Where to Stay in Antigua 🌴: Best Areas & Hotels

Updated on June 24, 2024
by Alex Miller

Antigua, the larger of the two islands that make up Antigua and Barbuda, is a quintessential Caribbean paradise. With its stunning beaches, turquoise waters, and laidback island vibe, Antigua has become a popular destination for travelers seeking sun, sand, and relaxation.One of the most important decisions when planning a trip to Antigua is choosing the right area to stay.

The island of Antigua offers a variety of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to charming boutique hotels and beachfront villas. Each area has its own distinct character and attractions, catering to different travel styles and preferences.

Whether you’re looking for a lively atmosphere with easy access to restaurants and nightlife, a secluded beachfront escape, or a family-friendly resort with plenty of activities, Antigua has something to offer. The key is finding the perfect spot that aligns with your interests and desired vacation experience.

Our Pick of the Best Hotels in Antigua 💎 :

Quick Guide to the Best Places to Stay in the Antigua 📋

  • 👀 For the First Time: Saint John’s
  • 👪 For Families: Jolly Harbour
  • 🛍️For Shopping: Saint John’s
  • ☀️ For Beaches: West Coast Beaches
  • 🍹 For Nightlife: West Coast Beaches
  • 🏯 For Culture: English Harbour

1. Saint John’s – Best Area to Stay in Antigua for the First Time 👀

🌆 The Vibrant Capital City: St. John’s is the lively capital and largest city of the tropical twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. This cosmopolitan hub serves as the commercial and economic heart of the country, bustling with activity.

🏛️ Historic Charm: Settled by the British in 1632, St. John’s exudes a rich colonial heritage with its colorful wooden buildings and historic landmarks like the magnificent baroque St. John’s Cathedral. Strolling through the city feels like stepping back in time to the Caribbean’s storied past. Historic Places to Visit:

  • St. John’s Cathedral – This magnificent baroque cathedral, with its iconic twin towers, was built in 1845 and is one of the city’s most prominent landmarks. The interior is encased in pitch pine to withstand earthquakes.
  • Museum of Antigua and Barbuda – Housed in the 1750 colonial courthouse, believed to be the oldest building in St. John’s, the museum showcases the islands’ history, from geological formation to cultural heritage.
  • Fort James – This 17th-century fort protected St. John’s harbor, and its original cannons from the reign of King George III remain in place, offering a glimpse into Antigua’s defensive past
  • Heritage Quay and Redcliffe Quay – These renovated port coolest area, with restaurants, shops, and cruise ship docks, exemplify urban renewal while preserving the city’s maritime legacy.
St. John’s Cathedral, Antigua, Guatemala
St. John’s Cathedral, Antigua, Guatemala
St. John’s Cathedral, Antigua, Guatemala
St. John’s Cathedral, Antigua, Guatemala
Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, Guatemala
Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, Guatemala
Fort James, Antigua, Guatemala
Fort James, Antigua, Guatemala
Heritage Quay, Antigua, Guatemala
Heritage Quay, Antigua, Guatemala
Saint John's Harbor, Antigua, Guatemala
Saint John's Harbor, Antigua, Guatemala
Redcliffe Quay, Antigua, Guatemala
Redcliffe Quay, Antigua, Guatemala

🌊 Picturesque Harbor: The city is situated around a sheltered natural harbor, with the charming city center perched on hills overlooking the port area. Cruise ships frequently dock at the renovated Heritage Quay and Redcliffe Quay, bringing tourists right into the heart of this scenic paradise.

🛍️🍽️ Shopping and Dining Delights: St. John’s is renowned for its shopping malls and boutiques selling designer jewelry and haute couture clothing. The lively restaurant scene offers a delectable fusion of Caribbean and international cuisines to tantalize your taste buds.

☀️ Beaches Galore: While not directly on the beach, St. John’s provides easy access to some of Antigua’s most breathtaking stretches of powdery white and pink sand, like Dickenson Bay just a short drive away. The island’s famous 365 beaches await your exploration!

