ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Malliouhana, An Auberge Resort, Meads Bay, Anguilla, BWI, 1-246-497-6111. Doubles from around £360, B&B
TYPE OF HOTEL: LUXURY| SPA| BEACH| HOLIDAY| RESORT
TYPE OF BREAK: SPA BREAK |BEACH HOLIDAY| ROMANTIC GETAWAY| LUXURY STAY| SPECIAL OCCASIONS |WEDDING NIGHTS| HONEYMOONS
HOTEL STYLE: COASTAL COOL
You go to Anguilla for the beaches and at Malliouhana you have your pick of two: Meads Bay occupies the more secluded end of a mile long white sand stretch, which is lined with some buzzing beach bars and luxury villas (Justin Bieber had just checked out of one when we arrived in January).
The hotel has its own private loungers and cocktail shack here and you can hire paddle boards and canoes to explore the sparkling Caribbean sea.
But along a twisting pathway shaded by palm trees and down a steep staircase carved into rock is Turtle Cove, a small and entirely private patch, where hotel staff won't even interrupt you and nudity is actively encouraged.
Malliouhana is the chicest hotel you'll find on the island. It has been the swankiest since it first opened in 1984 but in 2014 had a massive refurb, which replaced the Caribbean glitz with cool, sophisticated interiors designed by TAL Studio and SB Architects, and it's now an endlessly Instagrammable designer paradise.
From the shelves of historic diving helmets in reception, to the shimmering mirrored floors and bright palette of mint green and lemon and white that will make you want to repaint your bathroom.
The resort is geared up for a healthy lifestyle; you can ride around on orange bicycles, start the day with a gym session, a game of tennis or basketball followed by a swim before a light breakfast on the alfresco terrace over-looking the sea.
Beware of hungry gulls who will swoop for your blueberry muffin in the blink of an eye.
There are two infinity pools to choose from – we favoured the quieter, family-free one with shady cabanas you can commandeer for the day.
Or you can swim in the sea, of course, though when we visited in January the sea was too rough on most days, sadly, but reclining on daybed and watching the crashing waves was far more relaxing anyway.
The hotel is set within 25 acres of lush, landscaped gardens that merge with one and a half miles of pristine white-sand beaches
The interiors are cool, bright and stylish and it all looks pristine since the refurb in 2014
The staff, in their on-brand orange polo shirts and chinos, are so smart and friendly in the way only people in the Caribbean can be
You have the seclusion of Turtle Cove and also a choice of lovely beach restaurants and bars along the stretch of Meads Bay. Our favourite was Blanchards beach Shack – a brilliant affordable streetfood counter, which served the best veggie burger and fries I have ever eaten.
The rooms all have outside space of their own, perfect for a pre-dinner G&T
Prices for food and drink on the resort reflect the quality of the overall experience – ie, EXPENSIVE but there are lots of more affordable drinking and dining places in walking distance
The breakfast buffet was a little limited
It's a long way from the airport and you have to either fly into St Martin and take a ferry, or into Antigua and fly over to Anguilla on Liat
Need to Know: Malliouhana
Number of rooms: 44 Choose from a garden view or ocean view Deluxe or Premium room or splash out on a junior or two-bedroom suite. Guest rooms are designed to 'have the collected feel of a stylish Caribbean residence owned by a glamorous world traveller'. I totally got this vibe and loved the mix of antique and Art Deco . I was also very impressed that the TV was hidden inside an oversized mirror in each room
Check-in/check-out times: check-in 3pm, check-out noon
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: 2
Wi-Fi: Free throughout the resort
Spa: The two-floor Auberge Spa is surrounded by a jungle of island vines and exotic flowering plants. There are four private treatment rooms plus an outdoor meditation garden and a relaxation lounge. Treatments are rooted in local healing traditions using island grown, organic and natural ingredients such as aloe and lemongrass.
Eating and drinking: The Restaurant at Malliouhana is remarkable for its exquisite bluff-top setting and food courtesy of Executive Chef Jeremy Bearman, formerly executive chef of five-time Michelin-starred Rouge Tomate in New York City and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas. The menu is 'contemporary American' but embraces Caribbean traditions and flavours, such as jerk spices, passion fruit, tamarind and guava.
Specialties include: House-Made Pasta with Spiny Lobster and Sea Urchin Butter; Tamarind- Glazed Duck with Cornbread and Coconut Butter; Lobster and Conch Pizza; Curried Goat with Basmati Rice, Pigeon Peas, Roasted Plantains and Sweet Potato Purée. For dessert: Tropical Fruits with House-Made Coconut Yogurt and Black Sesame; Lemon Pot De Crème; Horchata Cookie and Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches; and Curry Ice Cream.
Adjacent to the restaurant is the Sunset Bar, an indoor-outdoor lounge that takes full advantage of its location on the most scenic vantage point on the island. There are 40 varieties of rum to choose from. Cheers!
Near to? The island is only 91km2 so you're pretty much near everything.
For anything you want to know about the island, see here
We flew with Air France to St Martin (via Paris) then took a ferry to Anguilla. Ferry transportation to and from Anguilla is convenient, simple and inexpensive. The ferries run all day between the hours of 7:30am and 6:15pm (departing Anguilla). The last return ferry to Anguilla departs St. Martin at 7:00pm. Ferries run approximately every 45 minutes, and the trip takes about 25 minutes. Regular one-way fare is $20 but you also need to pay departure tax of $5 from St Martin.