Step Inside Antigua’s Newest Adults-Only Escape, Plus Our Favorite Island Hangouts

Beyoncé once told us that the best summer escapes are those “where the water’s so blue.” So I listened and hopped on a flight down to sunny Antigua to check out it’s all-new Royalton Chic resort. A dual island territory—technically known as Antigua and Barbuda—the small Caribbean destination sits close to spots like St. Lucia, Montserrat and Dominica. And yes, the water was very blue.

After a short 20-minute taxi ride from the island’s airport, I arrived to the property and was greeted by a cold towel and refreshing drink made of local fruit juices. As a VIP guest, I was a part of the Diamond Club, which meant a separate check-in process and ultimately access to a reserved area of the resort. 

Room interior. Image: DeAnna Taylor.

With this premium service, I was assigned a set of attendants that were there for me should I need anything during the stay. My attendant, Kemoy, escorted me to my upgraded swim-up room, and it was time for my vacation to officially begin. Opened just a few months ago, Royalton Chic is said to be adults-only so that you can “party your way.” There were four pools on-site, multiple swim-up bars, six restaurants plus a coffee shop, plenty of chairs and loungers set up along the beach and pool areas, as well as private cabanas that were available to rent for an additional fee. The resort is also in the process of adding four over-water bungalows which are sure to bring an added bonus for guests.

View at sunset from swim-up room. Image: DeAnna Taylor.

This is an all-inclusive so food, drink and alcohol are included, and as a diamond club guest I was treated to a full bottle of alcohol of my choosing for my room. 

A water baby since birth, I thoroughly enjoyed the option of simply opening my patio door and stepping directly into the pool. I could even walk over a set of in-water steps and be at the swim-up bar without having to leave the pool. The main, and larger, pool housed a daily DJ that played everything from the latest Afro-beat jams to soca and more. Around 3pm each day, there were fun beach activities like relay races and dance lessons, and the evenings brought live entertainment as well. 

Main pool and DJ area. Image: DeAnna Taylor.

While most of my time was spent frolicking in the pool or laying out on the beach, I did get a chance to venture off the property to check out more of the local flare. I hailed a cab over to Dickenson Bay, less than 10-minutes from the hotel by car (walking is about 20-minutes up a hill). This hangout area is popular for its pristine beaches, stunning views and social media-worthy backdrops. 

I started at Salt Plage, a cute beachfront bar and restaurant that’s home to the iconic red telephone booth on the sand. I sat and enjoyed a refreshing drink and took a few photos—because I love a photo moment—and then took the short walk over to Casa Roots for a delicious farm-to-table lunch. 

Beach area at Salt Plage. Image: DeAnna Taylor.

The cuisine here truly blew me away. With a fresh herb garden out front, I could tell that the chef is big on sourcing local, which made the experience that much better. For lunch, I opted for the clam mariniere consisting of locally-caught clams sautéed in a flavorful garlic butter marinade. I also went with the fish tacos which were made with large chunks of mahi mahi, pickled onions, local greens and a special sauce. I literally licked the plate. 

Some other spots that locals suggested to me—and that I likely would have visited if I had more time—were Shirley’s Heights, Sheer Rocks and Big Banana. If tours and adventure are your thing, Tropical Adventures, a local tour operator, came highly recommended as well.

Local clams from Casa Roots. Image: DeAnna Taylor.
Updated: June 24, 2024 — 12:02 pm