Thursday, August 2, 2012

Antigua Honeymoon

"Go to a place where you're not going to be stressed,
because a honeymoon itself can be a stressful thing."
(Diane von Furstenberg)

Our honeymoon was spent on Dickenson Bay in St. John's, Antigua. An-TEE-ga is a small Caribbean island with a total area of only 108 square miles. According to Wikipedia, some notable residents include Georgio Armani, Sir Richard Branson, Eric Clapton, Jamaica Kincaid, and Robin Leach. We didn't know anything about the island before choosing it as a honeymoon destination. All we knew was that the resort was well-regarded, the beach was beautiful, and the climate was ideal: dry and sunny and rarely hit by hurricanes. It was also more affordable and less time-consuming and stressful than planning a European or far-flung honeymoon, as amazing as one of those could have been.


I'm a light packer, and when preparing for travel I usually like to make a checklist of items to bring. (I own the Pack This! notepad, but its one major flaw is that it doesn't list towels!) As I mentioned previously, we spent the days preceding our honeymoon at the Jersey shore -- where we celebrated my nephew's 3rd birthday, which I'll post about separately -- so I didn't have much time to consider what to bring on our honeymoon. I ended up tossing in 2 swimsuits (but only wore 1), 3 pairs of shoes (I should have just brought the 1 pair of flat sandals I wore everyday, not the heels or sneakers), 2 hats, a few daytime cover-ups, and some easy-breezy dresses to wear in the evening.

I realized: 1) most of my clothing is pretty old, as I have pictures from vacations 6 years ago where I'm wearing the same things I wore last week, and 2) most of what I wore was given to me by my friend Leslie.

I brought a total of 4 cosmetics, pretty much my entire makeup routine for months now: Philosophy The Supernatural with SPF 20 in Beige, Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Beach, Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment with SPF 15 in Passion, and Wet n Wild Waterproof Mascara.


We stayed at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, which has held the title of "The World's Most Romantic Resort" for 14 years. My assessment is that the resort itself is not more romantic than any other similar all-inclusive couples resort. It's more what you make of your stay: you could always pay up for a butlered suite and all the luxurious add-ons, but we chose not to.

Lobby, pool area, beach, waterfall


The resort is divided into 2 areas -- Caribbean Grove and Mediterranean Village -- so you get a "2-resorts-in-1" experience. We stayed in the newer Mediterrean Village, and our Venetian Oceanview Suite was clean and comfortable, with a nice balcony overlooking the landscaped grounds leading to the pool and beach.

Bed, sitting area, bathroom

I didn't take much advantage, but our bar and refrigerator were fully stocked with rum, vodka, whiskey, wine, beer, juice, soda, water, and tonic. I brewed coffee every morning, and we opened up the bottle of sparkling wine on our last night.

Aren't the lamps cute? The pineapple motif -- a symbol of hospitality -- is always a favorite of mine.

Drinks and lamps


The Red Lane Spa at the resort was excellent: spacious but tranquil, beautifully appointed in every detail, with friendly and well-trained estheticians. I enjoyed 2 Caribbean-inspired treatments: a Lively Up Coffee Wrap on our second day in Antigua, and a Mud Massage Therapy on our third day.

Red Lane Spa

Below are just a few of the colorful flowers along the path I walked along from the spa back to our room.

A great variety of tropical flowers


There were many dining options, and as expected, we ate a lot. I don't think we were excessive, but Sam is much stricter-minded about diet and fitness than I am so he might disagree. He also went to the gym while we were there... even though it was on the opposite end of the resort.

Beachside buffets, nice dinners, desserts


Each day brought a new schedule of activities and events going on around the resort, but we mostly kept to ourselves. We challenged each other to 8-ball and 9-ball pool games, watched some Antiguan dancers and a fire entertainer on the beach, and took in some live music both outdoors and indoors. We spent most of our time at the beach or pool, and didn't do any excursions.

Games and entertainment

Sun, Sand and Surf

Below are a handful of photos that depict how we spent most of our time.

Mediterranean Village pool area
Our handprints with wedding bands in the sand
My refreshing frozen mojito
The beach
Handwoven basket from leaves

"Here's Looking at You, Kid"

Whenever we had photos taken by the resort staff, they asked us to look at each other. Here are some of those loving gazes.

At The Cricketer's pub
In the pool
At Tex-Mex restaurant OK Corral
On the rocks at the beach

Goodbye, Antigua

It's been swell.

I hope you've enjoyed this look at our tropical getaway. It will probably be a long while before we have another one!


  1. I don't think we were excessive but we ate a lot. And you failed to mention that the spa was also located at the other end of the resort, right next to the gym, ha!

    1. Right... yes, well... that's the spa! Not the gym. :p

  2. This makes me really want to book a spa vacay

    oxoxoxo from San Francisco

    1. I would LOVE a true spa getaway. Thanks for the comment!

  3. your honeymoon looks so fantastic and relaxing! (by the way, i only get my pictures really big when i upload them using my blogger app on my phone, haha)

    1. It was great to be "unplugged"~ I didn't check my phone or emails once (can't say the same about Sam)!

      I just figured out how to add the LinkWithin widget/gadget. Now to figure out about those photos...


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