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Hotel Highlights

  • Soul-soothing seclusion in an uncluttered bay
  • Just slide open the shutters for a stunning ocean view
  • Enjoy stress-melting massages at the spa, then lounge on a deserted beach

Overview

A dirt track along the secret shores of an Antigua bay takes you to the Hermitage Bay hotel, a boutique resort that’s miles away from urban distraction, and pretty much anything at all, for that matter. Lose yourself in the sweet seclusion of the deserted white-sand beach and the understated luxury of the hotel’s hillside cottages nestled among lush green gardens.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Hermitage Bay with us:

One 60-minute spa treatment

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Hermitage Bay

7 nights for the price of 6

Facilities

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Hermitage Bay hotel - Antigua and Barbuda - Antigua and Barbuda

Need To Know

Rooms

25 Cottage Suites.

Check–out

Midday; later on request, subject to availability.

Rates

Double rooms from $1480.00, excluding tax at 22.5 per cent.

More details

Rates include all meals, snacks and most drinks. Guests staying three night or more get free airport transfers.

Also

The Garden Spa offers Dorissima treatments that use colour rituals based on the body’s Chakra systems – full spiritual enlightenment guaranteed.

Hotel closed

5 September to 10 October.

At the hotel

Spa, DVD library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, sound system with iPod dock, minibar, outdoor rain shower, Aromatherapy Associates toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

The Hillside Cottage Suites may be a short trek up the hill, but it's worth the climb as the higher you go, the more stunning the bay view – and there’s always a golf buggy to ferry you around if you’re not feeling up to the ascent. These Asian-inspired wooden cottages have private infinity plunge pools beside white-curtained day-bed terraces – ideal for lounging in front of the inimitable Caribbean sunset. Down by the seafront, the Beach Cottage Suites may lack pools, but the fact the sea is but a hop, skip and dive away more than makes up for it.

Poolside

The hotel’s main freshwater pool is an invitingly curved, infinity-edged, broad-bean-shaped delight, overlooking the sea and set beside the lounge bar. Waiters are always on hand to bring refreshment your way.

Packing tips

Insect repellent is a must, given the critters that come out at night; any classics you’ve never got around to reading – this is the perfect place to do it.

Also

Smoking is not allowed in the restaurant or Suites (but you can go out onto the veranda).

Children

The hotel welcomes children aged 12 and up for $200 a night in low season and $300 a night in high season. In July and August, you can bring kids from eight years old.

Food & Drink

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Hermitage Bay hotel - Antigua and Barbuda - Antigua and Barbuda

Hotel Restaurant

With tables spreading from the decking onto the beach, Hermitage Bay’s three-tier restaurant shares the Balinese/Asian feel of the suites, but serves a fusion of Caribbean and Modern European flavours, created, where possible, from local ingredients.

Hotel Bar

The sheltered poolside bar is a sleek and spacious lounge filled with low coffee tables, white fabrics and dark rattan armchairs. The old-style wide wooden bar counter is ideal for supping a cold beer or tropical cocktail.

Last orders

9.30pm at the restaurant; the bar closes at 11.45pm.

Room service

Breakfast can be brought to you between 7.30am and 10.30am. Afterwards, from 12.30pm to 9.30pm, there's a snack menu on offer. Restaurant dishes are available in-rooms 7pm–9.30pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Bonny, beachy and fabulously floaty.

Top table

There are sea views from every table, but the corner table on the lower tier is the most romantic spot.

Local Guide

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Hermitage Bay hotel - Antigua and Barbuda - Antigua and Barbuda
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…
+ Enlarge
Secluded Antigua bay

Hermitage Bay

PO Box 60, St John's, Antigua

Planes

V C Bird International Airport in the north east of the island is the main entry point. Fly there from London Gatwick with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Island-hoppers should note that the airport is also served by a number of air shuttles originating in other Caribbean destinations. A taxi from the airport to the hotel takes 35 minutes and should cost around US$21. If you’re staying for three nights or more, the hotel will arrange free transfers.

Automobiles

Having a set of wheels can be useful for exploring Antigua and you’ll find an Avis (www.avis.com) rental desk at the airport. The drive to St John’s, the capital, will take around 30 minutes, following Valley Road to the town of Jennings.

Other

If you’re arriving on the island via the seas, you’ll find private yacht moorings at St James’ Club and English Harbour in the south of the island or at Crabbs Marina in the north.

Reviews

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Hermitage Bay hotel - Antigua and Barbuda - Antigua and Barbuda

Anonymous review

by Jack Kennedy , Talented TV producer

As we rumbled along that long dirt track leading to Hermitage Bay, it wasn’t an artfully made mohito we pictured awaiting us at the end. Let alone a small, secluded boutique resort. We spilled out after that filling-loosening cab ride into Hermitage Bay’s cool, open reception area where everyone greeted us by name, as though we were part of their extended family. I don’t even rec…
Read more

Hermitage Bay

Anonymous review by Jack Kennedy, Talented TV producer

As we rumbled along that long dirt track leading to Hermitage Bay, it wasn’t an artfully made mohito we pictured awaiting us at the end. Let alone a small, secluded boutique resort. We spilled out after that filling-loosening cab ride into Hermitage Bay’s cool, open reception area where everyone greeted us by name, as though we were part of their extended family. I don’t even recall my own flesh and blood mustering up such a warm welcome.

Seated in the tasteful, dark-wood reception, the manager comes over to us and introduces himself. 'Forget where you've been and forget where you're going,' he utters profoundly. Heavy lidded eyes and a grave intonation suggest that somehow he knows of the five tumultuous days leading up to our stay at this sanctuary. More of what happened prior to our arrival later – right now, we’re revelling in this new paradise. Hitching a ride on a golf buggy up into the hills, we begin the most magical part of our Antiguan adventure.

