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Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

NY, NY
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Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

We traveled to Anguilla for a triple babymoon (yes, two of my girlfriends are also pregnant so we dragged our husbands on vacation together!). We flew to St. Maarten then with little hassle took a cab to the ferry port. This is where things got a bit confusing- we thought we were going to be taking the "public ferry" but ended up getting tickets and waiting for the Link Ferry. It was exactly what you read- HORRIBLE. All of us pregnant women felt nauseas and another woman on the boat actually threw up. They also made everyone sitting on one side get up in the middle of the trip and move so they could open the engine and take a look at something (no explanation provided) It was definitely a horrible experience I would not recommend (dirty, smelly, slow)... (shoulda paid for GB Express...)

We stayed at the Viceroy in a 3 bedroom penthouse suite that overlooked mead's bay (Grasby 342 I believe). It was amazing! The room was so well decorated and HUGE (3.5 baths, washer/dryer/full kitchen). We spent considerable time speculating on how much the room would cost if it was a condo in nyc... that night we took a golf cart to the entrance of the resort and walked (literally a 2 min walk) to the grocery store (i think 95?) and bc we had heard that Anguilla was expensive, we assumed the prices were in US$ and had a heart attack. No, they are in Carribean dollars so everything was quite reasonable in our opinions. It was easy to get back to the hotel (a cab driver driving to pick someone else up at the lobby happily drove us back down the longgggg Viceroy driveway). That night we were too tired to venture out so ate at the Bamboo Grill by the pool. We were pleasantly surprised by the food and all thought it was great (we split pizzas, ribs, jerk chicken and salads).

The next day the weather was overcast (a risk you take going in July) but it was still hot so we sat at the beach- GORGEOUS! and just enjoyed. We made breakfast ourselves in our room and had lunch at Tratoria Tramonto. After reading so-so reviews about it on here, I wasn't expecting much- but it was GREAT! I had a simple penne, but the sauce was fresh- big chunky bits of tomato, fresh slivers of garlic, basil, it was very good. We were the only ones in the restaurant so we had fabulous service and a really nice time. For dinner went to Straw Hat- you can walk to it about 15-20 mins from the Viceroy on the beach, but since it was raining we took a cab. Great meal and very cute atmosphere with live music.

The next day, it was overcast but nonetheless we went to Shoal's Bay. An amazing beach! Very, very pretty. Even without the sun the sand was sparkly white and the water unbelievably blue! loved it! We had luch there (nothing special) then the women headed to the Viceroy spa. We had prenatal massages, which were great but had some issues with service. They told us our appointments were at 2:45, but then when we arrived at 2:40, were told we were too late so our massages would be cut my 15 minutes. Now, I know it is standard to appear early for spa appointment- but they should TELL you to come early, which they didn't. They said that they would give us 20% off, but they never did that either (which we did not have time to complain about during checkout- we were running late). The men went to Smokeys and had an amazing time. That night we had reservations for Veya and Blanchards- we chose to go to Veya and when we got there it was closed! The concierge apparently set up the reservations for us about two weeks before our trip, but then no one informed us that the restaurant was closed and they even sent us off in a cab to Veya. At this point we were STARVING (did I mention we were three pregnant women!) so the cab driver swore he knew a good place. I "think" the name was Ed's oven or something? It was HORRID! The prices were extremely high, and the food inedible. We were all so annoyed that we didn't go to Blanchards... Alas, it is what it is...

The fourth day it rained. ALL day. Luckily we had the covered terrace so we sat outside and enjoyed the plunge pool and just enjoyed being outside! We ordered room service for lunch, which was okay (my husband had to send his cheeseburger back because it was overdone, despite the fact that he confirmed that it would be medium twice), but the pizzas were good. We had dinner at Coba (at the Viceroy)- I really do not recommend this restaurant. We didn't think the service was that great (I had to ask twice for a diet coke and they were very slow with everything) and the food was -eh. Seems like there are way better options to be had elsewhere on the island (should have gone to Picantes! but we got lazy with the rain...)

The last day we had the most amazing weather so woke up early and enjoyed 3 hours of amazing beach time before heading home. This time the guys made sure to find out which shuttle would be the largest and fastest and we ended up on the Deluxe II (which I believe IS one of the public ferries). The trip was night and day compared to the Link. It was fast, clean, safe and no one felt sick.

Anguilla was amazing and we hope to be back soon! (As soon as the little one is ready to fly! lol)

*I would recommend renting a car, taxis are very expensive, since there was 6 of us, it didn't amount to much for us, but if we were only 2 or 3 people would have been a pretty penny...

Alberta, Canada
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1. Re: Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

The LInk you were on is also one of the public ferries, at least if it was the catamaran and left from Marigot. It is confusing, but the Link you have been reading about is one of the airport shuttles. All shuttles are low boats because they go under the bridge into the lagoon. The Link cat from Marigot would not be able to do that.

