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E X C L U S I V E L Y

The

F R O M

T H E

G U E S T

V A N T A G E

P O I N T

Best in

Anguilla

Pronounced An-gwil-a, this small and flat island (16 miles long by 3 miles wide) is known for stunning beaches and delicious fare. Travelers often make repeat visits due to local hospitality, low crime rates, and the absence of skyscraper high rises and large cruise ships. Tranquility abounds. All photos and text were created by guests, for guests. Share your story: AnguillaTripReports.com

Issue N° 10 — Early 2017

H i g h l i g h t s

Island Overview On the island of Anguilla, you will meet guests who have made 15, 20, and even 25+ visits to the island! Many stopped trying other Caribbean islands once they visited Anguilla. Their advice and repeat behavior illustrates what a captivating place Anguilla can be.

Is Anguilla a good fit for you? While planning any vacation, it is important to ensure that your expectations and desires match the destination. If you are looking for world famous turquoise beaches with kind locals and plenty of fresh seafood, then keep reading. If you enjoy varied nightlife, high adventure activities, serious snorkeling, and mountainous or lush islands, then you will want to look for a different place to visit. Any travel to a foreign country usually begs a question about safety. Anguilla has a low crime rate; just like any domestic city, be wise with your belongings and presence in certain areas after dark, but we do not worry here. The island is not impoverished, though you will see half finished homes since residents build in stages, given that mortgages are not a cultural norm. © 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com

I n s i d e . . .

Transportation & Tips

Accommodations

Dining

Activities & Misc. Info

Flights, rental car info, and a packing list to use for traveling with carryon luggage only. (To expedite air transfers.) Pages 2-4

An overview of some of the most popular and discussed properties online. Real life coverage includes photos and commentary regarding experiences at Cap Juluca, Four Seasons (formerly Viceroy), Covecastles, Las EsQuinas, Frangipani and more. Pages 5-13

Highlights and contact information for toprated restaurants on the island, as well as grocery item sources. Pages 14-15

Activities, excursions, gift shops and galleries popular with travelers, helpful Anguilla-related travel websites, random details to help you have a wonderful vacation, and information on a local children’s foundation Pages 16-18

Curated Collection What's inside these pages The following pages were born out of a beach lover's curiosity. Before stepping foot on this beloved paradise, a dream travel folder labeled Anguilla started gathering information and insights from discerning travelers on various travel forums. Years of research and trip reports evolved into this booklet. With a former background in the hospitality industry, you can expect extreme attention to detail and high standards reflected in these recommendations. This guide is not an exhaustive compilation of all island options, but rather a carefully curated selection of the very best places to stay, eat, and experience based on real-life guest experiences. Places not enjoyed were intentionally omitted, but exclusion should not be considered a negative review since there are many places left to try and personal tastes vary. These pages reflect a hunt for distinctive establishments with a

track record of satisfied guests, comfortable beds, luxurious and clean surroundings, gracious hospitality, and delicious fare. There are no stock photos, no paid advertisements, and no commissions. This is simply shared information - by travelers, for travelers - in hopes that it leads to your own memorable getaway. Our aim is also to raise awareness about a local children’s foundation (see back cover).

Share your story We'd love to hear about your Anguilla trips and any tips you have for fellow guests! Join the conversation at: 
 Instagram.com/AnguillaTripReports Facebook.com/AnguillaTripReports It can be as simple as a "10 Things I Loved Best" list - or even just a photo. Repeat guests love island dispatches of any length! AnguillaTripReports.com is a place for travelers to post and share memories to stay inspired in between getaways. Enjoy! 1 !


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C A R R Y - O N O N LY P A C K I N G L I S T After waiting in ridiculous lines on a Saturday morning to catch return flights at the SXM airport, many tourists take travel board members’ advice and switch to carry-on only during future trips. When making the airport transfer (Anguilla Air Services) with no checked luggage, you avoid the long lines and customs. The following list is a tried and true way to fit nine nights into two carry-on suitcases and one “beach” tote bag. Clothes/Shoes (Male): Four shirts for dinners, three pairs of shorts, one pair pants, two white undershirts, undergarments for number of nights, two pairs of shoes, two pair socks for flights, swim-trunks and t-shirts (three sets), two ball-caps, pjs. (Wear outfit from list to airport.) Clothes/Shoes (Female): Four outfits, related jewelry, undergarments for number of nights, brimmed sun hat and visor cap, beach flip flops and one pair shoes, two pair socks for flights, three swimsuits, two to three cover-up sundresses, pjs. (Wear one outfit from list to airport.) Toiletries: Hairdryer/hair appliances, prescription eyeglasses, toothpaste (3-ounce), two toothbrushes, floss, retainers, two deodorants, one bar soap, small can shave gel, two razors, nail file, nose strips (for the snorers out there), hair brush and comb, hair ties, q-tips, cosmetics and make-up sponge, contacts, travel size contact case and solution (3-ounce bottle covers approximately nine nights), sunscreen (see sunscreen note on page 16), any “personal” items, medications (small packet hydrocortisone cream for bites), chapstick with sunscreen, and travel sizes of shampoo, hairspray, hair gel, face wash, face moisturizer, kleenex pack, airborne tablets. Tip from a TripAdvisor forum member: Use clean and empty flat contact cases to store small liquid/lotion amounts. REI also has excellent Nalgene travel bottles that do not leak in various sizes for toiletries. Gadgets and Miscellaneous: Passport and travel documents (to include pen and paper), inflatable neck pillow/eyeshades, books and magazines, phone/nook/iPad and related chargers, earplugs for flights, headphones and spare battery, camera and charger, mini tripod for camera, sunglasses, small purse or sleeve for cards, cash and/or traveler’s checks, host/housekeeping gifts, and extra zip lock bags. Plane picnic: small ice pack in tote with cheese, carrots, apple, chocolate squares, and/or mixed nuts. (This came in handy when a flight to SJU had a mechanical problem, which meant over six hours stuck on the same plane and catering did not preload the plane.)

