

My new favourite Antigua resort

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

I’ve just got back from Blue Waters, my new favourite resort in Antigua. I first visited more than a decade ago when it didn’t make much of an impression, perhaps because, after 50 years, it had grown a little tired. But more than $1m has been lavished on Blue Waters since then, turning it into not just a vision of Caribbean loveliness, but somewhere with real heart. Blue Waters is located on the north coast of Antigua, a convenient 15-minute drive from the airport (this, too, has been completely transformed recently). When its original owners built the resort in the Sixties, they certainly chose one of the best spots: a glorious, crescent-shaped bay edged with a broad ribbon of white sand, lapped by the clear waters of the Caribbean. On a good day you can see the neighbouring islands of St Kitts and Nevis on the horizon – and pretty much every day is a good day. Rock Cottage, Blue Water Resort & Spa, AntiguaAccommodation at Blue Waters consists of 56 rooms, 29 suites, five villas and four penthouses, plus the exclusive Rock Cottage, above, on a bluff at the edge of the resort. Though the latter is considered the pièce de résistance, and where the owners stay when they’re on the island, I preferred my villa, the six-bedroom Pelican House, above, which can be taken in its entirety or as separate units. Pelican House beach, Blue Waters Resort & Spa, AntiguaNot only is Pelican House closer to the hub of the resort than Rock Cottage, but it’s also extremely private, with steps leading from the sun deck down to its ‘own’ little sandy cove, above, and a good-sized pool. And yes, there are pelicans (my new favourite birds).Other facilities include three restaurants, one of which is the enchanting Cove, above, four bars, an Elemis Spa, and more than half a dozen pools. And you can see and hear the sea from almost everywhere, surprisingly not always a given in a Caribbean beach resort.So yes, this is the epitome of a top-class Caribbean resort, providing every luxury and every facility. It even has the royal stamp of approval: Prince Harry stayed here during his recent Caribbean tour. But that’s only part of what makes it my new favourite. The ambience really is something special: welcoming, friendly and unpretentious with a genuine old-school charm. Double rooms from £265 per night including breakfast. British Airways return fares from London Gatwick to Antigua from £477 per person.

BY MAGGIE O'SULLIVAN

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