This is the die-hard romantic’s dream, despite the name. The Copper and Lumber Store Hotel, slap on the waterfront in the centre of Nelson’s Dockyard, the heart of historic Antigua, is one of the island’s most enchanting hotels.
Converted from the original 18th-century storehouse, the quirky little two-storey gem is saturated in history. It’s got the lot: elegant proportions, period furniture, four-poster beds, Georgian studios and suites, brass fittings, historic maps and prints, weathered brick and stonework. The quaint studios and suites are situated on the upper floor and, with an added historical flourish, carry the names of Horatio Nelson’s ships and captains in the Battle of Trafalgar.
But the architectural trump card is the exquisite courtyard, complete with archways and tumbling bougainvillea – perfect for drinks, lunch or dinner. The hotel’s Mainbrace pub offers classics such as kidney pie and fish and chips, as well as international and Caribbean specialties, including Antiguan lobster and seafood.
The hotel opens out onto the magnificent Nelson’s Dockyard, now restored to its late 18th-century glory. And apart from a museum and the spectacular architecture, the grounds include some sensational trees and exotic flowering plants and foliage.
The dockyard won’t exactly be bustling in the evenings – but, in high season, nearby English Harbour will be. A short walk from the hotel will lead you to sidewalk cafés and vibrant bars and restaurants. Hit the harbor at the right time of year and you’ll also get to see some of the world’s swankiest multi-million-dollar liners and classic yachts. And if you need a bit of a break from all that romance and history, pop into nearby Abracadabra’s for a spot of late-night partying and rum-swilling excess.
- For a real wow factor, visit during April to enjoy the glamour and thrill of Antigua Sailing Week and the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, when some of the world’s finest vessels converge on English Harbour; or in December when it plays host to the Antigua Charter Yacht Show.
- Waterfront but not beachfront: the nearest beach is five minutes by car.
- Some suites offer self-catering facilities.