On Antigua, the Caribbean island that has it all, a four-star resort provides five-star family fun.


On Antigua, the Caribbean island that has it all, a four-star resort provides five-star family fun.

My annual trip to the breathtakingly beautiful Caribbean island of Antigua is the highlight of my family’s year as a veteran of the island.

Returning to the same destination year after year, however, carries the risk of comparing your hotel to previous trips… which may or may not be accurate.

But I didn’t have to worry about The Verandah Resort and Spa, which turned out to be the island’s best family four-star.

It’s a typical beautiful all-inclusive with lush tropical greenery and incredible ocean views, and it’s nestled in Long Bay, along 30 beachfront acres.

Although this resort is smaller than its sister property, St James Club, it offers everything you could want, including on-tap cocktails, a large family pool (the largest on the island) as well as two adults-only pools, private beaches, free water sports, a large gym and tennis courts, a luxury spa, multiple restaurants, and even a fun, crazy golf course.

Antigua is famous for having a beach for every day of the year, and The Verandah has two of them.

Because they’re only for hotel guests, they’re never so crowded that you can’t find a sunbed, and the free watersports (paddleboarding, canoeing, windsurfing, Hobie Cat sailing, and diving) allow you to relax while also staying active.

I loved taking my kids, Zak, nine, and Nell, six, sailing… but I overestimated my abilities when the water was choppy and a gust carried us out to sea, causing me much embarrassment and Nell losing her Peppa Pig hat.

On most days, we ate lunch at the Beach Bar and Grill while admiring the scenery.

Claire, my wife, went to the gym every morning and said it was one of the best hotel gyms she’d ever visited because of the wide range of equipment available.

Our kids insisted on participating in resort activities like, yes, a giant chess set, crazy golf, and that giant swimming pool, giving us parents more time to enjoy the on-tap cocktails.

You haven’t lived if you haven’t had a Baileys Colada.

The 180 rooms are in stand-alone, Caribbean-style cottages, which have a higher spec, more charm, and a lot more space than most.

The waterfront suites offer panoramic views of the ocean and feature elegant touches like granite, wood, and bamboo to complement the resort’s natural setting.

The resort welcomes visitors of all ages, from honeymooners looking for a little romance to families looking for entertainment and fun.

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