If it’s an idyllic setting you want, look no further than Cap Juluca, a Morroccan fantasy that sits amid the spun-sugar sand and turquoise water of Anguilla’s Maunday’s Bay. Chic, intimate, and impeccably cultured, the resort’s 70 rooms are set within 15 white stucco two-story villas with private terraces that open directly onto the beach.
What’s Hot: The beach. Comfy lounges, oversized umbrellas, coolers filled with icy bottled water, and a sorbet break each day at 3 p.m. made it easy to spend untold hours listening to the waves break onto the sand. When it was time to get active and into the water, we had our choice of kayaking, windsurfing, paddle boarding, Sunfish and Hobie Cat catamaran sailing, and water skiing. On land, there’s also an outdoor jogging trail, morning beach yoga, and tennis.
Best Feature: The service. Within hours of arriving, staff members knew our names, villa numbers, preferences for drinks, and where other members of our party could be found on the resort at any given time. Staff keep such tabs on guests and what happens onsite that keys aren’t even issued -- you can lock your door from the inside, but the door stays unlocked when you step out. Although initially off-putting, not having to keep up with a key added an unexpected level of zen to the already stress-free environment. We also love that complimentary coffee and pastries can delivered to the room each morning.
The Rooms: Although they’ve got all the modern amenities you need, like free WiFi and flat-screen televisions, rooms feel gracious and old-school with cool ceramic floors, sliding plantation shutters, pretty balconies, and massive marble bathrooms with showers that open into sunny solariums. Guests can upgrade to suites and villas with private plunge pools, multiple bedrooms, and full kitchens.
The Food: Guests at Cap Juluca dine by sea at every meal. Breakfast, which is complimentary, includes housemade granola, pastries and made-to-order omelets. Dinners at Pimm’s or Spice feature fresh seafood -- like grilled Anguillan lobster and freshly caught snapper -- served on a terrace that sits directly over the water.
Who Will Love It: Couples looking to recapture the elegance and romance of the Caribbean before mega-resorts hit the scene.
Who Might Not: Families with teens looking for action or young couples who want to party into the wee hours.
Nearby: Surrounded by sheer cliffs and popular with sea turtles, Little Bay is a serene setting for a picnic or to watch the sun set. Splurging for a special occasion? Book the resort’s 32-foot cruiser. Guests are also welcome at the nearby championship 7,063-yard Greg Norman-designed golf course.
Rates & Packages: Rates start at $495; stay four nights and get a fifth free.