by Glenny and Liddy
When we retired for the evening, we noticed that although each suite is air-conditioned, one can choose, like Glenn did, to sleep with the doors thrown open; when open, the air conditioning automatically clicks off, only to restart when you close the doors. After watching the twinkling lights of St. Martin from the open windows, Glenn nodded off to sleep to the gentle sound of trade winds and the surf.
A pot of strong, black coffee and fresh juice served on our own terrace greeted us the next morning at sunrise. The tables are covered with bright yellow tablecloths and staff brought us a selection of breads, jams and fruit. A tiny bananaquit fluttered down just as we reached for the bread, interested in selecting his own breakfast from our plates.
Family time on the island: The villa experience
Having determined that Cuisinart was the perfect getaway for couples seeking solitude, romance and beauty, we planned our day around seeing some of Anguilla's many villas. Would the villas, with their multiple rooms and adjacent beaches, be an ideal place for a family vacation?
First stop: the north coast and two elegant villas, Turquaz and Indigo. With WIMCO's local representative Jillian as our guide, we got a full tour of the hidden retreats, each with its own private pool, and it own cove and beach. Stepping outside through the French doors of the living room to the veranda of the two-story Turquaz, one has a view of the sea and the islands beyond -- including Sandy Island. Sandy Island, a tiny island of glistening white sand, is the surrounded by shallow reefs and makes a terrific snorkeling day trip for a family. The five-bedroom villa has a huge kitchen on the first floor with another set of French doors leading to tables on the poolside patio. Indigo, a five-bedroom villa designed with the same startlingly white, traditional architecture as Turquaz, is anchored by a second-story living room/dining room large enough for a family to spread out. The room opens up to a patio with views of the pool and a private beach lined with sea grapes and palms.
Next, we visited Temenos, an estate with three villas named after the Greek word for sacred space. These villas are ultra-modern with a Zen-like beauty. Looking at the stark white structures flowing down to the white beach and the azure sea beyond, Glenn couldn't help it: "We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto," she said. The four-bedroom villas each have a living room, a state-of-the-art kitchen with granite countertops and a large dining area. The villas have both indoor and outdoor dining areas, and indoor/outdoor showers. That's when you know you are truly in the tropics: when you can take your shower under an open sky.
Beyond the swimming pool, the beach area has a barbecue grill and plenty of room for beach umbrellas or kayaks, depending on the day's activities. Chefs can be hired to prepare all the meals at the villa and the main house has a dining area where guests can dine.
We managed to see eight villas in all and were impressed again by the elegant, yet family-oriented potential of each one.
Driving back to Cuisinart once more over the bumpy dry roads, we passed several groups of school children dressed in spotless uniforms. Offering a hardy wave to each group of smiling students, we were reminded that Anguilla's greatest attraction might not be its abundance of soft white beaches but its excess of friendly, happy people.
Back at the hotel, we dropped into comfortable chairs under beach umbrellas along the shore, taking advantage of the ice cold water placed in coolers every 20 feet on the beautiful beach. Young staff members dressed in white shorts and jerseys made their way discreetly up and down the stretch, seeing if anyone needed anything. We couldn't figure out how they could look so fresh and pleasant, walking in the sand under the tropical sun. Just when we thought we couldn't ask for more, a dazzling young woman approached and offered us a mango sorbet in a frosted glass. OK, so we were wrong. We did need just this one more thing.
However, we had figured out the answer to our question. Cuisinart was perfect for couples and for those who want the range of choices ranging from total privacy to tennis courts, or a day trip to St. Barts. The elegant villas offered plenty of room for families and private beaches for ample family time together. The answer was easy: Anguilla is for everyone.