If you have 7¾ days and ££££ = St James’s Club & Villas, Antigua
What’s that? You want us to switch off our phones, eat lobster and bathe in a hot lagoon? Urgh, FINE
You’ll arrive just in time for cocktail hour at St James’s beachside bar. Sunset’s around 6pm – giving you a chance to do a quick diva change and get out on deck before the sky turns that uniquely Caribbean shade of pink. And if you fall asleep in your jumbo prawns at dinner, don’t be surprised – they’re four hours behind us (GMT).
BUT the time difference means you’ll be up at the crack of dawn – jogging on the beach before breakfast (naturally). This resort has not one, but two huge beaches, thanks to its location on a private peninsula. One is a dead calm and boiling-hot lagoon on the inside, and the
other is lapped by the waves and breeze of the Atlantic. When you’ve maxed out on sun, all-inclusive meals and sundowners (‘Ink and Drink’ sunset sessions, involving collective grown-up colouring-in and cocktail guzzling, are definitely worth a punt), try your hand at the free watersports and packed roster of fitness classes. We (sort of) learned to canoe, specifically so we could see whether one-time Bond Timothy Dalton was in residence in his beach house at the mouth of the lagoon – he wasn’t. Tom Hardy (said to be a fan of the resort) wasn’t there, either. Probably for the best. Restraining orders are pesky things to get rid of. We digress. If, like us, you find it hard to genuinely switch off on holiday, St James’s offer a ‘mind and body’ relaxation programme. Try sunrise Floatfit Aquabase classes – essentially HIIT workouts performed on mats on the water. Good luck. There’s also mobile-free beaches for those done with the hot-dog-or-legs debacle. Fancy exploring? Antigua’s English Harbour is a 15-minute drive away and replete with colonial buildings at the Nelson’s Dockyard World Heritage site and retired ex-pat Hooray Henrys. For a dreamy lunch, book a table at Catherine’s, two bays away at Pigeon Point Beach. In the shade of the neem trees, sip chilled Chablis and eat lobster salad with your toes in the sand and decide it’s probably best you come on holiday more often.
An early-evening flight leaves you plenty of time to snaffle one last lunch by the pool, and as you’ll arrive the next morning, you could go into the office, depending on where in the country you work. Work – remember? The place where people ask you constant questions and steal your biro?
Flights and seven nights at St James’s Club & Villas, from £1,846; Hayesandjarvis.co.uk
“Hello, Mum? Yeah, I live here now, OK?”