Transportation Preferred Island Connections Tourists from the United States usually fly into either San Juan (SJU) or St. Maarten (SXM) to access Anguilla. If flying into SXM, there will be more options to connect to the island if earlier flights are delayed. Pages 3-4 include transfer details for two main airlines. If you arrive in San Juan, you will need a separate reservation on a connection carrier. Premium scheduled and charter services are offered by Tradewind Aviation (tradewindaviation.com), which includes complimentary beverages and a modern, air-conditioned cabin. Seaborne Airlines also flies this route. (Note: Plan ahead if booked on the last flight before Anguilla holiday observances - if delayed you could be stuck in SJU for days. This did happen to us while booked on an airline no longer in business; a different airline pilot saved the day by squeezing us on his last-minute flight.) ! 2

If you arrive in St. Maarten, you have a choice of getting to the island via water or a flight on Anguilla Air Services (AAS). Boat transfer choices include public ferry, various private ferries (shared shuttle), and/or private charters. We travel with carry-on luggage only, so we can avoid customs in SXM when connecting with Anguilla Air Services on a short 8-minute flight. Therefore I am not up-to-date with the water crossing options, but recommend the Anguilla Tourist Board’s website for information (ivisitanguilla.com/by-sea).

Taxis and Car Rentals Taxi Rates are fixed across the island. Visit ivisitanguilla.com/taxi for more information. Renting a car is highly recommended, but on your first day consider a taxi to get your bearings. We rent from local Ronnie Bryan, who will deliver the vehicle to you personally. Contact information: 264-497-6407, 476-6407 (cell), www.bryanscarrental.com. © 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com


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Anguilla Air Services To keep things simple and avoid the long lines in the SXM Airport, travel with carry-on luggage only and fly in/out of Anguilla. These steps (shown AXA to SXM) are to avoid customs/lines by using the transfer-only security station.

Start out taking the quick 8-minute Anguilla Air Services flight from AXA to SXM. 


After deplaning, wait for your carry-on luggage so it doesn’t end up on the carousal in baggage claim, which requires you to clear the main lines. 


This quick transfer only works if you have your boarding pass already printed for your connecting flight in SXM to your final destination.

After deplaning, you will either walk from The shuttle drops you off here; the walk the plane to the terminal, or sometimes this may take you elsewhere to enter. Walk in, brief shuttle is used.
 but do not follow the crowds!


Go through this separate security area. (Photo is after going through the machine, looking back.)
 © 2016 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com

Walk into the terminal (above left photo after the shuttle entrance) and follow the yellow signs related to Transferring flights do NOT go straight with everyone else. Whichever way you are taken into the airport, follow the yellow signs that read, “Transfer WITH boarding card...” to avoid the main lines. (Signs are circled in blue above.) You are looking to end up on the right side of the glass in the short security lane above, right side photo. The right side photo is looking backward after going through the security line metal detector because photos are not allowed when entering. To help with your bearings, the trashcan above right is the same trash can as in the last photo on this This is the end of the security belt looking page, but the last pic on this page is forward. Follow the yellow sign to Elevator looking forward. for A/C gates, walk straight to B gates.
 3 !


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Tradewind Aviation There is no expedited transfer line to avoid the chaos that can sometimes be found in the San Juan Airport (SJU), but these photos are of the process flying Tradewind Aviation, our favorite connection option from SJU to AXA.

We followed the directions Tradewind sent to their counter for check-in. After you check-in, look back the way you came across from the ticketing counters for this elevator to their waiting area.


In SJU, they have an upstairs loft reserved as a “private lounge” above the ticketing area for you to relax pre-flight with couches, plenty of windows, and a minifrig with drinks too. Nice touch.


A Tradewind representative escorts passengers to the tarmac when the flight is ready to go.

Our flight was on their Pilatus, though they This is a quick shot of the help-yourself do have a Citation, Cessna, and Socata in snack basket and beverage cooler in the their fleet; seating varies from 4 to 8 guests.
 back of the plane.


Arriving by plane is a great way to get your bearings and see an overview of the island, it never grows old. ! 4

We flew Tradewind Aviation for the first time in 2014 and had a great experience. In the spirit of full disclosure, since it was a new route for the airline I did ask for and receive a discount. The experience would have been the same had I paid the full fare, which was nearly the same as the Cape Air leg that day ($360). I like that two pilots flying up front provide added assurance in case of emergency, and it was more comfortable waiting in San Juan Anguilla's AXA Airport. Have your than other trips. Connecting via SXM is passport ready. One form and their stamp still our first choice when feasible, as you is all it takes and then you are on your way. 
 have more options if flights are delayed. © 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com


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Accommodations

All men, whilst they are awake, are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own. — Plutarch Overnight Preferences

A special “Rhum Bake” breakfast during a stay in Little Harbor. © 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com

