10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"My girlfriend and I stayed at Hermitage Bay from the 5th to the 12th of May 2007.
The resort is amazing. We stayed in a Hillside Cottage suite with plunge pool. The suite was quite simply excellent. We had a huge rap-around terrace with a view over the ocean. The room was beautifully decorated with dark wood flooring and furniture. The plunge pool was fantastic and offered an infinity view into the Caribbean sea. The room was extremely well equipped. We had a 26â LCD TV, cable, DVD player, Ipod dock and a well stocked mini-bar.. The outdoor shower added a perfect finish.
The restaurant and bar sit right on the beach and also follow the same dark wood dÃ©cor as the rooms. The white furnishings over dark woods really work well together and give the resort a feeling of balance and harmony.
It's important to say the service in this resort is quite simply the best I have ever experienced. Our room ambassador, Ruthlyn, was just amazing. We felt all the staff were extremely helpful and welcoming and catered for all our needs. But Ruthlyn really was superb.
The food was of an amazing quality and on a pa with, if not better than any high standard restaurant I have been to. The breakfast and lunch menu's had enough choice for us and the dinner menu changed every night giving us a choice of three starters and three mains.
As with any holiday there were some faults, though nothing of any real significance. The water went off one morning, but we were told about the issue at breakfast and it was resolved by lunchtime. I was unable to connect to the broadband in our room. Although I must admit I did not pursue this, as there is a laptop with internet connection for guests in the reception area. Besides I think my other half preferred that I was not glued to a laptop all holiday!!
After reading previous reviews, yes, the mosquitoes are the biggest issue. We were bitten from head to toe. No matter how much repellent we sprayed on, we still suffered!! I understand the resort are trying to deal with this problem. But this by no means distracted us from what a fantastic place this is.
The road to the hotel is basically just a dirt track. Although not as bad I was expecting. It is approximately a mile long and aids the isolation of the resort. Should the road be resurfaced it may well add a lot more traffic and I would prefer the resort to remain as peaceful as it is.
After returning from any holiday, there is but one key question; would you return? The answer is most definitely âYesâ!!"
- Travel date: Sun 13th of May 2007
"Well what can i say...absolute heaven!
From the minute you arrive (and the taxi driver calls to let them know you are nearly there so everything is ready) you feel like royalty. You get personally greated by the manager and freshly mixed virgin mojitos are waiting for you! You have your tour of the hotel then your 'room ambasador' takes to up to your room. Pure beauty! I would still be there if i hadnt been dragged out of my room...was going to claim squatters rights but didnt fancy an Antiguan jail!!
The rooms are beautiful and the ipod surround sound a wonderful idea.
The service is second to none you will never be without a drink in your hand. The food is first class...and you can eat it wherever you want they will set a table up for you.
If you can, try and have a chat with Keith the manager lots of hints and tips about the island.
Its true that it is not quite finished yet, they have all 8 beach cottages completed but are still working on the hillsides...we had room 32 half way up the hillside so not too far to walk (although we were lazy a few times and asked for a lift back in the golf buggy!)
The main pool area is lovely very clean and very quiet...you wont have any trouble finding towels as soon as they see you they dash over and ask if you would like a towel. Thats the thing about this place the service is just perfect.
If you fancy doing a few trips the helicopter ride to Monserrat is a must! We also did the boat trip to Cades reef which was lovely...and the circum trip...lovely if you like the 8ft waves of the Atlantic!! If you are a thrill seeker and have a iron stomach then i would recommend it...i however have not and didnt really love it! The french restaurant Le Bistro is lovely as is Cocos restaurant, a beautiful romantic atmosphere! Car hire is also fun! But get a 4x4 or you will get lost in the pot holes!
If you are going to stay here firstly you will have an amazing relaxing holiday...and secondly can i come with you! I would go back tomorrow if i could!
Have fun and relax in beautiful Hermitage Bay in the beautiful sunshine of Antigua!! [walks away from computer depressed she isnt still there]"
- Travel date: Tue 8th of May 2007
Hermitage is a real hideaway! Magic spot!
"Hermitage Bay offers everything we're normally looking for:
- great bungalows with excellent design/ furniture
- magic view
- great beach and sea
- excellent food/ drinks and service
It's an absolutely fantastic place for couples and honeymooners.
The only thing that could be added: some gym machines..."
