The house was amazing. Clean, spacious, private and fully stocked with all the essentials. We had two families...8 people total & there was more than enough room for all of us. The pool was one of the highlights of the week.....it was an 11 on a scale of 1-10. We recommend renting a car....unless you are a hiker. The walk to & back to the store/beach/restaurants was exhausting for some of the group. Valley Church beach was our favorite beach (& the closest). We will definitely book Cactus for a return trip.
We recently had an excellent time staying at Cactus House. There were seven of us from the UK ranging in age from 11 to 68. (Me, wife, two daughters, one son-in-law, two grandchildren).
The photographs and description give you the details of the property so I won't repeat them here. What they don't really do is highlight the attention to detail that makes this property stand out. This is both in the property itself and in the contacts. From being picked up at the airport to being delivered back nothing was too much trouble for the people that support you during your stay.
On our arrival at Cactus and we found it be spotless and well equipped. There are lots of different spaces (upstairs/outside/inside/pool/...) so you could congregate and share time together or find somewhere to sit quietly.
The grand children (and adults) really enjoyed the pool which was large enough to be able swim more than a few strokes; something that's sometimes difficult to judge from the photographs. Also the in-pool lights enhanced any nighttime dip in the pool - which the kids found "cool".
For our stay we managed quite happily without a hire car. This was partly because the US side of our family (10 people) rented a Villa down on the beach and so a fair amount of the time was spent locally cementing UK/US relations! Early on we did a large shop and had a taxi back to Cactus but thereafter managed to carry stuff back when required. The only downside with that was carrying back the occasional 5L bottle of water - I assume due to the recent hurricane affecting the mains supply which meant that the mains water was fine for cleaning teeth but not for drinking.
At this time of year (February) we had no real problem with mozzies. We (the older generation) managed quite happily with just the fan in our bedroom and didn't bother with the a/c.
My grandaughter enjoyed the odd "Death in Paradise" style chat with the small lizards that appeared from time-to-time.
Another example of the attention to detail was the provision of a local pay-as-you-go mobile phone which was preprogrammed with various numbers you might need such as Hazel (Manager) and Lava (Taxi). To me a great plus was the local information provided by Roger, especially things like the taxi (Lava) where you knew you'd get excellent service at a reasonable price. (I've paid exorbitant prices in a previous visit to Antigua).
It was less than 15 minutes to get to Valley Church Beach and maybe 25 minutes down to the beach near Castaways. Obviously a little longer to get back due to the final bit of "uphill" to get back to Cactus House - but you have to pay a small penalty for the wonderful views. I guess those with mobility problems might have to think carefully about this. (One optimistic taxi driver attempted to get his fully loaded taxi right up to the front door but had to abandon his efforts due to the very steep drive).
I found Roger (the owner) both helpful and responsive to queries over details of the rental before the event. If our future plans ever take us back to Antigua, renting Cactus House again would be at the top of our list.
Located only 15 leisurely minutes from the beaches bars and restaurants of Jolly Harbour. This sizeable villa sleeps 8 with perfect comfort , the bedrooms are large and all have ensuite's , the kitchen and lounge are very large and well equipped. The infinity pool with coloured lighting is fantastic. Roger the owner and his staff are
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Cactus! If you are on the fence about renting this home, stop worrying and book, you will not be disappointed!
I rented Cactus house for 1 week in November. We had 8 total guests whose ages ranged from 30-45. This house was perfect for this type of group. When you see Cactus house for the first time from the road it knocks you off your feet. Cactus sits majestically on a hill overlooking Jolly Harbor and the Caribbean. The views from the house will never stop surprising you. Every morning at Cactus we would wake up, sit out on the terrace with a cup of coffee wondering how we got to be so lucky in finding this house.
The house has 4 bedrooms, two with queen beds and the other two with twin beds that can be pushed together to make 1 larger bed. All the bedrooms are on the first level of the house (same floor as the pool). Each bedroom has it's own air conditioning unit and private bathroom. This made for a great experience for sleeping arrangements that included some privacy. The top level of the house includes a large living room and indoor dining area, a very modern kitchen, and a large wrap around terrace. The terrace had a large dining table, couches and chairs, a smaller table, and a BBQ grill. We spent most of our time enjoying the upstairs terrace. The breeze is incredible and the views never stop surprising you. Long nights drinking English Harbour, playing board games, and listening to music with friends at Cactus house made my 30th birthday celebration unforgettable.
Beyond all of the houses' amenities I would like to mention that the service at Cactus was above and beyond. I am a very detailed planner and I had many questions for Roger before and during our stay at Cactus. Roger was incredibly patient with me, detailed, and followed up to make sure I had exactly what I needed. Hazel was professional, courteous, and so kind! Roger and Hazel helped me plan my birthday celebration after a Catamaran cruise canceled last minute on me! They made calls and referrals and I cannot thank them enough for this!
There are a few tips I would like to give other travelers.
