Have you ever wanted to go camping? Have you ever wanted to go glamping? Have you ever wanted to pack your things and go on a solo vacation? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this is a blog post for you! I’m going to tell you all about my stay at the Wild Lotus Camp in Valley Church, Antigua.
T: Travel Lodging
My number one priority for my recent solo vacation was to be as close to a beach as possible for maximum R&R (rest and relaxation). I decided to go to Antigua based on a comparison of hotel prices and points for JetBlue flights. I spent 20,300 points plus about $100 for taxes and fees, for a roundtrip flight from New York to Antigua. Then, I began narrowing down my list of hotels on Expedia. Ultimately, Wild Lotus Camp won based on price and beach proximity. Up to this point in my life, I had never gone camping or glamping, so I had no idea what I was in store for. But I was optimistic, and Wild Lotus didn’t disappoint.
I paid $1,136.80 for 4-nights (single occupancy) and roundtrip airport transportation. The airport transportation was arranged through Wild Lotus for $40 each way. One of their drivers, Dan, introduced me to the island as we drove from VC Bird International Airport. In the 30ish minute drive, Dan gave a great history lesson on Antigua and Barbuda, and neighboring island Monterarrat. We arrived at the Wild Lotus campsite on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
I was greeted by Venetta, Paul, and Chloe, the family that owns Wild Lotus. Chloe showed me to my tent and glamping accommodations.
1) There’s a full-sized bed
2) 2 lounge chairs
3) Towels and a blanket
4) A safe and locks for your tent
5) A small fan
6) A solar USB charger
7) A sink and a shower
8) Soap, shampoo, and lotion
9) Bottled water
10) Complimentary snacks and a bottle of wine
After going through the tent, we then walked down the beach, about 5 minutes to The Nest Restaurant, where the toilets and Wi-Fi were located. I didn’t mind that neither the Wi-Fi nor the restrooms were right next to me. They were close enough considering this was still camping and if I was really camping I wouldn’t have either of these things. In the daytime, you will have to share the restrooms and Wi-Fi with any tourists and cruisers on the beach. [And the Wi-Fi will crawl to speeds so slow you might as well use a coconut to get online.] But after about 3pm most of your competition, I mean the tourists and cruisers, will leave. By 6:30pm, the beach actually closes, and you (and any other campers) will have everything to yourself.
After my introduction, Chloe, Venetta, and Paul left, and I got settled in for my first night on the beach. I had the beach all to myself for my first two nights at Wild Lotus. Being on the beach was so peaceful and serene. I usually listen to wave sounds to fall asleep, and this was like 10 times better, so I enjoyed some excellent rest on this trip. Valley Church, and really Antigua as a whole, felt very safe, so I never felt uncomfortable sleeping alone in a tent on the beach.
If you ever wanted to try camping or glamping, and if you want to wake up to beautiful sunrises, enjoy lounging on a pristine beach in the day, and watch gorgeous sunsets in the evenings – then Wild Lotus may be for you. (If you absolutely need an air conditioner, then this is not for you.)
BBQ and Breakfast at Wild Lotus
I also tried Wild Lotus’s BBQ and breakfast add-on options for my last night and final morning in Antigua. For the BBQ, they provide seasoned meats, fish, and vegetables, for $30 per person. The menu was comprised of garlic and lime shrimp, jerk pork, escovitch fish, seasoned chicken, corn, and coleslaw. Of the food options, the garlic and lime shrimp and the jerk pork were my favorite. If there are other campers on the beach, then you can merge BBQs as I did. (This turned out to be perfect because I didn’t know how to work a charcoal grill, but the couple that I BBQed with did.) For $20 per day, you can get a buffet-style English breakfast. There was toast, ham, eggs, beans, mushrooms, sweet plantain, cereal, tea, fruit, fruit juices, and coffee.
If you have to choose between breakfast and the BBQ, I’d say do the BBQ. I found that the BBQ more of an experience beyond just eating food, especially if you’re doing it with someone else (either your travel companion or other campers). The BBQ is also more flavorful and unique when compared to the breakfast. The way I see it, you can have eggs and cereal anywhere, but you won’t always have the option to have escovitch fish for dinner.
Explore Valley Church Beach
You could really lounge on the beach all day if you wanted to. On one of my days in Antigua, this was exactly what I did. I got a coconut, read a book, just chilled out. But, you’ll have plenty of other options as well. If you didn’t know, Valley Chruch is one of the top beaches in Antigua. Because a lot of other tourists and cruisers are on the beach during the day, you will have the option of paying for any of the water sports available. That includes things like jet skiing and paddle surfing.
Overall I had a great stay at Wild Lotus and this short post can’t do it justice. So, I made a vlog. Click here to head over to YouTube, where I walk you through my tent and have some footage of the campsite.
I’ve been traveling consistently since about 2014, and this was such a radically different experience from anything I’ve done before. Glamping, instead of staying at an Airbnb or a hotel, was such a simple way to switch up my travel experiences.
I look forward to glamping again in other countries. (And maybe making more vlogs if you liked this one. Leave a like or comment to let me know.)