- Travel date: Mon 7th of May 2007
We didn't want to leave!
"My wife and I stayed at Hermitage Bay between the 6th and 21st April 2007 as a belated honeymoon. Upon arrival we were met with breath taking views of the caribbean and a warm welcome from all the staff, who are absolutely fantastic. We had a hillside villa complete with plunge pool and the rooms surpassed our expectations.
Every guest is assigned a room ambassador, who, if they were anything like ours, Ruthlyn, will make your stay memorable. The rooms are immaculately kept with fresh flowers replaced daily and the mini bar is always topped up for use. The restaurant served the highest quality of food, and the chef was more than willing to remove ingredients, or add them to dishes, if something didn't quite take your fancy.
The bar and pool area were extremely comfortable areas to while away the days, while soaking up the sun and the beach had a healthy supply of loungers and a great drinks service.
We did find the energy on a couple of days to partake in some water sports and found that Devon and Janice the instructors were only too happy to take us out on the hobbie cats or let us loose on the kayaks. The caribbean is a perfect place to do the activities, calm and warm with great cooling winds to combat the sun. if you are prone to burning ensure that no matter how short your stay in the sun is wear sun protection. The cricket world cup was in Antigua during our stay and we went to watch the England v Australia game. Only a ten minute walk from the shuttle bus to a fully covered stand and my wife got burnt by the incredibly strong sun.
The only small down side to our stay was the fact that minor building work was being done on a couple of days. A pool shower was being fitted which, if we were honest, we would have expected to have been completed before the hotel opened. Also various hand rails were being built, work starting at 8.15am. No lie in on those days! The hotel keeps the biting insect problems under control, however this didn't stop me getting bitten 15 times in one night while asleep. Ensure you take plenty of repelent and bite relief, just in case they find you tasty.
Overall, a fantastic holiday and we would definitely return....already started saving up!"
- Travel date: Mon 7th of May 2007
Close to Perfection
"As background, my wife and I are 29 years old and went to Antigua to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. We were looking for a place to totally relax and get away from everything for a week.
We absolutely loved Hermitage Bay. After being torn between the Hillside Cottage for its plunge pool and the Beach Cottage for the proximity to the beach, we chose the Beach Cottage. You can't go wrong with either of these choices. I would say select the Hillside Cottage if the plunge pool is important to you and the Beach Cottage if you like to be steps away from everything and enjoy hearing the ocean at night. If choosing a Beach Cottage, I do recommend requesting the first row. There is a second row that did not seem as desirable.
The cottages are amazing with wood throughout. While they have an excellent flatscreen TV, we had it on for maybe 10 minutes during our entire vacation. We did utilize the Ipod dock each day, especially in the evening as the sun set. The large bathtub and outdoor shower were excellent as well.
The food was very good. The breakfast and lunch menus are the same each day while the dinner menu changes each night. The food was all high quality while I agree with the previous posting that more spices could have been used to add flavor.
The sunsets at Hermitage Bay are amazing and never get old. Our favorite activity was sitting on the front porch of our cottage with a glass of champagne and watching the sunset behind the sailboats.
There are certainly still issues as this resort gets up and running but none that should prevent anyone from visiting. While the road is rough getting out to the resort, it only makes you feel more secluded when you arrive. We took the water taxi over to Jolly Harbor and I would not recommend this unless you need items from the supermarket, etc. The mosquitos are certainly but did not create a major issue for us.
I could write on forever about the wonderful time we had visiting. It was amazing and we hope to return some day."
- Travel date: Mon 30th of April 2007
"My husband and I wanted a great relaxing getaway somewhere in the Caribbean. When we found Hermitage Bay it met our standards as far as a beach vacation goes for now! There were some reviews that listed inconveniences and problems with the resort which did worry us a bit.
First, the road into the resort is not finished in the least. Really, not an inconvenience as once you are at the resort, there is no real reason to leave it; unless you take the occasional jaunt into St. John's or Shirley's Heights. The unfinished road is really due to the massive construction going on in Antigua generally. True, the resort is doing it's fair share of small projects but again, no inconvenience to us. Of course, while at the spa and once sitting at the pool we did hear an occasional car alarm go off which was unnerving!
Second, the mosquitos are a plenty! But, the resort is taking steps to alleviate the problem with an evening spray of some sort of pesticide. We did get bit up some, but nothing more than we expected being in the caribbean.
