Skip to main content

Lost in Antigua: From Sugar Ridge to Halcyon Cove

You know how nothing on the TV show “Lost” was coincidental? Well, I had a “Lost” moment on my recent vacation on the Caribbean island of Antigua.


One night while my husband and I lounged in our mosquito-covered canopy bed at the luxe boutique hotel, Sugar Ridge, we came across a local hotel beauty pageant on the tele.


Sugar Ridge room/J.C.
Halcyon Cove/J.C.
The Ms. Rex pageant included five contestants representing two Antiguan Rex Resorts -- Hawskbill and Halcyon Cove.  The pageant seemed like a throwback from the ‘80s and reminded me of the “Miss Black America” pageant from that era.




Ms. Rex winner/Caribarena
The flamboyant Ms. Rex host was a bald, bow-tied black man who spoke with a dramatic, “Showtime at the Apollo”-reminiscent delivery and stressed that the contestants speak with “clarity.” 


The winner, Donella Loncke, wore a sparkly blue gown and had a certain twinkle in her eye. I picked her as the winner before she was crowned.  We found the pageant amusing. 


Little did we know, the next night we would literally become a captive audience at a Rex resort. After our flight on Delta was unceremoniously cancelled due to mechanical problems, Antigua’s less than courteous Delta crew informed us we would be put up for the night.

  
When we arrived at the Halcyon Cove, it dawned on us that this was the hotel from the pageant, and there was nothing amusing about it.  This was certainly no Sugar Ridge, and the staff certainly wouldn’t win a Miss Congeniality prize.


Our room reeked of mildew, had a lock that was partially unhinged, and the WiFi was intermittent.  I know I sound like a Yankee brat, but this was not the best way for Delta to make amends for their inconvenience. On a more positive note, the hotel was right on the beach which allowed us to take another dip in the calm, baby blue Caribbean sea.




Me with Ms. Warri Pier/J.C.


The highlight, however, of our impromptu stay at the Halcyon Cove was the local celebrity we spotted.  Bussing tables at the hotel’s beachside eatery, Warri Pier, was none other than Anne Marie Phillip, Ms. Warri Pier from the Ms. Rex pageant.  Anne’s solemn demeanor changed when my husband greeted her with her pageant title.  She also beamed when I asked her to pose for a photo.


The buffet lunch at the Warri Pier was nothing fancy, but not bad.  The seagulls sure like it.  In the evening, we ate at Halcyon’s more formal dining room, Arawak Terrace. Alas, no sight of Ms. Rex runner-up, Ms. Arawak Terrace.


As we dined, a local musician played a Casio keyboard and sang ironic pop tunes barely above a whisper.  One Republic’s “Apologize.”  Phil Collins’s “One More Night.”  Peter Cetera’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry.”  Indeed.  At least I met Ms. Warri Pier.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Conway Discount Clothing Chain Closing in New York City

It's the end of an era. Conway discount stores are closing . As of this weekend, a sign on the sole Herald Square location (34th Street btwn 7th and 8th Ave) says the store will close in "7 Days." Before I relocated to New York City, I was introduced to the discount chain while on a bus trip from Baltimore.  I recall the first time I saw Conway's signature pink bags carried by hurried shoppers in midtown. And Miss Foster, the trip organizer and a bargain hunter from way back, took me to the store for the first time. Conway store in the Fulton Mall./Tracy E. Hopkins When I moved here in 1994, my love affair with Conway continued.  I furnished my first apartment with discount knick-knacks and home goods from the store.  And much to my chagrin, in hindsight, I curated most of my wardrobe for my first full-time job from the long-shuttered 42nd Street and Third Avenue store. One regretful ensemble: Lime green and white checkered pants with a matching lime green

Soak Up the Last Weeks of Summer Sun At The Rockaway Hotel

Summer is winding down, but there's still time to soak up the sun -- while wearing sunscreen, chic shades and a protective hat or sun visor, of course. If you're in New York City, The Pool at The Rockaway Hotel + Spa  is a cool place to swim, lounge and discreetly people watch while swaying to beat of ambient music.  It's a vibe! Day passes are available for non-hotel guests Monday through Thursday (excluding private events, 10 am -7 pm).  Located in the heart of the Rockaway Beach community in Queens, New York, the Rockaway Hotel is just a few short blocks from the sand and surf. Besides the outdoor pool,  the  newly built 84,000 square foot hotel offers around 60 guest rooms, a restaurant, a rooftop bar, and a large event space. And it's a nice addition to the area.  When my husband and I visited the popular pool, we enjoyed yummy sips and bites poolside. Lounging chairs are first come, first serve so the early bird gets the spot of their choice. After chilling at t

The Re-Education of NeNe Leakes: The Reality Star Talks About College Hill, What Housewives She's Still Friends With and More

I’ve been a fan of The Real Housewives of Atlanta since the beginning.     So I jumped at the chance to chat with original RHOA cast member and breakout star NeNe Leakes.     It’s been a tough couple of years since NeNe parted ways with the show. In 2021 her husband Gregg lost his battle with colon cancer and earlier this year she filed a discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, Bravo. But on the brighter side, the 54-year-old is dating again and starring in the BET limited reality series,   College Hill: Celebrity Edition.    Along with other headline-grabbing reality TV stars including, Big Freedia, Lamar Odom, Stacey Dash and Ray J., NeNe and the members of the cast lived together and attended classes at the historically Black Texas Southern University.     We asked NeNe what it was like to go back to school, what the biggest misconception about her is, which housewives she's still friendly with, and more.   Everything She Wants : What did it feel like being back in