designed with beach-side bliss in mind...
‘You here to buy a coconut?’, a beach vendor selling fresh coconut juice (in you guessed it, a coconut), called out to me as my husband and I strolled hand in hand down the beach. ‘No thank you’, I responded. ‘Are you sure’, he said, ‘The doctor recommends one a day’. While I wasn’t in the market for coconut juice (I actually hate the stuff unless it is served with a generous amount of rum), I admired his persuasive sales technique.
It was our first day at Turners Beach, the stunning, secluded strip of sandy, white beach where the fabulous Keyonna Beach Hotel, a couples-only, all-inclusive boutique resort is situated. Located on Antigua's South-Western coastline on the Caribbean side of the island, Keyonna Beach Hotel is designed for couples who want to enjoy nothing more than the pleasure of blissful relaxation.
Settle in with a rum punch…
Upon our arrival at Keyonna Beach Hotel, we were presented with a glass of tropical rum punch to sip while we completed our check in forms - the perfect tonic to help ease us into the island spirit.
Once we were checked in, the friendly hotel porter showed us to our cottage (number 27), which consisted of a large room with a 4-poster bed (adorned with mosquito netting), a small desk, a large dresser, two night stands, a bathroom with his and her sinks and a toilet, and an outdoor shower.
Our cottage also had a small wooden deck with an outdoor sofa and chairs, which was ideal for enjoying our morning coffee, while gazing at the sea.
The perfect place for an intimate escape, Keyonna Beach Hotel offers a selection of 24 rooms and cottages including,Beach Front Cottages with Plunge Pools, which come with their own privately assigned Bali beds and beach loungers,Cottages with Sea Views, or Beach House Rooms, which are located in the main building (positioned either with a view of the beach and sea or directly overlooking the beach). There is also a small but perfectly formed communal pool for all guests to use, which is set back away from the beach.
The accommodation – Rustic, beach-side rooms and cottages designed for relaxation
The accommodations at Keyonna Beach Hotel have a weathered, rustic charm to them (think dark brown painted floors and furnishings and simple, no frills décor). All rooms and cottages are only a short stroll away from the shimmering Caribbean Sea.
Regardless of what property you choose, you’ll enjoy ideally positioned verandas with stunning views of the beach and sea, four-poster king size beds, air-conditioning, a shower (an indoor shower for the Beach House Rooms or outdoor showers for either of the cottage options), free Wi-Fi, an in-room mini fridge (stocked daily with local beers, soft drinks and water) and tea and coffee making facilities. To ensure your focus is solely on your companion during your stay, you won’t find a TV in your room, leaving you with more time to cuddle!
We loved showering in the great outdoors, as we felt it really helped to create a ‘castaway’ feel.
Luckily, you don’t need to worry about snakes joining you for a shower (something that we’ve been warned of during our travels in Thailand), so you can relax and enjoy the view of the sun or the stars, whatever time of the day!
Dining at Keyonna Beach
One of our favourite experiences during our stay was indulging in the fresh, wonderfully prepared cuisine at The Beach House Restaurant. We consider ourselves to be foodies and we couldn't fault the quality or the preparation of every dish we enjoyed during our stay.
Unlike many all-inclusive resorts, Keyonna Beach Hotel doesn’t offer a buffet service, but instead provides an a la carte menu with table service.
For breakfast, lunch and dinner, guests will find several meal options to choose from. We were able to find something that we liked at every meal, however, picky guests or those with allergies may find the menu a bit limiting, so if you have any concerns, we recommend mentioning this at the time of booking.
All meals are served at the on-site beach-side restaurant, which boasts a fabulous multi-tiered, wooden terrace, which facilitates open-air dining beneath a canopy of seaside grape trees. During each meal we marvelled at the joy of beach-side dining. There’s nothing more relaxing than listening to the waves lapping at the beach as you indulge in sensational cuisine!
Fitness at Keyonna Beach Hotel
Keyonna Beach Hotel offers free yoga sessions for its guests two times per week.Our class was led by Charlotte, a lovely English girl who worked with each participant individually to ensure that we worked within our own fitness abilities to avoid injury.
After the session, we definitely felt more relaxed (and limber), which was definitely a great way to start the day and feel a bit smug for ticking the 'fitness box' for the day!
Activities at Keyonna Beach Hotel
Live entertainment is available two nights per week, however, we didn’t experience this during our stay. Other activities such as snorkelling, zip-lining, kayaking and other outdoor pursuits can be booked at reception for an additional fee.
We'll be back!
Overall, we had an amazing time at Keyonna Beach and would certainly recommend it for anyone looking for a peaceful holiday in Antigua.
Prices start from US$288 (£187) per night for a Beach House Room; a Cottage from US$356 (£231), or Beachfront Plunge Pool Cottage US$488 (£317). All prices are based on double occupancy and include all meals and alcoholic beverages per night.
For further details on the property or for a breakdown of what's included in the all-inclusive package, visit www.keyonnabeach.com.
Top tips for your stay at Keyonna Beach...
Book in a yoga session with Charlotte, the yoga instructor
She’s a lovely English woman who’s skilled at working with people of varying abilities from beginners to more advanced yogis. To book, simply provide your name and room number at reception and they’ll sort the rest. The yoga sessions are held on the platform near the beach and mats are provided for all participants.
While crickets provide an air of exoticism to the overall experience by reminding you that you’re in a tropical destination, they can be a bit noisy for light sleepers.
Watch out for hungry mosquitoes
As we learned the hard way, the mosquito netting isn’t just an exotic style feature. The pesky mosquitoes will nibble away at you while you’re sleeping if you don’t take precautions to use bug spray and keep the netting closed.
To help keep mosquitoes at bay, Keyonna Beach Hotel fumigates twice per week, so don’ t be alarmed if you see a man roaming the beach with a large plume of smoke trailing behind him!
Most suited for: Couples seeking a chilled out holiday; this isn’t the place for adventure seekers or those looking for a party atmosphere
Best bits: The peaceful, beachside location with comfy Bali beds and the beachside restaurant and bar with its stunning views of the azure sea, can’t be beat. The slow pace of Keyonna Beach Hotel helps you to feel immediately relaxed, meaning that jet lag will soon be a thing of the past. It’s amazing what a golden beach and turquoise waters can do to soothe the soul.
Worst bits: Patchy Wi-Fi and pesky mosquitos (to be fair, we experienced both of these issues all over the island at various properties, so these issues aren’t unique to Keyonna Beach Hotel)
Our experience overall
The property: ★★★★
Food and drink: ★★★★★
Staff attentiveness/friendliness: ★★★★★