Caribbean

Antigua: Ceremonies in Seclusion

written by | Posted on June 1st, 2009

“Lighthouse Bay is a very personal kind of atmosphere,” he continues. “It all depends on the guest.”

jumby bay Of course, a wedding doesn’t have to be small to be intimate. At the upscale Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort, guests stay on a private island just off the coast of Antigua, with 300 acres of pathways winding through tropical forests filled with wildlife. But though it’s bigger in size than Lighthouse Bay, combining 40 suites and 11 villas, the ambiance here is no less exclusive.

“Privacy is key at Jumby Bay,” says MaryAnne DeMatteo Diamante, director of sales and marketing. “It’s kind of like a country club.” With one big difference, of course: Jumby Bay guests enjoy all-inclusive pricing. “It creates an ease in your holiday experience, even if you’re a very monied person. To not think about money for a week or 10 days is a nice thing.”

While their guests are off enjoying their included cocktails and meals at Jumby Bay’s variety of bars and restaurants, couples can check out venues for their wedding and reception. The beach is a hit for both ceremonies and receptions, obviously, and Jumby Bay has three to choose from. Then there’s the elegant Estate House, the resort’s signature restaurant serving up Caribbean fusion cuisine inside a 230-year-old colonial plantation manor, adding refined style to the reception. And on the more casual side, there’s the beachside Verandah restaurant, where guests can enjoy dining and dancing under the glow of tiki torches. Wherever the reception takes place, no need to worry about size. The Estate House can hold up to 140 at banquet tables, though of course most weddings on property stay well below that limit.

Another Jumby Bay selling point: the rooms themselves, which push romance to an almost ridiculously luxurious level. Dark-wood furnishings and sandy Caribbean hues rule the decor throughout the suites and villas, while surprising amenities turn the rooms into far more than just a place to sleep. Rondavel rooms offer wraparound terraces for maximum ocean views, as well as hammocks and an outdoor garden with a shower. Jumby Bay Suites give couples entry through a private courtyard with a fountain, outdoor showers set in yet another private courtyard, and a plunge pool on their own private terrace. And then there are the villas, offering amenities like full kitchens, private pools and beachfront access.

And by the time your clients show up to exchange their vows, most of it will be looking brand-new, thanks to a $34 million renovation. “We’re adding a new spa, and 28 of the 40 rooms are being completely demolished and rebuilt,” Diamante says. “The new suites have private swimming pools, and we’re adding an oceanfront infinity pool and a third brasserie restaurant.”

Wedding packages at Jumby Bay start at $2,000 and include document assistance, license, officiant, witnesses if necessary, ceremony location, bouquet and boutonniere, photography, a two-tier wedding cake and bottle of champagne.