When my in father in law told me he wanted to take the family to Bluewaters for the Summer I initially thought of the shopping centre in Kent close to where my parents live. As much as I love shopping, I was relieved to hear him say Bluewaters Antigua, not Greenhithe!
For many people, Antigua might not be the obvious choice of destination in the Summer months (as it is considered the rainy season in the Caribbean), however for our family party of 10 it was a fantastic choice. We had a couple of quick, hard down pours during our 10-night stay but for the most part we experienced blue skies, sunshine and climates of around 32 degrees Celsius.
Antigua is a destination I have been fortunate enough to visit five times. Explored by Christopher Columbus in 1493, it is a relatively flat, lush green island with its highest peak being Mount Obama. The people are incredibly hospitable, the food (which includes jerk chicken and salt fish), is delicious and there is plenty of rum punch on offer. Despite visiting the island numerous of times previously, I had never had the opportunity to visit Bluewaters, which I might like to add is also known to be a favourite of Prince Harry’s!
Bluewaters is a luxury, private, family owned, all-inclusive hotel that is situated on the north western corner of the island in Saint John’s Parish. With 3 private villas available to rent as well as 5 Suites and 61 rooms, it’s a perfect choice of hotel if you want to visit as a couple or for a large group like us. Our home for 10 nights was Pelican House, one of the resorts private villas. With accommodation over two floors, it was large enough for the whole party, and with a private pool and access to a quiet sandy beach, it was simply stunning! The interior design of the property very much reminded me of Shutters in the USA; lots of limed oaked, cream sofas and dark oak floors but bright and airy. The garden had a private BBQ area, a lovely dining space and more than enough sunbeds to choose from as the sun moved throughout the course of the day.
The all-inclusive package at Bluewaters wasn’t anything like an all-inclusive package I had experienced before. We were assigned with a private team to look after us for the duration of our stay who were very attentive. They managed our al-la-carte dinner reservation bookings, co-ordinated excursions and ensured our villa cleaning team would service the property when we were out and about. It all felt very special.
There are 4 bars and 3 restaurants to choose from in the resort, and if I am honest I'd be hard pushed to pick a favourite. 'Bartleys' serves Asian fusion cuisine and 'The Cove' is a more traditional fine dining experience. The Palm offers buffet style service and also happens to be where breakfast is served, should you not opt for ‘in villa dining’. I have to say the papaya and mango at breakfast buffet is quite possibly the best I have ever tasted.
One of the highlights of our trip was an excursion to Stingray Island. I had several comments from concerned people on social media saying, ‘Didn’t Steve Urwin get killed by a stingray’. Yes, he did, but not by one of this breed! They wouldn’t run the excursion if it wasn’t safe. All I can say is, this is a trip of a lifetime and it should most definitely be on your bucket list.
Other top excursions we experienced, and I would highly recommend are; a day at sea on a privately hired catamaran as well as a Sunday afternoon spent at Shirley Heights where you can join in with the locals as they dance to the music from the steel drum band and knock back one or two glasses of rum punch.
A visit to Bluewaters in the Summer of August 2019, made it a Summer to remember. I can see why it’s one Prince Harry’s favourite places to visit, it's now one of mine too!