A private-island resort six minutes by boat off the coast of Antigua, Jumby Bay is one of the Caribbean’s top luxury, all-inclusive stays, and one of its most environmentally aware. A $28 million renovation in 2010, which included the addition of 28 suites and a first-ever spa, gave it all the digital-age essentials: 42-inch flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations, Bose sound systems, free Wi-Fi. Yet its underlying spirit of environmental responsibility, highlighted by its hawksbill sea turtle preservation program and its banishment of wheeled vehicles except for golf carts and bicycles (every room comes with two bikes), continues to reign. Rosewood manages the resort, but it belongs to an association of island homeowners, some offering their properties for rent. So if, say, a 1,346-square-foot beach-view pool suite isn’t big enough, it is possible to do as celebs such as Hillary Swank, Jim Carey, and Paul McCartney have done and plop down up to $20,000 per night for a private villa or estate home. Couples can be perfectly content here, but it is especially attractive to families, who appreciate programs like the Rose Buds kids' club.
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Jumby Bay occupies 85 acres of a 300-acre private island that is essentially a gated community surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. It is just minutes from the airport—so close, in fact, that it's sometimes in the flight path of planes taking off and landing. Few guests seem to mind the airplane noise, though, and many of them seldom leave the property. History buffs may want to get out to visit Nelson’s Dockyard at English Harbour, once the focal point of British Naval might in the Caribbean, and now a national park. While there, stay for lunch at the Admiral’s Inn or even the sunset drinks and weekly Sunday evening party at nearby Shirley Heights. Closer to the resort, the 18 holes of the Cedar Valley Golf Club are about 15 minutes from Jumby Bay’s private dock on the mainland.
Need to Know
Rooms: 40 rooms, including 28 suites. From $1,050 low season, $1,595 high season. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: While the Estate House restaurant, with its Italian cuisine, is the most stylish “special occasion” dining venue at Jumby Bay (the butternut ravioli is a favorite), the open-air Verandah, with its beachside bar, is the social gathering center and go-to dining spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, especially for the weekly White Night barbecue party, when guests are encouraged to dress in white. The other lunch choice is the Pool Grille, where guests can order burgers and salads without ever leaving their chaise lounge. Spa and gym details: The stone entryway and vaulted ceilings of Sense, A Rosewood Spa, were inspired by the ruins of the island’s sugar mill. Five treatment suites, including one for couples, use ingredients grown in Jumby Bay’s gardens. A favorite feature is hammocks that allow guests to feel as if they're floating on air during massage treatments. The gym is open 24 hours.
Who’s it for: Well-off families who will love activities such as a little chefs program, and, because it is never too young to get them started, a junior spa menu for guests as young as four. Our favorite rooms: The one-bedroom Pool Suites have their own pool, of course, and a view of the sea, but for couples the special touch is the rain shower and outdoor tub tucked away in a private garden. Local highlight: Between June and November, sign up for a nighttime opportunity to watch hawksbill turtles deposit their eggs on secluded Pasture Bay Beach and see tiny hatchlings make their way across the sand back into the sea.