Where to stay in the Saint John’s?

⭐ Best Luxury Hotels 

  • Blue Waters Resort and Spa – Blue Waters Resort and Spa is a luxurious beachfront resort located in St. John’s. It features spacious rooms and suites, multiple swimming pools, a spa, and direct access to a private best beach area. The resort offers world-class service and amenities, making it perfect for couples and families alike.
  • Royalton CHIC Antigua All-Inclusive Resort - Adults Only – Royalton CHIC Antigua All-Inclusive Resort – Adults Only is a 5-star adults-only all-inclusive package resort situated on the famous Dickenson Bay Beach. It boasts modern accommodations, multiple dining options, a spa, and a wide range of activities and entertainment for guests.
  • Jumby Bay Island - an Oetker Collection Hotel – Jumby Bay Island – an Oetker Collection Hotel is a luxurious private island resort accessible only by boat. It offers secluded villas, a private beach, multiple restaurants, a spa, and various water sports activities, providing a truly exclusive and upscale experience.

🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotels 

  • Antigua Village – Antigua Village is a budget-friendly resort located near Dickenson Bay Beach. It features comfortable rooms, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, and easy access to nearby beaches and attractions, making it a great value option for travelers.
  • Siboney Beach Club – Siboney Beach Club is a moderately priced beachfront hotel situated on the northwest coast of Antigua. It offers direct access to a private beach, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, and basic amenities, providing a convenient and affordable option for beach lovers.
  • Hodges Bay Saint Johns – Hodges Bay Saint Johns is a mid-range hotel located near St. John’s and Hodges Bay Beach. It features comfortable rooms, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, and easy access to nearby attractions, making it a practical choice for travelers on a budget.

🛏️ Best Budget Hotels 

  • Caribbean Inn and Suites – Caribbean Inn and Suites is a budget-friendly hostel located in St. John’s, offering dormitory-style accommodations and basic amenities for budget-conscious travelers.
  • Connie's Comfort Suites – Connie’s Comfort Suites is a small hostel situated in St. John’s, providing affordable accommodations with private rooms and shared facilities, catering to backpackers and solo travelers.
  • Antigua Seaview – Antigua Seaview is a budget hostel located near Dickenson Bay Beach, offering dormitory-style accommodations and basic amenities for travelers seeking an affordable option close to the beach.

2. English Harbour – Best Area for Beauty of Island 🥥

⚓ Nelson’s Dockyard: This UNESCO World Heritage site is the crown jewel of English Harbour, featuring meticulously restored 18th-century Georgian buildings that once served as the Royal Navy’s premier Caribbean base. The beautifully preserved dockyard offers a glimpse into the golden age of sail, with structures like the Sail Loft, Naval Officer’s Quarters, and the Dockyard Museum showcasing architectural ingenuity.

🏰 Historic Fortifications: Surrounding the dockyard are several historic fortifications that once guarded this strategic harbor, including Fort Berkeley, dating back to 1704, and the Shirley Heights military lookout with its panoramic views. The Dow’s Hill Interpretation Centre provides insights into Antigua island’s original British settlement with rich history through multimedia exhibits.

🌴 Natural Beauty: English Harbour is nestled within the picturesque Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, a 16-square-mile protected area encompassing stunning pristine sand beaches, hiking trails, and natural landscapes. You can enjoy the best Galleon Beach and Pigeon Beach, that offer opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and relaxation amidst the blue Caribbean waters. Other interesting places:

  • Galleon Beach and Pigeon Beach – These picturesque beaches within Nelson’s Dockyard National Park offer opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and relaxation amidst turquoise waters.
  • Nature Trails – Hiking trails like the Carpenters Trail and Middle Ground Trail wind through lush forests and offer panoramic viewpoints of the coastline.
  • Pillars of Hercules – This striking natural rock formation across the harbor entrance was formed by erosion, creating large pillar-like structures.

