A private island retreat in the Caribbean
Those traveling to Jumby Bay Island will have to venture two miles off the coast of Antigua to a 300-acre private island with crystalline waters and velvety white sand. The secluded Caribbean luxury resort is a sun-seeker's paradise accessible only by boat, which adds to its exclusivity and charm. The former sugar plantation, said to be discovered by Christopher Columbus, is now a haven for couples, families and celebrities (Mariah Carey, Paul McCartney) looking for an elegant, quietly luxurious vacation with gracious service and breathtaking natural beauty.
Forty guest rooms and suites are spread across the resort, many with large wraparound terraces and bathrooms with courtyards and outdoor showers. A recent $28 million renovation added 28 suites steps away from the beach. These range in size and amenities, but some have private pools, outdoor deep soaking tubs and large, airy doorways that open up to manicured gardens. Expect grand four-poster beds made of dark mahogany, vaulted ceilings and traditional (but not boring) island-inspired décor like bamboo accents and punches of tropical colors.
Rates are all-inclusive, which means Jumby Bay Island’s three restaurants are far from afterthoughts. The open-air, seaside Verandah is a casual-chic spot open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It recently added a chef's table and cooking school. The Pool Grille serves sandwiches, salads and pastas by an infinity pool. The Estate House is the resort’s signature restaurant and it does not disappoint. Housed in an 1830s manse shrouded in palm trees and ivy is a fine-dining Italian restaurant where you can while an evening away on the romantic upstairs terrace and indulge in dishes like roasted butternut ravioli with truffle butter. Guests can also dine on the beach with a five-course tasting menu served under a starlit sky.
Perhaps the most charming (and useful) amenity provided to guests are the beach cruisers that remain assigned to you throughout your stay — you can bike the many winding pathways throughout the resort. The Rose Buds program is an impressive kids club that hosts children’s activities including wildlife tours, water sports and science discovery programs. A pair of pools each offers a different vibe — the 82-foot Verandah Pool is good for all ages, while the secluded-feeling Oceanfront Infinity Pool is noticeably quieter and overlooks the Caribbean. Of course, you’ll want to spend at least a little time on the sugar-white sand beaches, preferably poised on one of the chaise lounges or sprawled out on a hammock. Beach attendants are on-hand to tend to your every whim.
Active types can hit the resort’s tennis courts and a nearby golf course, while the truly adventurous can take advantage of snorkelling excursions, windsurfing and kayaking. After all this activity, head to the luxurious open-air spa for some island-inspired treatments.