Anguilla was actually different than I expected. We have visited many of the Caribbean Islands, including Providenciales, Grand Cayman, Bahamas (Paradise and Harbour Island), Bermuda, St. John, Virgin Gorda, St. Thomas, St. Martin, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, staying in villas at each except Grand Cayman. Based on tales about restaurant quality and the large number of high end villas and hotels, we sort of expected Anguilla to be most like Provo. Our actual experience was that it was most similar to Virgin Gorda, even leaving the topographical differences aside. By that, I simply mean that outside the hotels and villas directly on the beach, the place is less developed than I expected, maybe a little more run down. A good measure of this is the number of half-finished houses, seemingly abandoned, and wild dogs. Anguilla has plenty of both. Though, as advertised, there are also great hotels (Cap Juluca looked beautiful and the Four Seasons is a stunning and enormous property), great villas and great restaurants. All in all, if you prefer lack of development, I would probably recommend Virgin Gorda over Anguilla and if you prefer a more upscale and tidy place, I would probably recommend Provo, but just because an island isn't your absolute favorite island doesn't mean you didn't like it. We certainly enjoyed Anguilla.
The Elements Villas and Long Bay Beach in general were fantastic. The beach was deep and the sand was great. The ocean along the whole stretch was sandy, not rocky. There are rocks and coral about 15-20 feet in across the whole stretch, but the ocean gets deep enough fast enough that that didn't inhibit playing/swimming in the ocean in front of where the rocks/coral started. The beach was almost deserted at all times. The only people we ever saw were people staying at the other villa in Elements and there is more than enough ocean frontage that that didn't take away from the privacy at all. Lots of spots to get out of the sun down at the beach (the boat house and then also tables and chairs with umbrellas under the trees). While not in the same category as T&C or some places in the Bahamas, the water in Anguilla is a lovely blue, pretty typical of what you find in the US and British VIs, and there were no seaweed issues while we were there. The snorkeling from the shore right in front of the villas was ok. Certainly not in the category of the Caymans or even VG, but fun enough for kids. We saw lots of "lobsters" and fish, though no real reef, more rocks with some coral.
The service at the villas was the right level for us. Someone made breakfast in the morning and mixed drinks in the afternoon, but not a full chef service (we prefer to go out for dinner). The villas interiors were stunning. The tennis courts were in excellent condition. There was guy at the boat house to help with the kayaks and paddle board if you needed the help. They set up beach chairs and umbrellas every morning and also brought out water and drinks if you wanted.
The only negative I would offer about the villas is lack of a skype phone, though the villa's wifi was excellent. If you are planning on doing some work while on vacation, dealing with getting a cell signal and trying to connect to US toll free conf. call numbers was a nuisance.
Among the restaurants we went to, Coba was by far the best and the most stunning, though Pimms at Cap Juluca and Veya were also terrific. While it certainly wasn't bad, I'm not sure I would put Blanchard's in the same category. Because we were a party of 6, we had to make reservations every night and fill out a form with a CC authorization in advance and pdf it back to them, which is just irritating and I've never encountered it on any other island.