Third, the occasional electricity outages we experienced were few and not very problematic for all. Some of the suites on the hillside, I beleive, run on a different generator and had longer outages. It only happened twice for us.
Our arrival couldn't have been more welcoming. The staff were happy to see us, greeted us with a nice damp napkin and very delicious virgin mohito! We were shortly, thereafter, taken on a small tour as we made our way to our beach suite. We were sort of blown away at how the hillside suites were a little more expensive compared to the beach suites. Being right on the beach was a plus for us. But the plunge pools in the hillside suites are really nice and a great size! Although, if you are not a climber....these are not for you! Just getting to the spa was a small climb!
The cleanliness factor is huge! Each suite has an ambassador that is assigned to your suite for you stay. She will introduce herself and ask you if you have any requests. If she sees you around the resort she may ask you to see if you are doing ok and her work is satisfactory! From the bathrooms to the bed linens everything is attended to on a daily basis. Each suite is equipped with an i-pod docking station that has surround sound speakers! This was great to have as most evenings we spent on our porch with champagne watching the sunset! Gorgeous. THere is not one suite that doesn't have this incredible view!
The food is really great! Not as much of a fish selection as we thought, but everything was delicious. Each menu for dinner is different. The ambiance at dinner is fabulous. At least 3 nights we had live music. One, acoustic guitar; another jazz band and then a solo piano singer! The best experience, we thought, was eating on the terrace! First, you are under the stars and second, it is much cooler as you catch the breeze while eating.
The wine that was featured was amazing! Of course we are by no means wine connoisseurs, but we definitely enjoyed the house selections! The bar has an extensive list of island drinks, beer, champagne and virgin drinks as well. The bartenders tend to you poolside, on the beach or wherever you are!
The spa was also a great experience. I had the stone therapy massage which was invigorating (despite the sunburn!). I also received a mani/pedi which was very nice. At the moment when you book 3 nights or more, you recieve 2 complimentary 1/2 hour massages as well.
All in all, this resort is definitely one I would return to and recommend to friends/family."
- Travel date: Sat 28th of April 2007
A place on the verge of greatness!
"My Fiance and I went to Antigua for a relaxing holiday and with the intention of taking in some of the cricket at the World Cup! Hermitage Bay is an amazing find and has the potential to be one of those "world class" escapes that everyone craves but rarely finds. The location is a great asset as it is a long way from anywhere and the lack of tarmaced road acts as something of a barrier to entry from the outside.
We stayed in a room with a plunge pool and to be honest this was a big plus! To be able to sit in the pool and read a book, drink in hand, was a true luxury and had exactly the right effect! The main hotel is excellent and the bar area is fantastic with comfortable chairs and a great view! The staff are very friendly and make a real effort to greet you by name which, whilst not exactly novel these days, shows that they are really trying to offer a top class experience. Michael, the F&B Manager, was very friendly and knowledgeable and it was also nice to be able to talk a couple of times to the owner who seemed very laid back and unpretentious. Having visited the Caribean many times looking for that "relaxing Caribean beach vaction" it was a pure joy to actually find somewhere that lived up to expectations.
Whilst we had a fantastic stay it is only fair to point out, from our perspective, that Hermitage bay is not a finished product yet and although you are pretty much guaranteed a great holiday there, there are things that could be improved:
The food, although excellent quality and very good, was not as exciting or interesting as it could have been and we started eating out every other night to get a bit of variety. Coming from London where we try to make the best of the amazing restaurants on offer the food seemed a touch "homely" but that is, obviously, just our opinion. For us, a little more imagination in the use of ingredients from the chef would definately do the trick and also a little more variety on the evening menu would probably have gone a long way. Also, the wine list available in the "all inclusive" category is very limited for the class of hotel and for those who enjoy wine.
The road is also an issue if you want to get out regularly and the most obvious solution to this would be for the hotel to invest in some serious off road vehicles to shuttle people backwards and forwards to the main road where they could be met by taxi. The taxi drivers are very friendly and polite but their vehicles just aren't designed for the off road experience. The lack of this easy and quick access made it a bit of a mission to leave the resort which is a shame given what the rest of Antigua has to offer.
