Honeymoon Destination: The Island of Anguilla
If a secluded, uninterrupted honeymoon is what you’re after, you’ll fall in love with Anguilla, a small island tucked away in the eastern Caribbean. With near-perfect weather, intoxicating blue waters and white, sandy beaches, it’s a rather ideal place in which to spend your first married days.
Anguilla is one of the more underdeveloped countries in the Caribbean—you won’t find any cruise ships or high-rises here—but its natural charm and authen- ticity are what make the island such a gem. (This also means that the majority of your vacay will be spent at your resort, with the exception of any boat trips you take to neighboring islands.)
On the western tip of Anguilla, along the crescent of Maundays Bay, you’ll find luxurious Cap Juluca, a honeymooner’s paradise with dreamlike views that’s so peaceful and private, you’ll feel like you have the entire island to yourselves.
BY DAY Start your morning on a relaxing note with a yoga class among the palm trees. Then spend the afternoon horseback-riding on the beach or snorkeling, or trying your hand at the many water sports the resort has to offer. To wipe away any lingering wed- ding stress, indulge in one of Cap Juluca’s spa services (we suggest the Caribbean hot stone treatment and aromatherapy mas- sage), which can be enjoyed at the resort’s wellness center, in the comfort of your guest room, or in a seaside cabana for two.
For an unparalleled view of Anguilla, charter a boat trip to nearby Sandy Island, where you can grab some drunken coco- nut shrimp at the island’s BBQ shack—it’s a popular day-trip destination for locals and visitors alike—or Scilly Cay, a tiny family-owned island near the eastern tip of Anguilla that also features a small restau- rant and “world famous” rum punch. And if lounging on the beach is the only thing on your itinerary, Cap Juluca has you covered: They’ll set up your chairs and an umbrel- la and keep the cocktails flowing. (Try the Island Mix, a combination of rum, vodka, Midori and mango.) Plus, homemade sor- bet is served every day at 3 p.m. to guests relaxing on Maundays Beach.
BY NIGHT Once you’ve recuperated from a day in the hot sun, head over to Spice Lounge & Restaurant for cocktails and live music, or have the concierge arrange a romantic dinner for two on the beach. If you’re in the mood to meet other couples staying at the resort, book a seat on Cap Juluca’s Friday sunset cruise—you’ll nibble on hors d’oeuvres and sip champagne while Caribbean and calypso music keep the party going all evening long.
WHERE TO STAY Cap Juluca nails the boutique hotel experience: It’s quaint (but still airy and spacious) and eclectic, with a focus on hospitality and top-notch service. The resort’s 70 guest rooms are spaced out among 15 gorgeous beachfront villas so private and quiet that you’ll barely notice the other guests staying nearby. Each room features a covered terrace with the most spectacular views of the ocean, and you’re never more than a few steps away from the warm white sand. Timeless Moorish architecture can be seen throughout the entire property; the most striking element is the massive chandelier made from Moroccan lanterns that hangs in the domed lobby.
WHERE TO EAT Cap Juluca is home to four distinct eateries, and each one offers a unique spin on the island’s famous fla- vors. European Caribbean fusion is on the menu at Pimms, the resort’s premier restaurant, where seafood is the specialty and the wine selection is award-winning. (You’ll want to try the Anguillian lobster bisque, conch carpaccio and spice-rubbed tuna.) The Moroccan-inspired Spice is a go- to for bar bites (think slow-cooked short ribs), while Maundays is a favorite for fresh juice, smoothies and cocktails of all kinds. For a beachfront breakfast or lunch, you can’t beat Blue’s fresh bistro fare and panoramic views of St. Maarten off in the dis- tance. On your way back from the beach, stop by the lobby outside Maundays for daily complimentary tea service and the most addictive scones with clotted cream.
WHAT TO PACK The dress code on the island is breezy and casual, so fill your suitcase with lightweight, light-colored clothing that’ll keep you cool and comfortable. Shorts, tank tops and swimsuits are must- haves for daily outings and activities, but you’ll also want to pack a few more formal outfits for dinners at the resort’s restaurants. It can get chilly at night, so bring along a sweater or two as well.
BEST TIMES TO GO Between the warm, steady temperatures (they hover around 80 degrees) and the constant trade winds, the gorgeous weather here makes Anguilla an ideal vacation spot year-round. Expect the island to be most crowded from mid- December through mid-April.
NEWLYWED NEWS Cap Juluca’s concierge will help plan your entire trip, complete with champagne, candlelight dinners on the beach (think tiki torches and your own private server) and excursions around the island. Honeymooners will also want to consider the resort’s Romantic Rendezvous package, which includes a seven-night stay with beachfront accommodations. And don’t forget to ask about the intimate Wine Room at Pimms—it’s the perfect place to toast your newlywed status.
GETTING THERE The quickest way to Anguilla is via one of the few direct four- hour flights from Philadelphia Interna- tional Airport to St. Maarten. From there, it’s just a quick cab ride to the pier and a 30-minute ferry trip over to Anguilla.
For more on honeymoons, go here.
This article originally appeared in the spring/summer 2016 issue of Philadelphia Wedding.
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