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My week in Anguilla

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Oh Anguilla, AngWilla, what took yer so long to call my name. I was more than Willa! to check ya out Anguilla, oh yeah! Ok, I don’t know what it means about my musical writing abilities but whenever I try to write something, I sound like sir Justin Bieber….who visited Anguilla a week ago or so btw. I’m jealous of Justin I must say. The dude is 21, and goes to Anguila on a whim, just like that. While I needed about 21 years to get convinced. “The beaches are not better than TCI”, “you need a full day of suffering to get there”, “you need to take a high speed ferry where even the seagulls throw up”. Turns out all the motivation I needed is United Airlines making it much tougher to get to TCI these days.
Anywho, let me tell you about Anguilla. But instead of boring you with a bunch restaurant reviews this time, I will bore you with a giant post about everything and anything Anguilla. Its the Everything Bagel of trip reports! Or something like that…

Getting there

I think the notion that one gets over time about the complexities of travelling to this island makes it seem more complicated than it actually is. Getting off the plane in St. Martin you are faced with a bunny ranch like lineup of high speed semi-private ferry representatives trying to lure you into their service… a $65 ride straight from the airport (a 5 minute ride to the docks) with the caveat that you need to reserve in advance (giving CC info online) or risk a full boat. The most popular and cheaper option however is a $20 public ferry ride which leaves at the same frequency as the privates, but requires a $20 taxi ride to Marigot that could take anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on traffic (I always thought this ride is much longer). We opted for the public ferry there and back, and will do so again next time. Hard for me to justify the costs and efforts of the other options, especially considering we got to Anguilla before everyone else. If this would have been Amazing Race, we would have kicked some serious tuches. There’s also the air travel option between the islands which we briefly considered.


You need a car here. Sure you can manage without one, but in order to take advantage of what the island has to offer, a car is necessary. Although many people happily do so, this is not the place to linger at the same place for a week like in Provo. Ronnie Bryan, a local celebrity, makes the entire rental process as smooth as can be through Bryan Car Rental. Pay from home securely via email, pick up car at the ferry terminal, drop the car at the ferry terminal. Other than driving to the great Hibernia for lunch, a map was not needed for us. Fairly easy to get around!


Since Turks spoiled us big time with one of the best beaches in the world, this was not the time to settle. But we sort of did, but in a good way. Shoal Bay East is arguably Anguilla’s best beach. But besides a few shacks and some dining options there’s not a whole lot going on there dining wise, which is not necessarily a bad thing for many. Meads Bay was the perfect match for us. Although one of the busiest beaches (relatively speaking), flanked by two behemoth resorts (Viceroy, Malliouhana) we found it quite serene and underdeveloped enough, with the water spectacular at times. Not to mention close to many dining options. Then you have the option of Maundays Bay, aka Cap Juluca-ville where the serenity level takes on another meaning. You can request a tour of Cap Juluca while you there, and enjoy the beach by its main building. Or you can Rendezvous at Rendezvous Bay with a visit to the world famous Garvey’s Sunshine Shack. The shack alone is worth going. The most underrated beach however is perhaps Shoal Bay West. Tranquil, green, with some interesting wildlife around to boot on arrival. There are some more beaches, but I believe I covered the best ones. This is why you need to rent a car here.


With one hotel stay under my belt, I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert. I dont quite get the bloggers who write about a destination like a travel concierge, even though they’ve just been there for four days. But here’s what I know. Shoal Bay Villas is the popular option on the east end as far affordable accommodations go, while on Meads you have Turtle’s Nest (with actual turtles acting as security) and Carimar showing exceptional value. The latter is the better looking building, but the former has a slightly better beach front. The newly refurbished Rendezvous Bay Hotel on Rendezvous Bay is gaining a lot of traction on the boards as of late. Then you have the Viceroy and Malliouhana, the behemoths flanking Meads Bay where I would personally not consider staying, but visit for a drink instead (Viceroy owns the best sunsets). For more intimate feel, there’s the world famous Cap Juluca, and to a lesser degree CuisinArt. Frangipani was a good match for us. Small, personable, attractive, even sexy (which is why we felt at home!) boutique hotel smack in the middle of Meads.


