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Trip Report 12/21-1/1

Travel & news discussion about Anguilla

Trip Report 12/21-1/1

Postby NM » Mon Jan 02, 2006 11:40 am

Our family of 4 just returned from our 14th AXA vacation and 4th Christmas/New Yrs in paradise. We had incredible weather--it was 80', sunny and not very windy even on the Atlantic side. We heard there had been lots of bad weather in Nov and early Dec. but we agreed this was our best weather in almost 7-8 yrs. Everything is very green and lush--it is even blocking views in some places but the greenery is still nice. The week between Xmas and New Yrs. is the busiest wk. on the island and restaurants said their business was up by 30% over last yr. We felt it--the roads were busy and almost every restaurant, and many beaches were hopping. We continue to be impressed by how pleasant and wonderful the locals are even when they are working hardest to keep tourists happy. Highlights included 2 snorkeling trips to Little Bay (we go down the rope or dive in from the coral outcropping). One day was unbelievably clear--we saw a small shark, large turtle, etc. Always enjoy our hikes to the far eastern end overlooking Scrub Island and then lunch at Palm Grove. Glad to see it will be there for at least a while longer. The Christmas lights in the Valley were the best ever. Different businesses sponsor a palm tree and they did a wonderful job with gold, green, and red matching lights. Still love the bakery at Koal Keel, we place an order for pineapple, peach, etc. pastries for Christmas and Boxing day and enjoy them on the terrace of our villa. We again had wonderful meals out. Particularly liked Mango's sometimes it hasn't been as good), also enjoyed Xmas dinner at Altamer, even had turkey. Also enjoyed 2 very reasonable dinners at Picante and discovered the new Barrel Stay--had a lunch and a terrific dinner there--great addition to the island. Also enjoyed 2 dinners at Straw Hat but prefer the old chef that just left to the new one. He is okay but tries to mix too many flavors. Armel is still working at Straw Hat--don't know what that means about the new restaurant Sunsets. Also happy with our meal at Koal Keel and glad to see their business has improved. Had good dinners at Malli (favorite spot for sunset drink) and Blanchards, Melinda was there but not cooking and Bob and Mel restart their book tour this week. Continued to enjoy quiet breakfasts at Roadwell which is one of the most peaceful places to eat, sit, read. Also visited Overlook a few times and were impressed with views and food. Disappointments included--Pimms, the prices were by far the highest on the Island and just not worth it; had a lunch at Frangipani since it used to be our favorite spot and the service was sooo bad. Took 2 1/2 hrs. for lunch and the wait staff clearly didn't know what they were doing. So unfortunate what the new owner is doing. Tried Ku for lunch 2 times and it's just ok. Both times they messed up our order and also had trouble cooking burgers. Shoal Bay East was extremely crowded by AXA standards--not for us.
Surprises--the new entrance to St. Regis was almost completed while we were there. Very unlike Anguilla--concrete with flowing water and lights and much of the golf course looks complete. Also couldn't believe what they did at the new Viceroy. They knocked everything down--it almost looks like a desert. Also heard they are negotiating to purchase La Sirena. Don't know what that means for the long-run. Many more high-end villas being built--hope the Island can sustain more than just the luxury market. Saw Beyonce and Jay Z several times on the beach in front of their Altamer villa. The Hollywood stars are apparently still going but not as many as last yr. Sorry our vacation had to end--we returned to cold and snowy weather in MA--can't wait until next year!!
NM
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:15 pm

Postby penny » Tue Jan 03, 2006 8:56 am

Loved reading about the island during the holidays!
Wow restauants up 30%, I know I would not like it that busy. I am sure there are lots of stars on the island, but hopefully nothing like last Jan. I have to add I have a new respect for Beyonce--she did a mean performance of "Proud Mary" on TV last week for The Kennedy Center Presents honoring Tina Turner.
penny
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 9:28 am


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