Several months on from the impact of Hurricane Irma, Travel Agent breaks down Anguilla‘s most updated status report, which reveals that most of the island’s top-notch hotels are set to reopen in March and April.
Almost 600 rooms are available on island this holiday season, comprised of a wide selection of villas, small hotels and holiday apartment rentals.
Among the properties open for the winter are the CeBlue Resort in Crocus Hill; Carimar Beach Club, Frangipani Beach Resort and Meads Bay Villas on Meads Bay; Shoal Bay Villas, Serenity Cottages and Fountain Residences on Shoal Bay; and Paradise Cove Beach Resort in The Cove. Also, a brand new addition to Anguilla’s tourism product, the Quintessence Boutique Hotel in Long Bay, recently opened on January 1.
Anguilla also has an array of villas for the season, including Spyglass Hill in North Hill; Kishti Villas on Meads Bay; Cerulean in the West End; Champagne Shores in Lockrum, Arushi Villa on Rendezvous Bay, Zenaida in Sandy Hill; and Villa Paradise in Cul de Sac.
Another option this winter is Anguilla’s vacation apartments, self-catering units available for rental that offer both good value and convenience. La Vue Holiday Rentals and Royal Palm Holiday Apartments in South Hill; Elodias Beach Resort on Shoal Bay East; and West End Bay Holiday Suites in the West End are among the properties that are open for the season.
An additional 540 rooms are slated to come on stream by April, as some of the islands’ traditional five star resorts plan to reopen in the first quarter of 2018. Most of the island’s popular restaurants and beach bars are also already open for the season, including Tasty’s, Veya, Straw Hat, DaVida’s on Crocus Bay, Tokyo Bay, Elvis, Johnno’s, Falcon’s Nest and Hibernia.
“We are thrilled to reopen this iconic resort in our portfolio,” said Vince Parrotta, Four Seasons’ president of hotel operations for the Americas. “This resort gained significant popularity with our guests from around the world during our first year of operation as a Four Seasons. Guests are eager to return and we’re happy to welcome them back to the beauty of Anguilla.”
Since the resort opened as the Viceroy Anguilla in 2010 and was converted to a Four Seasons in 2016, it has garnered much buzz amongst Millennial couples traveling with other couples, as well as Baby Boomers for its intimacy and access to multiple beaches.
Access to Anguilla is also steadily improving. Seaborne now flies five days a week from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Anguilla, Thursday through Monday, providing connections to American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines’ service into San Juan. Seaborne’s code agreements with American, Delta, JetBlue provide for better connectivity and interline baggage transfers for passengers transiting to Anguilla.
JetBlue launched daily service from New York to St. Maarten on January 5, up from the current twice-weekly service. Delta is operating daily service out of Atlanta, and American flies daily from Miami into St. Maarten, with service from additional gateways coming on stream in the second quarter of 2018.
Daily ferry services are operating from Anguilla’s Blowing Point port to both the Dutch and the French sides of St. Maarten/St.Martin. All visitors and residents are processed through Anguilla’s Blowing Point Police Station on arrival and departure.
From the Dutch side, visitors and residents are processed on arrival and departure through the police station at Simpson Bay, a five minute taxi ride from the Princess Juliana Airport. The private ferry companies operating from Anguilla to the Dutch side are Calypso Charters, Funtime Charters, GB Express and Another Link.
The public ferry departs eight times a day from Anguilla to Marigot Bay on the French side, starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 4:45 p.m. The first public ferry transfer from St. Maarten/St. Martin to Anguilla departs at 8:15 a.m. with the last leaving at 5:15 p.m.
Update on Attractions
Junior’s glass bottom boat rides were among the first attractions to reopen, along with Calypso Boat Charters, which offers tours to the cays and day trips to St. Barts.
Anguilla Watersports, which offers a wide array of activities including paddle boarding, glass bottom boat rides and kite surfing, resumes operations in December. The 18-hole championship golf course at the CuisinArt Golf Resort Spa reopened on December 10; their Venus Spa reopens in January.
On the new landing page, visitors, trade partners and stakeholders will find the latest information on the status of the island’s resorts, villas, restaurants, utilities, services, and relief efforts.
“We want to get the word out that Anguilla is open for business, and this site provides a wealth of information for those planning to visit Anguilla this winter,” said Donna Banks, chairperson of the ATB, in a written release. “We do have a variety of great accommodation options for guests to choose from, starting as early as Thanksgiving, and more options will be added as the information is made available to us.”
The user-friendly site provides up-to-date information on access to Anguilla via air and sea; ground transportation on the island; the proposed reopening dates for hotels, villas, apartments, restaurants and attractions; and updates on the restoration of essential services, including electricity, telecommunications, banking and medical facilities.
According a statement posted on the new page, “On September 6th, Hurricane Irma passed over Anguilla — fortunately both Hurricane Jose and Hurricane Maria, that followed in her wake, bypassed our island. Since Irma’s passage, Anguillians have come together to rebuild the island, with the overwhelming support of our stakeholder partners, a testament to the resilience and indomitable spirit of our people. As our chief minister has promised, we will be open for Christmas, and look forward to welcoming our visitors for the festive season.”