| GIFTED STAY |
Set within 30 waterfront acres on the north east coast of Antigua you’ll find The Verandah Resort and Spa. Bordered by a National Park this 186 room all inclusive resort is just 30 minutes from the airport and the perfect spot for your tropical holiday this year!
With 2 private beaches, 2 pools, 4 bars, 4 restaurants, a cafe, kids club, gym and even a mini golf course there’s plenty to do and lots of ways to relax. And it’s also only a short stroll from both the natural rock formation Devil’s Bridge and Long Bay Beach which is considered one of the islands best beaches!
I stayed for a week at the Verandah in May as part of a group conference and quick frankly I didn’t want to leave! Here’s a little review of my experience for you if you’re looking for some holiday inspiration…
Rooms at the Verandah come in the form of huge waterfront suites with some stunning balcony views. The suites are very well sized, with plenty of space to spread out and relax, good wardrobe space and even a little kitchenette to make coffee with a fridge for snacks! The decor is more traditional rather than super modern, but you have everything you need and they feel nice and homely.
I had in a twin room all to myself which came with two large and very comfy beds. I have a bit of a dodgy lower back so hotel beds can sometimes be a little tricky for me, but the beds at the Verandah were heavenly! Sink into mattresses, good pillows, plug sockets next to the bed and lovely clean crisp sheets. No jet lag for me after a good re-charge in one of those.
Antigua is a HOT part of the world and humid too, so good air con is a godsend. The air con in our suites was brilliant which made sleeping, getting ready and relaxing in the room a real joy. It also wasn’t overly noisy either.
I had a bath in my suite with a shower above which is a nice touch of an evening with good book. The bathrooms have his and hers sinks and are very spacious with huge mirrors and good water pressure. The only niggle for me was that they are a little on the dark side if you’re wanting to do makeup in there, but you can easily use the bedroom mirrors if you need a bit more light.
At night the bugs and frogs of the island come out to play, and with the resort being surrounded by so much gorgeous greenery it gets a little noisy when the sun goes down. If you’re a light sleeper, bring earplugs for this!
The safe is also free to use inside the wardrobe and the cleaning staff kept the room spotless throughout my stay. What I’d give to be sat on that balcony again with a morning coffee and my book looking out over that clear blue water – heaven!
Suites at the Verandah are quite spread out and everything is a bit of a walk with some pretty steep slopes.
If you’re a little unsteady on your feet (or just don’t fancy the walk…hey, you’re on holiday after all!) then golf carts can be called from reception or flagged down at little bus stops across the resort to make things more accessible.
FOOD & DRINK
This is something I was particularly impressed about at The Verandah. I’ve stayed in a lot of all inclusive resorts over my time and sometimes the food and drink offering isn’t the strongest, but The Verandah have developed a really great offering with a lot of choice.
At breakfast you’ll find local and international dishes – buffet style. Fresh fruit, pastries, omelette station, good coffee and even a smoothie bar. The food was hot, changed frequently and the ingredients were all super fresh. I looked forward to my breakfast each morning and even with the main restaurant being pretty big it never felt overly crowded.
At lunch time you have a few options with the main buffet, the Rasta Bar Grill or lunch with a view at the Beach Bar & Grill.
Fresh wraps, burgers, nachos looking out over the beach at the Beach Bar & Grill, or better still burgers, hot dogs and toasties ON the beach for a quick bite at the Rasta Bar!
There are also finger sandwiches, fresh fruit, cookies and cakes at the cafe for most of the day if you’re feeling peckish and you can grab a hot cup of tea and coffee while you’re there if the cocktail menu isn’t your thing.
Speaking of which, let’s talk booze!
One of the beauties of an all inclusive is the unlimited drinks. Every hour is happy hour at the Verandah…well, until 12pm anyway! Like the food, The Verandah have got it right with the drinks too offering a number of international brands and bar staff who know their stuff.