As you plan a trip to Anguilla, there are a variety of accommodation types to match your needs. The options covered in this guide are not meant to be exhaustive, but merely highlight experiences, preferences, and research gleaned from message board forums and feedback from happy guests. Some things to keep in mind: you will find travelers that in general prefer to stay either on the East End of the island (Shoal Bay East is a very popular beach) or the West End, or places in between. The coverage contained in these pages is somewhat weighted toward the West End, as that is the side of the island with the most resorts and where we first fell in love with the island. For another perspective, I encourage you to dive into the popular Anguilla TripAdvisor forum and you will find people who equally love and repeat trips to the other areas. This booklet will be updated to include new upscale properties as they open. My criteria and standards, particularly as reflected in longer trip reports online, are admittedly high. Having worked in the hospitality industry, I tend to look closer at details than most travelers. This is

both a blessing and a curse! Even though such details will not make or break your day at the beach, since my eyes cannot help but notice such trivial aspects of a stay, rest assured that reviews are thorough and honest as to the state of affairs. And all photos are original (never stock photos) to give you the view of a genuine guest experience. No place is perfect, and we all have off days. That said, any place included on the following pages we have experienced firsthand or I have read enough about it to be a strong contender for future trips. There are definitely less expensive options on the island than you will find in these pages; check out TripAdvisor or other sites to find budget-friendly alternatives. Properties here are curated as the best in consistently providing a memorable stay, furnishings in good repair, comfortable beds, and cleanliness. (Great housekeeping can singlehandedly make or break a first impression.) To date, we have not rented a stand-alone villa. If you seek more privacy, you may want to consider third-party websites such as wheretostay.com or islanddreamproperties.com to research solo villa options. One day we do plan to add villa content. 5 !


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Cap Juluca

Moorish in architecture, Cap Juluca is a full-service resort on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Revisiting Cap Juluca after a five-year gap, it rose above and beyond our expectations. If you have been waiting to go back, the time is right to return. The friendly greeting, rum punch, landscaping, and main building all made a positive impression. In room, the bed is comfortable and we liked the louvered doors and ability to hear the ocean and let sea breezes in. (Some rooms now have glass doors, so inquire based on your preference when making a reservation). It was a treat to see blue sky while getting ready each day with the natural sunlight coming through the bathroom solarium, available in select rooms. Now that the deferred maintenance is being regularly addressed, the resort’s age is becoming an asset as it is rare to find a resort that is so beautifully spread out with low-rise structures wisely tucked into the landscape. It feels like a special and exclusive nod back to what many of us really desire a Caribbean vacation to be, which is a peaceful oasis. The beach is the star here with St. Maarten visible in the distance. And Cap Juluca’s loungers are still the most comfortable on island with thick, supportive cushions and made-to-fit terry cotton covers. Beach service ! 6

keeps you refreshed with bottled water throughout the day and sorbet each afternoon. At night, the atmosphere is quiet and romantic with thousands of twinkling stars when skies are clear. The on-site food experiences at breakfast and lunch are not significantly different from previous stays, but Pimms has been reborn at dinner with the new chef.

70-Room Resort with all beachfront ocean views

With a romantic atmosphere and the best beach on the island, Cap Juluca is a jewel.

Keep Reading • For a detailed trip report, contact us at www.AnguillaTripReports.com • Cap Juluca: (888) 858-5822 • Website: www.capjuluca.com

Cap Juluca continues its legendary reputation among lodging properties on the island. The spacious and spread-out oceanfront access is beyond compare with all luxurious rooms set directly on the beach. Guests share Maundays Bay, a exceedingly gorgeous crescent-shaped beach with memorable views. © 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com


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Frangipani

Directly on Meads Bay, Frangipani is a boutique property with sunset views, warm hospitality, and water sports. 
 19-Room Beachfront Resort with varying room views

Frangipani’s comfortable accommodations, unique personality and smaller size create a delightful option on Meads Bay beach. The queen bed (which has since been replaced with a king) provided sound sleep, housekeeping was fantastic, and the waves beckoned mere steps from the door. Pest control was impressive - an island first was never seeing a single inside ant throughout the entire stay! The property includes a beautiful infinity edge pool overlooking the beach. Cocktails are accessible from nearby Straw Hat restaurant, and a Straw Hat representative is even available to take lunch orders and deliver fare to your lounger so you can relax longer under your umbrella. Beach chairs don’t go fully flat for naps if you are a stomach sleeper, however, a full-flat set of cushioned lounge furniture is expertly located by the pool if you like outdoor afternoon siestas. Complimentary water sports include skiing, tubing, and Hobie cat sailing. The boutique property is also environmentally conscious, providing refillable water bottles upon check-in and using solar power to heat water (short showers due to temperature were necessary on one occasion). Since the time of our stay, new managers have

© 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com

taken the helm and perfected operations to make Frangipani one of the top tier places to stay on the island. The guest experience has been further refined with refreshed interiors, new work-out facilities, a conference room, and a private villa option. During one of Anguilla’s well-known holiday sailing races, we heard the new owners welcome guests on a special boat ride excursion to view the action from waterfront seats. That type of spontaneous hospitality sets Frangipani apart and has guests eager to return.

Keep Reading • For a detailed trip report, contact us at www.AnguillaTripReports.com • Frangipani: (877) 593-8988 • E-mail: info@frangipaniresort.com • Website: www.frangipaniresort.com

Frangipani has built a solid following among guests looking for a smaller hotel experience on Meads Bay Beach. Guest rooms, suites, and a new villa are up-to-date; many include full kitchens, living rooms, and washer/dryers. 7 !


