Top Players In The Market
Anguilla continues to blow guests away each and every visit. The sand is pure white, the water crystal blue, food is mouth-watering and culture is friendly and laid back. The one challenge for Anguilla is the limited airlift directly into the small Anguilla airport. Most guests arrive to St. Maarten, take a 3 minute bus shuttle to the private boat dock or 10 minute walk, take a 20-25 minutes speed boat (both private or small group) over to the Anguilla boat dock, exit through Anguilla Immigration and Customs, then take a quick taxi to their hotel. The experience can take as little as 45 minutes but it's still alot of movement for only 3-4 nights. Airlift is starting to improve in season through San Juan transfers. The minute you touch land in Anguilla you will immediately realize the journey is worth it. The resurgence of major brands in 2016/2017 will lead to a continued growth of leisure and MICE Travel. The three brands, Four Seasons, Belmond, and Auberge bring a 5 star level of service to match the five star properties.
Here are a list of some of the best fit Incentive & MICE properties. For a true meeting, Anguilla is not the right fit location due to the lack of meeting space. There isn't one true traditional meeting room/AV setup on island. For incentives, its a great fit with golf, horseback riding, catamaran trips and even swim with the dolphins in the ocean.
Malliouhana, An Auberge Resort - 48 Rooms, 1,000 Sq Feet Meeting Space
Malliouhana has been living in the shadow of the Viceroy (now Four Seasons) at the end of Meads Bay Beach for the last couple of years. But after a recent visit I would challenge the service at Malliouhana is the best we experienced on the island. The Pool side service was attentive and friendly, the bar service welcoming, and the staff always looking to find a way to please.
In 2014 the property reopened after a 3 year closure and $80 Million renovation so the rooms are open and airy with a Caribbean feel with modern bathrooms and amenities.
If you want complete isolation, this might not be the place for you. The guests are friendly and the hotel has a community feel.
For incentive travel, this property is the perfect opportunity for a complete buy-out of all 50 rooms (two two bedroom suites). The hotel has created great packages to include drinks and lunch buffets (BBQ & Mexican themed). The two pools can comfortably fit all guests and the beach can be setup for lawn games and ocean competitions.
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla - 166 Rooms, 16,000 Sq Feet Total Meeting Space (**Mostly outdoor or restaurants, not traditional meeting space, only 2,400 square feet of traditional meeting space).
The Four Seasons (recently rebranded from the Viceroy) continues to be one of the top high end resorts for Incentive Travel in the Caribbean. The resort is absolutely stunning and brings the Wow Factor from the second you spot the properties sign. The Sunset Lounge is top 3 places in the entire Caribbean to enjoy a sunset cocktail. The infinity pool connected to the Sunset Lounge is one you will continue to dream about well after you return home. The property has 3 large pools, one being adults only, one targeting families and one that remains relatively quiet but can be used for privately for group events. It is located in the middle of the property, contains 4 well sized cabanas, and has a small path through the rocks to a tiny private beach for those looking to swim in the ocean without heading down to the established beach area. When this property was the Viceroy the target age was closer to 35-40, since the rebranding as the Four Seasons we have seen that age increase slightly as original Four Seasons clientele have added it into their vacation rotation.
The Reef by CuisinArt - 80 Rooms, Limited Indoor Meeting Space
From our quick visit to this property during their early opening, we believe CuisinArt missed the mark on this one. The main building itself is an eye sore, the food was average but expensive and the service was inconsistent. Once the landscape develops we imagine it will be a big improvement to the beauty of the property. The separate "villa" buildings of rooms are in line with what you would expect from a new build on a high end island but the main building keeps you scratching your head with what the developers were thinking. The positives are the golf course located on property (golf cart away), easy access to restaurants at original CuisinArt property, and beautiful beach. Also it is brand new build (not renovation) so it has the clean look and feel to the rooms, pool, restaurants and lobby area.
Additional Group Hotel Options -
Zemi Beach House, Resort - 64 of Rooms, No Meeting Space
This brand new build has taken a few additional years to complete but the final product is as impressive as they come. The biggest draw is the beach. Shoal Bay is one of the best beaches in the world with pure white sand, crystal clear water, and flat calm ocean. Is this an experienced MICE property, no. But for a small group can they have the trip of a lifetime, no doubt about it. They will be blown away by both the beach and property as a whole.
Frangipani Beach Resort - 19 Rooms Plus 4 bedroom villa, No Meeting Space
This 4+ star boutique property has been a staple for years on Meads Bay and is seen as the little cousin to the larger and more well known 5 star properties located down the beach. Guests who visit Frangipani continue to come back year after year which says a lot about their service. Despite being one of the older properties on this beach, they have done a good job of making the necessary renovations. Yes, it's a little sleepy compared to the recently renovated Malliouhana or recently built Four Seasons (Viceroy) but the service makes up for this. The beach at this property is as impressive as they come. Also its location is prime as guests are located directly in between Four Seasons and Malliouhana so have lunch and dinner options not only on site but also a quick 15 minute walk away. Also Blanchards beach shack is located about 10 minutes down the beach which is the perfect affordable lunch option beach side. Very boutique option, perfect for 20-22 couples with the Villa as a hospitality suite.
Cap Juluca - 98 Rooms, <1,000 Sq Feet Meeting Space
Cap Juluca just returned back as a player in the incentive space with a new building opening in 2017 after being in the need of renovations for the rest of the property. Plus this property was just acquired this month (May 2017) but the five star Belmond brand. The original hotel was in dire need of a larger renovation to the rooms, lobby and restaurants. Instead of fully renovating the original boutique property, they first invested in a larger brand new mid-rise building which increases the number of rooms and adds in intriguing option for MICE travel. Now with the new Belmond acquisition they have announced major renovations coming down the pipeline end of 2017! Cap Juluca will be back competing in the incentive space: "Anguilla’s Cap Juluca to Undergo Renovation at End of 2017"
Similar to Cap Juluca, CuisinArt is also in need of additional renovations to their hotel rooms, lobby and restaurants. The beach continues to be one of the best in the Caribbean (albeit not as nice as Meads Bay or Shoal Bay) and the food continues to impress. This once 5 star property has now moved closer to a 4+ star property and will need to invest in a major renovation in order to continue to compete with the new properties coming to the island. The service to this property is friendly and personal so many guests continue to come back year after year. They prefer the boutique feel of the small buildings/villas compared to the larger hotel mid rise hotels such as Four Seasons. The target age for this property is 50-60 year old guest.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions on hotels in Anguilla, we have had the luxury of visiting each of the properties and try to refresh annually on Anguilla's hotel portfolio.
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