Chillin’ In Anguilla
with Suzanne Christie

Cap Juluca

Sandy Island – great Bar B Q lunches are offered on this little sand bar

Altamer Villa Resort

Karen McKenzie, The Travel Bug (2nd from left) & Valerie Ward, Total Vacations (at right) with Anguillan residents Robin & Sue Ricketts at Kamique Villas

I have to admit it… Anguilla wouldn’t have been my 1st choice for a Caribbean getaway. But, a recent visit at the invitation of the Anguilla Tourist Board has shown me the error of my ways.

She’s not much to look at… a long thin scruffy strip of an island off the north shore of St. Maarten. But I could feel myself succumbing to her charm almost immediately and, you know what they say… looks aren’t everything. Anguilla draws you in with its warm welcome and relaxed vibe. Our small FAM group of top producers were won over instantly by Anguilla’s hospitality.

We were treated to the deluxe tour, staying at CuisinArt Resort & Spa and being wined and dined all over the tiny island. Although Anguilla’s land mass and population are small (only 13,500 residents), the island boasts three 5 star properties from the Leading Hotels of the World group. Maliouhana, Cap Juluca and our own home away from home – CuisinArt… each has a gorgeous beachfront setting and if you aren’t deterred by their deservedly hefty price tags, you’d be hard pressed to choose which to stay at. Unless you’re more inclined to the privacy of your own villa – and there are plenty of spectacular choices. But even one of the Caribbean’s most upscale islands is feeling a recessionary pinch and extra value offers and discounted pricing abound, especially now in the off season.

There’s not a lot to do on Anguillla and that’s part of the key to her success. It’s a place to relax and renew your spirit and it’s very easy to do that. The crystal clear waters are warm and unnaturally turquoise. The number of restaurants offering top notch cuisine is really surprising. You can dine on the freshest fish and seafood under the stars or at a little shack on a Robinson Crusoe sand patch – it doesn’t seem to really matter where you go – the food and the hospitality are consistently delightful.

Visitors have a tendency to return – over and over again – and some have been compelled to make it their home – operating restaurants, villa rental services and boutiques. It’s no wonder the wealthy and famous often choose Anguilla… there’s a regular turnover of all manner of celebrity. Anguillans take it all in stride.

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