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Four Seasons (formerly Viceroy)

Anguilla’s largest full-service resort, the re-branded Four Seasons has luxurious finishes and sunset views galore.
 166-Room Resort with garden or ocean views

The Four Seasons property is a work of art. During our stay when it was managed by Viceroy, we were in an Ocean View Studio and the mattress and Sferra bedding led to dreamy sleep. The bathroom was a luxurious oasis with great shower pressure and views straight out to the expanse of ocean. A private plunge “pool” (aka square tub) was on the balcony. At the time, the expansive breakfast buffet was a strength, which included hot options and was complimentary for bookings through select credit cards and travel agents. I suspect none of this has changed with the rebrand. The width of the beach sand on Meads Bay varies seasonally, but loungers are plentiful (though several rows deep) and beach service is provided. Three pools are on the property, and the adult pool adjacent to the Sunset Lounge is a perfect setting for sunset views. A welcome benefit of the new Four Seasons management is the potential for the hotel’s chronic service lapses to be rectified. The layout of the resort requires garden and ocean view room guests to walk a good bit to the beach, but some villas are mere steps from the sand. It is one of a few island resorts with ! 8

elevators, helpful if you need accessibility Several evenings Sunset Lounge DJs can be heard in the night air, so you may want to pack dancing shoes or ear plugs depending on your preference for evening music. On Fridays, do not miss the live band Omalie 360! Our stay felt like a hotel, more insulated versus traditional island accommodations. If not in a beachfront villa, consider splitting time with another property for the best of both worlds.

Keep Reading • For a detailed trip report, contact us at www.AnguillaTripReports.com • Four Seasons: (800) 201-9580 • Website: www.fourseasons.com/anguilla

The Four Seasons is undoubtedly a unique destination on the island of Anguilla. Tourists range from absolutely loving it (exhibited by numerous five-star reviews) to strong opinions about the “Miami-like” resort up on the perch. For a swanky stay, it is definitely one to consider on Meads Bay beach. © 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com


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Las EsQuinas

Anguilla’s best-kept secret, Las EsQuinas Boutique Bed and Breakfast is a luxurious escape unlike any other.
 4-Room Boutique Villa with stunning ocean views

Defying traditional descriptions, Las EsQuinas provides a truly unique experience on the island of Anguilla. With only four guest rooms, and a plethora of private nooks and crannies, guests can be as secluded or social as desired. Surroundings include exquisite furnishings and beautifully curated items from around the world. Housekeeping was immaculate during our stay, everything always clean and tidy. Bathrooms are well-equipped with natural stone, make-up mirrors, high quality soaps and shampoo. Features in each guest room include a spacious closet, desk, reading lights, and private balcony. Days begin with a bountiful (and delicious) homemade breakfast. There are plenty of cushioned spaces where you can lay outside to sun, read, nap, or simply gawk at all the beauty encircling you. Should more activity beckon, there is a closet with water equipment: float noodles, life jackets, snorkel equipment, and even water shoes if you need to borrow a pair. Being mere steps from coral reefs with bright colored fish and laying down on a deserted section of beach while listening to the waves was idyllic. When you are ready to cool off or swim laps, an on-site pool is waiting.

© 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com

The rising moon is a beautiful sight to behold in the evening, along with St. Maarten and night stars in the distance. Robin is charm personified as the owner and host, offering hospitality alongside the property’s gifted caretaker during our stay, JR. As a fellow guest noted: Las EsQuinas is the kind of place you only dream of finding. We’d add that it is also sure to leave guests with new friends and lasting memories.

Keep Reading • For a detailed trip report, contact us at www.AnguillaTripReports.com • Las EsQuinas: (264) 498-3351 • E-mail: info@lasesquinas.com • Website: www.lasesquinas.com

Las EsQuinas opened in 2013 as a boutique bed and breakfast property. All guest rooms have private balconies with breezes and vistas that are unparalleled. This sanctuary is sure to become a top destination in the Caribbean. It is a one of a kind experience. 9 !


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Covecastles

Mere steps from the ocean, Covecastles combines the privacy of a private villa with on-site staff and amenities. Covecastles offers the seclusion of a private abode with resort-like amenities and service. It is rare to find guest accommodations this physically close to the water, and the proximity creates awe-inspiring views from rooms. With low occupancy during our stays, Covecastles felt like a private sanctuary on the northern tip of Shoal Bay West. We have stayed in both a beach house (similar to a town home) and a villa, which is a step up in size. Complimentary provisions and champagne were stocked in the refrigerator upon arrival and housekeeping is attentive. The large beachfront patios are an oasis. Mattresses are on the firmer side, and sheets on the bed were soft and beautiful with embroidered stitching that spoke of luxurious attention to detail. The trade winds coming in through the screens and the view out of the upstairs bedroom were magnificent. Breakfast can be delivered - and Judy’s eggs are delicious. Walking the coast, listening to the waves on the back patio, and lounging in the hammock at sunset is equal to a slice of heaven on earth. Despite staying at other top-tier island properties, Covecastles remains the most serene and low key of the bunch, and has the distinction of being on our favorite beach. ! 10

Since Covecastles was built over 25 years ago, keep in mind that the beach houses have basic smaller bathrooms given the period, and the interior furnishings and exteriors show wear. Additionally, price can be steep in terms of value, but considering the uniquely memorable vistas, such details were minor. If you can overlook aging aspects, then the entire experience at Covecastles is downright blissful and definitely a place to consider.

16 Beach Houses and Villas with ocean views

Keep Reading • For a detailed trip report, contact us at www.AnguillaTripReports.com • Covecastles: (800) 223-1108 • Website: www.covecastles.com

Despite its tenure, Covecastles still seems a little-known secret on Shoal Bay West, yielding an unmatched combination of privacy and beautiful vistas. All houses and villas are beachfront, with spacious interiors and breathtaking views from bedrooms, living areas, and spacious patios. © 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com


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Malliouhana

Malliouhana was Anguilla's first luxury resort, reborn in 2014 with a glamorous pool and stunning decor.
 46-Room Resort with garden and ocean views

Malliouhana reopened in 2014 after a thorough refresh, and positioned itself to take back top honors among Anguilla's luxury resorts. A skillful redesign with aesthetically pleasing art seamlessly weaves their past with the present. And the “barefoot luxury” moniker fits a place so harmoniously classy and comfortable. While we have not stayed overnight yet, our first impression in 2015 over breakfast (above) was overwhelmingly positive. After a few dining hiccups in early 2016, Malliouhana has just hired a new chef, Marc Alvarez, for the new 2017 season. Given this positive change, we look forward writing a full review next year.

