Anguilla is the Caribbean in all her low-fi finery. For those who are tired of the endless cruise crowds, the expat scene, and horizon views interrupted by a fleet of yachts – this luscious low-key island gifts you space to breathe. The strict zoning laws mean that every hotel brand in the world hasn’t rushed to paradise to stick up high-rises with spit and scotch tape. Any non-local business entering the island is carefully chosen (often for their jaw dropping resorts or ultra-luxe villas).
It’s an island beloved by artists, who flock to paint the scenic white sands, music lovers who come to grove to soft reggae beats, and elegant yachters and celebrities seeking some reverie on the 33 beautiful beaches. Pull up a chair, dig your toes in the sand, and fall in love with the gentle glow of Anguilla…
Where to Stay
Overlooking the blue shade bliss of Barnes Bay – The Four Seasons hits a hole in one again. Their generous resort boasts swimming pools, private beaches, an array of restaurants and a well-stocked spa. Tropical architecture leaves no question that you are on a Caribbean island, especially with all the driftwood, sand, and slabs of slate and marble. Watch the sunset from the cliff edge infinity pool, take the spiral stairwell down to the rocky cove, and spend forever in your dramatic canopied bed.
For a more boutique touch, keeping with the local feel of Anguilla, the Malliouhana is a firm favorite on the bluff above Turtle Cove Beach. While at first glance, the white façade may not scream gold and silk, as soon as you step inside you will feel as though you have been whisked away to Beverley Hills. Gorgeous pastel stripes, mirrored mosaics, and floral first-class suites are beautifully feminine. Throw in the tiered infinity pool, paddle boards and panoramas of the gauzy sea and you have a place you won’t want to peel yourself away from.
Ce Blue is the place you pick for perfect privacy, when even the small clusters of people are too much. With only eight villas dug into the dramatic cliffside, you can lock yourself away for days of lounging beside your private pool and asking your private chef to whip you up a seafood supper.
Where to Dine
Don’t let the name fool you, Malliouhana’s in-house eatery may just be called The Restaurant, but with Chef Jeremy Bearman and a highly distinguished sommelier at the helm, this place will steer you to culinary bliss. Melt in the mouth ceviche with a hint of brightness, Anguillian snapper grilled black on a bed of lemongrass rice, and sea views to dine too – yet another reason to adore this boutique resort.
Coba, one of the signature restaurants of the Four Seasons sets the scene for an elegant and supremely fresh sunset supper beside the sea. The bluff top location and sleek decor are perfectly paired to the menu; start with east coast oysters and mango mignonette, move onto the mahi mahi ceviche bar, local spiny lobster, or the macadamia crusted grouper.
An elegant slice of Asian fusion can be found at the hippest spot on the island – Veya. This is where the young and beautiful go to nibble on creative plates, clink drinks on the rooftop, and then head down to the plush Bedouin bar to dance the night away.
Where to Play
As mentioned, Anguilla is the land of 33 beaches – each one as astonishing as the last. Shoal Bay is one of the best for visitors looking to take the plunge and explore the richly decadent coral reefs. Prickly Pear is another well-loved spot.
Sea turtles, parrot fish and sea tangs teem in the water. Taking a yacht out to tender for the day is the best way of finding those rugged little secret spots and dropping anchor on offshore cays for picnic lunches on smooth silver sands.