Life is good…in Anguilla. With some of the finest white sandy beaches in the world, crystalline azure-blue waters, and a friendly local culture that will swoop you up in island rhythms, this corner of paradise has it all.
I am on spring break with my oldest daughter Lizzie, her friend Liz and my husband Gordon. Our youngest daughter Anna happens to be in the Caribbean as well, working on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic.
Anguilla is one of the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, lying east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and directly north of St. Martin. It is a long and mostly flat island that seems to make the sunshine more abundant compared to some of its more mountainous neighbors. If you are looking for sun, sand, and serenity, Anguilla is for you.
This island paradise is low key and full of secluded enclaves. Pick your passion for the day: the beach with the least wind or the best snorkeling or the most secluded or the best reggae or the most delicious seafood shack. Renting a car is a plus as there are so many different experiences.
I first came to Anguilla when I was in college for two Christmas holidays in a row with my parents and 3 brothers. I will certainly not reveal how long ago that was but it is more than I can count on my fingers and toes!! Those memories are still so vivid.
I am happy to report that this beautiful pristine island, with its white sandy beaches and translucent blue water, has not changed much over the years. I did inquire about spearing lobsters, one fine highlight with my brothers many years ago, but was told it is “illegal.” In true island fashion, however, they winked and said if I really wanted to go they might find someone to take us….HMMMM. I decided to stick with the memories of doing this with my brothers years ago.
The biggest change in a very positive way is the addition of a wonderful new resort that opened less than 3 years ago which is where my family is staying, The Viceroy. http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/anguilla/
This is one of the two great hotel options on the island if you are not renting a fabulous villa. The other is Cap Juluca (http://www.capjuluca.com) that has been around since I first visited Anguilla with my family in the 1980s.
They are different properties in a number of ways, with the Viceroy featuring all the amenities one could wish for including 166 superbly designed accommodations. These include private oceanfront villas, beachfront suites, and bluff top guest rooms, many with private pools. The options are over the top and expansive and I could imagine joyous times not only for couples and families but also a wonderful destination for a major celebration with friends in one of the 2,3 or 4 bedroom villas. However, the initial impression is not so much soothing Caribbean resort as it is bold and modern in style though the staff, facilities, and setting in beautiful Meads and Barnes Bay make it one of the top picks on the island.
Cap Juluca draws its ambience from the spectacular setting as it is situated in the crescent of Maundays Bay. The Greco-Moorish architecture is as timeless as the sea itself though the rooms are a bit tired when compared to the newly swank décor of the Viceroy.
One of our favorite activities was the catamaran snorkeling charter with Chocolat and I look forward to sharing some inside suggestions with you. Upon docking, we actually crossed paths with a little British Royalty, meeting Prince Edward and his wife. Gordon offered him some island attire but he seemed to prefer his suit and tie..ha!
I will leave with great memories and wonderful reminders of my visit from many years ago. Anguilla is like one of those classic movies that you want to see and experience over and over again, each time finding and enjoying something new you did not notice or were even aware of the first time around.