Doing nothing is everything at Carlisle Bay, an eco-minded luxury resort located on a quiet tropical beach on the Caribbean island of Antigua.
If you want to relax in an unspoiled natural setting, be waited on hand and foot, get pampered in a first-rate natural spa, dine in sophisticated restaurants or under a palm tree on the beach, and make no decision harder than whether to order a rum punch or a piña colada—then Carlisle Bay is the place for you.
Part of the exquisite Campbell Gray Hotel collection, Carlisle Bay holds a silver certification by EarthCheck, an organization that validates the carbon claims and sustainability initiatives of tourism operations.
Here there’s luxury with a healthy helping of the outdoors: You’ve got beautifully appointed rooms with comfortable air conditioning, but all you need to do is step onto your private balcony or walk 15 yards to the white-sand beach and you’re surrounded by bird song, exotic flowers, coconut palms, and nonstop views of the bay’s turquoise water.
Do Nothing, Do Lots
For a place where you can perfect the art of flopping on a beach chair under an umbrella, Carlisle Bay offers a surprising number of activities.
There’s morning yoga and Pilates in a gazebo—or sunset yoga over the water on the pier. You can go sailing, snorkeling, paddle a sea kayak, or take out one of the resort’s Hobie cats. You can hike with a local guide through the rainforest to pick mangos. And there are tennis courts and a tennis pro to coach your backhand.
Blue Spa lets you unwind in simple elegance with an assortment of treatments from body wraps to facials, to excellent massages. The spa uses the all-natural Spanish line of Natura Bissé skincare products.
With all these great, active items to put on your agenda, however, don’t skimp on the sheer joy of doing nothing on one of Antigua’s most remarkable beaches.
Carlisle Bay’s beach attendants bring coolers filled with cold water and serve drinks from the bar, afternoon tea (ask for the fresh-baked shortbread!), and an assortment of salads and sandwiches for lunch.
If you just can’t leave the beach, why not have the staff set up a dinner table under a palm or on the pier?
Luxury for Families, Too
Carlisle Bay manages to provide a luxurious location that’s perfect for both romantic getaways and family vacations. They’ve accomplished this by locating most of the family suites at one end of the resort and the Ocean Suites on the other.
The Carlisle Bay’s Crew Blue kids’ program keeps kids occupied with fun, educational activities such as banana picking, limbo dancing, and Hobie cat lessons—letting moms and dads have some quiet time together
Carlisle Bay’s Sustainability Efforts
- hires staff from nearby communities
- local outreach programs, including donations, to the community
- guests encouraged to place a green sash on their bed when they do not wish to have linens changed
- use of local, seasonal and sustainably-grown food whenever possible
- low-flow showerheads and sink faucet aerators
- dual-flush toilets in some rooms
- energy-saving CFL lighting
- motion sensors on outdoor lights (and they’re adding them into bathrooms as well)
- recycling of bottles, plastic and kitchen waste,
- rainwater catchment
- reuse of office supplies
- biodegradable pesticides to control insects
- treating sewage water for reuse on landscaping
- energy-efficient air compressors for air conditioning
—Laurel Kallenbach, freelance writer and editor
Photos courtesy Campbell Gray Hotels