Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Hotel Review: A Perfect Stay at Galley Bay, Antigua.

After having such an incredible experience at Galley Bay's sister resort of Palm Island, I was super excited to visit Galley Bay and see how it compared! While I was at Palm Island we made friends with some of the other guests, and one couple had been visiting Galley Bay every year for 15 years! The resort was so different to St James's Club where we had spent out first five nights on Antigua, but so lovely and peaceful, and we felt as though we were completely cut off from the rest of the island. It was true luxury, surpassed our expectations, and just like Palm Island had the most incredible food...

The Room 

The room was one of the most impressive hotel rooms I've ever stayed in...mainly because of the view. We had a Premium Beachfront Suite, with a sunken living room similar to those in The Palazzo in Las Vegas. The room was so different to the one we had at St James's Club, whereas that felt tired and dark, our room at Galley Bay felt clean, light, airy, and modern but with traditional rustic touches. There was also free wifi available, and unlike Palm Island the rooms at Galley Bay have televisions in them! Also the bed was insanely comfortable. 

The room had absolutely everything you could want, including a huge umbrella for those Caribbean showers, the usual five star amenities, a fridge, and an iron and ironing board. There was also a terrace leading from the room right onto the beach, with comfy cushioned loungers and a table, and then beach loungers out the front that you could leave there or drag down to nearer the water. I couldn't get enough of them, and on my last day when I was by myself I literally sat there all day chilling with a big glass of water, a good book, and obvs I took a selfie or two...because I'm a 25-year-old blogger and that's just what's expected of us.

Top // Shorts

Also the bathroom was huge, with two sinks, a gigantic bath, and two showers! 

Unfortunately because it's so small Galley Bay only has king sized beds in the rooms and no twin beds. So Claire and I asked for an extra sheet so we didn't have to share one (ask anyone who has shared a bed with me, I will steal them and wrap myself up in them and leave you in the cold),  although we had a really awks conversation with the lady on reception about this, but it's also pretty funny.

My friend Jack was in Antigua for one night on his way through to the the BVI's for Yacht Week as he's a skipper for them. I hadn't seen him since that cray-cray weekend of partying, so I told him to come to the hotel for drinks so we could have a proper catch up. So we went to reception to ask for the extra sheet, and then after saying 'Could we please have an extra sheet?' I then go 'also, our friend is on the island for one night, is it OK if he comes and has a drink with us in the bar?' the lady paused as she thought about it and then I made things worse by saying 'Or we have a bottle of champagne in our room, so he could just come to our room if that's easier?' (because the hotel is all-inclusive and obvs he wasn't a guest). 

This threw the lady completely so she looked at us and went 'Mmhmm, imma just gonna call the manager for you ladies...'. The manager came down and I explained again, and he laughed and said that was totally fine and he could just join us at the bar no problem. Then when Claire and I walked away Claire whispered "Catherine...the way you said all of that sounded a bit dodgy" haha! Anyway, it was fine and we got our extra sheet and Jack came to have a coupla drinks with us for an hour or so after dinner.

The Food

Oh my goodness the food. We arrived at Galley Bay on a Thursday, which is BBQ night there. We had an epic BBQ feast and ate as much as we could manage. And they had a huge table full of desserts! It was amazing. The mini carrot cake was one of the best I've ever had - light as air but so full of flavour. Also their key lime pie is also probably the best I've ever had, and I had it three days in a row for dessert along with their incredible coconut ice-cream *ahem*.

Almost every meal I had at Galley Bay was exceptional, unlike St James's Club you get an A La Carte menu at every mealtime, and the view over the beach from all three of the restaurants was just beautiful. There were a couple of meals when nothing on the menu really jumped out at me, but that's just my own personal tastes. I really love a lot of white fish and raw fish like ceviche and carpaccio, and there weren't as many of these dishes as there were at Palm Island. Maybe it was due to what was available that week though!

I tried every restaurant while we were at Galley Bay, we mainly ate at the Sea Grape restaurant, but we also booked in to Gauguin one evening (and were surrounded by couples having romantic meals, LOLZ). On my last night I was by myself because Claire left a day earlier than me as she couldn't get the extra couple of days off work, so Andrew/Stan the executive chef at Galley Bay invited me to a rather special dinner at Ismay's. 

I first met Andrew back in September on Palm Island, as he was there for the week I was there, and we shared a rather hilarious plane journey back to Barbados where one of the other guests Rach and I made friends with thought it'd be a great idea to get really drunk the night before flying (I'm lookin' at you, Jay). 

