My husband and I did a "last minute" getaway vacation with only about 10 days' notice. We were tired of the cold and snow and wanted to find somewhere that had a short (4 hour) direct flight and warm sunny beaches to recharge our batteries! We had never been to Antigua before and chose this island and, thankfully, we chose Blue Waters.
Everything about Blue Waters is absolutely fantastic - and I am usually very picky. From my initial contact with the staff in the UK prior to booking, through booking, arrival, and departure; everyone was kind, courteous, and genuine. I read the negative reviews on TA and I don't know where those people stayed, because it certainly wasn't Blue Waters.
We arrived several hours before check-in and, yet, were greeted warmly with smiles, cold towels, and a delicious rum punch along with a personal welcome from the General Manager, Anderson Howard.
After a brief chat and finishing our drinks, we were taken to our room by Mark. Mark took the time to walk slowly and show us around the resort and point out almost everything we would need for our stay there before we got to our room. That is a really nice touch!
We arrived at Pelican House #602 and were blown away by our suite, our pool, the views, and the access to a private beach. Within a few minutes of Mark's departure, our concierge, Karen arrived to make sure we were settling in, checking to see if we needed anything; and to find out what dinner arrangements we wanted her to make for us (we did not do the AI plan). We explained what restaurants we were looking to go to on what dates and what times. As we were chatting with Karen, room service arrived with a bottle of chilled wine that I had ordered as a special surprise for my husband.
After unwinding for a bit, we decided to let the wine chill and roam about the property. We had been up since 3 a.m. and it was about 1 p.m. as we walked by the Palms Restaurant Saturday BBQ buffet. It smelled wonderful, we were tired and hungry, so we decided to have lunch onsite rather than going out. Lunch was very nice. Fresh grilled fishes, chicken, ribs, burgers, and hot dogs along with a complete buffet of sides, salads, and desserts. The buffet was $30 US per person which I thought was fine.
The rest of the day we spent relaxing by the pool and on the beach. Since we had our own pool at Pelican House, we didn't use the others, but they all seemed fine. To me, the adult only pool never seemed to get any use. The private beach access was wonderful and there were never more than 3 or 4 couples at any time on our beach. All the beaches and pools were well kept. The grounds of the entire resort were pristine and all the staff go out of their way to keep it so.
The onsite gym was large, clean, and very well equipped. Every morning (7 a.m.) it was almost close to full which says alot since most resort gyms aren't always so great.
The breakfast is wonderful with a ton of choices both hot and cold. Eggs are cooked to order however you like. The staff is very attentive because one of the girls saw me picking through the bacon (I like mine crisp to almost burnt) and there wasn't any, so I skipped it and made other selections. Within 5 minutes she brought a plate of very crisp bacon out to me - I had never complained or asked!!
The afternoon tea was great with a nice variety of selections (tea, coffee, iced teas, iced coffees, or virtually anything you wanted) and were accompanied by great little sandwiches, sweets, and fresh baked cookies. This was a great way to tide you over if you were planning a late dinner.
For lunch we only ate here once (as mentioned before) and we went out each night for dinner (Le Bistro, La Bussola, Cecilia's, Catherine's, and Coconut Grove). The only dinner we had onsite was The Cove, which was fabulous! We orginally had reservations for 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. and both Nian (awesome Nian) at the tours desk and Andy (general manager) recommended we change to an early reservation (6:30) to be able to have a waterfront table and watch the sun set. We took their advice and it was well worth it. We arrived around 6:15 and enjoyed a cocktail with the sunset, then began a memorable dinner. We were never rushed. The food was delicious and prepared beautifully - hint - leave room for the banana crepes!!! YUM!
Blue Waters has just hired a brand new Chef who had only been there for 2 or 3 weeks when we arrived - He is classically trained and worked for Gordon Ramsey. We met him several times during our stay as he circulates during breakfast, lunch, and dinner to chat with the guests and get feedback - he is changing things (albeit slowly) but you can already see the differences.
The staff are attentive, yes service may be a little slower than you are used to in the States, but that is island living and island time. Slower does not mean inattentive or poor at their job. Upper Management is very hands-on and visible on a daily basis. Each and every day we saw Andy Howard (General Manager) interacting with the guests and staff in a quiet, but effective way.
Since all the non-motorized watersports are included, we learned to sail while we were there. The guys down at the water shop (Brian and Dave) were great to work with and made us feel very comfortable. After our first lesson, we went sailing every day!
I had a list of activities, sights to see, and tours to take while visiting Antigua - NONE of them got done! This statement truly says alot about how remarkable Blue Waters is - as we are not the type to sit around and do nothing, which is exactly what we did for the first time EVER. To be fair, "nothing" included the pool, the beach, the views, sailing, and drinks!
My husband and I have been traveling together for 26 years and normally go away twice a year. We have been to most Carribean islands and all over Europe. This is the first time that my husband had ever said, "I would like to come back here - soon!"
Thanks to everyone at Blue Waters (even those I forgot to mention) for a wonderful holiday - and, I know, we will be back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in the North West Corner of Antigua where crystal clear waters lap onto secluded white sand beaches, Blue Waters Resort offers an island paradise. From your personal welcome, complete with cooled scented towel and rum punch, you will realise you are our valued guest. Featuring small secluded beach coves, seven freshwater pools and 17 acres of lush tropical gardens, Blue Waters provides the ideal setting for relaxing days by the pool or on the beach, cocktail in hand, or for reading a good book in the shade of the swaying palm trees. Having gently evolved and constantly improved over 50 years we offer a range of luxuriously appointed rooms to meet the needs of our guests, from hillside rooms in a garden setting to beachside rooms with renowned spectacular ocean views. For the more active guest we offer complimentary watersports, tennis and a newly refurbished gym. Our recently opened Elemis Spa and Hair Salon with its stunning ocean views provides a perfect setting for a pampering treatment or as part of a wedding package. Finish the day off dining at one of our 3 restaurants, each with a different ambience to suit your mood. Our staff is ready and waiting to welcome you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Blue Waters Antigua Hotel St. John`s
- Blue Waters St Johns
- Hotel Blue Waters
- Blue Waters Hotel Antigua
- Blue Waters Antigua Saint John Parish