Anguilla is an overseas British Territory in the eastern Caribbean Sea. This tiny country, a total of 35 square miles, has some of the most incredible stretches of pristine sand in the Caribbean. Its 33 beaches dot the 16-mile-long and 3-mile-wide (at its widest) coast. The sun, pure white sand, and turquoise blue water (hovering around 70 degrees) are the hallmarks of this lovely place and are found at each property on this list — but that’s the only similarity. The resorts range from affordable to luxurious and all are steps from the glorious sea.
This stunning coral land mass is part of the Leeward chain about 11 miles north of St. Maarten and is considered one of the best-kept secrets in the Caribbean. You can fly into Princess Juliana International Airport on St. Maarten and reach Anguilla by ferry in about 30 minutes or by a short hopper flight in 8 minutes. You can also fly directly from Miami on American Airlines to Clayton J. Lloyd Airport.
The following properties, in no particular order, are some of Anguilla’s best for incredible stays on this breathtaking island.
Note: I was a guest of the Anguilla Tourist Board during my stay. I visited each property on this list, and all opinions are my own.
1. Frangipani Beach Resort
Frangipani Beach Resort invites you to experience “Barefoot Luxury” on Meads Bay. The 24-room resort focuses on sustainability and offers many unique amenities such as the award-winning restaurant, Straw Hat, right on the property. The rooms are gorgeous, and all face the ocean including a 5,000-square-foot four-bedroom beachfront villa that you can rent with your family or friends.
The onsite amenities include a gym, tennis court, boutique, spa, beachfront water sports, and exclusive beach hopping trips on their private boat. You can lounge at the ocean-facing infinity pool or relax under a palapa at the beach. Every Wednesday, the resort hosts an all-guest cocktail reception with delicious hors d’oeuvres, wine, and cocktails, including the most delicious rum punch.
This property boasts a return guest rate of 60 percent, and during the holidays that number jumps to 85 percent. I can see why Frangipani is consistently booked because once you stay here, you feel like part of the family.
2. Carimar Beach Club
Carimar Beach Club is also on Meads Bay and is also very laid back. This all-villa property has 36 years of history and is “dedicated to creating a personalized vacation experience for guests.” It started in October 1984 as a birthday present for author Francine Jacobs. She wanted a special place to visit on her beloved island.
By December 1985, it became the first condominium residence in Anguilla with 24 spacious villas and a vacation spot for owners and visitors. It is consistently rated highly, offers great value, and is dedicated to sustainability to preserve the beauty of Anguilla.
3. Quintessence Hotel Relais & Châteaux
Quintessence is tucked into a hillside above Long Bay Beach. This five-star luxury property is elegant and feels like you’re staying in a private mansion. The acclaimed Chef Dominique Thevenet offers an extraordinary dining experience of Caribbean and French fusion at Julian’s Restaurant with 2,000 bottles of wine selected from cellars from around the world.
Amenities include a state-of-the-art fitness center, The Aidan Spa, an outdoor yoga pavilion, infinity pool, billiards room, tennis court, a curated boutique, and 24-hour butler service. And of course, the pristine white sand and impossibly blue water on Long Bay. There are 9 incredible suites and brand-new, on-property “Q” villas with the same incredible offerings at a lower price point.
An incredible art collection of Haitian and local art decorates this exceptional property.
4. Malliouhana, Auberge Resorts Collection
Malliouhana is iconic. Situated between Meads Bay and Turtle Cove Beach, it opened 30 years ago and put Anguilla on the map as a luxury getaway. Under new ownership (Auberge Resorts), Malliouhana’s updated and luxurious oceanfront accommodations “set the standard for modern-day island glamour.” The bi-level freshwater infinity pool overlooks the Caribbean Sea and features poolside beverages and dining.
The beaches offer sugar-white sand and crystal-clear water and there you’ll enjoy complimentary kayaks, paddle boards, and Hobie Cats or curated boat cruises. One of my favorite options is a rum tasting with an in-house “rummelier.” There are three dining venues at Malliouhana — Celeste for classic fare, Bar Soleil for incredible sunsets, and Leon’s at Meads Bay with toes in the sand Caribbean dining. Families will enjoy the kids club for the ultimate relaxing vacation.
