One Day in Paradise: Caribbean Chic in Anguilla

Photo Courtesy of Carol Lee

It’s all about thirty-five square miles, thirty-three spectacular beaches, one hundred restaurants, one championship golf course but no movie theaters, mega cruise ships or shopping malls. A treasured destination for long naps and beach walks, Anguilla’s charm is in her intimate inns, swank resorts, unrivalled natural splendor and warm welcome. With the 2012 Tourism Season just around the corner, the petite isle is moving into high gear as it gets ready to receive visitors to its stunning shores.

“We like to say alphabetically and otherwise we remain #1 in the Caribbean from start to finish,” said Marie Walker, tourism director, North America, “Anguilla is like a natural masseuse, she seeps within you and stays with you and invigorates you so you return relaxed and able to say, I really had that true Caribbean escape that I have always dreamed about.”

Cuddly and Cozy

Photo Courtesy of Anacaona

A few paces from Meads Bay in Anguilla, the Anacaona hotel is a flip-flop-friendly inn and one of the island’s best bets. With two swimming pools, room service on the beach and gratis snorkeling gear, the 27-room hotel oozes couples appeal. Pronounced An-nah-ky-oh-nah and owned by Robin and Sue Ricketts of Cap Juluca and Malliouhana fame, the boutique hotel is one-stop-shopping for a true island experience. “We aim to be the informal cultural center of Anguilla,” said Robin Ricketts, “our guests will be entertained by the local folklore troupe, Mayoumba who perform in our Firefly restaurant every Thursday evening.” Admission including a bountiful West Indian buffet is USD$45.00 per person with reservations required in advance.  Ask for a bottle of the local Rockfield Pepper sauce for an added zing to the Scrub Island Curry Goat.   Too good to resist, the “Pay for 5 nights, Stay for 7” package is valid for travel through December 16. www.anacaonahotel.com.

Photo Courtesy of Cuisinart Resort

As the tropical backdrop for the hit TV show The Bachelor, romance is big business. With more than ten million viewers who tuned into the popular program, it’s no wonder the resorts are marketing the mojo. “Consumers who had never heard of Anguilla were treated to extraordinary images of the island, like an exhilarating helicopter tour to the picturesque Sandy Island, sunset cruise to the secluded waters of Little Bay and a romantic dinner for two on the white sands of stunning Rendezvous Bay,” said Candis Niles, director of tourism. At the swish and swank CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, ‘The Bachelor’s Journey’ includes a bottle of bubbly, torch lit dinner on the beach , floral bath soak and car rental. “We invite weddings of all faiths,” says Stephane Zaharia, general manager, “for Jewish couples, the Rabbi from St. Maarten will perform the ceremony as Anguilla is without a synagogue and for the reception; kosher food is flown in from Miami.” A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, the five-star property along Rendezvous Bay has the world’s first on-property hydroponic farm and the brand new Tokyo Bay high atop the spa. www.cuisinartresort.com

Bottom’s Up

“Visiting an island or city for the first time is like a date, smiles eternal romantic  Eustace Guishard, chairman, Anguilla Tourist Board, “The first visit is an opportunity to get to know your date by truly finding the heartbeat by sampling the main attractions like our wonderful unspoiled beaches and the warm and welcoming Anguillans.”

White-washed and casual, Dolce Vita on Sandy Ground’s shore is trendy without pretention both inside and on an outdoor deck.  Authentically Italian, the stand-out plate at the islands newest eatery, Linguine Al Tonno is chock-a-block with fresh tuna and green olives. Dessert is worth the caloric splurge with chocolate mousse the crowd pleaser.  www.dolcevitasandyground.com.

After dinner, barefoot as the sun sets is the trademark at Sandy Ground where dart games reign supreme at Ripples, reggae fills the air at The Pumphouse, goat-stuffed tacos and frosty beer are the big draws at Elvis’ Beach Bar and celebrity-spotting and a spirited Jump-Up at Johnno’s keeps the crowd on their feet till the wee hours.

“Personally, I keep going back to Meads Bay with my cigar and my own special rum concoction to experience true bliss as I gaze on that majestic heavenly fire ball slowly descending below the watery horizon,” adds Eustace Guishard, chairman ATB.

A Window Seat

Cape Air will add a new third flight to and from San Juan on December 22. “The Cape Air model of high‐frequency flights and easy connections with the mainland is a needed service on Anguilla,” said Andrew Bonney, vice president of planning, Cape Air.

Cape Air’s partnerships with JetBlue and Continental have increased access from the USA with tourists able to book flights on JetBlue’s website and travel with a codeshare arrangement with Continental. www.capeair.com

Three Easy Steps to Forever After

  1. Arrive three days prior to the ceremony via American Airlines, Continental, US AIR, Delta or JetBlue from the USA
  2. Register for your wedding
  3. Two days later, a wedding on the beach at sunset is legal and forever.

Get in Touch

http://ivisitanguilla.com

www.facebook.com/ivisitanguilla

How to get married in Anguilla, call Toll Free: 1-877-471-2733

Or dial the Magistrate for more details – 264-497-2377

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