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Hermitage Bay suites are actually individual bungalows, scattered across a hillside Opposite page Herbs from the resort’s own organic garden


by their reactions: most people’s impression of the resort is that it’s stuck up, and only for the elite. Yet the guests I saw ran the gamut from families with young children to pensioners. I also heard accents from around the world. Every guest I met wanted me to know how much they were enjoying their stay, and my experience there was nothing like the over-the-top, snobbish atmosphere I’d expected.


A


couple days later, it was time for part two of my investigation. A few years ago, I’d visited the site of the Hermitage Bay resort while it was being built. I remember


one of the developers describing how they envisioned a place where people could get away from it all, with no air-conditioning, no TV, no Internet access, no phones. Unsurprisingly, those modern essentials did sneak into the final plans, but I was curious to discover if the resort still managed to offer a sense of escape. On Antigua’s west coast, Hermitage Bay has just twenty-


five suites, surrounded by lush, overgrown gardens with birds singing. Once again I was greeted at reception with a cold towel, plus a virgin mojito — which unfortunately was no competition for my Jumby Bay mojito. (Seriously, I still dream about that cocktail.) I ordered lunch at the bar and took my bearings before going up to my room. The rooms at Hermitage Bay are actually individual


bungalows, scattered across a hillside, and each has its own infinity plunge pool with a wrap-around balcony. Everything is made with greenheart wood from Guyana. The bathroom


74 WWW.CARIBBEAN-BEAT.COM


featured another massive tub, with huge fold-out wooden shutters, so I could relax in the bath and gaze at possibly the most incredible view I have seen in my life. The impossibly blue Caribbean Sea was flanked on both sides by green hills, and no sign of human life. It was easy to imagine this was my own personal utopia. Over dinner — Hermitage Bay has only one restaurant, and


the fare is not fancy, but delicious nonetheless — I chatted with Makeba Dowdy, guest services manager. She explained that the owner of the resort is very keen on locally sourced, organic ingredients. In fact, the resort grows a lot of its own vegetables, fruit, and herbs in their well-tended organic kitchen garden,


It was the kind of day to lounge on my private balcony, enjoying the plunge pool and daybed,


reading my Kindle and thinking how much I’d love to bring my family to a place like this


COURTESY HERMITAGE BAY


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