By law, every beach in Antigua is public. But at this all-inclusive resort surrounded by 140 acres of undeveloped land on the island’s west coast, guests feel “their” beach belongs almost exclusively to them. The hotel is a 35-minute drive from the airport, and it's accessed by an unpaved road. Seclusion is a big part of the appeal at this adults-only (except in July and August) hideaway. Its 27 minimalist but spacious cottage suites begin on the beach and are scattered up a hillside that overlooks a picture-perfect bay. All the cottages have outdoor showers, king-size beds with mosquito netting, and at least a partial view of the sea. Expect to see a lot of honeymooners and other romantically inclined couples here, but don’t expect to see much of them, except at meal times, when the foodie-approved mix of European, American, and Caribbean dishes draws out even the most recently married.
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As at most all-inclusives, many guests are happy to stay put. Foodies, though, especially after taking the resort’s cooking course, might enjoy a tour of the farm that supplies the resort with much of its local produce, including ackee fruit, custard apple, West Indian cherries, and 14 varieties of mango. For the truly stir-crazy, golf and deep-sea fishing are about 10 minutes away at Jolly Harbour.
Need to Know
Rooms: 27 suites. From $965 low season, $1,502 high season, all-inclusive. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Hermitage Bay’s one restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, although in the evening candlelight and draperies make it feel more formal. Alternatively, eat by the pool, on the patio, or, with a dedicated waiter along a secluded section of beach. Much of the fruit and vegetables come from the resort’s organic garden. Spa and gym details: Along with sustainability, well-being is a theme that pervades Hermitage Bay. Nowhere is this more evident than at the hillside Garden Spa, where color rituals are designed to work with the chakra systems of the body to bring about renewal. And if that's all too New Age, there’s a fitness center.
Who’s it for: Honeymooners who appreciate that the close-to-nature style makes it a good idea to bring insect repellant. Our favorite rooms: The addition of two new Beachfront Suites speaks to the desire to step right out to the sand. But for the pure romance of it, the 17 Hillside Suites, with their plunge pools, sweeping views, and greater privacy, are hard to beat. Bring wading shoes: Although it is pretty, the beach is made in part of shells, which can be a bit hard on bare feet.