What We Love
- Daily breakfast is included
- Walking out the door of your suite onto the white sand beach
- Plush 45-seat cinema
- Private sessions in the shade of the yoga pavilion
- Four-hand massage at Blue Spa
- Tea served on the beach each afternoon
- Community service projects and green policies that protect the environment
- Crew Blue kids program, plus Crush for teens
What To Know
- A 10 percent service charge per stay will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Bring insect repellent
- Family-friendly destination
- This is a popular spot for weddings and receptions
- Departure tax must be paid before leaving Antigua
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Set along a white sand beach on a tranquil cove on Antigua’s southern shore, the Carlisle Bay blends tropical elegance and anticipatory service with a laid-back seaside tone — an enviable combination that’s been drawing celebs to its enormous ocean- and garden-facing suites from day one. Backed against gently sloping hills covered with tropical rain forest, the resort offers swish amenities — private balconies, a screening room and a spa and yoga pavilion — that mean you’re the superstar of your very own Caribbean fairy tale.
Bed and Bath
London’s Mary Fox Linton collaborated with owner Gordon Campbell Gray on the interior design of the resort’s 82 open-plan suites, which feature Frette linens, bespoke furniture, huge daybeds on each balcony and terrace, Gaggia espresso machines, fiber optic bedside reading lights and original black-and-white images by photographer Jason Taylor. All the conveniences one could want are here: free WiFi, overnight dry cleaning, well-stocked minibars, 24-hour room service and daily delivery of fresh fruit and chilled water.
Outdoors, the blue-green of the Caribbean is complemented by landscaped tropical gardens. Though the wide beach is the main attraction, there’s plenty to do. Along with fabulous treatments at the 17,000-square-foot Blue Spa — which uses Natura Bisse, a Spanish skincare line — there’s a private cinema that shows multiple films and major sporting events every day. Mere steps away, tour boats and dive boats depart from the private dock. Take a private tennis lesson with the resort’s pro, followed by a yoga session in the shade of a large outdoor pavilion. Afternoon tea, which often includes delectable freshly made shortbread, can be enjoyed on the beach, or just about anyplace you choose. And when dinnertime arrives, the Carlisle Bay offers plenty of choices. In addition to private meals on the jetty, in-room dining and the Pavilion Bar, there are great seafood and grilled dishes at Indigo on the Beach and contemporary Asian (think spicy tandoori fish and mango sorbet) at the stunning East, an Indonesian temple–style space accented by striking scarlet armchairs.
In the Area
Go off-road on inland paths, or kayak and birdwatch among the mangroves with Eco-Kayak Adventures. Tours include guide, equipment, beverages and transfers to/from the hotel. Scenesters should head to Shirley’s Heights for the local island sunset party held on Sundays, with live reggae and steel drum music, plus plenty of food and rummy drinks. Those looking for relaxation will enjoy some island therapy at the expansive Blue Spa, which uses Spain’s Natura Bisse product line, while active types can take to the water with the resort’s free snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking and sailing gear. Diving, waterskiing, deep sea fishing and kitesurfing can be arranged nearby. And if you’re looking to visit historic island sights, including Fort James, Devil’s Bridge and Nelson’s Dockyard, the resort can arrange a private tour at an additional cost.
How to Get There
We came to Carlisle Bay for our honeymoon. We were able to book on a pre-season deal in December and we were very satisfied with our stay. We would recommend the Carlisle to couples for a special occasion or anyone desiring a complete relaxing escape.
The second you enter Antigua, the Carlisle assures you are completely taken care of. We were greeted by Nicole at the airport and she expedited our process through customs, which we greatly appreciated.
At the Carlisle, you are greeted personally, given a welcome mock-tail and escorted to your room. The first time you see the grounds, you feel like you are in a travel magazine. The beach is perfectly manicured, the chairs are never an inch out of place and there is a calmness in the air that cannot be explained until you experience it. The level of service at this resort was far greater than any we had ever experienced. Everywhere you looked, staff was walking around to tend to guests and assure they were completely comfortable and had anything they needed or wanted. Our rooms were turned down each evening and at the pool or on the beach, staff gives you a fresh chair cover and a cooler of water anywhere you sit.
I read many positive reviews regarding the breakfast, these are all 100% accurate. The breakfast here is phenomenal and was probably one of our favorite parts of staying at the Carlisle.
The pizza at Ottimo is also very good, and is a nice change up from the fine dining options. I would suggest utilizing this option for lunch.
