We recently took a quick jaunt to the Caribbean and wanted to provide a short write up on what we believe should be your first stop in the islands. After a short 45-minute ferry ride from Saint Maarten you’ll find an island paradise filled with sapphire waters, slow paced island life, and perhaps most importantly – seafood seafood seafood. We visited Anguilla for a three-night, four-day weekend recently and we want to share the best of the best to make your visit smooth, relaxing and the absolutely perfect escape to the Caribbean that you’ve been looking for to warm up and recharge the batteries this winter.
First, let’s start with the basics. We flew JetBlue non-stop from JFK to SXM. Quick, convenient, easy, it fits the bill. Upon arrival you literally walk across the street to the ferry terminal for departure to Anguilla. While you can take the public ferry to access the island we recommend that you take the semi-private GB ferry service to make it easy. We were running a few minute early from our flight and GB held the ferry with four other passengers for us for a few minutes so we could get over to the island and few minutes earlier than expected – great service all around. Enjoy the quick 45-minute ride to Anguilla before arrival and grabbing your rental car at Andy’s car rental. Andy’s was the pick here mainly because of the close proximity to the ferry terminal in Anguilla (approx. 50 feet), so why not keep it simple. (Note here – best to rent a car for your visit, it’s a small island and easy to navigate, just remember to drive on the left side of the road...)
Next stop, lodging – our top recommendation is the luxurious Zemi Beach Club. Awesome staff and beautiful beach make it a total no-brainer for those looking to have a relaxing beach front paradise for Anguillian home base. Four Seasons is of course an easy favorite, but this time the pick is Zemi for the beach and the boutique-like feel. To save a few bucks there are also Air BB’s literally next-door at the Fountain Hotel that will work great as well.
Now for the food, there are a plethora of incredible options while on the island, so the recommendations here certainly are not exhaustive of the great haunts but will give you a very strong start. For dinner our top recommendations are Blanchard’s, Dolce Vita, Tasty’s and Ocean Echo. Base your itinerary on the overall feel you are looking for. Blanchard’s is a classic, so mark that as a must, as well as Dolce Vita – Lex and I agreed this has been the best Italian-seafood restaurant we have ever been to. Tasty’s has amazing food with a fun and reassuring local presence, while Ocean Echo has the beach-front dining you dream about. Anywhere you go just make sure to eat as many Anguillian cray fish as you can! Ocean Echo is located on our second favorite beach on the island, known as Meads Bay, as a quick and incredibly important aside, let’s break those down... there's Meads Bay, Shoals Bay (where Zimi and Fountain Hotel are located), the Four Seasons which stretches from Barnes Bay to Meads Bay, the quaint and cute Elvis Beach Bar area known as Sandy Ground, and many more.
Lunch and late night – let’s make it quick and easy: Sunshine Shack for wonderful and fresh casual fare on Rendezvous Bay beach, Elvis’s for the best fish tacos around - big side note here – Elvis’s is a must for after dinner drinks and island games, no need to further elaborate here other than the fact that I beat a local islander and left this gentleman in absolute awe after the ultimate connect four dual, just go and enjoy, it’s an absolute must.
Lastly, our favorite rum punch – Elvis’s rum punch, actually made by Elvis. Don’t trust us, watch the travel channel. The owner, Brett, is awesome and after a short visit on the island we are pleased to call him a friend. Also note - if you have time, Sandy Island and Prickly Pear are great day trips.
While some of the Island is still in recovery from Hurricane Irma, there are many spots that are as beautiful and inviting as ever. Warm up your winter - or summer! - with an unforgettable weekend getaway to the beautiful blue waters of Anguilla. And Please - tell Elvis we say hi!