If your ideal holiday involves spending as much time on the beach as possible then you need to know about Pineapple Beach Club, Antigua.
The beaches in Antigua are absolute knock-outs and the bay that Pineapple Beach Club sits on is up there with the best. This resort, however, doesn’t just reside on the beach but invites it in. Whether you’re waking up in a beachfront suite, tucking into a bacon bagel from the breakfast buffet or flexing your travel trivia in the quiz, you are never more than a few metres from the beach. The spotless sand and azure ocean are the backdrop for pretty much every activity at Pineapple Beach Club – the hammocks in the Relaxation Station being the exception, you’ll see only swaying palms when lying horizontal in these.
The resort’s best activities are water based too. On advice from Jules the friendly photographer Vicky (of Vicky Flip Flop Travels) and I booked ourselves on the Calypso Cat. Leaving directly from Long Bay the catamaran cruise takes you to some of the nearby snorkelling spots, stopping for some swimming and rum-drinking at Great Bird Island once the responsible bits are out the way. With a delightful crew who keep your cups topped up, we found ourselves dancing back to Pineapple Beach Club and answering queries from guests on the beach who wanted to know how they could join the next trip.
You needn’t leave Pineapple Beach Club for watery fun though. A few steps into the shallow waters you’ll find floating rings – large enough for 2 or 3 – where you can comfortably lie back in the warm water with a frozen daiquiri in hand. With a terrible track record of failing to mount and/or falling straight off inflatables I was worried that reclining in the ring would be out of my league. Luckily though they are low enough for even us short-legged ladies to climb aboard, just take a friend to hold that drink steady until you’ve flopped into position!
If you noticed I’ve mentioned cocktails a few times already I can tell you it’s because the resort is all-inclusive. In addition to never being far from the beach you’re never far from your next meal or cold beer either! Our absolute favourite place to dine, and the second stand out selling point of this hotel, is Mary’s Outhouse Bar & Grill. Perched on a cliff above the resort you’ll need a helpful member of staff to point out where to find it. Jules was our hero when he stated on our first day, “You ain’t been to Pineapple until you try ribs at Mary’s.” He’d barely finished the sentence and Vicky and I were striding up the steps 2 at a time.
Seduced by the scent of slow-cooking meat, Vicky and I raced to Mary’s Outhouse and were pretty much blown away by what we found. Decorated with messages inscribed on wood from happy rib-eating patrons, The Outhouse has panoramic ocean views, laid-back Caribbean vibes and is like nowhere else I’ve ever been at an all-inclusive resort. We piled our plates high with sticky BBQ chicken, melt-in-the-mouth ribs and raison-dotted slaw and abandoned the cutlery on the advice of Jules who said we needed to get our fingers dirty. Washed down with a can of cold beer from the ice box all I can say is wowee. It’s just as well the resort is all-inclusive ‘coz Vicky and I ate a lot of ribs. Daily!
Back on the beach there’s something else you don’t see at every Antiguan hotel and that’s the row of sorbet-coloured beach huts where you can buy colourful hats, sarongs and souvenirs. (Or just pose for photos and pretend the hut’s your new home. Guilty!)
The Pineapple Beach Club also offers spa treatments – I appreciated my no-nonsense aromatherapy massage after the flight – and a la carte dining at The Pineapple Grill, which has wonderful local dishes but can get nippy under the air con so bring a cardie! There are 2 pools close to the beach (and bars!) as well as tennis courts and a fitness centre, which we admittedly didn’t visit because, hello, have you seen that beach?! I almost didn’t leave it!
Kuoni (01306 747008 or www.kuoni.co.uk) offer seven nights all-inclusive at Pineapple Beach Club, Antigua in a gardenview room, including flights on Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick and transfers in resort. The price for September 2017 is from £1331 per person, based on two sharing.
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