Refreshing frozen daiquiris, cold and very drinkable beer, shorts, inventive house cocktails, sparkling wine – this bar has it all and the quality is pretty good I have to say.
The tap water is also drinkable at the Verandah which means you can always get a glass and it helps to cut down on plastic bottles too. There’s cold mint and fruit infused water stations around the pool too, so bring your chilly bottle and stay hydrated kids!
At night the buffet restaurants serves a great choice of different foods with themed nights throughout the week. Drinks service is quick and the staff are incredibly friendly.
There’s also a paid for a la carte restaurant which you can book into during your stay for fine steaks and lobster! I didn’t visit this time round but one of my friends did and said the quality was top notch – well worth a treat one night for sure.
ENTERTAINMENT & THINGS TO DO
I didn’t get too involved with the entertainment at The Verandah during my stay but I was aware it was there.
From aqua aerobics in the pool to rum tasting, fire eaters in the evening and live music, there was a really nice vibe around the place from day to night.
There always seemed to be something going on without those activities disturbing the other guests who prefer to just chill out by the pool…like me!
Non-motorised water sports at the beach are also free for guests to try whenever they like! From stand up paddle boarding, to kayaking, pedal boarding and more, it’s a nice touch for the resort to offer as part of their all-inclusive package….even if I was terrible as SUP boarding! The less said about that the better!
The Verandah also has a kids club for potty trained little ones aged 2 and over and a programme for teens with discos, karaoke, games areas and games of mini golf.
Pool towels are readily available around the pool (and both beaches) and there was never a fight for sun beds despite the resort being pretty full during our stay which made for a very relaxing experience.
There’s also free WiFi round the pool and in the reception although a little patchy. However paid WiFi packages in the rooms were very fast and reliable – worth nothing if you like to be connected during your break.
The shop in the hotel lobby sells everything from bottled soft drinks to bikinis, souvenirs to snacks so you’re sure to find most things you need without even having to travel into town.
But if you do wish to explore you can book organised excursions from the resort and find local travel information if you prefer to go it alone. The staff at the tours desk are super friendly and can help your organise your perfect trip…if you choose to leave the Verandah Luxury that is!
They also have a spa which sadly I didn’t get chance to visit during my stay, but the prices looked pretty standard for resort treatments and they were quite booked up for the majority of the week…it must be good! Think facials, couples massages, hairstyling, body treatments – lots to make your stay even more relaxing.
There’s a fair bit to see and do in Antigua – it’s not all sunbathing and rum cocktails you know…although with the 365 beaches Antigua has that does sound like a great option!
We took a trip up to the famous Shirley Heights Bar one evening to watch the sunset from their epic viewpoint. You can eat delicious BBQ food and drink rum punch to the sound of steel drums and live music late into the evening as the sun sets over the harbour.
It’s a great experience for a night ‘on the town’ and one is certainly recommend booking yourself in for during your time on the island…just look at that sunset….
If being active is your thing, why not learn how to sail or try your hand at scooter snorkelling? It seems a shame to come to Antigua and not make the most of that crystal clear water and the sea life beneath the surface!
We gave them both a go, and they were SO much fun! We got to swim with turtles on our scooter snorkelling excursion and although I don’t think anyone is going to be hiring me to sail their yacht any time soon, it was still fun trying my hand at a new skill out on the water!
I absolutely loved my stay at The Verandah and it truly was a relaxing week in the Antiguan sunshine for me.
The vibe is super chilled as soon as you walk into that lobby (without the staff’s laid back attitude impeding on service) and it’s fab for couples and families alike.
We also saw a couple of weddings during the week too – what a stunning place for a ceremony right on the beach, so cute!
Would I come back to The Verandah Resort & Spa? Absolutely! It’s a fantastic all inclusive resort and has seriously sold Antigua to me as a relaxing long haul holiday destination!
Are you be tempted to visit the Verandah Resort and Spa after reading my review? Have we convinced you to take your next all inclusive holiday to Antigua?