All in all you can't beat this place, in our opinion, and the points above represent purely our perspective on how an already brilliant place could be made even better. Other people who were staying with us at the time thought the food was great so please do not be put off.
If you have the chance, go to Hermitage Bay as is is truly a wonderful place that delivers what it promises"
- Travel date: Fri 27th of April 2007
Visited and wanted to stay
"We were in Antigua for a 10 night stay at another 5 star property a week ago. We had heard a lot about Hermitage Bay and wanted to check it out. We drove over and asked for a tour of the property. The assistant manager gave us a tour of the rooms and all we can say is WOW!!!
First the beach is gorgeous. The surrounding hills are lovely with no other houses or shacks to mare the view. The water is a lovely shade of blue with great chaises and umbrellas.
We saw the beach suites and the hillside suites with a plunge pool. All rooms were done in gorgeous teak wood---floors, deck etc. The rooms are luxurious in an island way with big flat screen tv, sitting area, stocked mini bar and drop dead sexy bathrooms. the attention to detail was outstanding! The pool suites are a little smaller with a larger outdoor area and the beach rooms are just the opposite with a bigger room and smaller deck.
The restuarant and bar areas are lovely as well. They were next to a lovely beach side pool. This place is all-inclusive---all drinks and 3 meals as well as mini bar is included. Off season rates looked very reasonable for what you get.
After the tour we were so bummed that we were not staying there. On our next trip we will definately try Hermitage Bay."
- Travel date: Tue 24th of April 2007
"This place is excellent. If you are looking for relaxation and quiet this is it. however, even with the best of properties there were a few things that I thought could have been a little better.
Basically my wife and I were there for our honeymoon. The car was waiting for us when we arrived at the airport. 20 minutes and we hit
"the road". The driver prepared us for the worst. Basically a gravel country road with just 2 deep holes. This took about 5-7 minutes and it was over. The reality we both laughed because we have booth driven down theses types of roads before. If the car driver would have not tried the dodge the potholes it would have much quicker without the slolemn session down the road.
The property was waiting for us with drinks in hand. They showed us to our room. Completely magnificint. We had the plunge pool. We ended up spending a lot of time there.
The service was good. he food was great You could have your meals in the bar, restaurant or brought up to your room. The dinner menu changes daily. Everyone was very nice. There were just 4-6 other guest which made it even nicer. No crowds at all.
The negatives.... the hotel does not own the beach so anyone can come
up. On Easter Monday it was a holiday and the locals played local music all day. Very annoying. Expect this on holidays. A booze cruise
also came to the beach one day for an hour or so and ruined the quiet.
*The out door showers need a little more privacy.
*The grounds crew needs to understand where the guests are when they are working. They started working around our room at 8AM. There were people in only 4 rooms so I think they could have worked elsewhere that morning. It also happend to be our last morning. They also decided to run the weed whacker outside the massage room when I was getting a massage. Not very relaxing.
House cleaning takes about 1 hour. I am not sure why they could not come when we were at lunch or breakfast since there were so few guests. They seemed just hang out around the room. That got old since we enjoyed our privacy by our pool.
Othere than these everything was great. Do not feel obligate to add more gratuity. It is added onto the room fair and it comes out to alot when you consider what the meals and such would cost. Get ready to eat. It seems like it is non-stop. Let them take you out on the Hobie Cat and it is fun. The minibar is a nice touch and they do a pretty good job of keeping it restocked. The rooms are nice rustic rooms and the bathroom is wonderful.
This property was well worth the money. It was a good rest and realation place. If you are looking for activities this is not it. If you are looking for a quiet worry free vacation this is the place!"
- Travel date: Sat 14th of April 2007
"I have never been anywhere like this before, the privicy of the cottages, the tranquil location, the beaches deserted, the friendly staff all add up to the perfect holiday.
From the minute I arrived I was looked after and was given a local antiguan cocktail which made me feel completely relaxed straight away.
If you are looking for somewhere that is very private with the highest standards of accomodation, food and attention to detail, this is the the place you have been looking for - its paradise
One day I found a beach just around the corner from the hotel and decided to take some photo's, for over an hour I did not see another person, which made me feel like robinson crusoe
The standard of food, breakfast lunch and dinner is high class restaurant standard.
Looking for paradise - this is the place
Mr Hugo Platt UK"
- Travel date: Mon 26th of March 2007