Stayed 22 Dec 2007
Beautifully situated with great privacy and location tho' I wish I had taken on board the 4wd advice as the house is 4-5 mins from the main road and parts of the road very bad and the car we had was not entirely suitable!
Everything prepared for our arrival with fresh flowers and a starter kit in the fridge. Although we arrived late due to flight delays, John had been over and unlocked and put some lights on. I do advise arrival in daylight hours if possible as would be much easier to find!
The house is very comfortable and well appointed, both inside and out. You can walk straight from the garden onto the rocks and by going a little left get into the water and snorkel along quite easily. To the right there is a small, easily walkable little beach. Although it goes straight out onto coral there were surfers there one day. The master bedroom has its own bit of terrace, perfect for early morning, and with a hammock for the afternoon zizz!
The area is pleasant, easy reach of most places. Having only a week, part of which was Christmas, we did not manage the full tour but saw a lot of the island. We would recommend the Devil's Bridge, particularly after strong winds/swell, there is an amazing blow hole. Also Harmony Hall where I bought some art, though very expensive for drinks or lunch so we passed on that. For watersports we went to Dickenson Bay where there were jet skis and Hobie's for hire, with chairs,umbrellas, bars etc. Half Moon Bay is lovely round to the left towards the rocks/point which we walked round and enjoyed, lovely place to relax and swim and even snorkel pls the boys had good body boarding there when the weather was right. Take cold box with drinks! Escellent large one with cold packs in the house, can take a full picnic, which we even lugged up to an old fort where is was so windy we wished we hadn't!
We don't generally go to the same place twice, too much of the world to see (!) but if I were to go back to Antigua I think I would stay at Shell Villa again, it really was right in so many ways. We were a family party of 6, the only thing we would have loved is a really detailed road map of the island, if such a thing exists, as we did get lost just as all the guide books say one will! Otherwise it was all terrific.
Stayed 03 Aug 2007
We loved the place it was magical We wish we had stayed for longer as we didnt get to really spend enough time just enjoying it
Thank you for everything and the excellent professional service we received
Stayed 02 Feb 2007
A beautiful very private quiet villa at the water's edge on a rocky shore just round the corner from Falmouth and English Harbour where there are amazing superyachts and superb restaurants. It feels almost as though you are on a superyacht when you are in the villa (minus the motion of course). The bedrooms are very comfortable and the villa's facilities are excellent.
The approach is about a mile down a very rough road so a 4x4 is almost essential; it is about a 30 mins+ drive to a good sandy beach. Being so close to nature also brings gifts such as squawking tree frogs most of the night. Now there is mains power, a water heater would allow morning hot showers (water currently only hot in the evening). Of course, the sun does not shine every day in Antigua, it can be quite windy, but when it does than can be few nicer places to be than on the deck at Shell Villa.
Stayed 23 Sep 2006
Shell Villa was perfect in every way.
The sound of the sea crashing over the waves and the night-time chorus of the croaking frogs made this location the most idyllic island hideaway.
The pool was a warm and inviting temperature where one could watch the sea pelicans diving for fish or just indulge in a lazy swim.
The villa was spotless and beautifully maintained by David and Jenny's wonderful helpers, Daphne and Juicy.
The welcome pack was much appreciated on arrival and sustained us until the next morning.
What a perfect paradise to spend our 30th Wedding Anniversary. We would love to return, right now if we could!
We stayed in Shell Villa the week of June 30th and had a great time! Although there is not a sandy beach directly in front of the villa, there is nothing quite like hearing the waves hitting the rocks while you are sleeping. The sea breeze blowing through is fantastic!
The House: This is a modest villa, but all bedrooms have their own bath and with the outdoor decks it never feels crowded. The kitchen is fully equipped (down to the blender for the required evening pina coladas made from fresh island pineapples). Large windows open ocean-side along with double doors on each side of the living area and two of the bedrooms and make it seem like you are outside even when indoors. If the house is open this way at night it can get a little "buggy", around the lights, but a little insect spray before bedtime takes care of it, and the mosquito nets really do work. The caretakers were great. (Helen and Kevin the week we were there) We mentioned one of the ceiling fans was not working and it was changed that afternoon while we were out.
