“Anguilla has a sterling reputation as the authentic Caribbean experience: beautiful beaches, understated luxury, safe and hassle free, and a vibrant culinary scene,” said former cricket star and now Parliamentary Secretary with responsibility for tourism, sports, youth and culture Cardigan Connor at SOTIC, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s annual State of the Industry Conference. “Our island attracts a celebrity clientele who get a low-key welcome and find refuge in Anguilla.”
Here’s how this little nation plans to keep that vibe:
- In December, the Anguilla Tourist Board’s website will unveil a radical (and mobile-friendly) redesign with an interactive map, a trip-planning tool, and other new features.
- A new 11:30 p.m. ferry run will make it possible for people staying in Anguilla to enjoy an evening in Sint Maarten, and (this is key) it will enable American Airlines passengers arriving from the West Coast to transfer to Anguilla that same night instead of overnighting in St. Maarten.
- The Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa will open in January as the first luxury resort on the east end of the island. It will include two restaurants, the Zemi Thai House Spa (including an outdoor clay and salt experience), and a Rum Room Bar specializing in small-batch rums; plus a kids club, watersports, tennis, and other facilities not normally associated with a boutique resort.
- The Reef by CuisinArt, a new resort in Rendezvous Bay, will open in November 2016 with 30 suites and 50 rooms.
- Kishti Villa Collection on Meads Bay, which debuted in June, is about to experience its first high season. Each villa has six bedrooms, two kitchens, a full staff, a gym, a home theater, an infinity pool, water sports, and complimentary beach and poolside service.
- The First Anguilla Sculpture Symposium (Nov. 9-27), featuring members of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, will be the first-ever such event in the Caribbean.
- The Amerindian Interpretive Center and Visitor Trail, opening in December, will display replicated artifacts from the Fountain Cavern—a former ceremonial site currently restricted to archaeologists. The Fountain Cavern has the only intact petroglyph of Jocahu, an important Taino god.
- Airlift: “I don’t see the lack of direct flights as being a major issue,” said Minister Connor. Even so, the government is looking into extending the runway.