Cocoas Beach, Antigua

It took a moment to adjust to the undeveloped North East coast of Antigua. It represented the antithesis of what we had just left behind in the UK. Long Bay is calm, the water is aquamarine and oh so inviting; all that moved was the warm breeze through the palms.

It had been a tough old winter and we made this choice of destination very quickly,; it was an emergency after all. I was in dire need of blue skies, sunshine and these tropical seas and my partner had been working very long hours and was in desperate need of a holiday.

It took slightly longer to decide which hotel to book, however, but the Grand Pineapple Beach Hotel fulfilled our list of requirements. We wanted to stay somewhere relaxed and fairly undeveloped; if I could source our hotel right on the beach so much the better.

The Grand Pineapple, we quickly discovered, allows its visitors to wend their way down tropical gardens that leads to a white sandy beach. The sun terraces and pools added a further dimension and the evening entertainment really gave us the flavour of the Caribbean, when we arrived we knew immediately we had made the right choice.

I guess my favourite location was The Outhouse which is positioned right above the water in Long Bay and I spent many an hour mesmerised by the beauty that surrounded us whilst sipping on the odd cocktail – just the one you understand!

In fact everything about St John’s, which is Antigua’s capital, appealed. Although our main aim was to relax, we actually managed to fit in a number of trips into St John’s and experienced lively markets and the arrival of some of the large cruise ships. We even enjoyed a game of cricket at the Antigua Recreation Ground. Remember Antigua is the place that still commemorates Viv Richards’ stunning performances and everyone just adores this sport and it seems to fit the atmosphere perfectly.

I have to say it became increasingly difficult to drag ourselves away from our beautiful rooms which are located right on the reef. The views were extraordinary and the general ambience of these tropical waterfront rooms was imbued with the Caribbean spirit, as we were too, some nights.

The whole purpose of our trip was to do as little as possible and we decided to book all inclusive to take any decision-making out of the equation while we were actually away. We had never done this before but both knew this holiday in Antigua was about recharging batteries. Grand Pineapple Hotel’s varied menus and places to eat gave us sufficient variety without having to spend time looking for somewhere when we finally managed to tear ourselves away from the very serious occupation of chilling!

Antigua is beautiful and in many ways you don’t need anything other than a beautiful hotel and the glorious beach to feel you are truly in Paradise, cue music, cue chocolate bar! It’s laid-back and friendly and somehow the cares of the world simply melt away in the warm breezes. Being able to find quiet coves; snorkelling or scuba diving in the reef around this island, all contribute to the sense of calm and tranquillity.

It also offers wreck diving and this was actually one of the two highlights of our holiday. In fact, although this Caribbean island is only 14 miles long and just 11 miles wide it’s perfectly formed and personally I could not think of anything else I would like to add to make a holiday in Antigua more than what we experienced for 10 whole days.

However, if you want something even more bespoke or you have a specific desire to fit in other destinations, the holiday place has over 25 years of experience putting together tailor made holidays to Antigua click here to see their wide range of hotels, destinations and holiday ideas.