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Where to Stay in Antigua in 2023 | Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Antigua in 2023 | Best Areas & Hotels

The island of Antigua is part of the country of Antigua and Barbuda and contains most of the population and important destinations in the island country. It is a popular destination for tourism thanks to its beautiful beaches and peaceful atmosphere.

To get the most out of your Antiguan vacation, you probably want to base yourself in the right spot. That is why deciding where to stay in Antigua is so important. Keep reading for a complete guide to the best areas and hotels that Antigua has to offer.

Why You Should Visit Antigua in 2023

A father and his two daughters seating on a rock overlooking island and beaches with several boats.


The island of Antigua is a great destination when you are planning a Caribbean getaway. It has something for everyone. The main attractions of Antigua are obviously the island’s beautiful beaches.

The island has 365 beautiful beaches, from amenity-filled beaches such as Hawksbill to more remote options such as Half Moon Bay. Most visitors come to Antigua with the goal of lazing on the beach, and you can’t go wrong almost anywhere you stay.

There are plenty of water activities on offer for visitors. Wildlife lovers can swim with stingrays at Stingray City or go snorkeling with turtles. Near Antigua, there are many smaller islands that are part of Antigua and Barbuda that you can explore on a chartered boat.

You can also try your hand at kayaking, sailing, stand-up paddle boarding, and several other activities. The island also has plenty to do while on dry land,  boasting spectacular rugged nature, such as the Devil’s Bridge National Park, which has many great hiking trails.

The interior is covered in dense jungle, which you can explore on foot or through more adventurous options such as ziplining. We’ve mentioned mostly adventure activities so far, but keep in mind that Antigua also offers plenty in the way of creature comforts.

The capital of St. John’s has plenty of history as well as more modern shopping opportunities, especially in the iconic Redcliffe Quay. Plus, you can always kick back at your resort or a local bar with a rum punch and watch the world go by.

Antigua is the perfect destination for a relaxing vacation — as long as you choose the right place to stay, that is. We’ll help ensure that you get the most out of your vacation. Let us be your guide!

The 5 Best Parts of Antigua

  1. Saint John’s: Best area for sightseeing, shopping, and first-time visitors
  2. Dickenson Bay: Best area for beaches and nature
  3. Newfield: Best area for nature and resorts
  4. English Harbour: Best area for nightlife and history
  5. Saint Mary’s: Best area for families with children and relaxing travel

The Best Areas and Hotels in Antigua

Antigua is a fairly small island, so no matter where you stay, it’s a short drive to explore other parts of the island. However, you don’t want to spend your vacation traveling or negotiating taxis, so choose a place to stay that is close to what you want to see.

For example, your choice of accommodations will be very different if you want to stay in high-end resorts or get closer to nature. This guide can help you figure out where to start looking for accommodations in Antigua.

1. Saint John’s

Three boats docked on a pier with a board walk and establishments, and in the distance an urban area can be seen.

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Saint John’s is Antigua’s largest city and capital. It has everything you would ever want on vacation — from beaches and shopping to nightlife and history so your brain doesn’t completely stagnate while you’re on vacation.

It is a great place to base yourself if you want to do a lot of sightseeing or if it is your first time in Antigua and you want to get to know what the island has to offer.

Saint John’s was the seat of the British administration when they first colonized Antigua, and it has nearly 500 years of history. Check out spectacular historic landmarks such as the austere Cathedral of St. John the Divine or Fort Barrington.

You can also learn more about Antigua’s history at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, which also has exhibits dedicated to Antigua’s enslaved population and indigenous peoples. That’s not to say that Saint John’s is all educational history and culture.

The town has some of the best shopping on the island, particularly around the historic area of Redcliffe Quay. It also has some of the best restaurants and bars in Antigua, making it a popular destination for hitting the town.

Of course, it is very close to the main attraction of Antigua — the beaches. World-famous beaches such as Runaway Beach are a short distance away from the capital.

If all you want to do is laze on the beach, Saint John’s is not the best place to stay because you have to get out of the city somewhat to get to the beaches. Saint John’s is also the most crowded part of Antigua, so you should stay elsewhere if you want quiet relaxation.

Things to Do

  • Explore historical landmarks, such as the former plantation and monument Betty’s Hope.
  • Shop for souvenirs at Redcliffe Quay or Vendor’s Mall.
  • Check out nearby beaches such as Runaway Beach or Hawksbill Bay.
  • Wine and dine your way through the nightlife and restaurant scene!