Realy surprised about your experience at E's oven (if that's where you were brought). E's oven has a very good reputation, we have always had nice dinners there (admittedly never been in July) and it is one of the more reasonably (or less-outrageously) priced restaurants on the island.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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2. Re: Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

Wow, your accomodations sound fabulous. I am thrilled to hear Bamboo is open again at night, I think it is really good, ten times better than Coba.

You must have hit E's on an off night, they are always really good and as AXAregular said, they have good prices too.

Thanks for the trip report and congratulations on your little one.

Ellen

Anguilla
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3. Re: Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

Last I heard, the Executive Chef at Coba was George Reid, formerly of George's at Cap Juluca, who the Minister of Labour forced Viceroy to hire. It is not a happy relationship, which we see reflected in the food and service.

I was sorry to read your report about E's Oven, which has always been one of my favourite reasonably-priced restaurants.

A lack of leadership in the ports directorate (and the failure of the Tourist Board and Tourism Ministry to intercede) has resulted in a lack of service standards that allow boats to navigate the waters of opportunism. Reports such as yours are important in awakening those responsible. Either things change or we become St. Maarten.

IslandBoy

Hatfield...
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4. Re: Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

Sounds like a mixed bag but that you enjoyed Viceroy and Anguilla overall--hope you'll be back with your new addition to your family.

I'm very surprised to read that the concierge still sent you to Veya and that they didn't reconfirm your reservations. We luckily ate at Veya on the last night they closed before their summer vacation and were surprised to hear we almost missed them--what an unfortunate night for y'all!

Naples, Florida
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5. Re: Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

Wow. E's Oven has always been superb when we've been there -- the coconut & rum sauced grouper is worth the trip alone must have been a very off night. BTW, if you thought E's prices were high, be glad you didn't get to Blanchard's.

Devon, Pennsylvania
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6. Re: Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

First, congrats to you and friends on your additions! We do hope you get back to Anguilla with the bambino(s). Shame about missing Veya and shame on the Viceroy staff for flubbing that one! Next time! It is really a fabulous dining experience. As to E's Oven, you really had an unusual experience there. It is a fave of most Anguilla regulars. Last trip we had friends with us for a week of our three there and they loved E's best of all. Excellent food, nice service, and very reasonable for fine dining in AXA. Perhaps you'll give them a try next visit. As for the ferries, we've done both private and public and, frankly, prefer public because the boats are bigger and in rough seas, can be less stomach-churning. Sounds like the weather has been odd lately so you likely encountered rougher seas than normal. Our trip in Feb this year found a rough ride to AXA on the public and we had higher winds and more rain than usual. Can't do much about the weather as they say.

Thanks for your trip report! Hope you get back to AXA soon and, yes, rent a car--so much to see and places to eat!

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

Well I guess you got the message about E's Oven! Really one of the more reasonable places and normally their food is super. I never cared for their service and that's the only reason I don't return, but their homemade soups and 1/2 chicken are legend. Believe me when I say you would NOT have been happier with the alternative. You are Gothamites!

I am shocked about the lack of professional service at Viceroy, of all places. You'd think they'd be up on things like reservations for their guests.

The reason we do not ever think about taking the ferries anymore is for just the reason you stated. You can never know which ferry you'll be lucky (or unlucky) enough to get. Sometimes the seas are rough, like in March when the crossing was fierce, -- from the airport shuttle boat yet -- so there is no way I will ever chance a ferry again. Plus the time it takes to drive there from the airport could be less time that my feet touch the sand.

All the happiness in the world with your wee ones.

AXA will be awaiting all of you with its proverbial smiles.

Leesburg, Florida
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8. Re: Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

I too was surprised at your E's Oven comments. First negative post I've ever seen. Have eaten there 20+ times and it has always been excellent. Not a lot of atmosphere but very good food at a moderate price. Vernon Hughes and his wife may not have been there that night. The grouper and half roasted chicken are great. You would have paid twice as much if not more at Blanchards. You probably could have gotten in without a reservation as when we ate there two weeks ago it was only half full. Since you were at Veya you could have gone down to Sandy Ground and had dinner at Barrel Stay, Dolce Vita or Sand Bar. Blame it on the cab driver !!!

NoVa
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9. Re: Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

Way back in '99, we stayed at Cinnamon Reef and George Reid was the chef at the restaurant there - and the food was fantastic!! We went to Coba last week and it seemed the style of cooking was not what we experienced at Cinnamon Reef, and because of that, not as good.

Devon, Pennsylvania
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10. Re: Trip Report- June 30th-July 4th @ the Viceroy

Wow, you were a Cinnamon Reef in '99? We were there in '93 when it was for sale and was clearly heading south. Thought they sold it so maybe you were there with new owner? Have you gone down there to see it? Really sad, just falling apart. We heard when we were there in Feb that the property was bought and something was going up there. Any truth to that? IslandBoy, do you know?