10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
If you want to get away from the rat rac...
"If you want to get away from the rat race and have a no pressure, laid back break in beautiful surroundings, this is the place. I have to say we loved it! The beach was exquisite, and the accommodation was spacious, clean and comfortable. It was not high-end luxury, and the bathrooms were pretty tired, but this did not matter to us. Everything worked fine. The Hotel is wonderfully positioned on a peninsula, so there was always sun, always shade, and always breeze. They had a very pretty dining room, innovative delicious menus, friendly and helpful staff. Sam, Sandra and Gary in the bars, the waitresses, and the chambermaids, all helped to make us feel very much at home. Being a small hotel, it was very easy to get to know other guests and enjoy a pre-dinner drink and even share a table for dinner. It's also worth mentioning that every Thursday a fabulous barbeque is laid out for all the guests. Flaming torches lit our path to the dining area on the beach where there was live music, and once again, great food. All of the rooms have unbeatable sea views. The beds are new and outstandingly comfortable (upstairs rooms have six-foot wide beds). The rooms are large with excellent cross ventilation (there is no air conditioning but you don't need it). Also, housekeeping standards are high, and beds are turned down in the evening. You very quickly stop seeing how old the rooms are, because they work just fine. The hotel had no radios, TV, phones (except in the office) and newspapers, so it was a great way to escape the worries of the world. There was always plenty of space along the white sandy beach which was never too busy. If you like a bit of activity, you can always snorkel in the shallow waters around the reef or go around to the dock and take out equipment for a wide selection of watersports. You can always take a trip to Green Island for snorkelling or scuba. You'll find stunning scenery, and great coral reef. On the way, you will see Devil's Bridge. Also, the hotel boat is a few steps away from the dining room. All in all, we enjoyed our holiday here because it was comfortable and personal. If you are a person who likes conformity and five-star corporate luxury, this place will not suit you. But for a laid back holiday with friendly service in a stunning setting, this is a top choice."
- Travel date: 22nd January 2006
The Most Enjoyable Hotel I have Ever Visited
"The Long Bay Hotel does all of the important things very, very well. Over the years, I have stayed at hundreds of hotels all over the world and this is the best experience I have ever had. The setting is hard to beat: on a narrow peninsula between two bays, you have beach on one side and a bay with water sports on the other. Whichever way the wind is blowing on a given day, you can find a breeze for sailing or shelter, as you choose. All of the rooms have unbeatable sea views. The food is outstanding. The chef of many years was originally the hotel gardener, but the hotel sent him to the American Culinary Institute and he is now superb. Menus are slightly ambitious and they invariably succeed, basically Continental with lots of fish and a Caribbean influence. Choice of hot or cold soup, followed by an appetizer (usually seafood) or salad, main course and dessert. Portions are modest by American standards, but with four courses, sufficient. Breakfasts are excellent and my eggs were perfectly cooked every day (a rarity among hotel breakfasts). Lunches are a la carte at the beach house, and once again, excellent. The one area that will initially disappoint is the actual physical plant. Buildings and rooms are more than twenty years old and although they are well maintained, the hotel has not been refurbished and looks its age. Everything works and as I said earlier, this hotel does the important things well. So the beds are new and outstandingly comfortable (upstairs rooms have 6 foot wide beds). The rooms are large with excellent cross ventilation (there is no air conditioning but you don't need it). Housekeeping standards are high, and beds are turned down in the evening. You very quickly stop seeing how old the rooms are, because they work just fine. In the end, a hotel experience depends upon the staff, and this is where Long Bay soars. The hotel is surprisingly small (about 25 rooms) but when we were there guest numbers varied between 12 and 19. With 24 full time staff, the ratio is excellent. Most of the staff have been there for many years. They seem to love the hotel and genuinely want you to enjoy your stay and return. Chris (the owner) and Dave (the manager) live on site and take an active role in ensuring their guests are happy. But all of the staff seem to follow their lead and will do whatever they can for you. It is this spirit which permeates your experience at Long Bay and makes your stay memorable. No review of this hotel would be complete without a mention of the bartenders. Sam is an institution and I will remember him for years. Sandra is well on the way to stardom as well. I could go on for hours, so much did I enjoy my experience at Long Bay. Do yourself a favor and go there too."