Anyway, every Monday evening Galley Bay host an invite-only dinner for their regular returning guests where the guests all sit together on big long tables (perfect for little old me on my lonesome) and can get to know each other over exceptional food. Ismay's is Galley Bay's fine dining restaurant which usually incurs a surcharge if you're not on the invite list to the 'regulars' dinner, but let me tell you, it is well worth that surcharge. The food I had there was honestly incredible!

The Beach

The beach is so beautiful! It's calm and peaceful, with soft golden sands and beautiful clear waters gently lapping against the shore. Apparently during the summer season it's actually a lot rougher, but we were lucky and got there at the perfect time! And I loved how classy the sun-loungers are, it's such a small little thing but they were so cool and super comfy too!

The Pool & Essentials

The pool was pretty darn gorgeous too! Similar to Palm Island in a lagoon style with a big waterfall, but again it had much nice sun loungers that were far more classy than Palm's plastic ones. The Galley Bay poolside loungers are dark wood with blue and cream striped plush cushions. And how cute are the local poolside wildlife!?

The Spa was ah-mazing. Claire and I had a massage each while we were at Galley Bay. Claire chose an aromatherapy one, while I opted for the hot stones. Also, how beautiful is the spa?! I was in the little white air conditioned room below, it was pure bliss.

It was the first time I tried a hot stone massage, and I'm a total convert - it was a few days before my period was due (sorry, TMI), so I was all bloated and achy and feeling a bit bleh. The hot stones sorted me right out! I usually get back and tummy pains for up to a week before mother nature decides to have her diva fit, but the hot stone massage actually not only stopped the pains completely, but I didn't get the tummy pains until a few days later when she actually turned up! I was very happy to be able to ditch the painkillers for a few days.

The Entertainment

I really secretly love entertainment at resorts and hotels, and Galley Bay had some great acts! One evening there was a fire-breather and limbo dancer (who was even better than Peter at limbo!), and another evening there was a band which included famous Antigua cricket player Curtly Ambrose on bass guitar!

The Day Trips

The staff were brilliant at recommending day trips, and I can't recommend the Montserrat Helicopter Tour enough! I'll have a full review of this up really soon as well as a video - it was absolutely incredible. There are also lots of boat trips, and we loved going to Stingray City.

The Staff

Just like Palm Island, the staff were amazing! We really noticed it coming from St James's Club as well, suddenly it felt as though we had come home - the staff at Galley Bay all remembered us after the first day we were there, and welcome you by name every time you step foot in the bar or restaurant. Our maid was absolutely lovely, and basically everyone we met couldn't do enough for us.

Final Thoughts

I'm still confused as to why Galley Bay is a four star resort and not a five star, it's a luxury oasis and feels so secluded and peaceful. It's probably one of my favourite hotels I've stayed at, and even though nothing can compare to Palm, it came pretty darn close. To be honest I think five days was the perfect amount of time for me to stay there - towards the end I started longing for a younger vibe and the more intense atmosphere of St James's Club (I'm just awful at relaxing for long periods of time).

With Galley Bay you get the best of both worlds, it's so secluded that you can hide away and you feel as though you're on a private island paradise, yet at the same time it's close enough to St John's and the main areas of Antigua that you can easily get a taxi or hire a car and go exploring! Also despite Galley Bay being mainly a couples resort, Claire and I didn't feel out of place being friends having a girlie holiday. There were quite a few groups of adults and older families there, which made us feel much more at home and less like we were crashing the couples' holidays.

Galley Bay Offer

Hayes & Jarvis is offering a seven-night holiday to Antigua staying at the four star plus Galley Bay Resort & Spa on an all-inclusive basis from £1,800 per person. The offer includes return international flights from London Gatwick with Virgin Atlantic and a week in a superior beachfront room. Based on departures on 11 October 2016. Book via the Hayes & Jarvis website or call them on 01293 762456.

Further Reading:


A review of luxury hotel, the Galley Bay Resort & Spa, on the Caribbean island of Antigua! A stunning adults-only hotel set in a secluded bay, it feels like an oasis in paradise.

My trip to Antigua was in partnership with Elite Island Resorts and Hayes and Jarvis, with my accommodation and flights complimentary. This does not effect my opinion in any way and as always I am 100% honest in my reviews. You can book a holiday to Galley Bay in Antigua with Hayes & Jarvis.


  1. How heavenly! Looks like complete and utter paradise and I think someone would have had to drag me away if I stayed here!

  2. The hotel looks absolutely gorgeous! I'm with you though five days is about my limit for being able to relax!

  3. This sounds incredible - I love that everything is all inclusive too x

  4. Only just read your blog we go January 2019 looking forward to experiencing it for ourselves.


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