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CARIBBEAN SANCTUARY

Jumby Bay

Jumby Bay is a private island paradise in Antigua where guests can holiday in splendid, luxurious isolation, amid stunning natural beauty

Jumby Bay Island is a place where people first arrive as tourists but then return as residents. That was the story behind the island’s initial transformation into a resort – two brothers came to this tiny island off the coast of Antigua on holiday and liked it so much they turned it into a holiday destination. That still happens today, with the island’s 50 private residences often owned by former holidaymakers who bring a sense of ownership to the experience, treating tourists like guests.

The appeal is obvious. Antigua is easy to get to – direct flights from the US, the UK and Canada followed by a private car and boat to Jumby Bay – and, once you are there, you are in paradise. “It is a beautiful private island at a time when privacy and seclusion has never been more important,” says the resort’s Managing Director Aleksandra Vukojevic.

“It is a 300-acre island and less than 20 per cent has been built on, so you are surrounded by lush vegetation and white sand. From the moment you land at Antigua’s airport, our representatives will meet you off the plane, take you through the arrival process and then put you in a private car to our dock where it is a seven-minute boat ride to the island.”

The resort has 28 suites, 14 villas ranging from two to four bedrooms, and a further 22 private residences that are between four and nine bedrooms which come with a private chef and butler. The entire resort has been renovated in stages since 2016 so contains the finest contemporary furnishings. There is an award-winning spa with five treatment rooms, a fine dining restaurant and two casual open-air bars and restaurants. Many of the private residences have access to private pools and beaches, and several have additional features such as gyms, tennis courts and even a mini golf course. The resort is all-inclusive, and guests are welcome to go snorkelling, learn to sail or discover the island’s secrets by taking a walk with the landscape manager, who will tell them about the local fauna and wildlife. You can also visit nearby Antigua, which has a range of landscapes to explore including beaches, a rainforest and a dramatic rocky area known as the Devil’s Bridge.

As it is a private island, Jumby Bay offers a unique sense of isolation and security. Cars are banned, so children are able to cycle around in safety, while there is plenty of space on the beaches and bars. Nature is everywhere, from the beautiful plants and flowers to the majestic egret. Guests can see the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, which boasts a striking shell and returns each year to nest on one of Jumby Bay’s beaches as it has for centuries. It is, says Aleksandra, “like living inside the pages of National Geographic.”

As well as this direct connection to nature, Jumby Bay allows you to bask in a luxurious version of a simpler life. “It’s a life without pagers and cellphones, where you can relax, read, sleep and eat well,” says Aleksandra. “It feels unscripted and unhurried. The original owner wanted to create a perfect world for himself and his guests, and it feels like a unique club, a very special thing to be part of. The residents now treat it like a private sanctuary and there’s a strong sense of community among everybody from staff and home-owners. It feels like a privilege to be here.”

www.jumbybayisland.com