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“Highs and lows, lows win...”
Review of Nonsuch Bay Resort

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Nonsuch Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Freetown
Certificate of Excellence
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Highs and lows, lows win...”
Reviewed 5 May 2013 via mobile

Stayed for 8 days end of April to start of May. Weather was excellent, the property was well taken care of and the overall appearance of the pools, beach, waterfront sports area and restaurant was excellent. The restaurant was 5 star all the way and you won't be disappointed. We did have a waitress on our past evening that was not very pleasant but she might have been having a bad day and we can all relate to that.

On the low side was our room, initial impression is just as pictured on nonsuch website and has quite a wow factor when you walk in. We stayed in the row directly behind the beachfront villas and had a perfect view of the ocean and lower infinity pool from the second floor balcony of our one bedroom unit. Sounds good to this point and it was, the kitchen was well stocked for making your own meals and the bedroom and bathroom are very nice in appearance.
The lows come with a few strange design flaws, all of the exterior windows on all buildings are not windows at all, they are wood shutters with mesh on the outside, meaning you can hear everything happening everywhere, the weed whippers in the morning, people's doors opening and closing, kids singing at 7am in the apartment beside us(20 feet away) and splashing in the pool not to mention all the sounds of the night from the bedrooms. A little strange, and makes it really hard to sleep in or feel like you have any privacy. Also because the windows are just wooden shades the heat pumps in to any room you don't have AC on, and when you do have AC on it runs constantly because its just going out the windows. While I like to be warm during the day I can't sleep when its 32 in the bedroom so we ran the AC but found the wall mounted reminder to be energy efficient a joke. The doors on the front of the units facing the ocean are glass up top but the lower half are the same wooden shade design and let all the noise and heat in. Add to this no real blinds in the bedroom besides paper thin sheer white bug netting style drapes and if you like to sleep in the dark your out of luck, I prefer to have dark in the morning, especially since the abundance of glass on the doors in the bedroom makes it incredibly bright at shortly after 6am.

We also had a really bad ant problem during our entire stay, we had hundreds of ants in both the kitchen and bathroom as well as the living room, the front desk did send us ant spray but the ants were heavy the moment we walked in and would have been nicer if they changed our room and took care of the problem, or sent someone in to clean it up rather than us chase them around with paper towel and a spray can and unfortunately even after the housekeeping throughout the week most of the dead ants that were left after we sprayed did not get cleaned up. I realize ants can be a problem, but we aren't just talking about a few ants here and there, it was hundreds at times and they were there every day.

I don't want to give you a bad impression, just want you to be aware of the things we didn't hear about in other reviews.

One thing we wish we had of done more of is take advantage of the waterfront, the sports people are incredibly nice and very informative and the trip to green island for a snorkel is worth every penny, it's amazing! We also appreciated the resort being so secluded and far from the main touristy areas, it was nice to be so remote. The dirt road in is not that big of a deal, if you are renting a car and driving it each day then I guess it could get annoying but we didn't mind the trip in and out.

We probably won't be back, just due to the room issues, we were taking our first trip away from our 2 year old daughter and were excited to sleep in each day, unfortunately we were up at 6:30 each morning because of the cars passing by early( the road is 15 feet from the wooden windows and the staff comes in pretty early) and the noises from other rooms and guests along with the blazing light in the room.
I also feel that a premium priced resort should have looked into our bug problem further and put us in a different room right off the start, there was hardly anyone at the resort our first day and many other 1 bedroom units available.



  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank cdn-tv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2013

First, the good and the great. The properties here are very good. The apartments are large and the kitchens well equipped. The bedrooms were spacious with good closet space, televisions and en-suite bathroom facilities in each room (all with shower, some with baths). The layout of the apartment was fantastic - huge open plan living area and wonderful wrap around balcony and additional terraces. The staff are lovely. While some training would not go amiss in terms of dealing with basic inquiries such as checkout times and non-working televisions, the overall aim is to help and things do generally get resolved eventually. In addition, the on-site restaurant is of great quality (albeit quite pricey if you don't take a pre-paid option). There are three available pools (including the small one by the restaurant) which have good quality loungers and umbrellas.
The resort is relatively remote and if one has ambitions to see other parts of the island, go to a beach or go out to dinner a car is preferable (although taxis are available, again at a price). The resort does face East and normally has a breeze. When the sun is out, this is incredibly pleasant. However, due to the resort's location, stronger winds seem to be common.
Sailing and kite boarding are offered as activities but are incredibly expensive. We worked out that based on the prices being charged (on a per person basis) we could probably have bought our own dinghy, used it for the week and given it away and still been ahead. This was hugely disappointing as the resort is quite remote and alternative activities are limited. The fact that while we were there we only saw a boat go out once bears testament to the fact that these activities are probably too pricey. The other disappointment was the fact that there was no gym on site. At this level of resort, this was a surprising oversight.
My overall impression was that a lot of work had gone into getting the properties right and they are great but that the resort activities and amenities were something of an afterthought and, as such, need further thought.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Daaxs S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Coast, US
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2013

Nonsuch Bay Resort is great. There are a couple areas that need some improvement, but it is just great.

