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Inside Curtain Bluff: a tale of two beaches
There are two beaches at Curtain Bluff, and it's pretty clear that one's for looking and the other's for playing. The former is what you see from the guestrooms, with sometimes large waves brutalizing the shore before receding and feeding those that follow. The latter is nothing short of serene, with gentle ripples quietly lapping the sand.
The "swimming" beach begins next to the tennis courts and is bookended by the restaurant and bar. Lounge chairs and hammocks are spread across this stretch of sand, along with wooden umbrellas (technically cabanas? not sure ...) providing shade from the sun and more than ample cover from the rain (I can vouch for both, having experienced both elements during my stay. Feel free to bring your chair to the waters edge, and let the Caribbean Sea lick your toes for a while. The current will not yank you to its depths.
To explore the bottom, grab some snorkeling gear and take the plunge. Poke around on the sea's floor and see if you can find anything interesting. Certified SCUBA divers can opt to be taken out on deeper excursions, and other water sports are accommodated, from sailing to waterskiing. If you want to stay busy out on the water, Curtain Bluff is more than ready to help.
Gallery: Curtain Bluff Swimming Beach
On the other hand, you may be among the many who see the beach as a place to chill. Each lounge chair is accompanied by a little chair that you can use to knock sand off your feet before settling into its larger counterpart. Use the nearby table to hold your drink, your book or (in my case) your cigar. Take an occasional nap, or just feel the breeze.
The sense of placidity at the swimming beach is not replicated at the other beach. There are a few lounge chairs on hand, so you can sit back and enjoy the elements without having to walk far from your room. It's convenient. But, treat the ocean itself with caution. The waves can get quite large (exacerbated, during my stay, by a storm forming at sea), and the current is very strong.
Disregarding what little common sense I have – and the boatloads of it offered by my wife – I decided to experience the "looking" beach first hand. Well, at one point, a wave crashed me in the back while the current yanked my ankles out from under me. I spun several times before crashing to the bottom of the sea. I wasn't in a deep spot, but if you don't spend much time in the water, this sort of turn can leave you incredibly disoriented (and with a mouth ... and stomach ... full of saltwater).
But, it can be a lot of fun.
I played around in the waves until I was battered and exhausted, some of them starting to crash over my head (yeah, they can get pretty big). For very strong swimmers, this is an ideal chance to screw around in the conditions your parents would never let you experience – despite your protests – as a child. There is no lifeguard or other staff on duty at this beach, so you really are venturing out at your own risk.
However you do it, definitely get into the water at Curtain Bluff. It's warm, even when the rain is falling. Splash around, and have a great time. If you sail, waterski or dive, scratch your itch. I hadn't been to a beach in at least a decade and had forgotten how much I enjoy it.
The guestroom is only one part of the Curtain Bluff experience. Come back to Gadling throughout the week for other peeks inside this exclusive Antiguan resort.
Disclosure: Curtain Bluff did pick up the tab for this trip. Honestly, a prolie blogger like me wouldn't be able to cover this destination without support from the resort. That said, my opinions are my own. Worried that my experience was positive? Blame the resort staff for doing a kickass job. I could lie and say it all sucked, but that would come at the expense of my editorial integrity.