So, after 4 nights at Sugar Ridge on the southern side of the island, we packed up our things and drove an hour to the north side of our island to our next hotel, Blue Waters Resort. Blue Waters is independently owned and is one of the few hotels on the island that allows you to “opt-out” of the all-inclusive plan they offer which ended up being a great thing for us. The lobby and main bar area of the hotel were lovely, albeit very warm as they were set back from the beach area and didn’t get much a breeze. The hotel had some positives but overall it didn’t meet my expectations. I hate to be negative but I’m just being honest.
We had booked an ocean front room at Blue Waters and our room was ready shortly after we arrived. We were also given a nice rum punch while we waited and explored the grounds.
Blue Waters is located on and spread across three separate beach areas, each of which is rather small but put together offered plenty of beach access and lounge chairs. It also has three different pools and two different beach/pool bars. I thought the grounds and the tropical landscaping were lovely.
The interior of our room had clearly been remodeled recently and everything was fresh and bright with a nautical flair to it. Our kind size bed was comfortable with good quality linens and we also had a nice sized balcony with chairs, table and some additional bench seating. The bathroom was also very spacious and I loved the stand alone claw foot tub, which I actually ended up using one evening when I was feeling tired and under the weather.
My only issues with the room/bathroom were that the bathroom sometimes had a funky, sour-like smell that seemed to be emanating from the shower drain after use in the evening and our room was not very soundproof. We never heard our neighbors but we weren’t far from the main bar and restaurant and two nights they played very loud live music until just after 11pm at night. I realize that we sound awfully fuddy-duddy to be in bed on a Caribbean vacation at 10pm at night but there was a reason why we were in bed so early….and it wasn’t romantic or sexy.
I have to say that I don’t recommend this hotel and hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had spent more money for a nicer hotel like Hermitage Bay, CocoBay or maybe even Jumby Bay. First, I don’t recommend staying on this side of Antigua because the beaches of south Antigua are much, much better. We found slimy sea grass here on the north side or big waves and more rocky shorelines that made snorkeling and/or comfortable floating impossible. Second, we were so glad we were not all-inclusive at Blue Waters because the food was just terrible. We ate here for dinner our first night only as the restaurant looked nice and we were tired and didn’t feel like driving around. Well, the meal was absolutely awful in terms of quality, execution and the freshness of the ingredients (think rubbery food, funky taste and just thrown on the plate). In fact, Steve and I didn’t eat much of our dinner because it was so bad and we were afraid we might get sick. We were smart because for the next 36 hours, we both had major intestinal issues following this meal and it was obvious it was the source. I’ll spare you the details but we spent an entire day just locked in our room so we could both stay close to the bathroom. Not fun. I finally went to the small sundry shop they had on the property and bought some very overpriced Immodium to ease the discomfort in our intestinal tracts.
After losing a day of vacation to intestinal havoc, we decided to spend most of our time away from Blue Waters. We drove ourselves over to Fort James Beach and had a nice lunch at a casual beach bar and explored the old British Fort, which was built in the late 1700s.
It afforded some nice views and seeing the old stone structures of the barracks, munitions storage and small stone bridge was pretty interesting.
One of my favorite days was our drive to the far side of the island to visit English Harbour where we had a great lunch at Cloggy’s (in my previous post about Eating in Antigua) and admired the mega yachts. It was actually fun to look up the yachts by name and see how much it cost to charter them. One of the yachts in the harbour was $750,000 per week to charter, plus expenses. That’s not a typo – $750K per week. Must. Be. Nice.
Our last day we had to relinquish our rental car so we spent the day lounging on the beach and just had snacks we had purchased from a local grocery for lunch (we were so gun shy about eating any food at Blue Waters that we just avoided it). We took a taxi for dinner and had a lovely last meal at Ana’s on the Beach, which was about a 10 minute drive away (also in previous post about Eating in Antigua). The next day we headed home via Miami and again we had first class seats, which was nice. We lucked out and everything went incredibly smoothly on our way home and we even landed in Dallas a little early.
Overall, we had a very nice vacation and it was great to turn the work phones off for awhile. However, I’m not itching to go back to Antigua. It’s certainly worth a visit and I think I would have enjoyed it more if we had done things a little differently. The old adage “you get what you pay for” was very true on this trip. The island does have some beautiful scenery and the locals were very friendly everywhere we went. Also, we felt very safe on the island and crime did not seem to be an issue. So, while it was hard to go back to work, it was nice to see Miss Begbie the next day! I always miss my little stinker.