Recommend August 2018 - 32


Return to Antigua

Poolside at the
Blue Waters' Cove Suites.

Ed Wetschler

Love those Rays
Stingray City Antigua was new to me, too.
I was impressed with our guide's detailed
backgrounder about stingrays and with his
plea that we not impede their breathing.
He and his mates care so much about the
rays that they've named every one of them.
FYI, the one-mile boat ride is bumpy, so tell
clients to sit near the stern.
Although I'd sailed the west coast
several times, on this trip I took a Tropical
32 august 2018

Adventures cruise that circumnavigates
Antigua, passing white-sand cove after cove.
At Green Island we stopped for a snorkeling
tour and then enjoyed an onboard lunch
with plenty of drinks. Later, we cruised
home along the west coast, passing more
lovely coves.
The coves at Blue Waters Resort & Spa
are sweet, too, as is the resort, which has 56
rooms, 29 suites, four penthouses, and five
villas. Managing director Gary Randall has
overseen several years of renovations, and
come October the resort will upgrade the
Cove Suites. I hope they don't upgrade too
much: I stayed in one of those Suites and
loved it as is. The layout features a semiseparate sitting area, a balcony overlooking
our small building's infinity pool, and a
free-standing tub in a bathroom enclosed
by louvered doors that could open out to
the bedroom.
Randall told me that 75 percent of his
guests are Brits, "but it used to be 90 percent,
so we're increasing the American presence.
The demographic is getting younger, too,
and my mission is to continue that." To that
end, he and GM Kevin Phillips have been
updating the decor, cuisine, and activities,
which now include rum tastings, yoga,
and tennis classes, etc. (Complimentary



Travel professionals can't help but like
success stories, and Blue Waters Resort
& Spa is surely one of them, what with its
renovations and its growth in the North
American market. That got my attention,
so I recently checked in to check it out.
Hurricane Irma barely grazed Antigua.
This island was once home to the
maintenance facility for the British
Navy's Caribbean fleet; today, Nelson's
Dockyard is a UNESCO World Heritage
site, replete with historic buildings with bars,
restaurants, hotels, and shops. It still attracts
sailors, too, only now the sailors are civilians
on sailboats.
Despite being a serial visitor to Antigua,
some things on this trip were new to me.
Shirley Heights, a fortified lookout above
English Harbour, is known for its Sunday
parties, but now there's also a party on
Thursdays: Reggae Heights. The band rocks,
as do the grilled meats and the view of harbor
lights 500 ft. below. A must for clients who
want a more mellow gathering than the
better-known Sunday parties.

People come here
primarily to relax.
-- Gary Randall,

Managing Director,
Blue Waters Resort & Spa

watersports are available, too, and there's
live music several nights a week.) Even so,
says Randall, "People come here primarily to
relax." Indeed, although some guests rented
cars and explored the island, others rarely left
the beach and pools.
Most guests were couples, but a few brought
children who played in the Blue Waters
kids club, which is appropriately small but
has a professional staff and good activities.
This adult went to the spa, where a massage
therapist fully understood my explanation of
where I was hurting, and then she applied the
skills of a real massage therapist.

Sublime Dinners
The chef, another pro, has trained his team
not to overcook omelets, designs tasty lunch
entrees for The Cove and The Palm open-air
restaurants, and prepares sublime dinners at
these and at air-conditioned Bartley's. One
night I had a potato-leek soup made with
sweet potatoes and a swordfish entree that
was a rebuke to hotels where the swordfish
is rubberized.
At press time, rates for one couple, Jan.
12-19, started at $5,096 per week for a Deluxe
Beachfront room with breakfast and WiFi,
inclusive of the 22.5 percent tax. The Cove
Suite described in this story costs $7,907 per
week with tax. Blue Waters offers an allinclusive option, too; a Cove Suite AI would
cost $9,849. ■
Contact Information
Blue Waters Resort & Spa:

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend August 2018

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