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First trip to Antigua - need your help please

Travel & news discussion about Antigua & Barbuda

Moderator: eli

First trip to Antigua - need your help please

Postby ChrisA » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:16 pm

What a great forum! Hope I can ask for some help on lodging, dining and snorkeling. Anyone familiar with Harmony Hall for lodging? Looks like it might be a really neat place to stay but have seen no reviews. As for dining - any great "can't miss" places? Beachfront dining? And snorkeling - my husband and I generally find ourselves in the water for several hours each day snorkeling if we can find the good spots. Anyone have any advice? Also, if one side of the island is preferable to the other in this regard. Not into the AI/highrise hotel scene. Just looking for quiet and deserted beaches with good snorkeling. Thank you in advance for your help!
ChrisA
 
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:52 pm

Postby eli » Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:43 pm

Chris, one of the cant miss things is a lunch at Harmony Hall. To die for IMO.
They will offer you free boat rides to Green Island where you can snorkel too. I would reccomend getting a car for the time that you will be in antigua as the lovely harmony hall is far from everything else. Very quiet and sounds like what you are after. If you take some hiking shoes you can walk to some of the other beaches at Green Island to do more snorkeling. There is quite a bit from there and i am sure that they can offer you inside info from the hotel.
eli
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:26 pm
Location: antigua and barbuda

Postby Donna G » Tue Jan 03, 2006 8:07 pm

Hi Chris,
Harmony Hall is in a very remote area so I agree with Eli you should think about renting a car. There isn't too much else in the area, especially for dining except The Tamarind which is close. If you have a car there is lots of variety at English Harbour or try Albertos along the way. Harmony has a quiet tiny beach, tiny pool and small cottages that were recently renovated and painted. The meals, although somewhat pricey, at Harmony are (IMO) the best on island. Great menu, ambiance, service and views. This would definitely be off the beaten track and the farthest thing from an AI high rise. Luckily Antigua only has one high rise (Royal Antiguan) but there are a few large resorts, Jolly Beach being the biggest. You are at the opposite side of the island from both.

Good snorkelling seems to be found at Galleon Beach, Long Bay and Half Moon.

Favourite eating spots are Coco's (at Coco's resort), Bayside (at Tradewinds Hotel), Julian's (Runaway Beach), The Inn (at The Inn Resort), Bumpkins (at Pigeon Beach), Trappas Bar (English Harbour) Putters (On Dickenson Bay for Shepherd's pie) O.J.'s (Johnson's Beach)George's (in St. John's for lunch) Banana (In Redcliff Street in town). There are many more but if you pass any of these they would be
worth a try.

You have made an interesting choice.
Enjoy Donna
Donna G
 
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Richmond, BC Canada

Postby ChrisA » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:49 pm

Thank you very much for your replies! I'm seeing mixed reviews about the snorkeling in Antigua as compared to other islands. I've been to Hawaii, Grand Cayman, Aruba and several islands in the Bahamas and I'm trying to get to at least one new island each year. Are there many good spots on Antigua with shore access or can I expect better luck working with a local guide? Are the reefs alive and well? Seems like the hurricanes in the past several years have really done a number on the reefs. Thanks so much in advance for your help!
ChrisA
 
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:52 pm

Eli's Eco Tour

Postby Chelsea Girl » Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:14 pm

Hi Chris

If you do nothing else whilst in Antigua, take Eli's Eco Tour (www.adventureantigua.com) it is fantastic. Eli and the crew are so passionate about the sealife and wildlife of the islands it really makes the trip worthwhile. All are very knowledgable and you see places that the other tours don't take you to. The snorkelling is great and depending on how competant you are will determine how far out into the reef you go. I found his website when browsing before our holiday last year and am so glad I found it. The boat is great and so is lunch!! If you like the sound of it, you will need to book as it does get very busy. Enjoy!

Chelsea Girl
Chelsea Girl
 
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Location: Surrey, England

Postby ChrisA » Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:23 pm

Thanks for the suggestion! We actually booked with Seafaris for an around-the-island day trip. Similar tour to Eli's I think, just looked like it stopped in a few different places that were of interest to us. Do you think it would be worthwhile to book Eli's as well? We're certainly open to that option. Saw some good reviews about Seafaris (though not nearly as many as Eli's!) so hopefully it will be enjoyable as well. Have you done the helicopter trip to Monserrat? My husband has expressed interest. Thanks for the replies!
ChrisA
 
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Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:52 pm

Postby eli » Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:18 pm

not good for me to comment on the comparison of my tour and seafaris, but the helicopter tour to montserrat is hard to beat. May friends and family have gone on it and despite the price enjoyed it 100% of the time. Its a unique experience and well worth the $$$.
eli
 
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Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:26 pm
Location: antigua and barbuda

Postby ChrisA » Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:50 pm

Thank you for your reply, Eli. I was wondering if I was going to get snakebit and find that you and the famous Eco Eli were one and the same. <g> Thank you for your assistance and for not kicking me off the board! :)
ChrisA
 
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Postby Chelsea Girl » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:04 am

Oh Eli is toooo modest!! I would definately book Eli's as well as the other trip. I can guarantee you will love it. My husband gets all nostalgic every time he puts his Eco Tour tee shirt on! We can't wait to go back and do it again. CG
Chelsea Girl
 
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Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Surrey, England


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