Using the open pit grill while looking over the ocean and jumping in the pool to cool off was hard to beat!
Beaches: You can wade around in the rock pools in front of the villa and find lots of neat stuff, but you really can't swim. If you walk down the shoreline to the West a few hundred yards, there is a sandy beach where you can take a dip, but the bottom is rocky and there are pretty big waves. To get to a classic caribbean beach you will need to drive. We drove to a different beach each day, some commercial, some totally secluded and had a great time. Pack a lunch and take a cooler in case there is no place to buy food at the beach you wind up going to.
Location: The villa is very private. We only saw a couple of local fisherman walking the rocks the whole week. The road to the house is pretty rocky, but you will figure out pretty quick driving the island that most of the roads are this way. English Harbour is close by, but if you go in the off-season like we did it is mostly deserted and the restaurants are hit or miss whether they are open. The little grocery called Baily's is very handy, but to really provision the house a drive to the epicurian is in order. We found the one in Jolly Harbour was the easiest to get to, and a lot of great beaches between it and the villa.
Thanks go to the Freestones for a great vacation spot!
I was very please with the property , very clean,
But need to change the cleaning rota to suit differnece flight days, as we had to wait for bedding and towels to change 5 days after arriving.
9 other reviews
My wife, daughter, and I just returned from six nights at the lovely Shell Villa near Falmouth Harbor in Antigua. The pictures do not do justice to the stunning views, impeccable maintenance, chef-friendly kitchen, and complete privacy of this hidden gem. David and Jenny have organized a superb local staff to manage and maintain the property, and all the efforts show through flawlessly. We have rented many Carib villas and this is the tops. The view across the water at night of the peninsula at Rendezvous Bay is remarkable under the glow of the Southern Cross, and not a single electric light bulb on the entire peninsula. Go and enjoy with your family and friends.
Dear Jenny and David,I have finally got around to this. We stayed at Shell Villa in April/May this year. It was delightful. The children and ourselves loved the solar power and the pool and the rocks. My son spent most of his time building rock pools on the shore and then coming in for swims in the pool. We also went snorkiling directly out from the villa. The view for the yacht races was marvellous and the sandy beach up the rutted track [Rendezvous Bay] was a great find. It is best to have a four wheel drive though to get through. We would love to come again. All the best. Barbara, Hew, James and Issy. Barbara, Auckland, New Zealand
We had a wonderful vacation at Shell Villa over New Year. The Villa was everything that was promised and more. It is well equipped, beautifully maintained and filled with wonderful artwork. Daphne was great and helpful. We enjoyed the beautiful sunsets from the verandah after daytrips to different beaches. One of the favorites of course being the Half Moon Bay. Our favorite restaurant was Abracadabra, great service and excellent food. Shirley Hights was a nice experience although very crowded.We thank Jenny and David for sharing their perfect vacation home with us and look forward visiting there again. Arja and Reijo, Sugar Hill, GA
We had a wonderful time at the villa. The house is lovely, and the setting is exquisite. It is very well maintained, and quite comfortable. because of the way that the house is situated, we felt like we were on our own private island - sitting on the front patio, we could not see houses anywhere, and felt intruded upon when the occasional boat or yacht went by in the distance. Terence Blackburn, Mason, Michigan
Shell Villa is a beautiful home with an even more incredible view of the sea. We found the home spotless upon arrival, and we were thrilled after an incredibly long journey to Antigua to find the kitchen and refrigerator with food and snacks to tide us over until we could get to the store. We spent many hours on the deck watching the sailboats pass by the house as well as cooling off in the plunge pool. While the road getting to the home is rough and slow-going, the drive is worth it for the peace and quiet at Shell Villa. Bryce, Carmel, IN
