From breakfast bagel to midnight meditation, my tried-and-tested tips for spending a zen-filled day at St James’s Club & Villas Antigua.
(It was a tough job but I was first to put my hand up!)
8.00 Start your day right by heading to the Rainbow Garden restaurant and doing the following things:
- Toast a bagel
- Slather it in cream cheese
- Insert bacon
10.00 Ease your guilt over the bagels (you had 2 didn’t you?) by joining the Floatfit class on Mamora Bay. Get killer abs from the combination of balancing and belly laughs – seriously it’s the best fun you can have whilst working out.
11.00 As you’re already in the water (falling off the Floatfit mat is all part of the fun – just ask Vicky!) stretch out on one of the resort’s giant inflatables. These huge yellow rubber rings have a netting in the bottom so you can lie back in a refreshing pool of water, bobbing with the waves and working on your tan. (Safely – you did remember to apply sunscreen, didn’t you?)
Stay put until you spot Alfred doing the rounds in his booze-filled golf buggy. Alfred will bring an ice-cold rum punch or freshly poured beer direct to your sun bed for you. (He has soft drinks too if you’re trying to keep the cocktails until after lunchtime!) He’s an absolute charmer whose smile would make your day, all the more so when he proffers one of his sweet, tasty cocktails.
13.00 Time for lunch and because tearing yourself away from this beautiful beach will be hard – don’t do it! Head to Mamora Beach Grill for freshly grilled burgers and cold beers that you can consume mere inches from the water. Hang around here if you’d like to try your luck at a cheeky round of bingo or two – trying not to let that competitive streak take over!
15.00 Can you hear the spa calling? Your body deserves to try the Tranquility Spa’s signature well-being massage which uses Swedish techniques and relaxing scents to knead out any traces of tension. Ask for your massage to take place at the outdoor pavilion – not only are the views spectacular but the sound of waves and gentle sea breeze are hard to beat when it comes to ambience.
16.00 If the massage has left you feeling like happy putty the only think you may feel like doing is taking a zzzzen-filled snooze in the shade of a palm tree. The more athletic amongst you may want to try your hand at some of the complimentary watersports but personally I recommend you go with the relaxing flow and head to one of the hotel’s 6 swimming pools. Guests of the Royal Suites will have exclusive access to an adults-only pool at a secluded end of the resort and nearby is my personal favourite spot for chilling out in peace – the Royal Suites Boardwalk. The views of sunset over the bay are truly magnificent from here.
If switching off doesn’t come naturally pick up a copy of the hotel’s Colour Me Calm Book. Designed to bring creative zen to your Caribbean holiday, Colour me Calm includes illustrations of Elite Island Resorts for you to fill with crayon, alongside meditation and mindfulness tips to help you stay present in the moment. As the sun dips into the palm trees, colours the sky purple and the water bright pink, I promise you there is no better moment to be present in than this.
19.00 It’s time to eat again and you’ll have a couple of delicious options to grapple with. Check the schedule to see what international cuisine is on at Docksider tonight and if it says Bollywood Night pull up a seat immediately. (Seriously the curries, chutneys, dhal and naan were some of the best I’ve eaten outside of India!) For a more romantic evening make a reservation at Piccolo Mondo. Found nestled amongst the hilltop villas, Piccolo’s A La Carte menu features a mixture of Italian stapes and local delicacies and the candlelit views from up here are incredible.
21.00 Head to the Docksider Bar for one last nightcap before retiring. (You are on holiday after all and the bubbly is included!) Wander back to your room and sink into the princess-sized bed to practise the meditation techniques you learnt from earlier.
Sleep, wake up, repeat.
Kuoni (01306 747008 or www.kuoni.co.uk) offer seven nights on all-inclusive at St James’s Club & Villas, Antigua in a club room, including flights on Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick and transfers in resort. The price for September 2017 is from £1488 per person, based on two sharing.
I travelled to Antigua as a guest of Elite Island Resorts and Kuoni. All opinions, curry and bagel recommendations are my own, as always.
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