|Photo by Lindsey Epperly|
They say never meet your heroes but, when it comes to Jumby Bay, I’m glad I didn’t listen to whoever they are. For years as a Caribbean specialist, I yearned to visit the pristine island, just a seven minute boat ride off the coast of Antigua. Rosewood has solidified itself as one of, if not the, leading brands of luxury hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico – evidence of such all the way from Las Ventanas to Tucker’s Point.
Even having experienced the majority of their portfolio, something stood out about Jumby Bay – it’s been heralded as the Queen of the Caribbean. As I stepped foot on the boat ride from the mainland to the private island, a clearer picture emerged of why Jumby Bay just might be the most perfect hotel in the Caribbean.
I want you to imagine yourself on that boat, leaving the beauty of Antigua for a yet undiscovered scene. As you close in on the island, you begin to see home after home coming into view. While some of these multimillion dollar mansions are in plain sight, others require a closer look – a rooftop here, a private pool there, just enough to keep you guessing.
After being greeted by the friendly staff, you walk down the pier surrounded by the most translucent blue water. The waves gently lap against the shore and it isn’t difficult to spot starfish the size of your hand dotting the shallow bottom, as though they’ve been strategically placed along the ocean’s edge.
All this beauty and you haven’t even made it home yet. A quick escorted golf cart ride takes guests to one of the immaculate accommodations. Whether staying entry-level in a rondavel, a room so spacious that the words “entry level” do not do it justice, or at the top-end of the property’s collection – perhaps the 18,000 square foot Lazy Lizard – guests are sure to be blown away by their new home away from home.
As an agent, it would take weeks of studying to understand the ins and outs of each hotel accommodation, villa, and estate home. Instead, make sure you speak with a sales rep about the right place for your guests. When selling, keep in mind that the hotel accommodations are perfect for couples or small families, the villas are a happy medium with quite a few options depending on party size, and the estate homes are fully-staffed out of this world mansions for the most discerning of guests. My personal favorite was Sandpiper, if I’m pretending to be the most discerning of guests.
The best part of the island, besides the exclusivity without a single drop of pomp or circumstance, is the fact that it’s all-inclusive. This isn’t your spring breaker’s all-inclusive, either. This is a different playing field when it comes to all-inclusive properties: Think top-shelf liquor and some of the best food you’ll ever eat. The added benefit of being on a private island? If you’re selling to a family, they can let the kids explore without worrying for a minute what kind of bill is being charged to the room or whether they are getting into trouble. The property does not allow outside guests, even for a day, making it a completely safe environment.
The long, lazy days – complete with complimentary snorkeling trips and cooking classes for those who go stir crazy – are made even more interesting by the inhabitants of Jumby. If you sit long enough at the bar, you’ll hear a range of stories from the bartenders to the home owners to the repeat guests, all about the mysterious and magical history of the island itself. The layers of untold stories that must exist here are fascinating – it’d be like picking up the Hamptons and dropping it the Caribbean. I wish someone would write a tell-all on the island but, until then, these words will have to do.