Yachting Hub: Today, English Harbour is a thriving yachting destination with two sheltered deepwater harbors: English Harbour itself and the adjacent Falmouth Harbour. The area hosts various sailing events and regattas throughout the year, attracting yacht enthusiasts from around the world.

🍹 Dining and Nightlife: English Harbour boasts a lively dining scene with restaurants offering a delectable fusion of Caribbean and international cuisines, as well as bars and nightlife hotspots like the iconic Shirley Heights Lookout. The area comes alive during the winter yachting season with events and evening entertainment.

Where to stay in the English Harbour?

⭐ Best Luxury Hotels

  • South Point Antigua – South Point Antigua is a luxurious beachfront property located in English Harbour Town. It offers an outdoor pool, a private beach area, and spacious rooms with balconies, sea views, and modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and fully equipped kitchens.
  • The Inn at English Harbour – The Inn at English Harbour is a upscale colonial-style resort situated next to Deep Bay Beach. It features an pool and fitness center, free Wi-Fi, and elegantly appointed suites with hardwood floors, flat-screen TVs, and marble bathrooms. The property also has two restaurants serving international and Caribbean cuisine.
  • Gunpowder House & Suites – Gunpowder House & Suites is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Nelson’s Dockyard National Park. It offers stylish suites with modern amenities, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant serving local and international dishes. The property is surrounded by historic buildings and beautiful natural scenery.

🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotels 

  • Admiral's Inn – Admiral’s Inn is a budget-friendly hotel located in English Harbour, just a short walk from Nelson’s Dockyard. It offers comfortable rooms with basic amenities, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant serving local cuisine.
  • Copper and Lumber Store Hotel – Copper and Lumber Store Hotel is a unique hotel housed in a restored 18th-century building in Nelson’s Dockyard. It features cozy rooms with historic charm, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant serving Caribbean and international dishes.
  • Antigua Yacht Cub marina Resort – Antigua Yacht Cub marina Resort is a moderately priced hotel located in Falmouth Harbour, offering comfortable rooms with balconies, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant with views of the marina.

🛏️ Best Budget Hotels 

  • Villa Touloulou – Villa Touloulou is a budget-friendly hostel located in English Harbour, offering dormitory-style accommodations and basic amenities for backpackers and solo travelers.
  • The Ocean Inn Antigua – The Ocean Inn Antigua is a small hostel situated near Dickenson Bay Beach, providing affordable private rooms and shared facilities for budget-conscious travelers.
  • The Lodge Antigua – The Lodge Antigua is a budget hostel located in St. John’s, offering dormitory-style accommodations and basic amenities for travelers seeking an affordable option close to the city center.

3. Jolly Harbour – Where to Stay in Antigua for Families 👪

🏖️ Beaches Galore: Jolly Harbour is home to three stunning pristine beaches – Jolly Beach, Valley Church Beach, and Darkwood Beach – offering powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. These beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports like snorkeling and kayaking.

🍽️ Dining and Entertainment: Jolly Harbour features a lively dining scene with numerous restaurants and bars offering a variety of cuisines, from local Caribbean fare to international favorites. The area also hosts regular live music events and entertainment, creating a vibrant atmosphere for families.

🛍️ Shopping and Amenities: The Jolly Harbour Village is a one-stop-shop for all your needs, with a well-stocked supermarket, pharmacy, bank, and various shops and boutiques. This convenient location ensures that families have easy access to all the essentials during their stay.

Valley Church Beachm Antigua, Guatemala
Valley Church Beachm Antigua, Guatemala
Jolly Beach, Antigua, Guatemala
Jolly Beach, Antigua, Guatemala
Valley Church Beachm Antigua, Guatemala
Valley Church Beachm Antigua, Guatemala
Dark Wood Beach, Antigua, Guatemala
Dark Wood Beach, Antigua, Guatemala
Jolly Beach, Antigua, Guatemala
Jolly Beach, Antigua, Guatemala
Dark Wood Beach, Antigua, Guatemala
Dark Wood Beach, Antigua, Guatemala

