Antigua and Barbuda Hotels

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Galley Bay

At a Glance

    Pros

  • luxury lodging
  • gorgeous beach and grounds
  • impeccable maintenance
  • fine food by all-inclusive standards

    Cons

  • some lodgings are small and lack a view
  • outdoor spa can get hot
  • surf is often too strong for weaker swimmers
  • only suites have tubs

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Galley Bay Review

This posh, adult-only all-inclusive channels the fictional Bali H'ai (with colonial architectural flourishes) on 40 lush acres. There's a man-made lagoon and stunning grotto pool; a bird sanctuary laced with nature trails; and a magnificent boardwalk-lined ecru beach. The gardens are as manicured as the discriminating clientele, and they cannily conceal the splendid Indulge Spa, incorporating natural elements into the design. The soothing, at times crashing, surf serenades the Creole-style beachfront buildings and romantic Gauguin restaurant (with clever, thatched private-dining alcoves). The handsomely appointed superior and deluxe beachfront units (Numbers 47–48 are centrally located; avoid 77–80, which abut potential mosquito breeding grounds) represent the best value, though towering palms slightly obstruct even the second-floor views. Suites splendidly balance an old-style plantation look with modern necessities (including Wi-Fi). The Gauguin Cottages, replete with plunge pools, are charming but slightly claustrophobic. But these are minor quibbles for honeymooning couples and corporate bigwigs escaping the rat race.

    Hotel Details

  • 98 rooms
  • Rate includes all-inclusive.
  • Closed mid-Aug.–early Sept.
Updated: 02-27-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
  •  
    Décor  
    Service  
    Value  

    Everything they promised

    We spent nine nights at Galley Bay in May 2012, and we liked it so much we're going back for seven more in October 2012! The superior beachfront rooms are well-located and well-appointed. We had gorgeous beach and water views (though we couldn't see the waves hitting the sand right in front of our first floor suite); a nice sitting area with two sofas; a very comfortable king bed with plenty of pillows; a large TV (which we never used); a mini-fridge; a substantial closet with a safe, iron, and ironing board; and reliable Wi-Fi. Ceiling fans and AC kept the room very comfortable. The bathroom was quite large and had two sinks, loads of counter space, a soaking tub for two, and a long shower with a shower head at each end. (The water temperature wasn't always quite hot enough, and the shower heads are a bit low for anyone above average height, but these were minor issues.) Watch out for the fresh hibiscus flowers in your suite when you first arrive -- while beautiful, they also attract ants. Fortunately, there is a can of bug spray in the room! Overall, we enjoyed our room very much and had no serious complaints. The twice-a-day housekeeping was great, and they always made sure we had enough towels for extra showers and baths. The highlight of the resort is the gorgeous beach. It is long, wide and clean, with very soft sand. There are always enough beach chairs. With only 98 rooms, the three-quarter mile long beach is never crowded. More often than not, we felt like we were on our own private beach! One has to be careful getting in and out of the water in many places. The grade is fairly steep, and some areas are rockier than others. Experienced snorkelers will definitely want to end for the north end (to the right) were there are rocks and reef with decent coral formations less than 20 feet from shore. We saw a large variety of fish, including several huge schools, an eel, and squid on multiple occasions. I wouldn't recommend the area for weak swimmers or novice snorkelers, and the ocean swells are occasionally rough. Visibility was generally very good. We enjoyed snorkeling there more than at Cades Reef. Besides the beach, the grounds are lovely. It is lushly planted with flowering plants, bushes, and trees, as well as over a dozen different breeds of palm tree. The grounds are very well maintained, and we highly recommend the weekly landscaping tour. There is a very pretty lagoon too, complete with bike/jogging trail and a fishing bridge. The main advantage to all-inclusive resorts is, of course, the inclusion of food and beverage in the package price. This is only an advantage, however, if one is at the resort for most meals and the food is enjoyable. Fortunately, there is plenty to do at Galley Bay Resort, and we were off the resort for one meal. Between the four restaurants (including the recently added Barefoot Grill for lunch and snacks), there was great variety and terrific food to be had at all times. The buffet and the a la carte menu (or get both!) at the Sea Grape for breakfast are good, though service was better some days than others. Lunch is available in three different places, so there are never waits and service is pretty good. Make sure you check out both the daily roti special at Gauguin’s as well as the fresh and creative wraps and panini at the Barefoot Grill! Dinner is also available most nights at three places; we found the food and service to be excellent at all three. The Sea Grape is the main dinner spot, but it sometimes gets loud. You'll want to be sure to try out Gauguin’s at least once during your stay, though, and food and service at Ismay's (surcharge) are always outstanding. We enjoyed multiple meals at all three. While the house wine at all three is decent, one can also buy wine by the bottle at each one from a pretty good wine list (for a Caribbean resort, at least). If Galley Bay would like to earn a fifth star from me for service, they could improve service at breakfast and add bar service on the beach. With three bars, though, a cool drink is never too far away, so this is a minor complaint. Nevertheless, it's the one thing missing from making a stay at Galley bay a truly decadent experience. All in all, we got exactly what the Galley Bay website (www.GalleyBayResort.com) and numerous review sites promised. We never went to the spa or fitness center, so I cannot comment on those, but we enjoyed everything else the resort had to offer. And with almost 75% of their stays from repeat visitors, most guests would seem to agree!

    by MHGlassman, 9/24/12

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