Take a look at the best boutique hotels in St. John’s.
Yepton Estate Cottages is a small, mid-range property made up of five self-catering cottages, in studio and one-bedroom layouts. It sits on a lake, in a serene pocket that’s near a beach and a short drive to St John’s. There’s not much to see or do, but that’s the idea -- it’s a private spot that appeals to travelers escaping their busy lives. There’s a small outdoor pool, and the cottages have large, well-equipped kitchens, TVs (tube-style), DVD players, stereos, barbecues, free Wi-Fi, and lovely porches with water views, but furniture is clunky and dated. Hospitality ranks high here, and the hosts are full of local knowledge and take guests to the supermarket for groceries. Travelers who want to be right on the beach should check out Dutchman’s Bay Cottages.
A tranquil oasis set on 140 untouched tropical acres on the island’s western shore, the luxury all-inclusive Hermitage Bay offers 30 suites in individual cottages, all with private terraces, outdoor showers, deep soaking tubs, and sea views. Air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and minibars come standard. Chic hillside suites feature private plunge pools and panoramic views. There’s an open-air restaurant with rotating menus and a relaxed bar offering nightly entertainment. High-end amenities include an infinity pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga and cooking classes, and water sports at the pristine white sand beach. The secluded spa offers massages and treatments for a fee. Rates include airport transfers and parking, though premium wines and spirits are extra. Kids age 14 and up are welcome. For an adult-only boutique all-inclusive alternative, consider the romantic Cocobay Resort.
The Villas at Sunset Lane is a tranquil, adult-only three-pearl boutique. It offers 10 large rooms and suites in a quiet residential area overlooking picturesque Dickenson Bay, a 10-minute walk from the beach. Bright pink buildings feature rooms with Caribbean-inspired decor, air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, pillow-top beds, and huge bathrooms. Villas with full kitchens are also available. The restaurant, with a terrace offering breathtaking sunset views, serves meals personally cooked by the hotel’s owner/chef, who attends to guests throughout their stay. Wi-Fi, parking, and continental breakfast are free, and all-inclusive packages are offered. There’s an outdoor pool, a poolside bar, an exercise room, and a massage room, but no full service-spa. Nearby Siboney Beach Club is similar in size and directly on the beach for around the same rates.
Located directly on famous Dickenson Bay Beach, the three-pearl Buccaneer Beach Club is ideal for laid-back, independent visits to Antigua, with 16 One-Bedroom Villas and two Two-Bedroom Cottages. All units have pull-out couches, kitchenettes, and balconies or verandahs that look out to the small pool or the tranquil turquoise bay. Amenities include free laundry, free internet, and mountain bikes for rent. While the hotel's restaurant has slow service and mediocre food, the views of the sea are spectacular -- plus a grocery store and plenty of other restaurants are within walking distance. It's a cozy, relaxed experience, while remaining in close proximity to St. John's and other sights. The rooms here can get buggy at night, but they're more up-to-date than at next door Antigua Village.
The Siboney Beach Club is a three-pearl property with a dreamy garden and direct access to a stretch of white sand on Dickenson Bay. This unpretentious hotel, complete with a feng-shui inspired garden, offers an intimate vibe at reasonable prices. The 12 one-bedroom suites are simple and charming, with bright accents, kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs, and balconies or patios. As with most properties on Antigua, mosquitos can be an issue. Features include a small outdoor pool, spa treatments in a Zen garden, and a simple (if somewhat overpriced) beachside restaurant and bar. Travelers can also check out the apartments at next door Antigua Village, but rates there will be higher, though it has a fancier restaurant.
Built in the late sixties and still family-owned, the two-and-a-half-pearl Catamaran Hotel has an authentic Caribbean vibe and sits directly on Falmouth Harbor. It features a small pool, an unofficially private beach, and 14 beachfront rooms with air-conditioning, full kitchens, and private hammocks. The breezy restaurant and bar has an open-air terrace with views onto the water. Free water sports, including sea kayaks, are available along with room service and free Wi-Fi. Room decor is a little tired and the restaurant is pricey, but the couples who return here again and again for the secluded atmosphere and affordable rates don't seem to mind. The Siboney Beach Club, located about 40 minutes away in Dickenson Bay, feels just as private and has a prettier beach with crystal-clear water.