👪 Family-Friendly Atmosphere: With its gated community, 24-hour security, and a range of kid-friendly activities, Jolly Harbour offers a safe and welcoming environment for families travelling with kids. The area is also within walking distance to many attractions, making it easy to explore and enjoy the island. Popular activities:

  • Water Sports – Families can engage in various water sports activities, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling, and sailing. Many resorts on the island and tour operators in Jolly Harbour offer equipment rentals and guided tours.
  • Golf The Jolly Harbour – Golf Club features an 18-hole championship golf course set in lush tropical surroundings, perfect for families who enjoy golfing together.
  • Tennis and Sports – Jolly Harbour has tennis courts and a sports center with a swimming pool and fitness facilities, allowing families to stay active and participate in friendly competitions.
  • Kids’ Clubs and Activities – Many resorts in Jolly Harbour offer kids’ clubs and organized activities, such as arts and crafts, games, and educational programs, to keep children entertained and engaged.

Where to stay in the Jolly Harbour?

⭐ Best Luxury Hotels

  • Hermitage Bay - All Inclusive – Hermitage Bay – All Inclusive is a luxurious beachfront resort situated in the secluded Hermitage Bay. It offers spacious suites and cottages with private plunge pools, a spa, an outdoor pool, and a beachfront restaurant serving organic cuisine. The resort provides a tranquil and upscale experience surrounded by tropical gardens.
  • Carlisle Bay – Carlisle Bay is a world-class resort located on the south coast of Antigua. It features elegant suites with modern amenities, multiple dining options, a spa, tennis courts, and a private beach area. The resort offers a celebrity treatment with exceptional service and facilities.
  • Curtain Bluff - All Inclusive – Curtain Bluff – All Inclusive is a luxurious all-inclusive resort located on the beachfront in Carlisle Bay. It offers well-appointed accommodations with balconies overlooking the sea, three restaurants serving international cuisine, water sports activities, tennis courts, and a fitness center.

🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotels 

  • Villa Antigua Chiama Italia – Villa Antigua Chiama Italia is a budget-friendly villa located in Jolly Harbour, offering comfortable accommodations with a private pool, a terrace, and a fully equipped kitchen, making it an ideal choice for families or groups.
  • Seamply Villa by ACI Jolly Harbour – Seamply Villa by ACI Jolly Harbour is a moderately priced villa situated in the Jolly Harbour area. It features a private pool, a terrace, and a fully equipped kitchen, providing a convenient and affordable option for those seeking self-catering accommodations.
  • Jolly Beach Resort – Jolly Beach Resort is a mid-range resort located on the west coast of Antigua, offering direct access to Jolly Beach. It features comfortable rooms, an outdoor pool, multiple dining options, and various amenities, making it a practical choice for budget-conscious travelers.

🛏️ Best Budget Hotels 

  • Tropical Apartment 1B – Tropical Apartment 1B is a budget-friendly apartment located in St. John’s, offering basic accommodations with a kitchenette and shared facilities, catering to backpackers and solo travelers.
  • Dream View – Dream View is a small hostel situated in St. John’s, providing affordable private rooms and dormitory-style accommodations with shared facilities, suitable for budget-conscious travelers.
  • Orrie's beach – Orrie’s beach is a budget hostel located near Dickenson Bay Beach, offering dormitory-style accommodations and basic amenities for travelers seeking an affordable option close to the beach.

4. West Coast Beaches (Saint Mary) – for Top Beach Resorts and Nightlife 🍹

🌞 Breathtaking Beaches: The west coast boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Antigua, including the famous Dickenson Bay, a long stretch of powdery white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Other notable beaches in the area include Ffryes Beach, Valley Church Beach, and Jolly Beach, all offering idyllic settings for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.

🌃 Vibrant Nightlife: While the west coast is known for its tranquil beaches during the day, the area comes alive at night with a lively dining and entertainment scene. Numerous bars, beach clubs, and restaurants line the coast, offering everything from casual beachside dining to upscale eateries and lively nightclubs.

