Stepping off your yacht onto the private jetty at Jumby Bay begins a treat for all the senses.
A tiny, private paradise lying just off the northwest tip of Antigua, Jumby Bay has been the ultimate desert-island retreat since its opening in 1983. Under the ownership of the prestigious Oetker Collection, design and food factors have been ratcheted up to yet another level of excellence. Never one to rest on its laurels (think Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in the South of France and Le Bristol Paris), the Oetker Collection has overhauled every part of Jumby during a three-phase multi-million-dollar investment into the island’s infrastructure, thereby injecting a new lease of life into the much-loved island resort.
Just a short cruise from mainland Antigua, the secluded isle is truly a one-of-a-kind hideaway. Anchor in the shallow bay and take the tender ashore to the immaculate sea of white sand framed by swaying palm trees and discover the island’s heightened culinary scene. From fine dining to casual Caribbean fare served beachside, the freshest, locally grown ingredients are used to create bespoke menus influenced by the vibrant flavors and colorful cuisines that characterize the West Indies.
The Estate House is one of the top fine-dining establishments in the whole Caribbean. Merging classic fare with island flavors, the menu perfectly complements the circa 1830 plantation house in which the restaurant is housed. Richly combining the antecedents of a traditional colonial home with a contemporary perspective, the design pays homage to The Estate House’s roots in empire-era glamor with subtle nods to the island’s history and traditions everywhere you look. Local herbs and spices, organically grown vegetables and freshly caught seafood are all used to create signature dishes, which include monkfish and black trumpet casserole; spiny lobster with Armagnac flambé, and black sea bass with potato confit, while sweet indulgences include a lot of rum. Choose from the main restaurant and the 1830 Bar, or for a special occasion make reservations for one of the three private dining rooms – The Map Room, The Blue Room or The Tent Room.
For slightly more low-key dining, The new Jumby Bay Veranda is an Italian trattoria where home-made pasta and fresh fish and meat dishes are cooked Italian style, all enhanced by Jumby Bay Farm’s herbs and fresh produce. With panoramic views over your yacht anchored in the bay below, the open-air restaurant also serves as the main social and culinary hub on the island. It is also where you will find the Jumby Bay Bar & Lounge, where drinks can be enjoyed around the firepits by the beach.
Those looking for an informal beach luncheon can take the tender ashore to The Beach Shack for local West Indian-style street food or The Pool Grille for casual bistro fare by the water’s edge.
Jumby Bay is open from October through to late August. The Estate House is open for dinner, from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm (closed Wednesday and Thursday). The dress code is “elegant but casual resort wear.” The Jumby Bay Veranda is open for lunch and dinner, from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm, while The Jumby Bay Bar & Lounge is open from 10:00 am until midnight. The dress code here for dinner is again elegant but casual resort wear, but lunch is more relaxed and beachwear is fine earlier in the day.
Top tip – After dinner, head to the west side of the island, where many of the private villas are located, and catch the spectacular sunset at Pasture Bay beach.