Independently owned Galley Bay Cottages are in no way affiliated with the luxurious all-inclusive Galley Bay Resort, although they are situated on a hill above the resort and have access to the same beachfront. We enjoyed our week-long stay in the rustic but artfully decorated Breeze cottage, although there are a couple of things that could be improved upon.
Firstly, the good things: the Breeze has a great balcony (and yes, the view is stunning, but the light fixtures on the balcony aren't up to par and if you plan to eat outside in the evening, you'll have to depend on candles) ... the bed is comfortable and there is ample living space in the cottage.
On the down side: there is no wifi access -- although owner Natalie told us we could walk up the hill and connect to the Internet outside her home, that's just not convenient for checking email, etc. (and even when we were able to log on by going further up the hill, the connection was just too slow for it to be worth it). Another inconvenience: you can't reserve by credit card -- sending a bank draft just isn't as easy as sending a credit card number.
The guests who had been staying in our cottage moved to another cottage when we arrived, and took many of the kitchen utensils with them. When we brought it to Natalie's attention, she brought them back (the utensils, not the guests), but that was just one of the small things that made this vacation lacking -- it was also difficult to get hand towels (we had to ask several times). And while the rustic decor in the bedroom and living room are charming, the rustic aspect of the bathroom hardly is: the plumbing needs some work and a couple of simple things such as towel racks, better lighting, a good shower curtain and a larger mirror would go a long way towards making it more comfortable.
Some of the reviewers mentioned that a car is indispensible -- we didn't rent a car but probably should have ; we asked for a taxi to be sent to the airport to pick us up but he was a no-show, and the taxi we reserved for our return flight showed up at the cottage 10 minutes late... there is good bus service on the island and if you like walking, there are many beautiful places in the vicinity to explore (Half Moon Bay, Hideaway Bay, Hermitage Bay to name a few)
A note on the beaches: many look lovely in photos, but Hermitage Bay Beach, for example, is disappointing because of the mass of broken seashells at the edge of the water, making it almost impossible to go into the water without cutting your feet). Quite a few of the beaches, including the one just below the Galley Bay cottages, are steep, making for uncomfortable beachcombing and less than pleasant swimming.
A more general comment about Antigua (over which the Galley Bay cottage owners have absolutely no control): you wait forever to go through customs after getting off the plane, and the arrival area is highly disorganized, compared with some other Caribbean islands where the processing is quicker and smoother... just a little detail, but one that helps me decide which islands I want to return to...
p.s. I tried adding some photos but ours were all over 5 MB and I wasn't able to upload them... I'll try to figure out how to add them later...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Galley Bay Cottages are four charming Caribbean cottages and a mediterranean style Villa located hillside, just steps from the beautiful white sands of Galley Bay beach on the northwest coast of Antigua. Built into the natural landscape of the hill, winding stone paths and steps lead through the property and take you to each of the four gorgeously secluded cottages. Wooden gingerbread cottages each with an ocean view, cool breezes and open layouts allow you to experience a uniquely Caribbean vacation.The shabby chic colonial interiors have been indiviudally decorated and furnished with an eclectic mix of European antiques, renovated finds and Caribbean art. Wonderful details like locally fired and hand painted tiles and face basins, four poster beds and wooden painted shutters are a delight for your eyes daily. Each unit is self contained with a fully equipped kitchen and all have amazing sea views, with private galleries perfect for relaxing day and night. Watch cruiseships entering and leaving St. John's Harbour and catch stunning sunsets while enjoying drinks and dinner al fresco. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Galley Bay Cottages Hotel St. John`s
- Galley Bay Cottages Antigua/Saint John Parish