Carlisle Bay is an exclusive five-star resort on the undeveloped south coast of Antigua, set beside a sweeping bay against a backdrop of rolling hills and tropical rainforest. The resort is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group and is perfect for couples and families looking for a luxurious stay in a chic Caribbean setting, offering fantastic service and facilities.
A range of luxurious touches are included at Carlisle Bay, from the fast-track service on arrival at Antigua airport to the daily afternoon tea which can be taken anywhere within the resort. After travelling through the rainforest or along the island’s picturesque west coast, guests arrive at the contemporary resort and are soon taken to their spacious suite.
The 82 luxurious suites are all decorated in a contemporary style, located either directly on the stunning beach or just a few steps away across lawns. All suites have at least partial views of the ocean from the furnished private balcony or terrace, where guests can enjoy breakfast free of charge.
The resort caters well for both couples and families, with some room types able to interconnect and others only suitable for adults, located in a peaceful part of the resort. Beach Suites feature a second bedroom for youngsters, while the Bay Suites are at the opposite end of the beach and offer the very best views of the sunset as well as enhanced amenities and butler service. All suites include an espresso machine and a minibar with complimentary bottled water, non-alcoholic drinks and snacks, while Molton Brown products are found in the bathroom.
Carlisle Bay has four a la carte restaurants which cater to a range of requirements, from casual poolside dining to an adults-only option. Indigo on the Beach is the main restaurant where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served, while Ottimo! is a poolside venue with its own wood-burning pizza oven, an especially popular option for families at lunch and dinner. East is an air-conditioned dining venue which is known as being one of Antigua’s best restaurant and serves a delicious range of Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese dishes – families are asked to dine early to retain a sophisticated ambiance for couples later in the evening. The Jetty Bar & Grill is an adults-only option set at the far end of the beach serving grills and local dishes with some tables found right on the sand, while two further bars offer additional spaces for relaxation.
Guests can stay on a bed and breakfast, half board or all-inclusive basis, with all options including afternoon tea which includes savoury and sweet options served wherever the guests choose. The half board and all-inclusive packages allow guests to dine in all restaurants although a supplement may be payable for certain items.
Facilities at Carlisle Bay are superb and offer the choice between relaxation and activity. A pretty lagoon-style swimming pool is surrounded by terraces shaded by palm trees, a popular option for families during the daytime. The stunning beach is an idyllic spot where guests can relax on the comfortable sun loungers which are dotted along the white sand, with cool boxes containing bottled water and staff alwayson hand to assist. Small shops are found at either end of the beach, allowing guests to purchase local crafts without being bothered by hawkers.
Non-motorised water sports such as windsurfing, kayaking, snorkelling and sailing are offered free of charge on the beach, while scuba diving courses for children and adults are available at the PADI dive centre. Waterskiing, wakeboarding and tubing all take place in a neighbouring cove to preserve the tranquillity of Carlisle Bay. For a luxurious experience, guests can hire the resort’s new cruising yacht for private charters, beach picnics and sunset cruises, while complimentary taster trips are offered twice-weekly to snorkel at Cades Reef.
Active guests can also play tennis on one of the nine courts where coaching is also available, kayak through the mangroves which are found behind the resort or enjoy a complimentary guided hike into the rainforest.
Options for more relaxing pastimes include an award-winning spa overlooking the tropical rainforest, a yoga pavilion where daily yoga and pilates classes are offered, a beauty salon, a library filled with fascinating books, and a screening room where a variety of films are shown.
Families are extremely well catered for, with a range of complimentary activities are organised for children and teenagers over the age of 2 years. Cool Kids Club caters for children aged between 6 months to 6 years every day from 8.30 until 4.15 with a lunch break when families can get together. Crew Blue and Crush organise activities for those aged 7 to 12 years old during school holidays, including raft building, zip wiring and visits to Stingray City.
There are also plenty of fantastic opportunities for families to spend quality time together, from setting off on an exciting excursion across Antigua to having a film night in the comfort of their suite with a borrowed DVD and pizza from Ottimo!
A special feature of Carlisle Bay is its sailing course. The resort has partnered with Ondeck Sailing to offer a new three night sailing break including a three day Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting Course. Aimed at complete novices, this course is an excellent introduction to sailing using a 40ft keelboat and covers the basics of safety, rope work, sail trim, winches, mooring and anchoring with plenty of time at the helm. Experienced sailors can enjoy the sailing whilst building on their sailing knowledge with good breezes and warm temperatures!
Didn’t think it was possible to find a 5 star luxury hotel that has the perfect balance between a chic romantic get-away for couples and a child friendly activity filled hotel for families? Well Carlisle Bay has spent years perfecting this very balance. This hotel is one of the most talked about in the Caribbean for very good reason. The 82 spacious suites scatter along the beautiful curved beachfront and boast a chic contemporary feel throughout.
This hotel has a real ‘wow’ factor! From the very moment you come across the bridge over the immaculate lily pond, you know you are entering a world of extravagance and are in for an Antigua holiday to leave you speechless. The swanky yet relaxed restaurants will tempt your taste buds on a daily basis. Ottimo is a real hit with the younger guests for lunch, offering traditional Italian pizzas from the wood burning pizza oven, while the addition of The Jetty Grill at the eastern end of the cove provides a tranquil beachfront dining experience for adults only.
