What to expect
- Sleep Quality
Last 5 reviews
Our returning visit
We had not been away since February and when we looked at our options to replace our planned trip to Borneo and Malaysia , Antigua was the bets option. Until December 21 Carlisle Bay were doing a special half board offer and as we had been there before we booked 11 nights in a beachfront suite..after that date the price goes up to around £1600 a night when we moved to Sandals( see my review). It was so relaxing to return to Carlisle Bay which has a stunning setting and stay in a room just steps away from the beach . Our first few days were very quiet but as more people came to take up with offer it did get busier but there was always room on the beach..even if you had to get up by 6 am to get your preferred spot in front of your suite...not what I would expect from a five star hotel. I would have been mortified at spending £1600 a night to have to get up at 6 am to reserve my spot! After talking to the manager he told me that he would be setting up a new system where your seats were allocated to your suite. A very good idea ! Those chairs were very comfortable and a cooler box with water was provided too. Our suite was lovely with a gorgeous comfortable seating area, fabulous bed with top notch linens, and a bathroom with separate shower , bath, toilet. The terrace also had comfortable seating plus table and chairs. There was an ant problem but spray was provided and I did get bitten a lot by bugs. An ice bucket was provided in the room but by the time we used it most of the ice had melted and at times it took a while and a few phone calls to get more ice. This is quite common in the Caribbean and we call it Caribbean service. The gym was well equipped and there are plenty of tennis courts ,although many were not in great condition, and need repairing. However we took part in a tennis tournament and a short tennis clinic. There was also a hike arranged up Mount Obama which was tough, especially as it poured with rain at the top making the descent slippery. We also went out in the Hobie cat with a staff member and there were other water sports available . There are four restaurants...East, Indigo, The Jetty, and Ottimo... which you have to book in advance. East was the best and Ottimo the worst. Indigo is also used for breakfast where there is a buffet where staff serve you plus an a la carte menu. The food was on the whole good, especially in East and staff were very helpful if there were any problems.However the food was not up to the standard I would expect from a hotel charging £1600 a night after December 21. A complimentary afternoon tea served on the beach or to your room was lovely with sandwiches, scones and pastries. As far as cleanliness was concerned we were very happy with the efforts taken, with sanitiser at the entrance to restaurants and masks encouraged every time you went to speak to a staff member at the front desk who were all wearing masks. This hotel is situated in a lovely bay and is very relaxing. Our second visit was so welcome and it begun what ended up being a great start to our 32 night stay on the island.
Amazing Stay Best Hotel on the Island
This was the first time we stayed at Carlisle Bay, and what an amazing experience. The staff could not do enough for us, the Manager Brian was extremely professional yet very warm and friendly. I have read the last review regarding COVID, i cannot disagree enough! Every staff had masks on, there were sanitiser stations everywhere, you wasn’t allowed in the restaurants until you sanitised, so I’m unsure that this traveller was staying at the same hotel as myself. The East restaurant was of high quality and a pleasant surprise to be eating Asian food in the middle of the Caribbean, and with the views in the "Jetty" restaurant being so beautiful, we were spoilt for choice. With the help of the children’s club, ( which was free) my children had the best holiday. My only small criticism was that the pool was not heated. This was our first time in Antigua, but certainly not our last, and it will not be our one and only stay at Carlisle Bay Thank you Brian & all your staff
Carlisle Bay — COVID Protocols
I have been staying at this hotel after spending a few weeks on the island and sailing around Antigua and Barbuda. The hotel is nice—the rooms are spacious and they face the beach, so it’s lovely to be able to walk right out onto the sand from your room. The pool area is also great. My main concern is the total disregard that staff have shown for COVID protocols. Wherever you go at this hotel—the restaurants, the pool, the check-in area, the beach or the gym, staff are either not wearing masks or wearing them around their chins or under their noses. Even when multiple staff come to your room for room service or maintenance reasons, they don’t wear masks, and typically take offense if you ask them to put on masks. This morning at the gym, an instructor told a guest to remove her mask while exercising to make their workout session more enjoyable, even though there were other guests in the gym, all wearing masks—and all quite concerned about what the instructor was doing. Antigua was doing so well in handling the pandemic, and my experience on the island has been great so far, with most people taking great care to socially distance and observe mask protocols. But I see that case numbers have almost quadrupled In the last few weeks, and it’s really sad to see.
So many better options in the Caribbean
We stayed in an Ocean Suite for 7 nights on a half board basis in December. We were distinctly underwhelmed by Carlisle Bay and struggle to reconcile our experience with comments received in some of the more favourable reviews here of the hotel. Considering the positives, Carlisle Bay has a glorious setting with tremendous views over a beautiful cove. Rooms are comfortable (but not exciting) and there are some nice touches, like the cool boxes with water delivered each day to the beach. In spite of the number of restaurants at the hotel, the standard of food was pretty low across the board. Indigo was particularly hit and miss. Menus didn't change or reflect seasonality and often focused on number of dishes offered rather than quality of execution. Do not come here expecting food akin to what is offered by the better establishments in Barbados - you will be sorely disappointed. But worse than the food was the service. Indifferent and slow seemed to be the order of the day - this was evidenced on issues ranigng from ordering an ice bucket or asking for a breakdown of the room charges to clearing an ant infestation in our room or asking for a replacement hairdryer. The addition of 24% combined for tax and service becomes rather irritating when there is simply no standard of service. Additionally, it was irritating to be reminded on several occasions that we needed to pay for our drinks when we placed orders - as if we would abscond when presented with the bill! Regrettably the hotel seems to be suffering from chronic underinvestment with much of the decor and many of the services now looking rather tired. As an example, almost all of the tennis courts are in very poor state of repair and there was no AC working when we visited the gym. Our room was comfortable, but certainly in need of some smartening up to bring it to the standard expected for a hotel of this class. So many better options in the Caribbean!
First and only oversea trip in 2020
We booked this hotel and timed it just after a UK gov lockdown lift. Luckily we managed to go! For someone travel 3,4 times overseas each year, 2020 to me is unusual and I did not realise how much I need a break from work until I sit at the lobby on arrival. The manager Bryan introduced himself to us upon arrival which I thought was also not common as managers normally try to hide away from guests. But Bryan made himself fairly available to guests and ensure they are all taken care, which is quite nice. We enjoyed the stay - all aspects are up to my 5 stars expectations. I only want to mention to the readers that the sea at this hotel is not classic Caribbean’s turquoise blue. It’s slightly darker and deeper because it’s distance to the volcano and volcano ashes normally make sea colour much darker like we saw in most Greek island and also Bali. Specially thanks to Tony who kindly sort out all our issues reported to him extremely promptly. We will be back as we think we are in good hands here. Water sports team also made everything they can to provide all guests with fun and safe experience. Nothing is much bother to them and all the promised items are free as marked by the hotel website. We did not have any occasion where reported by other reviewers on charging life jacket etc. Guests wide all sophisticated and quite a few large families with kids we noticed. A lot of retuning guests also. We would recommend you rent a car to drive around the island and see more beaches and the surrounding areas. Overall - a successor lockdown escape and thank you for everything.
© TripAdvisor 2021
These reviews are the subjective opinions of individual travellers and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.