Hotels, TravelThe Viceroy Anguilla

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When I mentioned to my friends that I was planning a trip to Anguilla, the recommendation was the same across the board: “You must stay at The Viceroy!” Whether they had gone with family, friends, or on their honeymoon, it seemed like everyone had nothing but great things to say about the sprawling Kelly Wearstler-designed resort–and it only took about a minute on property to see why. If there ever was a case where a space could be at once jaw-dropping and impressive yet casual and relaxing, this would be it–the perfect cocktail for a luxurious vacation.

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When my husband I arrived, it was only nine o’clock on the morning but the hotel was alive and bustling with the promise of a great day ahead. The entire resort is designed in a neutral palette of light greys and airy whites, with the exception of the lobby, a dramatic space filled with dark woods and rich copper tones. The space, which Wearstler had wanted to be a “respite from the sun” after a day at the beach was equally as soothing for weary travelers after a long flight. In between enjoying a welcome drink and snapping lobby photos for my Instagram feed, I checked in, handed over my bags, and was off to enjoy breakfast.

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The Viceroy Anguilla is home to five restaurants from a casual beachfront grill (Bamboo) to elegant fine dining at its signature restaurant Coba. Breakfast is served every morning at Aleta, which overlooks the Sunrise Pool and Meads Bay, one of the signature vistas of the property. The restaurant serves Continental and Caribbean breakfast options.  As American travelers, naturally we wanted to experience the latter which included Caribbean style chicken wraps (my favorite) and Salt Fish and Johnny Cake, a popular regional dish. A true resort restaurant, Aleta also offers a variety of fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, elixirs, and salads to enjoy on the terrace or pool-side.

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My favorite dining experience, however, is the Sunset Lounge, an upscale pan-Asian eatery that invites guests for bites, and drinks any time of the day or evening. It’s the ultimate vacation dining experience with an adults-only infinity pool, plush couches, game tables that invite guests to linger, and even beds to enjoy your sake and sushi laying down if you so feel inclined. At night, the Sunset Lounge is a wonderful place to enjoy a nightcap. On certain evenings, the Lounge hosts a movie night under the stars, what I think was one of the most memorable activities of my stay.

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After our bellies were full, we decided to take the long way back to our room, exploring as much of the hotel as possible. The open architecture of the property meant that most hallways are actually set outdoors with the natural island beauty as the backdrop. Frangipani and palm trees line the interior of the resort and any corner you turn could surprise you with a breathtaking view of the Caribbean. Even if wandering around hotel grounds isn’t your usual vacation activity of choice, The Viceroy Anguilla could change your mind–while the public pools and lounges provide impressive views, it’s actually the hidden nooks and crannies that offer some of the most serene–and private–moments.

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With so much beauty everywhere on property, I almost didn’t want to settle into my room. However, a quick peek at the luxurious accommodations awaiting me quickly changed my mind. The Viceroy Anguilla is home to 166 guest accommodations with room classes that range from Viceroy King to five-bedroom villas with over 6,000 sq feet of interior living space. All guests in residence enjoy sleek Kelly Wearstler designed rooms and furnishings featuring Italian marble floors, soaring glass windows and doors, 40-46in plasma TVs, luxury linens and Sferra bedding, spacious bathrooms with soaking tub, and  walk-in glass showers with rain-head faucets, and private sun decks ranging from 200 to over 3,500 sq feet in size. Rooms classified as Viceroy Studio (where I was staying) and up enjoy ocean views and private plunge pools. From here, the living starts getting exponentially more luxurious. One Bedroom Suites feature almost 1,000 sq feet of living space (to put it in perspective, that’s larger than most $1million apartments in New York) with a kitchenette, full living room, and additional half bath. Guests seeking the ultimate experience can book a one to five bedroom free-standing ocean-front villa, some with exclusive beach access and outdoor showers and all with gourmet kitchens, outdoor deck and garden, private pools and full resort amenities. Finding your “home” away from home takes on a much more literal meaning at The Viceroy.

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While on vacation, I just want to unwind and get conformable, and that is exactly what The Viceroy excels at. The resort is heavily focused on customized service for each guest, whether you want to arrange for an in-room massage, a private sailing expedition, or breakfast at 2PM. And despite the impeccable design of the hotel, guests are encouraged to bring a casual and relaxed attitude. My first afternoon, I was busy taking pictures of my cocktail when a staffer passing by asked if I wanted a photo with my husband. I objected on the grounds that I wasn’t wearing any makeup only to have her reassure me that I was on vacation after all. Turns out, my little denim shorts and bikini top got the most wear out of anything I packed for the trip, but among the gorgeous setting of the hotel, I felt pretty glamourous through it all.

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One experience not to miss while on property is a trip to the spa. Since the hotel is completely dedicated to service and pampering, it’s no surprise that the spa services here are some of the most luxurious I’ve ever experienced. The menu is equally split between high-tech, results-driven treatments and organic, inspired rituals and massages. For travelers who wish to experience a bit of both, try the Double Rainbow, an homage to the natural occurrence often seen on the island. On the spa bed, this translate to a combination facial and massage treatment that incorporates both high tech Natura Bisse products to revitalize skin as well as essential oils to encourage deep relaxation. At one point in the treatment, a second therapist performs a 30-minute reflexology and a lower leg and foot massage for an unbelievably luxurious experience.

When I arrived back from Anguilla, I of course immediately reported back to all my friends that their recommendations were spot on. My only regret from the trip was that The Viceroy was so incredible that, except for a few long walks on the beach, I never once stepped off property! This means, of course, that a return trip to Anguilla is in order–who wants to join me at The Viceroy?

For more information, check out ViceroyHotelandResorts.com.

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