Full Review Pending • Malliouhana: (877) 733-3611 • E-mail: ma.info@aubergeresorts.com • Web: malliouhana.aubergeresorts.com

Malliouhana is an iconic Anguilla resort perched on a cliff above Meads Bay Beach. Luxurious touches abound including a twotiered infinity pool, ocean views galore, and beautifully refurbished surroundings. © 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com

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Solaire

With sweeping views and breezy patios, Solaire gives guests a villa experience with resort-like amenities. Solaire, a sister-property to Meads Bay Villas, is located on the south side of the island. This new development opened in 2016 with three villas (2 thru 4) open to guests. No active construction took place during our stay, it was quiet and peaceful. Villas 2 and 3 are mirror images of each other; Villa 4 (pictured here) has 25% more living space than the other two villas and is on the corner of the parcel. Its slightly higher elevation and two full walls of windows/doors combine to create a dramatic view. Trade winds were sublime during our stay, which made for a nice breeze throughout the unit and kept the mosquitos away. All villas are two-bedroom and front the ocean with a private infinity-edge pool. The beach is down a flight of stairs and there are several loungers down on the sand with an umbrella. It is smaller than Anguilla's popular tourist beaches, but nice for a short morning stroll or looking for sea shells. Mattresses were comfortable and the built-in closet in the master bedroom is especially functional. The kitchen is fully equipped and even has a wine cooler, dishwasher and convection-oven option. It made cooking on vacation enjoyable with such an incredible view. The property's design is intelligent and ! 12

above par for the island, even among "luxury" accommodation options. Natural light is plentiful and there is an extensive electric lighting system installed throughout, including a multi-color pool light for evening swims.

3 Private Villas with ocean views

Amenities are plentiful: complimentary international long-distance, strong WiFi, a fullsize washer and dryer in a laundry closet for guest use, complimentary snorkel equipment, and more. Solaire is a welcome island addition.

Keep Reading • For a more detailed trip report, visit: www.AnguillaTripReports.com • Solaire: (264) 497-0271 • Website: www.solaireanguilla.com

With stunning views of nearby SXM and plentiful breezes, all three villas grant guests a unique vantage point and quiet respite. Interiors are well-designed and kitchens are fully equipped with quality appliances. Solaire is an excellent fit for those who enjoy beautiful panoramas and the privacy of stand alone units. © 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com


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Additional Properties

On a short list to consider for future trips… The new Zemi Beach House Resort and the Manoah Boutique Hotel are both on beautiful Shoal Bay East. The CuisinArt Golf Resort (with sister hotel, The Reef) on Rendezvous Bay and the CeBlue Villa Resort near Crocus Bay are two more top resorts to consider. In addition, Meads Bay Beach Villas and the Villas at Sheriva are regarded positively by travelers. Sheriva has the special benefit of sharing reciprocity with Cap Juluca (a golf-cart ride away), where guests sign for meals and enjoy the plush loungers on Maundays Bay. Economical options: The following places lack features compared to the four or five-star properties previously covered. However, each offers a solid value and an excellent location. A good fit for trips with a lower budget (along with Shoal Bay Villas), these are more self-service and include housekeeping. Carimar Beach Club

Condos on Meads Bay Carimar consists of two-bedroom units, but not all are beachfront. Units are spacious and recently refurbished with newer kitchens and furniture. Air-conditioning is available in bedrooms only. A strength includes their goodwill among former guests, and a loyalty program. It is a solid option for families or couples traveling together, but beach chairs can be close together during full occupancy. Contact: (264) 497-6881 E-mail: carimar@carimar.com Website: www.carimar.com


© 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com

Blue Waters

Turtle's Nest Beach Resort

**Update: Turtle’s Nest was previously a very popular value destination for travelers. Unfortunately in the initial weeks post-Irma, the current managers chose to disregard the section of the Nest’s Beach Apartments on Shoal Bay West Condos oncancellation Meads Bay policy that gave travelers the ability to cancel Blue Waters Beach Apartments include The phrase a book 61+"don't days injudge advance forby anyits cover" beachfront views and self-service privacy. The fits Turtle's Nest, for years we avoided reason and receive a refund of its value here is best in summer months; at inunattractive onethey tripare it was the theirexterior. deposit;Then instead season rates you can get more for your money. only place with last-minute availability withholding all deposits for and we One and two bedroom units are simple and air- were won over stays by theclaiming clean interiors and kind future it is conditioning is only in bedrooms. Daily staff. Studio units lack a full-size water heater related to their “hurricane housekeeping is included. Spartan interiors (expect cool showers) and have limited policy” but they are keeping views, keep the focus on the beautiful beach, and close but this beachfront with deposits farcomplex outside of theone, two, and proximity to Trattoria Tramonto is a bonus. three bedroom units is a great value in summer. hurricane season dates in their Contact: (264) 497-6292 Contact:policy. (264) There 497-6378 are multiple E-mail: bluewaters@anguillanet.com E-mail: threads turtlesnest@hotmail.com about this on Website: www.bluewatersanguilla.com Website:TripAdvisor www.turtlesnestbeachresort.com and the “Anguilla for Tourists” Facebook group. We can no longer recommend this property with any confidence. The lack of customer service has left us disappointed and unable to patron the business at this time. Their Board directed the managers to provide refunds, the cause of delay is unknown at this time.** 1 ! 3


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Dining Highlights Maps tend to show the island broken into various “zones” since taxi rates are set according to these geographic distinctions. Anguilla is known for its diverse dining options, and often its high prices. A few of our top favorites from previous trips are shown below. Restaurants frequently change hours and close seasonally, so always call ahead to verify availability.

