It was almost by accident that venture capitalist Andy Thesen entered the hotel business. The man who owns Hermitage Bay, a luxury resort in Antigua, may have remained a finance guy if not for a persistent college graduate who wanted to work with Thesen’s then employer. Despite being rejected initially, the young man pressed on until Thesen hired him. He then convinced Thesen to invest in an Antigua villa being developed by his father. When Thesen flew down to the 17-acre site with developer Andrew Michelin in tow, the pair decided that the island property should not be wasted on a few luxury homes. The duo visited the site ten times between 2002 and 2005, eventually becoming investors and owners of a luxury resort in Antigua. The construction work began in 2005, and continued for 18 months. Hermitage Bay opened its doors during the Christmas of 2006.
This luxury resort in Antigua is a true Caribbean paradise. On Thesen’s insistence, all the construction work was “non-invasive”. As you walk through the length and breadth of the luxury hotel, you will notice that the architecture complements the surrounding natural beauty rather than eats into it. The 25 villas on the property prove that this is indeed a Caribbean island paradise, perfect for a relaxing holiday.
One of the highlights of staying at the Hermitage Bay is that this luxury hotel in Antigua is all about the food. If you are a foodie that loves to experiment and treat your taste buds, the Hermitage Bay will indulge you thoroughly. The breakfast, lunch and dinner menus change everyday. Unlike most other luxury hotels, this Caribbean island resort holds the promise of gourmet dishes at every meal. If you are a connoisseur of good food and fine dining, prepare to be pampered royally here. Take your meals at the ocean-facing dining area. Carry your cameras, so you do not miss capturing any picture-perfect moments.
Meanwhile, amateur cooks can tag along for culinary classes led by Chef Dezi Banham. You can learn to make Caribbean, American and international cuisine at these classes while experiencing first-hand Banham’s commitment to slow food. If cooking classes are not your preferred way of spending a holiday, you can take a tour of Hermitage Bay’s organic garden. All the fruits and vegetables that go into meals at this luxury resort in Antigua are sourced from this kitchen garden.
Now that the luxury hotel is up and running, Thesen admits that building a hotel from scratch is one of the hardest things that he has done. To go from hardcore finance to luxury hospitality is a huge jump, but Thesen completed it successfully. All those who wish for life on a Caribbean island now envy him. However, Thesen’s rise in the luxury hospitality business is highly unexpected. He recalls that his wife was initially excited about the idea of owning a hotel, but only before Thesen invested most of his savings into building the Antigua property, gave up his finance job and put his everything into Hermitage Bay. The luxury resort in Antigua is truly a Caribbean paradise, and a job well done!