1. Bring tennis shoes! The hike up to Cactus from the road is tough, if you have hips, knees, or ankle issues make sure you wear appropriate footwear so you don't get hurt.
2. Bring or buy bug spray. The mosquitoes are not bad at Cactus but during the evening you will need bug spray.
3. Stop by the store in Jolly Harbor and pick up toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap and laundry detergent. There will be a little when you arrive at Cactus but you will run out quickly.
4. Take LOTS of pictures and videos. Your time at Cactus will go by very quickly and you will want to remember this slice of heaven!
Thank you again to Roger for a spectacular vacation!
We've just returned from a 12 night stay at Cactus House and Wow! A beautiful property, Cactus House lives up to it's description, photographs and many positive reviews. As a party of seven (myself, husband, our two grown up daughters and their partners and our 15 year old son) the accommodation was perfect, four bedrooms all with en-suite, well spaced out across the ground floor of the property, upstairs a huge open area with lounge, dining area and kitchen and a very large verandah to the side and front of the property overlooking the pool and the view ... oh the view!!! There was plenty of space for everyone to spread around but we found ourselves always migrating to the verandah just gazing across the picture perfect landscape, taking in the beautiful bay and the watching the sun set right in front of us. The infinity pool was something else, a perfect size, silky water, a light show at night and the same views as from the verandah - so hard to get out of! The location was also perfect for us, we could walk to various local restaurants (Miracles is superb for local food), the supermarket, harbour and 4 different beaches (our favourite was Valley Church). The driver who collected us from the airport was a lovely guy and a proud Antiguan (Big Lava). We hired him to take us on a few trips across the island during our stay, he was a superb guide and knew everyone! Hazel, who looks after the house, was equally lovely and even bought a birthday cake for our daughter who celebrated her 30th birthday while we were there (the purpose of our trip!), so thoughtful. We found Antigua to be a wonderful island, the landscape, the people, the climate, the food ...... we all rated this trip as our best ever holiday ..... the only negative thing, having to leave !!
Once again a lovely stay in our favourite island. The house is spectacular with commanding views over Jolly Harbour.
You need to be fit to walk from the supermarket with shopping as the hill and steps are significant. More than worth the effort though to stay in such a lovely villa. Roger has thought of almost everything.
Everything except a lavatory on the top floor that is! [Could put one on the barbeque deck Roger even if it meant using a "Saniflow" which could pump down to connect with the pool loo waste by running along the edge of the deck. Did the architect on holiday get bored....?]
After a while though one's legs get used to the hike!
The pool is beautiful with fantastic views from the water.
The bedrooms are really palatial and well equipped.
The local taxi guys are great and would make sure we had a cab whenever the temperature and humidity was too much for us to hike up and down to and from the harbour. Cheap as chips too. Excellent.
The photos of the Cactus villa don't lie. It looks just like that! Gorgeous, spacious, and the pool deck is something to behold. It was so nice, we joked that we just wanted to stay at the house! You definitely need to go grocery shopping when you arrive, but a great store is just a short drive away.
Speaking of driving, we rented a small vehicle from Sunny Rentals (highly recommended) and the little car had a tough time getting up that driveway (even when dry!). It's tricky if you want to part next to the house. I highly suggest a 4x4 rental for driving in Antigua (nasty speed bumps will scrape the bottom of the small cars!). We never attempted to walk to the beach or to stores from the villa. Just too far in the June heat. But when we did do the beach (bring your own towels! Villa doesn't supply beach towels), we frequented the closest (and best) one: Church Valley. We had the beach to ourselves one day (it's off-season in June) yet the bar/restaurant was open and did a great job (rentals, etc., they had it all). This beach has facilities...a must! The villa is close to the harbour, and lots of restaurants. Mayday and Al Porto were excellent, to name a few.
A few notes on the Cactus villa that you should know: the pool deck on the floor where all the bedrooms are, two of which open right out to the pool. The bedrooms have A/C. The floor above (kitchen, family room) does not have A/C. It gets quite hot when you close all the doors. Upon each return, we'd immediately opened all the double doors on that floor and the wonderful breeze cooled that area well. The veranda was one of our favorite spots for chilling out during the hot daytime (we're all fair-skinned) and in the mornings for breakfast. Views are stunning and birds would often visit.
There are lots of DVDs near the TV that kids would like. A nice collection of books are there as well. Kitchen was awesome, but you need to keep things spotless. Otherwise, ants will arrive. No dirty dishes or food should be left out. We had zip-lock bags for particularly opened snacks, etc., and that worked well.
If we return to Antigua, no doubt this is where we would want to stay again..best side of the island. We felt like rich folks on that hillside! Everyone associated with this villa have been a pleasure to work with: from reserving it to preparing for our arrival...from Lava (our driver) to Hazel (property manager) to Roger the owner...all were awesome. We didn't see housekeeping, but they did a great job before we got there. Roger: you've got a gem here and I hope it stays as gorgeous as it was this June.