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“Second Trip”

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Antigua's Yepton Estate Cottages
Certificate of Excellence
Potter, Nebraska
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Second Trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2014

Paradise and relaxation await in Antigua. We have enjoyed two trips in as many years and wouldn't have loved our adventures near as much without staying at Yepton Estates Cottages. Douglas and Gabriela have created a wonderful oasis and provide excellent services to introduce you to the island. The private cottages offer a comfortable base as you enjoy time on the island. The kitchenette is well equipped and we loved grilling and eating on the porch. We spent our days exploring old forts, doing a bit of sailing and enjoying the many beaches Antigua has to offer. We are already planning our next trip and will be sure to book "our" cottage with Gabriela again.

Room Tip: We stayed in a studio cottage and loved the view. Other larger cottages are available but this one...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Valerie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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365 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Ringwood, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2014

Firstly, a thank you to Gabi and Douglas for looking after us. They really did make us feel welcome and were always there for us but in the most unobtrusive way. Both have a fantastic knowledge and much experience of Antigua and are lovely people to talk with. Big hugs to you both.

The cottages are ideally situated: 2 beaches are within a short walking distance as are 2 hotels where you can dine if you don't feel like cooking (more of that later). The town of St John's is a 10 minute drive away. Yepton is an idyllic haven, which we found to be private, peaceful and beautiful. A small pool (think plunge pool to cool off, rather than swimming lengths) surrounded by decking and sun beds provides a quiet communal area overlooking the lagoon, where you can watch the many Pelicans diving from great heights and Great Egrets standing motionless by the water's edge. There is plenty of shade, if needed, and a public hammock.

There are currently 6 cottages with 5 in use. Cottages 1 and 6 are one bedroomed and face the brackish lagoon (which doesn't encourage mosquitoes). Cottage 3 also has a separate bedroom and provides disabled access in terms of a ramp and additional room to manoeuvre. Each cottage has a quality outside barbecue / grill and some have private hammocks. All cottages are well equipped for self catering including microwave, oven / hob, fridge freezer and all the cutlery and crockery you could wish for. We had the benefit of a toaster, blender, coffee percolator, cool box and food processor. I suspect these items are included as standard for all cottages but cannot confirm.

We had cottage number 2, which is a studio (along with number 5). It suited our needs perfectly. It was light and airy with plenty of ventilation and a quiet air conditioning unit that worked well. The bathroom included a walk in shower with a lovely 'deluge' shower head. The Super King sized bed was so comfortable and would have been a struggle to emerge from if the surroundings hadn't been so lovely. The cottage was cleaned and the bed sheets changed every 4th day by Sharon, the friendly maid.

Although we went out often, some days were spent sitting on the cottage veranda reading, in between feeding birds crumbs from the palm of my hand and sneaking Freddy the dog a sausage from the fridge (the dogs aren't usually allowed in the cottage area but we are dog lovers and liked the odd visit from Freddy, Emma and Polly). Some evenings we used the BBQ and enjoyed watching the fireflies light up as they flew amongst the bushes.

Shortly after our arrival Gabi took us to the Epicurean supermarket. This was a great help as we did not have a car, initially; this took the pressure off somewhat as we could gather some supplies after our journey. We like to try new things but I appreciate that people like their home comforts; if you need your Waitrose or Sainsbury's fix, Epicurean is the place for you. The trip was much appreciated as it gave us the chance to get to know the lie of the land and to find out about some quirks of St John's, including where to dine, shop and park, amongst other things. This is just one example of the thought that Gabi and Douglas put into your stay and how they go out of their way to ensure that you can relax while on holiday.

The setting, quality of the cottages and the help we received from Gabi and Douglas made for a perfect holiday. We felt so relaxed with the only issue being the fact that we had to leave. I suspect at some point we will struggle with the guilt associated with wanting to return to the same place when there are so many other places in the world to see. Thank you again Gabi and Douglas.

Some additional info:

Weather
We visited in late January 2014. The temperature ranged from around 26-30c during the day and rarely reached below 23 at night. Be prepared for the occasional sea squall, which may produce a deluge of epic proportions, only to blow away within 5 minutes or so.

Local Vicinity
The Coconut Grove Hotel is a 5 minute walk away and they do not mind Yepton guests accessing their beach or bar (drinks are $6 for a 330ml beer or strong cocktail); however, this should not be taken for granted - asking permission at reception is polite. The beach is slightly less sheltered as it faces North but was calm when we were there. You can dine for $45 per person. This is very reasonable as it includes pre/post dinner drinks at the beach bar and wine with your meal. There doesn't appear to be a start / end time to this arrangement so one might have to be careful not to abuse the privilege. Sunday is BBQ/buffet night with a steel band for entertainment. The BBQ was enjoyable but don't set your expectations too high. We went for dinner on another occasion and selected from the menu. the food quality was very good but with small portions. Still, well worth the money.

