Once a week, Curtain Bluff owner Chelle Hulford invites guests to a sunset cocktail hour at her home perched atop the rocky slopes that give the resort its name. Sipping rum cocktails with 360-degree views of the island, it’s the first sign that Curtain Bluff may be a classic, but it’s certainly not standard.
Opened in 1962 and having completed a $13 million renovation last year, the all-inclusive resort maintains an effortless, understated luxury. Rooms and suites with marble baths and pops of sea blue and coral have balconies or terraces overlooking the water, and four splurge-worthy Hulford Collection suites boast private sea-view pools.
Away from the room, two beaches offer different ways to enjoy surf and sand. Bay Beach, nestled into a protected lagoon, bustles with activity at the beachfront Seagrape restaurant and in the water with sailing, waterskiing, and excursions to snorkel, scuba, or swim with gentle rays in waist-deep water at Stingray City. On the other side of the resort, low-key Surf Beach feels secluded with hammocks strung between stubby palms. Curtain Bluff is also a popular tennis destination (Antigua Tennis Week is held here each May) with four courts and pros trained to teach players ranked up to 5.5. Or fill your stay with bocce, basketball, daily yoga, spa treatments with sweeping views, and dinner with wine from the 10,000-bottle cellar.
There’s also an emphasis on giving back. Since opening, the resort has raised more than $1 million, providing scholarships and healthcare to Antiguans. Last year, when Hurricane Irma barreled across neighboring Barbuda at record intensity, reducing the island to rubble, Curtain Bluff came to its aid, raising $100,000 in just two months.
Winter rates from $1,420/night; www.curtainbluff.com