We recently celebrated our first anniversary with a trip to Antigua. We found a Living Social deal for an all-inclusive resort (Coconut Beach Club) that looked like just what we wanted – relaxed atmosphere with white sandy beaches and clear blue water. So, we bought the deal, booked a flight, and headed off to the Caribbean.
The guests at the Coconut Beach Club were mainly couples, and it seemed like the majority of guests were from the United Kingdom. The resort was clean and had a very friendly staff. Our room was a Junior Suite and included a king-size bed, living room area with two chairs and a love seat, a small kitchen area with microwave and refrigerator, a dining area, bath and shower, and a balcony. The room we were in was located at the end of the second floor. We had a view of the beach and ocean, and could also see the pool and bar area. The Coconut Beach Club is located on Yepton Bay Beach and boat traffic (cruise ships, sailboats, tourist catamarans, cargo ships, etc.) going in/out of St. John’s port passes by – so there was boat activity to watch throughout the day. A good location, and when we weren’t on the beach, we spent time sitting on the balcony watching the actvity.
The beach was set up with lounge chairs and thatched shades. Beaches in Antigua are not private, so anything with public access could become crowded. Yepton Bay Beach was fairly secluded – just the hotel guests were using it. A couple of beach vendors were selling excursions, but they weren’t a bother – if you said you weren’t interested they moved on and didn’t ask again. We opted not to do any excursions on this trip, but several other hotel guests did and said they had fun.
The all-inclusive option included breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and beverages (non-alcoholic and alcoholic). Breakfast and lunch were buffet-style, and really weren’t that great. Dinner was much better, with a menu that changed nightly and included an appetizer, entrée (beef or chicken, seafood, or vegetarian), and dessert.
Deep Bay, an area with beautifully clear, calm water, is within walking distance of the Coconut Beach Club. We walked over one day to check it out, but didn’t spend much time there. The beach was crowded that day because it was a national holiday (Whit Monday). Others staying at our resort said they went on a different day and it was deserted.
Fort Barrington is also within walking distance. We attempted to hike to it, but didn’t quite make it to the fort because we were wearing flip flops, and it turned out to be more of a climb than we were aware… so, if you should take the hike up, wear hiking boots, or at least sneakers, to scale the rocks.
We did take a trip into town one day to do a little sight-seeing and shopping. The resort offered a ride into town each morning for $10 a person (round-trip). In Antigua, English is spoken and US dollars are accepted, so no need to convert currency or worry about translation. We picked up a few souvenirs, found a couple of local beers to try, and people watched. We also visited the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda ($3 per person). It is located in the oldest building in town, and didn’t take long to walk through and learn a bit about the local history.
Overall, it was a very relaxing vacation.