Location : Antigua Recreation Ground but when ?
Sun, 31. July 2016, 08:00 PM – 11:58 PM
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(268) 462-0194 / (268) 462-4707
If you need cheap places to stay Antigua for the carnival read on. Billed as “The Caribbean’s greatest summer festival” Antigua and Barbuda’s Carnival is one of the twin island state’s biggest events, often attracting thousands of visitors both regionally and internationally to join in the celebrations. The official carnival celebrations take place from July 25-August 4 with a number of competitions and shows including music, pageantry and mas. Most of the events take place in the capital, St. John’s, at the historic Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG). Of course, if you’re visiting for carnival, this means that you need a place to stay! The question is where is the best place to stay if you don’t know Antigua but want to take part? Here are 5 recommendations for the best place to stay if you’re visiting for Antigua’s Carnival.
Located in downtown St. John’s, Heritage Hotel is a great place to stay if seeing and hearing the hustle and bustle of the city is an attraction rather than a deterrent. The Heritage Hotel is on the main tourist area in St. John’s, located within the Heritage Quay shopping plaza. An easy 10-15 minute walk will take you straight to the ARG and carnival city where most of the action takes place. The hotel sits right on the waterfront overlooking the harbor where cruise ships come in, and has a scenic boardwalk on which to explore the area.
Joe Mikes Hotel, Restaurant and Casino
Joe Mikes, a small family run hotel, is in the heart of St. John’s, and therefore the heart of carnival. This unassuming building is located on Nevis Street and is therefore close to all of the amenities that St. John’s has to offer. There’s a restaurant downstairs for those who don’t want to go too far for meals, although there are also dozens of choices just steps down the street. Unlike most other accommodation, Joe Mikes Hotel is fully incorporated with carnival. They host the weekly Jam Corner events, where both established and up and coming artistes showcase their songs in the lead up to carnival. They also participate in the t-shirt mas and J’ouvert events, allowing patrons to party in a fun filled and safe atmosphere on the streets of St. John’s. There’s also a casino downstairs if you are looking for a few hours for other entertainment.
ELS Guest House
Located in Radio Range on the outskirts of St. John’s, ELS is a great place to stay that’s not too far from the action that takes place mainly in St. John’s but not too close to be disturbed by most of the noise or commotion. This four story guesthouse features one and two bedroom suites, each with their own private balconies. Each room is air conditioned, and has internet and cable TV, along with a microwave or stove. If you don’t feel like preparing anything yourself, there’s also a small restaurant on the top floor to cater for your gastronomic needs, as well as a games room to have some fun. The roof top is also designed as an open air relaxation area where you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding area and St. John’s.
Jolly Beach Resort
One of the largest resorts on the island, Jolly Beach Resort features one of the best beaches in Antigua with a two mile stretch of beautiful white sand. Although located in the quiet village of Bolans, it’s no more than a 15 minute drive to St. John’s, and public bus transportation is easily available just outside the resort. With specials just for carnival time and their own t shirt mas group, this is one hotel that definitely caters for those looking to vacation with a carnival twist. Enjoy the amenities of a shopping center, numerous restaurants and bars and a supermarket without the hustle and bustle of town. You can choose an all-inclusive package or self-cater at one of your numerous restaurant options. Jolly Beach Resort definitely offers the best of both worlds.
Paige Pond Country Inn
If you’re in need of a place to relax during or after the carnival action, then Paige Pond Country Inn may be the place for you. Located in the tranquil village of Buckleys, this self-catering accommodation is the perfect place to “detox” after a hard day (or night) of carnival partying. Expect ensuite accommodation and other perks such as Wi-Fi internet for uploading those pictures as well as cable tv. Since you are located along a bus route there’s easy access to town, but you’re also only a 20 minute drive away if you’re driving. It’s the perfect getaway for the carnival parties.
Another great option is the Anchorage Hotel – not on the beach and so representing a cheaper way to stay. Check that hotel out it’s well located to get you into St Johns fast.
Antigua and Barbuda is famous not only for sun, sea and sand, but also for parties! And there’s no time of the year where there are more parties held than during the Carnival season. Every first Monday and Tuesday of August, the Antigua and Barbuda celebrates the historical emancipation with a show of partying and revelry that pales in comparison to any other time of the year. However, much of the action takes place long before the official carnival holiday: the Carnival “fete” season is a long held tradition of parties that take place weeks before the official celebrations.
Here are some of the hottest parties for Carnival 2015:
Caribbean Snow Storm (White Fete)
One of the biggest themed parties of the year, The Caribbean Snow Storm, locally known as White Fete, is on the must attend list of almost everyone in Antigua and Barbuda. This party, usually held on the first Saturday of July, encourages patrons to go all out in finding the most elegant and spectacular white outfits. This event is also all inclusive, meaning that you don’t have to worry about paying for drinks because it’s included in the price that you pay. You could also upgrade to VIP status which includes added perks such as food and secured parking. Check out the White Fete facebook page for more info on this event.
Blue jeans is another all-inclusive event, usually held on the second weekend of July. In contrast to White fete, Blue Jeans is a far more relaxed event, where patrons are encouraged to wear denim-related outfits. Expect a fun and relaxed vibe with a number of top local artists to provide the entertainment all night long.
This concert invites a number of local and regional artists on the soca scene to perform at the Antigua Recreation Grounds, otherwise known as “Carnival City”.
You can purchase your general admission tickets which include entry or upgrade to VIP which includes complimentary drinks, improved décor and other added perks. This year the lineup includes international soca superstars such as Kes, Skinny Fabolous, and Farmer Nappy. Visit their facebook page for more information on the lineup and ticket locations.
T shirt mas is one of the official events of Antigua’s Carnival and is also one of the most well attended. Thousands of revelers join a number of private bands, such as Myst or Insane Mas to “jump” (party) on the streets of St. John’s. Each reveler is presented with t-shirts for their band, along with other goodies such as free drinks, bandanas, drinking mugs, and other cool merchandise. Patrons of each band are usually separated from the rest of the crowd and the other bands so that they can enjoy a once in a lifetime party experience! Since t shirt mas is usually on the official opening day of the carnival activities you can be assured of starting off carnival with a bang!
Bring Bottle and Come (BBAC)
This bi-annual fete is the house party to end all house parties. This party has a unique method of paying for entry: you can choose to either pay a regular entrance fee OR you can bring a bottle of drink from a pre-approved list of drinks as your entry fee! BBAC is held at an actual house, allowing patrons to feel a particular type of intimacy that other larger parties and venues can’t match. This party is usually held on the last Friday of July, just before the Carnival Monday and Tuesday.
We Come to Fete (WCF)
The official carnival “warm down” party, WCF is held on the first weekend after Carnival celebrations have climaxed. This party allows feters one last chance to recapture the carnival vibes that had them partying until sunup.
Of course, this isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list of carnival activities. For more information on all the events for this carnival, visit the official Carnival 2015 website or you can also follow other local entertainment websites and Facebook pages such as Two Six Eight Entertainment or Fete Tracker for the latest up to date news and reviews.
I had a great time with new friend John from Canada. We took the opportunity between the floats to cover most of the route – all the way up to the VC Bird statue from the top of Main street where the stadium is on Independence Avenue.
I think its best expressed in photos again.
If you would like to learn more about St Johns Cathedral Click Tap here. >>
The Antigua Hawksbills posted their first win this same evening against the St Lucia Zooks. They got a great 165 total that St Lucia looked like they might match but the wickets began to fall and the early strike rate did too. Some great fielding and bowling was displayed after a solid performance in the bat.
Back to some more Caribbean Carnival Images !