“ M U S T - D O ” F AV O R I T E S Veya and Meze Downstairs

Trattoria Tramonto

Jacala

Picante

Chef Marc Alvarez

Zone 5 - Sandy Ground 264-498-8392

Zone 1 - West End 264-497-8819

Zone 1 - West End 264-498-5888

Zone 1 - West End 264-498-1616

Zone 1 - West End 877-733-3611 (Malliouhana)

Dinner in a tree house-type setting with an expert chef, downstairs has small plates. Live music select nights. Popular dishes: steak lettuce wraps, johnny cakes, pumpkin bread, shrimp cigars, and mango dessert. This is our favorite evening dining experience!

Waterfront on Shoal Bay West, lunch includes gratis use of beach loungers and the best music playlist. It has warm service, a delicious bolognese, Leonardo cocktail, and lobster ravioli in truffle cream sauce at dinner. We go so often for lunch we call it our islandversion of Cheers.

A French restaurant with beach chairs (on Meads Bay view above) available gratis after lunch service and open for dinner. Known on travel boards for a cucumber soup, grilled watermelon salad, calamari risotto, and steak tartar.

Not on the water, this Mexican food restaurant is charming for a lighter (and less expensive) night out. Hubby loves the churros for dessert and they carry several bourbons which can be hard to find away from home. Mojitos are also popular.

Closed: Saturday (low season) and Sunday

Closed: Sunday (low season) and Monday

Closed: Monday/Tuesday

Closed: Tuesday

We normally post about restaurants and not individual chefs, but we are making an exception since some of our favorite dishes last trip came from Chef Alvarez’s kitchen, and he has just moved from Covecastles to Malliouhana. We look forward to discovering his new menu in 2017.

Garvey’s Sunshine Shack

Dolce Vita

Hibernia

Straw Hat

Mango’s


Zone 2 - South Hill 264-476-0649

Zone 5 - Sandy Ground 264-497-8668

Zone 9 - Island Harbor 264-497-4280

Zone 2 - South Hill 264-497-8300

Zone 1 - West End 264-497-6479

Waterfront on Rendezvous Bay. Garvey grills up fresh snapper, ribs, and chicken to order. Cocktails and beer available, loungers and picnic tables on-site. Garvey also caters special events and beachfront dinners by reservation.

Owner has a longstanding island reputation running restaurants. Waterfront, the Sandy Ground location can be quite hot in June for lunch, so dinner may be preferred. Particularly known for their lasagna and pasta dishes.

A favorite of many for both the inventive food and Mary Pat’s art gallery. Guests recommend smoked fish, Tam Ya Plah, and homemade ice cream trio. For dinner, a shuttle service is available.

Open for breakfast in addition to lunch and dinner. Live reggae music on Fridays. Beach chairs available for those eating at the restaurant. Don’t miss the jerk seasoned Mahi Mahi sandwich and the Ti Punch drink. Fries are tasty too.

Known for fresh fish, the steamed whole snapper in a tomato broth was a dinner highlight. A travel board friend highly recommends Karen’s Espresso martini, they also have a tasty mocha coffee beverage.

Closed: varies

Closed: Sunday dolcevita@anguillanet.com

Closed: Limited hours outside of high season, call to confirm for lunch or dinner.

Closed: Tuesdays

Helpful tips from the web: When making reservations, ask if the regular chef is cooking; some leave May - August and some restaurants close entirely August-October. We heard from a visitor that you need to be choosy about seafood during the low season as some chefs do not get fresh fish when business is so slow. ! 14

© 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com


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Dining Highlights (continued) Below you will find a sampling of additional favorites, including “nightlife” destinations and grocery stores with positive reviews. The listings shown are based on top travel experiences to date and are not meant to be exhaustive. Guests also sing praises for Barrel Stay, Ken's and B&D BBQ, Tasty’s, Dune Preserve, Hungry’s Food Truck, and Cafe de Paris - just to name a few.

A D D I T I O N A L F AV O R I T E S Artisan Pizza Napoletana 
 Zone 9 - Island Harbor

An authentic wood-fired oven imported from Napoli, Italy takes center stage here - the first place in the Caribbean certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, Napoli, Italy. Quality ingredients and a delicious-looking Facebook feed. 264-235-6116

DaVida Zone 6 - Valley

Located on Crocus Bay with some of the best beach chairs and umbrellas - gratis if eating lunch onsite. It is a favorite for Sunday afternoon live music by Omari Banks. 264-498-5433

Blanchard’s Zone 1 - West End

Many tourists find Anguilla thanks to the Blanchard’s popular book, “A Trip to the Beach” and the restaurant is one of the island’s most famous. Their next-door Beach Shack is like an economical "concession stand" during the day. 264-498-6100

Ferryboat Inn Zone 4 - Blowing Point

Travel board members praise the rum punch, hamburgers, their wings night and lobster thermador. 264-497-6613

Le Bon Pain/Geraud’s Zone 9 - Le Bon Pain Zone 3 - Geraud’s

Call before you visit for open/closed days of the week and to make sure certain items are available - they sell out quick! Both bakeries offer French pastries on two different sides of the island. Many people order to-go sandwiches from Geraud's for pick up before leaving the island to avoid airport food on the flight. Geraud's: 264-497-5559, Le Bon Pain: 264-497-4090

