Alex always joked that we’d find out we were expecting a baby the week of our Tokyo trip- and guess what…
Needless to say, my OBGYN didn’t recommend flying around the globe and eating sushi for a week so we needed to come up with a plan B- fast since Alex had already taken 10 days off of work for the trip and we were in vacation mode.
We both decided that laying on a beach would be ideal for rest and celebrating our new news and decided on Anguilla, an island where we’d never been. So we lied to almost all our friends and family and told them we were Tokyo bound, when we really planned to hit the island. (we knew people would suspect we were pregnant and wanted to wait to share the news later in the pregnancy)
Luckily for us, when we told all the nice people at the; airlines, hotels, restaurants, etc that we were expecting- we were able to get almost a full refund for the Tokyo trip. All the Japanese lessons I’d been taking? We will use have to use those as motivation to hit Tokyo in the future OR hit every Japanese restaurant locally and hope the chefs will take pity on me and let me practice.
ANYHOW- back to Anguilla and why you MUST go.
- It’s pretty easy to get to- we flew to Puerto Rico then took a puddle jumper an hour over to the island. We’re talking SMALL plane people- like one pilot- but we felt totally safe.
- There’s really not much to do besides relax on one of the insanely gorgeous beaches. A lot of islands have lots of nightlife, shopping or sights to explore and you almost feel guilty skipping that stuff. But Anguilla is all about floating in a crystal sea on your own personal raft.
- The culinary scene however is OFF THE CHAIN. We had some of the best meals we’ve eaten- anywhere at the local restaurants.
- The locals are friendly and very welcoming- we felt safe everywhere we went.
- The hotels are so amazing we couldn’t pick just one, so we split our time between three.
Where To Eat:
- Tasty’s– this little roadside beach house is perfect for lunch and we had two incredible fish sandos and some out of this world conch fritters. They also serve dinner.
- Mango’s– if you like eating steps from the sand with completely relaxed, yet white table cloth service- you will love Mango’s as much as we did. The grilled lobster was so good that we made reservations to come back again on the spot. If you want an outside table to drink in the sunset with your meal- make reservations or show up around 6pm.
- Dolce Vita Italian– another beach spot that serves up tremendous service and home cooked Italian classics. One of the best eggplant rollatinis I’ve ever had- and don’t even get us started on their pizzas!!
- Picante Mexican– aside from the casual atmosphere, another thing that stands out on Anguilla is the ability to get almost any cuisine and have it be really, REALLY good. Picante is where we got our Mexican fix and then some- listen to a pregnant woman when she tells you how beyond the burrito, guac and everything else on the menu will blow you away.
- The outdoor restaurant at the Malliouhana Hotel: listen, to be fair, I’m sure the more formal dinner restaurant is delicious as well- we just chose to eat at local spots off property with the exception of lunch. Thank goodness we tried the conch pizza- which had the perfect amount of bubbles in it’s crispy crust, the tender grilled octopus salad and fresh watermelon salad. Combined with the views- it’s a must visit.
- Veya– I saved the best for last, and truly feel like I need to be careful with how I use my words- none of them will do Veya’s food, atmosphere or service justice. The setting is literally a restaurant in a treehouse, the service is attentive and warm without being overbearing and the food…. I literally can’t even describe how delicious the; layered salad, conch fritters, local leafy greens, shrimp cigars, grilled jerk spiced tuna, rissotto primavera, and key lime pie in a jar tasted. It was truly one of the best meals either of us had ever eaten. YOU MUST GO- twice if you can.
Where To Stay: (we only booked the first 2 nights of our trip, with plans to explore the other hotels)
- The Viceroy– we kicked off our stay here, and got upgraded (thanks Amex!) to a mega suite complete with full kitchen- a major plus for someone who is craving bean chili from a can.
What we liked: the modern feel, the variety of fitness classes (spin, bootcamp), the stunning adults only infinity pool, jumping off the high cliffs and swimming into the hotel’s beach, the free bicycles, being able to ride to the local grocery store, the free and massive breakfast.
Meh: the amount of kids (and our room overlooking the kids club), the slightly snobby vibe of the guests, the food in the dinner restaurant, the fact that the hotel was SO modern and new that it felt like it could have been anywhere, and not on a remote beachy island.
- Malliouhana– the middle portion of our trip was spent at this newly renovated island paradise.
What we liked: the staff (from booking and recommending spots to eat, helping put on the top of our stubborn Jeep, and recommending the best spots to check out on the island- they were the best), the yoga classes, the bright Jonathan Adler-esque rooms, the delicious breakfast, lunch by the pool, the fact that it’s small but never felt busy and we never had to fight for a beach chair, the impressive gym, the gorgeous private beach.
Meh: the spa was good, not great…and really- that’s it.
- Cap Juluca – with the best beach BY FAR on the entire island, we hemmed and hawed over whether or not we should book here for longer. Instead, we visited their beach daily and wrapped up our trip here.
What we liked: THE BEACH- flawless, crystal clear, free SUP & water sports, the beach, the beach the beach, you can’t say enough about it. Daily breakfast, workouts with local Cardigan Connor (former cricket star who’s also running for local office), the extensive library stocked with fun beach reads, rafts to use and float around on, daily delivery of bottled water and sorbet on the beach, the room location on the beach.
Meh: the rooms are in need of an update- badly, but they were totally fine and comfortable, the noise from the room next door (not really the hotel’s fault).
Overall we don’t regret how we split up the trip , but next time we’d probably skip Viceroy and divide our time between the second two hotels just because they felt more true to that “Island Vibe”.
What Else We Did:
- On a rainy afternoon we took the fairy over to St Martin- meh- the French cheese and yogurt we brought back was delicious , but otherwise we’d skip a venture to that side of the island
- Rented kayaks and paddled to a little secluded beach – we saw sea turtles and that was cool.
- Rented a Jeep Wrangler with no top- tons of fun for exploring the island and popping into one of the many beaches.
Would we go back? YES. 100% and we plan to take the newest member of the family someday soon.
Anguilla an ideal babymoon spot, destination wedding or place to celebrate with someone you love.