you'll LOVE shell villa. this is a fabulous, and from our point of view, perfect spot. when you visit shell villa, you'll discover why these comments are not hyperbole! shell villa is a beautiful, comfortable accomodation, right on the ocea with incredible privacy and views. charming and lovely. also, the caretakers, owners and staff are fantastic and go the extra yard to ensure their guests' comfort. this is a beautiful place with first rate service. go for it. paul b, centre hall, pa
As the first guests in David & Jenny's Shell Villa on the beautiful Caribbean leeward island of Antigua, and as overjoyed honeymooners, we felt obliged to leave a testimony for future holidaymakers. With us, we bring visions of Shell Villa - the glowing sunrises over the ocean view of Monserrat's smoking volcano from the airy patio, golden suntans from the lazy mornings spent dipping in the swimming pool and enjoying our coffee in the spacious open concept kitchen and lounge, and happy memories of coming home in the evenings to such a quiet, peaceful yet convenient corner of the Island after sampling the delicious variety of cuisine at English Harbour's many restaurants and yacht clubs. We've already made advance reservations for the next five years as new 'regulars',
As the first guests in David & Jenny's Shell Villa on the beautiful Caribbean leeward island of Antigua, and as overjoyed honeymooners, we felt obliged to leave a testimony for future holidaymakers. After a beautiful week on the island, we have now returned to our international law centre and to Yale University, back to hectic schedules of research, teaching and publishing.With us, we bring visions of Shell Villa - the glowing sunrises over the ocean view of Monserrat's smoking volcano from the airy patio, golden suntans from the lazy mornings spent dipping in the swimming pool and enjoying our coffee in the spacious open concept kitchen and lounge, and happy memories of coming home in the evenings to such a quiet, peaceful yet convenient corner of the Island after sampling the delicious variety of cuisine at English Harbour's many restaurants and yacht clubs. As we've already made advance reservations for the next five years as new 'regulars', we have decided the best testimony we could leave you, as future guests, is a list of Ideas. First, do rent or borrow a car, or at least motorcycles. It is worth it, the mobility and potential to explore. It really was a terrific vacation and Shell Villa could not have been more beautiful if we had somehow dreamed it up.
As the first guests in David & Jenny's Shell Villa on the beautiful Caribbean leeward island of Antigua, and as overjoyed honeymooners, we felt obliged to leave a testimony for future holidaymakers. After a beautiful week on the island, we have now returned to our international law centre and to Yale University, back to hectic schedules of research, teaching and publishing.With us, we bring visions of Shell Villa - the glowing sunrises over the ocean view of Monserrat's smoking volcano from the airy patio, golden suntans from the lazy mornings spent dipping in the swimming pool and enjoying our coffee in the spacious open concept kitchen and lounge, and happy memories of coming home in the evenings to such a quiet, peaceful yet convenient corner of the Island after sampling the delicious variety of cuisine at English Harbour's many restaurants and yacht clubs. As we've already made advance reservations for the next five years as new 'regulars', we have decided the best testimony we could leave you, as future guests, is a list of Ideas. First, do rent or borrow a car, or at least motorcycles. It is worth it, the mobility and potential to explore. It really was a terrific vacation and Shell Villa could not have been more beautiful if we had somehow dreamed it up. So with advance apologies for any excessive hyperbole, here are the Top Eight places and moments that we most highly recommend for any future Shell Villa guests:Eight Ideas on Antigua:1. Half-Moon Bay Beach for an Afternoon PicnicHalf-Moon Bay was our favourite beach, by far. After a beautiful drive from English Harbour along the cliffs, the natural surroundings, convenient shade trees and fine white sand is a perfect setting for an excellent afternoon picnic. There are peaceful waters in the left corner, protected by breakers, and further around the corner, a lovely little walk around the natural sandstone cliffs in the open ocean surf and sun. If you explore the path up from the centre of the beach, you will find the gates, gardens and masonry of an old Villa above but no café, so bring a picnic. 