The plan was to go to Antigua to find our inner ‘zen’. ‘Our’ being Jayne from Girl Tweets World, and me. In my planning I kind of totally ignored the zen part, especially as soon as I realised we were going to be there for the annual Antigua Sailing Week. We could go to Nelson’s Dockyard on Monday! Chase the Race Tuesday (follow the racing boats round in another boat)! Check out the capital St. John’s Wednesday…! Y’know, that kind of action packed approach. I was excited. 

I wanted to see all the things, have all the fun and take all the photos. 

Pineapple Club Resort review

As soon as I arrived on Antigua sand though, the thought of going to Nelson’s Dockyard – a beautifully modified area of town designed to be admired, eaten in and drank at – for a reggae party was pretty much number 53 on things I’d like to do at 3pm on arrival, after that flight. 

“Oo we’ll just have an afternoon by the pool, get our bearings, and then join the party tomorrow”
– I said, or maybe it was Jayne, we were both thinking the same. 

So instead of jammin to Damian Marley at the reggae party, with the thousands of people who descend on Antigua for Sailing Week, we lazed by one of Pineapple Beach Club Antigua’s two pools, had our first, second and third Antigua rum cocktails and spruced ourselves up for an evening of feasting at the hotel’s Pineapple Grill a la carte restaurant before collapsing into bed, circa 9:30pm. 

The next day I found out Marley Junior hadn’t come on stage until midnight. I was well zzzzzzd by that point. My rested body shivered at the thought. Well done us for opting to enjoy our hotel’s facilities instead.  

Pineapple Beach Club Antigua

Pool at Pineapple Club Resort

Day two and it rained. It rained like only the Caribbean can. So instead of rushing around trying to enjoy the island’s attractions, or even laze on the beach, we were forced to stay in the Pineapple Beach Club, under cover. Our fellow holidaymakers were knocking back the all inclusive offerings. But we worked. With nothing else to do I got a lot of it out of the way, more than I thought I’d get done in a week in Antigua. And after that 5am jet lag wake up I’d done all I needed to by 2pm. So like any normal person who goes on holiday, I could now relax. 

I could work on that ‘zen’. 

Jayne and I sacrificed our dry hair and clothes to make a run for it up to The Outhouse – a ramshackle looking hut perched on the cliff overlooking the Pineapple Beach Club Antigua. With a tin roof, signs and boards nailed onto the wall from past customers, an excellent vantage point to watch the storm, and a BBQ, we were set.

We ate the best ribs I’ve ever had, with salad, and drank beers, watching and listening to the rain hitting the roof.

Grand-Pineapple-Beach Club

– The Outhouse on a sunnier day

I felt relaxed. We eavesdropped, we people watched and we discussed said eavesdropping and people watching conversations. I was rolling fully into mindless holiday mode, and welcoming the feeling. 

I’m always rushing around, whether physically or mentally, so being forced to centre myself in one place, to narrow my focus to the fact there wasn’t really anything to do in the rain, was soothing and had me centred. My essential work was done for the next few days, we didn’t want to go out thanks to the weather, so instead, we joined the Beach Club quiz. I even won a point.  

“Which Canadian province has the highest mountain?”

“The Yukon!” 

In the bag. Didn’t actually get any more, but whatever.

Pineapple-Beach-Club on the beach

Grand Pineapple VIew

The evening brightened and heated up and we went over to the sister hotel, the Verandah Resort & Spa, for a lobster dinner devoured to the sounds of a live pianist. We were taken and bought back by golf buggy, at full speed. It’s an option for all guests at the Pineapple Resort, just for a little trip out. Coincidentally, bloggers Chloe from Wanderlust Chloe and Brenna from This Battered Suitcase were staying there, so we had a drink with them before they had to rush off for their dinner. 

No rushing for us though.

#Zen.

Sleeping at Pineapple Beach was never a problem. All four nights I found my zen there as soon as my head hit the pillow. I didn’t even have time to dream or run through the day, as I’m so used to doing. 

Grand Pineapple Beach Club my room

I’d wake to the sunrise coming in through my double doors that overlooked the beach – surely the most zen way of waking up ever? Well rested I jumped out of bed to pull the curtains back and watch as the sun appeared over the mountains opposite, over the resort’s bay. The colours of the water changing as it did. 

That second morning I couldn’t help myself but go out for a swim in it before anyone else. It was 6am and with only one other person on the beach I dipped and dived. The day was heating up already, the water was a cooling bliss. There was definitely no rain on the way from that cloudless sky. 

Grand Pineapple Beach Club breakfat

After our self made bacon and cream cheese bagel from the buffet restaurant – with a dash of the local Susie’s hot sauce – we joined the Pink Safari Jeep Tour for a day of fun in the sun. 

Back at the hotel, at around 5pm, we relaxed on the beach. Our new friend Jules, one of the staff members there, came to recommend we sign up to the Catamaran tour. Definitely don’t need to tell me twice. 

The very next day we went on said hotel’s catamaran tour. Snorkelling, rum, hikes, rum, swimming, lunch, rum and dancing. At that point I don’t think I could’ve got any closer to that elusive zen feeling. This was it. Relaxing on the back of that boat, rum in hand, everyone having fun around me and the sun in that blue, blue sky. 

I love being out on the water.

Grand Pineapple Beach Club

Pineapple Club Resort Review

We got back to the hotel that afternoon, with a bit more colour than we’d left with, and super chilled. We decided it’d be the perfect location for a quick photo shoot. Rude not to with Instagram accounts to run and such colourful wooden shops just lining the beach.

With the exhaustion of modelling over with, we went to zen out in our hammocks for the afternoon. Until the next feeding time.

Grand-Pineapple-Beach Club

– Us working out how to actually get in them

The final morning of our Pineapple Beach Club Antigua adventure and it was time to lay our claim to the – well, I don’t know what to call them – they were like rubber rings, but with a see through base. This meant you could get the cooling effect of the water, and the warmth of the sun, in one. GENIUS. 

We sat planning how to take over the world, or something similarly important, right up until we had to leave. Iced daiquiris as standard.

Pineapple Club Resort review antigua

And then, with a minor rush because we’d been zenning out a little too much in our rings, floating somewhere in the Antigua seas, off we went to our next Antigua hotel, the St James’s Club Beach Club, relaxed, refreshed, and ready for more.

How can I keep that zen feeling now that I’m back at home?

Help me?!

I travelled to Antigua as a guest of Elite Island Resorts and Kuoni. All opinions, obviously, my own. Kuoni (01306 747008 or www.kuoni.co.uk) offer seven nights on all-inclusive at Pineapple Beach Club, Antigua in a garden view room, including flights on Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick and transfers in resort. The price for September 2017 is from £1331 per person, based on two sharing. Book by 31 May 2017.

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Finding your zen in Antigua


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