Craftily blended into the hillside, our villa is shrouded in vegetation that masquerades the building’s angles and allows 360 degrees of privacy. Confronted by a private pool (one of which adorns each of these palatial hillside abodes), Mrs Smith shucks her clothes and dives straight in. Resting her chin on crossed wrists, she gulps in a panoramic view – cerulean from sky to sea. Meanwhile, I poke my nose around our new hardwood home, which quickly betrays the same meticulous attention to detail that greeted us in reception. Wooden Balinese shutters allow us to fold away the fourth wall and flood the room with unadulterated shimmering Caribbean Sea – well, at least an eyeful of it. Naturally a yacht named 'Just Wonderful' is bobbing on the horizon.

Entranced as we are by this stylish establishment, it is easy to forget the first chapter of our Caribbean island trip. It’s not as though our last hotel was particularly bad, there had just been three little hiccups blighting the beginning of this much-needed vacation. Firstly, unseasonably heavy rain had coaxed a few extra mosquitoes out to feast on Mrs Smith. Secondly, because I had escaped their bites, I’d become the source of her very targeted resentment. Thirdly? Hello, Mr Horse Spider. Harmless as these bugs may actually be (as we later discovered), the crystal-shattering, blood-curdling scream I let out on spotting one on our first night inspired repeated replays from Mrs Smith. And, much to my chagrin, earned me the nickname ‘Scream Queen’ for the rest of our holiday.

Masculine pride needed to be won back. Mrs Smith wanted Daniel Craig in the Caribbean, not Alan Carr. So, when gazing at that view of the beach dotted with cream parasols sheltering dark wood sun loungers, I knew what had to be done. While 1,200ft of secluded powdered alabaster seashore hints at the pace guests might find it easy to slip into to here, this would-be adventurer was keen to sample some sailing, snorkelling, windsurfing or kayaking in those aquamarine waters. Can’t you just see this Mr Smith emerging from the surf in skin-tight powder blue trunks and rippling torso? No?

Limbering up for my swimwear cameo in our sun-drenched outdoor shower, I earmark the view-blessed free-standing two-person bath by an enormous arched window for later ablutions. Suddenly the air is filled with the roar of Isaac Hayes – Mrs Smith has finished her swim and has plugged in her iPod. The Bose sound system's acoustics seem only to amplify that ever-dazzling vista. I trot over to the daily-restored fridge and pull out a chilled bottle of bubbly, and unpop the cork. Any memories of my Edvard Munch moment will surely well and truly be gazumped by now.

The following morning, over a mighty breakfast of all the food groups, we plan the day’s itinerary. Mrs Smith wants to explore the coastline in one of the Hermitage Bay kayaks; I want to lie in the sunshine and ruminate over which cocktails would best kick-start the day. Decisions, decisions. Mrs Smith wins and we take to the high seas.

Paddling ferociously, I have a sneaky suspicion Mrs Smith, seated behind me, isn't pulling her weight. Still, we circumnavigate the southern coast and soon a deserted beach comes into view. Backing onto dense vegetation we notice smugly that this sandy stretch would be near impossible to access via land. A brief stop-off later and we carry on to find another isolated beach, this even more stunning than the last. We haul the kayak onto the shore long enough to let Mrs Smith teach me how to float in complete monastic calm on my back, suspended by the warm turquoise sea. Bliss.

Back at the resort, we’ve earned an indulgent evening meal. The staff – ever attentive – quickly dispatches a menu of dishes that blend modern European classics with traditional spicy Creole favourites. And the callaloo, okra, cucumbers, thyme and coriander are among the ingredients harvested from Hermitage Bay's own organic garden. Mrs Smith is quickly convinced that our calorie-burning exploration of neighbouring beaches means she can enjoy that chocolate dessert from the award-winning chef guilt-free.

One of the pleasures of Hermitage Bay is the solitude offered by its remote location. And the efforts it makes to work harmoniously with its verdant surroundings. Don't be fooled by the charming, laid-back staff, because there is a Germanic attention to detail that underpins this hip hideaway. Every element combines to facilitate a stress-free stay and for the duration of your time here, the usual emotional traffic of the real world – for me, frustration and impatience – simply dissolves away. For a time, you are the very best version of yourself. Without any screaming.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Hermitage Bay from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

GoldSmith

Stayed on

We loved

It was very relaxing. The rooms are lovely (there are 25 apparently); we stayed at beach level in room 18, which was very quiet. The rooms are well equipped; the bath was massive. I liked the outdoor shower although it seemed a bit odd when it rained. The staff was great, very helpful, and I tried out all the watersports and the staff even took me on a Hobie Cat as I can't sail. The food is good, but the reviews on places like Tripadvisor had me expecting more. It's the best food I've had in an all-inclusive hotel for sure: a great selection and it changed enough not to ever feel repetitive. There was also a great selection of drinks included at the bar. The hot-stone massage in the spa was amazing. Overall, it's not cheap but it was worth it; I had a great time and it was very relaxing. It's very secluded; the odd mega yacht pulled up in the bay.

Don’t expect

Expect the final road to the hotel to be unmade and bumpy; it's not really the dirt track some people describe it as, but it is certainly dirt. The WiFi struggled to get to the us at any speed, but that was a minor issue. The free wine choice was a bit limited and wasn't amazing, but was ok. The beach is a mix of shells and sand, which may not be perfect for everyone; there is a reef very close to shore, which is great for snorkelling but does mean you have to pay attention when swimming. I'm not sure what impact the development on the next headland will have; there are currently just some dirt roads you can see if you kayak to the next bays, but it could change it completely over the next few years.

Rating: 9/10 stars