We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,092 posts
33 reviews
Save Topic
Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

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.

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
493 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

Thank you so much for sharing! I am a big Cuisinart fan as well and will be returning there for our fourth stay this November. I agree about the beach chairs- I don't know why they don't get new ones! I had been hoping that maybe they had been replaced! Is it too much to hope that maybe it will happen over their fall break?

Interesting about Bankie's one bedroom units- where are they exactly?

Naples, Florida
Destination Expert
for Anguilla
Level Contributor
2,942 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

Bankie as a landlord/; hotel proprietor? Huh.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anguilla, The Valley
Level Contributor
9,577 posts
276 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

Hi ILD, I enjoyed your very newsy report, thank you for taking the time. RB is my favorite beach too, we really enjoyed The Place in April, and I agree, it is so sad to see the hotel in such a state.

That is very interesting about Bankies, I am sure he will fill up during Moonsplash, guess he is thinking about his children's future...good for him.

Thanks again for your time, enjoy your stay, it goes way too fast.

Ellen

PS - that flight on AAE sounds dreadful, you poor thing.

Ellen

Mystic, CT
Level Contributor
2,565 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

Cast my vote for new chairs at Cuisinart as well. I've only stayed there once, and to be honest, wouldn't go back because of those chairs!

When I was there in May, the Cuisinart/Bankie's section of Rendezvous was very windy the whole time. I was at Cap Juluca, and it was even windy there most days.

Hatfield...
Level Contributor
1,812 posts
107 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

Thanks for your chatty and newsy on-the-ground reporting. I also like your nod to Bill Bryson with your TR title!

When you were at The Place, where were you sitting that you got rained on? Was it on the covered deck, or on the sand under cover? I ask because when we were there during a pretty heavy cloudburst we got a little damp from raining blowing in, but not from rain leaking down from above. We were on the sand under cover.

Does Cuisinart happen to offer you a package deal on two rooms during the offseason? That would be nice to have the extra space like that.

Thanks, and keep 'em coming!

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,092 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

Hello all. Not sure if anyone was going to be interested to read so it's nice to catch up.

Anne. Maybe it's too much to hope for. After all we've been coming for years and complaining about this. I will be asking the GM when he returns to the island because it IS a big deal. The units at The Dune are to the right if you are standing on the beach. They will have kitchens as well.

Mary. Mmm. Well yes I see what you mean. He's never gonna be a hotel proprietor (!) but it would be perfect for people coming for Moonsplash.

Ellen. I'm sure Bankie is considering his children's future. It is an investment and the whole thing seems well planned ( I do property development in the UK). The lower ground floor is an open space which could be used as a party/private music venue if you rented the 3 units. I think it will do well at certain times the year

Mstvl. I will be "mentioning" the chairs and parasols to the GM when he returns. I don't think they realise what an important issue this is to their beach loving/non-golfing guests i.e.most of us.

Emily. That was a bit of a nod to you as your posts/blog have been so helpful to me and I know,like me, you are a Bill Bryson fan. At The Place we sat on the covered deck just outside the main building to the left as you look from the beach. Even the couch area covered by the canvas tent was swamped! We liked the menu and will definitely return in more settled weather. Cuisinart offer various packages. We opt for the "friends and family" package where we pay for one beachfront suite band the second is discounted. We are creatures of habit and the arrangement works well for us.

Sorry this is not a proper trip report but writing "down to the beach- up from the beach" for a whole week would be too boring.

Edited: 2:49 pm, July 16, 2013
Devon, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
1,006 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

ILD,

"Blissful Indolence" is a perfect description of what we do as well and boring it is NOT. Anguilla is the only place my DH will sit all day and read books (as opposed to having to read tons of non-fiction or fiction, depending on one's viewpoint, for work). But for our trips to walk on Rendezvous Beach every day, Meads and SBE on occasion, and dining out or stopping at Geraud's, we enjoy "blissful indolence" in a villa most every day for three weeks. Nice gig--do enjoy!

Those of us not currently there, do so enjoy reports from you, Emily, and others reminding us of the lovely beaches, great food and charming people because your reports allow us to be there with you, if only vicariously.

Since we only walk on RBV and not sit on the beach chairs, I cannot comment. I'm trying to picture where Banky is building 3 units. They must be practically on top of Cusinart's beach bar if they are to the right of the Dune.

When we were there in February, there were 3 buildings with 2 or 3 units each rehabbed at the old RBV hotel and several of them were rented out, one long term to a lovely lady named Nancy, who has been going to AXA for many years. Are the units deteriorating again? We had been told they were going to keep moving down the beach rehabbing and reopening units gradually. Agree, that's the nicest end of RBV. Did the washout in front of Cusi's bar area come back? There was quite a drop off there in February.

Thanks so much for taking the time and we do hope you keep doing so. Let us know which dining spots you hit so we can go see your reviews.

Minnetrista...
Level Contributor
272 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

What a terrific report. I too are among the many who love Rendezvous. It is our favorite beach as well. I really identified with your comments about never losing the thrill when you take that first walk on it. I feel the same. Cuisi is our favorite as well. It's just a relaxing, nice caribbean feel good place to stay with excellent service. You are a great writer, and with your years of experience coming to the island, I'd love to hear more!

Wilmington, North...
Level Contributor
36 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

We will be back at Cuisinart in November (3rd time in 3 years). We also love it there. Make sure to visit Sam at the bar and tell him that his North Carolina friends said hi!

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
275 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Notes From A very Small Island : ("Trip Report" week 1)

Iluvdanny, great TR!! Anguilla for 3 weeks? Oh my, that's fantastic! How was the journey to get to Anguilla 25 years ago?

Rendezvous Beach is our favorite too and I also agree that Cuisinart definitely needs to get new beach loungers.