Recognized by his laid-back vibe and cowboy hat, Bankie Banx is one of Anguilla’s national treasures. Delighting crowds with his rockin’ reggae for nearly three decades, this musical maestro is also the heart and soul of Moonsplash – the longest running independent music festival in the Eastern Caribbean held each year under the full moon in March.
“Moonsplash is an intimate festival because our stage is a traditional Anguillan wooden boat,” Bankie says enjoying breakfast at the CuisinArt Resort, a festival sponsor next to his Dune Bar. Not only is it an intimate festival, Moonsplash 2011 from March 17 to 20 –is the ideal time to treat your sweetie to a magical concert under the Caribbean sky. “While Anguilla continues to encourage the traveler in search of true respite, occasionally she throws in something extra spicy like our Moonsplash to get the juices going,” says Marie Walker, tourism director, North America. Check out the CuisinArt Resort.
Graced with sea grape trees, sun-dappled skies and sandy stretches, Anguilla (rhymes with vanilla and means eel in Italian), packs a big punch for a petite island. Mother Nature unplugged, the eel-shaped sliver is a ferry away from St. Maarten and the A-list choice of couples who covet the fine art of getting away. An uber-chic sliver of sybaritic Shangri-La, an evening isn’t complete until the butler delivers beluga caviar and Cristal champagne to your patio under the starry sky.
The undisputed gold standard, Cap Juluca is fresh from an expensive renovation that bought refinements to guestrooms , 60,000 multi-hued blooms and the Flights wine bar that shines with three two-ounce pours. The winner of umpteen awards, the posh resort is visually spectacular with whitewashed villas that sparkle under the sun and parapets that light up at sunset ala Arabian Nights. Indonesian spice body rubs Bvlgari bath gels and gigantic beds fluffed up with Frette linens are standard-issue in the butler-tended villas. Sorbet on the beach every afternoon breaks up the monotony of a tough day in a lounge chair. Check out Cap Juluca.
For the villa experience, “Bird of Paradise” sits high above a crescent beach that is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Three pools, nine-speaker sound system, massages en suite and a private chef who excels in the kitchen make a great vacation a grand vacation. Check out the Bird of Paradise.
New on the hotel horizon, Anacaona is a twenty-seven room Inn with introductory rates starting at US$150.00 per night, per room. En-suite kitchens, gratis Wi-fi and nightly shows are a bonanza for couples watching their wallets. “We plan to turn our hotel into the cultural entertainment center of Anguilla featuring musicians and dancers, carnival evenings and dinner theater,” said Delroy Lake, general manager. Check out the Anacaona Hotel.
A Blue Streak
One of the longest stretches, Mead’s Bay is de rigueur for morning runs and evening strolls especially when the leatherback turtles are nesting. On the Atlantic side, Captain’s Bay is trendy with lovebirds who crave an awesome sunset.
Every Saturday across from the National Trust Building, Mable the Corn Soup Lady brings in two pots of her homemade soup and by noon, most of it is spoken for. She also dishes up chicken and a sweet potato pudding that won’t break the bank.
A short boat ride from Island Harbour, Scilly Cay hosts a Sunday brunch that is a treasured tradition. Revered for plates piled high with spiny lobster and crayfish, it’s the potent homemade rum punch that keeps twosomes happy all afternoon.
For More Information visit www.anguilla-vacation.com <br>or call toll-free 1-877-4-ANGUILLA
For Moonsplash information, visit www.bankiebanx.net
3 Things You Can Do at the Dune Preserve and No Where Else:
- Snap photos of the most striking sunset you’ll ever see.
- Snuggle up with your sweetie listening to down-home island reggae
- Sip a Duneshine – a fermented ginger drink that packs a potent punch.