Top tips from Jeffrey Goldstein – developer of award-winning boutique resort Zemi Beach House – for how to spend an unforgettable 7 days on the tiny, sun-kissed island of Anguilla.
What’s the best way to get there?
Anguilla is remarkably easy to get to. You can fly in via private jet to our small international airport, or fly commercial to neighboring St Maarten and hop over with the Sea Shuttle. It’s an easy 30-minute ride from the launch in St Maarten, making Anguilla highly accessible for all travelers, but especially from the East Coast of the USA. St Maarten is only a 2.5-hour flight from Miami, or 4.5 hours from New York City.
Recommendations for unwinding on your first day on island?
To help ease into “island life”, I always encourage visitors to take advantage of Anguilla’s natural landscape – 35 square miles with 33 white sand beaches. That’s nearly one beach per mile! Of all our beautiful beaches, Shoal Bay East, where Zemi Beach House is located, is an undisputed favorite – it’s been voted one of the “world’s best beaches” time and again.
Guests of Zemi Beach House, set on 1,000 feet of the 1.5 mile stretch of Shoal Bay East beach, can get a taste of what it’s like to enjoy their own private island. Take advantage of the location by taking a dip in the Caribbean Sea or relaxing on the powdery sand.
Best way to completely recharge?
In order to completely recharge – mind, body and soul – I recommend a day at our Thai House Spa. Allow yourself to let go of all worries and stresses with a total wellness experience, such as the Taino Bathing Ritual – a healing treatment that pays homage to the Taino Indians who once inhabited Anguilla. You can enjoy it alone or with your companion. Either way it’s a calculated journey: A five-step therapy through different temperature changes, using ancient plants and herbs, and making use of Anguilla’s only Hammam. It will leave you feeling renewed and rejuvenated.
Must-see attractions and places to explore?
The island of Anguilla is known for many things… including its multi-cultural cuisine, its national sport of sailing and a refined exclusivity that has been retained despite proximity to the travel hub of St Maarten. Unlike other Caribbean islands that only offer sun, sand and sea, Anguilla offers so much more to see and explore.
History buffs can check out Fountain Cavern National Park, a 14.5-acre site with a limestone cave, which is currently pending UNESCO-listing status and is home to numerous petroglyph rock artworks, which provide an extraordinary glimpse into early island life.
For those who enjoy a little sport, I recommend visiting Anguilla’s only golf course, an 18-hole Greg Norman Signature Design Champion Course with views of St Maarten. Or, practice your back hand at Anguilla’s Tennis Academy or our on-site tennis court.
One of my personal favorites is Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve Beach Bar, named after Anguilla’s famous reggae artist. It’s an iconic oceanfront bar on Rendezvous Bay, constructed from drift wood and old boat parts, that travelers fall in love with for its laid-back vibe, rustic charm, killer rum punches and live music.
Since rum is such an integral part of Anguillian lifestyle, the Rhum Room at Zemi Beach House is also a great way to get a true sense of the island’s flavors. Our Rhummelier will hand pick a selection of rhums for sampling or serve you a curated Rhum Flight.
Any favorite hidden gems to visit?
I highly recommend making a visit to Little Bay, a magical and remote alcove on the East End. This tiny strip of beach is surrounded by high cliffs and only accessible via boat from Crocus Bay or descending down the steep landscape by rope. While the latter is not for the faint-of-heart, it’s fully worth the trek, and drops you off into one of the best snorkeling spots on the island.
Another favorite is Sandy Island, an uninhabited little circle of sand in the middle of the sea. With only a small restaurant serving rum punch and grilled seafood, it’s the perfect haven for anyone seeking privacy, with 360-degree views of the Caribbean and Anguilla. Our Beach Concierge can arrange a private picnic and boat ride for our guests to Sandy Island for a romantic excursion.
Advice for a day at sea?
Since sailing is the national sport, it’s only fitting that visitors experience the island by boat. Chartering a boat through Calypso Charters Anguilla and heading out to sea with a local skipper will give you an insider’s look into the island’s history and culture from the water. Or, if you prefer, take advantage of the many water sports and activities available from our beach, including snorkeling, fishing, diving, swimming with dolphins, and paddle boarding.
Dining recommendations for an unforgettable meal?
Anguilla has been dubbed the “culinary capital of the Caribbean” for its exquisite food and top-notch restaurants. There are upscale options in Island Harbour, including Hibernia (part art gallery, part French-Japanese fusion restaurant) and Gwen’s Reggae Bar & Grill. Stone at Zemi Beach House is also a great option, with menus featuring traditional Anguillan dishes with Asian flavors inspired by the Executive Chef Leoci’s international travels. Then there are local hotspots like Ken’s Pork BBQ and Blanchards Beach Shack, hailed as one of the best restaurants on Anguilla.
And if one week in Anguilla isn’t enough?
Anguilla is one of those islands you can picture yourself never leaving, but rather picking up and relocating to after just one visit. It’s enchanting in that way, which is exactly why the Zemi Beach House Residences were created: A home ownership option offering studios and beachfront residences for travelers who wish to become full or part-time residents. Expansive floor plans, panoramic ocean views and personalized service create a luxury experience that is “boutique resort living” at its finest. All homes form part of a comprehensive maintenance scheme meaning that owners simply arrive, relax and enjoy resort amenities at their doorstep.
For more information, visit www.zemibeach.com.