5. The Manoah Boutique Hotel
The Manoah has that perfect spot on one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Shoal Bay East. The sand is spotless, the waves are gentle and the water shimmers under the glorious Anguillan sun. The Manoah has a gorgeous pool with a bar and ocean-front restaurant nearby mere steps away from the sand. The resort’s amenities include a spa, fitness center, sauna, and steam room. The rooms are designed to offer modern luxury with oversized floor plans and amazing ocean views.
The restaurant serves world-class cuisine that’s a mix of Caribbean and international and two beach bars to enjoy a rum punch while watching the sun set closing the perfect Anguilla day. The Presidential Penthouse boasts three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room, a fully equipped kitchen, a laundry room, and a balcony overlooking the beautiful 2.5-mile-long stretch of sand.
6. Belmond Cap Juluca
Cap Juluca is an enchanting, Moroccan-inspired luxury property on Maundays Bay. The ocean-front accommodations include 64 rooms (some with private plunge pools), 44 suites, four restaurants, and a cocktail lounge. Pimms is one of the most romantic restaurants on the island and Cips by Cipriani is a nod to their sister hotel, Cipriani in Venice, Italy. Once you arrive, you’ll enjoy the Arawak Spa, an infinity pool, and activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, tennis, and golf.
Your room comes with two lounge chairs with an oversized umbrella, complimentary chilled towels, water, and sorbet all day. You can book a fishing experience or sail to Prickly Pear, a cay with wonderful reefs to explore with resident sea turtles swimming by. Here at Maundays Bay, the crescent of sand is calm and protected; it’s the perfect place to water-ski or windsurf. You can learn how with Cap Jaluca’s onsite instructors.
7. Aurora Anguilla Resort
Aurora Anguilla Resort is on gorgeous Rendezvous Bay. This resort is huge (178 rooms) and situated on over 300 acres. There are seven restaurants, a spa, and the ultimate golf experience at the one and only golf course on the island. The Greg Norman-designed course is experiencing a renovation and renaissance that will challenge even the most seasoned golfer. The resort was formerly the Cuisinart Resort and under new ownership is receiving some new amenities like an enormous water park that includes a lazy river, and private charter flights into Anguilla for groups between four and 35 people.
If you opt to fly to St. Maarten, Aurora has a sea shuttle to get you back and forth from the neighboring island. Wellness activities include guided hikes, bicycles, tennis and pickle ball, outdoor movie nights, s’mores on the beach, and guided cave tours with the Anguilla National Trust & Katouche Tours.
8. Four Seasons Resort And Residences Anguilla
The Four Seasons is nestled on Meads Bay but also faces Barnes Bay Beach — two stunning vistas. There are 16 different types of accommodations ranging from guest rooms and suites to stand-alone villas, townhomes, a three-bedroom ocean view penthouse, and three different residences with fully equipped kitchens and private plunge pools.
The onsite spa offers treatments at locations all around the resort or in your private room. A fitness center is available as are three outdoor pools, a sea center for water sports equipment, and a sports pavilion offering rock climbing, tennis, and basketball.
For those looking to create, you can arrange various classes including a cooking class or a painting class accompanied by a rum punch. Other services include boating and sailing, paddle boards, tennis, and kitesurfing instruction. And if you’re traveling with children, the kids club has a variety of amenities for the youngest to teens. It’s an ideal spot to tie the knot.
9. Zemi Beach House
Zemi Beach House offers an intimate escape on 6 acres of lush grounds. The hammam, or Turkish bath, on the property is a huge draw and is the only one on Anguilla. The 300-year-old Thai rice barn has been reimagined as an award-winning spa where holistic treatments put the “ahhh” in Anguilla.
With 76 guest rooms and one-to-three-bedroom suites with private balconies, your room could overlook the ocean or the verdant garden on the property. The retail boutique stocks local handmade ceramic bowls, sculptures, and rum, as well as signature Zemi Beach House clothing. The fitness center is open 24 hours for workouts on Precor equipment. The feel is a private home with the most relaxing amenities, 24-hour room service, and of course, its unprecedented location on Shoal Bay East.
Pro Tip: While the restaurants are fabulous at each property, don’t forget to check out the amazing beach bar restaurants like Gwen’s Reggae Bar and Grill on Shoal Bay or Blanchard’s Beach Shack on Meads Bay for relaxed beachside dining.