I was first invited to Antigua for Carnival in the summer of 2023. I had only been to the airport despite growing up less than an hour away. I agreed to go but had to back out at the last minute. It’s not that I couldn’t go, I just refused to pay $1300 to go to the Caribbean.
About a month later, I was booked for Antigua. There would be no carnival but at least I would have the island relatively to myself and get to enjoy the beach, food, and people.
I visited over the Labour Day weekend. The only downside to seeing this time of year is that your plans are never definite due to it being hurricane season but do visit, fares are cheap and there is enough to do to enjoy yourself.
My vessel for the trip was an American Airlines Boeing 737 Max. I landed just after noon, cleared customs and immigration, and proceeded to look for the driver with my name card.
In roughly 40 minutes I was at my hotel. When I check into Caribbean hotels there’s a routine, shower, switch into my swimsuit, and find the closest beach. Although I had enough time to squeeze in an activity, I chose a beach chair and a book for my afternoon fun. There are times I just want to relax and being on the beach is one of those times.
I stayed at the Jolly Beach Hotel, an all-inclusive hotel where getting there is the only worry you have. Once they’re let them think. Any situation where I can reduce the amount of decisions I make and sit back and watch things being taken care of, I can live with it.
Truly I went to the beach bar and had some jerked chicken, fries, Cole slaw, and salad with a virgin colada. Then I spent the afternoon by the sea. I l bummed on a beach chair reading “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. Every time I began to feel tired I’d take a dip in the ocean and come back and read a few more chapters. It’s like one of the few times I went on a trip to do nothing and let me just say, I like it.
After washing up I headed to an A La carte dinner at the Pizza Factory on the hotel premises. The thing I like about all-inclusive is free food and if it’s free, I won’t go searching for any I have to pay for. So no fancy dinners for me on this trip.
The next day I booked a tour that included Shirley Heights and Nelson’s Dockyard. On Sundays there is a celebration at Shirley Heights where locals and tourists alike gather together over good food and run but considering I know myself, I opted for the beach and a good book at my hotel.
After a few hours of sunbathing, I had dinner at the Palms restaurant. The main attraction was roast beef but they had other things such as stew chicken, baked cauliflower and cheese, and yellow rice to name a few. I then went over to the courtyard for live entertainment.
On the last day, I kept no plans. The agenda for the day was being a beach bum until I had to leave for the airport. Right on time, my driver arrived to take me to the airport. I can’t believe it took me so long to visit but I do hope I’ll be back, either for the carnival or the November 1st food fair at Viv Richard’s stadium.
When I got to the airport and thought Antigua had given me all it could, I then got amazed in the Executive Lounge. The staff were friendly, the food was excellent and my favorite part was the outdoor deck where I could see the planes come in and out of V.C Bird International. It immediately became my favorite airport in the Caribbean.
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