🏄🏼 Water Sports and Activities: The calm waters of the Caribbean Sea on the west coast provide ideal conditions for various water sports and activities, such as:

  • snorkeling
  • scuba diving
  • kayaking
  • sailing

Many hotels and resorts in Antigua offer equipment rentals and guided tours, allowing guests to explore the vibrant marine life and coral reefs.

📍 Convenient Location: The west coast is conveniently located near the capital city of St. John’s, making it easy to access the island’s main hub of the island for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Additionally, the area is within a short drive from popular attractions like Nelson’s Dockyard National Park and the historic English Harbour.

Where to stay in the West Coast Beaches?

⭐ Best Luxury Hotels in Antigua

  • The Great House – The Great House is a luxurious 5-star resort located in Saint Peter, Antigua. It features an outdoor swimming pool, a garden, a shared lounge, and a terrace. The air-conditioned rooms have free WiFi, private bathrooms, and patios with garden or sea views. The resort also offers bike rentals, a bar, and a restaurant serving African, Caribbean, and British cuisine. If you want to stay in Antigua for nightlife, then this place it’s your perfect choice!
  • Carlisle Bay – Carlisle Bay is a world-class resort located on the south coast of Antigua, offering a celebrity treatment with exceptional service and facilities. It features elegant suites with modern amenities, multiple dining options, a spa, tennis courts, and a private beach area. Couples particularly enjoy the location, rating it 9.0 for a two-person trip.
  • Buccaneer Beach Club – Buccaneer Beach Club is a small beachfront property located on Dickenson Bay, surrounded by tropical gardens and featuring a free-form outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi. The bright villas and cottages have cabana-style furniture, flat-screen TVs, and kitchenettes. The property offers direct access to the beach and is within walking distance of several restaurants.

🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotels in Antigua

  • Dickenson Bay Oasis AntigaVillage – Dickenson Bay Oasis AntigaVillage is a budget-friendly resort located near Dickenson Bay Beach, offering comfortable accommodations with kitchenettes, an outdoor pool, and a restaurant.
  • Antigua Village – Antigua Village is a moderately priced resort situated near Dickenson Bay Beach, featuring comfortable rooms, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, and easy access to nearby beaches and attractions.
  • Lovely Beach Apartment Antigua – Lovely Beach Apartment Antigua is a budget-friendly apartment located near Dickenson Bay Beach, offering basic accommodations with a kitchenette and shared facilities, catering to budget-conscious travelers.

🛏️ Best Budget Hotels in Antigua

  • Paradise Hilltop Drive – Paradise Hilltop Drive is a budget hostel located in St. John’s, offering dormitory-style accommodations and basic amenities for backpackers and solo travelers.
  • Heritage – Heritage is a small hostel situated near Dickenson Bay Beach, providing affordable private rooms and shared facilities for budget-conscious travelers.

FAQs about Trip to Antigua ❔

Which is the Antigua’s best side to stay on?

The west coast – Antigua will leave every visitor awestruck with its phenomenal natural beauty, no matter where you decide to stay on the island or what type of holiday you desire. “The west coast is generally accepted as the best coast to stay on, largely due to the fact the Caribbean waters are calmer and much easier to access.

What is the best part of the island in Antigua?

Starting with Saint John’s. The capital and largest city on the island, Saint John’s is the best neighborhood to stay in Antigua if you’re visiting for the first time because it has great bars and restaurants, charming shops and plenty to see and experience.

How many spend your days need in Antigua?

If you are planning a luxury getaway trip to Antigua, and are wondering how much time you need to ensure you are able to maximize your holiday on the island, we can recommend on average three to five days.

When not to go to Antigua?

Low season in Antigua stretches from September through November, the height of the rainy season, when hurricanes may pass through.

Do you need a car in Antigua?

Although there are bus services on the island, they are largely unreliable. Buses often turn out to be 15-passenger minivans with colorful paint jobs, and the bumpy roads make for a rough ride. Rental cars are another popular mode of transportation, but you’ll find method to get an Antiguan driving permit.