Antigua Days - Travel Guide

11:38 AM

(Shirley Heights)
(Nelson's Dockyard)
(Shirley Heights)
(Devil's Bridge)

I was born and raised in New York, and am used to inflated prices for most things--food, cabs, shopping, etc. Antigua was not cheap. Cabs and food prices are comparable to New York, mostly because they have a 10% tax on top, and additional 15% service tax on top of that. However, like any other destination, it really also depends on where you stay and where you eat. 

We stayed at Carlisle Bay which was South on the island. Initially we thought it would be pretty quick to get there from the airport, but because the rainforest is in the middle of the island and there's no way to really cut across, and there are also no highways, it actually takes 35-45 minutes to get to the hotel depending on how fast you or your driver drives.. :) However, keep in mind that it's just like that everywhere on the island. 

That being said, I loved the hotel. We went right after Yacht week, and had the best time. It was much quieter, and we had pretty much the hotel to ourselves. I'm exaggerating, there was probably 10-15 people other than us there but the place is big enough that you don't really see people or feel as though you're being crowded. 

Our hotel covered breakfast each morning, and it was too much of an effort to take a cab to leave the vicinity, so we stayed around to eat. There is a pretty big assortment for breakfast meals that we didn't get bored of it for the 5 days we were there. Plus, there are different fresh smoothies every day, and the tables faced the ocean, so being able to enjoy the serenity of the water and the calm waves were extremely soothing. 

Here are the restaurants we went to for dinner (in order of the days we went, which also happened to 

Melini's - We were recommended by our concierge to go to Melini's--he had told us that guests have been recently raving about this Italian spot so we gave it a try. We had an eggplant parmigiana and escargot for appetizers--both were okay. For the main dish, my boyfriend had the mahi-mahi, which I thought was too dry and too dense (I think I'm just not a big fan of the way they cook their fishes, but the dryness was more their problem). I had the linguine bombay, which was pretty much a seafood linguine made with curry--it was interesting, and we actually both enjoyed this one a lot. Considering this was similar priced if not a bit pricier than other restaurants we tried on this trip, I didn't think it was worth it.

Carmichael's - Really nice view--it's at a super high point in Antigua and if you can get a seat by the edge, you can overlook a pretty view of a part of the city. We were offered a complimentary prosecco glass which was a very cute touch. For food, we ordered seared tuna (which I loved), and butternut squash hummus which came with celery and carrot sticks (hummus was a bit too sweet for my liking). For entrees, we ordered the pork belly and the rack of lamb--lamb was nicely cooked and better than the pork belly in my opinion. 

Private Dinner on the Jetty (custom curated with the executive sou chef of Carlisle Bay) - This was SO romantic. There is a dock that goes out into the ocean where they hold pilates and yoga sessions during the week and also where people can go to get into a speedboat they rent. The team set up lights and lanterns starting from the beach leading all the way through the dock to our table. My boyfriend set this up and it was the cutest thing ever. We were able to sit with the chef and curate our own special menu, and enjoy dinner by ourselves--super secluded looking out into the ocean, with our own private waiter. Would 1000% recommend.

Sheer Rocks- Possibly best meal of the trip. View was beautiful since the tables are pretty much on these 'balconies' facing the water, and the food was amazing. The price of the meal was similar to all other dinners we had on the trip (except for the private dinner which was much more) so I would totally recommend going here. We ordered the marlin carpaccio, king scallop ceviche, slow roasted short rib, pork chop, and polenta chips. There wasn't one thing I didn't like, and would have definitely come back for lunch (tapas) if I had more time--it's a bit cheaper and people rave about it!

Catherines Cafe Plage- Unfortunately we weren't able to go to Catherine's since they were closed during the week we were there but we've heard amazing, amazing things, so definitely try to check this place out if you can get a reservation!


Shirley Heights - Highest point of the island--extremely beautiful and you get amazing views,  some close to 360 degrees.

St. John's - Shopping! This is where a lot of locals also like to hang out. There is food and souvenirs and many other shops for you to browse.

Nelson's Dockyard - You can see all the boats and the naval heritage; there's also some shops and dining as well.

Stingray City - One of my favorite things I did on the trip. We took a ~10 min speedboat ride out to a sandbar where tons and tons of stingrays were waiting. We were able to get out and play with them, hold them and feed them.

Devil's Bridge - Super cool bridge made from millions of years of reef formation and a natural limestone arch. It's named Devil's Bridge because back in the days slaves would go there to commit suicide, and people believed that the devil was responsible for it.

If anyone is going to Antigua and have any questions or need anything

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