Hi! It's Karen from Karen Vincent Solutions.
The short version about Anguilla and The Belmond Cap Juluca is…YOU…MUST…GO! Now, I will go into the longer version. When looking for a “beach vacation”, I like to try to find new places to visit. I have been to many amazing beach locations that I would visit again without a doubt, however, I also like exploring new places which is how we ended up going to Anguilla.
When looking for a great place to go for our ten-year anniversary, where we could unwind and spend quality time together, I kept noticing this small island in beautiful pictures on the internet and in travel magazines. The long, white sand beaches and perfectly clear blue / green water kept catching my attention over and over, so I started to really consider it for our vacation, and I am so glad I did.
Anguilla is in the eastern Caribbean Sea and is a British overseas territory. It is a flat island and is sixteen miles long and a little over three miles wide at the widest part and despite being so small, it has a total of thirty-three gorgeous beaches! Although there is a small airport on the island, the best way to get to Anguilla is from St. Martin by taking a twenty-five to thirty-minute ferry ride. Take note…it can be choppy but it’s well worth the bumpy ride to get to this amazing island paradise.
In doing my research, I initially discovered several very nice resorts on the island and after additional, research I decided to book us at the Belmond Cap Juluca luxury resort located on the southwest end of the island on Maunday’s Bay…which was a great decision!
We arrived on the island and I was immediately happy and relaxed being surround by the ocean and feeling the warm ocean breeze on my skin. We took a taxi to the resort where we were greeted with warm and welcoming smiles, breath taking views and a delicious cocktail in the stunning open-air lobby while our bags were taken from us and brought to our room.
The resort is absolutely gorgeous, in great part due to a recent $121 million renovation. Cap Juluca has Greco-Moorish architecture and sits on a white crescent beach with soft sand and beautiful, turquioise water. It offers both private villas with butler service, golf carts for getting around the resort and some have private pools, as well as individual rooms. Each room at the resort faces the gorgeous ocean. Our room was spacious and absolutely perfect with a large bathroom with a solarium, a sitting area and a large furnished balcony overlooking the beach and ocean.
Before heading to the beach on our first day, we ate lunch outside while enjoying breathtaking views. I had the lobster salad sandwich at Maundays Club which was the best I’ve ever had. This restaurant also serves Peruvian tapas in the evening. All the food throughout our stay was amazing. The complimentary breakfast buffet was a great way to start each day. There were a ton of food options and we ate breakfast while looking out at the beach and resort, talking about how we would spend each day.
For dinner, the fresh lobster, scallops and fish were second to none. There was a great variety of both healthy and indulgent options at Pimms restaurant which is a romantic, fine dining experience of Anguillian and Carribbean cuisine, as well as at Cips by Cipriani, which has a more casual, Italian menu.
All onsite restaurants offer incredible views of the ocean, beach and resort along with the sound of the waves in the background while you are dining. There is a garden and greenhouse right on the resort property providing fresh, local vegetables used in the outstanding dishes. In terms of the food, there is surely something for everyone. The wine selection was excellent, and the service was outstanding.
At Pimms restaurant, we were greeted at the door by a wonderful hostess who asked us if we would like to wash our hands with some locally made salt scrub. While we thought this was a little outside the ordinary, we agreed and were given a scoop of an amazing smelling and skin softening salt scrub that we used to wash our hands at the sink located right at the reception desk area.
My husband was definitely a little uncomfortable about this until he felt how soft and silky his hands were after using the scrub. He turned to the hostess of this fine dining restaurant and said, “My hands are so smooth, I hope my fork does not slip right out of them while I am trying to eat!” I am pretty certain she has never had anyone say that to her before based on her laugh out loud response which continued throughout the entire time she was seating us at our table. The “outside the ordinary” experience quickly became a great experience and the next day we went to the spa and bought some of the salt scrub to take home with us.
