ANGUILLA surely ranks as the greatest success story in the West Indies. Its transformation from
insignificant little dot in the ocean into the world's most fashionable island mirrors the rags to riches
tales of many of the superstars that flock there. It attained these dizzy heights by deciding upon its
preferred clientele early on, masterfully enhancing its breathtaking natural attractions with a combination
of culinary excellent and creative, yet controlled development.
Anguilla featured 'designer hotels' before the phrase was even coined. It boasts more gourmet restaurants
per acre than Manhattan. And when you combine these not insignificant attractions with its laid-back
lifestyle, thirty-three of the Caribbean's most beautiful beaches and pristine waters that can't quite
decide what shade of turquoise is the most photogenic, you can understand why anyone who's anyone
insists on beating a path to Wallblake Airport.
Yet don't come to Anguilla looking for the boutique-dotted towns and yacht-strewn harbours that
distinguish other glamorous destinations around the world. Anguilla is very much a product of the
British West Indies, its distinct lack of pretention discernable in its rustic beach bars, friendly
islanders and emphasis on the simple outdoor pleasures. Its capital, The Valley, doesn't offer
anything the sophisticated traveller would be interested in for longer than an hour or so, at most.
And forget all about lush tropical scenery of St. Lucia or Barbados here too - Anguilla is a flat,
dry island, it's scenic beauty all in its powder-soft coral sand beaches lapped by the bluest waters
Most visitors spend the majority of their time enjoying the myriad facilities of their chosen resorts,
world-class properties like Malliouhana and Cap Juluca offering everything today's demanding traveller
expects. And when they're not playing a set of tennis, enjoying a massage in the spa or relaxing round
their private pool whilst waving their children off to the kid's club, they are generally planning where
they're going to eat that night.
Anguilla boasts more than seventy different dining experiences, the choices ranging from intimate
gourmet restaurants to casual beachfront bistros. You can even hop on board a boat and be whisked off
to the islet of Scilly Cay for fresh-from-the-reef lobster or crayfish. Chefs come from all corners of
the globe, of course, and just a selection of the culinary choices in store include Caribbean, French,
Mediterranean, Continental, Italian, Creole and Indo-Chinese. Wine connoisseurs will also be pleased to
note that the island is home to two of the region's largest wine cellars at Malliouhana Hotel and
KoalKeel Restaurant - just two more reasons to put this amazing success story on your list!