Antigua and Barbuda Hotels

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Guidebooks

Carlisle Bay

At a Glance

    Pros

  • luxury resort
  • attentive service
  • family-friendly

    Cons

  • aggressively hip
  • lovely beach but often murky water
  • pricey restaurants
  • no elevators

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Carlisle Bay Review

This cosmopolitan, boutique sister property of London's trendy One Aldwych hotel daringly eschews everything faux colonial and Creole. The monochromatic, magazine-worthy result combines cool, classy minimalism with unsnobbish warmth. Vast, split-level accommodations emulate the Japanese decorative ideal of perfection through simplicity with white walls, black-and-white snapshots, mahogany-and-teak furnishings, mauve and peach fabrics, and chrome-and-glass accents. The bougainvillea garlanding the enormous balcony adds just the right amount of color. Deluxe gadgetry runs the gamut from en suite plasma TV–DVDs, fiber-optic bed lights, and Gaggia espresso machines to a movie-screening room and futuristically lighted library with Internet stations. The three innovatively trendy restaurants (including the newer poolside Italian, Ottimo), complimentary nonmotorized water sports, and a soothing spa enhance the luxe ambience. There are kinks—particularly an admirable but inadequate attempt to separate families and romantically inclined couples—but the buff bodies toting cell phones make this a hip, happening see-and-be-scene.

    Hotel Details

  • 82 suites.
  • Rate includes breakfast.
  • Closed late Aug.–early Oct.
Updated: 02-27-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
  • Room  
    Décor  
    Service  
    Value  

    Carlisle Bay has re-defined luxury vacations for familes with toddlers

    After visiting Carlisle Bay, my only question is how do the Americans not already know about this place? Carlisle Bay is the TOP luxury resort for families including ones that have toddlers and babies. So take that Ritz Carlton!

    I am a luxury family blogger, Http://www.ChicfamilyTravels.com, and I was on a mission to find a true luxury resort that had a kids club for children ages two and older. I knew this was not going to be easy to find. A select few resorts have kids clubs for toddlers starting at age 3 while the majority start at age 4 and 5 years old. Now, add the word "luxury" into the mix and you can essentially wipe out everyone of these resorts! Well my friends, there is at least one luxury resort that caters to families with toddlers age 2 and younger and that is Carlisle Bay in Antigua! The kids club is free of charge for children ages 2 and older. Children younger than 2 years old may also attend for a fee. I believe the fee was $10 an hour which seems very reasonable. More on the Carlisle Bay kids club later in our review.

    Carlisle Bay is a boutique size resort located on the beach in Antigua. Now when Carlisle Bay says its located on the beach, they mean it. I have literally never stayed this close to the beach and ocean. If you don't believe us then check out this picture that we took from our Beach Suite Patio (on our blog) I think we counted five steps from the balcony to the sand and 25 steps to the ocean.

    Everything at this resort was easy and luxurious. There was excellent beach service so you never had to get up from your lounger that was 5 steps from your patio. Sorry for repeating myself, but I still can't get over that part! Now, this is when the "luxury" part of Carlisle Bay's experience begins. Every morning your chairs and umbrella are set up along with a cooler full of water bottles free of charge.

    The food and beach service at Carlisle Bay was also top notch and again shined in this area. Even though we are "Americans," We prefer healthy and fresh meals over heavy, unhealthy processed foods! Think fresh tuna tar tar on the beach served to you in a silver plater. Yes, its true! Even better, your toddler is having a blast at the kids club.

    The Kids club is a really neat place for smaller children. There is even a playground and wading pool just for them. I cannot say enough good things about Carlisle Bay's staff at the kids club. One of the sweet ladies paid so much attention to my little man and said everyday, " Don't worry mom. He loves it here. I am his kids club wifey." It is this type of attention that I appreciated. You definitely did not feel like you were leaving your little one at a place where he was just a name on that day's sign in list if you know what I mean. I wish that I had as many good things to say about the kids club for the older children called Crew Blue. There were not that many children at the resort their age, so many of the activities were cancelled. I am sure that if you visit during a European holiday or summer break, there would be more going on in this department. The activity list at Crew Blue looked really fun and interesting, so it was disappointing that the older girls did not get to participate in any of these activities.

    No worries, because the girls are tennis players and this is another area that Carlisle Bay shines. This is a first-rate tennis resort, and we loved Ken the tennis pro who is a local Antiguan. He is an excellent asset to Carlisle Bay, and he is one of the top reasons that we would consider returning to Carlisle Bay. We don't normally return to the same place twice because there are so many places to see! However, we would go back just to enjoy his tennis instruction in an amazing backdrop of the Antiguan hills. We purchased the Carlisle Bay "tennis week package," which is an amazing deal. Seriously, its a good deal. We paid less on vacation for private tennis lessons than we do at home!

    Another of the little extras that make this vacation stress-free for parents, is the afternoon kids buffet served at the pool. The food was quite delicious and more than enough to fill up our 3 children ages 2, 8 and 11. This is really a brilliant concept. First of all, it was free of charge. Second of all, it allowed parents to feed their children in a relaxed pool-side environment with other parents who understand the occasional melt-down will happen! Carlisle Bay did not forget the details at the kids buffet as they even have the cutest girl and boy plates that we have ever seen!

    The last and possibly the best reason the Carlisle Bay kids buffet is brilliant is that after feeding the kids, the parents can hire one of the Carlise Bay nannies to watch the children while they dine later in the evening at Indigo or East. The nannies are fabulous by the way and always available, even on a last minute's notice. My kids particularly loved Debbie. She is a Carlisle Bay gem! She played in the sand with the kids, took them swimming, and even took them to Crush where there is a room full of games like ping pong and air hockey.

    Overall, we would highly recommend Carlisle Bay. We would especially recommend Carlisle Bay to families with toddlers and young children who do not want to sacrafice having a luxury vacation.

    Carlisle Bay has without a doubt met a market niche by successfully providing luxury vacations to families with young children by providing a top-notch kids club for babies and toddlers. Not to mention, there is no potty training required! YES!!! We love you Carlisle Bay !! Even, Disney could learn a thing or two from you :)

    ChicFamilyTravels

    by ChicFamilyTravels, 12/11/12

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