*SEE SLIDESHOW BELOW*
I'm in love... with an island! Okay, sure, many Caribbean islands have tried charming me before, courting me with their fancy resorts, pretty beaches and dazzling nightlife. But this time a quiet, understated private island has stolen my heart. Who knew quiet and understated could be so sexy? Just check out the slide-show of awesome photos below and you'll see why I've fallen so hard!
Jumby Bay. Even the name makes me smile. The resort got its name from "Jumbie", an Antiguan colloquial for "playful spirit". This 300-acre island was first discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 but centuries later this tiny strip of paradise is still off the regular tourist radar, in a good way.
Just two miles north of Antigua, at Jumby Bay, you won't find any cars, shopping malls, billboards or casinos. A vacation here is all about relaxing on the beach, sipping drinks by the pool and indulging in fabulous cuisine. It's low key luxury at its best.
To get to Jumby you take the resort's private boat from Antigua. The ride takes about ten minutes and from the moment you arrive you know things are different here. First of all it's quiet, really quiet. The loudest thing you'll hear is the waves hitting the white sand beach and maybe in the background some birds chirping .
Sound like a fairytale?
Well, now you're getting the picture. It's no wonder top celebrities like Paul McCartney, Hilary Swank and Mariah Carey have all sought refuge here.
A big part of Jumby Bay's charm is the friendly staff that goes out of its way to make you feel at home. There is no tipping here, Jumby is all inclusive, so you know when staff members are being kind and caring it's genuine and comes from their heart, not because they're hoping you'll tip them well.
Also important in keeping the peaceful, idyllic vibe is that on this private island you'll only find 40 rooms and suites and a handful of multi-million dollar villas and private estate homes to rent. You get around by bicycle or golf cart or just walking.
The resort has recently reopened after undergoing an impressive 28-million dollar renovation. Jumby Bay's managing director Andrew Hedley told me while the island was already top rated in the Caribbean it needed a "refresh" to continue to exceed guest's expectations, so even during a tough economy the millions were spent.
The island is actually owned by the several dozen homeowners, who while visiting Jumby fell in the love themselves and decided to build or buy their own place. They've brought in Rosewood to manage the resort and now that this latest renovation is done there's a long list of what's new and fabulous including 28 gorgeous suites that are just steps from the beach, a new oceanfront infinity pool, new restaurants and the island's first spa.
On my first trip back since the renovation I decided to stay in one of the new oceanfront suites, number #25, and I had one big problem right away. I never wanted to leave!
Honestly, I could happily live in this suite. Its open design, with high ceilings and windows that look out over the sea lets light stream in during the day and offers the perfect sunset view at night. For extra Caribbean flavor all the new suites have their own outdoor rain shower and bath tub. Yup, that's right, a full-sized bath tub right in your own private garden. How cool is that?
Still, one of my favorite things at Jumby Bay is something that hasn't changed, something that wasn't upgraded, the island's small casual, swimsuit friendly beach bar. At this outdoor popular hangout, you'll find only nine wooden bar stools and a bartender who is ready to whip you up whatever your heart desires. This is the place on the island to watch the sunset and meet new friends.
Cheers to Jumby Bay for redoing what needed to be done... and leaving alone what was already working. I think this is one love I'm going to have for a very long time!
For more on Jumby Bay be sure to check out the slide show showing 16 things to love about Jumby Bay. Just beware, I'm warning you now, after seeing these amazing images, you'll want to pack your bags and head to Jumby immediately!
For more insider information on some of the top "Travel Therapy" destinations around the world you can check out the Travel Therapy website at www.traveltherapytrips.com and follow Karen Schaler and Travel Therapy on www.twitter.com/traveltherapy
Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort is a 300-acre all-inclusive Caribbean private island just 2 miles north of Antigua. The island keeps things luxurious and low key with only 40 rooms and suites. Or if you want to go big, there are several dozen private villas and estate homes you can rent. Coming off a $28 million dollar renovation, highlights include 28 new suites just steps from the beach, new restaurants, new bar, new oceanfront infinity pool and the first spa on the island. For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
The first thing you will see when you come by private boat to Jumby Bay is Jumby Bay Beach, a beautiful stretch of powder soft white sand that looks like something out of a fairytale! Here beach attendants will pamper you with cool drinks and treats like frozen grapes and fresh fruit popsicles. For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
The beach bar at Jumby Bay has not changed much over the years and that%u2019s just how guests an homeowners like it. With only nine bars stools and a creative cocktail menu, this is THE place to watch the sunset and meet new friends. Drinks to try include the refreshing Cool me Off, using Ting (a grapefruit soda), gin, and touch of passion fruit or indulge in the Jumby Jamboree with Baileys, Coco Lopez, banana and nutmeg. For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
Get some serious R&R in one of Jumby Bay%u2019s beach hammocks and let the sun and surf lull you into complete bliss. Just do not forget your sunscreen! For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
Jumby Bay has now added a second pool to the resort and this one is a stunner looking out over the Caribbean. With views like this you'll never want to leave! For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
The new Pool Grille at Jumby Bay is dishing up some great snacks like grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and a local favorite, the fish tacos. Also save room for the coconut cheesecake, it is worth every calorie! For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
Besides having great beaches and pools to lounge around, Jumby Bay also offers up some cool activities like sailing, kayaking, snorkeling and water skiing. For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
Vacation like a rock star and rent a multi-million dollar private estate home on Jumby Bay. Starting at around 10,000 square feet and having between 4-7 bedrooms, each home comes with its own private chef and a long list of extras ranging from tennis courts to private beaches. For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
If you're looking for a bit more room to spread out you might want to try one of the villa rentals at Jumby Bay. They have 2-4 rooms and are all uniquely designed and the best part...they have their own private pools! For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
At Jumby Bay Beach you can do as little or as much as you like but the name of the game is really relaxing and soaking up all the beauty. Shots like this surround you so don't forget to bring your camera! For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
During the $28 million dollar renovation at Jumby Bay, 28 new stunning suites were built just steps from the beach. Half have their own private swimming pool! Try suite #25 for awesome sunset views. Favorite touches include high ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, an outdoor rain shower and bath tub and the hand carved four poster beds. Heaven! For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
What%u2019s more romantic than having your own private candlelight dinner on the beach? Not much. At Jumby Bay they will help you plan your special evening under the stars and can even create a customized menu for you. For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
Jumby Bay has a new Verandah restaurant is all light and bright, an open-air dining experience just inches from the sand. There is also a new bar where you can now look out over the water. One highlight is the White Night at Jumby Bay where guests dress all in white and have grilled seafood and local favorites on the beach. For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
The Verandah has a new demonstration kitchen at Jumby Bay is dishing up all kinds of grilled specialties including mouthwatering lobster, shrimp and tenderloin. Do not miss trying a pizza from the wood burning oven. For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
The first spa on the island is tucked away in its own private tropical garden and the best part is all five suites have ocean views. Treatments here are inspired by the history of Jumby Bay. Start your vacation with the Jumby Signature Island Experience featuring a massage and facial, perfect to chase off jet lag or try the West Indies Signature Massage using warm bamboo rods to help melt the knots out of your tense muscles. For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
Jumby Bay offers up some of the most beautiful sunsets in the Caribbean. You can watch the sun set from one of the 28 new suites, Jumby Bay Beach, the new pool grille, the Verandah restaurant and bar, and of course the beach bar is right on the sand. Do not forget your camera! For more Karen Schaler "Travel Therapy" ideas go to
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