We decided to head for warmer weather during the English winter and Julie at Abbotts Travel found us a great deal to stay at Sandals Grande Antigua Luxury Resort in St. John’s.
Never having been to the Caribbean before, we looked forward to experiencing the hot weather, golden sand and scenery on this beautiful island – and we weren’t disappointed!
After a comfortable nine-hour flight with Virgin Atlantic we were collected from the airport by Sandals driver, Winston, and after a 20-minute drive we arrived at the beautiful resort, greeted by friendly and welcoming staff along with a glass of champagne.
Our room was spacious and comfortable, part of a multi-storey complex with a four-poster Emperor bed and an ocean-view over the Caribbean Sea.
Daytime temperatures stuck around 28C all week and night-time was pleasantly warm at 23C, with no humidity and not one drop of rain throughout our stay.
Everything about the resort was immaculate and well maintained, from the room, to the restaurants, to the pool area and the beautifully-tended gardens and grounds which were full of birds and colourful plants.
Over the coming days we ate at the various international restaurants on the resort, ranging from French to Italian to Tex-Mex to local cuisine, even a Japanese evening with the chef cooking everything in front of our very eyes. All of the food that we experienced was superb and being all-inclusive, it was a great opportunity to experiment.
Our days were spent relaxing on the beach and swimming in the turquoise sea, which in March, was just about warm enough to enjoy an extended stay. As an early-riser I was able to secure us a good spot on the beach every day and as the tide hardly shifted we could stay in the same spot for as long as we wanted.
Breakfast was usually taken next to the beach at the superb Bayside restaurant and lunch on the beach at the Barefoot In The Sand restaurant.
We did venture out of the resort as well. We spent a morning with friends in the capital St. John’s, walking around the old town with its historical markets and churches and taking in the port with its massive cruise-liners towering above the docks like small cities.
We also spent a day on a Sandals-organised boat-trip along with 20 people around the 50+ miles of island coastline. It was a six-hour sensory feast, which included swimming with stingrays, lunch on our own secluded island and the chance to go snorkelling outside the historical English Harbour/The Pillars Of Hercules in the south of the island.
After seven wonderful days it was time to say goodbye to this idyllic paradise and head home. In one trans Atlantic flight we went from 28C to 28F as we landed back in the UK on a bitterly cold March morning. We should have had two weeks and avoided the snow back home… next time!