Anguilla’s airport has a parking problem: not enough room for private jets. They are building more space for the ultra-rich that treasure the anonymity granted by Anguilla’s people, “We don’t bother you no matter who you are,” sums up Indrid, part taxi driver, part aunt to the island.
In this series:
- Northern Caribbean Island Hopping Itinerary
- St Maarten – Caribbean Vice
- Video – Maarten Airport Golf Cart Tarmac Transfer
- St Martin – The Quiet Side
- Anguilla – Discretion Island
- Saba – Kong Island of the Caribbean
- Video: Landing at Saba Airport, Shortest Commercial Runway in the World
- St Barth’s – Gorgeous People, Pricey Hamburgers
- St Kitts – Plantation Splurge and Mega Fortress
- Nevis – Is An Hour Enough?
The airport has limited regional service so many visitors arriving from the regular, sub-US$20 ferries from Marigot in French St Martin.
I had planned to visit Anguilla later in my trip, however with a 5-hour layover in St Maarten, I hopped in a cab to St Martin, got lucky with the ferry timing, and had 90 minutes to tour.
Unlike many of its neighbors the main town is not on the water, rather it is five miles inland, called The Valley. Visitors need either a taxi or rental car to explore, so I boarded Ingrid’s minivan with an open-ended request to see the island.
First we rolled through The Valley, an unremarkable, tidy settlement. Then we headed west around the coast to take in the viewpoint at Road Bay and three of the most opulent large resorts, CuisinArt, Cap Juluca, and Viceroy. The ultra-rich are ensconced in private villas around the island. There are occasional clusters of restaurants and shops on the island.
CuisinArt is the most traditional resort and has the only golf course on the island.
Cap Juluca is a member of Luxury Hotels of the World, and is a more refined, compact resort, with a dramatic setting between the ocean and Gull Pond.
Viceroy is drool-inducing sleekness. Often the modern look can seem superficial. At Viceroy all the small touches are spot on, even with furniture that looks comfortable as well as cool.
All three of these resorts will make wallets howl in protest. I have not even checked prices. There may be relative off-season deals. Once you get in the door, expect to keep on paying or rent a car to provide means of escape to local restaurants, which aren’t cheap either.
Anguilla can be visited more cheaply, renting a car, staying in as modest accommodation as possible. That defeats the purpose: this is all about a quiet, lavish experience. The rest of us can be content with a day trip from St Maartern/St Martin. Cruise ships do not dock at Anguilla; with enough time it may be possible to visit while in port at St Maarten.
Ingrid and her T 85 taxi (there are only a few dozen taxis) is a great welcome to the island for day-trippers. She knows everyone, “When there are only three primary schools and one high school…” she said, and her personality does the rest. She can be reached at ingrid_taxi85 -at- hotmail.com. Taxis are not cheap so for multi-day trips not limited to a resort, renting a car at around $40-60/day is the best option.