Antigua’s all-inclusive Verandah resort and spa just reopened and it’s time to hop on that plane for your Fall and Winter vacations! The Resort & Spa just reopened to visitors and locals this October, and fun-seekers are quickly snapping up its Fall and Winter dates.
The Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua is one of the nine all-inclusive beachfront properties of Elite Island Resorts collections owned by the Founder and CEO Robert A. Berett.
Elite Island Resorts represents an impressive collection of beachfront properties throughout the Caribbean and an outstanding ranch-style luxurious boutique resort in Panama. Each resort is unique and offers experiences that fulfil the needs of even the most discerning travellers. All nine resorts are perfect for all kinds of occasions such as family retreats, honeymoons, destination weddings, friends’ getaways, romantic escapes and eco-vacations.
For over 50 years, the founder of Elite Island Resorts has been providing guests with a truly genuine taste of warmth and hospitality. This vast knowledge and experience in the region are what makes the resorts so impressive. “We know the people, the islands, the customers, and what guests want, and we work hard every day to deliver a truly wonderful vacation experience, for every guest, all the time,” says Robert Berett. Robert Barrett began his hospitality and tourism career in the United States Virgin Islands in the early 1960s. He spent the next 20 years learning all aspects of the industry and achieved substantial success in resort management and marketing. In the Caribbean, Barrett’s Elite Island Resorts feature his own popular hotels and island resorts, and they all have a touch of quality that Caribbean resort properties are known for. Elite Island Resorts represents five resorts in Antigua (Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Hammock Cove, St. James’s Club & Villas, Pineapple Beach Club and The Verandah Resort ); the St. James’s Club Morgan Bay in St. Lucia; The Club Barbados in Barbados; Palm Island in The Grenadines; and the Los Establos Boutique Inn in Panama.
The Verandah Resort & Spa, Antigua
At the Verandah Resort & Spa, you experience the breathtaking beauty of Antigua at a vacation destination with something for everyone. The resort gives you an oasis of tranquillity and amenities located on 30 beachfront acres. It is a perfect place for a family getaway, honeymoons and romantic weddings, situated amongst a backdrop of lush green gardens, stunning tropical views and a shimmering turquoise sea. The incredible All-Inclusive blend of engaging activities, delectable cuisine and entertaining nightlife allows you the luxury to do it all or not at all. The popular family-friendly property has begun to welcome back guests this October. The resort is Green Globe-certified and recently upgraded. It has a total of 180 villa-style suites, with a mix of one and two-bedroom units, along with a collection of six full-fledged villas, all of which have two bedrooms and sweeping views of the bay. Dining concepts include:
- the signature Seabreeze restaurant
- Nicole’s, a fine-dining eatery with a fusion of French and Italian cuisine
- The Buccaneer, an à la carte, Caribbean-inspired restaurant
- The Beach Bar and Grill
- The Wadadli Snack Shack right on the beach.
These go along with four bars and lounges, including the beachside Rasta Bar. The resort is adjacent to the new Hammock Cove Resort, a spectacular adults-only property. The reopening of The Verandah means that all of Elite Island Resorts’ properties in Antigua are now open, joining Hammock Cove, Galley Bay and St James’s Club and Villas.
Officials from the Ministry of Tourism took the opportunity to witness the spate of improvements made to the property in strict adherence to all government-issued Covid-19 protocols. The rooms have been re-tiled, and bathrooms renovated for aesthetic appeal but most importantly for expediency. An additional dining terrace and a new and improved coffee shop with a secondary pool area add to the facility’s ambience and comfort. They also allow for extra space to accommodate social distancing. Minister of Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Charles Fernandez gave high marks to the property for the investment made in upgrades and urged other such properties to follow suit. “I am very satisfied at the efforts made by Elite Island Resorts to adhere to the government’s Covid-19 mandate that ensures the safety of not just visitors, but locals who work at these properties as well as ‘Staycationers’. What is even more enlightening is the drive to invest in regular product improvements so that the offering never gets unappealing”, noted Minister Fernandez.
Things to Do
At the Verandah, there are so many resort amenities and something for everyone. The Verandah Resort & Spa offers the perfect mix of outdoor fun and relaxation so that you can create your personalized vacation. As you unwind on two white-sand beaches, take a dip in the freshwater pools, or join in the wide array of outdoor activities, you will find all the comforts of home, along with exciting Caribbean experiences to create memories that will last a lifetime. SCUBA DIVING The Verandah offers a fantastic assortment of swimming experiences and underwater adventures. With the stunning location on the shores of 30 acres of white sand beach, guests can take a dip in the crystal-clear waters at a moment’s notice or head out for a snorkeling adventure in the perfect conditions of the tranquil, cove-like bay. Linda Swann, the lead dive instructor with 20 years of experience, is the perfect teacher to prepare you for the Antigua dive spots. You can also head over to Mamora Bay Divers, the sister resort, The St. James’s Club & Villas, for world-renowned scuba options of over 20 dive sites of depths from 30 to 130 feet. Surrounded by coral reefs, shipwrecks, and beautiful sea life, Antigua offers unforgettable diving adventures. WATERSPORTS You can take advantage of the excellent beachfront location with a host of fun water activities. Just because you’re at the beach doesn’t mean you have to be on a slow pace. Vacationers can have a refreshing and action-packed day on the water with any of the all-included watersports. These watersport activities include:
- Windsurfing and kayaking, which allows you to enjoy windsurfing on the calm waters. Explore the shimmering blue bay in a kayak; the perfect place for beginners and experts alike.
