Par Margaret Kemp
CARLISLE BAY, ANTIGUA
The lush island of Antigua (formerly called Wadadli) is located in the heart of the Caribbean, born out of the sea by a volcano 30 million years ago. Today, it’s a destination for a fabulous vacation, either lounging on one of the 365 magnificent beaches, climbing Boggy Peak, zip-lining, watching or playing cricket, fishing, sailing, reef snorkeling, swimming, with or without stingrays, shopping in St. John’s - the capital. You choose !
Stay at Carlisle Bay, set on a magnificent white-sandy beach, with 87 fabulous Ocean, Garden and Beach Balcony Suites designed by Mary Fox Linton, lovely terraces overlooking the bay (a favourite place for mega, giga and sailing yachts to drop anchor) and shady palm trees.
“This is the 7th time we’ve stayed here”, says the elegant gentleman seated nearby in the Pavilion Bar where afternoon tea is served daily from 3.30pm. “It’s the tranquil bay, magnificent gardens, excellent food and discreet service that keeps us returning time after time”.
This morning Elliott, one of Carlisle Bay’s 14 landscape gardeners led us through the hotel’s manicured gardens and out into the rainforest where we picked wild flowers and ate bananas, guavas, papaya, almonds, avocados and fresh herbs, the bounty of a paradise island.
There are no motorised water sports in the bay but kayaking and sailing are available. Sporting stars appreciate the nine tennis courts and a state-of-the-art gym.
Carlisle Bay’s four restaurants serve some of the finest food in the Caribbean. Indigo on the Beach. East: Asian restaurant (dinner only) Ottimo! Italian and the adults only Jetty Grill for romantic lunches and dinners featuring fisherman’s catch of the day and magnificent views of Montserrat Island opposite.
From Carlisle’s cellars: Wadadli Beer: Carlisle’s Sunset cocktail: Spicy Island Punch: Cocktails and Mocktails: Dom Perignon 2009: Prosecco: Red Château Leoville Barton 2006: White Napa Valley Chardonnay, Far Niente 2014.
Since last summer chef Prabhakar Kumar, from New Delhi, India, has helmed the kitchens, bringing his healthy Mediterranean influences to the dishes, mixed with plenty of local Caribbean flavours. “I’ve created an organic herb garden, and the local suppliers bring wonderful produce to my kitchen door every day”, he smiles. “Here, everything’s farm to table”, he adds.
Look for herb crusted Prime Rack of Lamb: Goat curry with Basmati Rice at the Friday night barbecue: Catch of the Day Burger: Fish and Chips: Tuna Sashimi, Beef Tataki etc from the raw bar. Pasta and perfect pizza - from the wood fired oven - at Ottimo! Dynamite Shrimp: Dimsum: Lobster Tempura from East.
In his downtime chef (influenced by the iconic Charlie Trotter) can be found at St. John’s market on Saturday morning, loves to eat at Roti King, Jolly Harbour and Kishal Rajpal’s Spice of India, St. John’s – “because I miss my mum’s cooking!”
Need to Know :
Taxi and Island Tours :
Must visit : Nelson’s Dockyard UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2016.
Expect to see :
Georgio Armani, Donna Karan, Eddie Jordan, Heidi Klum, Eric Clapton, Timothy Dalton (James Bond), Silvio Berlusconi, Margaret Kemp etc.
Reserve now :
Carlisle Bay’s first all inclusive Health Retreat from 28th May-1st June, 2020. 4 nights from $2,250.00 per person
How to get there :
Air France - via Saint Martin
Carlisle Bay Resort & Spa,
Old Road, St. Mary’s, Antigua, West Indies,
T : +1 (268) 484-0000