Contributor/ Sarah Owen
Best Known For
The Inn at English Harbour is Antigua’s slice of heaven, attracting British honeymooners and couples alike, as well as those looking to indulge in pure relaxation and seclusion. With only 28 rooms (four of those are beachside cabanas) spanning across 19 acres of beautiful gardens and period buildings that culminate in a magnificently calm beach, The Inn truly feels like a world apart. Capacity only ever allows for around 50 people tops at a time (when we were there we counted around 10 other couples), so when strolling around the ground you often feels as if the place were almost entirely yours, making it a great private destination to experience five-star luxury.
The Good Stuff
The friendly staff scattered throughout the grounds ensure guests have an unforgettable experience, backed up with a variety of activities including free water sports, a water taxi on demand to get to the neighbouring Nelson’s Dockyard, and a shuttle car to pick you up from your room and take you to dinner each evening (or whenever you need it). Waking up is blissful and can be followed by a one-minute stroll to the beachfront restaurant serving up an extraordinary continental buffet meal, as well as a varied assortment of cooked dishes, all garnished with fresh ingredients. It’s really the little touches of luxury that make The Inn a top-notch hotel – and one of Antigua’s best – including complimentary water and ice-bucket service on the beach. The dinner menu was filled with creative alternatives offering up a nice mix of cuisines (the owner is Italian so we tasted a few excellent dishes from the region), as well as fresh, local seafood and organic herbs and vegetables from The Inn’s very own garden (which by the way is definitely worth visiting, especially if the gardeners are there as they will enthusiastically address your every question).
The ambience is unparalleled and the epitome of serenity, where even the local wildlife creates a harmonious backdrop of sound, especially in the evenings. The lush, green grounds are well kept and visually striking (the bright bougainvilleas throughout the property are divine). The Inn does a great job at building a little community within the private hotel, organising special events and evenings such as garden tours, seafood grills on the beach, and brining in live music at least twice a week, including a steel drum performance on the edge of the beach.
Inside the hotel – 10/10
This hotel is the ideal hideaway for those looking for an alternative to party-centric all-inclusives, but seeking a healthy dose of rest and relaxation. The Inn owner Susanna Addari has exquisite taste in the décor, featuring objets d’arts and furniture from all over the world; there’s traces of African, Balinese, and Chinese design throughout the hotel, as well as Brogi silver cutlery and Frette linens and towels. It’s ultimately set up so you never have to leave, and to be honest, you don’t really need to (or often want to) at all.
Outside the hotel – 8/10
Antigua is quite small so if you’re up for venturing beyond the Inn, there are plenty of local hotspots. A nearby trail allows you a scenic hike up to the popular Shirley Heights lookout. The hotel also organises delivered car rentals so you can take a short drive to the breathtaking beaches at Half Moon Bay or Long Bay.
Image courtesy of @dotmophoto