We couldn’t have made a better choice for our honeymoon – 5 days on Anguilla and 5 days on St. Barts. Well, I take that back. We should have stayed 7 days on each, but who’s counting!? With the most beautiful beaches and delicious food, we would recommend either in a second! Check out some of our favorite spots…
Anguila was the more economical of the two islands, though it would be hard to classify it as such. It’s all expensive, but you are paying for fantastic resorts and truly the best water and swimming that I’ve seen. Anguilla is completely suitable for a couple’s getaway or a family vacation, and neither need to collide. Rent a car so that you can get around to check out different beaches and restaurants. It’s easier and less expensive than taxis.
CuisinArt Resort – with no affiliation to the well-known kitchen appliance-maker, CuisinArt is unpretentious, but full of amenities. Besides the protected beach which we found to be the best for swimming on island, it has a number of dining options, a spa, one of the best hotel gyms that I’ve seen, spacious rooms, complimentary full breakfast each day and free bottled water at the pool and beach. The hotel also employs one of the best bartenders that we found, Sam, at the beach bar. He makes some mean vacation-cocktails such as pina colada and rum punch. A special feature to the hotel is their hydroponic farm that supplies the hotel and restaurants with all of their vegetables. You can take a tour and you should. Dr. Resh is the mind behind the farm and has it down to a science. The salads we had for lunch were amazing! Our only constructive comment is that the common spaces of the hotel are a little outdated. They make it up with a true island feel, great service and amenities. Though there are some other nice resorts out there, we felt like we made the right decision given CuisinArt’s strengths.
Other resorts to check out are: Cap Juluca – beautiful beach and free water sports, but seems quite pretentious. Viceroy – beautiful facility and a scene like you would expect in Vegas or NYC, but not really a Caribbean feel. We say go for a drink, lunch or dinner at these resorts and stay at Cuisinart for a true island experience.
Tokyo Bay – At the CuisinArt resort, we felt very lucky to have this Japanese gem a mere walk from our room. It was a beautifully designed restaurant and some of the best food that we had. Eat sushi, a la carte or teppanyaki. We did all three as we ate here twice (it was that good!) and you can’t go wrong.
KoalKeel – For a great island dinner, head to KoalKeel. They pick you up and drop you off from your hotel, free of charge. It’s an old plantation with good food, nice wine list, awesome wine cellar, rum tasting and relaxed atmosphere. Your meal ends with a tour of the property. Fun!
Blanchard’s – a Vermont couple opened this restaurant years ago. The atmosphere is perfect while dining in the open-air, overlooking a beautiful garden. The owner came around and spoke with us, sharing a special story about his father. Intimate setting with delicious food and drinks.
Picante – a Mexican restaurant reminiscent of those in California. The couple that owns it is actually from Marin, North of San Francisco. We had the best chili con carne for an appetizer and a mighty good margarita. It ranks close to the top in terms of Mexican food we’ve had in the Bay Area (which can be quite good!). Low key and less expensive than other dining options on the island.
Sandy Island – Hop on a boat to this perfect little island – a simple 20 minute ride. Go for lunch at the one and only beach restaurant and digest while laying on what feels like your own private island. It’s super relaxing and quiet. Plan to spend a half a day. Not to miss!
Dune Preserve – Bankie Banx, the famous Anguillan reggae singer has a beach bar near the Cuisinart Hotel – just a short walk down the beach. When in town, Bankie Banx himself plays in the evenings. We were lucky enough to catch him on our stay. It’s romantic, laid back and a perfect way to end a day on the beach. For some local flavor, you’ve got to check it out!
If I had to choose where to go today, I’d go back to Anguilla. It was the ultimate relaxation destination! However, St. Barts was right up there, just with a bigger price tag, shopping, and nightlife.