Jumby Bay - Can I go back, now!?

August 30, 2011

I have to admit…when I found out I was staying here, I was thrilled. This is the hotel we ended the FAM with; one day at Jumby Bay and the FAM was completely worth the seven hour layover and double-connection home.

When you get to the Jumby Bay Dock, a security guard points you to one of two docks, the farthest to the right. That’s important to know, because the other dock right in front of the entrance may have a boat come in, while you’re waiting for a different boat. The reason is the other dock is for employees only. The guests are treated differently – better, if I may so. Our boat was considerably nicer than the staff boat. The boat arrives and you leave your bags alone, as the staff on the boat will get them for you. As you sail across the ocean, you are anxious to get across to the hotel. Thankfully, the wait is short. We only travelled for about ten minutes to get across the water to the hotel’s dock.

Looking at the shore as you arrive, you see the property – or, at least part of it – spread out before you. The property sits on an island that is 300 acres large, so you don’t really know what you’re seeing, other than similarly shaped buildings, a beach, and a dock. But, you get off the boat at the dock and, again, leave your bags. As you are taken to the lobby, you realize that the lobby is a bar – and you are warmly welcomed by the hotel's staff. The staff is friendly in every respect of the word. They approach you to talk with you, welcome you, and make you smile. This was the first hotel that truly had that personalized luxury touch at the moment of arrival. The General Manager, Andrew Hedley, says that they were lucky to find the staff they have, based on the best of the best of the employees who worked there before the renovation with the addition of great, new employees since the re-opening. Everybody I asked had been at the hotel since the hotel had re-opened. If you’re lucky enough to arrive in the morning, you may hope to receive some of their pastries and fresh fruit…the banana bread is amazing. From there, a representative of the hotel completed check-in while seated in the lobby. We didn’t have to sit at a table and have some formal process; quick, personal, and easy. The entire experience was not only easy; it was comfortable.

The units at Jumby are simply amazing. Their lead-in room category is decorated with darker, cooling earth tones – appropriate, given their location away from the water. But, some of these units are lucky enough to come with a plunge pool. You may make the request of them to the hotel; but, do not guarantee them. On top of that, there are simple ways to convert a room to a suite and have them connect to another rondavel, giving you a simple 2 BR suite. That said, the units you really want to try and connect are the combination of the Courtyard, Pool and Estate Suites. These three units, together, make up one building; the buildings are clumped together in groups, as well. But, you may sell the units individually, or as two different pairings to have them connect, Pool/Estate or Courtyard/Estate. My personal favorite would be to see them all sold together as a 3 BR, though. These units are all ocean view; plus, the Estate and Pool suites, both, have their own pool. So, if you rent the Estate/Pool connecting units, you get two plunge pools. Great for families!

They are top of the line units; as a matter of fact, Jumby is the most technologically advanced hotel in Antigua; one remote controls all of your electronics, radio, tv, ipod dock…very nice sound system, as well. Jumby is working to make it so the Concierge will be able to remotely access the rooms within the next year. They’ll be able to turn off/on the electronics in the unit. The suites were well lit and beautifully appointed. Stylish, bright, comfortable, and spacious rooms that make it easy to lounge in style. The rooms were also very well kept with all of the amenities you could want. The all-inclusive benefit is apparent when you check the mini-fridge in the room. If the clients want a bottle of something special, you may request it of the hotel. The hotel feels as though, whether the clients drink at the bar or the room, they’re going to drink. Don’t be greedy and overload them…a simple request will be accommodated. Mind you, the fridge already comes with the local beer, Wadadli, some soda, some water, and local snacks with wine.

The property, as I mentioned is on a 300 acre island. The property is large and exceptionally well landscaped. To maneuver around the property, they provide you with bicycles to cruise around on. Being one who has not ridden a bike in a while, it really made me feel like I was on vacation; the cruisers were fun and easy to maneuver. Plus, while the grounds are large; the property is easy to navigate and mostly flat. I actually chose to walk from my suite to the Spa, where they provided us with a half-hour massage. Being able to choose your aromatherapy massage oil, you have a room you get ready for the massage in. From there, if you are lucky to stay awake, you will have an amazing from massage by one of their staff. I left feeling, admittedly, a bit sore. But, within twenty minutes of moving around again, eating and drinking, I felt incredibly looser and well relaxed.

The main beach at Jumby was awesome! The water was so salty, it was almost impossible not to float. But, when I looked at it, I was mesmerized by the colors! Teal, turquoise…blue – not the muddy Pacific I’m used to in California. Swimming in the ocean there was amazing; plus, they provide a little dock for you to swim out to and jump off of. Plus, there’s another little beach over by the private villas; at that beach, you can actually order a meal and the hotel will set it up for you! Talk to the concierge…meals on the beach = AWESOME!

Speaking of meals, the lunch we all ate at Jumby was the best food we’d eaten, to that point. We ate at their casual Pool Grill. After I ordered a simple Club Sandwich that made the steaks served at other hotels look bad, I had a caramel apple dessert that made me think the cook was using narcotics as the secret ingredient…I was full, but really wanted more! And dinner? We had cocktails at the Estate house with the General Manager; try the rum punch, by the way – it’s a favorite of the staff and was really, quite good. But, the food? AMAZING! The fish was cooked with Caribbean spices in banana leaves and peppers…tender, moist, and delicious. I had the lobster ravioli for an appetizer and dessert was equally amazing. Basically, whatever you eat on property is going to be good…

What I really liked was the way the room looked when I got back to it after dinner. The turn-down service drew the curtains everywhere on the suite, giving it a softer, more intimate feel. They cleaned up, prepped the bed, and left me a note to prepare for our transfer in the morning.

Everything about this property was done with a simple, elegant flair of class. The stay was fun, educational, relaxing, and more than anything – unforgettable.

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