- Travel date: 22nd January 2005
"My husband and I (65 & 69) just returned to the snow of CT after a week of gorgeous blue skies and soft ocean breezes at Long Bay Hotel. The hotel is small and informal and perfect for "living without a schedule". The food is fantastic and the staff so helpful. You can tell that the hotel has been carefully tended. We learned that it has been run by the same family since 1966. There is a well stocked library game room to meet the other guests for games or conversation in the evenings if you want. The food is wonderful. The beach is very pretty with white sand and some snorkeling. Just enough to get you hungry for lunch. We did one small half day excursion to see the island but were really content to stay put. It was a wonderful vacation."
- Travel date: 20th January 2005
Relaxing and Fantastic
"Can't say enough good things about Long Bay. Hotel is absolutely beautiful, the staff very attentive to making your stay an experience to remember ... and the food fantastic. Stayed during the Christmas break 2004. We took the Harbor House cottage. Parents in a closed off bedroom and the kids in the living room. First night the kids got a few misquito bites, but not to worry ... the staff provided netting the next morning. Special thanks to Dave for greeting us every day with a smile, making sure we were well taken care of. Took two trips to Green Island with Arno (in charge of watersports), absolutely stunning scenery and snorkling/scuba. Strongly recommend the trip. Sailed the sunfish's provided in the bay, always a good breeze to power your way around. Took a trip to Nelson's Dockyard, nothing special, but enjoyed the ride with Kenneth (handles most transportation at Long Bay). Kenneth shared his knowlege of the island and his experiences. If time away from TV, phones, newspapers, radios ... the outside world is in your plans, highly recommend this hotel. Kids enjoyed getting into Island Time, playing games in the game room or just reading/snorkling on the beach. Jon and TJ"
- Travel date: 3rd January 2005
"The Long Bay Hotel is in a wonderful location with the choice of a sandy beach with a reef for snorkelling within easy reach and a quieter bay with sailing and kayaks. The Hill House is away from the main block but not totally secluded with views of the quieter bay, A large room with a fan to keep you cool at night, a small kitchenette, a walk in wardrobe and a bathroom. The staff were great with special mention to Sam who knew when a Wadadli was needed! The waitresses were all characters in their own right and made us feel welcome from the outset. Dave donned his colonial masters pith helmet and made sure that the residents kept the best sunbeds and regularly kept the locals moving! My partner and myself had the best holiday. This little bit of unspoilt Antigua makes you happy you're not on the other (noisy) side of the island. We will return!!"
- Travel date: 10th August 2004
A Difference to Experience
"A unique and wonderful experience (April 2004). This is not your mass production line resort. (We have been to these; this is a difference to be experienced). It has a personally tailored feel. The beautifully presented, personally served dinners, the personal attention of the owners, Chris and Dave, the the limited number of guests, the laid back atmosphere â all combine to create a relaxed jewel of a Caribbean resort experience. The value received for the price is outstanding. We will definitely return again. The rooms, the dining room and bar area have a quaint elegance that may not be the height of luxury, but is perfectly adequate and harmonizes with the entire atmosphere. We enjoyed the great snorkeling right off the beautiful beach, the unique sailing experience in the little Sunfish in the bay in back, and the little excursions that are possible in this back area. The breeze is ever present, which makes air conditioning unnecessary and for the complete absence of any sand fleas. Sam the bartender and all the pleasant, friendly staff, become were highly appreciated."
