For A-List celebs it’s the privacy plus posh but not stuffy vibe
By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva
After hundreds of Caribbean cruises it’s pretty amazing I never set foot on Anguilla. But then because it’s just at tiny, 16-mile island it’s only accessible by small sailing craft. However, that might change in the near future, but don’t expect mega ships to call there.
I was recently introduced to Anquilla at a press luncheon at Beverly Hill’s posh Peninsula Hotel. A British overseas territory 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 Saint Martin.
Think St. Barths but less expensive
Of course the ‘Anguilla Team’ and its PR compliment were there to hype the pretty pricey vacation destination (think St. Barths but actually a bit less dear, according to Kenroy Herbert, chairman of Anguilla Tourism). Still they didn’t need say much. It was all in the video and photos which spoke a million words.
An A-list celebrity favorite for its extreme privacy, tropical attributes and posh hotels that, despite its diminutive Anguilla has a lot to offer. It’s vibe is chic but casual. According to insider sources super stars are swapping out former favorites that are just a bit more sur le dessus (over-the-top) for them. Anguilla may be the answer.
So famous faces– Paris Hilton, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Justin and Hailey Bieber, LeBron James, Meryl Streep, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston–are now often spotted at luxury hotels and beaches (33 of them) that line Anguilla.
The natives are welcoming and the ambiance soothing.
There’s those blinding, white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. A reputedly spectacular culinary scene (not yet sampled by moi), and all the activities you’d expect in larger resort areas. Yes there’s golf, tennis, scuba, kite surfing and unbridled wedding venues.
It’s never been easy to fly into the island. And I’m sure the locals and elite vacation home owners like it that way. But come December American Airlines if starting non-stop flights from Miami. The carrier will make twice weekly flights into Clayton J Lloyd Intl. Airport.
Otherwise you need to fly via a stop in St. Martin or fly Silver Airways and or Tradewind Aviation from San Juan. And Cape Air, which starts service from St. Thomas in November.
If you want to really get away from it all, Anguilla sounds like just the spot. And an ideal-sounding place to bed down is the soon to open Aurora on Rendezvous Bay. Rates start at $999 a day but you get big bangs for your buck.
Other options include Relais & Chateaux (Quintessence Hotel); Belmond Group (Cap Juluca); LXR Hotels & Resorts (Zemi Beach House), Auberge Resorts Collection (Malliouhana).
Escape, stay, play, relax
- Boat racing – Anguilla’s national pastime with hand crafted boats built and crewed by local communities competing against each other throughout the boat racing season which runs from Easter to August, vying for the prestige and title of champion of champions; a joyous spectacle and loads of fun.
- Night kayaking with Liquid Glow – Prepare to see large turtles, sucker fishes following the turtles’ every move, lobsters crawling on the bottom floor looking for shelter and Ballyhoo fishes that sometimes end up jumping into your kayak. Day excursions go from Crocus Bay over to Little Bay paddling along the cliff side, viewing caves, cactuses growing on the cliff side, sea birds and lots more.
- Tradition Sail – this classic West Indian sloop is one of only two operating Caribbean Sunset sails, or full or half day excursion to Prickly Pear. The food and cocktails are amazing, They carry a maximum of 12 passengers, so it is very intimate and really special.
- The Offshore Cays – Just a short boat ride away, enjoy a fabulous lunch and delicious cocktails on Sandy Island, Prickly Pear or Scilly Cay; play Robinson Crusoe on Scrub Island; excellent snorkeling, sun bathing and watersports are also available. Most excursions also include a stop at Little Bay, a secluded beach accessible only by sea.
It’s interesting that island reps call Anguilla’s entry protocols ‘relaxed”. But you decided for yourself.
Here’s the drift:
- All visitors must be fully vaccinated to enter Anguilla; that is, they must have received their last dose 3 weeks/21 days prior to arrival.
- Visitors must apply for Entry Permission at ivisitanguilla.com
- Visitors must submit a negative result from an rt_PCR test (a nasal swab) taken 3 – 5 days prior to arrival.
- Anguilla is rated Level 1 by the CDC – the lowest possible risk level — due to the island’s successful management and containment of COVID-19.
- While not mandatory, Anguilla authorities strongly suggest having extra travel insurance. In the event you come down with COVID19 you will incur all related travel expenses.
Remember to contact a Pavlus agent for all your vacation needs at 800-528-9300.