As Caribbean islands are re-emerging a year after Hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked havoc across many of them, there is one success story that is particularly heartwarming.
Of the eight Caribbean islands that were significantly damaged, Anguilla's comeback is proving to be one of the most impressive. According to the International Organization for Migration report on the Caribbean's response to Hurricane Irma, nearly 90% of Anguilla's government buildings and the island's electricity infrastructure were "substantially damaged."
Today the island is nearly 100% back in business, according to a Nov. 6 report from the Anguilla Tourist Board. Anguilla is reporting that it will have its full complement of just over 1,600 rooms open for winter.
The majority of hotels, villas and vacation apartments are up and running. Five resorts have yet to reopen, but all are scheduled to do so by Dec. 15.
Belmond Cap Juluca will begin to welcome guests on Dec. 15. The resort will be fully restored with a seaview, infinity edge pool; oceanfront spa; beach bar; and restaurants.
The resort is also showing off a new executive chef, Andrew Gaskin, who is introducing locally sourced seafood to a menu of healthy Caribbean and Anguilla cuisine. The resort will also be unveiling vegan-friendly menus.
A new spa villa will be located just 30 steps from the sea, with a menu of Anguilla-inspired treatments. The newly redesigned Arawak Spa will have a private swimming pool, fitness center, three all-suite treatment villas and private relaxation terraces.
Rates begin at $725 per night.
A beachfront one-bedroom suite at the Belmond Cap Juluca, which will reopen Dec. 15.
Malliouhana, an Auberge Resort, will reopen its doors on Dec. 15, as well, and will welcome guests back to a completely revamped experience. The renovations have been ongoing for nearly a year. In early 2019 Malliouhana will unveil 11 beachfront suites, four garden suites with ground-floor terraces, and a two-bedroom beachfront villa on Turtle Cove. There will also be a new Auberge Spa with six treatment rooms and a pool overlooking the ocean.
Rates begin at $795 per night.
Already reopened is CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, one of Anguilla's most iconic resorts. Closed in September 2017, the resort has reopened its 91 suites and seven villas. As part of the restoration, a new spa concept has been introduced as well as a refreshed pool area with teak loungers and private cabanas, and a 5,000-square-foot meetings space and ballroom has been added.
All suites now have a chic coastal vibe with whitewashed, wood-style flooring; handmade headboards; and floor-to-ceiling windows.
The original lobby bar and living room has re-emerged as KazBar, a Moroccan-themed space where guests can snack on a menu of mezes. The former outdoor Cafe Mediterraneo has been reborn as Mosaic, an all-day dining venue with international cuisine. Santorini Restaurant is now located in the Clubhouse.
Spa by CuisinArt, formerly Venus Spa, is a 27,000-square-foot space with 16 treatment rooms. There is also a dedicated Men's Club Room, hammam and wet rooms plus couples and VIP suites featuring outdoor showers and terraces.
Rates begin at $550 per night.
Long Bay Villas, formerly Elements Villas — Sky, Sea, and Sand will also reopen on Nov. 15, and Anguilla Great House will open on December 15.
In addition to the reopenings, a brand new Resort, Tranquility Beach Anguilla — Signature Suites, is under construction and is slated to open in the fourth quarter of 2019. The boutique property will sit on Meads Bay and will have 18 one- and two-bedroom condos. Guest facilities will include plunge pools and a wellness area.
Tradewind Aviation will resume its daily service from San Juan to Anguilla on Dec. 14. Seaborne Airlines currently flies five days a week, Thursdays through Mondays, from San Juan to Anguilla. An additional flight is tentatively scheduled for January.
JetBlue is currently offering daily service from New York to St. Maarten (SXM), from where travelers can take the ferry over to Anguilla. The airline is also bringing back its Mint Service from New York and Boston beginning Feb. 16. Saturday and Sunday service from Boston will resume on Feb. 16, as well. Daily service from Fort Lauderdale is scheduled to start Feb. 14, but this is still pending government approvals, the Anguilla Tourist Board said.
American operates daily flights to SXM from Miami and launched daily service as of Nov. 4, and new daily service from Philadelphia and Miami starting Dec. 19. Saturday flights from New York start Dec. 22.
Delta flies four times a week from Atlanta to SXM, with daily service beginning Dec. 20. Daily service from New York will begin this month.
United has weekly service from Newark, but daily service will begin in December. Saturday flights from Washington Dulles resumed earlier this month, and Saturday flights from Chicago will begin Dec. 1. The ferry ride to Anguilla's Blowing Point ferry terminal takes 25 minutes, and a newly renovated terminal was introduced in St. Maarten in July. Currently Anguilla is operating a temporary passenger terminal facility, known as the Big Jim Building, but a permanent facility is being constructed.