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Travel: Anguilla is Perfect For Lovers

Submitted by on September 3, 2013 – 10:26 amNo Comment

Anguilla shore

By Coral King

Photos By Mark Sherman

My boyfriend and I decided to go to Anguilla for our summer vacation.  I first heard about the pristine island with the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches at the Bridgehampton Polo Challenge, so we ventured on a four day weekend departing New York early on Friday.  As we arrived in St. Marteen, we took a semi private boat with six other tourists over to Anguilla.  We were then greeted by a representative of our hotel, Cap Juluca, and were put in an awaiting taxi.  We were whisked away to our Villa. The grand entrance of Cap Juluca was paved with a white substance which has a striking resemblance to snow. But, how can it be snowing in the Caribbean?  When our inquiring minds asked the taxi driver what the matter contained, we were told it is salt derived from salt ponds which were their main export before a tourism based economy.

With only a few days on the island, we wanted to see everything that was happening.  We quickly changed and headed downtown to Anguilla’s Summer Festival. Locals dressed in beaded costumes paraded down the streets as music blared from trucks seduced everyone into dancing to the latest soca beat. We chimed in to the fun.

Anguilla dancer

Later in the evening we got dressed and our bellman drove us to dinner. As we entered Pimms, one of the three restaurants on Cap Juluca’s property, I noticed it was closed, but apparently, not to us. The friendly host led us to a private, circular, wine cellar room with candle lit plate setting for two. I thought the night was special since the waiter brought my favorite meals one at a time, without me placing an order, but I didn’t realize to what extent. My boyfriend, Mark, pulled out a ring and nervously asked me to marry him. How could I say no to the most wonderful man in the world? I excitedly said yes, and you could see him breathe a sigh of relief. In the background there was a live band playing and, in between courses, we danced and watched the waves of the Atlantic Ocean hit the shore.

We eventually headed back to the villa after a beautifully executed proposal and I thought the night was over.  As I opened the door I was surprised by multi colored rose petals strategically placed on the floor and bed.  As I walked over to the bathroom, I was also surprised to find the Jacuzzi lit up with black orchid candles.  I asked him to pinch me because, until now, I had only seen this type of stuff on the television.  My fiancé confirmed it was all real.  I was speechless with all the effort he placed into making this the most romantic day ever.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better more surprises kept coming.  The next day we explored all that Anguilla had to offer.  We perused the Devonish Art Gallery, Cheddie’s Carving Studio, and had lunch at DaVidas, on the most beautiful beach on the island, Shoal Bay, the second one being Maunday’s Bay right outside the villa where we stayed.  He wanted to play golf at Cuisnart Golf Resort and Spa but we had dinner at Italias and he never left my side.

Anguilla Mark and Coral

On our last day there we felt quite melancholy.  Instead of waking up to sights of the Caribbean Sea, we’ll be waking up to views of the New York skyline.  While we were touring the day before, we noticed this tiny island off the coast of Anguilla.  The Director of Tourism, Candis Niles, told us it is called Sandy Island.  She arranged for us to take the local charter boat and watch the Boat Race from there.  The Boat Race is the crème de la crème of the island because it is the national sport of Anguilla and plays a major role in summer festivities.  They hosted A and B class boat races for the different sizes and we were privy to see the climax called “Champion of Champions Boat Race”.

When we pulled up to the shores and our toes touched the 360 degree of powder white sand, there were fifteen other tourists on the island and we were greeted with a smile and rum cocktails from the staff.  Feeling like we were on a luxurious version of Gilligan’s Island, we decided to explore.  We strolled the circumference of the island, hand in hand, within 10 minutes as we waited for our huge platter of grilled lobster, crayfish, snapper and rack um up Ribs to arrive.  Everything was made fresh off the grill and the few people on the island ate family style per table.  We both had never seen anything so spectacular and romantic.  No wonder why it was considered the “most romantic date ever”, and featured on the 2011 Valentine’s Day episode of The Bachelor.  My fiancé turned to me and said if I didn’t ask you to marry me already, I would ask now.

Before leaving, we hit the town and visited the Coba at Viceroy for dinner.  It was lively and had a Miami feel to it.  In Coba, we were seated at the very edge of the steep point that divides Meads Bay and Barnes Bay.  The experience was contemporary, upbeat, and the dinner purely mouth watering.  It was simply exquisite!  How can I encapsulate this entire experience and bring it back for my friends and family?  It might not be possible, but I will surely try.

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