Antigua, a popular Caribbean vacation hotspot located in the Eastern Caribbean, has 365 beaches—quite literally one for each day of the year. And while the beaches are a big draw, so are the many activities it offers.
At Curtain Bluff, an all-inclusive beachfront resort with 72 rooms, tennis
is taken seriously. Very seriously. The resort boasts world-class tennis facilities, including four championship hard courts—all located near the sea—that are kept in excellent shape. The Pro Tennis shop features the latest in rackets and gear and the four resident pros—Nigel, Dillo, Candia and Jason—are trained in the U.S. to teach aptitudes right up to 5.5 (which is nearly pro status).
You can create your vacation around perfecting your game, with the pros ready to hit the courts as early as 7 a.m. They play one-on with guests, help them perfect their backhand or serve, or pair them with other travelers of equal skill level. Among the many tennis events hosted by the Curtain Bluff, the best known is Antigua Tennis Week, held at the resort each spring (this year, it’s from May 4 to 11). Part pro tennis event and part party, it attracts people from all over the world for mix-match play, instructional stroke-and-strategy clinics and social events. Tennis enthusiasts come to meet and play against other serious contenders, including the pros.
Another popular reason to visit this island in the spring is for Antigua Sailing Week—which also brings visitors from around the world. This April will mark the 52nd annual race, which was started in 1967 by Howard Hulford, the founder of Curtain Bluff. Top yachtsmen and -women come from all over the world to partake in a series of challenging races, with the race course set to sail directly in front of Curtain Bluff. In addition to taking in the race and the parties and entertainment slated for Sailing Week, guests can also take sailing lessons at Curtain Bluff to perfect their skills.
Of course, there’s plenty more than just sailing and tennis. Curtain Bluff has
all-inclusive pricing, so scuba diving, water-skiing, windsurfing, yoga, paddleboarding, squash, basketball and other activities are all daily options. Or if you want to explore off the resort, a good option is a nature-based eco-tour with Antigua Paddles, based out of Seatons on the island’s eastern shore. Experienced guides lead you through a half-day filled with kayaking, snorkeling and hiking adventures. To get even closer to the local marine life, visit Stingray City, a crystal-clear ocean pool protected by its own reef where people can swim with the rays. For adventurous families, the Zip-line Canopy Tour has 21 different lines through the rainforest and valley.
Built as a small resort to accommodate friends and family, Hulford opened Curtain Bluff
in 1962 as a 22-room resort. It has since grown to 72 beachfront accommodations and recently underwent a $13-million refresh. Hulford lived at the resort until his death in 2009 and his wife, Chelle, still lives there and hosts sunset cocktail receptions for guests. Rob Sherman, Curtain Bluff’s managing director, has managed the resort for the last 25 years. Between the activities, amenities and the fact that the staff changes so infrequently, the resort is viewed by many of its repeat
visitors as a second home, where they feel like they are being welcomed
back by family.
Starting prices for spring are $735 per night in a deluxe room.