Four Season's Sunset Lounge 
 Zone 1 - West End

At least once stop here for drinks to watch the sun set. Beautiful spot for pictures just past the lounge and pool, near the spiral staircase. Plenty of places to relax and take in the setting - and nights with Omalie 360 performing are top-notch. 264-497-7000

Elvis’ Bar + Pumphouse Zone 5 - Sandy Ground

Two bars (separately owned, listed together for space). Closest to “night life” on the island, in addition to Dune Preserve. Contact for current music schedule. Elvis' Bar: 264-476-0101, Pumphouse: 264-497-5154

Pimm’s (Cap Juluca) Zone 1 - West End

Romantic setting, go if you can get a waterfront table on the edge. The view last summer included both a manta ray and a barracuda during dinner service. 264-497-6666

SandBar Zone 5 - Sandy Ground

Waterfront with small plates and cocktails. Some go on Fridays and then party in Sandy Ground at nearby bars. 264-498-0171

Destination Dining: There are a variety of half and full day trips to outlying islands such as Prickly Pear and Scilly Cay that feature boat rides, rum punch, and grilled seafood. Guest satisfaction varies, so you may want to read up on them first and book through your hotel or accommodations contact/concierge.

G R O C E RY S TO R E S Beverages: Tropical Flower Wholesale stocks case quantities of soft drinks, beer, and bottled water, in addition to liquor. Telephone: 264-497-4315. Grocery Stores: The new Best Buy near Meads Bay is in a league of its own. Proctor’s and the former Best Buy are both well regarded on travel forums. The reported best time to go is Thursday late afternoon through Saturday, since this is after the container shipments arrive. Proctor’s had the most organic and/or local produce during our June 2016 trip. Merchants Market is a restaurant supply store in the Valley. Albert Lake, Ashley and Sons, and Foods 95 are other grocers to consider. Fruity Web is a small stand source for “exotic” Caribbean fruit and real fruit smoothies. Local Food/Gardens/Farms: Rainbow Farm in South Hill is an excellent source for fresh produce, as well as Sensational Flavors. Notes from a Trip Advisor member about Island Cuisine: “There is a young man, Jerome Richardson, who sets up in The Valley just up from Nurse Boy's Car Wash on Saturday mornings around 8:30am. The name of his greenhouse is Island Cuisine and its all organic. Last Saturday he had tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, bananas, eggplant, green peppers, etc. Nice young man and great stuff.” And Frankie's famous tomatoes are available at a roadside stand open on Saturdays mornings, and most Wednesdays. It is located past Proctor’s as you are leaving The Valley. Fresh Fish: I have been told to go to the Fishery first and The Fish Depot second, but we typically eat out so have not pursued this option. Helpful tips from the web: You can check a large cooler filled with frozen food on the major airlines. However, the duty taxes have risen in the last year or two. You are allowed to bring two bottles of liquor on the island duty-free, so you many want to check out the shops in the SXM airport before your transfer. © 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com

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Activities and Excursions While Anguilla is known for its relaxing beaches and quality dining, if your personality prefers a little more action, there are a variety of ways to spend your time without a good book, comfortable chair, and a fruity cocktail in your hand. Pricing and availability varies, be sure to ask your accommodation's concierge staff for the most up-to-date information and recommendations. Popular suggestions from travel message boards: Water Sports and Stand-up Paddleboard Rentals: Various resorts offer water sports, deep sea fishing trips, scuba diving lessons, and sunset cruises. Concierge desks can put you in touch with private boat and sport operators, but you can also contact the following companies directly. These operators receive positive feedback by travelers: Sea Pro for boat rides and SUP-board rental (264-584-0074), Tradition Sailing (264-476-7245) and Junior’s Glass Bottom Boat (264-235-1008) for snorkeling trips. And Calvin at Crocus Bay for boat rides to Little Bay. Horseback Riding on the Beach: SeasideStablesAnguilla.com near Cove Bay. Day Trips: It’s hard to imagine leaving the island, but there are scheduled and charter flights to St. Barth’s and St. Maarten. Ferries run to St. Maarten daily. For shorter excursions including food, the Dining Section (page 14-15) includes close outlying islands. Nature Trails, Bike Tours, and Historic Tours: Check with the tourist board for details at visitanguilla.com; Ronnie Bryan hosts bike tours: bryanscarrentals.com. Golf: Temenos is the island’s only golf course; it was designed by Greg Norman and is owned and operated by Cuisinart Resort. Art/Shopping: Limin’ Boutique, Savannah Gallery, Cheddie's and Lynne Bernbaum’s Gallery are a few favorites. Lynne also hosts a painting class open to the public. Contact her directly (Lynne@LynneBernbaum.com) for private parties.

Additional Anguilla Websites and Tourist Community Forums Message boards and helpful Anguilla-themed websites/magazines:

- www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g147238 (tourist forum with many repeat Anguilla travelers who answer questions and post new information)

- www.anguilla-beaches.com (aerial videos, Nori’s discount card, comprehensive listing of businesses)

- https://www.facebook.com/groups/axaforum/ (Simona’s group community page with travel news)

- Print Magazines: True Anguilla and Design Anguilla (Related websites: trueanguilla.com and designanguilla.com)

