“Tranquil guesthouse with a plunge pool and impeccable service, just south of Antigua's central plaza”
After a 16 hour journey from London we collapsed into the queensize wrought-iron four-poster of Room 5 with relish. We found plump goosedown pillows, fine Italian linen, a minibar and bottled water, a safe, a TV, and an ample, custom-made wardrobe. Double-paned windows and shutters ensured a well-earned and lengthy slumber. On waking we noticed white walls, tiled floors, framed ceremonial huipiles and ethnic textile cushions - each room displaying variety on this theme.
All rooms, except the rooftop suite and the twin, are on the ground floor; rooms 6 and 7 are reached through the living room by stepping on stones across the lily pond, which is candlelit at night. Most have queensize wrought-iron beds; rooms 3 and 4 stretch to kingsize beds. Bathrooms are ensuite throughout, with walk-in showers finished in natural stone tiles, fluffy bathrobes and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. Room 1 has the biggest bathroom.
The rooftop suite boasts a four-poster, kingsize, wrought-iron bed, a traditional colonial fireplace and a large bathroom with a walk-in shower and a tub on a stone platform. Leading from the terrace, it has magnificent views of city rooftops and surrounding mountains.
If you can stir your stumps, it's worth getting up early to watch the sunrise over Antigua from the delightful roof terrace. At any time of day the views of one of the world's most perfectly conical volcanoes and the surrounding hills are spectacular. You can also glimpse the cathedral amidst the rooftops and rotundas.
Breakfast is served on this terrace, overlooking the central courtyard and plunge pool, amongst bougainvillea blossoms, hortensias and camellias in pots. Choose between the Desayuno Tipico (eggs as you wish, refried beans, tortillas, fried plantains, cheese and sour cream), the Desayuno de Pancakes (with maple syrup) or the Desayuno Continental. There are healthier options like a fruit platter or granola and yoghurt as well. Local touches include small terracotta condiment bowls and local textile napkins.
The guesthouse made up some sandwiches for our day trip; light dinners can be provided in the evenings with a little notice. The small rooftop bar is open between 2-9pm and is the perfect place to enjoy an evening cocktail before going out to dinner.
The staff can advise and make dinner reservations for you at any number of good restaurants in the old town, and there are countless delis, cafés and bars for day-time pitstops.