Where to Eat

  • Have high-end, internationally-inspired tapas and cocktails at NOMAD.
  • Have authentic Indian food at Spices of India when you shop at Village Walk.
  • Have an elegant dinner in a restored estate at Weatherill’s Rekindled.

Saint John’s Budget Hotels

  • Simple, colorful JJ’s Guest House provides a homey atmosphere with air-conditioned rooms that include kitchenettes and access to a shared garden.
  • Welcoming Eko Cozy Guest House features recently renovated rooms, an included breakfast, and excellent service, including around-the-clock security.

Saint John’s Mid-Range Hotels

  • Located slightly north of the capital, elegant Antigua Seaview offers guests air-conditioned rooms with balconies, a shared terrace, and free parking.
  • Connie’s Comfort Suites is a great accommodation option in the middle of the action in Saint John’s, with spacious suites, Wi-Fi, and a great location.

Saint John’s Luxury Hotels

  • Tequila Sunrise Antigua is a high-end guesthouse located just outside of Saint John’s, with spacious rooms, flat-screen TVs, private entrances for guests, and great service.
  • Galley Bay Resorts & Spa is located just outside of the capital in Five Island Village but close enough to visit. With amenities like live entertainment, a pool, organized beach activities, and even a tennis court, you may find it hard to leave the resort.

See All Hotels in Antigua

2. Dickenson Bay

Aerial view on a resort with a large pool that writes "Sandals", and beside the resort is a calm beach with two boats.

Saint John, Antigua and Barbuda – January 29, 2023 – Aerial view of Sandals, a beautiful resort in Dickenson Bay/Marco Bicci/Shutterstock

Dickenson Bay is located just north of Saint John’s but seems like a world away. The area has beautiful beaches and some of the best resorts in Antigua, making it a perfect relaxing vacation spot.

The best thing to do in Dickenson Bay is obviously to laze on the beach. Famous Runaway Beach is a short drive south, but the shores around the bay are also beautiful. You can go swimming, hop on organized excursions to nearby islands, or join a water sports lesson.

The resorts around Dickenson Bay tend to be all-inclusive, so everything you want is within reach. From pools to cabanas to restaurants, all the ingredients of a great vacation are just a few steps away.

Dickenson Bay is not the best budget-friendly destination since most of the accommodation options are high-end resorts. You can find some budget apartments further south, along Runaway Beach, but those tend to book up quickly.

Things to Do

  • Head south for a cooking lesson at Nicole’s Table.
  • Take a boat trip to Maiden Island, a private island with moorings and reefs.
  • Laze on the beach — you’re on vacation, after all!

Where to Eat

  • Have Mediterranean/Caribbean fusion with a view at famous Ana’s on the Beach.
  • Enjoy a high-end dinner at Salt Plage, within the Siboney Beach Club.
  • Enjoy the best resort restaurants, such as the Bayside Restaurant.

Dickenson Bay Budget Hotels

  • Apartment rentals are your best bet for saving money in Dickenson Bay, such as classy Vista Mare, which offers two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a balcony, and a private entrance.
  • Another way to save money is to stay further away from the beach, such as at Weatherills Hotel, a beautiful hotel in a renovated estate.

Dickenson Bay Mid-Range Hotels

  • Dickenson Bay Oasis at Antigua Village offers guests a full or studio apartment, ocean views from the balcony, and an in-building mini-market, all for a reasonable price.
  • Antigua Village Beach Resort has great amenities for guests, such as an outdoor pool, discounted water sports, access to local tennis courts, and spacious air-conditioned suites.

Dickenson Bay Luxury Hotels

  • Buccaneer Beach Club is an intimate resort with cabana-style apartments and suites, bicycle rentals and other activities, and a great pool.
  • The luxurious Sandals Grande Antigua is a romantic couples-only resort with a pool, spa facilities, a hammam, sports, and everything you would need from your vacation.

See All Hotels in Antigua

3. Newfield

A man walking on a cliff with deep looking water and angry waves can bee seen at its bottom.

Zoran Karapancev/Shutterstock

Newfield is one of Antigua’s eastern parishes. It is located off the beaten path on Antigua’s more rugged eastern Atlantic coast. There are plenty of amenities here, including well-reviewed resorts, so you won’t have to worry about your creature comforts, but there is also plenty of beautiful nature.

