When these stunning photos from Leila Brewster arrived in my inbox, I nearly fell out of my chair. 1. Because they are simply out of this world beautiful (we love you Leila!) and 2. Because my husband and I honeymooned at this very hotel in Anguilla. It was hands down, the BEST getaway either of us had been on and needs to be paired with the definition of paradise in every dictionary. Looking for total relaxation, sprinkled with a bit of fun, all while being surrounded by beauty in every direction? Here’s your next vacay loves. Keep reading for my tips on where to go and what to do below!
Where to Stay
Well, Malliouhana, of course! The boutique-style hotel sits on Mead’s Bay in Anguilla and in most locals’ opinions is the most coveted spot on the island. It has a resort vibe without the cookie cutter feel. This place is anything but cookie cutter my friends. From the moment you walk into the mirror-tiled lobby and look out at that view, instant relaxation takes over your body. As newlyweds, we were greeted by fresh squeezed juice from The Sunset Bar, our favorite place to sip on a cocktail before dining each evening.
Once you’ve checked in, you’ll be given a tour of the hotel by the super kind staff. Anguilla locals really are the sweetest people! As you’re sipping on fresh juice, someone has already taken your bags to your room, which will blow your mind once you open the door. I highly recommend getting a waterfront room—most of them are anyhow. The rooms are incredible. Splashed with tropical prints and subtle island hues and the coolest part? The TV is inside a gorgeous mirror with a detailed frame. Not that you’ll be watching too much TV!
What To Do
I think this completely depends on what kind of vacationer you are, but the beauty of Anguilla is that it suits those who want total relaxation and those who want to experience a few adventures. We fell in between the two! Here were the highlights of our 10-day trip:
Mead’s Bay Beach. The first few days of our trip were dedicated to complete utter relaxation. Beached whale comes to mind. Malliouhana is such a gorgeous hotel that we wanted to explore every nook and cranny of our home base before venturing out. The first day, we set up camp on the Mead’s Bay Beach. They have the cutest yellow umbrellas that are set up and taken down each morning and night. Get there early to grab a spot! You can order cocktails and lunch right from the beach so you never have to move. They also have a convenient water, sunscreen and towel station that came in handy when the temperatures get a little too hot to handle.
Pool Cabana. We spent our second day enjoying the double infinity pool in a private cabana, of which its’ beauty cannot be put into words. It truly is the most serene vibe I’ve ever encountered. Make sure to take a walk around the property as well! It is blooming with colorful flowers in every direction and there is a happy little hammock overlooking the cliff that everyone deserves a swing in.
Turtle Cove Beach. The third day, we explored the other beach at Malliouhana. Turtle Cove is a bit more private but still equally as beautiful. This is your peace and quiet, napping beach. They don’t serve lunch or cocktails on this side, so we just spent a few hours here.
Rent the Free Bikes. The beauty of staying on Mead’s Bay is that several other hotels and restaurants are in walking distance. We walked to lunch and dinner several times, but we also took advantage of the free bike rentals through the hotel! It did get a little sticky, so plan to do this on a night when you wear shorts and don’t care if a bit of sweat ruins your makeup. I had quite ‘the glow’ going on. We decided to ride our bikes down to the other end of Mead’s Bay where the Viceroy sits.
Snorkeling. After our first few days of relaxation, we decided to grab some of the free hotel gear to do a bit of snorkeling. Anguilla isn’t necessarily known mainly for it’s snorkeling or diving, but we did see some fun little fish right around the cliffs on Mead’s Bay! A great adventure for those hot days when you don’t want to get out of the water.
Paddle Boarding and Sailing. I was super excited for this as I had never been paddle boarding or sailing before! Again, we rented free through our hotel which was so convenient. It was a great way to see Mead’s Bay from the water. Just make sure to go on a calm day—and with lower temps, morning is a much better time than mid-day.
Sandy Island. The one time we actually ventured out on a boat was for a little day trip to Sandy Island. We met up with another couple on the beach and decided to do it with them! We always seem to make vacation friends wherever we go and had so much in common with our new pals. We spent the day snorkeling, spear fishing and giving our catch to the local chef on the (very) tiny island who cooked it up for us for lunch. Cold beers, hammock naps and shell collecting made the afternoon complete.
These are just a few things that we did on our stay, but since St. Martin and St. Barths are so close, it’s easy to take a quick boat or plane ride to explore these islands as well.
Where to Eat
When you’re ready to head out to eat, Anguilla has SO many selections for dining. We ate at a different restaurant almost every single night. We didn’t expect the food to be so incredible for an island that doesn’t boast a ton of local fare, but it really was.
Breakfast. Malliouhana has one restaurant which we ate breakfast at every morning—it was my favorite part of the day. We’d wake up, freshen up, grab the hotel newsletter which was slipped under our door each morning and head to breakfast. We sipped on coffee, fresh squeezed juices and indulged in things like lobster poached eggs and blueberry compote waffles, all while tackling the newsletter cross word puzzle that we could never finish.
Lunch. Mid-day we’d usually eat at our hotel on the beach or head to Blanchard’s Beach Shack which was just a five minute walk down Mead’s Bay Beach. SO good! They had the tastiest smoothies (spiked of course) and the best beach food we’ve ever eaten. We still talk about the M.B.L.T. (Mahi Bacon Lettuce and Tomato) all the time.
Cocktails. Each evening before dinner, we would head to The Sunset Bar at our hotel to enjoy a cocktail and a competitive game of checkers (my husband always won). The Sunset Bar features little tables surrounded by bench seating stacked to the brim with fluffy pillows and a little wooden case filled with fun games. There was one memorable night of too many glasses of wine and a never-ending game of Monopoly.
Dinner. As I mentioned we ate at a different restaurant almost every night. We enjoyed the first evening at Malliouhana—it’s always nice to stay close after a long day of travel. After that, we’d take taxis out to dinner or walk to restaurants on Mead’s Bay Beach. A few memorable culinary experiences included Veya, Jacala, Dolce Vita, Mangos, Pimms and sushi at the Viceroy Hotel.
It truly was the best honeymoon we could have asked for and we would go back in a heartbeat! I’m already planning our five-year anniversary vacation. They have a huge vintage looking book that everyone signs before departing and I cannot wait to read our little note in the years to come. You can find more of our adventure here. Take a peek in The Vault for the full set of photos shown here captured by Leila Brewster and head here for a gorgeous video by Elysium Productions!