The Mill Reef Club, Antigua, West Indies, is a private club offering its members and their guests an exclusive vacation paradise. Set on 1,500 waterfront acres with white sand beaches, the Club features sophisticated island accommodations, five-star dining, a breathtaking 9-hole golf course, 6 tennis courts, and a fully equipped Mill Reef Yacht Club.
About the Mill Reef Club
Mill Reef was conceived over 60 years ago as a community of blue waters, white beaches and sweeping vistas. It remains a rare, shining tribute to a gentler, less commercial vision of paradise. There are no crowds, no battles for beach chairs, no scheduled tee times.
The Mill Reef Club on the beautiful island of Antigua, West Indies is a special place. Uniquely elegant yet relaxed, our private, family-friendly retreat offers members and their guests an idyllic vacation paradise. We encourage members to invite family and friends to visit from November to April.
Encompassing 5 miles of breathtaking coastline and 3 private islands, you’ll find beauty and tranquility on our white sand beaches, while our challenging 9-hole golf course, 6 tennis courts, and fully equipped Mill Reef Yacht Club, complete with sailing, waterskiing, paddle boarding and more, are available whenever the mood strikes.
Mill Reef Explorers, our children’s activity program, is available during Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring breaks to keep the young engaged and happy. Our all-inclusive plan includes accommodations, all meals from our outstanding chefs, and most activities, so you can simply relax and enjoy.
Mill Reef was founded in 1947 by Robertson (“Happy”) Ward, a visionary architect, who foresaw the demand for travel in the aftermath of World War II. Ward aimed to create a private resort where like-minded people of diverse interests could vacation. He chose Antigua for its white sand beaches, turquoise waters and steady breezes.
Ward’s vision was to build a club for interesting and diverse members, adventurous enough to travel to an unknown island. He wanted a resort that respected the integrity of its natural beauty and avoided excessive displays of wealth (which he believed had spoiled other private clubs). Original building rules stated that houses were to be simply designed, could have no more than two bedrooms and could cost no more than $25,000 to build! Ward recruited members by word-of-mouth throughout U.S. cities in the Northeast and Midwest, and across the British Commonwealth. The initial 45 Proprietary members paid $7,500 for their home lots.
“Mill Reef remains a rare, shining tribute to a gentler,
less commercial vision of paradise.”
These funds financed construction of a clubhouse that opened for guests in 1949. A nine-hole golf course followed in 1953. Early Proprietary members included U.S. industrialists such as DuPont, Mott, Gould, Watson, Cowles, Endicott and (from across the ‘pond’) Astor, as well as diplomats like Dean Acheson and the poet Archibald MacLeish.
Early club rules reflected a formal British style. Coats and ties were de rigueur at dinner, as were tennis whites on the courts. Originally, children were not allowed to stay at the club. (Vintage photos suggest early members may have feared the presence of little ones might spoil the adult fun!) By the mid-80’s, however, Mill Reef welcomed children and became increasingly family-friendly. Today there are activities for guests of all ages and a strong tradition of multi-generational family holidays. After more than 50 years, Mill Reef remains proudly true to Happy Ward’s vision of “a Caribbean community of blue waters, white beaches and sweeping vistas dedicated to good fellowship.”
Please contact us with any questions. We’re here to help.