The Grand Royal Antiguan Hotel gate is a 2 minute walk from the cottage; however, it's a 10 minute brisk walk through the grounds to the lovely, sheltered, deserted, half mile long Deep Bay beach.
This hotel is strange - although manned by security, and with an oppulent reception / restaurant area, the hotel is in need of some attention. There are very few guests populating the 200+ rooms and the stand alone apartments have been left unattended, as have some of the grounds. There is evidence of maintenance but with a 'skeleton crew' air. Previous references to this hotel and similarities to the one in the film 'The Shining' are not far wrong. Don't be put off by security at the gate; just walk on through and if questioned either say that you are going to have a drink with Patsy at the beach bar (lovely lady, been there 18 years) and talk to Papa Sel about going out in a boat. Either that or say you are considering staying there and would like to see the hotel. It was worth going just to walk through a massive complex without meeting another guest.

Fort Barrington
Is at the end of Deep Bay beach and can be reached through the Grand Royal Antiguan (10 minute walk along the length of the beach) or via a road that leads to a bridge across to Deep Bay.

St John's
Is a 10 minute drive away and is a hustle and bustle of intersting sights and sounds, as you would imagine of a capital. There are some nice shops but for the main, especially in the cruise liner docking area, there are a lot of shops selling cheap goods. If you want to buy the tat, venture out of the port area to the local stalls where the same goods are dollars cheaper. Roti King is rated #1 restaurant on TripAdvisor. In reality, it is a rustic shop with room for 5 plastic tables and a regular flow of takeaway customers. Don't let that put you off - the roti we had was lovely and very, very filling. I had chicken and my partner had conch. The conch was more expensive at EC$23, bringing our bill to all of 10GBP. We went to the Big Banana Pizza Company one night and had a lovely pizza, while watching up and coming songstress Asher Otto and Itchy Feet. We also went to the C&C Wine Bar and had nibbles and a bottle of lovely wine during the day. I would heartily recommend all of the above. The museum is also worth a look.

Attractions
We went on the Stingray City trip. Like most trips, this can be booked through Gabi and Douglas at no extra cost to you. It was a little cold and choppy when we went but we still had a great time feeding and holding the Stingrays. It's great to be so close to nature. They certainly know it's feeding time when the boat arrives. Don't expect to see anything much other than the Stingrays while snorkelling though; the area is serviced by a floating platform in shallow (3-4ft) sea and is mostly sand bottom. If you go, avoid times when cruise ships are in otherwise it will be crowded. There are birds and a couple of monkeys in cages in the waiting area. I'm not a fan of cages but enjoyed stroking Ruffles' (cockatoo) head. Ruffles shares his cage with a colourful large parrot. If the parrot starts gently grabbing at the bars with his claws when you put your fingers near, it's because he wants to perch on your fingers. Although initially wary, when I put my fingers through he climbed right on and wanted to stay there - this pulled at my hearstrings.

We also went on the sailing trip to Bird Island with Treasure Island Cruises. We were excitingly picked up from the Coconut Hotel Grove beach. The catamaran came right up to the beach and we walked up the folding stairs. At US$100 per person it felt worth the money. The sail to bird island takes over an hour but is extended as you pick people up along the way. Much sure you take sun cream and something to cover up with. When anchored at the island you are given the opportunity to snorkel to the beach, with gear provided, or can elect to be taken by boat. The meal on the island is usually chicken or lobster - we should have paid the extra US$10 for the lobster, it looked lovely; however, our chicken was delicious too. Watch out for the strong rum punch. I have happy memories of being whisked through blue seas, sharing time with some nice people who were similarly pleasantly intoxicated. There have been some reviews of this being a noisy 'booze cruise' but that wasn't our experience. I guess it depends on the crowd for that day.

Directions / Roads
I downloaded the free GPS / Satnav app 'OsmAnd' to my phone before we left the UK. This worked very well for us and gave confidence in knowing where we were at all times. The only issue of note was when we trusted it to take us to the airport; it took us down some strange gravel track route which, although looked familiar, we gave up on and returned to the main road to follow the signs.
The Antiguan roads aren't the best but are easily navigated with care. Watch out for pot holes and don't think you can take the larger speed bumps at anything but a crawl. Drivers are courteous and will often give way but take care at intersections as the right of way is often ignored, even when signposted. Just take it more slowly that you would normally.

