We recently returned from our first trip to Anguilla and Anacaona exceeded our expectations in every way. To sum it up . . . we LOVE this place! Warning, this is a long review - when I am passionate about a place, I write long reviews (see my Bora Bora Pearl Resort review – quite long).
Although Anacaona isn’t 5 a star resort, they make up for that with friendly Anguillan hospitality and service. The staff is amazing, and the price is extremely affordable for Anguilla, (and yes Anguilla is expensive). We’ve been around the world, and honestly, have never met a nicer group of people. One can stay next door at the gorgeous Viceroy, however you will pay a hefty price, and receive rude service. The theme to Viceroy’s reviews here on Trip Advisor is indeed elegance, served with rude service. We experienced their rudeness first hand at Viceroy, the servers were not attentive and more interested in checking their phones. Rude service and close to $100 for a few drinks - not acceptable in my book. Although we can afford to stay at the Viceroy, and have stayed at 5 stars in the past, we chose Anacanona for many reasons.
You are not just a number here. I believe it was the manager, Delroy who stated, “you arrive as a guest, but you leave as family.” So true! I first recognized their superior customer service when I had contacted the hotel via phone and email regarding questions on our reservations – always responsive and friendly. Upon arrival at the resort, we were greeted with a drink and personally escorted to our room. On the bed was a handwritten note, welcoming us to their resort.
Every Monday, guests are invited to the Manager’s Reception in which they provide complimentary drinks and appetizers. We were treated not just as guest, but as friends. It was here, we met and talked with the staff, other guests, the manager and owners. All whom we thoroughly enjoyed our conversations.
Right on Meads Bay – gorgeous and surprisingly our favorite beach on island. Prior to arrival, I thought Shoal Bay would be our favorite beach, and first considering staying there. I’m glad we chose Meads, as it’s somewhat centrally close to everything – Sandy Ground, Rendezvous Bay & Maunday Bay. At first I debated renting a car for the week. I highly recommend a car as there is so much to explore (Ronnie Bryan’s Car Rentals). However, if you are on tight budget, the resort is within walking distance of restaurants and a grocery store. Just keep in mind, taxi’s are pricey, so if you think you will venture out much – rent a car.
Perfect. We chose Anguilla as they are known for the best beaches in the Caribbean. Meads bay is the best beach on the island for a few reasons. Clear, gorgeous blue water, no crowds, and places to walk to if you get bored. Make sure to walk to the other end by the old Milliouhana on the rocks, and stop by Blancard’s Beach Shack on the way back.
To access the beach from the hotel, it’s an estimated 5 minute walk (depends how fast you walk). The distance was not a problem at all for us, but then again we are both active people. Perhaps for those who are older, this might be an issue. The path to the beach is marked, and I do agree it’s somewhat tricky the first time. No worries, you will find the beach – just follow the signs – it is to the left, past the pool, to the left, and another left.
Anacaoana’s shares the same beach area with Viceroy. They provide complimentary beach chairs/umbrella/table. There’s a tented beach bar with chairs in the shade, and a limited beach food menu. One afternoon, the bartender came to our beach chairs and gave us a complimentary cold towel to cool off - again the service is unmatched. Although we were in low season, beach bar service was still available.
Property & Grounds:
Very nice and full of a variety of Caribbean vegetation and flowers. They have created a few places where one can relax on the hammock. At the front of the property is Zazaa Boutique, then a parking area. The main hotel area consists of a few buildings with the lobby, and the restaurant over looking the main pool. The rooms are spread out in a few buildings around the main area. Behind the main pool is the spa. A small, more intimate pool is located towards the beach at the rear of the property. Both pools were very clean.
Exceeded my expectations – high ceilings, more spacious than expected (king bed, sitting area, full size bathroom and patio), lots of windows and very sunny. Being on the second level, there was a distant ocean view of the beach from both inside our room and outside patio, which made for a gorgeous nightly sunset.
We were VERY lucky to be upgraded to a Superior Room from a Standard Room. I booked early, and inquired about a free night special they occasionally have when you book 5 nights during the low summer season. At that time, the offer was not available, however they offered a complimentary upgrade to a Superior Room, if we booked. The perks of vacationing during the low season.
The small refrigerator includes two complimentary water bottles, the bathroom was supplied and replenish daily with locally made shampoo/conditioner/soaps & location. Being clean and free of bugs is important for me. I know bugs exist on the island – I don’t want to see them, and didn’t here. (Oh I wish I could have said that about our hotel in St. Maarten . . .LOL).
The complimentary in-room coffee pot (pod type), was another bonus. Coffee and refrigerated creamers were also replenished daily. It’s the little things that count. We started each day sipping our coffee on the patio, with a view of the ocean in the background.
The bed was comfy and had an abundance of pillows. Bathroom was large and spacious. Plenty of counter space. They shower could use another tray to hold shampoo, razors, etc. Housekeeping was great – no complaints.
