Measuring just 35sq miles, yet home to 33 talcum-powder beaches, the opening of three new hotels on the Caribbean island of Anguilla is a very big deal. Combine that with the island’s 50th anniversary celebrations in May and a new international flight connection, and 2017 is shaping up to be one to remember for this pristine corner of the West Indies.
Anguilla got in on the Caribbean party scene in November with its first big music shindig, the Livin In the Sun Festival. Watch this space to see if the roster of international DJs return with their vinyl records to lap up the barefoot chic vibe next year.
And as for those tricky flights? Traditionally, visitors have connected via Antigua, but Seaborne Airlines began six flights a week from San Juan (Thursday to Monday) in November — all of which conveniently connect with the low-cost Norwegian flight from Gatwick on a Saturday.
Cheap, chic and still a quiet retreat. ivisitanguilla.com
New places to fly & flop
For foodies: The Reef by CuisinArt
It has all the trappings of a tropical idyll, with yoga and infinity pools a go-go, but it’s the food that’s tempting travellers to this just-opened beach resort right on the water at secluded Merrywing Bay. Think global menus, the freshest seafood and wood-fired pizza on the beach.
For families: Zemi Beach House
With just 129 rooms, this intimate new beach resort is proving a hit with both parents and their children. The kids’ club has coconut bowling and beachfront movie nights; the spa is set in an elaborate hut, shipped over from Thailand; while the bar boasts some 100 varieties of fine, small-batch rum.
For (buffed) beach bums: The Manoah
Just along the coast from Zemi Beach House, you’ll find a taste of St Tropez at Shoal Bay. There, Manoah Ocean Beach Club, a spanking new blue and white retreat, with just 25 rooms, awaits. The sleek, refined decor is infused with Caribbean flavour.
Published in the Jan/Feb 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)