2. Harmony Hall for Lunch with Tour of Art Gallery and Green IslandHarmony Hall is the island's most lovely restaurant, with fresh, truly delicious Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, kind, courteous staff and heritage surroundings with breathtaking views of the Island. The Hall is built around an antique stone English watchtower, which should be climbed for drinks at the top. Be sure to explore the Art Gallery and Hall, which plays a role of community centre with activities and cheerful children's visits. They offer art lessons, colourful but tasteful local craftwork and souvenirs, and short bird watching trips by boat to the nearby Green Island.3. Quiet Evening at Shell Villa with Cocktails & Sunset on the PatioHonestly, the third best moment was buying pasta and other dinner makings at the well-stocked Bailey's corner store down the road, then cooking at home in Jenny's beautiful kitchen before sunset. After a dip in the pool before dinner, we had our meal on the natural wood patio which surrounds Shell Villa, with a full view of the sun setting across the ocean in front, against the smoking volcano of Monserrat Island. Later, we enjoyed home-made cocktails with the cool evening breezes and soft rhythmic sound of the surf, less than fifty feet away.4. English Harbour Dockyards Heritage Site and Admiral's Inn for TeaEnglish Harbour Dockyards have the aura of another time. With gray stone walls and cobblestones, interpretive notes to explain the sites, ancient anchors, leaning timbers and lots of neat little shops, this is the best place for an educational stroll, a chance to learn some history. Find a guard to buy a ticket at the entrance, it's a national park. Have a quiet cup of tea in the afternoon at Admirals Inn, which has by far the best view onto the site (except from Shirley's Heights above), or stop in at HQ for an excellent quality though pricey dinner.5. Fig Tree Drive from St. John's, and Lunch on the South-Western BeachesFig Tree Drive is best attempted by starting from the capital, St. John's. The views open up almost immediately, a unique scattering of palm tree fringed beaches, low mountains and cliff faces, brightly coloured schoolhouses and little churches. AS you turn along the coast toward home, Boggy Peak Mountain is up that way somewhere, but we searched without success for the turn-off. Stop at one of the beaches for lunch, then head homewards through the tropical forests, one of the nicest drives. 6. The Last Lemming for Dinner, then Abracadabra for Live Music & DancingIn the evening, in English Harbour across the water from the point at Shell Villa, we recommend a combination. We loved The Last Lemming, with fresh-made filo pastry and nacho chips, fresh breezes off the ocean and the feeling of an old-fashioned yacht club. It's right off the quay, at the end of the road. You could start here for a tasty, filling meal, then pass to Abracadabra for live bands and dancing well into the night. Or, you could savour a first class Italian seafood and pasta dinner at Abracadabra, with its tasteful art deco interior and excellent lobster, then have drinks afterwards at the Last Lemming. We enjoyed both. 7. Trappers for Dinner, then Life for Drinks on the HarbourFor a lower key evening, when you feel like jeans, excellent steak and friendly beer, we recommend English Harbour at Trappers (as did John Bentley, our first night). The meal is excellent, fresh and filling, the spices hot and portions large, and huge wooden tables mean making new friends is easy. If you cross the road going toward the Dockyard, you'll quickly see Life on the Dockyard harbour, another nice place where drinks and dancing go until late, and the yacht crowd gather to enjoy.8. Walk Along Shirley Heights for Reggae Music on Sunday EveningShirley Heights site is part of the national heritage site, along with the Dockyards, and the same ticket is valid for both. The Heights themselves are an excellent walk, a great place to explore with ruins, stonework and sprawling cactus plants. A rowdy Barbecue starts at 4pm on Shirley's Heights every Sunday, above English Harbour. Best to arrive a little later, but while the sun is still high so you don't miss the spectacular views of the whole Island. It can be touristy, but still worth a visit if you're at Shell Villa over a weekend. By 6pm, the younger folk will have arrived to energize the crowd with dancing, reggae and live music.
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