One complaint – the patio doors were VERY tricky and difficult to open/close. Often they would slide off track. In fact, the non-patio sliding door in the room (door facing ocean), had about 1” gap of space allowing the outside to come in – this was due to be totally off the track. I pointed it out to my husband, as I knew it would be a problem with mosquitos at night. Instead of calling housekeeping, he was able to pull the door off completely and fix it, (we have the same issue at home) – no problem. These doors need to be looked into the future, as some guest might not be understanding as we are, nor will they be able to fix the door themselves. Those doors are heavy!
Outstanding, and kudos to the entire team - they went out of their way to meet your needs. We loved talking and getting to know Tweety and Soya. Tanisha, Tangiera, the entire team, was great. Delroy, the manager, very professional, personable and fun to talk too.
We only ate at Anacaona’s Firefly restaurant twice (breakfast and dinner), and although the food was outstanding, I felt it was overpriced. For breakfast, chef Kevin’s french toast is a must – it’s like a caramelized fried piece of heaven. Two pieces of french toast for $14 . . .yikes. The $8 fruit plate was lacking . . . more fruit. For dinner- we tried the tuna tartar $13, and goat curry $18 – both were amazing. Although dinner was pricey – I felt it was warranted for the portions. The breakfast portions were not worth the price.
Here is my issue with restaurant pricing. Many come to stay at Anacaona for the affordable price. For those who have a strict budget and don’t rent a car, they will probably walk to the grocery store, stock their refrigerator, or walk to other places. Perhaps they will order a pizza from the hotel one night, or have dinner at Firefly one night. (The grocery store has pretty much everything you would expect to find in the States – I was impressed). For those who have a car (like us), there is no draw to the restaurant. We had the ability to explore places, and did. Don’t get me wrong, the chef is amazing and the food does warrant the expensive price – but they need to realize their market. I realize maybe they are trying to attract outside guest as well, but perhaps their own guest would dine if they were offered an incentive such as a discount, or maybe a free drink, etc.
Complimentary coffee is available in the lobby during the morning – mid morning. And complimentary ice cold water (with lemons) is available at all times at the bar area.
The lobby bar is a casual place to have drinks. It serves the restaurant as well. There are a variety of drinks with creative names and descriptions. Happy hour is from 6-7 everyday with half off drinks. If you need ice for your room, just ask the bartenders and they will hook you up with ice. Tweety and Soya are the best, so fun, sweet and personable.
When to visit:
We typically always vacation during “shoulder season” when the crowds are less and prices go down. Anguilla’s slow summer season starts in April. During the last week of May, we experienced no crowds, yet everything is still open and in full service. At some beaches and restaurants, it seemed as if we were the only people there. We had no idea our last day on the island (May 30th), was their largest holiday – Anguilla Day. Anguilla day is celebrated with a boat race around island. The boats start and finish at Sandy Ground – it takes all day. Most folks are off work, and this holiday is huge! We followed the boats around the island, and started at the hill (thanks Delroy –great place to see the boats take off), then went to Rendouzvous Bay, Meads Bay, followed by Sandy Ground. Experiencing this holiday with the Anguillins is an experience I will NEVER forgot. All I can say, is we received stellar service during the low season of May, and the weather was great (not perfect).
Fast and had no problems. Wireless is everywhere on the property – in our rooms, at the pool, and yes, even on the beach. This is a huge plus in my book.
A few quick words on the animals on the property. Yes, there is a loud rooster, as some complained in other reviews, and it woke me up too. I was also awoken by a loud screeching bird who hung out on our patio early each morning. However, I would never allow this to ruin my vacation – it’s nature and animals make noise! Come on folks, you are on vacation – just go back to bed and get over it. We actually laughed about the bird waking us up every morning. We took a video of him chirping away, as he was non - stop. We loved Jasper the cat, and he seemed to find us everywhere we went on the property and followed us around and to our room. (Yes, we were guilty of feeding him).
No gym, no problem. My husband and I are both very active and exercise at the gym and outdoors almost daily. I actually am happy the resort doesn't have a gym - who wants to go to the gym during vacation? Although no gym, we got plenty of daily exercise walking the beaches, swimming, snorkeling and paddle boarding.
I love Anguilla and love Anacaona. I can’t wait to return, I highly recommend Anacaona!
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions! Happy travels!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Anacaona Boutique Hotel on the island of Anguilla is a small, intimate, privately-owned and privately-run oasis set in tropical gardens, overlooking (and just a few paces from) one of the island’s most beautiful beaches, the mile-long, white-sand expanse of Meads Bay. It has 27 stylish guest rooms, that include junior suites, 2 & 3 bedroom villa suites and two swimming pools.The goal is affordable chic. The property's amenities also include full beach service, ZaZaa boutique and both on and off beach massage centers. All rooms feature either King, Queen Bed or 2-Double Beds and bathroom with large shower, Balcony/Patio, Frette Linens, Mini Fridge, Air Conditioning,Ceiling Fan, Cable TV, I-Pod Docking Station, Iron & board, Laptop size in Room Safe, Complimentary Wireless Internet, Melita-Javapod Coffee Maker, Phone, Hairdryer and Locally Crafted Bathroom Amenities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sirena Hotel The Valley
- Anacaona Boutique Hotel Anguilla/West End Village