First, this place is not close to St. John's or the airport. You will need a car.

Arriving here is like finding a beacon in the cold dark night. You trek most of the way across antigua, past the end of the pavement, up and over impossibly steep hills, to be greeted by the lovely, manicured grounds. The narrow roads in the resort are a bit disconcerting when you first see them, but they're one-way, so it's no biggie. The open-air lobby area is beautiful, and the staff is very friendly and welcoming. The rum punch welcome was A+.

We had a beach front cottage, which was FANTASTIC. It was huge. The cottage is well appointed, with comfortable furniture, an LCD TV (that we never turned on...), an iPod dock (does NOT work with the new connector), and a full kitchen. There are french doors that open to the huge patio overlooking the beach. The beds are very comfortable (one king, and a set of two twins, which can be made into a "king" with minimal effort), and spacious. Bathrooms are perfectly functional and well appointed, although water pressure was very much an issue (the water was often little more than a trickle). The tap water is fine to drink. It has a bit of an odd taste, but it was fine. I drank it by the liter and suffered no ill effects. Not much else to say about the cottage - it's great.

The restaurant is wonderful. It's not cheap, but the service is great, and the food is delicious. Eat there.

The beach isn't that great. It's picturesque, and the water is clear (for Antigua). There is very little sandy bottom - it's all weed. Just know that coming in. Keep your feet up or be ready for a bit of an icky feel when you step down. Water sports abound. Lots of sail boats, zodiacs, kite surfing... the folks at 40 Knots were clearly enthusiastic about what they were doing. The trip to Green Island is inexpensive and recommended. Bring water.

They need to work on service a bit. The room was cleaned each day, but not thoroughly, and comsumables are not replenished. We would make coffee in the morning, and the next day, our unused coffee would remain in the pot, and the smelly, wet filter would remain in the machine. Also, the shampoo, conditioner, and soap provided in the bathroom was never replenished. You shouldn't need to ask for things like this at a place of this caliber. Also, when we did make requests to have minor things replaced, it was very difficult to get any results. After three phone calls, we gave up and trekked to reception ourselves to get them. Apart from these minor issues, the staff were great.

There's very little close by. The village of Freetown, about two miles distant, is a great little Caribbean village. The market there doesn't have much, just some snacks and beers and basic provisions. Stop there anyway, if for no other reason than to support this charming little village.

Halfmoon Bay is quite close (about 10 minutes), and is a MUST see. Also, Harmony Hall is very close (maybe 5 minutes). It's absolutely gorgeous, and the food is fantastic, though not cheap. English Harbour is about a 30 minute drive, but it's quite doable. Do it during the day the first time. The land marks are easy to miss at night, which could result in a longer drive home.

All in all, I highly recommend Nonsuch Bay Resort. You'll get to experience the quiet, laid back, friendly Antigua that seems light years away from the hustle, stink, rudeness, and cruise shipt crowds of St. John's. The only reason it gets four stars instead of five are the hiccups we experienced with minor service issues that should not exist at an otherwise top-notch property. When we return to Antigua, we likely will stay here.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank EastCoastAdonis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
69 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2013

We spent a wonderful week at Nonsuch Bay :

- the apartment was awesome and clean
- the staff was super kind, helpful, polite and generous
- the food at the restaurant was good (not a big variety though)
- the beach isn't great but we had a car to travel around (which is a must if you go to that hotel)
- the resort is isolated (which is was we needed, to not be surrounded by too many tourists - but that meant we knew we would have to rent a car)
- their pools were amazing with an amazing view

Room Tip: Must rent a car, a 4x4 is what I would recommend
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pilku_Feee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotch Plains, New Jersey
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2013

My family and I (2 adults and 2 young kids) just returned from 3 days at Nonsuch Bay Resort after a week at the Verandah and, while the accomodations at Nonsuch were superior and the views amazing, we just weren't thrilled with the experience. Here's why:

Location:
Nonsuch Bay is a WINDY area with a sad little beach. The beach was small and unattractive and the wind was relentless. Also, because of the wind, the water was very choppy making excursions to the offshore islands uncomfortable with small children. The location and wind may be good for sailing, but it wasn't ideal for sunning. Also, the water in this area was not the crystal blue water we experienced at the Verandah. Overall, the Veranda's beach and location are much better for beach lovers.

Service:
We felt the people at the Verandah were genuinely nicer and happier employees. The housekeeping staff was very nice at Nonsuch and the bartender/sommelier at the restaurant was great, but that was about it.

Accomodations:
We stayed in a 2 bedroom apartment and the accomodations were beautiful. The furnishings were updated and modern and the beds were a delight.

Restaurant:
Nonsuch Bay restaurant is in a great location with wonderful views. The decor is great and the food was uniformly great. BUT, the service is really very slow (no excuse for this, it's not island time, it's just a slow kitchen and untrained staff). We waited 2 hrs for a panini and a sandwich during lunch one day meanwhile the table next to us got their meal with priority service because they were constantly complaining about the service. Very annoying. Also, on our first night at this resort we were repeatedly told by our waitress that we should take our meal to go because we were "tired" (i.e., our baby was fussy). It was an extremely frustrating and unprofessional experience and it made me feel terrible. I don't think the waitress was trying to be rude but that was the effect. The last thing a mother wants to hear when she is trying to calm a baby is that she is tired and should leave because a larger group of people are expected to arrive. This and we hadn't even gotten our meals yet. Our baby wasn't screaming or being unreasonable - he was just being a one year old. Truthfully, this soured our experience but I spoke with the hostess and the waitress about it and hope that no one else has to go through that.

