In summer, you’ll find cheaper air fares to the Caribbean than in winter, too, which will enable you to experience more far-flung locales. Look for deals in the Bahamas, for example, that include free airfare from Nassau to the outer islands. But be forewarned that especially if you plan to travel in August or September, a tropical storm might rain on your parade.
Sail racing is the island of Anguilla’s national sport dating back to the early days of the 20th century when Anguillan men on their way back from working in sugar cane fields in the Dominican Republic would race their schooners home. In fact, the unique design of the racing boats here evolved from fishing boats that would fish as much as 40 miles off shoe
The Ricketts want their little hotel and villa business to show people that Anguilla is not only for those who can afford five-star luxury. The hotel also serves as the island’s unofficial cultural center. In fact, the restaurant is crowded the night we visit with locals and visitors alike for the weekly dance performance that tells the story of Anguilla.
Locals are quick to tell you Anguilla, a British territory, isn’t only about the beaches, though their motto is “tranquility wrapped in blue.” “I have lived in Anguilla for 20 years and the thing that never changes is the people,” says children’s book author Jo-Anne Mason, originally from Brooklyn.
Sue and Robin Ricketts started Anguilla’s flourishing villa business—ideal for multigenerational families and now manage some 80 villas on the island from the most luxurious ($1,000,000 a week) to totally affordable (a few thousand). Now they also run the boutique 27-room Anacona where rooms can be as low as $150 a night and all kinds of special programs—tennis, sailing, wellness, biking, yoga, art…...
The Anguilla Youth Sailing Club that teaches local as well as visiting kids to sail (look for programs through the Viceroy Hotel and others) “Kids really rally round the boat racing…we start to teach them at age four,” says Paul Koeniger, who oversees the youth sailing club.
We spent the afternoon at the stunning Viceroy Resort down the road from where we are staying that employs 600 people for their 166 rooms. Did I mention the five-bedroom villas that rent for as much as $17,500 a night?
At the CuisinArt Resort in Anguila. I indulged in a facial (anti-aging of course) and a soak in the “healing waters” pool that offers a combination, I’m told, of mineral sea salt and fresh water that is supposed to help my aching knee.
We’re here on a girlfriends’ getaway ensconced in a huge three-bedroom villa with its own pool, kitchen, and beach. I’m sitting aside the pool and hear the crashing waves as I write this. Did I mention the mile-long beach?