The ladies and I are night owls. We wake early, work long days into the evening, then begin to unwind pretty late at night. Well, not in Antigua! We arrived on a Saturday afternoon, and learned that we had until Saturday at midnight, then Sunday until 10pm (unless we wanted to venture to an “after-hours” spot) to party. Monday through Thursday the island closes pretty early. That proved just fine by us. We took advantage of our time on this calm island. We were in bed by 10pm most nights, and out the door by 9:30am most mornings. Don’t get me wrong…we partied. We just adjusted our time to do so. What a great concept! Our days consisted of the fitness center or water aerobics first, then Blood Marys and mimosas with breakfast, the pool,white wine spritzers and champagne cocktails for lunch (and in the hours leading up to and after lunch!), and wine with dinner. By nightfall, we were more than ready to turn in.
We were told that on Sunday we could not miss the opportunity to go to a place called Shirley Heights. More specifically, to The popular Shirley Heights Lookout Bar & Restaurant that rests at the summit. We did not hike up to the top as many do (I’m willing to back to do that after the ankle heals, though!). Instead, we were picked up at the resort by our awesome, private island guide, Ozzie, and driven right to the door or the restaurant/bar/soundstage. The festivities began at 5:30ish with the steel drum “orchestra” Digicel Halcyon Orchestra, full bar and a dining spread that was a showstopper! After about 2 hours of the steel drum amazement, came a live reggae band until 10pm.
The place was packed! Packed with tourists mostly, but there were some locals. The mood was so festive. The sun setting over the beautiful hills, located approximately 492 feet above sea level, with panoramic views of the southern island of Guadeloupe and the active volcano Montserrat. Simply breathtaking!
We secured spots on the front row of the stage at the picnic tables (not an easy feat at all!), and while I sat and enjoyed the music, the ladies went to buy drinks (rum punch, Dark and Stormy, rum and coconut water) and food (grilled lobster, jerk chicken jerk ribs, potato salad, rice and peas, coleslaw). Yes, this place ROCKS!!!
We only stayed for half of the reggae set. The food, drinks and steel drum orchestra more than satisfied us. We had scheduled our pick-up for 9:30pm. It was 8:30, and we were ready to leave. Fortunately, we got Ozzie’s card. And, fortunately Ozzie is well-known at Shirley Heights. We went up to the bar, asked to use the phone to call him, The bartender looked at the card, motioned someone from the doorway over to the bar, she looked at the card, told us to wait a second, and she returned with Ozzie. We were resort-bound in no time! What a great night. And we were happily in bed by 10pm.