We unfortunately missed the famous weekly Belmond Cap Juluca beach barbecue which sounds amazing. Strings of lights and tiki torches are set up on the beach where dinner is served. The meal includes a wide variety of barbecue and side dishes plus small bite desserts. The food includes a variety of salads, Johnny cakes which is an Anguilla classic food, swordfish, pork chops, roast beef and crayfish. We will be sure to not miss this feast on our next visit.
A pleasant surprise was the nightly champagne reception on the patio of Maundays Bay restaurant, overlooking the beach and ocean. Guests who are interested are taught how to saber a champagne bottle. Yup…that’s right.
Guests are handed a sword and encouraged to pop the top off the bottle with it. It was really fun to watch…and to try. I am proud to say that I nailed in on my first try!
Once the bottles are opened, the staff walk around and serve guests what seems like a very generous amount of champagne. We spent time taking in the views and the gorgeous sunset while recapping our day trying to savor each moment of bliss.
Now, back to the beach which was possibly one of the most pristine beaches in the world…at least from what I have seen! While eating our breakfast we watched the resort staff comb the beach each day to ensure it was perfect. Comfortable chairs with large umbrellas are spaced out down the long, white sand beach which never felt crowded.
We had the nicest beach attendant who quickly came over, set up towels on our chairs and gave us a small cooler with four bottles of water. He was also available as needed to bring drinks and food right to our beach chairs...or to the edge of the water when we were floating in the ocean.
While sitting on the beach was wonderful, we could not stay out of the warm, clear Maunday’s Bay water for very long. The temperature was warm, it was calm and so very relaxing. We spent hours swimming around and just floating on rafts and talking in the water. Without the distraction of electronics, chores, work and other day to day pressure, my husband and I were able to just be with one another, talk for hours and savor the amazing experience we were having in Anguilla and at The Belmond Cap Juluca.
We took a couple long walks down to the other end of the beach where, in addition to a small tiki bar at about the mid-point of the beach, there is The Cap Shack tiki bar restaurant. This is an open restaurant on the beach that serves a tasty lunch of salads, burgers, sandwiches and tacos made in the food truck that sits right next to the restaurant.
You read that correctly…The Belmond Cap Juluca luxury resort has a food truck right on the beach! You can sit at the bar or at small tables with your feet in the warm sand. There is also a cornhole game or beach volleyball for those who want to just have a drink or two and enjoy the calypso and reggae music and beach bar atmosphere. We sat listening to Caribbean music while enjoying our tasty lunch and the friendliness of the staff.
While the goal at a place this beautiful should be to unplug, unwind, reconnect and enjoy the beauty, there is also plenty to do at Cap Juluca. There are tennis courts with a resident tennis pro available for lessons and coaching as well as a basketball court and croquet lawn.
There is a state-of-the-art fitness center and the beautiful Arawak spa with its own pool, relaxation area and two outdoor treatment cabanas in addition to the traditional treatment rooms.
The water sports are extensive. Non-motorized water activities are complementary for all guests and include snorkeling gear, Hobi Wave Catamarans or Sunfish sailboats, kayaks, wind surfing and many rafts and floats. The resort will also help coordinate other boating trips including water skiing, snorkeling and diving trips. There is also a golf course nearby. Complimentary bikes are always available to resort guests.
On our last day in Anguilla, my husband went scuba diving while I enjoyed my last few, precious hours at the resort reading by the gorgeous pool that overlooks the ocean.
It was so peaceful, and the friendly attendant made sure I had everything I needed including towels, sunscreen, food and drink. Throughout our entire stay, the staff were attentive and friendly, the upkeep of the resort was impeccable, the food was amazing, the views were incredible, and the memories are priceless.
The resort arranged a semi-private boat transfer back to St. Martin which was a very nice, seaworthy boat and a much smoother ride than on the public ferry we took on the way over. I cannot recommend The Belmond Cap Juluca enough and cannot wait to return!
For information another amazing Belmond property, check out my blog St. Martin - The Belmond La Samanna.
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