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on a beach lodging choices: looking for recommendations

Boston
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on a beach lodging choices: looking for recommendations

I was able to secure flights to Antigua late March with flyer miles- yay! now, to decide where to stay. We're a 40ish couple who are not usually all-inclusive people, but we're not ruling out Sandals. Before I reserve at Sandals, I'd really like to know if anyone recommends a property on a beach (small resort? condo complex with pool?) which is walking distance to a few restaurants/shops/bars? from what I've read, we might need to be either near Dickenson Bay or Jolly Harbor? our budget leans towards "nicer" vs. cheap, and don't want to be dependent on having a car or taking taxi's out every night. Does anyone know of anything which meets this requirement? :-) Very much appreciate the info!

St. John's, Antigua
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1. Re: on a beach lodging choices: looking for recommendations

Jolly Harbour (South Finger) suits your needs best. The biggest advantage is that there's a major supermarket on site, Epicurean, where you can find all the necessary groceries if you're self catering.

The next biggest advantage of Jolly Harbour is that the bus system from there runs frequently and is easily accessible, something which isn't really available at the Dickenson Bay Area, as DB isn't on a bus route. This allows you to access the third biggest advantage of the Jolly Harbour area, which is a number of easily accessible beaches (Vallley Church, Ffryes, Darkwood, Turners) right along the bus route.

There are also more dining options at Jolly Harbour.

You have a couple of options: You can go AI at Jolly Beach resort, OR you can do room only and enjoy any of the decent dining in the area. You could also do Tranquility Bay, which is on the beach, an all suite property that has self catering facilities, although you also have a choice of doing AI with them as well.

There's also dozens of properties rented out on the South Finger, many starting from $100 US per night, through agencies such as Typically Tropical Villas. Or you can bargain directly with owners on sites like VRBO or Homeaway.

Personally I would go with Tranquility Bay, as you have all the facilities of the much larger Jolly Beach, slightly better rooms, some self catering facilities (although I'm not sure if this includes a full oven!) and the choice of AI or self catering.

UK/Antigua
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2. Re: on a beach lodging choices: looking for recommendations

I'd agree about Jolly Harbour, where the villas are at least on the water, and I think these are better than Tranquility Bay, which always feels a bit dark and gloomy to me because of the location on the edge of the large Jolly Beach Resort. Neither is directly on the beach though - and most of Tranquility doesn't have even a sea view. The villas at Jolly are lighter and more spacious and very good value. Most are privately owned rather than timeshare and some are really very nicely appointed.

In March, however, you have lots of great options as the whole island is lively. I think I'd look at Buccaneer Beach Club - http://www.buccaneerbeach.com/ - which is right on the beach at Buccaneer - right next to Dickenson Bay, so plenty of options for eating etc. There's a small superette nearby and a large supermarket just a couple of minutes' drive away.

You might also consider English Harbour, which is at its best in the spring with the yachts (and yachtsmen) in town. Lots of great restaurants and nightlife, which you can dip into as much or as little as you wish. For a smaller, more intimate (and cheaper) option, I love the Catamaran Hotel - http://www.catamaran-antigua.com/ but if you were considering something in the Sandals price range and are prepared to consider AI, do also look at the lovely Inn at English Harbour - http://theinnantigua.com/

Boston
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3. Re: on a beach lodging choices: looking for recommendations

Thank you! Appears there is availability at all the places you've both mentioned. Time to dig deeper and make a decision! Can't wait to escape this polar vortex!!

4. Re: on a beach lodging choices: looking for recommendations

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