- Stand up Paddle Boarding is a great way to experience the water and a fantastic upper body workout as you hit the ocean on a stand-up paddleboard. You hop into a pedal boat and explore the seas, alone or with a co-pilot.
- Hobie Cat Sailing can be used to even test out your nautical skills with room for four on one of the Hobie Cat sailboats, and if you need a little tutoring, guides are available to teach you all you need to know to captain your vessel.
MINI – GOLF With a miniature golf course onsite, you grab a putter and play anytime. That’s along with amenities ranging from an 18-hole mini-golf course to two white-sand beaches. The miniature golf course offers fun for the whole family. Enjoy the sights and sounds of paradise as you play and manoeuvre around lush garden lagoons, tranquil waterfalls, serene ponds, and tropical landscape as you follow the pathways of the Caribbean mini-golf adventure. You can test your skills in the fun but challenging course that will have you going back for more. Day or night, experience great entertainment when you grab a putter. If competition is your thing, different tournaments are scheduled as part of the resort’s daily activities.
There is a wide variety of land activities at The Verandah Resort & Spa. From practising your serve on any of the two lit tennis courts to hitting the sand for beach volleyball, there is a bevvy of activities to choose from. If you want to keep your cool and play a more low-key game, table tennis, pool and shuffleboard are there for you.
The Verandah’s spacious onsite gym, complete with Cybex cardio equipment, treadmills, weight-training machines and free-weights, will help keep your routine on track while you’re away from home.
The Verandah Resort & Spa has a wide variety of evening entertainment to please every taste. The front desk or concierge provides a weekly schedule of who’s performing.
FAMILIES & GROUPS
The Verandah Resort & Spa has fun-filled activities for guests of all ages. A list that includes sailing, snorkelling and an extensive array of complimentary non-motorized water sports, incredible pools and land activities will make a lifetime of family memories.
ANTIGUA SPA RESORT
The property’s Tranquility Body and Soul Spa has various treatment options such as face therapy, massage therapy, body therapy, and salon services.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Tourism Growth
The growth of tourism in Antigua and Barbuda continued with a high August 2021 figure. Tourism in Antigua and Barbuda continues to grow as one of the Caribbean’s buzziest destinations, and it reported another record-breaking month of tourism performance.
Recently released statistics from the tourism ministry show that stayover air arrivals for August 2021 totalled 18,792 visitors to the destination, an increase of 965 visitors over August 2018, which previously held the record of “best” August with 17,827 visitors. The August record-breaking results came after a similarly strong July, when 23,405 tourists came to Antigua and Barbuda, a record for that month, too.
The US and UK markets remain the source for most of the visitors, and both markets combined brought 17,306 visitors or 92% of the total visitors arriving in August 2021. The US market dominates as the primary source market, with 52.5% of the total visitor arrivals. In contrast, the UK, Antigua and Barbuda’s second-largest source market contributed 39.5% of the total visitor arrivals.
Flights from Canada are expected to resume in November, while within the Caribbean region, airlift began to pick up with increased service from Caribbean Airlines and other carriers.
Speaking on the growth, the Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Charles Fernandez, attributed this to Antigua and Barbuda’s strong airlift performance for August from the UK market. The month of August saw a record number of seats available from the UK. This jump in capacity, resulting from a monopoly of flights from London Heathrow and London Gatwick, not only made it more convenient for travel from and to London, but it also allowed for more convenient connections from and to cities in Europe.
According to the Tourism Ministry, the record number of seats available from and to London Gatwick and London Heathrow resulted in the most passengers travelling out of the UK to Antigua in recent August months.
“We also continue to see steady growth from the dominant US market, which has aided in boosting our August Arrivals. This is despite reduced airlift capacity from the US, for August when compared to July,” noted Minister Fernandez.
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority released new advertising for Antigua and Barbuda’s ‘Your Space In The Sun’ campaign, highlighting the twin islands’ airy accommodation, uncrowded beaches outdoor attractions.
The Antigua and Barbuda Hotels, the Tourism Authority, the Tourism Association, and the Ministry of Tourism have also strongly promoted the message of safety amongst industry partners and visitors through its ‘Sun, Sea, Safe’ campaign.
“Looking ahead to the Winter 2021, we continue to stress the importance of adherence to protocols by visitors and industry partners and vaccination awareness,” said the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Charles Fernandez. For more information and bookings, visit Verandah Resort and Spa. _M.E.