Postcards from Antigua Part 5: Hawksbill Resort

The final place we stayed on my recent trip to Antigua, and the place where we celebrated New Year’s Eve, was the Hawksbill Resort just four miles from the capital of St John’s.

Four miles makes a huge difference, however. St John’s is a loud, chaotic place but along the Five Island area of the west coast where the resort is located, civilization sort of drops off and disappears.

The resort is named after a small island just off the coast (above) that looks like, you guessed it, a hawk’s bill. This rocky outcrop is the main focal point of a resort that sits nestled amongst 37 acres of lush greenery and boasts four beaches. This sounds impressive until you actually get there. The main beach has only about ten feet of sand between the water’s edge and a concrete retaining wall. To make matters worse, the sand is at a 45 degree angle and not possible to rest a lounge chair upon. Two of the other beaches are also small and quaint. The fourth beach, at the far end of the property, is clothing-optional. This one actually has more sand but far too many rocky sections in the water, making it nearly impossible to swim.

Now don’t get me wrong. The beaches are still very nice and there were certainly no tears spilled in paradise. But after having come from Jolly Bay with its wide expanse of white sand and its intoxicating blue waters, Hawksbill was a slight disappointment. I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective, however. Had we come here first, the beaches would have been far more breathtaking.

There was something else odd about the resort as well and it took a little while for me to figure it out; the resort looked a bit like a retirement home. Most of the accommodations were located on a grassy field in one-story, trailer-like buildings (see above) that entirely lacked charm.

It was a strange decision to build like this and I feel the investors squandered the unlimited possibilities this beautiful stretch of coastline presented. That being said, they did do an outstanding job with the main building where the restaurant and bar are located and where we spent most of out time when not on the beach/sloping sand hill. The main building is open to the elements and sits perched on a slight bluff overlooking a massive expanse of ocean. It is another one of those very great places where one can sit for hours staring out into the Caribbean void.

Like the other resorts visited on this trip, Hawksbill was also full of British tourists. But, there was a difference. Whereas Jolly Beach attracted more families and Cocos more couples, Hawksbill catered to a much older crowd. And, the resort reflected this. There really weren’t much organized sports, evening shows, or other bells and whistles–just a well-manicured, nicely run, clean-and-efficient resort in which to lay about and count your days toward retirement.

It wasn’t my favorite place on the island, but it just might be in 20 years.

Yesterday: Cocos Resort