This is where things get interesting. We knew Anguilla has good food, but research elevated expectations even more (“Some of the best in the Caribbean”). I’ve already discussed some here, and here, and listed my favorite dishes here. While the end result was a successful one, the trip needed a proper finish in order to call it as such. There were some misses early on, but for the purpose of this post and the possibilities of the often off days, I will only touch on the highlights.
Sarjai’s – This turned out to be the best of the “Local” spots we tried. Not much of an atmosphere but the food more than makes up for it. Try the Creole Snapper with the addictive coconut sweet potato dumplings, or the scrumptious stewed goat. The crayfish here were the best of the trip. And while I didnt have it, the steak is an award winner.
Blanchard Beach Shack – One of many beach shacks on the island. Order, pick a picnic table and enjoy the marvelous views with your pager. Although they have various items on the menu, this is a nice choice for a healthier “fast food” type lunch. Try the Rice bowl with shrimp or Mahi.
Dolce Vita – Possibly the best Italian on the island, though it helps if owner Abbi is there to guide you with your order. The Gnocchi Gorgonzola and the Lasagna are the specialties. The latter is actually the reason for opening a restaurant in the first place.
Johnno’s – One of the coolest things about Anguilla is its music scene, especially on Sunday (“Funday”) afternoon. And deciding where to go on each Funday is not easy. But beating this venue with this musical lineup and the steamed snapper with Fungi combination at Johnno’s I imagine is not so easy. Note we only had one item here to eat, and it was that good.
Sunshine shack – The definition of a beach shack. You got the reggae, the beach (Rendezvous Bay), the man (Garvey), the grill, what else do you need. An absolute must!
Jacala’s – One of the biggest gems of the trip. Two Frenchmen, one in the kitchen, one on the floor, making all sorts of magic right on the beach. Its open for lunch, but I wouldn’t miss dinner. Great soups, heavenly Tuna Tartare, Risotto like no other (nice middle course to share). Table side prepared Steak tartare is oddly a main course but very popular. Not to mention the chicken of dreams, and the Panna Cotta. Go!
B&D’s BBQ – Essentially a popup on the side of the road. Very solid BBQ.. chicken, ribs, lobster, snapper, all served with Johnny cakes and sides. The slaw in particular was noteworthy. Very popular with the locals, and even restaurant owners (Tasty’s below) which is a big endorsement
Straw Hat – Great drinks, beautiful setting overlooking Meads. Nice Lobster Mac & Cheese, fish sandwich, tuna flatbread (in that order). Since we stayed next door, we spent most of our breakfasts here. And after cheating on a few other places, we concluded there’s no point to go anywhere else really.
Tasty’s – Quite a Tasty local spot by one of the islands best ambassadors, Dale Carty who is sent on critical missions oversees to promote island food from time to time. The signature item is the magnificent seafood salad. Other than a rather robbery lobster, everything was quite good here
Mango’s – I normally like to keep one night open and let the island sort of guide me to the right place. Based on conversations with locals, Trips Advisor forumites, and even local cooks, it became clear that Mango’s got the freshest fish on the island. You approach this one like you approach a Trattoria in Italy. Go with whats’s fresh, and what’s on special. Best snapper of the trip
Hibernia – If you are a foodie, and for some crazy, bizarre reason you’ve come to trust good ol’ Ziggy over the years… Go to Hibernia for lunch!

Stay hungry my friends!

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Anguilla Lit Fest 2015 Itinerary

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Anguilla Lit Fest Itinerary-1

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THE VALLEY, Anguilla – April 20, 2015 – Anguilla will host the fourth annual Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification at the Paradise Cove Resort from May 21-24, 2015.  This year’s distinguished panel of authors includes

Zane –  award-winning celebrity novelist, (Total Eclipse of the Heart; Addicted; Infinite Words);
Kate White  – award-winning author and former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan Magazine, (So Pretty it Hurts; The Sixes; Eyes on You) ;
Elizabeth Nunez  – award-winning, best-selling author, lecturer and philanthropist,(Boundaries; Not for Everyday Use);
Benilde Little world-renowned, best-selling author (Good Hair; Welcome to My Breakdown);
J. Ivy –  Grammy-award-winning performance poet, author and motivational speaker, ( Here I am; Here I Am: Then and Now; Dear Father: Breaking the Cycle of Pain);
Joanne Hillhouse,  award-winning debut author, from the island of Antigua ( Oh Gad!; The Boy from Willow Bend);
Krista Bremer  – award-winning author and associate publisher of The Sun magazine, (A Tender Struggle);
Colin Channer  – celebrated award-winning author, professor of Creative Writing, and co-founder of the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica, (The Girl with the Golden Shoes; Iron Balloons)
The publishing panel features

Leigh Haber, Books Editor of O: The Oprah Magazine;
Jessica Strawser,  Editor-in-Chief of Writers’ Digest;
Yona Deshommes, Senior Publicity Manager of Atria Books/Simon & Shuster; and
Dr Rhoda Arrindell  –  critically-acclaimed author and educator, (Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin).
The Pride of Anguilla writers and poets include:

Phillip Arnell –  debut author, “Fortunate Member of a Caribbean Diaspora”
Marilyn Hodge – author and Host of Positive Living – The Series
Alexis Gumbs – poet
Timmie Webster – performance poet

This year’s event will also celebrate the 2015 Malliouhana Poetry Competition winners,  under the theme, Jollification in the 21st century, which is coordinated by the Anguilla Community College and the Department of Youth and Culture in memory of cultural activist, the late Linda Lake; as well as  presentations by poets  of Anguilla’s  soon-to-be-released foundational anthology of poetry, “Where I See the Sun – Contemporary Poetry in Anguilla”, which includes more than 90 poems from 42 seasoned poets and up and coming writers from Anguilla.  A selection of books of the featured guest authors, poets and publishers will be available for purchase on site from The Anguilla Lit Fest Book Table, which is coordinated by the Anguilla Library Service.

The Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification pays homage to Anguilla’s literary heritage and offers yet another great reason for visitors to come to the island during the early summer period for the event. A registration fee of US$150.00 includes a welcome cocktail party, breakfast and lunch presentations, special sessions with the authors and fun-filled evening soirees. The program includes a free day on Sunday to ensure that participants will have the opportunity to experience the best of all Anguilla has to offer. As in previous years, arrangements are being made for a cross- section of students from the Primary Schools to interact with the visiting authors, and for students from the Secondary School to attend the presentation of the event headliner as specially invited guests. The organizers have also added a special session for children and young writers on the afternoon of Saturday 23rd May.

Residents of Anguilla will pay a special price of US$100.00 for participation in Lit Fest 2015, subject to presentation of proof of residency.  A special offer of US$50.00 per day will also be extended to those persons registering for either day of the event before May 15th, 2015.  After May 15th, one day registration reverts to US$85.00 per day.  Registration is available on line, and tickets can be purchased at The Anguilla Tourist Board and the Anguilla Public Library.

The name of the festival speaks to a very important facet of Anguilla’s cultural heritage–The Jollification. Rhona Richardson-Roydon, a member of the Anguilla Community Foundation, explains the concept of the Jollification as “a getting together of people to share and help neighbors.” This was done through the plowing and planting of ground (fields), all against the backdrop of men working together, women cooking, and children playing, while the work was carried out free of cost, with much laughter, singing and “jollification.” Noted economist, historian, author and playwright, Marcel Fahie writes that through the Jollification, “We helped each other with the construction of our homes. Mutual aid and assistance in the form of free labor was also employed to build community facilities, access roads to and from isolated parts of villages, church buildings, community halls and playing fields. The spirit and elements of the jollification survive to this day in various forms. Most notable is the contribution of our time and effort to furthering the programs of our religious and charitable organizations.”

“The Anguilla Lit Fest would not have been possible without the jollification approach,” notes Director of Tourism, Mrs. Candis Niles. “The spirit of community upon which Jollification is founded is an integral part of our psyche as Anguillians.  It is this spirit of community that defines the interaction with our authors, speakers and presenters.  For the short time we are together we form a literary community that is vibrant, dynamic and engaging.  Like the Jollification itself, the Lit Fest inspires you to look deep within yourself and discover and give expression to the creative force that lies within each one of us, for in so doing we enrich and enlarge the experiences of all of us.”

Special vacation packages for the event are being offered by Anguilla’s leading accommodation establishments, including the Host Hotel, Paradise Cove Resort and Sponsor Hotel, Cuisinart Golf Resort and Spa; Little Butterfly, Villa, Bird of Paradise Villa, Anguilla Great House Beach Resort and Nathan’s Cove.  Flights can be arranged on American Airlines, Jet Blue, USAirways, United Airlines, Delta Airlines and Continental Airways through San Juan, Puerto Rico, connecting directly to Anguilla with Seaborne Airlines, or through St. Martin with onward connecting flights or ferry into Anguilla; or on regional carrier LIAT (   Travel from the Caribbean can also be done through Winair (

For more information on the Anguilla Lit Fest: A Literary Jollification, or to register for this year’s event, go to or call 305-444-4033 or 264-497-2759.  You may also engage with the Lit Fest community on Twitter and Facebook at the address given below:

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Anguilla Welcomes Seaborne Airlines

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The Valley, February 18, 2015

Anguilla will benefit greatly from the introduction of a direct route from Anguilla to San Juan Puerto Rico with Seaborne Airlines. According to Chairman of the Anguilla Tourist Board, Mr.Ralph Hodge, the direct flights between Anguilla and San Juan, which will commence from April 30, 2015, will provide much-needed direct access into Anguilla from the island’s major markets. “We are pleased to announce this new service to the tranquil island of Anguilla. Seaborne Airlines is regarded as a key player in the regional aviation market, and it is good for us to welcome them to Anguilla, providing vital connectivity for many of the island’s major markets.

Read More: Anguilla-welcomes-Seaborne-press-release-doc

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Anguilla 2014 Winter Specials

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Anguilla Deals

2014 Winter Specials

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2014 Fall Specials

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2014 Fall Specials

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Anguilla Summer Festival 2015

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Anguilla Summer Festival 2016

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Summer Prix Fixe 2015

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Summer Prix Fixe 2015-1

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Anguilla Lit Fest 2014

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Anguilla Lit Fest 2014 May 22-24 2014 Anguilla Lit Fest Program Schedule:

You can register as well as pay for your Anguilla Lit Fest passes online:

Anguilla’s Literary Festival Accommodations Packages:


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Moonsplash 2014

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Moonsplash 2014
March 13-16 2014
Reggae meets moonlight on gorgeous Rendezvous bay, Anguilla Continue reading →

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