For those pining for some winter sun, the Caribbean has always been an attractive option with the customary warm hospitality of the locals matching the desirable temperatures. The island of Antigua has been particularly popular with the English and not just in recent times but back in the era of Lord Nelson. In the aptly named English Harbour, you will find the idyllic, boutique hotel, South Point. It is right next to the yachting focal point of the island – once the mega-yachts of Saint-Tropez and Sardinia have finished their summer season in the Mediterranean, this is where you are likely to find them.
The hotel is located on the quieter end of English Harbour, so whilst you can enjoy views of the jaw-dropping mega-yachts anchored by the marina, you are far away enough from the bars and restaurants to suffer any serious noise pollution. The hotel has a contemporary, minimalist feel with some refined pieces of furniture imported from Italy to give that ‘la dolce vita’ feel. After all, when you are on a Caribbean holiday, it’s all about relaxation.
The sleek reception area leads onto the open-air balcony which is the piece de resistance of the hotel with commanding views of English Harbour where you can see the wildlife in action like local pelicans. Their restaurant and bar are also in the main building whilst the 23 spacious suites are situated in neighbouring blocks to ensure maximum privacy.
Even by the standard of suites at five-star hotels elsewhere, the offerings at South Point are extremely spacious, to the point where you feel like you’ve rented an entire apartment rather than being cramped up in a tiny hotel room. There are just two categories: the one-bedroom deluxe suite and the two-bedroom penthouse suite, your primary consideration is likely to be how much space you need.
What is particularly impressive is the full-sized kitchen with indoor and outdoor dining tables. We are talking about electric hobs, multifunction oven, full-sized sink, dishwashing machine, and extractor fan. Also offered are smart cutlery and crockery, as well as complimentary tea, water, and coffee. The other areas are equally expansive with a walk-in wardrobe, walk-in shower, and double vanities. Having well-regarded toiletries is always an important factor in rating hotels and they don’t disappoint here with MALIN + GOETZ products.
Complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi has relatively decent connectivity despite a large amount of space it needed to provide coverage for. And having a mobile phone for making local calls and receiving international calls is always a godsend in a foreign country.
Unfortunately, the in-house restaurant, Maia at South Point is closed temporarily due to Covid-19. With a menu inspired by Asian, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cuisine, this would have been the must-dine venue for anyone visiting English Harbour. Although, they are still offering a delightful a la carte breakfast daily and, thankfully, there is no shortage of dining options nearby, from a trendy hummus bar to fancy pizza restaurants (lobster pizza, anyone?).
If you are looking for more substantial meals, do check out Boom restaurant located at Gunpowder House, which is only a short walk away. It has one of the most lengthy menus you will find on the island, with anything from chilled homemade tomato gazpacho to well-marinated jerk baby ribs. Dishes are locally sourced and attractively presented with a particularly strong focus on local seafood.
If you want to travel slightly further afield – and why not, it’s a small island? – do check out Salt Plage Beach Bar and Restaurant at Siboney Beach Club. The terrace dining area overlooks the pure white sand and tranquil seas of Dickenson Bay, which is one of the most popular areas on the island. Much like Boom restaurant, seafood is particularly popular here whether it’s grilled mahi, Caribbean curry shrimp, or the omnipresent local lobsters (which is readily available due to significant falls in wholesale prices due to Covid-19).
They do undersell the raft of activities on offer at the hotel, which include an outdoor swimming pool and even a small beach where you can use paddleboards, pedalos, kayaks, and partake in other water sport activities. South Point also provide bicycle rentals for you to explore the surrounding area and they can arrange for massage treatments in your suite.
Only a short walk from the hotel is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Nelson’s Dockyard. It is a delightful cultural heritage site, where the Royal Navy Dockyards used to be and is currently the headquarters for some of the island’s most prestigious sailing and yachting events. It is also part of the Nelson’s Dockyard National Park which includes the must-visit, Shirley Heights that has unbeatable views of English and Falmouth Harbours. They often have sunset parties on Sundays with an eclectic selection of Caribbean music and international favourites.
In a nutshell
You might visit because of the lure of 365 beaches on the island but you will discover a lot more from the enticing cuisine, the embracing culture, and the fascinating history. And staying at South Point is a great base to explore this magical island.
South Point offers one-bed deluxe suites from USD350 per night.
Address: Yacht Club Drive, English Harbour, Antigua