Transport
You can use the local and frequent buses for little cost but they are often full or crowded, meaning that you might need to wait. Gabi and Douglas kindly ordered our car for us, which was delivered to the Yepton Estate and the paperwork sorted on our veranda. The car cost USD390 per week for the smallest available. We only had the car for a week; prices may go down if you have for longer.
Doug often offers to sit down with guests to look at the island map. He is an Antiguan oracle and can guide you through roads, attractions, geography, places to eat and more - very useful!

I'm sure that I had more to say but that's probably enough for now...

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, New Hampshire
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2014 via mobile

It was our first time to the island and Gabby and Douglas were like having family watching out for us. I know the reviews seem to go on about them BUT, they really did make our stay so much easier by spending some time with us, taking us to the grocery store, showing us around St John's and Douglas' tips on sites and restaurants. We were able to get around very easily. The cottage was well equipped and comfortable. I just wish we had stayed longer.

Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank swampsuds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2014

This was our first visit to the Caribbean and what a delightful introduction. The property and its location is all that one could wish for if you want a quiet and restful holiday. Gabriela and Douglas went out of their way to make us welcome. On arrival at the airport we took a taxi to Yepton. Douglas then took us to a supermarket in his own car to stock up and then arranged a hire car for us from the next day. Douglas then gave us many helpful tips on places to visit and where to eat. We did have a couple of meals out but we enjoyed so much making use of the verandah which overlooked the lagoon, using the BBQ, and eating our meal being entertained by the pelicans diving for their food and other bird life. We toured around most of the island during our week's holiday and saw nowhere where we would rather have stayed. Our bungalow was very comfortable, very well equipped and Gabriela and Douglas were always available for advice without being in any way intrusive. We have already booked a return visit!

Michael and Jean P

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 January 2014

My wife and I stayed for 9 nights. Gabriela and Douglas were as hospitable as the other reviews state. They even put up with my sense of humor. The cabin was nice; plenty of room for us. Gabriela and Douglas spent a lot of time helping us get oriented and finding the restaurants and beaches we wanted.

Room Tip: We stayed in Cabin 1 and liked it. It was private and looked out on the lagoon.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 10Rick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newberg, Oregon
Level Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2014

We stayed 7 nights in this beautiful retreat. From the moment we arrived, Gabriela and Douglas are helpful and gracious. They helped us find groceries and spent lots of time with us to orient us to the island, activities, restaurants, best beaches etc. The cottage (we had a 1 bedroom) was delightful. It was quiet and private. The kitchen was incredibly well equipped with blender, cuisinart, plenty of dishes and cooking utensils. There is a large BBQ on your porch too. Watching the fishing pelicans from our porch each morning while enjoying coffee, laying in the hammock reading a good book, the short walk to Yepton beach - all perfect! Highly recommend dining at the neighboring resort - very good food and value - Gabby will set it up for you and you can walk to it! All in all, the island is beautiful and this is the perfect place for people who do not want resort crowds and are somewhat independent and like to do some of their own cooking.

Room Tip: All 5 cottages are lovely and private. We had a 1 Bedroom and it was very spacious!
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lea D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2014

My wife and I stayed for just 5 nights during a brief holiday before spending Xmas in the UK, but we were able to immediately unwind and relax from the moment we arrived in Antigua, thanks to the help of Gabriela and Douglas and the accommodation at their Yepton estate. From help with arranging a rental car to await us at the airport, to grocery shopping and advice for sightseeing and getting around the island, everything was set up perfectly whilst allowing us all the time and space needed to do as we please. Antigua has plently to offer, and Yepton is ideally equipped and located for the independent traveller to explore the island.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank gareth w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Antigua's Yepton Estate Cottages

Property: Antigua's Yepton Estate Cottages
Address: Yepton Estates | Five Islands, St. John's, Antigua
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint John Parish > St. John's
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 19 Speciality Lodging in St. John's
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Antigua's Yepton Estate Cottages 3*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yepton Estate Cottages is an award-winning private property on a bird sanctuary that hosts the rare West Indian Whistling Duck and other birds from many continents. Yepton Beach is within a 6-minute walk. All cottages have king beds, fully equipped kitchenettes, Cable TV, DVD player with free movies, electronic safe, FREE WIFI and much more. The cottages are ideal for the all-inclusive-weary and nature lovers who like to explore the island and all her wonderful beaches and restaurants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Antigua`s Yepton Estate Cottages Hotel St. John`s
Antigua's Yepton Estate Cottages Saint John Parish

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