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The continually expanding popularity of Anguilla, especially with the rich and famous, has caught everyone by surprise. After all, at first glance Anguilla looks to be nothing special. It’s a long, narrow flat island, 16 miles long by three miles wide, with constant droughts and a notable absence of the lush rainforests, beautiful mountains, rushing rivers or deep canyons that normally provide all the activities today’s tourist clamors for. But Anguilla’s trump card is its beaches. Spectacular even in this region where above-average beaches are the norm, Anguilla’s wide swaths of sparkling white sand and bright turquoise waters teeming with tropical fish are indeed something special. It’s a point well taken by island planners and developers who have built luxury resorts on those beaches. Many of those resorts quickly qualified as prime hotels of the world. Properties like Cap Juluca, CuisinArt and Malliouhana are routinely ranked at the top of the “best” lists in Caribbean Travel & Life, Conde Nast Traveler, and Travel & Leisure. This is the best guide to Anguilla, excerpted from our extensive guide to all of the Leeward Islands, complete with maps, photos and details on where to stay, where to eat, nightlife and all activities. Besotted visitors have created a market for luxury villa and home sales that have developers madly working to provide choices for them. Covecastles and Altamer were among the first individual-owner villas; their units are sold and now are available for vacation rentals. They have since been joined by other impressive developments, among them the St. Regis Temenos, the Viceroy and Cerulean, and there are a number of private individual villas dotting the landscape all over the island. These new homes not only add to the available rooms for visitors, but also provide a significant boost to the local economy as contractors, interior designers and support service providers keep employment and retail sales high. Anguillians have a long history of looking after each other and visitors. They enjoy sharing their island with visitors, and you’ll find you are received with warmth and goodwill. Their history is rich with examples of “jollifications” or merry festivities where a whole village gathered to plant crops, raise a house or build a boat as a team. Everyone was there to help each other, and money was never exchanged. This spirit of oneness extended into an understanding of hospitality in the truest sense of the word. Make sure you plan activities that take you out of your hotel and into the villages so you can meet some of “the belongers,” as they call themselves. More than any other Leeward Island, Anguilla has a wealth of beautiful villas in all sizes and shapes, along with world-class hotels, five-star restaurants, lots of activities and incredible beaches. If there aren’t enough activities, shopping, restaurants or nightlife for you, St. Martin is only a short ferry ride away
- February 05, 2013 Initial release