Being in the travel business I can’t tell you how many times I have clients with the following request: “I want a beautiful remote island with a nonstop flight”. Ha! Not exactly the easiest request! However, getting to Jumby Bay was surprisingly much easier than I had anticipated and once there, it is truly a feeling of your own private island paradise. Upon landing at Antigua Airport and clearing customs we were transported by private 5 minutes car ride to the private Jumby Bay Boat and then another 10 minute crossing to Jumby Bay Island. Piece of cake! We were checking into our room within one hour of landing!
As you approach the island by boat you can’t help but notice what looks to be one spectacular looking beach. Being the beach lover that I am I thought to myself, “ummm, I think I am going to like this place”. Jumby Bay definitely has the aura of being at a very exclusive and private country club, which it kind of is. Jumby Bay Island consists of approximately 50 multi million dollar homes and villas with a 40 room hotel managed and operated by Rosewood Hotels. The hotel room rate includes everything such as meals, wines by the glass, water sports, etc. There are also villas and homes for rent on the island.
The grounds and the scenery are pristine and well maintained. There are beautiful grass fields, with wild sheep grazing and everything is very nicely landscaped. There are small paths that run throughout the island, there are no cars, and everyone gets around by golf cart or bicycle. Each hotel guest is provided with their own beach cruiser bike. Even my 4 year old had his own little bike with training wheels! Coming from NYC, riding our bikes was an unusual pleasure. We thoroughly enjoyed riding to breakfast, or to the beach or simply exploring the island. It really gave us the feeling of truly getting away from it all. Of course, if you do not want to ride a bike it is very easy to stroll around or the hotel will gladly fetch you in a golf cart, which we did when going to dinner at night.
Overall, the service was excellent. Any and every request we had was quickly and easily taken care of. It is obvious service is a very important asset to the hotel and they take it seriously. I got the impression that many of the staff had been with the hotel for many years, took pride in their work and were good at what they did. There were those one off situations such as when we asked for mustard when our meal landed on our table only to finally receive the mustard after we had already finished our meal. However, with the extensive traveling I have done I can’t say that I haven’t experienced that same situation in many high end Caribbean & Mexican luxury hotels. It’s just not the New York “instant gratification” mentality. We were satisfied with the quality and diversity of food and restaurants. I often find I am a bit disappointed in the quality of food when I travel to Caribbean and Mexico however I didn’t find this to be the case.
We had reserved a Courtyard Suite which was one of the newly built rooms within the hotel. I strongly recommend if you can afford a Courtyard suite category or better it is worth the expense. I did tour all of the room categories (and some villas). Feel free to email me if you want help deciding what category is best for your needs. The Rondavel rooms are the original room categories and they tend to be surrounded by more vegetation and landscaping which tends to make them feel not as bright and fresh as the new room categories. While they were completely renovated a few years ago, they just don’t feel as pristine as the new room categories. The bathrooms in the newer rooms were exactly what you see on line with the outdoor bathtub and shower. Very sexy. The rooms are all very large with high vaulted ceilings and plush furnishings. The desk area was very well thought out with plug-ins for computers conveniently located directly in the top of the desk. The outdoor patios in all the rooms are very nicely appointed with teak lounge chairs and dining table and chairs. A perfect setting for room service to be delivered to enjoy any meal. And not to mention, some of the rooms also have private plunge pools. The island is so safe that there are no keys provided for your room! If you are a family with small children and looking for more than a one bedroom, the hotel creates a two bedroom Rosewood Estate by connecting two one bedrooms, which will provide you with a ton of space however the bedrooms are located very far from one another, so beware. Again, if you need more help understanding this, drop me a line.
Jumby Bay is a perfect destination to quietly sit under a palm tree and do nothing at all or keep yourself busy from morning till night. The main beach at the property is the epitome of the perfect beach. The photos on the website of the beach are very accurate. What you see is what you get….. Which, as some of us know – is sometimes not the case. Pristine clear blue water, silky white sand. Amazing! There is no crowd on this beach. The hotel has lounge chairs and palappas set along the beach that are spread far enough apart so you feel as if you have your own private beach. The one downside, which didn’t bother me too much, is that the main Jumby Bay beach has a distant view of the island of Antigua which includes the commercial port of Antigua and airport. However this reminds me to mention that there are other beaches on the island to explore. There are plenty of water sports activities available including waterskiing and wakeboarding which is not so commonly included in most hotels. The water sports guys were great. They took my husband waterskiing everyday and were very accommodating and easy going and enjoyed entertaining our four year old. The hotel also has daily complimentary activities including cooking classes, sunset cruise, snorkeling tours, etc. We took advantage of some of these offerings. I liked that they were available for us to enjoy and that there wasn’t an additional cost to participate. The hotel has a very comprehensive kids program. During our stay our 4 year old was the only child at the hotel and the women who run the kids club could not have been more accommodating entertaining our son for a few hours each morning giving my husband and I some time to enjoy the beach together.
All in all I highly recommend Jumby Bay. It is a great destination for couples, honeymooners and families. It is an upscale luxury resort and is worth every penny.