The beaches here tend to be rockier with more spectacular scenery. They are also more remote — Long Bay Beach and Half Moon Bay are famously perfect for playing out your castaway fantasies.

The waters here tend to be rougher, making the area perfect for your surfing fantasies. There is plenty of beautiful nature around Newfield and the eastern coast as well.

You can explore the rugged coast and see scenic areas such as Devil’s Bridge. Newfield is also perfect as a base for exploring Antigua’s rainforest interior and getting closer to a side of the island fewer people see.

Newfield has plenty to offer, but the high-octane activities and rough waters may not be the best for young children. Plus, many of the resorts are adults-only, making this side of the island not the most family-friendly option.

Things to Do

  • Check out the lunar landscapes of Devil’s Bridge National Park.
  • Take a road trip along Fig Tree Drive, a scenic route through the rainforest.
  • Try your hand at surfing or kite surfing on the many beaches.

Where to Eat

  • Have traditional Antiguan food by the beach at cult favorite Smiling Harry’s Thirst Quencher.
  • Have Caribbean favorites at the welcoming Road House Restaurant.
  • Enjoy a meal with a view at Beach Bum Bar & Café.

Newfield Budget Hotels

  • Homey Ellen Bay Cottages offer guests air-conditioned apartments with Wi-Fi, access to a shared BBQ, and a great location near the beach.
  • Lynn’s Peaceful Space is an excellent apartment rental option near Newfield with a spacious air-conditioned apartment, a lovely terrace for relaxing, and welcoming staff.

Newfield Mid-Range Hotels

  • The all-inclusive Pineapple Beach Club offers guests great rooms, an on-site restaurant, car rental options for exploring the area, and a great beachfront location.
  • The all-inclusive adults-only Escape at Nonsuch Bay Antigua has beautiful rooms, a serene outdoor pool, and a great location near the beach.

Newfield Luxury Hotels

  • Luxurious Hammock Cove Antigua is one of the best resorts on the whole island, with amenities including air-conditioned rooms, some rooms with terraces and hammocks, water sports such as snorkeling, and great service.
  • The Great House offers luxurious resort amenities, such as a pool, bar, and international restaurant, with an intimate, local feeling.

See All Hotels in Antigua

4. English Harbour

Boats safely anchored inside a gulf-like land formation with a few other boats seen at a distance, and tall mountain is background.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA -21 JAN 2018- View of the Caribbean island of Antigua and English Harbour seen from the Shirley Heights Lookout./EQRoy/Shutterstock

English Harbour, on Antigua’s southern coast, is one of Antigua’s more densely populated locations after Saint John’s. English Harbour was the location of the first settlement of Antigua, and together with nearby Falmouth, it is one of the most historic locations in Antigua.

However, the region is well-versed in modern-day amenities, with plenty of beachfront bars, restaurants, and clubs perfect for entertaining you day and night.

After Saint John’s, English Harbour is the best place to stay on the island if you are looking to learn more about Antigua’s history (and some of the sites are even older than Saint John’s).

Check out Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, the site of the British naval base and where Admiral Nelson spent some formative years. English Harbour and Falmouth are definitely not stuck in the past, and many people say this destination is one of the hippest, most modern parts of Antigua.

Mingle with the locals at beachfront restaurants and bars. Don’t forget to take in the view of the town which surrounds the beautiful marina.

Although English Harbour is close to beautiful beaches such as Galleon Beach, it is not the best place in Antigua to stay if you are hoping for a completely pristine vacation atmosphere. If you want a more untouched feeling, stay in a more rural part of Antigua.

Things to Do

  • Try snorkeling at nearby beaches such as Galleon Beach or Carlisle Bay.
  • Take in beautiful views from viewpoints such as Shirley Heights observatory.
  • Visit Nelson’s Harbour to learn more about an important part of Antiguan history.
  • Visit the Pillars of Hercules rock formation.
  • Check out the beachfront bars for a great night out!

Where to Eat

  • Have a great meal and party into the night at Shirley Heights Lookout beach restaurant.
  • Try traditional Antiguan delicacies at SUN RA.
  • Enjoy the fresh seafood that makes the island famous at Claggy’s.

