Anguilla, a slender sliver of an island in the British West Indies, smells so good you want to bottle the air — it’s jasmine mixed with ocean mixed with sweet, grassy greens — to bring home with you. The quiet, 16-mile-long Caribbean refuge isn’t exactly untouched (luxury properties, for instance, are scattered about), but wide stretches of beach are all but unpeopled, and the slow, easy peace of the place is something else you’ll want to bring back home.
The graceful, tasteful CuisinArt Resort and Spa (264-498-2000, cuisinartresort.com) is postcard-pretty, all clean-lined, light-filled Greek-style villas. (Each room boasts ocean views.) And though, in the spirit of the island, it’s utterly informal and fuss-free, make no mistake: The place does luxury right, from the 3,600-bottle wine cellar (in which you can arrange a private supper), to the warmed infinity pool stretching all the way to the beach, to the on-property hydroponic farm that provides the mint for your tea and the tomatoes for your salad.
Santorini, the resort’s four-diamond- restaurant, is a must, but you’ll want to make a special trip to Scilly Cay (264-497-5123, scillycayanguilla.com) for the meal of a lifetime. The small island has nothing on it but a very small open-air restaurant run by a man named Eudoxie Wallace, who serves tangy barbecued chicken, fresh lobster and whole red snapper, plus a killer rum punch. You won’t be sorry.
Pretty much anything you want. There are warm-oil seashell massages at CuisinArt’s Venus Spa, pastry classes with the renowned resident French chef, private lunches on a resort-chartered catamaran, scuba diving off the island and morning yoga on the beach. Of course, when the beach is this pretty, you might just want to plant yourself in a chaise and chill.