Editor’s Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
Known to insiders as the “hidden gem” of the Caribbean, Anguilla has quietly built a reputation as one of the finest island destinations in the world. A close neighbour to Saint Martin, Anguilla’s appeal has traditionally been predicated on the quality of its beaches, it’s laid back style and its rustic charm. For all that can be said about Anguilla’s 33 dazzling beaches, so much more can be said about the experiences that lie beyond them.
In recent years, Anguilla has worked hard to assert itself as the culinary, cultural, and experiential capital of the Caribbean, winning acclaim for the breadth of its tourism offering.
Since closing its borders in March 2020, The Government of Anguilla has taken every precaution to safeguard the island from the spread of COVID-19. With the only 3 confirmed cases fully recovered in April of 2020, the island and people of Anguilla have set an exemplary standard throughout the region in their management of COVID-19.
The island’s response efforts have been internationally recognized as a model for other island governments around the World.
In search of the true character of the destination, and knowing that the island has the highest Covid-19 protocols, we looked beyond Anguilla’s idyllic sands, and we discovered three big reasons why this little island is truly beyond extraordinary and the perfect destination to escape this winter.
A Pleasure for Every Palate
While many Caribbean islands can claim competency in the culinary arts, few can match the exceptional devotion to quality and flavours showcased in Anguilla. Anguilla’s cuisine is an eclectic fusion of tastes drawn from a variety of cooking traditions, including African, British, and Spanish. As one might expect, fresh seafood constitutes the core of many dishes, with mouthwatering snapper and succulent lobster standing out as particular favourites.
Restaurants like Johnno’s and Sunshine Shack specialize in serving up Caribbean comfort food right on the beach, titillating taste buds with fall-off-the-bone ribs, spicy jerk chicken sandwiches, and Anguilla’s famous rum punch.
If you’re in the mood for something upscale, Anguilla’s fine dining options do not disappoint. As the name perhaps gives away, the Resorts and Residences by Cuisinart delivers scrumptious dishes reflecting a variety of disciplines. Japanese, Moroccan, and Mediterranean food is all on offer in the acclaimed eateries of this sprawling resort, spoiling guests for choice. Elsewhere, at the award-winning boutique Quintessence hotel, Chef Dominique Thevenet elevates the art of blending tropical flavours with classic French bistro. Inspired dishes like the burgundy escargot and spicy crayfish fritter both pair well with a wine selection from their globally-recognized Q Cellar, making this five-star restaurant a prime example of why Anguilla’s food is both envied and desired. And be sure to check out Ember the latest entry by celebrated Chef Marc Alvarez.
Anguilla has something for everyone
Anguilla’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards in opulent accommodations is reflected in its epithet as “the island for the rich and famous”. When the tabloids picked up that Lebron James was staying in a massive Anguillian villa overlooking Mead’s Bay, jaws dropped when it was revealed he was paying around $75,000 a week to do so. While the average traveller will pay no more than a fraction of that amount during their stay, they can still expect to receive the same standard of hospitality and care. Anguilla has something for everyone.
Properties like the Four Seasons, Belmond Cap Juluca, (reopening this fall) Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection, Resorts and Residences by Cuisinart, and Zemi Beach House are emblematic of the essential luxury of staying in Anguilla.
Usually sitting directly on the beach, these elegant properties offer generous amenities, extensive recreation, and modern accommodation – all with an ocean view.
The Villas at the Four Seasons (reopening Nov 1 2020) in particular are a must-stay: incredibly spacious and expertly accented, they provide both the space and comfort to explore the island at your own enjoyable pace.
Even if you aren’t a celebrity, never fear: Anguilla has a collection of affordable accommodations. Enter the Charming Escapes: smaller, often locally-owned properties providing authentic Anguillian comfort and hospitality at an accessible price point. Ranging from bungalows to apartments and yes – even villas, the Charming Escapes are a perfect choice for guests looking for something a bit more personal without compromising on privacy and quality. Favourites like Shoal Bay Villas, Carimar Beach Club and Paradise Cove have won over guests with their winning mix of service and location, often situated just steps away from desirable beaches and verdant tropical gardens. Of course, the best endorsement of these enchanting properties comes from their bookings: the same guests return year after year, their loyalty secured by the completeness of the experience packed into these affordable getaways.
A bit of trivia: what do actors Orlando Bloom and Kate Winslet and R&B singer Amerie have in common? Besides fame and fortune, all three tied the knot in Anguilla. The island’s destination wedding credentials speak for themselves: the fantasy of exchanging vows on the white sands of paradise becomes reality on the sparkling shore of Barnes Bay. Or frame your vows on a yacht anchored just off The Arch on the island’s western tip. The mind struggles to conjure images more intimate than a kiss between lovers under the stars, their hands linked as they gaze out onto the endless sea from the lavish terrace of their cliffside villa.
Of course, what comes after the ceremony is just as important as the ceremony itself. Beyond providing a breathtaking locale, Anguilla’s richness in romantic activities proves its status as a honeymoon hotspot is well-deserved. The secluded privacy of untouched beaches and offshore cays provide the perfect hideaway for a lover’s picnic. You and your partner can relax those pre-wedding nerves at any one of the world-class spas. Zemi Beach House and Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection are standing by with aromatic compresses and full body tissue therapy to cleanse your senses.
For those couples who’ve always secretly yearned to grace the cover of a romance novel, Seaside Stables can make that dream come true. Cantering across Cove Bay at sunset is the best way to cap a magical date in Anguilla. Sip cocktails in the Four Seasons Sunset Lounge before a candlelit dinner in their newly opened SALT restaurant.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Anguilla is open for approved visitors from certain countries. All travelers to Anguilla including returning residents are required to obtain pre-travel authorization. Persons without travel authorization may be refused entry to Anguilla.
All visitors must complete an individual application (including children).
What you should know before entering Anguilla? Click here for further details.