English Harbour Budget Hotels

English Harbour Mid-Range Hotels

  • Stay in the spacious suites at Gunpowder House & Suites and enjoy beautiful views and shared amenities such as a pool and garden.
  • The Copper and Lumber Store Hotel is located in an elegant historic building but has modern amenities such as air-conditioned suites, modern restaurants, and excellent services, including babysitting.

English Harbour Luxury Hotels

  • Elegant South Point Antigua has a great location right at the yacht harbor, perfect for boaters. It has spacious suites, shared amenities such as a pool, and excellent services, including grocery delivery.
  • The Inn at English Harbour offers elegant amenities such as air-conditioned hardwood floor suites, private marble bathrooms, and on-site restaurants, all with a great sea view.

See All Hotels in Antigua

5. Saint Mary

Aerial view on a long shoreline with white sand and clear water, with resorts and hotels and boats.


The laid-back parish of Saint Mary on Antigua’s western Caribbean coast has beautiful beaches and a welcoming atmosphere. The calm shores make this a favorite destination among families.

Saint Mary has popular resort towns such as Jolly Harbour and Bolands, as well as more rugged locales in the Shekerley Mountains. The main attraction of Saint Mary is the beautiful water. The calm sheltered waters of the Caribbean Sea are perfect for swimming and trying out water sports such as snorkeling.

The calm waters make it the ideal place for children to get accustomed to the water and try their hand at new activities, such as snorkeling or kayaking.

The many activities on shore are another reason why Saint Mary is so popular among families. You can go hiking in the mountains, try out the different restaurants in the resort town of Jolly Harbour, or try new sports at the different courts.

Saint Mary is a great place for a relaxing vacation, but adult visitors may get frustrated by the lack of nightlife and other activities. It can also get a bit crowded since it is so popular.

Things to Do

  • Check out the many beautiful beaches, such as Jolly Beach, Ffryes Beach, and Turner’s Beach.
  • Climb to the top of Greencastle Hill for great views of the island.
  • Treat the family to an excursion at Swash Water Park.

Where to Eat

  • Enjoy a high-end dinner away from the kids at Sea Dream Restaurant and Bar.
  • Try traditional specialties at Lydia’s Caribbean Seafood Restaurant.
  • Enjoy seafood specialties, including lobster, at Jacqui O’s Beach House.

Saint Mary Budget Hotels

  • Home rentals are often the more reliable budget options in Saint Mary, such as the Sugarfields Villa. Rent the villa and get access to two bedrooms, a dining area, an outdoor patio, and disability-accessible facilities.
  • Saint Mary has some unique accommodation options, such as Wild Lotus Glamping. Stay in luxurious tents on your own private beach with included breakfast.

Saint Mary Mid-Range Hotels

  • Quiet Tamarind Hills resort is right on Ffryes Beach, with its own private beach area, and features amenities such as an outdoor pool.
  • The Cocobay Resort Antigua welcomes guests with several pools, a spa, and private beach access. All guests stay in airy cabins.

Saint Mary Luxury Hotels

  • The all-inclusive Keyonna Beach Resort has a private beach area, a beachfront restaurant, and a beautiful pool surrounded by a lush garden.
  • The all-inclusive Hermitage Bay resort has over a dozen acres of gardens, several pools, and a glorious location. Splurge for a luxury hillside suite to get your very own plunge pool.

See All Hotels in Antigua

So Where Should You Stay in Antigua?

🛍️ Best for ShoppingSaint John’s
⛱️ Best for BeachesDickenson Bay
🌳 Best for NatureNewfield
🎉 Best for NightlifeEnglish Harbour
👪 Best for FamiliesSaint Mary’s

Antigua is a small island, but with a few distinct regions that promise visitors different experiences. Many visitors start their trip at the capital Saint John’s, and it is a favorite destination among first-time tourists. Saint John’s is the best for sightseeing and checking out Antigua’s history.

To the north of Saint John’s, Dickenson Bay has some of the best beaches on the island. This resort area is perfect if all you want to do is spend time on the water.

Many visitors skip Antigua’s more rugged eastern Atlantic coast, but if you are looking for beautiful nature, then Newfield is the place to be. You can go surfing or explore the inland rainforest.

To the south, the towns of English Harbour and nearby Falmouth have the best nightlife on the island with amazing beachfront bars and clubs.

Finally, many families stay in laid-back Saint Mary’s parish, particularly the town of Jolly Harbour.

So, with so much to see and do and abundant great areas in which to stay, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Antigua has to offer. Happy travels!