The stunning Caribbean island of Antigua & Barbuda, most famous for its annual sailing week, has a lot to offer the solo traveller. As well as 365 stunning beaches to choose from, there are a number of cultural, culinary and sporting activities to get involved in too. Having visited here a few times alone, these are some of the best bits of Antigua every solo traveller to the island should be aware of…
1. Best 3* All Inclusive Hotel in Antigua
Starfish Jolly Beach Resort is a firm favourite of mine and having stayed here a couple of times, it feels like staying with family rather than within a hotel resort. The welcoming staff are friendly, lively and fun loving. They will bend over backwards to make your stay a happy one. It’s no wonder there are so many repeat visitors.
Good morning guests!
Nightlife is varied and enjoyable so there is always something to keep you entertained during the evening, as well as during the day. The food quality is good, offering plenty of local and international choices, within several different restaurants on the resort.
Starfish Jolly Beach resort is well located on arguably one of the best beaches in Antigua. Jolly Beach Marina is not far away with more restaurants, bars and a supermarket.
2. Best ‘Room Only’ Resort
Admiral’s Inn, English Harbour
I have stayed here twice and both times I have been impressed. Admiral’s Inn is a boutique hotel that offers unique accommodation within the grounds of Nelson’s Dockyard UNESCO Heritage Site.
The onsite restaurant, Pillars, offers a fine dining experience in a relaxed, harbour-side setting, with a steel band playing on Wednesday evenings, peak season.
Guests can take a shuttle boat to the other side of the harbour to enjoy the infinity pool with spa facilities.
Galleon’s Beach is also a short boat ride away. It is excellent for snorkelling and if you are lucky, you will see rays and turtles.
3. Best Bed and Breakfast
Nestled in the hills of Cedar Valley, Northern Antigua, is this fantastic bed and breakfast, studio accommodation, perfect for the solo traveller. It will suit those who wish to stay in a residential area of the island for one or two nights, maybe longer.
The studio is within the grounds of a family home and includes a home cooked breakfast by the superb chef, Nicole. She also runs a cookery school from home and I highly recommend taking one of the classes! For further information about the accommodation and current prices, contact the owners, Nicole and Adam directly.
4. Best 4* All Inclusive Resort
St James’ Club is an impressive hotel resort offering luxurious accommodation within extensive, well kept grounds. The main pool is incredible for exercise or taking a dip. It benefits from plenty of sun loungers around it.
Both of St James’ Club’s beaches are stunning. Coco Beach is a stretch of white sand with palm trees.
The other, Mamora Bay, has golden sand, with calm water ideal for watersports.
The majority of the food served here is outstanding and there are plenty of activities for solo travellers to get involved in during the day with varied evening entertainment.
5. Best Restaurant for Dinner
La Brasserie d’Antigua, English Harbour
Without a doubt, my favourite restaurant to go to for an evening meal is the French, family run, La Brasserie in English Harbour. Dining is in a waterfront setting with French music playing. A member of staff will collect you by water taxi, if you are staying at nearby Admiral’s Inn.
The food here really is exquisite. I can honestly say, I had the best steak I have ever eaten. It was made the old fashioned way with cognac apparently. La Brasserie is a relaxed place to come for authentic French food at its best.
6. Best Restaurant for Lunch on a Budget
Grace Before Meals, English Harbour
It has to be Grace Before Meals in English Harbour…
Grace has run the restaurant for 30 years. She is now in the process of marketing it for sale but, if it doesn’t sell she will continue. The restaurant is a colourful, timber bungalow by the roadside serving fantastic, traditional West Indian dishes.
The delicious food is enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.
7. Best Daytime Solo Activity
Nicole’s Table – Cookery School, Cedar Valley
One of my best bits of Antigua is meeting and conversing with locals. A cookery lesson at Nicole’s Table did just that and was my favourite daytime activity! I was overwhelmed by the hospitality provided by Nicole, her family and some friends who joined us. The cookery school caught my eye when it featured on an episode of ITV’s Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen. The Jamaican Chef, Ainsley Harriett, carried out a culinary tour of the Caribbean islands.
The hands on cookery lesson got us involved in making several delicious dishes including wanton cups made from plantain, pineapple salsa and blackened salmon. A delicious, refreshing, homemade rum punch was enjoyed by all. Once all the dishes were cooked, we were able to sit and enjoy the meal together.
This was a fantastic daytime activity. As well as taking home superb memories, we took recipe sheets away too!
8. Best evening activity
Situated on the most southern tip of Antigua is a restored military lookout offering the most amazing views of Falmouth and English Harbour. Every Sunday evening from 4pm-10pm there is a party which costs US$8 to enter. There is a more low key venue on a Thursday evening too. One of the best bits of Antigua is taking in the breathtaking views and sunsets from Shirley Heights lookout.
Before sunset, you will be entertained by the fantastic steel band that plays. Then, as night falls, a reggae band takes over for more partying and dancing.
If you enjoyed reading about my best bits of Antigua and want to read more reviews and recommendations of places to stay and things to do, have a look at the following links…
Suggested Further Reading:
Hotels in Antigua – Other places I have stayed solo and enjoyed
Restaurants in Antigua – Restaurants I can recommend dining at solo
Things to do in Antigua – Recommended solo activities
FAQ about Antigua