Details and Travel Tips Pharmacy/Sunscreen: If you need pharmacy supplies, Paramount Pharmacy has a variety of options, as do groceries for over the counter medications. To get to the pharmacy: driving from the West End, after passing Jumbo Plaza, it is on the left at the bottom of the hill, set back in an area that looks a little more industrial. Recent scientific studies have shown select sunscreen chemicals can harm reefs, so you may want to bring your own zinc oxide products to safeguard sea life. One product we found online that blends well (unlike some zinc oxide sunscreens) is by PronounceSkincare.com - it is called SkinShade (non-nano sunscreen). Massage Therapy: The following massage therapists travel to accommodations and are regularly recommended on travel message boards: Jill Walker (tainowellness@yahoo.ca or tainowellness@hotmail.com, 497-6066, 264-582-7780, 919-913-5077) and Susi (bodysoulaxa@hotmail.com, 264-235-8399). Safety Info/Tsunami: The West End's highest elevations are near the Shell Gas and Malliouhana Resort. The island’s highest point is Crocus Hill. Gratuities: Check your bills as most properties and restaurants include a standard 10-15% gratuity for staff; additional monies are your discretion. Mosquito Milk: Insect repellant is a must on the island. If you have sensitive skin and get deep red marks every single place you roll on the Mosquito Milk, try the spray version which is available at the pharmacy. Store it in a zip lock between uses or it will leak in your beach bag. Reservations: When choosing to stay at one of the larger resorts, be sure to check with a Virtuoso-affiliated travel agent before making your reservation. Often they can reserve the same specials found online, plus a complimentary upgrade, daily breakfast, and a welcome amenity. Cash/Credit cards: Don’t forget to keep enough cash on hand to pay the departure tax, which is currently $20/person. You may want to ensure that your credit card is able to be used internationally without extra fees. Many restaurants no longer accept American Express. Trip Insurance: Having met tourists who had to rely on island medical care during an unexpected accident, and based on their feedback, be prepared. Purchasing trip insurance and/or medical evacuation products (such as Medjet Assist) is recommended on various travel forums. Books: Emily Crowe’s blog mixes entertaining Anguilla trip reports with book reviews. She also excels at making book recommendations based on your preferences and she can ship them to you from her bookstore prior to your travels. www.asthecrowefliesandreads.blogspot.com ! 16

© 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com


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- Tradition Sailing Charter -

If you are going to book one thing during your trip - let it be this sail. In all our trips to the island of Anguilla, it was a real highlight experience. If you’ve read the superlative TripAdvisor reviews and wondered if the experience on Tradition could really live up to the praise, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

The Extraordinaire Captain Contact information • Tradition Sailing: (264) 476-7245 • E-mail: info@tradition-sailing.com • Website: www.tradition-sailing.com © 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com

Guests travel on a beautiful classic West-Indian sloop, whose crew all exude hospitality: Deb, Thomas, and Captain Laurie. The evening sail took us from Sandy Ground over to a pelican nesting habitat at Little Bay where we anchored for hors d’oeuvres and sunset. Deb created a bountiful spread of fresh fruit, vegetables, imported charcuterie, homemade deviled eggs, free flowing mimosas, rum punch, and more. Once night begins, you motor back under the starlit sky with full and happy bellies. We wish every Anguilla visitor could "see" Anguilla from such a unique vantage point, and learn about seafaring from the fun crew. It exceeded all our expectations! In addition to the sunset sail, snorkel day trips (which we also loved) are offered on select days of the week, as well as private charters. 1 ! 7


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Giving Back to Anguilla Did this information help you plan a trip to Anguilla? If so, my hope is that you will consider giving back to the local community who inspired the creation and sharing of this ad-free destination guide by making a small (or large!) donation to the Arijah Children’s Foundation: http://arijah.org/donate/ The non-profit’s inspiring founder, Renuka Harrigan, shares the following history and mission on their website, “Arijah Foundation is named after Arijah, an 11-year old girl born with a genetic condition affecting her mental and physical development. She was born on the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla where there is little help for people with special needs. In an effort to help Arijah and others like her, we, her family formed a non-profit organization in her name to serve people living with special needs in Anguilla. Created in 2006, Arijah Foundation opened the Blossom Centre in 2010 as a place from which to provide services to help persons with special needs to blossom and reach their full potential.” To learn more about the wonderful work this Foundation is doing to benefit children, please visit arijah.org and find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Arijah-ChildrensFoundation-146944922037875/. And if you have extra room in your luggage, you may want to participate in the Foundation's A Voice of My Own Project: "...in which we invite you to help us give a child who cannot speak a voice of their own. Donate a used or new iPad and we will teach a child who cannot speak to use the iPad to be their voice. We will also train the child’s family and teachers so the child will have a network of support wherever they go.” Blossom Centre

Issue N° 10 — Early 2017

MAIL TO:

The Mediterranean Room’s sunrise view at Las EsQuinas, January 2014. Updated versions of this guide are usually released twice a year and will be available for download at AnguillaTripReports.com. Contact and FTC disclosure: Please contact AnguillaTripReports@aol.com for inquiries regarding permission to use, reprint, or reproduce content. FTC Disclosure: This guide was written as a regular guest and researcher sharing travel experiences. The author has never had affiliate links nor received commissions for recommending properties or establishments. The author does search for sales and on occasion reservations include discounts versus rack rates; bills are paid using personal funds. Remarkable sales such as those found and booked on third party flash-sale sites are shared on the AnguillaTripReports.com Instagram page and TripAdvisor.com so others can benefit. This site is committed to staying ad-free with the focus on writing solely from the guest vantage point. Over time the author has made friends at establishments visited, which could affect the experience and bias. Places not enjoyed were intentionally omitted from this guide, but exclusion should not be considered a negative review since there are many places left to try. Send us your favorites! Email: AnguillaTripReports@aol.com

© 2017 C.M./AnguillaTripReports.com

The Best in Anguilla Destination Guide - Issue 10, Early 2017  

This comprehensive and complimentary Anguilla destination guide is a truly unique periodical given it is free of paid advertisements, distil...

The Best in Anguilla Destination Guide - Issue 10, Early 2017  

This comprehensive and complimentary Anguilla destination guide is a truly unique periodical given it is free of paid advertisements, distil...