There are so many things I love about Carlisle Bay but the thoughtfulness behind every detail of the resort is evident around every corner. Everyone should experience this hotel in their lifetime, from young to old, it will leave you feeling you have experienced a truly sumptuous Caribbean holiday!
To read more about Carlisle Bay and other resorts, read the Antigua Trip Diary.
Children: Children are very welcome at Carlisle Bay. Child rates apply for children aged 2-12 years old, while infants under 2 years old stay free of charge.
Cool Kids Club runs a daily programme of activities for children aged 6 months to 6 years and is complimentary for those aged 2 years and above. The Crew Blue and Crush programmes are for children aged 7 years and upwards, organising complimentary activities for youngsters during school holidays.
Airport: Carlisle Bay is 30 minutes by car from Antigua’s international airport. On arrival at the airport, guests are met by a representative of the resort and offered complimentary fast-track assistance.
Complimentary facilities & activities: A well-stocked library, large freeform swimming pool, nine tennis courts (three of which are floodlit) with a tennis clinic, a state-of-the-art gym. Non-motorised water sports including snorkelling, sailing, windsurfing and kayaking, guided nature walks through the rainforest, twice-weekly snorkelling trips to Cades Reef, regular yoga and pilates sessions, regular movie nights in the Screening Room.
Chargeable activities: Private yoga and pilates classes, private tennis coaching, scuba diving, motorised water sports such as water skiing and wakeboarding, luxury speedboat charters, a range of excursions.
Spa: Blue Spa is an award-winning facility overlooking the rainforest with six treatment rooms including one for couples. The spa menu includes facials, massages and body scrubs using Voya products. There is also a beauty salon and juice bar.
Internet access: Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the resort with computers in the library.
Restaurants/bars: Indigo on the Beach Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; East Restaurant is open for dinner (those with children under the age of 10 are asked to dine between 6pm and 7pm); The Jetty Grill is open for dinner (adults-only); and Ottimo! is open for lunch and dinner. There are four bars: Indigo Bar; Pavilion Bar, The Jetty Bar and Coconut Grove.
Meal arrangements: Bed and breakfast, half board and all-inclusive options available. Breakfast can be served in Indigo on the Beach Restaurant or in the guest’s suite, while afternoon tea is also included with all stays and can be served anywhere in the resort.
All suites have a fully stocked minibar (complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks), Espresso machine, fresh fruit delivered daily, a safe, hairdryer, satellite TV, CD/DVD player, international direct dialling, complimentary WiFi, air conditioning, ceiling fan, Molton Brown toiletries, private terrace or balcony with luxurious daybed and dining table.
All suites have a small step between the bedroom area and seating area, but ground floor suites can have ramps added to become wheelchair accessible. The resort is laid out so that the family-friendly accommodation is away from the adults-only suites.
Garden Suite: These spacious, open plan suites have a king-size bed, a spacious sitting area, large bathroom with double vanity, bath and shower. Garden Suites are located a few steps from the beach across lawns and offer a partial view of the bay. Some pairs of Garden Suites interconnect. Maximum occupancy: 2 adults and 1 child under 12 years. (72sqm)
Ocean Suite: These suites are similar to the Garden Suites but are located closer to the beach with full sea views. Some pairs of Ocean Suites interconnect. Maximum occupancy: 3 adults – these suites are only suitable for children over 12 years. (68sqm)
Beach Balcony Suite: These suites are perfect for families and feature a king-size bedroom with a seating area, a second bedroom with twin beds and a large bathroom with double vanity, bath and shower. A third bed can also be accommodated in the twin bedroom plus a cot in the main bedroom. Suites are located on the upper floors with a furnished balcony overlooking the beach. Maximum occupancy: 2 adults, 3 children over 6 years and 1 infant. Families with children aged under 6 years can sign a waiver if they wish to stay in a Beach Balcony Suite. (68sqm)
Beach Terrace Suite: These suites are identical to the Beach Balcony Suites but are located on the ground floor with a terrace leading straight onto the sand. Maximum occupancy: 2 adults, 3 children and 1 infant. (72sqm)
Bay Suite: These spacious suites are similar to the Garden and Ocean Suites but only accommodate over 18s and are located at the far end of the beach away from family accommodation. These suites enjoy the best sunset views and include enhanced amenities including a private butler service, luxury bath products and complimentary rum and vodka. Maximum occupancy: 2 adults. (72sqm)
Carlisle Suite: These four, large suites are the most luxurious options and consist of three en suite bedrooms (two with king-size beds and one with twin beds) as well as a kitchen, spacious living room and furnished outdoor area. Two of the suites (Carlisle Suite A) have a spacious beachfront balcony or terrace, while the other two (Carlisle Suite B) have a larger, L-shaped wraparound balcony or terrace. Maximum occupancy: 6 adults. (Carlisle Suite A: 163.5sqm, Carlisle Suite B: 245sqm)