Overall:
We give Nonsuch Bay Resort a C. It could have been spectacular, but it ended up being just another wannabe luxe resort with great food and disappointing service.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cobe822
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Weston, CT
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2013

We just returned from another wonderful stay at Nonsuch Bay Resort. We stayed in April of 2012 for spring break, returned again this year, and plan to again next year. I can't say enough about how much we love this resort.

We stayed in a 2 bedroom beach cottage. The accommodations are spacious, modern, and clean. I think that the view of the bay may be better in the apartments up on the hill, but we love the proximity to the beach, especially with kids.

As others have said, this is a quiet, low-key escape. We love that it is secluded and private. Others who are looking for nightlife or a busier resort, would be better off going to the west coast of the island. But there is still plenty to do at Nonsuch. We kayaked around the bay, went snorkeling to green island, and went to Half Moon Bay many times.

The staff at Nonsuch is wonderful and a big part of what makes this place so special. We were pleased to see that it was all the same staff as during our stay last year. David and Timmy at the bar, Zoey and Terita and the front desk, Mitchell, Vonda & Charmaigne at the Bay Restaurant, and everyone at watersports, all went out of their way to make sure we had a great stay. We look forward to seeing them all again next year!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eileen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2013

We just spent 2 weeks at NonsuchBay over the Easter holidays with our 3 children (4, 7 and 9) and had a fantastic time. The resort is rare in that it balances the flexibility and space of self catering units with hotel services.

Our 2 bedroom apartment in the line behind the beach was perfect. We were on the upper floor which gave lovely views of the beach and blue waters of the sea. We were close to the pool and resort building so had easy access to everything that we needed. The apartment itself was very comfortable and spacious. The housekeeping staff were great and appeared without fail every day and the apartment was kept to a high standard.

The resort centre is quite limited - a reception desk, concierge, restaurant and bar - that's it - but the staff are fantastic and make the effort to call everyone by name. The kids got an especially warm welcome whenever they appeared! The food in the restaurant was of a reasonable quality though the menu did not change at all so can become restrictive over a 2 week stay. We ate in the restaurant about 6 evenings and for the others we either ordered items from room service or cooked ourselves. The lunch menu is actually far more extensive than the dinner menu and the restaurant were flexible enough to allow us to order from that menu on occasions too. Beware also that the breakfast menu is a la carte too. We booked bed and breakfast, expecting a buffet to select from. If we were to go again, we'd probably book room only and have breakfast in our room.

There are 3 pool, all with lovely views of the sea. They were never over-crowded and there were always sunbeds available. The surfaces around the pool are brick and a bit uneven so could use attention in our opinion. One of the pools was not really being used during our stay and the water was a little cloudy, so again a bit moremaintenance effort would go a long way. The beach was small but perfect for small children to paddle and make sand castles. Again it was uncrowded. The kids found a starfish and lots of crabs just pottering around the beach which added a bit of fun! The kids club also had a supply of buckets and spades, etc that they were happy to loan out for use on the beach.

We didn't actually use the kids club except to borrow toys. The staff seemed lovely but the activities were not well publicised and the room where the kids were entertained seemed small and unwelcoming. I am sure that the kids spent a lot of time out and about but I did not like the idea of mine being cooped up in what is a converter 1 bedroom apartment. They managed to make lots of friends anyway just hanging around the pool and beach so never got bored.

In terms of location, it is a bit remote so a car is a good idea, especially if you want to self-cater. The trip to the supermarket is about 40 mins. The island itself is small and safe to drive around.

So, overall, would I recommend NonsuchBay. Absolutely, if you are looking for a low key resort that is child friendly and where you can relax. We hope to go again!

Room Tip: The beachfront rooms looked lovely but the rooms in the row behind probably have better views if you...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Karen F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Nonsuch Bay Resort

Property: Nonsuch Bay Resort
Address: Hughes Point, Freetown po 2208, Antigua
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Antigua and Barbuda > Antigua > Saint Philip Parish > Freetown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Freetown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Nonsuch Bay Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 60
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nonsuch Bay Resort nestles in forty exotic acres of the stunning bay carved out of the southeast of Antigua; embraced by lush tropical hills, a uniquely private and serene setting, a tranquil haven and home to wildlife including dolphins and turtles. Pure relaxation is blended with out-an-out adrenalin, and the finest luxuries with the simplest of pleasures. Resort facilities comprise a dramatically positioned restaurant, 3 infinity swimming pools, seclude sandy beach, 30 sailboats and tuition, kitesurfing, windsurfing, SUPs and spa treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nonsuch Bay Hotel Freetown
Nonsuch Bay Resort Antigua/Freetown

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