I had 72 hours to reconcile the fact that I was heading to Antigua, with my partner, on Sunday morning. Sure, we had discussed this being a possibility as he needed to return to the island and nurture relationships for his evolving website, which was launched 2.5 years before while he was living there.
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.
We really DO beat the prices offered by the bigger web players so check us out for the best antigua airport transfers.
Organising your airport transfer in Antigua is something you really should do before arrival. Get organised and be ready to enjoy your holiday. The best price for a private transfer is here!
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To the furthest resorts like Pineapple Beach Club or Nonsuch Bay you will pay a lot one way if you go by regular taxi, and come to think of it even for airport transfers to Jolly Beach Resort or Halcyon Rex. If you see the quotations from the global transfer websites (sites serving the world) they are more expensive by a good amount. Go ahead and check your price with them but remember to come back!
Antigua Airport (ANU)
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We can offer a better more personal service than the official taxi stand. Please allow us to quote you; give us your dates of arrival and departure and your resort or villa. You will also at time of transfer be directly in touch with our knowledgeable guide who can remain at your service during your stay. Further advantages such as being relaxed about stopping to buy immediate supplies can be a real benefit.
“We had a great experience with Best Antigua. We booked an airport transfer and a last minute transfer to a boat tour. All of the transfers were on time. The drivers were so friendly and helpful. Calvin responded to all queries really quickly and organised everything seamlessly. I will definitely use this company again when I return to Antigua.”
– Hannah W UK 2021 review via Google reviews
“Just returned from a fantastic holiday in Long Bay Antigua. This was our first trip to the island and we were lucky to choose the guys at Best Antigua (https://bestantigua.com) for our transportation. Excellent service from beginning to end and far more competitive than the other transport firms we looked at. From first contact to last they were helpful, timely and informative, we were collected and delivered back to the airport comfortably and on time. Lennox our driver offered interesting information about the island and can arrange tours and car hire etc. if needed.
We would definitely recommend these guys and will use again when we return.Many thanks to Calvin & Lennox for helping us settle in and feel at home.
“Mark, Natalie & Charlie.”
“For our second visit to Antigua we booked transfers to the Verandah Resort via the ‘Best of Antigua’ website.
Driver Raymond duly recognised us on arrival and 30 minutes later we were enjoying the customary welcome rum punch at the resort.
Raymond offered his services during our stay but we decided to generally stay in the resort as we had already visited most of the local attractions.
Prior to our departure Raymond made contact to confirm pick up.details etc and the journey back to the airport was duly completed. Safe driving, good conversation and a totally reliable service.
If we come back to Antigua we would have no hesitation in booking Raymond’s services through ‘Best of Antigua’ – after all, everybody loves Raymond!
Thanks again and best wishes.
Adrian and Helen.”
Enquire now and get that part of the holiday organised! If you are not able to see a form below then click contact us and ask us to book arrange your quotation.
This is a typical Antigua airport taxi
As an example see airport transfer prices ROUNDTRIP (USD) based on a couple sharing:
Airport to Jolly Beach, Cocos or Coco Bay 70.00
Airport to Rex Hawksbill Resort 70.00
Airport to St James Club 80.00
Airport to Pineapple Beach Club 75.00
Airport to Rex Halcyon 50.00
Airport to Admiral Inn , Galley Bay 80.00
Book Now – use our contact form and get in touch. We use PayPal to secure your online safety and money. Alternatively book online at our sister website Best Antigua Transfers
Antigua drivers are cheerful souls but they don’t find it easy to use things like paypal and online banking. It is very hard for us to pay them so we get you to do that on arrival and on the return (50/50)..
Why can we beat the Official Taxis ?
There is a syndicate in operation that many professional drivers are excluded from. This doesn’t mean they are no less professional in any way but the costs and difficulties to join mean these drivers prefer to not be a part of that. They do lose out from the markets the syndicated drivers operate in. But your advantage is getting to know a good driver who is not on the list and doesn’t have the excessive overheads.
So to get the best price fill out the resort and dates above and click send.
Other Notes on Transfers and Taxis
There is evidence to suggest that official taxis are asking increased rates than those set out online unless you barter them down ! Here is a big tip. If you plan on arriving and taking a TAXI you must download the official rates from this page and show the driver – you will then be able to negotiate easier. It is so interesting that writer Jamaica Kincaid early on in A Small Place mentions that the Taxi Driver tried to do this exact thing. Taxi Drivers!
She came she saw she worked and partied and tanned up a bit Nichole Scherzinger was hosting her X Factor babies here in Antigua. I wanted to share this link which has more on the story. It’s great publicity for Antigua I’m just pissed that I didn’t meet her 😛
Photo copyright REX /Tom Dymond
It was a lot to blog in just one day and so I bring the later part which came after my hike in Nelsons Dockyard – the Jones Valley Trail.
I had been with the family previous and we found a lack of shade, but in the week this beach was almost ours alone. To the right is a development that seems little used (It is an abandoned resort). The left hand side has calmer waters and here you can find shade. Bring your own seats and you will see it more ideal if you have a two year old or younger – even maybe certainly – check your child’s ability to swim here. There can be some good waves to knock the stuffing out of your offspring older kids love waves when confident. This evening after getting a bit lost I found the beach again and found a space to park. It was busy even at 4pm.
I didn’t explore the right hand side. I walked up the left hand side to get some photos and discover a bit more. There were some Asian tourists getting an enormous amount of pictures as the waves on the end crashed in. So not only did each picture have to wait for a wave to crash into the air one would strike a new pose. ‘Ahh thats a great pose’ one would say and each and every one of them NEEDED to get that photo too! So they would then all do that pose and so it went.
I passed by them at the end and further left on the rocks that require a small amount of skill I still possess at 40. I got some footage after enjoying a seat and the waves. It would be a great place to meditate here. I took a couple of videos and some photos and left to get my well deserved dip.
I had resisted earlier a dip that day on Pigeon Beach. There was a generator to the right of me for their music and maybe cooler. They were a mix of expats and locals with all the equipment all having a great time. I was slightly envious as I am when I see large groups enjoying their thing. But hell I am one lucky guy to be here and now I can finally enjoy some surf. Body surfing can be great fun stiffen up and make yourself a board and get the timing right you will fly down the face. I think I spent a good hour there. It was the Crows Nest Pool Party so I didn’t want to be too late. I wound my way back via town not taking Fig Tree Drive and this made sense.
It was a lot of fun messing around in the Pool while being slightly intoxicated – they also had a ball that they would inflate with air you get in and set you away on the surface. Go see the video below.
Since I learned that the resort on the end was destroyed in 1995 by the Hurricane check out this link to a video to The Remains of Half Moon Bay Resort video.