A Hobi Cat ready for action
at Jolly Beach, Antigua.

When I say blue water, what shade of blue do you think of? Chances are, you may think of blueberries, the sky, or maybe even a dark cobalt blue. But in Antigua, the color of the Caribbean Sea is entirely unique. Think of a blue ice-flavored Jelly-Belly (remember those), or a glacier from the inside, or maybe a bright turquoise dress. This is the color of the sea. You may have already seen this beach from your dreams. Or perhaps it was yesterday when you caught yourself gazing at a calendar on your cubicle wall at work, fantasizing about a tropical paradise. Enter Tranquility Bay Resort in Antigua!

Antiguan beaches, especially those near Jolly Harbor, are a light blue and turquoise mixture blended together like a swirling painter’s pallet splashed with areas of light greens and blues. The sand is made from mostly eroded coral, which gives it the pure white essence beachgoers love. This is the type of place you see in those old Corona commercials; palm tree-lined beaches for miles, hammocks, and the 85 degree water practically begs you to take a dip. This picturesque postcard of a beach is just 30 minutes away from the airport and capital city of St. Johns. But in order to truly appreciate the beauty of Tranquility Bay you should first understand more about Antigua.

Hawaiian shirts flap in the
wind at Jolly Beach, Antigua.

Antigua is a relatively small island in the West Indies and part of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region. Antigua literally means "ancient" in Spanish and was named by Christopher Columbus after the icon Santa Maria de la Antigua in the Seville Cathedral. The island's airport is serviced by several major airlines including Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, US Airways, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Caribbean Airlines, Air Canada and LIAT, so its relatively easy to get there.

If you’re looking to escape the beach scene and experience some culture, head to Shirley Heights on Sunday afternoon, which is basically a huge block party featuring steel drums and a reggae band at night. It's quite the cultural experience to be eating conch roti and drinking Wadadli beer while listening to the local musicians sing their hearts out. Another piece of Antiguan culture can be tasted for those with a sweet tooth. The famed “Black Pineapple” is known on the island as the sweetest pineapple on Earth, and can be purchased at stands throughout the Cades Bay area.

The majestic sunset views of Montserrat, Redonda, and St. Kitts/Nevis make it a haven for those craving peaceful moments away from the hustle and bustle of city-life. Here, you can feel guilt-free in knowing that it’s perfectly acceptable to spend hours upon hours gazing into turquoise waters from a lounge chair. But I happen to be more of an adventurous traveler, and I am free to choose from Tranquility Bay’s exciting menu of extra-curricular activities, including; golf, tennis, fishing, and luxurious spa treatments.

Tranquility Bay Resort's network of villas & condo-style rooms.

Tranquility Bay Antigua features 64 fully furnished suite accommodations. Each private suite features a full kitchen, separate living room, and bedroom, free Wi-Fi, in-room safes, and an expansive balcony. Two-bedroom suites also offer in-room laundry whereas the one-bedroom suites will have access to complimentary public laundry facilities.

Master bedrooms feature a king-sized bed.

The fully equipped kitchen includes a refrigerator, full sets of dishes, a stove and microwave, and all the kitchen utensils you need to feel right at home. This way, you can enjoy in-suite dining that is both relaxing and affordable. One bedroom suites have a king sized bed, a bathroom with walk-in shower, a kitchen and dining area, living room with pull-out sofa, large private balcony, and plenty of closet space. Two bedroom suites have a master bedroom with a king sized bed, sitting area, and private bathroom with oversized tub and shower, a second bedroom with two full-sized beds, a walk-in shower in the second bathroom, a kitchen and dining area, a washer and dryer, a living room with a pull-out sofa bed, a large private balcony, and plenty of closet space.

The Jolly Beach Resort pool & activities
are accessible to Tranquility Bay Resort guests.

On the powdery white sands of Jolly Beach, I found a full array of free water sports and endless activities.  At the nearby Jolly Harbor there’s an 18-hole golf course, sailing facilities and marina,  and plenty of shops and restaurants within a five minute walk from the room. In addition, guests of Tranquility Bay receive complimentary access to the facilities at the Jolly Beach Resort next door, including two freshwater swimming pools and an 8,000 square foot ‘fantasy pool’. Clearly there is no shortage of things to do.

Play a round of golf or sail from the harbor.

Tranquility Bay Resort also offers a kid’s club, which is open to children between 3 and 12 years of age. The kid’s club offers a variety of fun activities such as garden walks, lizard hunts, dance lessons, ball games, movies, arts and crafts, and story time. Hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and again from 2.30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The fun continues after dark with live local bands and cultural performances that captivate the island’s spirit and culture. It’s a perfect way to end a long day on the beach. Entertainment activities (including limbo, fire-eating shows, calypso night, karaoke, and bonfires) vary nightly, so be sure to check the calendar near the Fantasy Pool.

Tranquility Bay Resort suites feature large balconies.

Antigua’s only all-suite property
offers spacious island living.

When hungry, fret not. There are five restaurants and bars in the Jolly Beach Resort area. The Coconut Grill offers a casual dining experience and serves light grilled barbeque and sandwiches pool-side from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For something a little richer, try either the Indian or Italian restaurant. If you’re like me and have an insatiable appetite, you may just need to attend the buffet, which serves up a plethora of local delicacies and traditional meals. You should note that a semi-formal dress code applies in the Italian Restaurant.

With an impressive supply of activities, beauteous beaches, and classic Caribbean culture, The Tranquility Bay Resort oozes charm and is the quintessential tropical getaway. After my visit, not only do I have unforgettable and picturesque memories, I am sure to smile next time I catch a glance of that tropical beach on my calendar at work.

For packages and reservations contact Tranquility Bay Antigua toll-free in the U.S. and Canada at (888) 411-2012.
For more information, visit www.tranquilitybayantigua.com

— Feature by Josh Edelson, Jetsetters Magazine Advenure Correspondent; photos by Josh and courtesy of Tranquility Bay Resort.