- Travel date: 19th May 2004
"Stayed at Long Bay in March after reading reports on this site, so it was a gamble. Long Bay beach is beautiful, the best on the Island, the only downside is that it is shared with the awful Pineapple Beach Hotel although this does'nt spoil the location entirely. Long Bay Hotel is different from any other I have stayed in or visited in the Caribbean. It is very basic in parts, particulary the bathrooms which really do need updating, the rooms themselves are a good size, the new beds are fantastic but small things like floor tiles, balconies and windows are in need of re-modernisation and would make such a difference. The view from the hotel rooms over the lagoon is truly spectacular and because of this I prefer the rooms to the cottages ( which also need updating). The public areas are all nice but old fashioned, the games room is laughable as nothing works or is worn out, and could be turned into a very comfortable lounge/sitting room. Moving onto the restaurant, the service is warm and friendly and you eat in a nice, homely atmoshere, the food however is not what it is cracked upto be. The chef appears to try too hard and the meals are often over cooked or over dressed and with that over priced. Outside there are beautiful gardens leading past the modern tennis courts to the beach, but again the driveways/walls need to be taken care of as when it rains there is mud everywhere ! Apparentley they are planning an outside pool-this is really not needed and I'm sure wouldnt be used and the money would be better spent on a new driveway which would make a grander entrance for the hotel. I agree with all the other reports that the staff are fabulous, really friendly and charming. It looks like I have alot of complaints about Long Bay, thats not the case, its a fantastic little hotel in an enviable location and just needs a bit of loving care and attention in some areas. It has the potential to be one of the most charming,small hotels in the whole Caribbean so dont be put off....I along with everyone else there at the same time thoroughly enjoyed my stay and the gamble did pay off !"
- Travel date: 12th May 2004
Quiet and relaxing
"Recently stayed at the Long Bay. We loved the quiet and relaxing atmosphere, the beach is beautiful, the service was attentive and not pushy, the best room might be the cottage that overlooks both sides of the hotel (Cliff house?)--we found the room nice and definitely clean but not fancy at all. Bathroom was old, kitchen was not nice but we didn't care about that, the noise at night from the insects and birds and rain was not great for us, I would rather stay on the other side where the beach water is--most rooms and cottages overlook a small harbor. The food in my opinion was WAY overrated. I had heard it was fabulous and we were definitely disappointed. Some of the dinners were actually embarrassing--pasta with what appeared to be canned tomato sauce, overly greasey fried appetizers, but the ice creams/desserts, the soups and the basics (lunch, etc.) were great. I would support this hotel though b/c it's independently owned and refreshing compared to the corporate resorts. The beer was cheap !! and the wine list was great. All the staff were really nice, and the beach chairs and beach itself were fantastic. The small secluded beach off of the harbor was a dream. Must admit though, we're glad we walked up to the (newly re-opened) Mango Bay Hotel on the last day. We had a *great* lunch there, and if we return we're going to try the Mango Bay instead (provided they too aren't 'corporate', b/c they have 4 pools and a/c, a necessity for the humidity, b/c the breeze and ceiling fan for our room just didn't cut it and we barely slept all week!!) Dave, Chris, Gary, Sandra, Leonia (sp?) and Sam (our favorite!!) were all really gracious and eager to please..."
- Travel date: 26th April 2004
"we were not supposed to be staying here but our original hotel had overbooked and we had to stay at Long Bay. It was not a hardship for us because EVERYTHING was superb.ALL the staff from Chris down were the most helpful I have encountered anywhere. Our flight was delayed by a day and Chris and his staff were brilliant he let us stay the extra night with no problem and phoned the airport numerous times.The hotel has a character of its own and the food was first class.When I return to Antigua again this is the ONLY hotel I will be booking. Thanks to all staff for a great time."
- Travel date: 20th April 2004
Wonderful and relaxing
"Looking to sit back, relax and forget about life? This is the place. The location and setting is ideal. A unique combination of the pool (the bay), the beach and laid back yet attentive service made this place perfect for us and our two teenagers. We swam, sailed and kayaked twice a day in the bay with snorkeling, reading and long naps in between at the beach. It is heaven for those us seeking refuge from the rest of the world. We know we'll go back. Many thanks to all the staff for making Long Bay a very special place."
- Travel date: 15th April 2004