We have been holidaying in Anguilla for the past 25 years and this time we are staying for three weeks. To be honest our time is spent doing a lot of nothing with long periods of blissful indolence so I can't really do the usual trip report because so many days are filled with the same inactivity. I'm no writer but I have enjoyed sharing other travellers' experiences so I thought I would contribute some "notes" at the end of each week.
Travel :- Our Virgin Atlantic flight was on time and we we met in Antigua by a representative of Anguilla Air Services. The trip to Anguilla was quick but incredibly noisy ( we previously flew with Transanguilla Airways and they provided earphones). I got off the plane with my ears ringing but managed to successfully lipread my way through immigration. I love Anguilla's taxi drivers. They are so laid back and it was not difficult to persuade our man to take the short cut into Cuisinart instead of following the rules and driving through the golf course entrance. These few precious minutes saved meant we arrived at our welcoming rum punch in good time.
Cuisinart :- We always stay at Cuisinart. We love the layout of the resort and the members of staff are always so welcoming. We have the same set of rooms each time; the whole top floor of villa nine which gives us a sitting room between the two bedrooms. Having so many friends on the island who come to visit we like it that we aren't entertaining in our bedrooms and have the extra space. The guest bathroom comes in handy too when we've all been swimming or sailing. Not much has changed since our stay last year except some new darker tiling smartening up the pool and some new, pretty landscaping. Also the hotel now provides insulated cool bags for ice and water on the beach - this is a nice idea and I'm sure it reduces the total number of plastic bottles used. The beach chairs are still terrible. I cannot understand why they think it's worth spending a fortune on the golf course used by the few and penny-pinching on beach chairs used by everybody. Last year I was told they would be replaced. Er when?
Beach :- To me The Beach is Rendezvous Bay. I never lose the thrill of walking along that magnificent crescent of white sand and gazing out at the fabulous turquoise water. I've admired other beaches in the island but they haven't hooked me quite like Rendezvous Bay did the first time I saw it all those years ago. The Rendezvous Bay Hotel is now looking so shabby apart from one two storey unit in the middle which has been reroofed, painted and has had new windows installed. This only makes the rest of this once-lovely building look more dilapidated. Such a shame as I think that part of the beach is the prettiest.
Dining :- I will post my dining reviews in the restaurants section but as I've just been writing about the beach I thought I would comment in the lunch options on Rendezvous Bay. Garvey's Sunshine Shack was closed for the first few days of our stay which was a bit disappointing but we were happy to see him open up and we enjoyed two lovely lunches there. He serves his grilled food with a little avocado salad, coleslaw and garlic bread which is nice. The Place was a new dining venue for us and having read good things about it we were keen to try it. We went with a couple of friends who live on the island. Service was really slow but we had lots of news to catch up on so we relaxed and enjoyed our drinks and waited..... Eventually the food came which was good but was swiftly followed by the rain which was bad. Water poured through the roof beneath which we were seated as if there was no roof at all! We swiftly finished our lunches and left as we didn't wish to shelter inside where a trial was playing loudly on the TV. I think it's a nice addition to the beach with its cheerful yellow parasols and would certainly be a pleasant spot to spend the day if you were holidaying in a different part of the island. We will definitely return.
Shopping :- We really only buy drinks and snacks and Foods 95 is usually our first stop as it's nearest. This time the selection wasn't very good (no crisps or nuts at all) and the section which used to house wines and spirits is now a boutique area selling t-shirts etc. I can only imagine that they have made this change because of the new Bestbuy coming but I think they're a bit early. We ended up getting most of our shopping at Mingz instead.
Extras:- We are considering dividing our time for a future holiday between Cuisinart and a villa so we arranged to look around Songbird as it's in our preferred area of the island. I thought it was lovely. The pool was very nice and the view over the salt pond looking towards the trees with sea beyond was beautiful. Plus they have a golf cart with sun chairs we would be able to drive to Rendezvous Bay.
Garvey now has a Hobie Cat you can take out. Small but nice.
Bankie is building 3 one-bedroomed units next to The Dune. These should be finished next year. There will be a private entrance and the designs are lovely making the most of the marvellous views without being too high.
Weather for our first few days was very, very windy ( maybe something to do with storm Chantal). Walking along the beach was very challenging in one direction and then brisk with wind assistance going the other way. This windy weather seemed to keep the mozzies away because none of us got a single bite, yippee! Since day three it has been typical for this time of year with glorious long sunny days and just the occasional very short shower. Here's hoping it continues like that for the rest of our trip.