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Jumby Bay Island, Antigua

| By Laurie Kahle | From The Top 25 of 2021, January/February 2022
Jumby Bay Island, Antigua

A 10-minute ride on a custom catamaran from the island of Antigua takes guests to the dock of Jumby Bay Island. To the left, a half-mile crescent of creamy, white sand, swaying palms and aquamarine crystal water beckon like the quintessential tropical postcard. With a sip of the Old-Fashioned Rum Punch welcoming cocktail, the winter blues instantly melt away. 

The private island ensures plenty of space for unwinding, and you’ll never have to compete for a prime beach lounge or dinner reservation. The 300 acres include 28 recently refreshed, spacious suites, 14 multibedroom villas for families and groups, and 22 private residences, which attract the likes of LeBron James, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey and Oprah Winfrey. 

Less glamorous residents include a flock of black-headed Persian sheep and an array of tropical bird species that inhabit the five-acre waterfowl sanctuary. The island is also protective of Hawksbill sea turtles and each night from June to November, guests can watch them lay their eggs. 

Jumby Bay takes the all-inclusive experience to premium heights. Menus feature 14 house wines, which include Moët et Chandon Champagne, Minuty rosé and Sancerre, with dozens of vintage options available for purchase. On the spirits side, you can order an 18-year-old Glenfiddich and never sign a check. (The all-inclusive rates start at $2,100 per day.)

Dining venues include casual al fresco meals at the Verandah and the Pool Grille, with its infinity-edge swimming pool perched on a cliff. The weekly pop-up meals include an authentic West Indian BBQ and a farm-to-table dinner served at picnic tables adjacent to the resort’s organic farm. Formal gourmet fare is served at the Estate House, set in the island’s plantation house, which also offers private dining spaces for intimate dinners. For a nightcap, linger over a rum tasting in the romantic 1830 Bar.

Type As have plenty of options for keeping busy. Play tennis, swim, bike the island or reserve a kayak, wind surfer, paddle board or sail boat. For added adrenaline, there’s water skiing, wakeboarding and tubing. You can also book a guided snorkeling trip, a Caribbean cooking class or a massage in the spa. 

As the sun sinks on the horizon, relax under a beach cabana for a smoke and a local rum punch before the ferry whisks you back to reality. 

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