The hotel does a good job of organizing entertainment around the resort i.e live music at night, manager cocktail on Thursday, complimentary activities such as snorkeling and yoga. However, I still would not considered this resort a lively place for 30 somethings and this is solely due to that the majority of guests desire a calm stay. As with anything in life, your experience here is what you make it. There are many options available to you, and I believe the hotel does a great job of providing you those options and the means to explore. All we had to do was pick up the phone and press 0 and the concierge organized cabs and reservations for us all around the island. If you are younger and want a fun night out, head into English Harbor. Also, plan to stay later into the night at Shirley heights on Sunday. The reggae band is so much fun and worth the private taxi fare to enjoy the evening.
If you are looking to travel off the resort, request John Henry (Little John) as your taxi driver. He gave us so many wonderful tips and is truly an amazing person. We would have not had the same experience without him.
Also worth mentioning, after having taken a private boat trip around the island, we can say with confidence that the Carlisle is one of, if not the most beautiful stretch of beach the island has to offer. I would imagine guests from other resorts could be envious of Carlisle Bay and we were very happy we could call this beach home for our stay in Antigua.
Our stay at the Carlisle was a special trip we will remember forever. As one guest said to my husband - ‘now you’re in trouble, she will be spoiled forever after visiting here.’ This is truly the best way to explain the level of quality at the Carlisle. We are so happy we had the opportunity to experience Antigua through the luxury of Carlisle Bay. Thank you so much Carlisle Bay!
This hotel really does deserve it's place within the Leading Hotels of the World brand.
From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, nothing was too much trouble for the staff. The food was superb in all of the restaurants - we especially liked the Jetty Grill for lunch (the chicken wings and Fish Tacos were amazing).
The beach was beautiful and clean and the sun loungers super comfortable. To indicate the level of service you receive at this hotel, on numerous occasions when we returned from a swim, we found our sunbeds had been straightened and the towels folded. Also, we had read some reviews before we traveled saying that the beach service was poor. However, we had no issues during our stay. We tipped a small amount of Eastern Caribbean dollars each time we were served as we felt the staff worked hard and deserved it and whenever we wanted anything there was someone to help.
We stayed in an Ocean Suite which had fabulous views, was comfortable, clean and cool. On the last day we weren't flying until late evening so requested a late checkout. As our room was to be occupied immediately, we were given a beach front suite for the day at no extra cost which was an excellent gesture.
We were on the all inclusive package which worked well for us. We would only make two suggestions for improvement. The first is that at each restaurant we weren't sure if we should be signing a bill at the end of the meal. Sometimes we had to, sometimes we didn't. The same happened at the bars. I would certainly not suggest wristbands as a solution, but perhaps a card that you showed at the bars and restaurants indicating that you had purchased the all-inclusive option in advance could be a solution.
Secondly, when you are on the all-inclusive option you are limited to a small amount of wine selections. When the difference in the wine glass prices is $1 - $2 it seems very petty to limit your choices to a handful of wines. We would order a wine (say a Pinot Noir) and would be asked which one we would like - we then had to state the we were on the all-inclusive package so the one that was included in that. It seems very petty that this is the approach. I understand the cost differences between wines, but please make it easier for everyone. Average the price of all glasses of wine to say $12 and include them all on the all-inclusive option. Alternately, add a supplement. If I decide to drink an alternate wine and it costs $1 more, don't charge the full price of the glass + tax + service charge, just charge me the difference in price. It is important to understand that the clientele that the hotel is catering to are not your standard brash, greedy all inclusive crowd. I enjoy a couple of glasses of wine with dinner, as does my partner, and we enjoy matching wines with our food as part of our dining experience. By limiting the choice you are limiting the experience.
So will we be back? Absolutely. Would we choose the all-inclusive package again? If the issues above were addressed then yes, otherwise I think we would go down the pay as you go route.
But if you are reading this review as part of your decision making as to whether you should visit Carlisle Bay or not, rest assured that if you do you will certainly not be disappointed - we definitely weren't.
Good luck trying to get a refund on your room. We spent over £10,000 for 14 night stay and due to my husband rushed into hospital so we cant travel and no refund or partial refund. The other hotels on our trip and flights have given us full refunds....Disgusting level of service considering they are such an expensive hotel. I will not be staying here again or recommending it
Romantic location, wonderful beach, great food, very friendly staff. Don't go for the all-inclusive, it is way overprized - much cheaper to select your meals from the menue. you can order lunch at the beach at a reasonable prize. Some little itmes are a bit overprized, like a bottle of water (who needs expensive water from Italy?), but overall we enjoyed all meals.The rooms are really nice.
Just perfect: the watersports team! Take a hobie cat...
Carlisle Bay is a wonderful colonial style hotel.3 very good restaurants-we particularly liked the Jetty Grill on the beach.Great beach, lovely sea for swimming and excellent staff. The spa, gym and tennis courts are all excellent.
We stayed in a very spacious Ocean Suite although all the rooms looked good.
Not a brand new hotel but in very good condition.
Fantastic holiday and really appreciated Michael and his guest services.