Jumby Bay Resort – All Inclusive
What We Love
- Jetsetter 2015 Best of the Best Finalist: Best on the Beach
- Free ferry service to and from Antigua from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. (and even later by request)
- Both pools and the stretch of sugar-sand beach fronting the resort are serviced by cocktail waiters
- The weekly White Night beach party (yes, everyone dons ivory) where you can nosh on barbecued seafood and chill around a bonfire listening to a steel drum band
- From June through November, endangered hawksbill sea turtles lay their eggs on Pasture Bay Beach, and you can sign up to watch them at night
What To Know
- You have to cruise over to Antigua for non-hotel restaurants and bars
- Kids of all ages are welcomed and accommodated with children’s menus in restaurants and fun camp-style activities
- The resort shares the island with around 30 privately owned villas, many of which can be rented if you’re traveling with pals
- Prices are all-inclusive, though there’s an extra charge for airport transfers and room service
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Room Service
The sand and sea aren’t technically part of the decor, but they may as well be, as nature is a focal point of Jumby Bay. The resort pays homage to its dreamy surroundings with breezy indoor-outdoor spaces, stone floors that feel cool underfoot, and teak and rattan furniture topped with comfy cushions that invite you to relax. From the main pool area, bikable pathways (easily navigated on yours-for-your-stay Caloi beach cruisers) wind between lush landscaping toward rooms and suites tucked into secluded corners of the property.
Bed and Bath
Mahogany four-poster beds carved with a pineapple motif are situated beneath high vaulted ceilings that keep the guestrooms cool. Bathrooms are the real showstoppers, with his-and-hers stone sinks on black granite countertops, big bottles of Lady Primrose products and a courtyard where outdoor showers let you experience the thrill of sudsing up under the sky. Some rooms also feature deep soaking tubs you can lose whole evenings to, a wraparound terrace strung with a hammock, or a private infinity pool.
Spend your days bouncing between the pair of pools (one’s a 25-meter lap pool; the other, a luxurious infinity) or commandeer a lounge chair under a palm frond-roofed palapa on the beach. It’s entirely possible to be horizontal all day long, but water sports — waterskiing, windsurfing, kayaking — await adrenaline seekers. Rates are all-inclusive, and the three on-site dining options include the casual beachside Verandah and the Pool Grille (think sandwiches, salads, pastas), plus Jumby’s signature restaurant, the Estate House, which is in an 1830s sugarcane plantation manse and where such dishes as salt-crusted locally caught snapper are served alfresco. Dinner should end with a nightcap (or begin with an aperitif) at the Estate House Bar, upstairs, which has a louche, British-colonial feel, with palms painted on the walls and rattan fans lazily swirling the air around.
In the Area
On-island diversions include three miles of bike trails and a handful of pristine beaches, from pocket coves to the long stretch of sand at Pasture Bay (where the resort will hook you up with a picnic of goodies such as poached salmon and heirloom tomato salad — just ask). Itching to get off campus? Hop on the ferry over to Antigua to be schooled in British naval history at the excellently preserved Nelson’s Dockyard, try on a few of the 365 beaches for size (yes, they say there’s one for every day of the year), and head up to the Shirley Heights Lookout for a Sunday night party where people line up for plates of jerk chicken and barbecued seafood, then let loose to live reggae and soca bands, Wadadli lager in hand. If there’s one night to go off your all-inclusive food plan, this would be it.
How to Get There
We had a nice time at Jumby Bay, however to compare this resort to other 5 star properties in the Caribbean at similar price point is ridiculous.
ROOMS: I need to start by saying the Rondavel rooms are shocking. I actually have second-hand embarrassment for Oetker that they even offer these rooms (and for over $1500 a night). They are old, dark, in disrepair and are scattered throughout the lawn like some sort of campground. I was actually told that they would be bulldozing these sometime in the near future - AVOID AT ALL COSTS. We were then moved to a beachside suite which was a MAJOR improvement. These rooms felt more like an upscale Marriott, but not complaining as we were thrilled to have escaped the Rondavel rooms.
SERVICE: The staff were very friendly and kind. That being said, it did not feel like 5 star service. Beach service was lacking, even after pressing call button it was normally at least a 45min wait to place an order. I believe beach service didn't start until 11am (don't event try ordering food before then - you will be told no). There were other minor issues...just things that wouldn't occur at other 5 star properties.
The island is pretty, the vibe is casual and relaxing, food is good, weather is great? I think Oetker has a lot of work to do...starting with the demolition of the Rondavel rooms (still can't believe these are an option). For the same price you're much better off saying at an Aman, Mandarin Oriental Canouan, or any other 5 star hotel really...
One of the most relaxing vacations we have taken. Food at the main house was amazing and the Sunday white beach BBQ so lovely. The staff could teach other venues about hospitality, they were the best I’ve experienced. Starfish in the water just off shore, sea turtle hatchery, garden and sheep......
Love this place
We came here directly from 5 days at Sandy Lane in Barbados so our expectations were high. The staff were all really lovely - a big thank you to Ashakee who served us during breakfast and made us feel as if we were the only guests in the resort, and also to Doreen on the beach who was absolutely delightful. Nothing was too much bother.
Neither of us are big drinkers so I think an all-inclusive resort (which we have never done before) is wasted on us. We had a glass of wine with our evening meal, but if you are into it you can have whatever you want all day long, including Tattinger champagne. The food was generally delicious and we ate in the main house twice, as well as the veranda which is a beautifully decorated beachside chill-out area/ restaurant.
We made good use of the gym, and we also cycled around the island....it doesn't take very long! A few days was more than enough for us as we like to explore and get out.
Only one thing was a disappointment overall - we stayed in a Rondaval and it felt tired and outdated, especially the bathroom area. No plugs by your beds and the wardrobes seemed antique, for all the wrong reasons. For 4700 USD for 2 nights (for an entry level room!) I was expecting a much more luxurious room.
Located just off the eastern (windward) side of Antigua just a short car then boat ride to this island resort from the airport. It was not clear to us before arrival that we would only have access to just two of the islands beaches as the rest were exclusively for the villa owners use. Also, the resort occupies just 25% of the island.
We had a beachside villa but although adequate, was a little grubby in places and would not compare to say the similar priced suites at Sandy Lane. We felt 4 star at best on this front.
The main beach was super as was the attention from the myriad of attendants there to look after you.
Our concerns over previous bad experiences with fully inclusive holidays were justified as we felt that being trapped in the resort & having effectively paid in advance for every meal, then the standard fell well short of what you might expect from somewhere with competition from local restaurants.
On many occasions our orders arrived incorrect. We had to ensure the order was written down to be in with a chance of the waiter getting it right.
We only saw the manager in one evening during which he was hosting a large table of travel reps in the restaurant.
Overall I’d say overpriced and better experience can be had staying in St James, Barbados with a plethora of good restaurants, good beaches & the whole island to explore.
It really is a different level when you compare it to other hotels in the Caribbean. Will 100% be going back next year. Just returned from a disappointing trip to Sugar Beach in St Lucia, lesson learnt...Jumby Bay is the only choice!