LEISURE & LUXURY: Antiguan Adventures at Hermitage Bay

 
Resort Photos Courtesy: JFC PR

This Travel Tuesday feature highlights the incredible Hermitage Bay, a 5 Star luxury boutique resort in Antigua. The service is very personalized, the lush grounds are unlike any other in the world, and special requests are honored without reserve. As a boutique resort with 27 spacious suites, it is much more intimate and a lot less commercial than the mega resorts and chains.

THE ATMOSPHERE:

The resort itself screams understated luxury with its verdant foliage and rich wood tones. Every detail has been carefully considered. The resort and its beach are incredibly private and secluded. At times, expect to be the only honeymooners on the shore.

For a low key honeymoon, Hermitage Bay is nothing short of ideal. During our visit, there were a few honeymooners as well as several sets of more established couples. Overall, the average age of guests is a bit older than the early 20’s crowd at some of the mega resorts. For those in search of a property with more bustling nightlife just teeming with couples or the ability to island hop to sister resorts, a larger scale/corporate branded site would be more fitting. However, for those lusting after a luxurious and once-in-a-lifetime Antiguan adventure, Hermitage won’t be outdone.

EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE:

Immediately upon touching down in Antigua, expect to be treated like royalty. A representative from Hermitage Bay will guide you to a fast track line through customs. From there, a car service will transport you through the town of Jennings to Hermitage Bay––an approximately thirty-minute drive. Upon arriving at the welcome pergola, you will be welcomed with refreshingly chilled hand towels soaked in water and fragranced with almond and vanilla oils. You’ll also be offered signature cocktails straight away. From the moment of check-in until departure, enjoy unrivaled hospitality.

Couples may arrange for specialty services. These include private beach-side dining with multi-course menus, luxurious couples massages, in-room dining, romantic details such as fresh flowers and champagne, and even a honeymoon photo shoot.

THE SUITE:

Each spacious hillside suite is appointed with a private infinity pool, wrap around porch, luxurious hardwoods, vine-covered outdoor showers, crisp white sheets, and a deep soaking tub. In-suite skinny-dipping is approved! The hillside bungalows offer total privacy. This is, of course, quite important given the breathtakingly romantic outdoor spaces and nature of your trip. The suites come stocked with specialty snacks and beverages in the complimentary mini-bar. Enjoy Antiguan beer and local spirits as well as familiar soft-drinks and juice for mixers or chasers.

GOING GREEN:

Start your new life with sustainability. The owners’, staff members’, and community’s reverence for the land is evident in the ways in which the grounds are kept (and not overly manicured), where the food is sourced (on grounds and in local townships), and the initiatives to eliminate waste. Hermitage’s general manager, Rachel Browne, explains further in this video:

The food is sourced locally – the fish is caught fresh in the bays and much of what is prepared is grown at Hermitage Bay’s own organic garden.

All of the resort is open air – from the dining and bar areas to the yoga studio and even the hillside suites. While the bungalows all have air conditioning, it is not always needed due to the styling of the bedrooms which feature walls of folding doors.

Fantasy meets reality as lovers take pause under arches of vines and hibiscus or frolic on the shore near rock faces. The truest and rarest luxury is found in the enjoyment of the island’s flora and fauna in its most natural and wildest state.

And, thankfully, unlike some of the mega resorts, no one has come in to chop everything down or coat the hillside with cement to make room for as many suites as possible. The focus on quality over quantity results in this aura of authenticity. Lovers take pause under arches of vines and hibiscus or frolic on the shore near rock faces. The truest and rarest luxury is found in the enjoyment of the island’s flora and fauna in its most natural and wild state.

FIVE-STAR FARE:

Flavorful and fresh organic food is prepared at each meal by world class chefs. The menus change nightly. Order anything and everything that strikes your fancy. Want to indulge in four different desserts at lunch? No problem. It’s inclusive, and you’ll be welcomed to do so.

Hermitage Bay offers a complimentary champagne breakfast in bed to honeymooners! For couples wishing to spend every second possible outside, breakfast in bed easily transitions to brunch on the veranda.

Being an all-inclusive resort, the drinks are, of course, unlimited. From the moment of arrival to just before your car service calls to take you back to the airport, take advantage of every opportunity to imbibe. Adjacent to the pool (which is surely underutilized in favor of the beach just a few yards away) is a bar and lounge area. But no matter where you are at the resort, you may surely order drinks all day and night. NOTE: All of the drinks can be ordered virgin (and still taste amazing) in case you are trying to be (re)productive on your honeymoon, but still want to have fun with other couples.

SPA OFFERINGS:

Couples may choose to alternate adventure with relaxing spa offerings. Besides the relaxing massages and rejuvenating treatments, future “fit fams” can take advantage of private yoga, Pilates, and meditation. Beach side yoga begins promptly at 7:45AM every morning (supposing you’re not sleeping in after the live music, unlimited drinks, and dancing the night prior). From your mats, take in a panoramic views of the ocean, smell the fragrant tropical flowers of the hillside, and hear the sweet birds chirping.

ACTIVITIES + ADVENTURE:

Every night during dinner and for a couple of hours afterwards, a different local musician or band plays at the poolside lounge. From festive reggae to sultry soul to even the most current of hits, expect a change in variety every night. Feel free to request your first dance song!

Hermitage Bay Resort offers many different water sport activities such as paddle-boarding, kayaking, wind surfing, and even snorkeling through the coral reefs of the bay (which begin just feet from the shore). For anything not already offered by Hermitage bay, consult the concierge to make arrangements. Many couples choose to plan excursions into nearby port towns to enjoy duty-free luxury purchases, book helicopter rides over volcanoes, sail to the pink sands of Antigua’s sister island of Barbuda, or ride horses along the seashore.

REAL HONEYMOON PHOTOS:

The photos in the slideshow gallery below are from real couples. Peruse the gallery to see images of the gourmet eats, grounds, and activities as taken within the year.

LINKS:

www.hermitagebay.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEm2Su8Lydo

www.kuoni.co.uk/antigua/hotels/hermitage-bay

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