Villa Retreats’ travel expert Holly Booth took a trip to Antigua recently, taking time to visit the exclusive luxury holiday destination ‘Jumby Bay’. Here she gives us her views on this idyllic island in the sun which is home to an impressive list of celebrities.
Having heard Jumby Bay described as one of the most tranquil and picturesque of all the Caribbean islands, I’d been longing to pay it a visit. Two miles off the North Coast of Antigua, accessible only by a short boat ride, this secluded, self-contained paradise had an awful lot to live up to.
As I stepped barefoot from the teak deck onto the soft warmth of the wooden jetty, I sensed immediately that all I’d heard would prove to be true. I was greeted by beaming smiles from the staff, who seemed genuinely delighted to welcome me to their tiny island paradise. Bubbling with pride, they took turns to introduce themselves as they presented luxuriously soft, pure white towels and an icy, fruit-laden cocktail.
My Jumby Bay experience had begun.
This unique island is completely car free, so I opted to explore by golf buggy. Which felt symbolic of both the pace of island life and its carefully maintained serenity. My battery powered magic carpet swept gracefully between the palm trees as I cruised along the empty pathways exploring the island’s fifteen private villas, nineteen estate homes and of course the forty-room hotel.
My first stop was to drool over the impressive private villas. Slack jawed, I stared longingly at the selection of luxury villas including Allamandra, Tortuga and Poinciana. Contemporary, bright with a splash of tropical colour throughout, each a luxurious, tranquil hideaway perfect to escape the rigours and mounting anxieties of everyday working life. From the outdoor bathtubs of Allamandra to the Caribbean inspired artwork of Tortuga, between them there was a villa perfect for anyone and everyone, with all these incredible homes-from-home united by the beauty of their individually mesmerising views.
Pure Turquoise was my next stop – an extraordinary Estate home. Designed by one of England’s most accomplished designers, built and furnished to the highest standards, this house has it all.
Seven en-suite bedrooms (each with a sea front veranda), indoor and outdoor eating areas, beachfront gazebo, media and games room, a floodlit tennis court, basketball net, croquet lawn and Technogym fitness centre. Its own 200m stretch of private beach which plays home to Hawskbill turtles in the nesting season, along with a breath-taking 25m infinity pool that blends seamlessly into the sea.
As a travel professional, I have visited and viewed countless properties and I can honestly say Pure Turquoise is one if the finest properties I have ever seen.
Tearing myself away, I went on to enjoy a buffet lunch at the Veranda, which offers a great variety of delicious food including lobster quiche, fresh salads, selection of cheese, and an array of shamelessly mouth-watering deserts.
Adding to this quaint charm of this island retreat, a large amount of the produce on offer is grown on Jumby Bay’s own organic farm which has an orchard, a vegetable patch, a herb garden, and several chickens who wander the farm, providing fresh eggs daily in return for their stay.
Finishing lunch, I retired to the soak up the sun. Sipping my mocktail, I relaxed and sat back to enjoy the shimmering afternoon sun, pausing only to consider which of the three crystal clear pools I would slip into first.
Of course, there were alternatives. For those with more of a taste for adventure, the water sports centre at Jumby Bay offers windsurfing, sea kayaking paddle boarding, sailing, as a well as water skiing, wakeboarding and of course scuba diving.
There is an equally impressive range of based activities on offer with a fitness centre, yoga sessions, three tennis courts and a fleet of bikes to hire so you can enjoy explore this peaceful island on two wheels.
Parents can easily enjoy a little down time by escaping to the Spa, whilst making the most of the nanny service, kids club or teen and youth activity sessions.
In fact, this resort has something for everyone. Whatever they offer, they offer it to the very highest standard – and they do it very well indeed.
As I finally stepped back from the motionless jetty to the gently -rocking teak-deck of the floating taxi, I nodded approvingly to the memory of Christopher Columbus, who discovered this remarkable island way back in 1493. Thanks to him, we can enjoy one of the most relaxing holidays in the modern world, at the island paradise of Jumby Bay.
Find out more about Jumby Bay Villas & Estate homes here