Antigua is a Christian Country with the majority of the population belonging to one or other of the many churches here. This makes for a conservative attitude towards dress. People like to dress up when attending important functions, church or shows. If you are in your hotel or villa, beach attire is appropriate, if however you take a trip into St. Johns or to a restaurant, casual attire as a minimum should be worn. Any revealing clothes will attract undue attention as it is deemed to be disrespectful. Some hotels and restaurants have stricter dress codes – so it is best to check before booking.
It is customary in Antigua to greet the people you meet by saying Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Night (Evening). Failure to greet people on entering an office, shop, hotel reception or bar may result in very slow service or initially being ignored. It is considered very rude by Antiguans to rush into your request without first taking the time to greet your fellow people. Once understood it is a very humbling lesson to learn and understand just how busy your life has become that you do not take the time to do this. This is a custom which is often discovered after many times of feeling ‘ignored’, but will become an important part of your knowledge of Antiguan People .if you want to find out about the island, its culture and its people. Try it… and see what happens. You’ll be delighted.
Tipping is generally accepted at 10-15% depending on the service, and of course you can reward with more if you can afford it and feel your service has been outstanding. Some restaurants & hotels will automatically add a 10% gratuity. Make sure you check your bill for this as every restaurant is different, and you can fall into the trap of paying service twice. There is also an 8.5% restaurant tax charged on the bill – don’t get them mixed up. If in doubt, just ask. Give porters and bellboys 50 cents per bag, taxi drivers 10-15% of the fare.
TOPLESS & NUDE SUNBATHING
To the average Antiguan topless sunbathing is not acceptable, and may attract unnecessary attention. That being said it is deemed ok to sunbathe topless at many hotels – although not always by the pool. Make sure you find out if there are any rules at your hotel. The only ‘official’ nudist beach is at the Hawksbill Resort on the North West Coast. It is the 4th beach away from the hotel and is safe from peeping toms. There are also many deserted beaches around the island where it is possible to find a secluded spot. Just be aware of general safety precautions if you do this – remember if you found the beach someone else can. Another option may be to charter a yacht – many of the skippers will be able to drop you at beaches only navigable by water.